Holy Grails, SDCC, and linking collections past and future.
July 22, 2008

We look ever forward in this hobby.  SDCC is 24 hours away as I write this and, as we do each year, we’ll all be hunched over our monitors hitting Refresh every minute or so on any number of FireFox tabs.   I’m not downing the practice, I’ll be doing it along with everyone else, but I also recently completed a near decade long quest for toys that were never made.

As I’ve mentioned before, the line that made me an adult collector, and still my favorite line of all-time, is Playmates Star Trek.  I don’t claim they are the greatest figures ever made, but they are the ones that have given me the most joy over the years. 

Recently, my fellow Man of Action Pi-Airmax Kalenzaga talked about Holy Grails, those toys which, for reasons of cost, rarity or whatever else, continue to elude us.  Sometimes we tell ourselves we’d stop collecting period if only we could find our Holy Grail, but I think we can all agree that’s nonsense.  We are collectors and so we collect and when’s the next wave of ______ coming out! 



My Holy Grail has always been a bit tougher to come by than most because it was never actually produced.  As much as I love the Playmates Star Trek line, they never made the entire Original Series crew in the red movie uniforms.  Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov made the cut as part of the Star Trek Generations line, but that’s it.  No Spock.  No McCoy.  No Sulu.  No Uhura.  Adding insult to injury, Playmates DID produce figures of Lt. Saavik from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Voyager’s Capt. Janeway in a red movie uniform from the episode Flashback, which takes place during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

But no Spock, no McCoy, no Sulu, and no Uhura.

The Playmates Star Trek line petered out in 1999 with a series of Target exclusives after a seven-year run.   I’m not an adept customizer at all so, when the line ended, so did my hope of ever having a complete Original Series crew in all their red, double-breasted glory. 

Flash forward nine years.

We all have a list of Favorite Searches on eBay and we all dutifully check our e-mail each day to see if any of our longshot treasures have turned up somewhere, anywhere in the world.  One of my favorite searches is simply "Trek, Custom" and about a month ago, in a listing by collector/customizer Matthew Hackley, I struck Grail…



For me, that picture is glorious.  Thank you so very much, Matthew Hackley.

Now we tie it all together…

SDCC is 24 hours away.  There is a new Star Trek movie focusing on the Original Series characters opening next summer.  There will be toys.  Playmates has the license.  Refresh.  Refresh.  Refresh.

And the Adventure Continues…






Jason "JJJason" Chirevas
Jason Chirevas is a toy collector whether he likes it or not (and he often doesn't). This former Would've-Been Action Hero is as interested in the humanity, psychology, and psychosis of collecting as he is in the action figures themselves. Fun guy.
Read other articles by Jason "JJJason" Chirevas.





  • Jeff Cope says:

    Ah, Playmates.

    Their Trek line will always have a soft spot in my collector’s heart, too. In fact, while my old Trek figures have been in a box for the past 8 years or so, they are coming out and being displayed again when we move to our new house next month!

    I’m not expecting to see any new Playmates Trek at SDCC, ‘though. I think it’s too early and Playmates doesn’t have a booth there. Maybe something at Paramount’s?

  • Brian says:

    The Playmates Trek line was what hooked me into toy collecting as an adult. It still has a place in my heart, if not currently on my shelf. Great complete movie set! Congrats!

  • I also LOVED this line and finally broke down and made the whole crew…but ST:TMP was what got me into the Trek world…and I was always upset they did not make uniformed Ilia and Decker…so that is my next project!! Glad you got your grail brother…REFRESH!!!

  • Smitty says:

    Wow, I can identify. It was this Playmates series that also got me involved as an “adult” collector.

    I hope Playmates does a good job with this license now. It would be neat to see them do a similar take to the 25th anniversary GI Joe figures, producing the most popular characters from Trek’s history, instead of doing it show-by-show and movie-by-movie. I would love to see a Captain Pike right next to a Captain Janeway figure on the pegs.

    Here’s hoping.

    Enjoyed your piece,


  • Jeff Cope says:

    @Smitty –

    Playmates only has the license for the new movie.

    Classic Trek remains with Diamond Select.


  • Brainlock says:

    How come the Scotty figures always had TEN fingers when Doohan only had NINE??

    somebody get me the scalpel!
    We’re gonna OPERATE!

  • Jeremy SpyMagician says:

    Weirdly enough, some of my favorite customs are Playmates Trek.

    Just some original Starfleet folks I cooked up for my own imaginary crew. The Captain is a Andorian, the Security Chief is one of them weird blue aliens that need that chest mounted humidifier thingy, and the Science Officer is a Asian Human Female (Used the head off a Playmates Animated Flash Gordon series Dale Arden)…

    They’re simple kitbashes, but there’s something charming and toylike about the old Playmates stuff…

    Aw, now you’re making me all nostalgic for Monster Squad and Exo-Squad! LOL!

  • Rob says:

    If you’re still in the market for Movie-era customs, drop me a line.

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