Friday, May 10, 2013

Video Game Sisko Makes For A Poor Exclusive

The Good: Good sculpt, Good coloring, Balance
The Bad: No accessories, Nothing remarkable as far as an exclusive goes, Very bland facial expression.
The Basics: A particularly lazy exclusive action figure, it's hard to get excited about the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Commander Benjamin Sisko In StarFleet Duty Uniform figure.

When it comes to Star Trek exclusive action figures, Playmates Toys had a decidedly mixed record. When they tried to do an exceptionally limited action figure at the height of the popularity of Star Trek figures – the “Tapestry” Picard (reviewed here!), they received a pretty righteous backlash and the frustrated fans did everything they could to sink the company’s plans (the two subsequent figures that were planned for releases of 1701 pieces were upped to 3000 and then a multipack with unnumbered versions of the figures was later released!). Before that comparatively imaginative recycled figure (all of the pieces to the “Tapestry” Picard were cribbed from other, prior, Playmates Star Trek figure releases, Playmates made some even lazier exclusives. One was the Commander Benjamin Sisko in StarFleet Duty Uniform action figure.

The Commander Benjamin Sisko in StarFleet Duty Uniform action figure was an exclusive from the Nintendo and Sega game Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Crossroads Of Time. The game had a mail-away coupon and Playmates produced 4000 of the figure as an exclusive.

Commander Benjamin Sisko in StarFleet Duty Uniform is Commander Sisko as he appeared in the teaser only to the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, “Emissary” (reviewed here!).


Commander Benjamin Sisko is a human officer, seen originally fighting the Borg during the famed Battle Of Wolf 359, and in addition to being the first black commanding officer whose story is fully developed in a Star Trek series, he was father to Jake Sisko. Sisko appears in his exclusive action figure as a bored looking officer who is attired in the red StarFleet Command branch uniform. Because he was the leader, Playmates thought the figure might be popular. Unfortunately, because it was a lazy reuse of a pretty standard Star Trek The Next Generation figure’s body with a Sisko head popped on, collectors and fans largely rejected the figure.

The Commander Benjamin Sisko figure is the human StarFleet officer as he appeared in the first five minutes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, with the red uniform and with a head of closely shaved hair. Commander Benjamin Sisko is attired in his red StarFleet uniform (for Command division) that is entirely indistinct from other, similar, figures. The outfit is colored appropriately, including the three gold rank pips on the collar.

Standing four and seven-eighths inches tall, this is a decent likeness of Commander Benjamin Sisko immortalized in plastic. His legs have a very neutral stance, so this figure stands up and looks like he is ready to be displayed, as opposed to an action pose which made some of the earlier Star Trek figures more problematic for posing in displays. Even so, Commander Benjamin Sisko has good balance on which is important because this figure did not come with a stand. There is a decent level of uniform detailing, including the communicator pin on the chest being both molded into the figure and then painted on. The sculpting details lessen, though at the hands, where Sisko has less detailing, including a lack of defined knuckles or fingernails.

Commander Benjamin Sisko's face is molded in a bland, neutral expression that actually characterizes well Sisko's initial emotional resonance. He was a low-key Commander and the lack of defined expression suits the character remarkably well. The hair is little more than a raised portion on the head which has then been colored black; there is little texture to it. Interestingly, while the skin and uniform are cast in a glossy plastic, Sisko's hair is painted with a black matte finish.

The paint job is fair at best, especially for the face. The skin tones are monotonal brown with no shading or subtlety. The figure's lips are painted an unnaturally bright pink which looks somewhat ridiculous. As well, Sisko's eyes are brown with white pupils, which is disturbing.


Commander Benjamin Sisko In StarFleet Duty Uniform comes with no accessories. This is especially disappointing for an exclusive figure.


Commander Benjamin Sisko continued a generally high level quality from Playmates and he was quite good at the time, pleasing collectors and fans alike. Commander Benjamin Sisko is appropriately stiff, but has decent poseability. Commander Benjamin Sisko is endowed with twelve points of articulation: knees, groin socket, biceps, elbows, shoulders, neck, and waist. All of the joints, save the elbows and knees, are simple swivel joints. As a result, the neck turns left to right, but the head cannot nod. Similarly, the shoulders are not ball and socket joints and only rotate. Still, Playmates dealt with this limitation by having a swivel joint in the bicep, which allows everything below to turn and offers real decent poseability!

Moreover, for use with actual play, Commander Benjamin Sisko may bend or extend at the elbows, which offers a greater amount of movement potential making him one of the more realistic Star Trek action figures to play with (for those who actually play with these toys!). On his base, Commander Benjamin Sisko is exceptionally stable, even in the most ridiculous poses. He actually looks very dignified and stern in a neutral display pose.


Playmates overestimated the interest in Commander Benjamin Sisko and after the initial spike, the value of the exclusive figure plummeted. At this point, it is one of the least expensive collectible figures from Star Trek on the market. The fact that is was uninspired and recycled without any new pieces or a hook also helped turn collectors off to it.


The Commander Benjamin Sisko figure is a poor, bland figure and even fans will have a tough time justifying the expense or effort in tracking down one of these toys.

For other Benjamin Sisko action figures, please check out my reviews of:
1993 Commander Benjamin Sisko (first release) figure
Sisko from “Crossover”
Captain Benjamin Sisko
Sisko As A Klingon
6” Warp Factor Series Captain Benjamin Sisko
Art Asylum Captain Sisko from “Trials And Tribble-ations”
Diamond Select Captain Benjamin Sisko


For other toy reviews, please be sure to visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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