One of the most iconic scenes from the 1986 classic Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the one set on public transportation in which Spock (Leonard Nimoy) uses the Vulcan nerve pinch to incapacitate a bus punk (Kirk Thatcher) playing loud, nihilistic music at full blast over his boom box. Recently, Thatcher tweeted a picture of his one-of-a-kind “Bus Punk” action figure. But there’s good news for Star Trek fans: if there’s sufficient interest in the 7-inch action figure, it could get an entire run, replete with a present-day update!
According to the Tweet sent by Thatcher on March 28th, the one-of-a-kind Bus Punk figure in his possession was gifted to him by a friend at Marvel a couple of years ago. One of the fascinating details about this action figure is that legendary toy artist Scott Hensey, the sculptor behind the original action figures for The Voyage Home, created it! If you’ve ever owned an action figure or a toy, chances are you’ve owned a Hensey sculpt.
The figure is dressed in the Bus Punk’s outfit for The Voyage Home, complete with his middle finger raised and an accessory: his noisy boom box! A subsequent tweet sent by Thatcher suggested that should fan interest prove sufficient, an “exclusive limited run” of a new version of the figure could be produced. This update would incorporate the 2024 version of the character via a swappable head that represented the Bus Punk’s “two different looks over the 36 years.” Thatcher followed up with, “Who is in”?
‘Bus Punk’ Returns in Star Trek: Picard
Three decades after he appeared in the memorable cameo role in The Voyage Home, Thatcher reprised the part of the “Bus Punk” for a scene in the fourth episode of Star Trek: Picard season 2, “Watcher.” In that episode, which is available for streaming now on Paramount+, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Raffaela “Raffi” Musiker (Michelle Hurd) are utilizing public transportation in 2024 Los Angeles. Once again, Thatcher’s character is riding the bus, and listening to a new recording of the same song over his jukebox.
However, when asked to turn down the music in 2024, his reaction greatly differs from his response in the 80s. In The Voyage Home, the Bus Punk flips off Spock and Kirk (William Shatner) when they ask him to turn down the music, resulting in Spock’s incapacitating neck pinch. But in 2024, when Seven of Nine asks him to turn down the music, he swiftly complies, his hand flying towards his neck and suggesting he still recalls an earlier encounter.
For those who will argue that Spock would never have traveled back in time on this new, Q-created timeline, consider this: perhaps the Confederation version of Spock ran into the Bus Punk in 1980s San Francisco. Surely, the Spock from a timeline where Picard would later murder Yoshi would provide a memorable encounter for the younger alternate version of the Bus Punk.
Would you like to add The Voyage Home and Picard’s Bus Punk action figure to your collection? What did you think of the references to the fourth Star Trek movie in Picard’s two most recent episodes, which were both directed by time travel expert Lea Thompson (Back to the Future)?
New episodes of Picard are available for streaming on Paramount+ on Thursdays.
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