Playmates Toys, Inc. has the distinction of being one of the most-prolific Star Trek licensees of all time. The famous toy manufacturer released more than 350 of the 4.5” action figure line, more than 30 of the 6” and 12” lines, nearly 90 of the 9” line, in addition to numerous play sets, starship toys and role-playing items from 1992 until 2000, and again in 2009, when the company produced collectibles for that year’s Star Trek movie reboot.
One of the popular features of collecting Playmates Toys action figures then, in retail stores, and now, on the secondary market, is the sheer variety of costumes and styles which action figures were offered. Rarely was the same character released in the same outfit, which is quite a feat considering the number of Kirk, Spock, Picard, Worf and other popular character variants that all received multiple releases. Worf himself had a baker's dozen of the 4.5" action figures alone, each with a different costume.
Considering the technological limitations of the era, Playmates Toys action figures remain a popular item for fans to collect because of their sheer volume, good likenesses, and, as discussed with Voyager, the amazing number of variations and unusual offerings.
Maria Jose and John Tenuto are both sociology professors at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, specializing in popular culture and subculture studies. The Tenutos have conducted extensive research on the history of Star Trek, and have presented at venues such as Creation Conventions and the St. Louis Science Center. They have written for the official Star Trek Magazine and their extensive collection of Star Trek items has been featured in SFX Magazine. Their theory about the “20-Year Nostalgia Cycle” and research on Star Trek fans has been featured on WGN News, BBC Radio, and in the documentary The Force Among Us. They recently researched all known paperwork from the making of the classic episode "Space Seed" and are excited to be sharing some previously unreported information about Khan's first adventure with fellow fans. Contact the Tenutos at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.