Welcome to our review of the brand new McFarlane Star Trek Captain Jean Luc Picard action figure. It is always exciting to start the archive of a brand new line and this review marks the first of what we hope will be a long running series of Trek figures from McFarlane.
When McFarlane returned to making 7 inch scale figures they initially went with a window box design, in line with other players in the market like Hasbro and NECA. They've since moved to a blister card type packaging with their Stranger Things releases - and that has been carried through to the Star trek figures.
The design is crisp with a colour strip, red in this case, which seems to indicate from what part of the Star Trek franchise the figure is from. We then have a generic logo, a small image of the character - illustrated rather than a still - and then a blue card back onto which the blister is placed.
On the reverse is a repeat of the Trek logo and then images of both Kirk and Picard, the two figures in this first "wave". Under this is a further image of role play phaser and some images which confirm Michael Burnham (Discovery) and Spock (Original Series) as the next two figures. As these images are character illustrations - and having not seen any prototypes, these are going to be 2019 at the earliest. Unlike most other figures of this type and size, McFarlane have not added any bio or background text to the cardback.
While I like the art and colouring, I do wish these were boxed packages so that they could show off the figure much more and allow collectors to return the figure to the box if they wish. It is impossible to remove the blister without destroying the card.
The figure is sat in an inner tray and strapped in with a waist strap that is very securely fixed. I ended up having to snip it to free Picard. Everything else is taped into place.
Sculpt and Paint 4/5
Out of the box and the figure is certainly a hefty piece with a good weight to it. The head sculpt is obviously Patrick Stewart, and yet there is something off about it from a lot of angles. Having studied it for a while I think the head is slightly too thin and the nose too long which throws off it being a spot on likeness. That being said there are some nice tones on the skin of the head and the eyes, lips and hair are all well painted.
The body is obviously sculpted in the Next Generation era Captains uniform with a good material texture to the clothing. The paint is neat but the red is a touch patchy in places close up - the red is painted over the base plastic which is black. Details are crisp like the Federation comms badge which is painted intricately in gold and silver with black edgings. Picard also gets his four Captain's pips on the collar.
For a McFarlane release, the Picard figure is pretty mobile with 14 points of articulation. The joints are tight and move pretty well straight out of the box. Starting with the head and this sits on a ball joint for rotation and angling up and down. This does give the figure a very harsh rear line but it allows for a few of Picard's head tilts.
The arms are ball jointed shoulders and there is a single rotating elbow that bends to 90 degrees on both arms. The hands are ball jointed, but only really rotate in the sleeve. Picard comes with two right hand options and these pop on and off via a very tiny ball joint that sits into the wrist joint. This engineering makes the hand very hard to swap in and out and I suspect there will be a lot of broken joints. A plug in option would have been better as the wrist has very little movement anyway.
The legs are a little ugly, using the T-joint hip that Diamond use on their Select figures. In a neutral stance the joint is not noticeable against the black of the uniform, but once it moves even a few millimetres it is very unsightly. The hip is followed by a knee joint that rotates to turn the feet out if needed. The knees bend enough to work Picard into a seated pose with those hips - that is good news for any future plans for a Captains Chair. In our images below we've used Diamond's Reliant Chair (from Khan) to see how Picard sits. The final leg joint is int he ankle. it is not so much a rocker but more a ball joint with enough movement to ensure the soles of the feet are always flat to the ground.
While all these joints do give us some basic posing, they don't allow the figure to capture the mannerisms of Picard - least of all the inability to do the "make it so" pose which would need double jointed elbows and a pointing finger
There are two accessories packed with Picard, and the first of these is a slightly odd choice in being the Ressikan flute that Picard picked up in "The Inner Light". It would only appear in a couple of other episodes including "A fistful of Data's" but would be displayed on Picards desk in the episode "Lessons" and again in the movie Nemesis. While an odd choice, the flute is pretty well made with holes down its length, a shaped mouthpiece and a wrapped string with tassels. The colouring is off as the prop was more a wooden colour, and this one is a bright gold.
It fits into the smaller of the two gripping right hands, but without the arm movement it can simply be held and not posed as though it is being or has just been played.
Accessory two is the more relative phaser which is a neat sculpt and one I suspect we will see over and over again if more TNG figures make their way into the line. This is cast in grey with silver and black painted details. It fits into the second right hand with the wider grip and thanks to the way that hand is designed it slots into a firing pose. The articulation supports this firing position and you can get Picard into a number of shooting poses with the phaser.
Like a lot of McFarlane figures, the Trek figures also come with a stand. This is a black plastic cast piece which is glossy and smooth and has the Trek logo set into it in a gloss finish. There is one peg hole that corresponds to the hole in Picards left foot. Once in place the fit is snug and the stand does enhance the figure making it look a little more high end.
As a debut figure for the McFarlane Trek line, this is a pretty decent Captain Picard figure for a price tag of sub £20. While the face might be off, it is as good as any other Picard figure we've had in the Diamond line and has the advantage over Diamond with the paint job which is more realistic.
Articulation was always going to be basic. It is just a shame that the design didn't factor in the poses we'd want Picard in and maybe sneak a double jointed elbow?
Accessories are neat and well made, even if the flute might be a strange choice over more seen items like a cup of Tea, Earl Grey, Hot... I also like the packaging colour scheme, but not the choice of a blister card and would prefer the box type seen on other ranges in the Colortop series.
I score Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise a satisfactory 3/5.