The 1990s were a pretty great time to collect toys - the audience was much bigger, and Star Trek: The Next Generation was popular enough to straddle the young kid audience and collectors. Kids would buy these amazing figures for $5, and they were numbered so collectors would have a little added incentive to pick up a Ferengi and check for a low number. Or black paint variants. Or other tweaks over time. People were nuts for these things, as you could see with figures being numbered into the 200,000s. Or maybe higher - I only saw them as high as the 250,000s.
Even at the time, these were a pretty good deal - five bucks was roughly the going rate for many action figures, but this one had an above average accessory stash and more articulation than Playmates, Kenner, Mattel, or others would usually give you for the money. Or any money. 12 points of articulation was generous in those days.
The 4 1/2-inch action figure got an "action pose," something adult collectors didn't much like in that era. Figures may have had a lot of articulation, but their hands, arms, sleeves, wrists, and feet often would look best in a sort of a default position. You're going to want the stripes on the sleeves to line up and the feet to be flat on the ground, which means your Ferengi is going to be in some sort of a whipping pose. Tied to the whipping pose. Good Lord it feels like it's dying to stand in a less specific manner, but you're not going to be able to wrangle out a "posed for a meeting" look with this one. Since it was the only The Next Generation Ferengi figure (DS9 got a few more), it's not like your Ferengi shelf is going to look weird because of this one. It's only one guy anyway, and more or less a first-season uniform from back when the Ferengi probably meant a collective groan would roar across America.
I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say that the uniform was kind of goofy. The boots were a little too big, the grey suit was a little loose, Playmates did a good job improving on it, and made it look more action-oriented and less goofy than the on-screen counterpart. This is thanks in part to the nifty lines around the face which gave the figure so much personality that you can't help but be drawn to the head, rather than the goat pelts he seems to be wearing. He's also got a cool tattoo on his head of the Ferengi Alliance symbol - that sort of thing wasn't super-common back then, so to see it included and done well is pretty amazing.
I more or less dig the accessories - he gets more than he can use. The stand works perfectly, but the figure's build and sizable boots keep him upright. His whip and phasers are cast in metallic blue, with the smaller one coming complete with a beam shooting out - this was the style at the time. (It bothered me a lot more then than it does now.) It's a non-removable beam, but I suppose it does add some more "action" to a line of figures that seemed to be primarily purchased by older fans to leave in the package until they were dumped at a comic shop for pennies on the dollar in the early 2000s. At least that was the case around here, and they just now finally seem to be evaporating. Naturally it's as I was hoping to buy more, but I digress.
Given the figure's not-so-scarcity and inflation, it's a little surprising to see a decent figure like this selling for under ten bucks. It's 25 years old, and back in the 1990s it was almost unthinkable that you could get sealed in the package figures of that age for that cheap. People really started to save things in the packaging starting in the late 1980s, but the early 1990s had a rash of products boasting "collector's edition" or "numbered for collectors" that resulted in tens or hundreds of thousands of units being stamped out and preserved in closets, basements, and storage units in perfect condition. It wasn't great for the hobby in that sense, because these are actually really good figures that are being written off as "junk" because of how common they were. Playmates' Star Trek toy lines lasted almost a decade and spanned the many series of the era, and many that came before. I wish I bought more of them, but as a teenager I had a short attention span that was slayed by the Picard/Data/Riker variants. At 14 I didn't see the appeal of the Riker figure disguised as an alien from an episode where he had to nail Bebe Neuwirth to escape. Now I appreciate that, but such is the folly of youth.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.