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Zadzooks: Star Trek (TOS): Mr. Spock figure review (Diamond Select Toys)

- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 20, 2013

Diamond Select Toys boldly goes where many an action-figure company has gone before with its tribute to the "Star Trek" universe. The Maryland-based company has teamed up with Art Asylum to deliver a wide range of pop culture items tied to the original 1960s television series.

Besides scaled versions of starships and crew gear including a life-size Geologocal Tricoder, the collection includes a pair of 7-inch-tall figures representing classic characters offered in three-dimensional glory from key episodes in the 1967 season.

Collectors can now display Capt. Kirk in the throes of combat against nemesis Khan Noonien Singh (seen in  "Space Seed") or the pointy-eared Mr. Spock checking out an alien species from the classic show "Devil in the Dark."

Figure profile: (paraphrased from the package) Half-human and half-Vulcan, Mr. Spock was the science officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise under Capt. Christopher Pike, and later served as first officer under Capt. James T. Kirk. While his human half makes him more emotional than his Vulcan brethren, Spock strengthened his adherence to the teaching of Surak to compensate, becoming even more logical and controlled than the most stolid Vulcan.

Accessories: Everyone's favorite Vulcan gets 10 points of articulation limited to his upper torso and appendages as well as a decent supply of extras and interchangeable body parts to bring him to life.

A more configurable statue than action figure, he hangs out (with some help from pegs) upon a diorama showing part of the Janus VI cave and the misunderstood Horta creature who looks like a beaten bombe cake.

Mr. Spock has two main poses.

First, after simply fitted with the rigid standing legs (that attach to the torso through a ball joint), he holds a phaser in one hand and other hand can grasp one of two included tricorders (open and closed and each with a strap). An owner attaches a head sculpt that reveals his very focused personality.

The second requires using the kneeling legs along with open hands and a grimacing Spock head to capture the scene of the Vulcan using a "mind meld" to feel the creature's anguish.

A nice touch includes a removable piece of the Horta, exposing grey matter and its injury suffered from an errant phaser blast.

It's worth mentioning the equally slick Capt. Kirk diorama from Diamond Select Toys ($24.99). The articulated Kirk figure wields a pipe as he crouches in position to slug a statue of Khan, who is sprawled across a control panel on the U.S.S. Enterprise. The display base is as perfectly cheesy looking as one might find on the set from the 1967 show. By the way, the sculpt of suave actor Ricardo Montalban as Khan is dead-on.

Capt. Kirk gets an extra set of hands and extra set of solid legs, both of which could work in a scenario if owners wanted to have the captain and his first officer fight one another.

Price: $24.99

Read all about it: Nostalgia buffs of the original show should hunt down the trade paperbacks of the rare 1960s Gold Key comic books (collected by the now-defunct Checker Book Publishing) — expanding upon Gene Roddenberry's universe. For example, Star Trek: The Key Collection, Volume 1 (averaging $20 online) collects the first eight issues of the sequential art created by such legends as writer Len (Wolverine) Wein and artist Alberto (Turok) Giolitti.

What's it worth: Star Trek fans really get an affordable masterpiece from Diamond Select Toys with Mr. Spock. The excellent detail (down to shiny boots) and an impeccable paint job (reference the gold leaf wrap on the uniform's sleeves) combine with Art Asylum's perfect facial sculpt (capturing the youthful features of actor Leonard Nimoy) to deliver a figure that is an awesome addition to a collection.

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