Friday, March 13, 2015

Slap Some Silver On It And Call It New: The Supernova Series Locutus Of Borg Figure Is A Cheap Repaint!

The Good: Great sculpt, Good balance, Good accessories, Neat trading card
The Bad: Utterly ridiculous repaint for the character, Nothing truly unique to the figure
The Basics: The 1995 Supernova Series Locutus Of Borg action figure is an unfortunate repaint of one of the best action figures Playmates Toys ever produced!

When I was in high school and college, I was an uber-collector of Star Trek: The Next Generation toys and trading cards. I had everything released from Playmates Toys and all of the trading cards as Fleer/SkyBox was producing them. I was a proud geek. But, as college went on and I was paying for the experience, I slowly became more and more discriminating in my buying. I stopped collecting the Star Trek franchise comic books and I started truly looking at all of the plastic crap that I knew I would have to move (yet again) when college ended. I was one of the people who gave up on Playmates Toys when they released their “Tapestry” Picard (reviewed here!), despite the fact that the young woman I was dating at the time managed to snag one for each of us in her diligent pursuit of the figure. One of the first figures I liquidated from my collection when I stopped collecting was the Supernova Series Locutus Of Borg action figure.

I am a big fan of Locutus Of Borg and I thought Playmates Toys did an amazing job with their 1993 rendition of the character (reviewed here!). Unfortunately, the Supernova Series Locutus Of Borg figure is the same figure . . . but with silver-colored armor highlights on the chest and crotch, with a new trading card, put on a more dynamic looking card backing. In other words, the Supernova Series Locutus Of Borg is a cheap repaint of the original figure and the insult to the injury is that the repaint makes no rational sense (Locutus was never seen in silver armor!).


The Star Trek: The Next Generation 1995 Collection of action figures contained seven figures – three which were completely new, two which were simply recarded figures from a prior release and the two Supernova Series repaints. As a result, the Supernova Series Locutus did not exactly fly off the shelves . . . but it was never the pegwarmer that Noonien Soong was!

The Supernova Series Locutus of Borg figure is the Captain of the Enterprise after he was abducted and "altered" by the Borg in "The Best Of Both Worlds" (reviewed here!). Locutus is the Borg-armored, pigment drained Captain Picard after he was assimilated. The figure works because the face is clearly Patrick Stewart as Locutus with all of the Borg-added technology to his face and body. What doesn’t work for the figure is the bright silver plastic on the chest and groin that makes the figure look less like Locutus than the plain black original release!

Standing four and five-eighths inches tall, this is an incredibly well-sculpted likeness of Locutus immortalized in plastic. The character is molded with his fingers curled to hold accessories (which the figure does not truly have) and the ideal combination of hands that comes with Locutus has both hands armored with the appropriate extensions, as viewers saw in the second part of "The Best Of Both Worlds." There is an impressive level of costume detailing, which is impressive because the armor for Locutus is fairly intricate. The hands especially have wonderful molded details like tubes and mechanical ports that look functional. Even the back of Locutus features ports on the shoulder pads that were barely visible in the episodes!

The paint job is the only distinctive aspect of the Supernova Series Locutus and it is what brings down the figure. Sure, Playmates managed to get the drained skin tones of Picard as Locutus perfectly rendered. But the silver armor . . . the silver armor makes the figure look less like Locutus as he appeared in “The Best Of Both Worlds” and more like some concept “Disco Locutus!”


Locutus of Borg is a Borg and as a result, he does not truly need accessories. Still, Playmates equipped th Supernova Series Locutus with two additional tubes, two hands, the action base, plus a trading card. That Locutus comes with very few accessories makes perfect sense as the Borg do not use external tools and Locutus was never seen holding any equipment. The Action base is just enough to support the Supernova Series Locutus and is a Borg symbol made of red and black plastic that is ample for support. Near the top of the "eye" in the symbol is a peg which fits into the hole in either of Locutus's feet!

The tubes are just that: two 1 1/2" rubber tubes that may be inserted into holes in the back of Locutus. They take a little work to wiggle in but they enhance the look of Locutus as an assimilated Borg.

As for the hands, the Borg equip their drones with tools that are built into special arm units. As such, Locutus comes with two replacement hands, one for the left and one for the right hand. The replacement left hand is a mechanically-enhanced glove which looks armored and like it could crush a man's windpipe! The right arm is the attachment that viewers saw added to Picard in the episode! The mysterious scanning device that extends Locutus's reach pops into a socket where the right hand had been!

The hands for the Supernova Series Locutus easily pop on and off offering easy swapping of appendages without any real challenges. At the same time, the arms do not slip off so easily that they cannot be played with without the figure falling apart. Playmates finally found the right balance and the hands swap out with enough ease to eliminate the playability problems that plagued the standard Borg figures!

The 1995 line of Playmates action figures also comes with a very cool SkyBox trading card unique to the action figures. The Locutus card features a bust shot Locutus with a warp field background that is quite striking. The back of the card has all sorts of vital information on Locutus and the figure is highly sought by card collectors who collected the cards and disposed of the figures.


The Supernova Series Locutus was an obvious cashgrab from Playmates, but it was generally well-made. Molded in an neutral, menacing pose that makes him look like a stalwart of the Borg invasion, this is a wonderful sculpt of Locutus. The Supernova Series Locutus is endowed with fourteen points of articulation: knees, groin socket, biceps, elbows, shoulders, neck, wrists and waist. All of the joints, save the elbows and knees, are simple swivel joints. As a result, the neck turns left to right, for example, 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, that allows everything below to turn and offers real decent posability!

Moreover, for use with actual play, Locutus 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!). The Supernova Series Locutus is actually able to look like he lumbers along inhibited by the additional tubes and that works perfectly for the character the figure embodies.

On his base, the Supernova Series Locutus is quite stable, making him a great figure for display as well as play.


Playmates mass produced the first few waves of Star Trek: The Next Generation figures and the Supernova Series Locutus was released as Playmates was getting a bit strapped for cash for its Star Trek license. As a result, the Supernova Series Locutus of Borg figure peaked in value quick and then bottomed out fast. It is one of the least-expensive later Star Trek The Next Generation figures to be found on the secondary market and can usually be found for well under $10 now.

Even so, Playmates tried to make the figures collectible. Each figure has an individual number on the bottom of his right foot. In the attempt to make them appear limited, they had numbers stamped on them, though one has to seriously wonder how limited something should be considered when there are at least 25,000 of the figure out there.


The Supernova Series Locutus figure is well-made, but an obvious attempt to make money as opposed to make a vital and realistic action figure toy. It is not worth the attention of collectors, despite its production value.

For other Star Trek: The Next Generation toys and figures, please check out my reviews of:
Captain Picard As Galen From “Gambit, Parts 1 & 2”
Galoob Commander Will Riker
Star Trek: Generations Micromachines Set


For other toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page on the subject for a comprehensive listing.

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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