As I mentioned yesterday, it’s going to be Star Trek for the rest of the week. I’m sorry to do this to the crazy people fine folks who don’t like Star Trek, but I’ve got a lot of work to do this week (the kind that actually pays me the monies that keeps me supplied with Jameson and toys) so I’m dipping my bucket into the Playmates Star Trek well for a trio of quick and dirty features. It also gives me a nice build up to feature one of Diamond Select’s new Star Trek ships on Saturday. So into the huge tote of carded Trek figures I go and today I came up with… The Nausicaan. Let’s dive right in and rip open a 20 year old figure, eh?
There’s that wonderful Next Gen figure packaging. The design is the same aesthetic quality as when you hit an adult website and a thousand unwanted pop ups flood your screen. Ok, the card isn’t advertising Viagra or fleshlights, and it won’t warrant a frantic call for help to The Geek Squad, but it’s still screaming a lot of stuff at you. “NEW!” “ATTENTION COLLECTORS!” “Individually numbered!” “Playmates Skybox Collector Card!” “7th Season!” “Collector Series!” “As seen in the Tapestry!” Holy crap, my brain is exploding!!!! And that’s just the front of the card. The back has headshots of some other figures available. I have boxes full of these things and there are still figures I don’t have. How is that possible? You also get an advertisement for Deep Space Nine on the Super Nintendo and Genesis, an explanation of what all those oddly colored accessories are and a blurb about the Nausicaans and the enjoyable episode, “Tapestry.”
How would I describe a Nausicaan to someone who knows nothing about them? Well, it’s basically a Predator wearing a Weird Al Yankovic wig that hangs out in space bars and hustles people at space pool. Yeah, from a design standpoint, the Nausicaans were as derivative as all hell, but they sure looked impressive on screen, especially for a show where being an alien usually meant you had pointed ears, a wrinkled forehead, or just happened to be bald and painted blue. The Nausicaans were scary dudes, with tempers to match. I mean, anyone willing to murder someone over a game of billiards is just bad ass, and they seemed to take great pleasure in picking on Starfleet cadet pussies. For more information, let’s consult Mr. Nausicaan’s collector card. Hmm… no help there. It just gives a summary of Picard’s bar encounter (Sorry, Picard, you only got stabbed in the heart, we had to sit through an episode of you talking to Wesley about it in a Shuttlecraft. Clearly we suffered more from that incident). It also lists the Nausicaan homeworld as “unknown.” Wait, what? You have a bunch of aliens hanging around a Starbase and you don’t even know where they come from? If I were to venture a guess, I’d say Nausicaa and a quick look at the entry onMemory Alpha and I see that I’m right.
It couldn’t have been easy to capture all that ugliness in a 4.5” figure, but I’ll be damned if Playmates didn’t manage to pull it off. While the face sculpt is admittedly rather soft, the likeness is certainly there and he is one hideous bastard. There’s a cool little paint wash to help bring out the sculpted bits and his hair even has the little hairbands sculpted and painted into the front. I’m usually not a fan of Playmates’ willingness to play fast and loose with proportions, but in this case the Nausicaan’s big head kind of works and his giant burly monkey arms and ham-hock fists do as well. My only big gripe here is that one of his hands is held out at a weird angle, presumably to better hold his Dom-Jot stick, but in reality it looks like he’s trying to do something obscene with it.
It’s been a while since I’ve watched “Tapestry” but the Nausicaan outfit looks like the designer just couldn’t be bothered as it’s just a brown tunic and pants with some random black lines on it, a sash running down the middle and a belt. Still, I don’t think these guys were supposed to be in the Space Service or anything, so it’s probably not a uniform. Nope, this is probably your typical Nausicaan “I’m going to go slum it at the bar tonight so I’ll just throw something on” outfit. I’m sure Playmates did their best with what they had.
The figure features the basic Next Gen articulation. The arms rotate at the shoulders; have hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs rotate at the hips and have hinged knees. The Nausicaan can swivel at the waist and his head can turn a little, but his hair tends to get in the way.
The Nausicaan comes with a cadre of accessories, all molded in blue plastic. You get the serrated knife that he used to turn Picard’s heart into shish-kabab, you get a Dom-Jot stick, you get a tankard of booze and some kind of weird thing that looks like a tea pot. He also comes with a purple figure stand. [Unfortunately, I took the photos a couple days after opening him and my alcohol addled mind couldn’t remember where I put the accessories. All I could find was his sword and stand. Take this as a lesson, kids, don’t drink and blog.]
All in all, the Nausicaan is a pretty cool figure. The wonky proportions tend to work better for aliens like him and the sculpt is certainly solid enough. Surprisingly, The Nausicaans were given the action figure treatment again in Art Asylum’s 7-inch Enterprise line, which is sitting buried in a tote somewhere. I’ll really have to dig that sonovabitch out some day.