Star Trek “Starships Collection:” Deep Space Nine by Eaglemoss

What’s this? Two consecutive weeks of Star Trek content? Well, as our beloved Doctor McCoy once jested, “It never rains, but it pours!” Today’s review has been on my mind for two reasons. Firstly, Eaglemoss has fallen on bad financial times, and the outlook for the company seems pretty dire. I guess we had plenty of clues, what with them running such deep discounts on product lately. Also, Deep Space Nine departed Netflix at the beginning of this month, and so I spent a great deal of June binging my favorite episodes, and I guess I’ll just have to hunt down a used set of the DVDs, because there’s no way in hell I’m paying for CBS/Paramount’s streaming service and have even the slightest possibility of any of their current garbage Trek shows violating the sanctity my home. Ahem… rant over. Let’s take a look at Eaglemoss’ Deep Space Nine model!

I titled this review as being part of their Starship Collection, but I don’t know if that’s accurate, since DS9 obviously isn’t a Starship, but let’s just go with that as an umbrella title covering all their Trek models. This is one of their big boys, with the model itself measuring at roughly 6-inches across. It’s too small to be in scale with Eaglemoss’ smaller ships, but if you have some Trek Micro Machines lying around, that will be a little closer. I’ve actually seen pictures of this model with a tiny Enterprise-D docked at it, but I’m not sure if that was an exclusive, or just something that didn’t make it into the final release. The station comes in a fully enclosed box and nestled between two styrofoam bricks. The only assembly required involves popping the stand together, and you get a nice color magazine-style booklet detailing some lore about the station, both behind the scenes, and in front of the camera.

And here’s DS9 all set up, and it’s amazing to me just how iconic this old Cardassian station has become to me. One look, and I can’t help but hear the melancholy, yet slightly triumphant, theme song swell up in my ears. And I can imagine a tiny Chief O’Brian running around inside trying to hold the thing together. The show creators took a lot of risks, not only setting this series on a space station rather than a starship, but on an alien station, stripping the show of almost any Federation comfort and familiarity. It sure was a gamble, and it paid off in spades. This old station saw some unprecedented growth for the Trek franchise, and showed us a new side of the Trek Universe, which TNG could only hint at. Suffice it to say, I absolutely love the design of Terok Nor, with it’s inhospitable arching tendrils, concentric circles, and jagged edges. It looks like some kind of bizarre sea creature floating in space. And boy, did Eaglemoss do a great job bringing that design to this model!

The mix of diecast metal and plastic gives the model a nice heft, while still allowing for some very sharp detail. Each of the tiny docking ports are present around the outer ring, you get the tiny hatches on the inner towers, signifying the hidden location of the torpedo launchers, and some really nice sculpting around the inner habitat ring. I think my favorite details on the whole model are the painted triangular cut-outs that show some more intricate details inside.

Eaglemoss really punched things up for the central core and Ops area. The three tiny deflector shield emitters are present, and actually a bit fragile too! I had to straighten mine a bit when it came out of the box. You can even make out the tiny windows of The Promenade, from where so many of the inhabitants have watched the Wormhole open and close.

flip down to the undercarriage, and I found this area particularly interesting, since we didn’t often get a good look at it in the series. Here the station’s main fusion reactor hangs down, suspended by the power transfer conduit. We get some nice red paint surrounding this area, along with a central nub jutting out from the middle. The stand here is very well done, and consists of the same combination of translucent plastic stand and black diecast base, which cradles the station underneath, offering sturdy support without interfering with the look of the model.

I’ve been after a new Deep Space Nine model ever since I lost my Playmates version when moving from NJ to Florida way back when. That was a very nice representation, and it included some lights and sounds, but I’m content to have this beauty take its place. I find that the size of this model is a perfect balance between being large enough to offer a good bit of detail, but small enough to fit on a shelf and not take up too much real estate. The original MSRP for the station was around $80, but I picked mine up during one of the half-off sales, and that was a deal that even a Ferengi would be envious of! I’ll be very sad to see Eaglemoss go, assuming they can’t restructure, but happily I’ve still got a whole lot of their models to check out here in the future!

ReAction Star Trek: The Next Generation (Wave Two) by Super7

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost exactly one year since I checked out Super7’s first wave of Star Trek TNG ReAction figures. Well, minus Guinan, because I decided to wait to see if she turns up on clearance. The second wave has now hit and I’m back to check out this new assortment, but again minus one figure, because these are damn expensive and I’m trying to at least be a little selective. There are five figures here to look at, which more or less round out the main cast, so let’s get started!

This wave consists of Riker, Troi, LaForge, Dr. Crusher, and Q, as he appeared in his judge robes from the very first and last episodes. Also included in the wave was Armus, the tar creature who killed Lt. Yar on Vagra II. I skipped Armus because he’s just a one-off alien in a very terrible episode, and the figure didn’t look so hot anyway, but I’ll keep an eye out for him turning up on the cheap. I also thought it was in bad form to include the creature that killed Yar before even making Yar. I could also point out that while the crew are all depicted in their later season uniforms, Q and Armus are both from the first season, which just makes no sense to me at all.

The card designs are the same as the first wave, and they’re absolutely fantastic. You get the familiar TNG title logo up at the top with the Enterprise-D speeding out of the card with warp streaks all around it. Each card is personalized with individual character art inside a Delta insignia. The character art appears to be original and it looks great. There’s also some foil on the cards, which gives them a premium look, and they damn well should considering the price. I generally keep all my ReAction figures carded, and I was tempted to do so with these, but I opened the first wave, so let’s tear into these and check them out!

Starting out with Riker and LaForge, these figures utilize the same body that we saw last time for Worf, Picard, and Data. It’s unfortunate, since the cast were all very different heights, and Riker should not be as tall as LaForge. Sorry, but this kind of recycling would be acceptable on $10 retro figures, but not at nearly double that price. The paint on these are also not as tight as the first wave. Both of these figures have weird smudges on their backs, and LaForge has smudging on the front of his tunic as well. As expected, all the figures in this wave have the retro-style five points of articulation. And yeah, they should have given Riker one articulated knee, so he could do his signature pose.

Riker’s head sculpt isn’t great, but I guess it’s acceptable for a retro line like this. I like his blue eyes, but for some reason he looks a bit like an adult Wesley Crusher, which kind of makes me laugh. LaForge’s, on the other hand, is really quite good. Sure, he’s more recognizable because of his visor, but I think they did a great job on his facial features too. Both heads have paint issues, but Riker made out better with just some stray marks on his face. LaForge’s is an absolute mess, with silver paint from the visor on his nose and up near his eyebrows. It’s a shame, because the sculpt deserved better paint. Normally, I’m not very critical of paint on 3 3/4-inch figure portraits, because I punch in pretty close for these pictures, but the problems here are all noticeable with the figure in hand and viewed by the naked eye.

The ladies offer all new sculpting, but they do also share the same arms. The legs are almost the same, but Crusher’s have the bottom parts of her lab coat added. As a result, you have the same height issues going on, but in this case Troi is actually a bit taller than Crusher, because of her wall of hair. With that having been said, both of these sculpts are excellent for the line, and the paint here is actually not bad, making them stand out from the piss-poor paint on the dudes. They didn’t quite capture the magical contours of Troi’s tushie, but it is a retro line, so I’ll let it go. I am glad they put Crusher in her lab coat, and I think they did a great job working it into the retro sculpt. It would have been interesting to see them try it as a Kenner-style vinyl cape, but I’m not sure that would have worked.

The portraits here are pretty solid. I think Troi made out a little better in the likeness, but Crusher isn’t bad for a retro line. They also did a nice job with their hair. My only big complaint with Crusher is that she isn’t Dr. Pulaski. Crusher was easily the weakest character of the show to me, and I thought bringing in Pulaski punched things up a lot. Boy, was I pissed off when she only lasted one season. I would definitely have to buy a ReAction Pulaski if they made her, and then I could disappear Crusher!

And finally, we have Judge Q, and this is an excellent figure. I’m not sure the likeness is really there, but the costume is so distinctive, that there’s no denying who this is supposed to be. The robes are implemented in a fashion similar to Kenner’s Obi-Wan or Emperor, and they looks great. I like the paint and detail on his necklace, and all around this is solid work.

One of my big gripes with this line last time around was the lack of accessories, as all you got were some phasers. Here we have one step forward and one step back. Riker and LaForge come with the same phasers we saw last time, and they still can’t hold them very well. Crusher comes with a medical tricorder, and Troi and Q come with nothing. I’m fine with Troi and Q not including accessories, but that meant we should have had more come with the others. Could we at least get a diagnostic tool for LaForge? And maybe a regular tricorder so I could give it to Data? Not having a tricorder for Data pisses me off all the more when I see what a great job they did with Crusher’s medical tricorder. It may not look like much in the picture, but it’s so damn tiny that I think it’s impressive work. Either way, it’s not cool to skimp on accessories when you’re charging $18 a pop for 5-POA figures.

And last time I checked out these figures with Galoob’s Shuttlecraft, as both lines were scaled roughly the same. This time I pulled out the Playmates shuttle to see how that would work, and it works pretty damn well. Playmate’s shuttle was under-scaled for it’s own line, which makes these work even better. Of course, the giant single seat in the cockpit is completely out of whack, but I’ll be someone could 3D-print a set of two seats for it that would work even better. All in all, it makes for a great piece to display with these figures.

And that’s Wave Two of Super7’s TNG ReAction line! This assortment was a real mixed bag. Riker and LaForge should have been easy slam dunks, since they’re 95% recycled parts, but the QC on the paint was non-existent. At least the ladies and Q all came out fine. I haven’t seen anything about a third wave, and that’s fine by me, because I think I’m done with these. I would consider picking up some more aliens, and Yar if they ever do her, but my guess is that if we do get more figures, we’ll see some repaints, like LaForge in his Season One uniform, maybe a Thomas Riker, and at these prices, I’m not biting on those. If these were ten bucks a pop, I’d be willing to stick with it, but $18 for these is just way too much, making me wish I had just left them all carded. With Playmates releasing some new TNG figures soon, I’m interested to see how those turn out.

Star Trek “Starships Collection:” USS Pegasus NCC-53847 (XL) by Eaglemoss

I was hoping to get back and wrap up a wave of Marvel Legends this week, but I’ve been a little pressed for time and so instead I decided to dig into one of the many Eaglemoss ships I picked up during the crazy sale they’ve been running and snap some pictures. So, let’s check out another of the big boys, and have a chat about the XL model of the USS Pegasus!

I confess, I mostly love reviewing these models because it gives me a chance to talk about Trek Starships! We were first introduced to the Oberth Class vessel in Star Trek III, when the poor USS Grissom got absolutely savaged by a Klingon Bird of Prey and taken out with a single torpedo. The Oberth would later pop up from time to time in The Next Generation. It was even featured in the very first regular episode when the Enterprise encountered the USS Tsiolkovsky in The Naked Now. But today’s model, The Pegasus, was the titular ship in a Season 7 story involving a top secret experiment to mate a cloaking device with a Federation Starship. And yeah, it didn’t go well. The ship comes in a fully enclosed box and includes a beautiful glossy magazine with some info about the ship and the episode. The model itself comes fully assembled, you just need to set up the stand and you’re good to go!

The Oberth Class is certainly an atypical design for Starfleet, but I must have watched the Grissom get blown up a hundred times over and so I consider this design rather iconic and instantly familiar. And boy is this an absolutely beautiful model of the ship. As usual, you’re getting a combination of plastic and diecast, with most of the diecast here being in the Primary Hull. It gives the model a very satisfying heft and the diecast parts blend quite well with the plastic bits. The paint is gorgeous, and I am particularly impressed by the aztec pattern on the hull, which is conveyed in a few different shades and really makes the ship look like it’s comprised of hundreds of smaller plates. Everything about the hull coloring just screams quality here!

Of course, the Pegasus still has a saucer of sorts, it’s just smaller and integrated into a shelf that connects the two warp nacelles. You get some pretty crisp printing on the front declaring the ship’s name and registry number, as well as some red pinstriping on the outer arcs of the saucer. I can’t really talk a lot about the particulars of this ship design, because I’ve never had a proper look at the schematics. It’s a controversial design, as it often had fans speculating how crewmembers traveled between the Primary and Secondary Hulls without the traditional neck connecting them. Did they beam across? I’m sure the explanation consists of some kind of Turbolift shaft running through the nacelle supports, but it’s fun to wonder about it.

I became pretty familiar with this ship through the FASA tabletop game, and I’m pretty sure it was among the miniatures I had when I was younger. The registry is printed towards the back of the ship’s tail-like Secondary Hull, along with more of that beautiful red pin-striping. The Starfleet Delta is printed on the sides of the warp nacelles, with United Federation of Planets. I really dig the atypical stylings of the warp nacelle’s here, which are rather stubby and feature a grill-like structure that doesn’t conform to what we’re used to seeing on the Motion Picture ship designs, or really anything since. The stand here is quite effective, as it grabs the ship from behind the two nacelle pylons. The connection is rock solid and the clear support allows it to hold the ship without obscuring any details.

If you aren’t familiar with the XL ships, they are quite large, but do not conform to any relative scale. As a result, the roughly 9-inch long XL Pegasus looks massive when displayed next to the XL Refit Enterprise or Excelsior. Here are some shots of her next to the regular sized USS Grissom model, which not only show the size difference, but some of the subtle variances between the Grissom and Pegasus designs.

I love this design, and it’s nice to see the Oberth Class get the XL treatment, even if it is best displayed alone, so as not to dwarf the ships that are supposed to be much bigger. Of course, you have to be pretty dedicated to add this ship to your collection at the full retail price of $79.99. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it, as it’s a substantial model with some absolutely striking attention to detail, but it’s still a lot of gold pressed latinum to put a one-off Starship on your desk. Luckily, it’s been going up as part of the big sales Eaglemoss has been running, and I was able to get this lovely for $26, and that ain’t a bad deal at all! It was too hard to pass up, and I recommend it, but whatever you do, don’t activate the cloaking device!

Star Trek: USS Enterprise (#70548) by Playmobil, Part 2

On Monday, I talked a bit about the unboxing and build of the massive USS Playmoprise, and as promised I’m back today to take a look at the fully assembled toy and some of its play features. So, let’s start with a trip around the ship itself.

Measuring about three feet long from the backs of the nacelles to the forward bow, the Playmoprise rivals even the mighty HasLab Razor Crest in size, but you could argue that the Federation Starship wins the day, depending on how you’re measuring. Either way, I had to shoot this thing on my dining room table using a queen bedsheet for a backdrop. The lighting wasn’t optimal, so I apologize if some of the photos came out a little sketchy. Aesthetically, I think Playmobil did a beautiful job on this beast. The simplistic design of the Constitution Class Enterprise definitely lends itself to Playmobil’s simpler and child-friendly toy designs. As a result, they didn’t sacrifice much in turning the mighty Starship into toy form. The hull features some sparse panel lines and a lot of stickers and tampos to convey all the appropriate details. I suppose you could argue that, given the price tag, some of the stickers could have been sculpted pieces, like the fins on the backs of the nacelles, but the stickers work just fine, and I have no complaints.

For such a large and hefty ship, The Playmoprise sports some excellent structural integrity. I have no qualms about picking it up and wooshing it around the room. The worst that could happen is I hurt my back doing it. But, I wouldn’t pick it up from the warp nacelles, as I doubt those are lode bearing. Still, nothing here feels rickety or tenuous, or something that requires a delicate touch. This is a pretty rugged toy, which probably has a better chance of hurting a child than vice-versa, particularly if it falls on them.

In order to accommodate the bridge playset gimmick, Playmobil had to take some liberties with the proportions of the saucer section, but I think they did a great job minimizing the Primary Hull’s chonks. Most of the added girth is in the bottom portion of the saucer, with the result being a pretty normal looking Enterprise when viewed from most downward angles. You need only look back to Playmates’ Innerspace Enterprise-D to see how this could have gone horribly wrong.

External electronics feature a gorgeous animated spinning effect in the bussard globes at the front of the nacelles, as well as a glow to the globe at the bottom of the saucer. When activated, you get a wonderful audio sequence of the Enterprises’ ambient bridge sounds, starting with William Shatner’s familiar voice saying, “This is Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.” After playing for a while, you will eventually hear a turbolift door open and Spock (voiced by the late Leonard Nimoy) will entreat you to “Live Long and Prosper.”

I mentioned last time that you have two display options: A stand or rigging to hang it from the ceiling. I won’t be hanging mine, but here’s a good look at the stand. The base is a massive gold Delta with a transparent ring. There are four supports that cradle the Playmoprise. Two connect with sockets in the bottom of the Secondary Hull, while the larger ones angle forward to meet rectangular slots in the Primary Hull. It holds the ship perfectly, and the transparent beams keep from obscuring the vessel from any angle. You also get a plate with the Enterprise’s name, class, and shipyard from which it launched in 2245. The name plate does not attach to the stand, so you can place it anywhere you want. I was a wee bit disappointed that it’s only a sticker, considering the cost of this set, but it still looks great. Let’s take take a look at the figures and accessories, before moving to the interior of the ship!

You get a full Playmobil-ified bridge crew, consisting of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekhov, and they’re all just so goddamned adorable. The uniform details included the Delta insignias, with one of the three department emblems inside, rank stripes on the sleeves, and even some printed stitching around the shoulders. The uniforms look great, and each figure even sports his own unique hair piece, rather than the generic Playmobil coif. Spock has his pointed ears, although I think it’s odd that they gave him a smile. That’s probably just a Playmobil thing. The only real misstep on the figures is found on Uhura, as she looks like she’s wearing a microphone with her earpiece, making me wonder who at Playmobil researched her look. It’s awesome that we got the whole bridge crew, but I really hope we get some figure packs or blind bags with more figures. I really want a Nurse Chapel and Yeoman Rand to add to the crew. Maybe some redshirts too!

As for accessories, Spock comes with a Tricorder, which is just a black box that hangs off his shoulder and McCoy comes with a Hypospray, which looks a lot like a Sonic Screwdriver. Scotty comes with an extra Dilthium Crystal.

Sadly, Sulu DOES NOT come with a rapier, but if you have a lot of Playmobil Pirate sets like I do, that’s easily remedied. But seriously, Playmobil, you couldn’t afford to toss one of these into the box?

The rest of the accessories are rounded out with three phasers and three communicators, and again I’m forced to beg the question… THE MSRP ON THIS SET IS $500 AND YOU COULDN”T GIVE EQUIPMENT TO ALL SEVEN FIGURES? But, with that having been said, these are excellent! The phaser sculpts are spot on, and the communicators actually open and close and have tiny stickers detailing the instruments. Incredible!

And after griping about Playmobil getting stingy with the accessories, I have to applaud them for including a bag of Tribbles. You get seven of these little bastards and they are adorable!!! OK, let’s move inside the ship with a look at Engineering!

There is a removable plate on the Port Side of the Secondary Hull, which reveals Engineering, and this is as cool as it is totally out of scale! There’s room to stand a few figures in there, a couple of computer stations, and the Dilithium Crystal with a second crystal inside it. The backdrop is a lenticular sticker, which gives it a sense of depth when you view it from different perspectives.

Press the button beside the Crystal Chamber and the lights and sound begin to do their thing. One of the consoles light up and the Crystal Chamber lights and begins to pulse. What’s really cool is if you take the Crystal out of the Chamber, the engines will not start! All of the ship’s electronics are powered by three AA batteries housed behind the lit console, but there is also a micro USB charging port on the Starboard side of the ship if you prefer to plug it into a wall socket.

And that brings us to the real show-stopper here. Lift off the top of the Saucer Section and you reveal the bridge! It’s certainly not totally accurate to the bridge seen on the small screen, but it captures all the essentials. You get two seated stations on each side, plus the Helm and Navigation stations in the center, and of course, the Captain’s chair. All of the seats swivel, and the individual chairs can be placed anywhere. I like having the option to move them, but I also would have liked a peg or something to secure them to the deck. The turbolift door is a lenticular sticker, and they will open and close depending on how you view it. Likewise, the viewscreen is also lenticular, showing a Klingon D7 Battlecruiser approaching. There’s also a little compartment in front of the viewscreen where you can stow the accessories. The area is also designed so you can use your phone as a viewscreen. There’s an app you can download for added functionality, but I haven’t tried it yet.

There are three buttons on the central console, which will also activate the light and sound sequence. Pushing the red one will initiate the Red Alert claxon, pressing the blue button will fire torpedoes, and a third press will cause the engines to speed up, making the sound more intense and the bussards will spin faster and faster. The Astrogation console will light up, and there are red lights in the floor that flash for Red Alert, but those aren’t terribly effective.

While the bridge is most certainly scaled down, it still comfortably fits all the figures, and could easily accommodate a few more. There’s some truly great detail in all the console stickers. You can even see the button on Kirk’s chair that he used to jettison the ion pod and kill Lt. Finney in Court Marital.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say, The Playmoprise is easily the greatest TOS toy ever released. It’s gigantic, it looks amazing, and it has plenty of cool play features. And sure, it should have all of these things going for it with an initial MSRP of $499. That price was enough to make even me hesitate. But, this beauty has been going on some deals through Amazon, and I was ultimately able to pick it up for $279 plus a $50 coupon, and the free Prime Shipping helped a lot too. Still, if the price isn’t an issue, finding the place to display it could also be a deal-breaker. With all that having been said, I’m very curious to see what the license extends to, and if we will see any more PlaymoTrek. I think they’d be smart to release a bigger and cheaper bridge playset, plus I’d love to see a Shuttlecraft and the Transporter Room. There are a lot of possibilities, but seeing as how they started with this massive set, I suspect it’s possible that the licensing here was one and done.

Star Trek: USS Enterprise (#70548) by Playmobil, Part 1

If you follow me on Twitter, than you probably know that I have been on a crazy Playmobil kick lately. I’ve reviewed a number of their sets here in the past, but if you want to read about my origins with the toyline, you can check out this post from about 11 years ago! Anyway…. recently I started rebuilding my vintage PlaymoSpace collection and it’s been quite the nostalgic journey that has lead me down a number of different paths. And, yes, I do hope to be checking out some of those vintage sets here in the near future. You may also have seen that I spent my Easter building the massive Playmobil Enterprise, and since it ate up most of my time, I decided to push this week’s Mythoss Monday Review to the end of the week and spend a couple of days checking this beast out. Today I’m going to talk about the packaging and the build process, and on Wednesday I’ll be back to talk some more about the toy itself. You’ll have to excuse the photography here, because these are all just pictures of progress made during the build on my kitchen table. And boy did this operation take up every inch of that table!

This box is huge! It’s probably a tad bit bigger than the box for Hasbro’s HasLab Razor Crest, and that’s saying something! It has a nice, colorful deco, using the classic TOS logo and featuring a picture of Mr. Spock in the upper right hand corner. Lift the front flap and you get more pictures, and a portrait of Kirk. The set is designated #70548 and boasts 148 pieces! The packaging also showcases that the toy features lights and sounds with the help of three AA batteries or a USB power cable. Normally, the box would seem like pretty standard stuff for Playmobil packaging, albeit a lot larger than even their bigger sets, but…

The box has a front flap, and when it is lifted, you are also treated to four windows showing four of the figures, with the remaining three illustrated on the box. At first glance, I thought they were all illustrations, so when I opened this thing up and found a bag with only three figures, I thought I was missing a bag with the rest. I dug through everything several times, until deciding to go ahead with the build and contact Playmobil afterwards. It wasn’t until I finished the entire build that I discovered the little box of four figures attached to the inside of the larger box. Yeah, I felt like a dummy! It’s worth noting here, that the Enterprise isn’t really designed to be taken apart again to go back in the box. You could probably do it with a little care and patience, but I’m still saving the box because it’s so epic.

Inside the box the Enterprise comes in six basic pieces. You get the primary and secondary hulls, a V-shaped piece comprising the nacelle struts, two nacelles, and a top cover for the saucer. Yes, there are tons of more pieces in baggies, as well as a few boxes, but those are the main components of the ship. You also get some bigger pieces that make up the stand, and some wiring and electrical boxes. The instructions rely entirely on pictures, and all in all they are pretty good, but with sets this complex, I think Playmobil should take a page from LEGO’s book and number the bags to correspond with stages of assembly.

Holy shit, look at the scope of this production! Little did I know I would be turning my kitchen into The Utopia Planitia Shipyard for an afternoon! Securing most of the pieces together is done with little red or yellow plastic connection pieces, and there’s a tool provided for those, all of which should be familiar to any Playmobil veterans. But there are a few screws that go into the neck, and you will need a Philips head screwdriver for those. With the exception of threading the wiring, nothing here is any more difficult than any other Playmobil set I’ve assembled, there’s just a lot more of it to do, and some enormous pieces to wrestle with.

There are also lots and lots of stickers. With the exception of the registry number on the saucer and the markings on the sides of the secondary hull, virtually everything here is a sticker! Each half of the bridge’s consoles took sixteen stickers each! You also get some pretty cool lenticular stickers to make up things like the viewscreen, turbolift doors, and the Engineering backdrop. I do have one complaint when it comes to the way the toy is packed, and that’s not having the large pieces wrapped in plastic. There were quite a few scuffs on my ship’s Secondary Hull, which caused me a bit of worry upon first inspecting them. And while I was able to clean them all off with a damp cloth and a little rubbing, you really shouldn’t have to do that with a toy this damned expensive!

The electronics consist of a control box that makes up the middle of the bridge’s deckplate and another that goes into the Engineering section in the Secondary Hull. There are three sets of coiled cables, each with the old style telephone connectors. One of these runs from the bridge box down through the neck into the Engineering box, and the other two run from the Engineering box, up through the nacelle struts, into the nacelles, and ultimately plugging into the bussards on the fronts. I found it helpful to have a pair of tweezers handy in order to reach in and pull the cables through.

You have two options for displaying this beast: One is with the provided stand, and the other is by hanging it from the ceiling. As scary as the ceiling hanging option sounds, Playmobil included a series of clear wires and a Delta-shaped connection piece to facilitate you flying your Starship. They really thought the whole thing out well, with the wires going through lode-bearing parts of the toy, and the instructions include detailed steps on how to make it work. Now with all that having been said, I have no intention of hanging this thing, so it’s the stand for me, and I’ll talk more about that next time.

It took me well over an hour to put this whole thing together, but I was really taking my time and enjoying myself. And I really did enjoy myself! For someone who grew up playing with MEGO’s lamenate cardboard bridge playset, something like this is a dream come true. On Wednesday, I’ll try to get some more polished pictures of this beauty, provided I can find a big enough stage and backdrop to do it with, and we’ll run through the figures and all this amazing toy has to offer!

Star Trek Starship Collection: Enterprise NX-01 Refit (XL) by Eaglemoss

I don’t like to piss in other people’s Raktajino, but it’s hard for me to think of anything more depressing than CBS’s vision of modern Star Trek. But in an effort to practice the optimism of Gene Roddenberry, I can say that it has given me a new appreciation of some of the past Trek series that didn’t always get my full attention. For example, I always liked Enterprise, but in recent re-watches, I’ve come to actually love it. And after re-watching a few great episodes this week, I thought I’d have a look at another one of Eaglemoss’ larger XL ships: The Enterprise refit!

The SS Enterprise comes in a fully enclosed box and sandwiched between two styrofoam blocks. The only assembly required is putting the stand together. But what’s this you say? This isn’t the Enterprise from the series? Correct! This refit was intended to represent the eventual evolution of this Warp-5 ship design. As the included magazine details, the NX-01 was originally designed with this refit in mind, so that it could be easily integrated when the time came. Maybe in Season 5? But sadly it never happened in the show. Nonetheless, it shows how perfectly the ship’s evolution would lead into the Constitution Class from The Original Series.

The XL indicates that this beautiful ship is one of the big boys. These special editions are more than twice the size of Eaglemoss’ regular ships of the line, allowing for more detail in the sculpt and paint applications, and I have to say everything about this model came together brilliantly. It’s given a pewter-like finish that nicely reflects the rather distinctive coloring of the NX-01’s hull in the series, while still maintaining those subtle, but oh so lovely, aztec patterns, which were introduced in the motion pictures. Furthermore, the sculpted detail on this ship is positively off the charts. From the panel lines to the tiny windows and ports, the sculptors did a phenomenal job taking every advantage of this model’s larger size. And one of the coolest things about this refit design is that the ship can still be viewed from certain angles without being able to tell it’s the refit. That’s how seamless the design incorporates this change. But view it from the right sweet spot, and the projected lineage of this ship is clear!

So, what’s new? Well, the most obvious is the addition of a secondary hull similar to what we would eventually get in the Constitution Class. Here it’s a little atrophied in comparison to what would come, and it’s nestled a bit more directly under the saucer. As one might imagine, this addition adds a tremendous amount to the ship’s power capabilities, crew compliment, and additional systems. Besides the neck attachment to the saucer, the secondary hull component is also supported by extending the warp nacelle struts further down and into it. It all looks so natural, and indeed the only thing about this design that I find peculiar was the decision to retain the deflector dish on the hull when a larger one dominates the front of the new drive section. Maybe it was just not worth the effort of removing it, and it could stand to serve as a replacement if the new one gets damaged.

Let’s take a quick spin around some of the more stand out points of interest on the ship. There are some sharp paint applications worth noting, especially the red wireframe that begins at the two forward phase cannon hatches and extend back to just behind the bridge dome. You also get some yellow and red paint on the cargo loading hatches positioned to the port and starboard of the bridge. The deuterium resupply assemblies on those twin humps are painted in a slightly more copper finish, and of course the registry NX-01 and SS Enterprise is printed neatly on the dorsal front of the saucer. The flipside of the saucer is every bit as detailed.

Moving elsewhere, I love the paintwork on the nacelles, where you get the registry at the center of a red racing stripe, which terminates in an orange delta at the front. The interior nacelles feature some translucent blue plastic and the bussard assemblies are molded in translucent orange plastic and have the cool points coming off of them. The broadsides of the secondary hull have the three pronged racing stripes terminating in the orange delta, and the SS Enterprise printed in cursive script is really damn cool. I will note that the secondary hull has a bit less detail than the rest of the ship. I’m not sure if this was intentional, or just because this piece was designed off of something with less reference material. Either way, I don’t think it hurts the model at all. The I think if I have one nitpick on the model, it would be the new deflector dish, which looks a little too plasticy and low-detail when compared to the rest of the ship. Then again, it does give it a bit of that retro-charm of The Original Series Connie Class.

As always, this ship comes with a display stand, which features a heavy black metal base and a translucent armature that grabs the model behind the saucer and lovingly cradles it for your viewing pleasure. I also dig that they went for an understated look for the base, rather than go a gimmicky route and making it a Delta insignia. I think this design just looks more classy and doesn’t detract from the model itself. These display stands really do feel premium, complete with a felt pad on the underside. Would it have been cool to put a name plate on the base? Hmm… maybe. I suppose the name and registry on the hull does that job well enough.

I absolutely love this ship! Funny story, but I actually ordered this one online thinking it was the regular NX-01 from the series. When I got it, I was surprised to find otherwise. For a moment, I was tempted to send it back, but I wound up opening it and falling in love with it. I really wish they had upgraded to this design in the series. It actually would have made sense right before the Xindi Excursion, and it’s a shame that we’ll never see this baby in action on the screen. It really would have threaded the needle from this prequel series to The Original Series. But at least I have this kick ass model of it, and she sure does look nice lined up on the shelf with the other ships of the line!

Star Trek “Starships Collection:” USS Excelsior NCC-2000 (XL) by Eaglemoss

It’s Wednesday, it’s been a tough week for me so far. So how about I pour a drink and we take a day to enjoy some Starship Porn! I’ve gassed on a plenty about my love for the Excelsior Class Starship. For more of that you can look back at my review of Diamond’s Starship Legends NX-2000. Suffice it to say, as a kid I was blown away by the reveal of The Excelsior in Star Trek III. You have to realize that before The Next Generation, we only got hints and illustrations about Starfleet’s other Starship Classes. The Reliant in Star Trek II was pretty much it, and that one borrowed heavily from the Constitution Class Refit’s design elements. The Excelsior was so new and so fresh and yet still so Star Trek. It was never going to replace that PERFECT Connie Refit in my eyes, but it was still pretty damn cool. We saw it numerous times in the spin-off series, and it finally got its true moment to shine in Star Trek VI under the command of Hikaru Sulu.

And it is indeed the NCC-2000 from Star Trek VI that Eaglemoss decided to base this model on. Yeah, I would have preferred the NX, but that’s fine. This release is part of the special XL releases, which means this ship measures about ten inches long, making it about twice the size of Eaglemoss’ regular ship releases. It’s constructed of both plastic and die-cast metal giving it a nice heft. The model comes in a fully enclosed box with the ship nestled between two bricks of Styrofoam. There’s no assembly required, other than putting it on its stand, so let’s get this beauty out of Space Dock and give her a shakedown cruise.

 

I consider myself to be fairly familiar with this design, having lusted after it in books and various other models, and I’m immediately impressed with what we got here. The design lacks that certain noble poetry of the Constitution Refit and instead strikes me as being more technical in her angled struts and diminished profile. It’s a design from the future’s future, intended to look more advanced than the Connie and it does indeed. But that doesn’t make it prettier in my mind. Sleek? Yes. Prettier? No. But who’s to say I can’t love both ships, eh? As with the Enterprise XL model,  the Excelsior features a die-cast saucer, which does make it a bit front-heavy, but it also makes it feel like a quality piece. The plastic warp nacelles are a little bit springy on their struts, but they are straight, parallel and look great.

The nacelles on this version got a bit of a redesign from the NX version, possibly from when they scrapped the Transwarp Drive, and they now have flared platforms at the ends. The vanes that bisect the nacelles, as well as the top cut-outs, are cast in a translucent blue plastic, which can catch the light rather nicely at times. The Deflector Dish is also cast in the same plastic, and while it’s a little harder to get it to catch the light because it’s recessed under the hull, it’s still capable of some nice light reflection.

I remember being very impressed by the aztec patterns on the XL Enterprise, and you get more of the same here. The Excelsior’s pattern is a little less subtle, but I think that’s in line with the screen appearance. You get some nice paintwork around the platform that connects the bridge to the Impulse Engines, including some blue-gray panels and the rather Egyptian-looking gold striping that makes up the horseshoe around this platform. The top surface of the Secondary Hull is painted gray with some additional applications around the vents on the connecting struts. The ventral section shows more blue-gray paint and a lot more of the rather busy aztec patterns.

The saucer features deep cut panel lines and a down-slope to the edges, with concentric rings painted in blue along the slope. Six thrusters are placed around the edge, each one outlined in red and painted yellow, and we get a similar deco for the five sets of phaser banks placed around the horseshoe. The ship’s name and registry is printed with crisp lettering and framed by a pair of red stripes that circle back to the rear of the saucer. The saucer’s undercarriage reveals more of the same, only with a wide blue circle about three-quarters of the way in from the edge and the emergency landing gear panels also painted blue. Finally, the cluster around the Lower Navigational Dome is really pronounced on this ship and that’s reflected on this model.

The sides of the Secondary Hull features the lettering “Starship U.S.S. Excelsior” and “United Federation of Planets” along with the delta and a set of racing stripes. The stout neck connecting the Primary and Secondary Hull is black and segmented and includes the two recessed Photon Torpedo tubes.

From the aft view, we can see the compartment in the Secondary Hull. I’ve seen so many back-and-forth discussions over what this thing is. Personally, I always assumed it was a Shuttle Bay, but I’ve also heard that in the NX version it was supposed to house the Transwarp Drive. Perhaps, it was repurposed for the Shuttle Bay after the ship underwent changes after being commissioned. Most blueprints I’ve looked at seem to suggest this to be the case. Either way it’s one of those rather distinctive features of this ship’s design.

The model includes a display stand, which does a fine job of holding the ship without obstructing too much of it from view. The base is made of die-cast metal and it has a felt bottom. so there’s no worries about it toppling over. Clear plastic arms grab the ship from the back of the saucer to suspend it. It’s designed very well in allowing the ship to be picked up and put back without a fuss. My only worry is that the friction will cause some paint wear over time if the ship is removed and replaced from the stand too many times.

As I’m sure I mentioned last time, I wasn’t immediately sold on these XL models when I first saw them advertised. At about $75 a pop for a model with no lights or electronics of any kind made me wonder how much value I was getting for my money. But after getting a ship like this in hand, it’s easy to see where that money goes. It may not have the flashy lights or voice clips and sound effects of Diamond’s ships, but these are still superior in every possible way. The size of the ship is just big enough to allow for the kind of detail I’m looking for, yet small enough that I can display several of these in the space required for just one of the DST Starship Legends. The attention to detail is fantastic, the paint work and printed lettering is excellent, and it just feels so satisfying to hold in my hand and maybe even woosh around the room a bit. But I suppose the best endorsement I can give is that while the Excelsior here was only my second XL Starship, but I’ve picked up at least half a dozen since then. And I’m excited about sharing each and every one of them here in the future!

Star Trek “Starship Collection:” The Next Generation Edition (Part 1) by Eaglemoss

A little while ago I embarked on reviewing Eaglemoss’ Starship Collection with a look at the XL Enterprise-A. And before coming back to open some more of the larger ships, I thought I’d detour into some ships from the regular-sized fleet. And because these are smaller (roughly five inches long) and a little less detailed, I figured I’d cram as many as I could into one review. To get started, I selected five ships that I feel are the most iconic ships of The Next Generation, and also a pretty good survey of the different space powers. I’m also calling this Part 1 because, while I don’t know when Part 2 will come along, or what will be in it, I do know there will be plenty more TNG ships to look at later on down the road.

And here are they are! The Federation Flagship, The Romulan Warbird, The Klingon Vor’Cha Class Battlecruiser, The Ferengi Marauder, and the Cardassian Galor Class Cruiser. As you can see these come in two styles of packaging. The Enterprise and Warbird came in window boxes that are specific to the ship inside and include some nice artwork and a Collect Them All layout for the back panels. The other three ships come in generic boxes with no tops, just the clear cover for the plastic tray. I dig the window boxes more, but I have to respect the others that just let the models do all the talking. The Enterprise and Warbird come with booklets inside the boxes, while the others come with regular size magazines, usually in a bag with the box. The magazines are kind of hit or miss with me. I like the ones that focus on the ship, but clearly not all ships have enough backstory and details to fill a magazine so some just talk about the aliens or the stories they were featured in. Let’s start with the Flagship!

I’m going to save my long-winded opinions on the 1701-D, it’s design, and what the ship means to me for when I spotlight the XL version in the near future. For now let me just say that I’m blown away by the amount of detail Eaglemoss packed into this little ship. For the longest time, I didn’t collect this line because I just didn’t think the scale was capable of retaining the kind of details and quality of sculpt I was looking for. And we’ll see in a little bit that prejudice wasn’t entirely unfounded, but when it comes to this Enterprise, boy was I wrong! Just look at that saucer! Check out all the tiny windows individually painted either lit or dark! And escape pods! The crisp registry and sharp paint on the phaser ring! You even get some oh so subtle aztec-patterns. Granted, the Enterprise-D’s saucer is a pretty wide canvas to work on, but it’s still damn impressive.

They really nailed the profile of the ship as well. The tiny windows continue on to the Stardrive Section. You also get some purdy red and blue translucent plastic used in the warp nacelles and super tiny registry printed on the struts. If you look closely you can even see that they applied some of the subtle panel shading to the nacelles themselves. I’d also like to acknowledge that they did a nice job hiding the seams on this ship in plain sight by putting them in appropriate spots. The model is part metal, but mostly plastic and while it has a nice heft to it, those warp nacelles feel fragile!

The same red translucent plastic used for the fronts of the warp nacelles is used for the three impulse engines. And there’s a sharp red racing stripe bisecting the ship from the saucer all the way down to the aft torpedo launcher. You also get the Deltas and racing stripes on tops of each warp nacelle the name printed on the horizontal face of the struts, and the name and registry printed in front of the Primary Shuttlebay Door. Want me to complain about something? The Shuttlebay Doors could have been more detailed. That’s all I got!

The deflector dish is comprised of more of that lovely red and blue translucent plastic, and the ventral side of the ship shares all the great detail as the dorsal section, complete with individually painted windows, and registry printed on the underside of the saucer. And before moving on to the next ship, this is also as good a place as any to talk about the stand, which is very high quality and very well designed. The base is heavy and made of metal with a felt bottom. The device that holds the ship up grabs the saucer beside each of the saucer impulse engines and also has notches for the Stardrive Section to rest on. It’s clear so it tries to obscure the view of the ship as little as possible. I took some issues with this style of stand when I looked at the XL Enterprise-A, but for a ship this size, I think it’s a pretty solid design that also lets you detach the ship and handle it without much trouble. Let’s have a look at the Romulan Warbird next.

Oh boy do I love this design! Introduced in the Season 1 Finale, The D’deridex Class was fresh, original, menacing, and unlike anything we’ve seen before. And yet it has since become as iconic a Romulan ship design to me as the original Romulan Bird of Prey that I grew up with. And once again, Eaglemoss has done an amazing job recreating this behemoth battleship in a nearly pocket-sized scale. The green finish has a nice metallic sheen but it’s also washed over in some parts to help bring out some of the sculpted details and give it a bit of a weathered look, particularly along the rear edges of the top and bottom hulls. The ship always looked a little too new on the small screen, but this more seasoned version looks like it would have been at home on the big screen if the Warbird had ever made it into any of the TNG films.

There are panel lines a plenty on the outside and inside recreating a fanning feather-like pattern, as well as a segmented spine that runs up the center of the ship’s mighty back. It evokes the predatory bird motif without having to be quite as on the nose, and some might say cheesy, as the 1960’s Bird of Prey design.

And much like the Enterprise, the craftsman of this model didn’t spare any expense when it came to windows. The hull is positively littered with them and it goes a long way to illustrating just how gigantic this ship is. Just look at all the windows on the strut connecting the bottom of the forward section to the bottom hull. Wow, this is a big ship! I was hoping we would get a little of that translucent plastic in the warp nacelles, but here it’s just a greenish-yellow paint. It looks fine, but it could have looked better.

The stand here mirrors the particulars of the Enterprise stand, although this one is a lot less obtrusive, as it grabs the ship from behind and gives it an upward incline. As a result you can view the ship on the stand from some of its best angles and not have to worry about it getting in the way. On the downside, my stand will not stay in the base, which is only a problem if I forget and go to pick up the ship, as the clear piece and ship will come right out of the base. But stand malfunction set aside, this is a great model of this fierce Romulan Warship. And from one mighty Empire to another, let’s turn next to the Klingon Vor’cha Class Battlecruiser!

It’s no secret that TNG relied too heavily on the Klingon Bird of Prey. Oh, it’s an amazing ship design, but after being featured so prominently in Star Trek III, Star Trek IV, Star Trek V, Star Trek VI, oh yeah and Star Trek: Generations, it was nice to see a brand new Klingon ship eventually turn up in TNG, even if we had to wait until the 4th Season to get it. And The Vor’cha was an excellent design that invoked familiar Klingon elements while changing it up enough to make it still seem fresh to me. The Vor’cha is like a D7 on steroids with beefier engines and where the Command Deck on the D7 was at the terminal end of the boom, here it’s tacked on top and preceded by a Weapons Pod that looks like the Klingon equivalent of a giant Type-1 Hand Phaser. Ok, I guess that would be a Type-1 Hand Disruptor. But hopefully you get the point.

Once again there’s some excellent detailing on this little ship, although I’ll say straightaway that it doesn’t look quite as sharp or polished as either the Enterprise or the Warbird. Of course, that just may be that the Klingon ships tend to look a little grittier and less refined. The hull features very traditional Klingon Shield Plates, particularly in the wings leading out to the warp nacelles and in the area surrounding the Weapons Pod. In addition to lots of individual painted windows, you get the emblem of the Klingon Empire printed on the left wing and what I presume is the ship’s registry printed in Klingon on the right wing. Both of these last two details are also present on the undercarriage of the ship.

The warp nacelles makes use of that lovely red translucent plastic in the nacelles and it looks great, particularly with some light piping through them. You also get some orange paint on the Emergency Plasma Purge Vents located at the back edge of each wing. And like the Warbird, the Vor’cha has a wash that not only helps pick out the details in the sculpt but also gives it a well-weathered look suggesting that this Battleship has seen some action.

The stand here is very similar to the one used for the Warbird in that it grabs the ship from behind and allows you to view it from some of its best angles without getting in the way. And happily this stand holds together quite well. While this model doesn’t look as crisp as the first two ships, it certainly has a rugged and seasoned flavor about it that suits a ship in the Klingon Navy. And now that we’ve covered The Big Three, let’s work our way down to a couple of the lesser powers… starting with the Cardassian Galor Class Cruiser.

I was tempted to not include the Galor in this piece on iconic TNG ships because to me this ship really didn’t become iconic until Deep Space Nine and the Cardassians didn’t even show up until TNG was more than half over. Nonetheless, it first appeared in this series, so I’m throwing it in. I’ll also confess I was rather excited to look at it since I’ve never owned a model or toy of this ship before. The Galor is a very cool design, resembling an earwig and automatically giving me the willies. My only real nitpicks with it is that it doesn’t have that one sweet spot for a beauty shot like most other ships do. It doesn’t look like much when viewed at level profile or from dead on. Nonetheless, this is another great model for the line. On the surface, I thought this ship lacked detail, perhaps because it’s hull isn’t covered in panel lines. But once I got in close with the camera, it’s still got the same level of detail as the other ships including tiny windows, insignia and registry markings.

I really don’t know much about this ship’s anatomy, so I perused a set of blueprints so I could better understand I’m seeing. I presumed the orange triangles are weapon, but those are actually called out as the Warp Engines. How that works, I’m not sure, but cool! The model uses red translucent plastic for the Main Disruptor cannon, which apparently doubles as a Deflector Dish. Again, I’m not sure how that works, but cool! I really dig the hatches tucked under the wings, which are apparently for offloading cargo or troops.

Once again, we have the same type of stand, only hear it’s designed to grab the ship from behind it’s wings. It does obstruct the view a bit, but that’s why it’s cast in clear plastic. And to be fair, there’s really nowhere else it could have grabbed the ship and adequately supported it. And that brings me to my last stop on this trek…

I was in love with the Ferengi Marauder the first time I saw it. It’s a shame the Ferengi didn’t work out quite as the writers had planned and we rarely got to see this ship, because I think it’s a really cool design. The model favors paint applications over actual sculpted detail, with most of the hull being smooth. And I’d say that’s probably a fair representation of the screen appearance. And like the Warbird, the painted windows on this ship do a fine job of portraying just how big this ship is supposed to be. Still, I don’t think it would be unfair to say that this survey of ships is offering diminishing returns when it comes to the amount of detail injected into them. I didn’t really plan it that way, but there you go!

The model makes use of translucent yellow plastic used for the warp engines, which can be seen from the sides and the undercarriage as well and look pretty damn sharp. You also get the emblem of the Ferengi Alliance printed on each side just above these engines. The weapon emitters at the tips of the wings look like little pincers, and the notches that run alongside the bottom edge of the ship’s aft hump are all painted.

Unfortunately, there are two things about this model that really bug me. The first is that when viewed from the front, the crescent hump that makes up the back section of the ship doesn’t look tall or steep enough. The screen appearance makes it look a lot more pronounced when compared to the Command Section. Now, maybe that’s just me or maybe a trick of the camera, because I’m sure these models are based on detailed research, but it just doesn’t quite look right to me. Secondly, and less subjective, is the white wash they used. It dulls the color of the hull and I can’t comprehend what kind of effect they were going for here. It bothers me a lot with the ship in hand and even in my pictures it looks like the results of harsh lighting. At least the other wash they did to denote weathering looks great. I’d be keen to see them take a stab at this ship in the larger XL line and without the white wash.

The stand grabs the ship from the front of it’s crescent and does a good job holding it and not being too obtrusive. I will, however, point out that, in the cases of all the stands, I worry about friction and how much taking the ships off and putting them back on will cause paint rubbing.

And there you have it, five iconic ships from The Next Generation all presented by Eaglemoss and, for the most part, they’re all very well done. Even the Marauder would be fine if they gave it a simple repaint. As a FASA miniature junkie from days long past, I’m always up for building me a fleet of little collectible Starships and Eaglemoss has me covered quite nicely with this series. These models are great examples of quality and craftsmanship and offer a fine alternative to fleet building if you’re looking for something more substantial than Micromachines and more varied than any other toy or model company has churned out. The magazines are a nice bonus, but they aren’t the high point of this line to me. The five ships I showcased today ran me between $17 and $25, which sure isn’t bad if you have that one (or handful of) special ship(s) you want to put on your desk. It does, however get rather pricey when you’re looking to Collect Them All, or at least a good chunk of them. On the other hand, it’s a big break from spending seventy-five bucks a pop for the bigger XL ships.

Star Trek “Starships Collection:” USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A (XL) by Eaglemoss

It’s safe to say that I’m not a fan of what passes for Star Trek these days. For me the only good thing to come out of Discovery and Picard was that they reignited in me a desire to go back and watch the real stuff. Hell, even the worst of Voyager seems like a masterpiece now! I’ve also been building me a fleet of Eaglemoss ships and it’s long past time I open some of these up! And where else to start but with my favorite ship design in all of science fiction history… the singularly majestic Refit Enterprise!

My preference would have been to go with the original 1701, but I happened to find the 1701-A at a really good price and decided to compromise. This is the XL version, which makes it more than twice as big as Eaglemoss’ standard ships (in this case about 10 1/2-inches long), but it still features die-cast metal and plastic construction. It comes in a fully enclosed box with some pictures, including the fail of using a reversed image on the front, rendering the registry on the hull backwards. Ooops! Inside the box, The Enterprise is sandwiched between two styrofoam bricks, and the only assembly required is putting the stand together. Oh, and I’m shooting the ship without the stand for most of the review, for reasons I’ll get to at the end.

Oh what a beauty! I could pour myself a glass of Jameson and gaze lovingly at this ship for hours. When I call this my favorite ship design in sci-fi history, that’s not hyperbole. Them’s the facts. I just love to get lost in its iconic profile and the noble human drive for discovery that it represents. And boy is this a great model! The top half of the saucer is die-cast, giving this ship a hefty, albeit very front-heavy, feel. And if you’ve had some experience collecting Enterprise models, you may know one of the biggest fails tends to be the warp nacelles not aligning properly. Here, they are perfectly straight and parallel, giving the model a gorgeous three-quarter view.

The grills (thermal regulator system) laid into the nacelles looked black to me at first glance, which is how they are usually depicted on most models of this ship that I’ve owned. But much to my surprise, they’re actually cast in transparent blue plastic, which makes for a cool effect when held up to the light. The deflector dish is also cast in transparent blue plastic, which reflects light quite nicely. It doesn’t really resemble a glowing effect, but it does make it stand out. Meanwhile, the hull of the ship is a beautiful off-white, which is smooth and even throughout.

One of the things that really shows the model maker is committed to detail is the aztec pattern in the hull. Here it’s exquisitely executed and manages to be both easy to see and yet equally subtle. Additional paint applications are applied sparingly, but all the most notable points of interest are here. Particular stand outs include the bright yellow Antimatter Fill Port Hatch and the bright blue dual rows of observation windows. The dome on the impulse engine is painted blue, and they even printed the red outline for the cargo hatch under the shuttlebay. Other details include the gray paint on the emergency landing pads on the bottom of the saucer section, and the individual phaser turrets.

The sides of the secondary hull also include the delta emblems pointing toward the deflector dish, as well as the red racing stripes with some damn tiny printing between them. Here you can also see the two circular docking ports, circled by red rings in four segments. There are also some black painted windows scattered around the secondary hull.

The printed lettering on the saucer is sharp and crisp. Each character of both the registry and the name are outlined in red. A close up of the bridge module shows some more blue and red trim, some more tiny windows. The VIP lounge windows can be seen on the back of the bridge module, as well as the tiny bridge docking port. You also get more tiny printing along the edges of the saucer section.

That’s not to say this model is perfect. There are some details omitted, particularly around the edge of the saucer, and there is an unfortunate seam along the bottom of the secondary hull just below the observation windows. And yeah, now I’m really nitpicking. Because all in all, for a ship in this scale, I think they hit all the right points.

Finally, there’s the stand. I both love it and hate it! I love it because it is pretty rock solid and holds the model firmly. There’s no chance of this toppling over. Also, the bottom of the base is covered in swanky felt. On the downside, even though the stand is transparent, I don’t like how it ruins the profile. That’s why I didn’t use it for most of the pictures in this review. Also, sliding it on and off the saucer section makes me worry about scratches. That’s a problem because I constantly want to pick this thing up!

And for all the gushing I’ve done over this model, it had better be damn good, because it set me back $75. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I only need refer you back to what is sadly one of my most viewed reviews, where I trashed the Diamond Select Starship Legends Wrath of Khan Enterprise, and how disappointed I was with it. It was probably the single most disappointing purchase I’ve made in all my toy collecting years. I got into these XL Eaglemoss ships to finally replace that piece of junk and I’m so very glad I did. Sure, this Enterprise is smaller and has no electronics, but it’s beautifully made, extremely durable, and most importantly it looks so good on display. Maybe too good, because I’ve been keeping it on my computer desk for a few weeks now, and I constantly find myself picking it up and wooshing it around. For a non-articulated hunk of metal and plastic, this thing is still loads of fun to me.

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.