|CUSTOM ACTION FIGURES|
The TV Series
They were successful where other companies had failed in part because they featured larger-than-standard figures (for the times and genre, anyay), highly detailed likenesses of characters, multiple points of articulation, and perhaps most importantly, because they saw Trekkers as an indication of a greater market of collectors. Indeed, some folks (including a recent issue of Toyfare) have credited the Playmates Star Trek line with introducing the collectible action figure market.
In recent years the 5" line has suffered setbacks, due in part to increased competition from other collectible lines. Playmates tried to keep the Trek line alive by moving it into a new arena -- store & website exclusives, but currently it seems that the last of the Playmates 5" Trek figures has been produced.
Star Trek: Aliens
Star Trek: Headswaps
About Customizing Trek Aliens
A tip on customizing Star Trek Aliens...
Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, was once quoted as saying all Trek alien makeup, no matter how elaborate, should allow the actors eyes to show through. His idea was that the real emotions of acting shine through the eyes. Ok, I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea. If an actor's eyes could not be seen, he would look like little more than a walking plastic mask.
So when I'm customizing a Trek alien, I always make sure that the base figure's eyes can "see" out of his newly scuplted mask, just like Roddenberry recommended.
Thinking about customizing as if I were working on real actors helps in other ways, as well. When adding details to a figure's head, I build up the layers as if I were a make-up artist working on a real person. I make sure that the "actor's" head fits completely within the given "mask," which helps me keep proportions correct. I don't sand down any areas beyond what would be a bald head -- after all, the aliens I'm customizing were originally played by actors, all of whom had to fit their heads completely within their masks.
By combining the "see the eyes" technique with the
"make-up artist" technique, I've managed to keep the scale of my
aliens' heads proportionate to their bodies and to the other Trek action
figures they are displayed with.