The original Star Trek series was a television program with a science fiction theme that aired in the U.S. from the year 1966 to 1969. The show was based upon the crew aboard the starship Enterprise embarking on a five year mission in outer space.Cast for the program included William Shatner, starring as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nemoy as Spock, DeForest Kelly as Dr. Leonard McCoy, known as “Bones”, Uhuru played by Nichelle Nichols, Hikuru Sulu played by George Takei, and James Doohan portraying Montgomery Scott, more commonly referred to as “Scotty”, and Walter Koenig playing Pavel Chekov. Although the show was popular during its initial series run, it actually gained more popularity when it was later aired on television in reruns, where it eventually even gained a cult following. Having this enormous fan based spawned such ideas as an animated series, which aired from 1973 to 1974, as well as the series The Next Generation. But let’s not forget some of the coolest and most collectible items that were created because of the great Star Trek craze, which were the action figures based upon the show’s characters.
These now highly collectible vintage Star Trek action figures are a must for any true Star Trek fanatic. The first Star Trek toys were produced by a company named Mego from 1975 to 1978. These Star Trek action figures were fully articulated and stood about eight inches high. Each action figure sported clothing in tiny replica form of the uniforms their respective characters wore on the television series. All total, fourteen of the action figures were released over the course of three sets of figures. Of all of the figures, the rarest, hardest to find, and often considered to be the most collectible, were the alien characters, the Romulan and Andorian from the third wave of figures.
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The first set, or “wave” of action figures included Captain Kirk, complete with his uniform, belt, communicator and phaser. Mr. Spock came complete with phaser, belt, tricorder, and communicator. Scottie also came with belt, phaser, and communicator, as did the Klingon character. Dr. McCoy, referred to as Bones, came with these accessories as well as the tricorder like Spock. Added later to this first set of Star Trek action figures was Lt. Uhura, who came only with a tricorder.
Phase two of the now vintage Star Trek action figures featured the Star Trek Aliens and came with Neptunian, The Gorn, The Keeper, and Cheron. The third set of action figures also featured the aliens and included the Romulan, Talos, Andorian, and Mugato. There was also a line of playsets featuring the Star Trek action figures, as well as accessories. These included the U.S.S. Enterprise action playset, the U.S.S. Enterprise Action Gift Set, Mission To Gamma VI playset, considered to be the rarest, and the Telescreen Console.
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Because of the fact that these action figures were produced so long ago, they are obviously not sold in stores currently. Make sure not to confuse the original series toys with the newer The Next Generation items. Thankfully, for those who love to collect Star Trek memorabilia, there is a great selection of these vintage Star Trek action figures available on the popular online auction site Ebay. Because of the possible confusion with Next Generation, make sure to look for the brand name Mego, as well as production dates dating back to the 1970’s when shopping for these vintage figures. Keep in mind that there were also other Star Trek figures made in the 1990’s that are not vintage, not from Mego, and not the original action figures, but more modern versions.
Mr. Spock was one of the more popular characters. On Ebay, you can find an unboxed vintage Spock figure with clothing in tact, for anywhere from around $4.95 to approximately $35.00. Note that most of the unboxed version have been used, either played with or displayed, and typically do not come with the accessories. The Spock figures looks very realistic and is a good likeness of the character. Oddly enough, the exact same vintage action figure can be found still unopened in the box for less money than some of the opened figures missing its accessories. Make sure to search through all of your options, especially if searching for a specific figure, before making a purchase or placing a bid. Leonard Nemoy, the actor who brought the Spock character to life, is still alive today in 2013.
Captain Kirk vintage figures , Scotty figures, Bones figures,and Klingon action figures basically tell the same story as the Spock situation. Unopened items can be found, generally just the doll and clothing, and sometimes, without the clothing. Currently, an opened, gently played with Kirk with accessories is being offered at with an opening bid of $15.50. These are readily available, as well as unopened in the box versions. William Shatner, who portrayed Captain Kirk , is also alive and well and can currently be seen on Priceline commercials. Unfortunately, James “Scotty” Doohan passed away in 2005 at the age of 85. DeForest “Bones” Kelly is also no longer with us, passing away in 1999 at age 79.
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There are also several of the molded plastic vintage Star Trek action figures available on Ebay that are the smaller 3.75 inch versions. These can be found for much less, and are sometimes offered in lots including several characters. However, they lack the authenticity of the look of the characters by not using the right colors on the uniforms like the eight inch action figures do. Some of the second and third wave aliens are available, and go for much more than even the boxed main characters, due to their rarity and collectibility. Even more expensive yet are the highly collectible playsets, especially ones that include the characters. U.S.S. Enterprise playsets with all original characters can be found on Ebay starting at around $125 to $500. Make sure to read all of the fine print before making a decision to bid or purchase, to be sure everything you want is actually included with the playset.
For the true Trekkie, these vintage Star Trek action figures are essential for their collection. When Gene Roddenberry created this beloved series back in the 1960’s, you can be sure he had no idea how popular it would become and that people still today in 2013 would be collecting Star Trek memorabilia.