I’ve had my eye on this box set for a while now and the only thing staying my hand was the fact that I already own the Kirk figure, so I knew I’d be buying it just for the Command Chair, or to have two Kirks to recreate “The Enemy Within” or “What Little Girls are Made Of” or whatever other episodes happened to include a duplicate of the Captain. Well, this week I found it at TRU for only $15 and I decided that it was finally time.
Let’s get Kirk out of the way first, because he’s really old news to me as this is the exact same figure that was released by Diamond Select on at least two previous occaisions. I picked up this figure when it was offered by Diamond Select the second time around and double packed with Uhura. Its a good thing too, because the quality on the Kirk that came with my chair isn’t really up to par. His head sculpt and paint apps are fine, possibly even a smidgen better than on my carded Kirk, but his arms look kind of dirty and there’s some additional smudging on his back, some of which has come off, and some won’t. The rubbery uniform shirt doesn’t fit as well as it does on my other Kirk figure and it makes the ball joints on his shoulders look prominant and awkward like its obvious that the sculpted sleeves on his arms aren’t part of the “shirt.” The figure isn’t a disaster, but I can’t help but wonder if Diamond Select held back some of the poorer figures to bundle with this chair.
In case you don’t already have the Kirk figure, he sports the same excellent articulation as the other Classic Trek figures. There’s a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, swivel cuts in the biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, swivel at the waist, the legs rotate at the pelvis, the knees are hinged, and there are swivel cuts in the thighs and just above the boots.
On the other hand, the quality control on the chair itself has a few issues too. The left arm piece feels like it could pull off given just a bit of coaxing. But what really sucks here is the paint and overall finish of the piece. The seat is full of scratches, which are thankfully masked so long as you have a figure sitting in it and the back has gray paint misting all over the black part. But the real eyesore is that the arms and front right hand corner of the base looks like they’re scuffed and worn. Maybe Diamond Select was going for recreating an exact replica of the chair prop after having been stored in a warehouse at NBC for 35 years, but I doubt it. If I bought this thing off of Ebay, I’d swear that someone banged it around, had their kids play with it, and then sealed it back up in the box. It just doesn’t look new.
Its a real shame, because other then that the chair is really, really cool. Besides the fact that Kirk looks great sitting in it (and I mean my other, cleaner, better Kirk figure), the control panels on the arms look very show accurate and the electronics are wonderfully done. The chair comes in a “Try Me” mode, so to get the full functionality you’ll have to take it out of the package and flip the switch on the bottom. You may also want to top it off with three fresh AAA batteries, although mine still had some life left to them.
Pressing the rear right panel activates a voice clip and the left rear panel activates a corresponding sound effect. The sound effect will not change until you hit the other panel and play a different voice clip. I like it better than if they each just fired off random clips. Each of the panels on the armrests also light up as the dialogue and sound effects are activated and the left panel even flashes between red and green. Oh yeah, if you hold down the right button for three seconds and let it go, you can hear the entire prologue to the show and the lights will stay lit for a short while afterwards. Very cool.
There are a total of eight phrases and eight contextual sound effects:
- “Chekov, arm photon torpedoes.” [Torpedoes firing]
- “Resume course to our next destination, Mr Sulu.” [Impulse engines]
- “This is Captain James Kirk of the USS Enterprise.” [Computer bleeps]
- “Lt. Uhura, open a channel to all decks.” [Intership comm whistle]
- “Security alert to all decks, Kirk out.” [Red alert claxon]
- “Kirk to Engineering, Mr. Scott report.” [Explosion]
- “Position report, Mr. Spock.” [Computer bleeps]
- “Prepare to attack. All hands to battlestations.” [Phasers firing]
While I’m disappointed by the overall quality control on this set, I can’t say I’m sorry I picked it up. I love the electronics, and its still a decent enough display piece. I’m just surprised that Diamond Select would ship out product in this poor condition. Plus, considering the accessories for these figures have already been sculpted, it wouldn’t have killed them to toss in a phaser and communicator. Although I did run into some similar QC problems with my Captain Picard and Command Chair, but I’ll save that for another time. At around $15 at TRU and many E-tailers, I’m still going to recommend it as a pick up.