Star Trek Starships Collection: S.S. Intrepid

Eaglemoss IntrepidAnother of Eaglemoss’ tiny Star Trek starships, the U.S.S. Intrepid proves that I’m a sucker for those “primitive” 22nd century ship designs, for here is another early Starfleet ship that flies alongside the NX-01 and the U.S.S. Franklin already in my collection.

Unlike the Eaglemoss ships in my little fleet, however, the Intrepid is far more representative of the company’s monthly offerings than the other ships, which were “special edition” releases. It’s a smaller replica than either of those (with a smaller price tag to boot) – to say this is a little piece of the 22nd century isn’t an error.

The Intrepid has an interesting pedigree, too.

Eaglemoss Intrepid

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Star Trek Starships Collection: U.S.S. Franklin

British partworks publisher Eaglemoss is back with another larger-scale “special edition” vehicle from the Star Trek universe, this time landing my single favorite vehicle from the rebooted-universe movies that we’ve been getting since 2009: the U.S.S. Franklin from 2016’s Star Trek Beyond.

Franklin

What do I love so much about the Franklin? Continue reading

Star Trek Starships Collection: NX-01 Refit

Eaglemoss is a UK partworks publisher, partworks being a periodical publication that’s distributed with some kind of included goodies with each issue. Among other things, Eaglemoss publishes “figurine” partworks based on Doctor Who and The Walking Dead, but for Star Trek, they latched onto a truly under-represented cast of characters: the ships of Starfleet and numerous other fleets patrolling deep space.

The ships, almost always made of die-cast metal, aren’t cheap – two of them are shipped each month at a cost of $20 each – each included with a magazine detailing both the in-universe and real-life production histories of each design. In many cases, especially with vehicles from Enterprise and the recent reboot movies, this is the first time that these ships have been made available in any kind of physical form.

A handful of times each year, the schedule is punctuated by a Special Edition vehicle, produced at a larger scale than the typical monthly fare. Here’s a little secret: there is just no way I can divert $40 per month to little spaceships. But one or two times a year, I might be able to spring for one of the Special Editions.

NX-01 Refit

And that’s the case here with the NX-01 Refit, a vehicle whose status in the Star Trek universe lies somewhere between “officially canonized” and “not really officially canonized”. The image of this radical reinvention of the NX-01 Enterprise has been seen by fans for years, dating back to one of the (more-or-less official) Ships Of The Line calendars, and later picked up by book covers for novels extending the story of Captain Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise beyond the show’s truncated four-season run.

What’s so radical about it? The NX-01 Refit sports a new engineering section, with its own larger deflector dish, extending the graceful lines of its warp engine struts into something that looks like the midway point between Archer’s ship and the Constitution-class Enterprise of the original series.

NX-01 Refit

It’s a beautiful addition, and the accompanying magazine reveals that the ship’s designers had always had this extension in mind, since the flexibility of CGI meant that the show was not beholden to a pre-built library of stock effects shows, as every prior Star Trek series had been. The NX-01 could even – gasp! – show signs of damage from one episode to the next, whereas prior Trek series had to hit the reset button, leaving the ship looking the same at the end of an episode as it appeared in the beginning. Blow up Deep Space Nine’s Defiant? Don’t worry, there’ll be another Defiant ready in a couple of weeks, with the same registry number, not even suffixed with an -A, because we can’t afford to not use the shots we already have in the can.

NX-01 Refit

Fans can take issue with Enterprise all they like; in various places and in several ways, the show is both better and worse than it’s generally remembered. This is a physical artifact of what we might have seen in the fifth season: a beefed-up Enterprise, ready to sail into battle against a Romulan Empire that’s no longer too shy to show its hand.

NX-01 Refit

As great as the model looks on my shelf, it’s a pity we didn’t get to see it on screen. With its die-cast construction, it’s got some real heft; the stand is weighted as well, so there’s no overbalancing to worry about once the ship is mounted in its stand.

A word of warning – just because you see the words “die-cast metal” doesn’t mean that this vehicle can be crash-landed like my old partially-metal Kenner Millenium Falcon. The components are weighty, but their assembly is on the delicate side – this ship is meant to remain docked to its support stand.

Though it’s perfectly permissible to fly it around the room a few times, carefully. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.


Star Trek: The Motion Picture U.S.S. Enterprise

U.S.S. EnterpriseThe second coming of Star Trek, ten years after its cancellation, was a licensing goldmine for Paramount. Star Wars had already primed the public pump for science fiction, and Superman had proven that throwing a large budget and an existing, recognizable brand at that audience was a surefire recipe for success. Having already quietly cancelled a proposed second swipe at Trek on TV – a project so far along that sets had been constructed and scripts for half a season’s worth of episodes had been written – Paramount decided to take those sets, and the movie-length pilot script, and go large with it. The result was Star Trek: The Motion Picture… but who should the new Star Trek adventure be marketed to? Continue reading

Star Trek Micro Machines

Star Trek Micro MachinesMuch like the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which didn’t think to nominate Star Trek: The Next Generation for an Emmy until its final season was coming down the home stretch, it seems that the toymakers of the world didn’t clue into the popularity of TNG until well over halfway past the midway point of the series. Playmates struck gold, launching an extensive line of TNG action figures and accessories in 1992 (a line which later grew to encompass every other 20th century Star Trek series), leaving Galoob’s early line of action figures – launched and discontinued before the show’s second season – mostly forgotten. But Galoob got back into the Trek game with its legendary Micro Machines plastic miniatures. Continue reading

Doctor Who: The First Doctor with TARDIS

The First Doctor with TARDISOfficially billed as an “Electronic TARDIS” with a figure of the first Doctor, this two-figure set breaks down another barrier between the new series and classic series toy lines by offering the first vehicle from the original Doctor Who. Some might consider this a bit of a yawner, since we’ve already had two different Flight Control TARDIS vehicles from new Who (and isn’t a Police Box just a Police Box?), but it’s a bit of a big deal to anyone who’s been around long enough to be a longtime fan of the classic series. Continue reading

PREVIEW: Star Trek (2009 movie)

So, via USA Today this week, Playmates Toys has leaked the first product photos of their items from the upcoming Star Trek movie. It’s an interesting cross-section to say the least: the figures are in multiple scales (though it seems to be clear that only one of these scales will have any significant number of characters in it). Let’s see what’s up in the world of Trek toys these days. Continue reading

Star Trek: The Next Generation Shuttlecraft (1988)

Star Trek: The Next Generation Shuttlecraft - photos copyright 2007 Earl Green / theLogBook.comThe only figure-scaled vehicle to see the light of day during Galoob’s brief license to produce Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures, this Shuttlecraft Galileo is a faithful reproduction of the impossibly-aerodynamic, futuristically curved Enterprise-D shuttles seen during the show’s first two seasons on the air.

Based on the gorgeous shuttle design devised by Andrew Probert, this shuttle – scaled to seat only a few of the 3 3/4″ Galoob Next Generation figures – gets most of the major external details right. Continue reading

Space Toys II: Unmanned

As many science fiction toys as I collect, you probably wouldn’t think of me as someone who bemoans the lack of science fact toys. But the fact of the matter is, there can never be too many toy replicas of real spacecraft on the market to keep me happy.

Ironically, 2/3 of this this diverse cross-section of three American space trailblazers in toy form don’t even come from the United States at all. To find readily available toy replicas of the Voyager and Viking probes launched in the 1970s, one must apparently be able to get them from Japan. Continue reading

Doctor Who TARDIS Playset (2006)

Doctor Who TARDIS PlaysetBased on Bryan Hitch’s “organic” design for the new series’ TARDIS, the Character Options Doctor Who TARDIS playset is a colossus made of plastic and, in a few places, cardboard. Neatly replicating a surprising amount of detail from the actual studio set used for the show itself, this TARDIS may be one of the finest translations from practical set to mass-market toy I’ve ever seen. Continue reading