My Toy Crawlspace truly is the Final Frontier of my collection. It’s a pseudo attic above the garage that has some of my last unorganized totes. I’m going through a lot of those totes this month to cull some things for Ebay and make room up there for a bunch of statue boxes and whatnot. As a result, you’ll start seeing a lot of stuff from out of left field that I like to feature here on FFZ from time to time. Today’s tote brings us to Art Asylum’s amazing line of figures from the TV series Enterprise. A lot of people didn’t like this series, but as a fan of this show I have a fairly persuasive response to the Enterprise haters… F’ck off!
For the packaging, we’ll look to Reed because he was the figure I found in the tote, still carded, while Travis was already safely tucked away in one of my Star Trek figure drawers. The figures came in a huge bubble that take up the entire card with printed inserts to make it look like the interior of the ship…. or maybe the exterior of the ship… I’m not sure. I always thought it interesting that they chose to put “Star Trek” on the package while the producers of the TV series went out of their way to not include it in the branding of the show. I particularly enjoy the cutouts on the sides that give you a peek at some of the gear and accessories. It’s a great package that looks more like a window box than a card and bubble, and if you’re particularly deft with a razor, you might even be able to persuade it into being collector friendly. I, on the other hand, shredded mine like a dog trying to tear open a packet of pork rinds.
A while back when I was doing Star Trek Saturdays, I looked at Captain Archer and Chief Tucker in their EVA Suits, but this pair comes donning their regular Starfleet jumpsuits. Some figures were available both in the EVA Suits and their bridge attire, but sadly neither Malcolm nor Travis got the EVA treatment. I guess someone had to stay on the ship while the rest of the crew went walkabout. As a matter of fact, the biggst failing of this line was that you could never get a complete set of the crew in either space suits or jumpsuits. Boo! In any event, AA did a beautiful job recreating the jumpsuits by making them out of a soft, rubbery plastic that covered a figure buck underneath. It’s an amazing little feat that takes what is a fairly boring and unattractive uniform and makes it something special. While the jointing on the limbs are still visible, the hip joints are completely concealed. I was more than a little surprised that after being stored in a crawlspace for four or five years, the rubber jumpsuits didn’t degrade at all. What’s also cool is that the two figures do not share the same buck or uniform sculpt. In a world where companies like Mattel are happy to save a couple bucks (get it?) by reusing the same body over and over, it’s kind of refreshing to see some of the little guys get it right. There are subtle differences in the jumpsuits and Travis is appropriately just a smidge taller than Malcolm. The piping on the shoulders are colored differently for each of their departments and they each have the correct number of rank pips.
The portraits on both figures are excellent. The head sculpts really convey the likenesses of Dominic Keating and Anthony Montgomery, but that comes as no surprise because this is Art Asylum and they rarely ever skimped on the likenesses. What’s more the skin tones and paint work are also beautifully done. Malcolm looks like he’s trying to decide whether or not to shoot something in the face and Travis has that look of innocent wonder appropriate for a character that was probably there for the audience to best relate to… or maybe that was Hoshi. Either way, these are great looking portraits.
As for articulation, these guys make out pretty well. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, swivel at the biceps and wrists, and hinged at the elbows. The legs have universal movement, which feels like something similar to Mattel’s DCUC hips, there are swivels in the thighs, hinged knees, and ball joints in the ankles. They can both swivel at the waist and have very serviceable ball joints in the neck. Not bad!
These figures also come loaded with extra bits. They each come with a phase pistol, a communicator, a tricorder, and an extra pair of hands. The gear is all Ok. My one gripe with Art Asylum/Diamond Select’s Trek figures is that sometimes the gear feels undersized. In this case the phase pistols seem about right, but I think the tricorder and communicators could have used a little upsizing. It’s also really tough to get them to hold the smaller things. In the case of the communicator, I almost think it might have been more useful to sculpt an extra hand already holding it.
Malcolm also comes with a very cool Starfleet weapon case and an extra phase pistol. The case is patterned after the one used in the premier episode, “Broken Bow” to introduce these weapons and just like in the episode both phase pistols can be stowed in the cutouts inside the case. It’s hinged on one side and has a folding carry handle. I really applaud AA for including this piece as it’s more the type of accessory I expect to get with 1:6 scale figures.
On the less useful side of things, you also get a plastic Enterprise coin and a translucent blue figure stand with the Enterprise patch logo. The stand is beautifully done and the figure looks great standing on it, too bad it doesn’t have a peg to hold the figures. D’oh! I’m still not sure the purpose of the coins. I guess it was just a little something extra. I tried plugging a couple of them into the snack machine at work to get a Snickers bar. To make a long story short, the snack machine doesn’t work any more.
It’s worth pointing out here that the same Malcolm Reed figure was also available with his Tactical Station on the bridge. The idea was to collect all the Bridge sets and piece together the entire thing. Alas, the line was shit-canned before it could happen and I don’t recall Travis’ Helm Station ever being produced. Either way, I freaking love this line of figures and it made me very sad to see them linger for so long on the pegs at Toys R Us even at clearance prices. With the exception of Playmates’ lightning in a bottle success in the 90’s, Star Trek figures have never seem to fare well at retail and when you couple that with the general unpopularity of Enterprise, these figures were probably doomed to fail from the start. It is a shame because it’s so obvious that the guys at Art Asylum poured the love into them. They just went above and beyond with the sculpts and equipment. On a brighter note, there were quite a few more of these lingering up there in the Toy Crawlspace waiting to be opened and featured, so at least they’ll continue to live on here at FFZ.