5. Electronic Borg Cube (1994)
The number of electronic ships put out by Playmates in their heyday is pretty dang impressive, and Diamond Select still hasn't caught up with them for sheer variety. Ships like Voyager may make the DST line some day, but one of the most notable (and coolest) ships in their collection is one DST may never make due to its size and intricacy. That's right, it's the Borg Cube.
Now, I'm not saying that the Playmates model matches the intricacies of the screen-used Borg Cube, but that doesn't mean it's not an amazing ship. The layered look is achieved by placing grids full of piping on top of a sculpted core, and once you add in some cool techno lights and sounds, plus a display base. ...Did I mention it's the fricking Borg Cube? I definitely don't see Diamond Select making this one any time soon, but they'd have their work cut out for them to make it cooler than this one.
4. Star Trek Select Mr. Spock (2013)
When Diamond Select relaunched their Star Trek action figure line this year, early shots of statically posed legs with interchangeable parts caused many fans to wince. The cry of "mini-statues" was raised, and the line was declared a failure before it was released (although not on this site). But the end result made for arguably the best 7" Trek figure ever, one that's two (or three, depending on how you're counting them) figures in one.
The two sets of static legs that Spock comes with holds poses better than any one set of articulated legs ever could, and the fully articulated arms actually give you a wide range of display options. Add in interchangeable hands, open and closed tricorders and an extra agony-etched head - which you can use to re-create scenes from the episode "Devil in the Dark" - and you've got the perfect Spock figure, plus a keen diorama base with the first-ever Horta figure stuck to it. The Horta is a little small, but let's be honest, it's a miracle a toy of that thing even exists.
3. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Klingon Bird of Prey (2013)
Diamond Select's electronic ships frequently raise the bar on what came before in the Playmates line, and while the occasional production-line snafus can confound fans, when they get it right they get it right. Factory issues left fans waiting for almost three years for the Klingon Bird of Prey, but now it's out, and man, this thing is awesome. The wings move up and down, General Chang's dialogue booms out of the speakers, and the weapons sound effects sync up with the lighting effects. Also, you can make those same lights stay on at the touch of a button.
The only thing that would make it perfect would be landing gear - it only comes with a display base for flight - but the Bird of Prey is more impressive when it's swooping in for an attack than when it's parked. An upcoming edition will have the landing gear, but it will also be loaded up with dialogue from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. And as great as it'll be to hear Scotty talking about whales, this version has Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer quoting William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!" One of the most classically trained toys ever!
2. Spock Ears (1966-present)
That's right, Spock ears. I actually don't know when the first set was made for mass consumption (I assume sometime between the Animated Series and The Motion Picture?), but even though they've been the setup AND punchline to jokes about Trekkies for decades, the fact remains that a simple pair of rubber ears (either full ears or ear tips) can transform anyone into an emotionless Vulcan. Spock, Saavik, Sarek... hell, say you're a Romulan if you like. You don't even need to dress up in a costume! Just tell people you're an undercover time-traveler trying to fix history, and blammo - you've saved a bundle in cosplay expenses.
The best part is that they're versatile. Put on some medieval garb and you're instantly an elf - a convenience not lost on Rubies' costume company, which markets the exact same ears for their Lord of the Rings line of costumes. It makes those quick changes in the bathroom at DragonCon much easier.
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation Innerspace U.S.S. Enterprise Mini Playset (1996)
There's something about micro-figure playsets that brings out the kid in all of us, and the Innerspace line, while sadly lacking in Martin Short-style hilarity, gave us some amazingly awesome toys. Most of them were tiny renditions of alien ships, or full-size Trek accessories, all with tiny dioramas inside, and tiny figures to live in them. But the crown jewel of the line was the adorably superdeformed - but highly interactive - Enterprise D.
Okay, the saucer section is a little... hamburger-esque, and it requires a stand to support it, but inside you get a bridge set made for 1-inch micro-figures, with opening turbolifts and a changing viewscreen, plus a ready room, security office and Ten-Forward! It's true that Playmates also made a pretty accurate bridge playset for their regular 4" figures, but that's just a big, round room. This is the actual Enterprise, and one you can open up and play in, to boot. It even has a tiny shuttlecraft that comes out of a tiny shuttle bay! Maybe it's not the most accurate Trek toy ever, but dang if isn't more fun than a barrel of Mugatus.
Previously by Jay Barish