- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 2, 2008

Thanks to the proliferation of film, comic-book and cartoon characters, companies are bombarding consumers with an incredible selection of action figures. With tongue in cheek, let”s take a peek at some of the specimens worthy of a place in Zad”s Toy Vault.

Captain Benjamin Sisko

Diamond Select Toys continues to boldly go where pop-culture product-makers have already gone before with a new series of action figures based on the television series “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

Even though the Trekkie fan base has shrunk considerably, the company has teamed up with design powerhouse Art Asylum to offer multiarticulated, 7-inch-tall gems of Lt. Cmdr. Jadzia Dax, Lt. Ezri Dax, Constable Odo and the head honcho of the outpost tasked with guarding the Bajoran wormhole.

Figure profile: According to the packaging: “Assigned to command an outpost on the edge of Federation space, Commander Benjamin Sisko’s destiny was forever altered by his discovery of the Bajoran wormhole, the only stable wormhole known to exist in the galaxy.”

Responsible for exploring the new gateway to the Gamma Quadrant, Sisko and his crew are the last line of defense against any number of threats: Cardassians, the Dominion, Pah-wraiths and untold others.

Accessories: With a near-perfect head sculpt of actor Avery Brooks, the figure is smartly dressed in his season five and later Starfleet Uniform, highlighted down to immaculately shined boots, and has 16 points of articulation. He also gets a PADD (hand-held computer), a detailed phaser rifle, a type 2 phaser, a baseball cap (fondly remembered from the episode “Take Me Out to the Holosuite”) and mounted baseball.

Price: $9.99.

Read all about it: IDW Publishing holds the “Star Trek” sequential-art publishing rights and has only hinted at a “Deep Space Nine” series for release — maybe — later this year. Those looking for DS9 comics have a couple of options. Hunt for trade paperbacks (about $10) from the British publisher Boxtree (compiling the Malibu Comics’ monthly series from the mid-1990s). Or seek out DC Comics’ four-part limited series N-Vector, compiled into the “Star Trek: Other Realities” ($12.99) trade paperback.

What’s it worth? The market is small but rabid for these well-designed and -equipped Trek figures. However, I expect things to heat up quickly around the holidays with the release of the new “Star Trek” film, which will expose a new generation of fans to the sci-fi franchise.

Leia as Boushh

Sideshow Collectibles continues to give “Star Wars” fans a reason to spend money with the release of more 12-inch dolls. Based on moments from the six space-fantasy movies, the latest figures pay tribute to the Heroes of the Rebellion. A few of the legends represented include Bespin Luke, “A New Hope’s” Ben Kenobi, Padme Amidala and Princess Leia, a lady who even would dress up as a bounty hunter for her man.

Profile: According to the packaging: “Princess Leia Organa, disguised as an Ubese tracker named Boushh, travels to Tatooine, with Chewbacca as her apparent prisoner, in an attempt to free a carbonite encased Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt’s desert palace.”

Price: $59.99.

Accessories: As with all of Sideshow’s 12-inch masterpieces, detailed cloth costuming and well-researched accessories make the doll.

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