Playmates Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Commander Gul Dukat Action Figure Playmates, 1994
Day #1,181: May 14, 2015
Commander Gul Dukat The Cardassian
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Wave 1
Item No.: Asst. 6200 No. 6207 Manufacturer:Playmates Includes:Trading card, Cardassian action base, Cardassian Pistol, Cardassian Rifle, Cardassian Field Control Unit, Cardassian PADD Action Feature:n/a Retail:$4.99 Availability: January 1994 Other: Sample #9,777
While this character was always more or less the bad guy, the somewhat grey Commander Gul Dukat wound up with a strange name on the package - he commanded the station, but his rank is Gul. It's possible "Commander" came from a licensing guide or another resource, because I don't seem to recall him being referred to as such on the show. This figure brought the only real hint of antagonism to the first wave of figures, in part because everybody was arguably able to get on everybody else's nerves. I remember hearing a story at one point that this figure was initially developed to be a generic "Cardassian" (much like "Romulan" or "Ferengi") but I'm having a hard time making that call. It looks close enough to the uniform on the show, but they reuse so many costumes that the not-quite-perfect head could be another Cardassian.
At 5-inches tall, Gul Dukat has pretty much the same articulation as most of this line. With 12 points of articulation and the always questionable V-crotch, the figure is on par with most of the rest of the line. The pants don't contrast enough against the shirt, but it's still visibly this character. The armor was clearly sculpted after someone got a very close look at the prop, so I'd say this body is certainly close enough.
The ashy skin is colored nicely, with some panel lines around the various ridges on his face. This sort of deco is not only unusual for mass-market 1990s action figures, but practically unheard of today. The few lines that do still have them often cost them out thanks to rising labor costs, but here's a fine example of that kind of work in the early 1990s.
His accessories fit well in his large hands, and he can stand without the use of a display stand. Again, this is true of most figures from the line and of the era, as the very notion of an action figure that couldn't stand up was something that I didn't encounter much until the mid-1990s. Normally you could get big feet or just pose the legs and they would stand just right. And then the 1995 Han Solo, well, he needed help. The package is a good one, but I won't argue that the head could be just a little bit better. It's unquestionably a top-notch head sculpt of a Cardassian, but does it really look like Marc Alaimo? I'm not so sure. Given that this is the cheapest non-Minimates Dukat figure, I'd say you can probably buy one regardless. It's not perfect, but as seems to be the motif around here lately it's good enough to snag on the cheap. I find these guys at comic and record shops all the time, and five dollars for any action figure still in the package is typically worth a second look.
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