Amazingly enough, for a character as underutilized as Dr. Crusher was on the show, she did receive her fair share of action figure love. True, she was the only character who didn’t get an action figure in the initial 1992 release of TNG characters (don’t think I didn’t notice this…and don’t think I didn’t drive people crazy at the Toys R Us and KB Toys, asking them when the Dr. Crusher figure would be released).
However, once her inaugural figure came out with the first 1993 batch, there was no stopping her. According to this list, in fact, Dr. Crusher was immortalized in plastic a grand total of 10 times (including the Tiny Beverly from the transforming medical tricorder that I previously discussed).
Yes, this does in fact mean that Dr. Crusher was the recipient of more action figures than actual episodes dedicated to her character.
I know you’ll all be surprised to hear this, but I don’t actually have all 10 of the Playmates Dr. Crusher action figures. There was one Dr. Crusher figure that was scheduled to be released as part of the Target exclusive “Starfleet Command” line, but at the last minute she and a cobalt biosuit Seven of Nine were scrapped from the line-up in the United States and only a small batch was sold in Europe and Australia. You can find both Dr. Crusher and Seven on this page, along with a few other hard-to-find Playmates action figures. This was the last Dr. Crusher to be made by Playmates, and one of the last batches of Trek action figures made by Playmates until their crappy 2009 movie figures (to go along with that crappy 2009 movie).
Here, then, are the Dr. Crusher action figures from my collection (minus the First Contact Dr. Crusher, who is still on my desk at work, taming her zebra). First, the ones I removed from their packaging:
From left to right, these are: Cadet Beverly Howard-Crusher, Dr. Crusher wearing a uniform that was initially designed for the first TNG movie Generations but was scrapped at the last minute (although I believe there’s supposedly one scene in which you can still see Geordi wearing this design), Captain Beverly Picard (who is on a stand and holding a PADD because I still display her on a shelf; I love how commanding she looks), Dr. Crusher in her lab coat (this was the first Dr. Crusher action figure), and Dr. Crusher in her 1940s attire from “The Big Goodbye” (and, no, you’re not imagining things and your monitor isn’t crooked; she is leaning to one side because one of her legs wasn’t quite as long as the other).
These next two are still MIP because I bought them long after the Playmates action figure craze (thank the prophets for eBay, that’s all I’m saying):
On the left is Dr. Crusher in a DS9-era jumpsuit, which I don’t think we ever actually saw Dr. Crusher wear. Remember, this uniform was introduced to the TNG crew in their first movie…but not all of the characters wore it. Some of them, including Dr. Crusher, still wore the TNG show uniforms. You know, because things like uniformity and cohesion won’t really be all that important in the 24th century military. I mean, hell, if you look closely enough at some of those scenes from Generations, you’ll catch glimpses of Worf in a paisley tutu and Data in tennis shorts. On the right is Dr. Crusher in her regular TNG-era uniform, sans lab coat.
Once the Playmates action figure line died away, most fans assumed that was the end of the action figure legacy, at least for a while. Which was true to a point. Then Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toys came along, first starting with a line of Enterprise action figures that were far larger and far more detailed than anything that Playmates ever made during their almost 10-year run. Soon DST was designing action figures for TNG and DS9 (there’s a lingering promise of a Seven of Nine action figure as the first, and probably only, Voyager action figure, but I seriously doubt we’ll ever see her).
Again, Dr. Crusher has received her fair share of DST figures:
From left to right is Dr. Crusher from DST’s Nemesis line, their original Dr. Crusher in her TNG-era uniform, and Captain Beverly Picard from the last TNG episode “All Good Things…” Yes, they’re all still MIP. I like them that way for now, thank you. Besides, I have another TNG-era Dr. Crusher that I did remove from her packaging. She’s even been featured here at the lair before, back when I was going a bit stir-crazy last winter from all the snow.
The DST figures are superior to the Playmates figures for many reasons, least of which is the amazing detail of each figure. These actually look like their respective characters. Plus, they have amazing articulation and really cool accessories. I love Diamond Select and have never been disappointed by their figures (I have, however, been disappointed on several occasions regarding action figures that I was looking forward to them releasing but that were canceled at the last minute). However, I also think that they’re a reflection of the changing prerogatives of their target audience. These DST figures are not for children…at least not “actual” children. No, they’re for the adults who never really grew up. Like me and the rest of my geeky allies who were so enamored of the Playmates figures and would love to see something new.
So there you have it: almost all of my Dr. Crusher action figures. Tomorrow, I’ll have something extra special for you. I know, I know…you can hardly stand the antici…pation, right?