Monday, September 21, 2009
AA/ DST Spotlight- U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
Item Name: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 Starship
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
The Rundown: If you collect classic Trek, the one absolutely necessary piece to any collection is a reproduction of the original Enterprise. Many, MANY companies have made them over the years at varying scales and price points. To celebrate Trek's 40th Anniversary, Diamond Select stepped up to the plate and released this beauty. If you only get 1 classic Enterprise, this one may offer you the most bang for your buck.
The ship measures a hair over 15" from the tip of the bridge to the end of her nacelles. I remember reading a review once that complained about her proportions, but I don't see it. You're talking about a variance of tenths of an inch...something I personally can easily overlook at this price point. We're not talking about a meticulous reproduction of the shooting model, like Master Replicas $1000 Enterprise. This is a $40 collectible, and at that price point you'd be hard pressed to find a more accurate reproduction in terms of scale and appearance.
I own the MR Enterprise, and just eyeballing the differences between the two, this DST version is quite well done. A bunch of the tiny details on that big MR beast are reproduced here quite nicely.
DST paid careful attention to all the details of this version of the ship, from the ends of the nacelles...
...to the size and detailing of the dish and it's surrounding area. DST has made 3 different versions of the Enterprise so far (well, 4 if you count the gold version), each one showcasing different details based on it's show appearance. The "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "The Cage" versions differ substantially from this main version. I'm not telling you to not go after those versions too, but this is the one to get, mainly for one reason:
Light up nacelles! Since the other 2 versions have solid red caps on the front of the nacelles, this Enterprise is the only one (so far) to showcase DST's great replication of the glowing effect. It's just one of many electronic features built into the ship. Press the button on the top of the ship (disguised as the main bridge section) and the ship lights up and one of many sound effects is played:
"Prepare to attack, all hands battle stations"
*Running sounds* "All weapons to full power"
*Transporter sound effects*
*Photon torpedoes firing*
*Phasers firing, impact*
*Communicator effect* "Kirk to Enterprise"
All of the sound effects are incredibly clear, and the lights are bright and nice, with very little bleed into surrounding areas. Oh, and if you hold down the button for 5 seconds or so, the ship lights will stay on-
It's a great feature that I'm really glad DST took the time to throw in. It makes the ship look fantastic in a slightly darkened room, and it really lets you get a good look at the work that went into the lights (especially the effect on the nacelles).
Oh, and in case you prefer to string your ship up from the ceiling, or if you are just constantly zooming this baby around the living room, DST threw in an interchangeable battery cover. This version doesn't have the hole that the stand plugs into. A nice extra!
So far it's been all good...but there is one flaw I need to mention. The stand that the ship comes with looks nice, and really helps the ship look more like a nice collectible display piece as opposed to a toy. There's just one problem:
The peg casing that plugs into the ship easily cracks and causes the stand to become loose and wobbly. It has happened on all 3 of mine and it causes the ships to sag on their stands. DST quickly manufactured extras for replacement though, and you could easily e-mail them to have one sent out free of charge. I'm not sure if they still have them or not since the ship is a few years old now, but I'd take a shot and shoot them an e-mail if you did just get one of these. The peg case pops off easily and replacing it is really simple. If they don't still have them and yours experiences this issue, try putting a small tie wrap round the casing to tighten it back up.
Overall, a fantastic ship at this price point. I own a bunch of different versions of the Enterprise, and this one is close to the top for me. It's not available at most retailers anymore, but you can still find it on the secondary market for close to it's original retail cost. At $40, this ship really feels like you're getting your monies worth, especially when compared to the Playmates version which cost just a bit less but had far fewer details and features than this one. If you don't want to go searching though and you're patient, DST has a HD version on the way that may even end up being superior to this one...