Playmates Regains the Toy Rights to the Entire Star Trek Franchise
Back in the ’90s, Playmates ruled the roost when it came to action figures. Following the monster success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the company went all-in on Star Trek. Their action figure line featured then-revolutionary likenesses, fancy playsets, and a deep roster of characters. (Seriously, you could own such one-episode wonders as Hunter of Tosk, or Captain “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.”) It started to peter out around the time of First Contact, when they changed the scale for no obvious reason. But the company got one more swing at it with figures based on J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek movie.
Now, however, they have it all back. Following some years in the hands of Art Asylum/Diamond Select and McFarlane Toys, the Star Trek license is back where it used to be. In a press release posted on StarTrek.com, Playmates announced that “Fans can look forward to a new lineup of action figures and accessories from Star Trek: Discovery,Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Picard,other Star Trek series throughout the universe coming soon, and future selections from the expansive Star Trek Universe of series and motion pictures, including the Paramount+ CG-animated series Star Trek: Prodigy produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio and CBS Studios.”
While no products are announced yet, a teaser image posted by Playmates suggests who the first figures might be. In it, we can see some obscured images that look a lot like Data (Next Generation), Burnham (Discovery), Picard (Picard), Kirk (Original Series), Saru (Discovery) and Spock (Discovery). Or do our eyes deceive?
While Playmates’ figures felt revolutionary in the ’90s, their toys haven’t changed much over the years. Although they still own Ninja Turtles rights, for example, the portions of the license they’ve outsourced to NECA and Super7 fared way better with collectors. It remains to be seen if they can please both segments of the audience as well this time around.
What do you think of Playmates doing Star Trek again? Let us know in comments!
Recommended Reading: The Star Trek Book: Strange New Worlds Boldly Explained (Big Ideas Simply Explained)
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