Star Trek (One:12 Collective) “Mirror Universe” Mr. Spock by Mezco

It’s a rare and funny thing when the exclusives in a line are the cheapest and easiest figures to find, but that’s been the case with Mezco’s One:12 Collective Star Trek line. Amazon has been blowing out an exclusive version of Mr Spock from The Cage at around $30 for a long while now and next up on the bargain bin chopping block is the exclusive version of Spock from Mirror, Mirror over at Think Geek. I was pretty impressed when I reviewed the  One:12 Judge Dredd figure, and I’ve been meaning to dip my toe in these Trek offerings for a while. I guess cheap exclusives are a good way to do it. I should be starting out with The Cage version that I got a while back, but since Mirror Universe Spock just showed up last week, let’s check him out.

I cannot deny that Mezco knows good presentation. After all, these are figures that retail between $60-80+ each and the packaging reflects that. Spock comes in a window box with a hinged front flap, all protected by a plastic wrapped cardboard sleeve. The sleeve also has the same artwork as the box itself. The front panel features the symbol of the Terran Empire along with the 50th Anniversary Trek logo. The back of the box has various shots of the figure itself. There’s no actual statement about the exclusivity of this release, but since I got him at Think Geek’s website, I’ll go ahead and assume that it’s their exclusive. Anyway, the artwork on the box isn’t flashy, but it has a clean and dignified spartan feel to it, and what’s important is that when I hold this box in my hand, I feel like I’m holding something special.

Inside the box the figure comes on a molded black plastic tray with his stand behind him and his accessories on each side. There’s also a tray nested underneath it with an optional hinged arm for the figure stand. Take note, this line don’t give a shit about your space concerns, as the package is way bigger than it needs to be. Now, these boxes seem to be standard throughout the line, so it’s possible that this is to accommodate some of the figures that come with a lot more stuff, but in the end, it’s still a space hog!

Here’s Mr. Spock straight out of the box and overall I’d say he looks pretty damn good. This version features high boots, black pants, which I presume are the same used for the regular releases, and a brand new tailored tunic with the Terran Empire symbol and some other emblems that are unique to this alternate version of the uniform. The tailoring on the outfit is very good and the stitching is immaculate. I also love the blue shimmery material they used for the tunic. With all that having been said, the tunic does feel a tad puffy on him and fits a little awkwardly at the collar. Part of the reason could be because the figure is also wearing another shirt under it. Also, the gold sash around his waist looks a bit cheap and the two loose ends tend to stick out rather than fall flat. I don’t want to make too big an issue about it, because I respect how hard it is to make clothing look right at this smaller scale, but this is certainly one of the pitfalls of this line of figures.

While I might nitpick a bit at the uniform, the head sculpt is magnificent, especially for this scale. Based on the official pictures I’ve seen, some of the One:12 figures use plastic for the faces that doesn’t quite look right to me, but that’s certainly not an issue here. The skin tone is quite good and the paintwork is excellent. Obviously, this is a brand new sculpt unique to this figure with the addition of the goatee and it really is a great likeness for the way Spock looked in the episode. This is quite simply superb work.

Spock comes with several sets of hands, including a pair of fists, a pair of relaxed hands, a phaser holding hand, a dagger holding hand, and one that looks like it might be designed to do the patented Kirk palm strike. The hands are very easy to swap in and out, and I didn’t feel apprehensive about snapping the pegs. I’m just happy that I can pose him with his hand out and asking for Mr. Kyle’s Agonizer. Unfortunately, the Agonizer is not included. Indeed, apart from the hands, the only accessories Spock comes with is a hand phaser and a dagger with a scabbard. Both items can be worn on the figure. There’s a loop on the pants where you can pass the handle of the phaser through. Fun fact, officially these were held on by “velcrite” but the loop works well. The dagger’s scabbard can clip onto the sash, but it doesn’t stay put very well. It frequently fell off while I was reposing the figure and there were a couple times where I was sure that I had lost it.

The dagger is unique to this release and it’s a great little sculpt. The hand designed to hold it definitely does the job. I was, however, a little worried about snapping the blade off as I was trying to get it in there.  On the back of the package, it looks like they used the phaser hand to hold it, but I found it was way too loose in that one. The phaser fits a lot more easily into the trigger finger hand and there’s some really nice detail and paintwork on it for such a small weapon. It seems rather cheap to me that Mezco couldn’t include a communicator in the box, since it would have just been a repack from the regular figures.

I’d like to run down the specifics of articulation here, but truth be told I have no idea what’s going on under all those clothes. What I do know is that the joints are very stiff and that he is not a lot of fun to play with. I’m not sure if the articulation is being restricted by the clothing, but since it’s hard to tell which way the joints are orientated, I don’t want to force them for fear of snapping a hinge or a peg. I can’t get a very tight elbow bend out of the arms and I wasn’t even able to get him to fist bump his chest to do the Terran Empire salute. I’m also afraid to go too wide on the stances as I might tear the seam in Mr. Spock’s space-trousers. The only exposed joints are the wrists and ankles. The wrists move fine, but all I can get out of the ankles is a swivel. I suspect there are hinges in there, but mine simply won’t budge.

Mezco has developed a standardized type of stand for the One:12 line, which is a large disc with a foot peg to hold the figure. In this case the disc is black and has the Terran Empire emblem stamped in blue. Like the packaging, the stand is a lot bigger than it needs to be, but it looks great and I think it definitely adds to the figure’s overall presentation. You also get a hinged arm with a grabbing arm that can be swapped out for the foot peg on the stand. The arm is very similar to the ones included with the Tamashii stands and is great for flying or extreme action poses. I didn’t pull out the arm for any pictures, because it seems unnecessary for Spock.

In the end, I’ve definitely got mixed feelings about this figure. There’s a lot of great stuff going on here, and there’s quite a few disappointments too. I’ve got nothing but praise for the work they did on the sculpting and painting of the portrait and, despite some minor issues with the fit of the tunic, I do believe this is about the best we can expect to see in tailored outfits in this scale. On the flip-side, the accessories feel really light for the original asking price and the restrictive articulation is just a real bummer. I’m hoping that doesn’t make me sound like a hypocrite, because I tend to expect and accept restrictive outfits on my Hot Toys and those are a lot more expensive, but the articulation on my One:12 Dredd felt better than this, so I expected more here. Now, for the $20 (including shipping) I paid for this figure, I’m perfectly happy with what I got, but this experience isn’t making me want to run out and spend $70 each on Kirk and Sulu and vanilla Spock. If they were closer to the $45 mark, I’d be considering it.

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Star Trek “The Wrath of Khan:” Khan Collector Figure by Diamond Select

If you follow me on Twitter than you know that I’ve had a lot of Star Trek on the brain lately, and it’s all because of CBS’ new series Discovery. Now, it’s not what you might think. You see, I hate the show. In fact, I’m not sure hate is even a strong enough word. But in a way I’m almost thankful for it, because it’s gotten me so worked up about Star Trek that I’ve been back into watching one or two episodes a night of everything from The Original Series to Voyager and I’ve been falling in love all over again. I’m not sure how much of any of that really factors into today’s review, because truth be told DST’s Khan Noonian Singh just popped up in my Amazon Recommendations for a crazy good price, so I bought him. Probably would have happened anyway.

If you’re not familiar with these Trek Select releases, they fall somewhere between action figures and statues, and favor swappable parts over articulation. In fact, Khan here actually has less articulation than the Original Series Kirk and Spock sets that were released earlier. I reviewed the Kirk set over four years ago and it left me a little befuddled. To be honest, I bought this one mainly for the Movie Era Captain’s Chair. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk packaging… I have been pretty critical of DST’s action figure packaging in the past, particularly with their Muppets line, because it’s so big and wasteful. Here, I think it’s totally warranted because there’s a whole lot of stuff in this box and I don’t think they could have crammed it into a smaller bubble. The cardback features a wrap-around with a picture of Khan on the side panel and the Star Trek 50th Anniversary logo running up the front. The back of the card has a satisfying and lengthy piece of background copy and shows some of the other figures in this line. Also, check out the picture of the Reliant on the bubble insert. That sure looks like it might be a painted prototype of a Starship Legends Defiant. WHERE IS MY STARSHIP LEGENDS DEFIANT, DIAMOND???

Did I mention I bought this mainly for the chair? Well, the chair is quite nice. The deck piece is made out of very sturdy plastic with slots to plug in the chair and the railing. It features a textured deck plate, which looks great, and a rather unfortunate footprint and peg to show you where to put Khan’s foot, which doesn’t look so great. The chair doesn’t swivel, but it does feature two hinged armrests with painted controls panels. DST has been including some cardboard pieces with some of their sets, most notably the Kirk with Engineering section in this line and their Seven of Nine Femme Fatales statue. It would have been cool to get a standee showing the back of the bridge behind the chair, but alas, it was not to be. I guess we might as well take a look at the Khan figure too. I’ll start him off in his standing pose.

We’ve got to start somewhere, so here he is proffering, “I make you a counter-proposal, I will agree to your terms, if…” and pointing his finger in the air. Overall, I think this is a really solid sculpt, but I’ll talk about it more at the end, when I do some comparisons with DST’s actual Khan figure from 2007 or so. For now I just want to run through all the different combinations of poses and parts!

Here I simply swapped out the calm head for the angrier portrait and traded his left pointing hand for a fist. Not a huge difference, but it does change up the scene a little bit. I’m a bigger fan of the calmer face over this one, although I think it’s passable. Let’s try swapping out both arms and going back to the calmer portrait…

Now this look I dig a lot. The folded arms are first thing we’ve seen that an articulated action figure would not have been able to do, and I think this pose looks great. Chances are I’m going to be giving the chair to Kirk, but if I do wind up displaying Khan, this is most likely the look I’ll be going for. Now let’s pop the legs off at the waist and get him seated in the chair…

He fits into the chair pretty well, but considering he was sculpted specifically to sit in it, I think it could have been a bit of a better fit. He has a right arm that is made specifically to rest atop the armrest and his left arm looks pretty good resting the elbow with his fist clenched in anticipation. He looks pretty good in the chair, but displaying him this way shows just what a bad design choice that footprint and peg in the deck-plate was. The footprint is totally unnecessary and it would have been much better to just put the peg in the foot and a less unsightly hole in the deck.

Swapping out the head and left hand and rotating the arm up at the shoulder offers a couple different gestures and expressions. I think both of these look pretty good.

You can also go with the crossed arms while he’s in the chair. Not bad at all. And so while clearly not an action figure, I was able to get at least seven fairly unique display options out of him with the parts provided. I’ve got to admit, it’s kind of fun seeing what you can do, but not so much fun that I’m a big advocate of this concept. As I mentioned earlier, the Kirk and Spock figures had full articulation in their arms, but were static below the waist. Here, the only purposeful articulation is in the ball jointed neck, while the rest are just rotating cuts as a byproduct of the parts swapping.

So, here’s a shot of this guy with the original, and fully articulated, DST Khan figure. In terms of sculpt and paintwork, I think the new one is an improvement on just about every level, but then again we’re talking about a difference of ten years. The tunic on the new one properly reflects the wear and tear a lot better, the glove is more screen accurate, as is his wrist communicator and delta necklace. The flesh tones on the chest of the older figure are not painted very well at all, whereas the new one is much improved.

The portraits are overall better and more detailed too, although they work for me from some angles and not so well from others. I think the calm expression head is far more successful than the angry one. The features are much sharper on the new sculpts, both in the facial features and hair. I also really appreciate the better attention to paint in the face, even if it is a little heavy handed around the eyes. But again, nearly ten years separate these figures, so these improvements aren’t so much a triumph of craftsmanship, but more an expected march of improvements.

And while this version of Khan scales slightly bigger than the original DST Wrath of Khan figures, the chair does indeed make for a good fit with those previous releases. Indeed, I think the articulated Khan actually fits a bit better in the chair than the one designed for it. And since the command chairs in the Reliant and Enterprise were basically the same, I’m happy to pop Admiral Kirk in there.

Back when I reviewed the original Kirk set, I came away saying I didn’t really understand its purpose and that still applies here. And it must be repeated that I did buy this mainly for the chair and also because it was on deep discount at Amazon. I’m glad I bought it, the chair was definitely worth the thirteen bucks I paid, and the Khan figure has its charms too. But if you want an actual Khan figure, the original release can still be had for surprisingly low prices if you hunt around on Ebay. Sadly, that’s more than can be said about the rest of the crew!

Star Trek Mega Bloks: Transporter Room by Mattel

There’s brand new Star Trek on tonight, folks, and if that isn’t cause for some special Sunday content, then I don’t know what is! I’m trying to be optimistic about Discovery, but the truth is right now I’m bracing for the worst, but hoping for the best. Either way, I’m excited! Meanwhile, I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek this weekend and I’ve been saving another one of Mattel’s Mega Bloks Star Trek sets for just the right occasion. This time it’s the The Transporter Room… Energize!

The set comes in a typical enclosed box, albeit with some sexy angled edges and I really like what they did with the presentation for this series. You get a very Classic looking Star Trek deco and logo with the 50th Anniversary insignia and some artwork featuring the completed set, which is so close to what it looks like it might as well be an actual photo. There’s also a little window in the bottom corner that displays Spock, one of the three Micro Figures included with the set.

Inside the box you get a large full-color instruction booklet and a heaping helping of unnumbered bags of bricks. Unnumbered? Yup! Mega Bloks ain’t going to coddle you like LEGO does, so you might as well just dump all those bags into a bin and mix them up, because with these builds you have to hunt through every last brick at every step of the build. In total the set includes 321 pieces. Let’s start with the Micro Figures!

The Micro Figures come already built and include Mirror Universe Kirk and Spock, although technically, I guess this is really our Universe Kirk dressed in the Mirror Universe outfit. You also get a materializing Micro Figure. I’m pretty sure that’s Kirk too, but he can pass for anyone. Also, if you take the sash off of him, he can pass for someone from our Universe as well. All of the Star Trek Micro Figures have been pretty impressive. They have decent likenesses for the scale and a surprising degree of articulation. All three figures come with gold figure bases and Spock and Kirk come with phasers. And now… on to the build!!!

Once the set is complete, you get this long strip, which works as an alternate display option. It kind of reminds me of a Classic version of the Regula-1 Transporter Room from Wrath of Khan. I think it would stand in nicely for a TOS Starbase Transporter. The control console is even built on a swivel, so you can orientate it to this configuration without having to remove it.

I’ll also point out that the set comes with back panels that have the emblem of the Terran Empire’s Imperial Starfleet printed on them, but they also provide enough to build the regular Universe Transporter and that’s the one that I went for. Oh yeah, these panels also glow in the dark, which is pretty damn cool. When you’re ready to turn it this thing into the Enterprise Transporter Room, all you do is roll it up!

And there you go! I think this thing looks really great. Granted, the layout of the pads is not accurate to the Enterprise Transporter. It has the right number of pads, but they aren’t configured in a circle like they should be. Still, I’m happy with the way it turned out and if you wanted to buy two of these, you might be able to build a more accurate one with the combined pieces. I found this build to be a lot less frustrating than the D7 Battlecruiser, although there is a little bit of repetition in building each of those triangular pad sections. Also, the top Transporter discs do not attach all that well to the support beams, so it’s not uncommon for those to fall off when handling the set. Unlike the Klingon ship, I’m happy to report that I wasn’t missing any pieces this time. Oh, and that one top piece on the right wall does fit correctly, I just didn’t snap it down properly.

The Transporter console is comprised of specially printed bricks, and I think it looks great. Probably the one thing that Mega Bloks can laud over LEGO is that they don’t use stickers, and that’s a wonderful thing. The platform in front of the console even has pegs for a Micro Figure to stand in front of it. I also like the star chart that hangs on the wall. It’s a nice touch!

The pads are re-purposed figure stands, cast in silver instead of gold, which is pretty clever, although the center one only has a single peg. I’m not really sure why they did that, but it’s no big deal. I think the materializing Micro Figure looks great displayed on one of the pads.

This set retailed at just under $40 originally, which is the same price as the D7 Battlecruiser, but with about thirty fewer pieces. On the other hand, this set had two more Micro Figures, so I guess it all balances out. I picked up mine for just under $15 when Amazon was running them on sale, and I’m pretty sure that they’re still running specials on these sets. I think they did a beautiful job with it and I appreciate the fact that they took the opportunity to pay homage to a specific episode, rather than just throw a generic set out there. There are only two more Classic Trek Mega Bloks sets left for me to pick up: The Bridge and The USS Enterprise. The Bridge is a sure thing, but the Enterprise? Well, at 3,000+ pieces, we’ll see how crazy I feel.

Star Trek Mega Bloks: Klingon D7 Battlecruiser by Mattel

It’s been a while since I looked at any building sets, so I thought I’d mix things up today and check out another one of the Mega Bloks Star Trek sets. I built and reviewed a couple of the smaller sets way back in July of last year and since then I almost forgot these things even existed. Then I got a friendly Recommendations email from Amazon telling me they were blowing out the Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, which reminded me of the old Klingon saying: “Today is a good day to buy!” Seriously, this was a deal that would have made a Ferengi blush!

The set comes in a mostly enclosed box with fancy angled edges, and a tiny window to show the included Micro Figure and a nice illustration of the finished build firing its disruptors. This whole union between Mega Bloks and the original Star Trek series is so random and weird, but also delightful and miraculous at the same time. I’ve only seen these sets in a brick and mortar store once, but seeing any Star Trek merch on the shelf gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling, especially since it was the 50th Anniversary of the show and no one seemed to care. I keep meaning to pick up the Bridge and Transporter sets, and maybe building this one will encourage me to finally do just that.

The box contains about six bags of pieces, none of which are numbered. You also get a loose base plate, and a large and colorful instruction manual with shots of Kirk, Spock, and Uhura on the front. All together there are 351 pieces which builds the ship and the display stand. I found this to be a fairly challenging build, and I attribute that to two things. First, since the bags aren’t numbered like in LEGO sets, you have to dump all of them out, which makes for a lot more pieces to search through. Second, 99% of the pieces in the set are either gray or light gray, so sorting by color won’t help much. There are also a surprisingly large number of smaller pieces used, and hardly any specialty pieces. I’d say the build was overall pretty enjoyable, but with a modicum of frustration every now and then.

And here she is all built, measuring about twelve inches from the front of the bridge to the back of the warp nacelles, and ready to earn honor and glory for The Empire! I’ll start out by saying how cool it is that they included a buildable stand and how much I love what they did with it. It includes a rotating base so you can display the ship anyway you want. It also has a nameplate with the ship’s designation, and you get a Klingon battle flag and a little Captain Kor to stand in front of it. Obviously, the Micro Figure is not in scale with the ship, but it’s a really cool way to display the completed model. Plus, the Micro Figures in this series have all been excellent. Kor comes with a a little hand disruptor and a shoulder strap to carry it in. On the downside, my set was missing one of the clear support poles that hold the ship up. It still works with just three, but I think it stinks when they leave parts out. In the past, Mega Bloks has made it easy to automatically report missing pieces and they will ship them out, but in this case their system doesn’t even recognize the model number of this set. Let’s take a closer look at the D7 itself, and to do that I’m going to take it off of the stand. But I’m going to have to empty out a shot glass first…

Overall, I think this is a great looking rendition of the famous Klingon warship, and the fact that it does use so few specialized parts makes it all the more impressive. It’s really well proportioned and the two-tone gray blocks fit the color scheme of the ship perfectly. The disruptor effect parts are pretty cool, but you can obviously remove them if you’d rather not have your D7 perpetually firing.

I was a little worried about the integrity of the boom, but it’s reinforced quite well at both ends, and I’ve been handling the ship a lot without it detaching. I particularly love the engineering behind the way the wings attach, allowing for them to angle downward ever so slightly and yet still not be floppy. All in all, this is a very sturdy model and it’ll stand up perfectly to being wooshed around the room.

One thing Mega Bloks has been doing better than LEGO is their use of printed bricks over stickers. The D7 uses them pretty sparingly. You get the Imperial emblem on the one wing, a few blocks with Klingon script, the impulse glow on the back, and the windows and torpedo tube on the bridge module. They even accounted for using translucent green blocks on the back of the warp engines. Nice touch!

I really dig how the spaces betwen the bricks look like windows on the sides of the bridge module. It’s probably not intentional, but a cool incidental effect anyway. Also, I just noticed that I put one of the bricks with the rows of windows upside down and they’re slightly out of alignment. At least that’s an easy fix.

Overall, I’d rate this set pretty highly, especially if all things were equal and I wasn’t missing a goddamn piece. The original MSRP was $40 and if I compare that to one of LEGO’s licensed $40 sets, I find that on average, this one includes a couple dozen more pieces. Sure, the quality isn’t as good as LEGO, but it’s not really bad either. Also, I doubt LEGO could have done much better with the design at the same piece count. What’s also not bad is the price this thing is going for now on Amazon. I picked mine up for about $11 and as I write this it actually dropped down to $10, so I picked up a second one. Now if only the 3,000+ piece Enterprise would drop too, because I’d really love to pick up that thing!

Star Trek: Acrylic Display Stands (Classic Series Phaser and Star Trek III Phaser) by Flux Dimensions LLC

For the longest time, I tossed and turned at night because of a serious and nagging problem in my life. The root of the problem? My collection of Starfleet weapons. I had no place to display them. They sat in a plastic tote waiting for me to take them out and play with them. I would feel them in my hand for a while, aim them, make some pew pew noises, and then they back into the tote they went. I longed for the day someone would come up with a solution so that I could go back to living a normal life free of worry. And now that time is here, thanks to a company on Ebay called Flux Dimensions. They make acrylic display stands for a number of collectibles, including the Star Trek ships and weapons made by Diamond Select Toys. I bought a pair of these stands: One for my Classic Original Series phaser and one for my Star Trek III phaser and I’m going to take a quick look at them today.

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The stands are advertised as custom made to order and some assembly is required. These factors worried me a little, because I envisioned slow shipping and potential assembly issues. Especially the later, when the item description advises that if the fit isn’t right you might need to glue it to achieve a tight fit. As it turns out neither were issues. The items arrived in a few days, each stand comprised of three simple pieces wrapped in plastic and with protective adhesive film, and the fit of the pieces was absolutely perfect.

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Both stands are fashioned from immaculate pieces of clear acrylic with custom etched bases and supports designed to cradle each specific weapon. The Star Trek III phaser stand includes the title of the movie in the familiar font along with “Type II Phaser” all flanked by two Starfleet insignia. The lettering shows some pixelation around the edges, but only when viewed up close. The tabs for the supports are the identical, so you can have the phaser face left or right and still keep the orientation of the base facing forward. This is kind of a big deal, since the DST phaser looks best when viewed with it facing right, as the screw plugs are on the obverse side.

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The stand for the Classic phaser is a little different. For starters it has “Star Trek” printed in the classic series font. But more importantly, instead of two supports suspending the weapon just above the base, this one cradles the butt of the hand grip. It works just as well, save for one little annoyance: You can’t reverse the orientation on this one, so the phaser is always going to be pointing to the left if you want the lettering on the base facing forward. In this case, that means the one screw hole near the beam emitter and the faint copyright information towards the back are both going to be visible. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker for me, but the option to display this one both ways too would have been welcome.

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With that little quibble aside, I have to say I’m totally delighted with these stands and very glad I purchased them. They are very attractive and great quality pieces. Granted, at $20 each (plus shipping) they are a little costly, not so much for what they are, but in relation to the collectible they’re displaying. These phasers only ran me about $35 each, which makes twenty bucks a relatively big investment to display them. That having been said, these really do class up these pieces so much that they’re well worth the price to me. Also, since the DST props are sized fairly accurately, these stands should work fine with the more expensive resin props sold at conventions. Either way, I highly recommend them.

As I mentioned earlier, Flux Dimensions sells a bunch of different stands, including ones to replace the shitty ones that DST includes with their Starships. They also make some for lightsabers, Sonic Screwdrivers, and some of the 3 3/4-inch scale Star Wars ships by Hasbro and Kenner. I do believe my next pick up from these guys will be for my Klingon Disruptor.

Addendum: Tim Sloan from Flux Dimensions was kind enough to drop me a line with a few additional details about their products. For starters, they are capable of customizing the stands to order, allowing the phasers to face left or right, which nicely solves the issue of exposing the side of the phaser with the screw plugs. Also, their products are available for purchase direct from their website tshobbies.com often at reduced cost when compared to their Ebay store. I highly recommend checking them out and browsing their product! 

Star Trek: Klingon Disruptor by Diamond Select

Originally featured in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the Klingon Type 3 Disruptor would go on to be a very familiar weapon, commonly seen throughout the rest of Trek’s TV and motion picture run. By my count, this same design has been in service for about 100 years, much like the Bird of Prey, and both instances are very conveniently cost effective for producers of the franchise who don’t have to keep coming up with new models and props. Indeed, when you consider the changing trends in Starfleet weapons, I’d dare say this design has become one of the most iconic pieces of equipment in the series. And that’s fitting, because the design is so very Klingon and I absolutely adore it. It’s not sleek or pretty, but it has a certain primitive and swashbuckling feel about it. Starfleet weapons look like sterile implements, but the Klingon Disruptor looks like it has a history behind it. It certainly resembles a standard firearm more than most of Starfleet’s weapons, or at least the ones appearing in The Next Generation era. With a traditional pistol-grip leading to a breech-like body and a beam emitter positioned at the end of three silver pylons that resembles a gun barrel, this is a design that I fell in love with the very first time I saw Kruge use it to vaporize one of his own officers. Let’s check out Diamond Select’s version of this warrior’s honorable weapon.

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If you’ve picked up any of DST’s Starships, Phasers, or other gear, then the package here should be familiar. It’s a blue and black box with a bit of a starfield deco. The front panel features a window that shows the weapon and a “Try Me” hole that lets you sample one of the electronic sounds. The back has a picture of the Disruptor and a little blurb about it. This is a big box for an item that is much bigger than I was expecting. The only other Klingon Disruptor I ever owned was the Playmates scaled down version and going on just my memory, this one is huge by comparison.

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Diamond’s version is perfectly sized and while it feels a lot lighter than I imagine the real things would be, it doesn’t feel cheap in the hand and it has a decent balance. The quality straddles that line between toy and replica. Some of the sculpted details are a tad soft, there are visible seams in the plastic, and the weathering is very simple, but they did take the time to plug the screw holes on one side. Mine has some scratches that are clearly not intentional, but they work toward making it look more properly used. This is a piece that looks good on display and is perfectly suited to cosplaying at a Con, assuming they still let you carry anything that’s even vaguely gun shaped any more. What this isn’t is a collector’s grade prop replica.

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The electronics on this piece are very simple, especially when compared to some of DST’s phasers. There’s a silver sliding switch on the back that puts the weapon into three different modes. I’m assuming, the equivalent of Stun, Kill, and Disintegrate. Each time you move it, it registers with a sound. The trigger is appropriately placed as a thumb button up where the hammer on a real gun would be. Pressing it fires the appropriate sound and lights up the red emitter on the business end of the weapon. Normally with DST ships and equipment I record a little video to show off the electronics, but it wasn’t even worth my time here. The emitter light is sufficiently bright, but the sounds are mediocre at best and not great quality. If you’re expecting something that clearly resembles the awesome sound this weapon made in Star Trek III, you’re going to be disappointed.

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While DST’s phasers have had features like removable palm units, this disruptor is pretty much just a static piece. The “breech” does slide back, but it’s designed to do that in order to reveal the battery compartment. I do recall seeing the Klingons “cock” this thing at one point (I think before beaming down to Genesis), but I think it was achieved by twisting the barrel. Still, sliding this piece back a bit and pushing it forward could achieve a similar look, I guess.

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It’s no secret I’m a sucker for Star Trek Role Play Equipment and seeing as how much I love the design of this piece, I’ve had my eye on this Disruptor for a long time. I’m pretty sure it’s been on the market for well over a year. The issue for me was price and the hit and miss history I’ve had with the quality control on DST’s Star Trek items. The Disruptor originally retailed at about sixty bucks, which is quite ludicrous for what you’re getting. I’ve since seen it quite often for as low as $45 and even there I balked. Turns out the right price for me was $27 because that’s what got me to finally pull the trigger, if you’ll pardon the expression. At that price, it’s a decent piece, even if the electronics aren’t as good as I had hoped. It’ll still look great hanging on the wall alongside the rest of my sci-fi arsenal.

Star Trek III: “The Search for Spock” Hand Phaser by Diamond Select

I’ve been an aficionado of Starfleet sidearms for as long as I can remember now. I’ve had them all from horribly cheesy Next Gen Playmates versions all the way up to a beautifully professionally-machined Classic Series prop that I bought at a Trek Convention back in the early 90’s in NY and later had to sell so that I could afford to eat while paying for Grad School. Today I’m checking out Diamond’s brand new Star Trek III phaser. Hopefully with this baby I’ll have Mr. Adventure eating out of my hand.

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If you own any of Diamond’s Starships, you should recognize the deco used for the box. I’m not a big fan as it mixes Classic Trek imagery with what is a Feature Film collectible. Why couldn’t we get a picture of Admiral Kirk in his tunic on the box, or at least movie enterprise. Blah! It’s nothing special and that’s probably a good thing because mine came to me smashed to hell. Luckily it was the only thing in the box that was as it was part of my Pile of Loot and there were some pricier pieces in there.

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Straightaway, let me say that this is my second favorite phaser design in all of Star Trek and second only to the “Battle Phaser” which was introduced in Star Trek V and used during the raid on Paradise City. This version takes the general design of the Classic Series sidearm, which I’m also incredibly fond of, and makes it all sleek and sexy. There aren’t a lot of details on it, apart from the blue striping down the sides, just a lot of smooths surfaces and curves. To me, this design is totally convincing as a futuristic weapon and Diamond’s version does a pretty good job of reproducing the look of the prop and even uses plugs to cover the screws on one side. There are some stray scratches on mine, which could be counted against it on a QC level, but they kind of work as weathering and don’t bother me so much.

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Virtually all the detail on this piece is found on the control panel on top of the weapon and even that is very minimalist in appearance. You get an On-Off switch, which sadly looks like exactly what it is: A switch for a toy, rather than something integrated into the fictional design of the weapon. I don’t mind them using a standard switch, but I wish it was concealed a little better. The blue triangle lights the weapon’s ready status and there are four red lights and a power settings button to cycle through the four force settings.

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Of course, just like with the Classic Series phaser, the top unit here is a detachable self-contained palm phaser that nests with the larger hand-grip housing. When removed and used on its own, the triangular button on top becomes the trigger. This piece looks really nice and feels great in the hand. My only gripe here is that the white on my power cycle button has some messed up paint. Again, I’ll likely just write it off as weathering, but clearly it’s a pretty big QC issue of the type that DST seems to continually have problems with.

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The electronics in this piece are passable, but because the speaker is located on the bottom of the palm unit, the sounds are pretty muffled when it’s docked with the grip housing and that’s pretty disappointing. The SFX include a power up beep when it’s turned on and off, and four very slightly different sounds for each of the four force settings. Honestly, I can barely tell the difference between the first three.

As for lights, the blue power light on the top trigger button remains lit when the phaser is on. The force setting lights cycle until you choose a setting, which is done by repeatedly pressing the setting button. There’s a red light in the beam emitter of the hand grip housing and an elongated series of red lights in the smaller palm phaser’s beam emitter. Lastly, if you hold down the setting button and the trigger on the housing the phaser will prep for Overload. Pressing the top trigger button will initiate the Overload Sequence. It’s all pretty basic stuff. Nothing amazing, but adequate.

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Overall, I think this thing is OK, but I wanted to like it more than I do, especially since I love the design so much. The QC issues are perhaps minor but still troublesome and I think the electronics could have been designed a little better. I can appreciate wanting to hide the speaker under the palm phaser, but why not show the same courtesy for the power button? And the emitters could have used some brighter LEDs. The LED they used for the Excelsior’s deflector dish can burn out someone’s retina and I would have loved to see something similar on this piece. All in all, it feels like a step down from DST’s Classic Series phaser that I own from quite a few years back. At $35, I’m not sorry I bought it, it’ll look great on my wall and it’s perfect for anyone looking to cosplay, but in the end I had hoped for something a little better.

Star Trek The Next Generation: Lt. Worf by Diamond Select

Thus far the DST editions of Warp Speed Wednesday have been focusing on Deep Space Nine, so today I thought I’d mix it up with a little Next Generation action with pre-Ds9 Worf. It never fails to amaze me that a spin-off of such a classic series could have produced such iconic characters in its own right, and yet Next Gen certainly did that. Even to someone like me, who grew up watching Classic Trek before Next Gen was a thing, Worf has become as iconic to the Trek franchise as someone like Spock. And what could have easily been a throwaway gimmick, putting a Klingon in Starfleet, turned into something special. I credit a lot of that to Michael Dorn and his genuine love and enthusiasm for portraying the character. The dude is even trying to get a new series about Worf off the ground and I say more power to him.

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The sculpt on this figure is one of their best. Sure, it’s the standard Next Gen uniform from the later Seasons, but that’s my favorite style, when they did away with the jumpsuits and adopted the tunic. Worf’s uniform includes his Klingon baldric, which is a separate piece made from soft plastic. It’s a great sculpt and it not only makes sense to be a separate piece, as Diamond likes to reuse these bodies, but it just works better that way too.

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The portrait is also one of the best I’ve looked at so far. It probably helps that Worf’s Klingon features give the sculptors more to work with, but they really nailed Michael Dorn in the makeup, ponytail and all. The wash really brings out the detail on his forehead ridges. The paint on his beard is a little off, but nothing too bad.

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The articulation here is the same we’ve been seeing all along. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs feature a t-crotch at the hips and hinges in the knees and ankles. As usual the lack of lateral movement in the hips or any swivels in the legs makes for a rather static figure. It’s a little more frustrating here because Worf is a man of action and I want to put him in all sorts of kick ass poses. Instead, this is more of a Worf to stand at the Tactical Station and get shot down by Picard every time he suggests they take reasonable precautions to protect the ship. 

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Worf’s accessories were advertised on the package as “Starfleet Gear” and included a hand phaser, a phaser rifle and a tricorder. He also came with two extra hands clenched into fists. I get it, Worf likes to hit things, but I remember him usually hitting people with that open hand palm attack, which must have been one of the first things they taught at the Academy . Eh, I don’t want to be too picky. Fists are fine.

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The hand phaser is the same accessory I’ve alread featured with past figures. It’s a simple enough accessory and possibly a little undersized. This is also one of those cases where it’s tough to get him to hold it right. I’d much rather had a phaser-holding hand than a fist. Why can’t Diamond ever seem to get this right? I can kind of make it work, but clearly the right hand is made for his other weapon.

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Yes, the phaser rifle! It’s the older, boxy style from Next Gen’s pre-movie days, which I like better than the sexy newer model. Actually, to clarify, I like the way the old one shoots with an actual phaser beam, before they turned it into a pulse “pew pew” kind of weapon that didn’t feel much like Star Trek to me. This one even has the range finder flipped up.

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I’m more than a tad disappointed that Worf didn’t come with any Klingon gear, but it’s easy to just borrow that stuff from Jadzia Dax. After all, a Klingon Warrior needs his bat’leth.

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Next to maybe Odo, Worf here is easily my favorite DST figure I looked at since starting this whole Warp Speed Wednesday thing. Sure, more articulation would have gone a long way, but damn if this isn’t a great figure on every other level. Diamond must really love Worf because the character also got a couple different versions out during this line’s run so don’t be surprised when he turns up here again in the future. It’s also interesting to note that DST has recently given Worf another go at the figure treatment, although the new one is one of those weird action figure-statue kind of things that has even more limited articulation and swappable parts to achieve different poses. But I have no plans on adding that one to my collection anytime soon.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Dr. Julian Bashir and Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax by Diamond Select

Yes, Warp Speed Wednesday is a thing now, and it will continue to be until I run out of Star Trek stuff to look at. Actually, that would probably take forever, so I’ll just keep it going until I get burned out on the subject for a while. Let’s say another month or so. Last time I looked at the DST figures I gassed on a lot about my love for DS9 and today we’re checking out a pair of figures based on two more of the show’s great characters: Bashir and Dax. My Bashir figure has a lot less interesting stuff, so let’s do him first…

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Bashir’s character was loads of fun. He started out as a great Doctor and a green Starfleet Officer and his character developed quite a bit over the series. He went from seemingly shallow womanizer, who’s favorite pasttime was chasing Dax, to working for secret Starfleet organizations after we got that huge reveal that he was an illegal genetic augment! In the largely vanilla universe of Trek, this was some serious shit! And in terms of screen friendships, I think the Bashir and O’Brien relationship is a tough one to beat. ItLike most of DST’s DS9 figures, Bashir comes in his late series, TNG movie-era uniform. While I liked the more classic look, this one works too. It’s an easy outfit to reproduce as it doesn’t invovlve a whole lot of paint or detail. Apart from the usual creases and wrinkles, most of the sculpting comes in the shoulders, which featues the gray quilted look with the department color coded blue collar peaking out. Of course, you also get the rank pips on the collar and the insignia communicator.

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The likeness here is a pretty damn good one to Alexander Siddig. I haven’t seen him in a lot since Star Trek, but it was cool to see him in Game of Thrones this past season. The paint, on the other hand, is a little odd. It’s like they did a wash on his face to bring out the contours of the sculpt, but really all it does is make him look dirty. Paint rubbing was also a big problem with these figures and as a result mine looks like he’s observing Ash Wednesday.

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The articulation here is passable. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivel cuts in the biceps, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the wrists. Below the waist, things take a turn for the worst. He has a simple and restrictive t-crotch and hinges in the knees and ankles. Bashir can swivel at the waist and his neck is ball jointed. Like a lot of these figures, he’s got that weird thing going on with his legs where you have to bend them a little to get him to stand right.

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With only four out of the original six accessories, my Bashir is incomplete. He does have two Starfleet PADDs, one large and one small. These are pretty standard pieces with stickers for the screens. He can hold them pretty well and while they aren’t terribly exciting, they are staples for any Starfleet Officer.

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Slightly more fun is his raktajino mug and the coon skin cap that he wears when he goes into the Holosuite with Miles to play their Alamo program. I believe the missing accessories are a phaser and hypo. Moving on to Dax…

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Dax was an interesting character because she didn’t fit the usual “I’m an outsider trying to be more/less human” Trek trope. She was indeed one of the more bizarre aliens we saw in the series, thanks to her conjoined nature, but her irreverent, fun-seeking personality made for a rather a-typical Starfleet Science Officer and I found that to be a nice departure for the series. It made for an even more interesting dynamic when she started to get involved with Worf. Once again, we get her in the late series Starfleet uniform. Dax always looked mighty fine in that uniform and the figure reflects that. Of course, apart from her curves, this is the same uniform we saw with Bashir and her articulation is identical. Dax does have a wider-cut and slightly less restrictive t-crotch and her ball jointed head is a lot looser. It’s also nice that they used the taller female buck so she looks pretty good standing next to the much shorter Kira.

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As with Bashir, the likeness here is quite good. I might have preferred a more neutral expression as she looks a little two damn happy. I suppose the smile suits the character’s outgoing personality, but it looks rather out of place when you’re posing her with her weapons. The paint apps on the face are especially good, especially evidenced by her Trill spots.

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Dax comes with six accessories, half are Starfleet and half are Klingon. On the Starfleet side she has a standard hand phaser, a phaser rifle, and a rather large PADD. Unfortunately, Dax’s hands are rather relaxed and not in any way suited to hold her weapons. I can get her to do some things with the rifle, but the hand phaser isn’t much use.

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The Klingon accessories include a bottle of blood wine, a Bat’leth, and a dagger. She can hold the dagger and the bottle OK, and I can make a few things work with the sword, but this isn’t a figure made to be put into action poses and so while the accessories themselves are good, there’s only so much you can do with them.

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When I looked at Kira and Odo, I made the comment that these figures feel dated in some respects, and that still applies here. The articulation sounds good on paper, but they still come off as stiff. Despite their limitations, however, I still dig these figure a lot. The paint and quality of sculpts are competent enough and the likenesses are certainly there. If only Diamond had endowed these figures with some lateral movement in the hips and some thigh swivels, I think they would have been heaps better. Maybe someone somewhere will pick up this license again, but for now I’m just happy to have the characters I love represented on my shelf.

Star Trek Starship Legends: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E (“Nemesis”) by Diamond Select

Lest you forgot, I’m doing this whole Star Trek Thang on Wednesdays now, which is convenient because I’ve also picked up another one of DST’s Starships. The sixth entry into my fleet is none other than the NCC-1701-E. First introduced in “First Contact” (because Troi crashed the “D” into a planet in the previous film) this new design really looked amazing on screen and represented a bold new look for the intrepid Starship I’ve known and loved for all my life. The Soverign Class Enterprise boldly traveled through three feature films and this newest release is based on the appearance in “Nemesis.” If memory serves, “Insurrection” and “Nemesis” were the first Star Trek films to rely solely on a CGI model of the Enterprise for exterior shots. This design strikes me more as a mash up between the Constitution Refit and the Intrepid Class (ie Voyager) and sort of passes over the Galaxy Class for design elements. This ship also has a severely minimalist profile when viewed viewed straight on, which I still think is pretty damn cool. The result is a very futuristic looking design of a ship that still retains that intangible nobility that I get from all the Enterprises.

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The package is exactly what we’ve been seeing all along. You get an elongated blue window box with the classic “Star Trek” logo and a bunch of text about the ship. There’s a “Try Me” window that lets you get a taste of the electronics. The ship comes fully assembled, all you have to do is put together the two halves of the stand and plug the ball into the socket under the ship. You will need a phillips head screwdriver to undo the battery hatch and switch it from “Try Me” to “Play” in order to get the full effect, but unless this is your first DST Starship, you’ve probably been through all this before. Also included in the box is a replacement battery hatch without the socket for the stand and a folded instruction sheet. With the ship measuring just over 18-inches from the tip of the saucer to the back of the nacelles, it’s every bit as long as The Excelsior, but the design makes it look a lot slighter in every other respect.

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The first thing that struck me about the “E” when I got it out and all set up was how busy the deco is. This is easily the most complex paint job of any ship in my fleet. It certainly reflects the look of the ship on screen, but with the track record of DST on these ships, more detailed paint apps lead to more potential for flubs. That having been said, the paint on mine is fairly decent, but it falls just short of having that professional look. If I bought this ship loose from Ebay not knowing what it was, I would probably assume that it was a kit that was painted by a fairly competant model builder and not a professional factory piece from an officially licensed company. My ship also had some annoying black paint speckled around the top of the primary hull. I was able to remove nearly all of it with some careful razor work, but having to take a razor to my new fifty dollar model is not something I enjoy doing. When all is said and done, probably the weakest paint is the area around the bussard collectors.

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This ship uses a pearlescent plastic, which is somewhat similar to the stuff used for my “Wrath of Khan” Enterprise. While it’s not nearly as light and overall looks much better here, it still allows for some light bleed, which I’ll get to in a just a bit. I do, however, still prefer the denser stuff used for the hulls of the Excelsior and the Enterprise-D. The ship also uses several decals for the registry numbers and “racing” stripes. These are all applied with care and look straight and sharp.

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The electronics feature the usual mix of lights and sound. There are lights in the primary hull, which light up bridge and the windows near by as well as the two red impulse engines. This point features a fair amount of light bleeding, which is obvious, but look enough like spot lights on the exterior that I don’t mind it so much. The deflector dish lights up a very bright yellow with virtually no light bleeding at all. Lastly, the bussard collectors on the warp nacelles light up red and the top strips light up blue. Again, you get some light bleeding on the nacelles, mostly around the seams below the red bussard collectors, but the blue nacelle strips look really sharp.The lights only activate when the sound effects are going off and sadly there’s no function to just run the lights. As for the sound effects, here they are…

The sound sampling here feels really generic and features an emphasis on sound effects rather than speech. It’s basically just Picard giving some combat orders and a lot of weapons firing and engine sounds. Granted, “Nemesis” wasn’t a great film, but there were definitely some better quotes that could have been pulled from it. On the other hand, the generic nature of the clips make this ship work for just about any of the last three movies, so I suppose that could be considered a plus.

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The stand is slightly better than the standard garbage we’ve been seeing for this line. It has a two-sided triangle post instead of just one like my WoK Enterprise. It does support the ship quite well in a number of positions, but I attribute that to the relatively light weight and good balance of the ship rather than the quality of the stand.

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If the scale I use for rating these ships runs from the Awful “Wrath of Khan” Enterprise to the Superb NX Excelsior and Enterprise-D, with most of my other ships falling on upper half of the spectrum, then I would probably place this version of the Enterprise-E exactly midway along the line. The only real QC issues on this piece is the black paint spray and I’ve managed to fix most of that. Yes, the paint around the bussard collectors could be better, but it doesn’t sink to the depths of some of the stuff showcased on the WoK Enterprise. Everything else about this ship (the plastic, paint quality, lighting and sound) I would categorize as quite good, but not quite exceptional. At around $30-35 I would have been a lot more satisfied with this purchase, but at $50 it feels rather steep for the quality. Nonetheless, I’m happy to add The Enterprise-E to my Starship Legends shelf and it should be only a matter of time before I break down and pick up the Enterprise-B.