The Good: Amazing sculpt, Decent balance, Great articulation, Cool accessories.
The Bad: Vastly over-accessorized, Accessory/grip issues.
The Basics: Diamond Select made Martok, the one-eyed Klingon General from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine into a very limited figure that has so much going for it, it is tough to complain about!
There are very few toys that keep my interest for years, so much so that they become something I do consistent price checks on whenever I am doing online shopping or attending conventions. Three years ago in Las Vegas was the last time I had easy access to the Diamond Select General Martok action figure and, frankly, for the $50 - $80 dealers were demanding for the figure at that time, it was out of my price range. The convention was not one of my better ones, so I had to go home without it (it was a pretty shit-tastic trip come to think of it!). But, since then, my wife and I have considered the Martok figure whenever doing online shopping and we have watched the price of the figure fluctuate over the last three years from an on-line high of $50 to $19.99 (its low point from one seller for one day was $9.99, but we missed the boat on that one!). When the price bottomed out, my wife had just gotten her tax refund and recently for an anniversary, Martok was presented to me as a much-anticipated, but frankly safe (she knew how much I wanted it) gift.
Part of the reason Martok is such a find is that there is only one figure of Martok; it was produced by Diamond Select in 2008 and was one per case. It is a tough figure to track down . . . despite the mixed popularity of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine collectibles with adult collectors. Having finally obtained my Martok and broken it out of its packaging, the verdict is simple: it was worth the wait, but it was not a perfect action figure. In addition to being overaccessorized, there are a number of accessories (some of the better ones for Martok, actually) that do not even fit in his grip! That robs it of perfection, though it is pretty damn cool.
General Martok is an obcure but popular recurring character exclusive to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine franchise who had not been made into an action figure until Diamond Select took a risk making him (which was far less of a risk considering how many conventions J.G. Hertzler, who played Martok appeared at each year!). Not at all a generic Klingon (though the body, I suppose could be interchangeable with the Gowron figure), Martok is distinctly Martok from the face and the emblem on the sash he wears. This is a General, not Chancellor, Martok figure as he does not come with robes. The action figure of Martok stands 7 7/8” tall and features the Klingon general in standard Klingon armor. His boots each have their appropriate metal spike and the detailing on the costume is exceptional. In addition to soft-plastic sash and gun holster, the Martok figure features exceptional detailing on the necklace the character wears. It looks braided with copper rings spaced judiciously around it. The facial sculpt for General Martok is exceptional with details like the scar over the left eye and the forehead ridges molded with exceptional detailing.
The coloring details rival the sculpt; the General Martok figure looks lifelike in the skin tones and the armor is not monotonal in its coloring. There is a faint amount of coloring depth to the nose and forehead ridges on Martok, as well as to the scar. The hair has realistic depth and shading and that is an exceptional level of detail. Even Martok’s one good eye is detailed with an appropriate brown that looks awesome.
The figuresof General Martok comes with a whopping nine accessories! Martok comes with a Klingon disruptor rifle, d’k’tang dagger, Bat’leth sword, two bottles of blood wine, a cup for the blood wine, a Klingon disruptor and two alternate hands (in fists) for Martok. That this figure comes with weapons makes a great deal of sense, as much of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a war story and Martok is a Klingon warrior.
The extra hands are exclusively for Martok and feature the Klingon general’s fists in spiked gloves. They simply pop in and out of the figure’s forearms and they look fine on the figure. However, using Martok’s fists means that he cannot hold any other accessories, making it something of a wash to use them.
Martok is well-outfitted with the Klingon Disruptor. At 1 1/2” long, with meticulous detailing to the sculpt, the Klingon Disruptor fits the quality of the rest of the Martok figure. Martok can easily hold the Klingon Disruptor in his right hand in a grip that looks like it was made for the black, silver and rust-colored plastic gun. The Klingon Disruptor also fits perfectly into the holster on Martok’s right hip and looks great there.
Another option for Martok to look weaponized is the larger Klingon Disruptor Rifle. At 2 1/2” long, the Klingon Disruptor Rifle may be held in a two-handed grip, but it looks just a little smaller than it ought to for that. Even so, the coloring is immaculate and this weapon suits the Martok figure well.
Of course, those who love Martok are bound to want to see what Martok looks like holding his Bat’leth sword. The Bat’leth sword is just over five inches long and features the usual curved blade of a Bat’leth. Clean and silvery, the Bat’leth looks functional and Diamond Select took care to mold the leather grips and color them appropriately so Martok looks amazing holding the weapon in a one or two-handed grip!
Unfortunately, Martok cannot possibly hold the cup for the blood wine in either of his hands (or any of his hands, as the case may be). The wide cup looks just like the one in the show: like coiled lead with a thin, wide mouth. It is well-cast for this figure, but one wishes they included hands that looked good holding it! I would almost have less of a problem with interchangeable hands that had the accessories molded into them as opposed to perfectly accurate accessories that either cannot be held or look doofy when they are!
The two 1 7/15” blood wine bottles are molded to look just like the ones on the show, but neither has a label to make it match the rest of the detailing. Moreover, given that it is monotonal silver plastic, the bloodwine bottle looks silly in the figure’s hand, especially compared to the level of quality of the figure. That said, Martok may hold the bottle reasonably well in either of his hands.
Finally, Martok comes with one of the d’k’tang daggers his character used on the show. The black and silver three-bladed knife is surprisingly intricate. It is cast with the side blades out and is 1 3/8” long. While there is no way to attach it to Martok’s belt, the knife looks great in his left hand, even if it looks a little small there.
General Martok embodies a high standard for Diamond Select Star Trek figures in terms of playability. He has eighteen points of articulation: ankles, knees, groin socket, biceps, elbows, forearms, wrists, shoulders, neck, and waist. Martok’s hair is molded in such a way that makes his head articulation pointless. His head cannot actually move. His waist articulation is also a little limited. His shoulders are more impressive, though. As ball and socket joints (like real shoulders!), they are able to strike a number of poses that might otherwise be impossible, including Klingon head butting!
Moreover, for use with actual play, Martok has great movement potential. His balance is excellent and, because of the added articulation in the ankles and knees, he may be posed in outlandish poses and still remain standing!
Diamond Select had a comparatively limited production run on the General Martok figure. Still, his price has peaked out and is now on the decline. Is it likely to rebound? In the long run, I’d bet on yes; there is only one Martok figure and as more people discover and rediscover Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, this figure is bound to be coveted more than it was in its original release.
Even though it was the only figure produced of Martok, Diamond Select did a pretty awesome job of making the figure at a level of quality where it is worth the effort and expense of hunting him down.
This toy is based upon Martok as he appeared throughout almost all of his episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (reviewed here!)
For other Klingon figure toys, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Diamond Select Gowron And Worf Two-Pack
Galoob Worf figure
Art Asylum Klingon Borg
For other toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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