Just so y’all know Star Trek Saturday isn’t going to be all Playmates all the time, today we’re going to alter course to check out an anomaly. Enterprise was, of course, the final Star Trek series to date, and while I don’t think it was received well by many, I enjoyed it quite a lot, except for all that third season Xindi nonsense. Art Asylum, a talented and upstart toy company, which has since been absorbed into Diamond Select, did a very impressive line of 6-inch action figures based on the series. Today we’re going to check out Captain Archer and Engineer “Trip” Tucker in their EVA suits.
No package shot, but we’ll get to some packaged examples of Enterprise figures eventually. These figures came in beefy carded bubbles that looked more like window boxes, thanks to all the illustrated inserts in the bubble. Each of these figures was carded separately, but we’re looking at them together because they basically share the same EVA suit body. Well, almost anyway. My Archer figure is slightly larger and his legs are at a bit of a wider stance. I don’t want to take away the fact that AA actually did two separate sculpts for two such similar figures, but for the purposes of this feature, we’re going to treat the bodies as one. Either way, the EVA suits were prominent garb in the first three seasons of Enterprise since the Transporter was still considered to be experimental and the crew had to suit up frequently whenever they went on Away Missions.
The first thing you may notice about these figures when you get them in hand is how hefty they are. The EVA suits aren’t particularly bulky, and yet they feel so satisfyingly heavy. The bulk of the suits are sculpted as part of the figure in a rubbery plastic that feels like the suit probably would in real life. The chest pieces, on the other hand are molded in harder plastic and fit on over the figures’ neck and around the arms. It is removable, but it’s a bear to get back on, so I’m going to bow out of including any photos of the figures with the chest piece removed.
The sculpting on the suits is absolutely fantastic, with every tiny detail of the EVA suits recreated. You get the little stitching, the tubes, the belts, the patches of silver material, and it’s all sculpted to look as if it’s a separate garment. Even the straps that run under the figures’ groins are cast in rubbery plastic over the suit so they can bend with the figure. The front of the chest pieces have a small control panel and feature the character’s name and the Enterprise logo tampo’ed onto them in fine detail. The back of the chest piece has a removable set of cartridges, which I always presumed to be the oxygen tank or O2 scrubbers. The helmets fit over the head and secure to the neck ring with three tabs. There are two main hoses and a wire that all plug into the top of the backpack. It fits together pretty well for display purposes, but because the hoses are so soft and bendy, it can be hard to get them into their holes, and it all tends to pop out pretty easily if you’re fiddling about with the figures.
It’s awesome that the helmets are removable because the head sculpts on these figures are fantastic. The likeness to Scott Bakula and Connor Trinneer is absolutely spot-on and really show off just how talented the guys at Art Asylum were. The paintwork on the faces is pretty solid. With this somewhat larger scale of figure, you get into that area where the usual mass market paint quality sometimes isn’t good enough, but what’s here is certainly looks great. The hairlines are well defined and I’ve always been a fan of the skin being painted on rather than left bare plastic.
Both figures feature the same articulation. The heads are ball jointed, the arms feature ball joints in the shoulders and elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs have a simple “T” joint at the hips, hinges in the knees, and ball joints in the ankles. The figures can also rotate at the waist. What’s here is pretty good and I think the only thing I’m really missing is lateral movement at the hips. Mattel’s DCUC joint would have been most welcome here.
Accessories… ah, well, here’s where I’m a bit foggy because mine seem to be scattered throughout different totes. Each figure has a phase pistol and I’m pretty sure each one came with a communicator as well. It’s possible there may have been some tricorders in there too. Lastly, each one came with a little sculpted Enterprise coin-disc thingy, which serves no real purpose. I find the absence of stands to be a shame. These figures are such outstanding work, they really deserve their own stands.
It’s kind of ironic that the one Star Trek series with the most precarious fan base got some of the best figures, but that was certainly the case here. These guys are absolutely amazing from the heft to the sculpt to the design to the paintwork, I can’t say enough good things about them. They certainly don’t feel like your typical mass market retail figures and yet there they were hanging on the pegs in Target and Toys R Us with the rest of the lines. I rarely have a lot of my Star Trek figures on display, but I always find room for Art Asylum’s Enterprise figures just because they’re so damn impressive. AA did a number of other cool things with this line, so I’m sure we’ll spend quite a few Saturdays checking out the rest of the Enterprise line.