1995 Playmates Uhura 4.5″ Action Figure

Today we introduce our first Uhura collectible:

This is also the first Playmates action figure on Zach Trek II.

This figure was produced in 1995 as part of the “Classic Star Trek Movie Series,” which naturally features artwork of the Enterprise from…the TV shows. I like this figure, which is weird to say because it’s fraught with problems. Let’s take a closer look.

I think my favorite thing about this figure is that it’s a pretty good likeness of Nichelle Nichols. She traded in her 60s green earrings for some more modern ones.
Uhura’s wrist…thingy.
Once for sale at Wal-Mart for $6.44, presumably marked down. That would be over $11 in today’s (2021) money. I could have peeled these stickers off, but I feel like they’re part of the collectible, telling a bit of a story about where it’s been.
I like the overall look and design of the back. Note that five of the ten figures in the series sport Motion Picture uniforms.
Details about the included accessories.
I really like the idea of part of the package itself being collectible – however, I have a lot of issues with this card. “Starring: Nichelle Nichols as Communications Officer Uhura in Unique Star Trek: The Motion Picture Uniform.” Why not just, “Starring: Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Commander Uhura”? And the Guest Appearance and screenplay credit are totally irrelevant to Uhura or this figure. The biography is decent (except for the fact that Uhura was already on the Enterprise, not called there by Admiral Kirk). My last gripe is that this is made to look like it’s on a datapad – which I really like except, again, this is the “movie series”, and the graphic is from the TV shows.

It’s a mystery to me why these figures focused so much on The Motion Picture. Half of the figures in it were in TMP uniforms and came with pieces that assembled the V’Ger probe from TMP. These were made after all six original Star Trek movies (plus Generations), so they knew these uniforms were barely used on screen. Maybe they planned to make more figures in the future with other uniforms. In the end, we got figures wearing maroon uniforms for Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov when they made figures for Generations (in 1994, actually before the Movies Series), and other than that Lt. Saavik is the only character we get in that uniform.

After all those complaints, it’s odd to say that I like this figure, but, looking past all the inconsistencies and sloppy details, the packaging looks neat and the figure itself is a good Uhura figure. As a Star Trek fan there is so much I wish had been done so much better, but a kid would have had fun getting it and playing with it, and I feel like that’s ultimately what’s most important in a toy.

  • Read about all the many, many Star Trek toys made by Playmates on the Playmates Toys page on memory-alpha.
  • For lots more pictures, including out-of-the-package close-ups of the figure and accessories, plus more analysis, check out this figure on apieceoftheaction.net. This was where I picked up on the error in Uhura’s “biography”, and it also points out that that rank braids on her uniform are incorrect.

Next on Zach Trek: On Thursday, we’ll look at a Star Trek collectible featuring a real person from the past.

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