Thursday, September 24, 2009
AA/ DST Spotlight-
U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
Item Name: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (HD Version)
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
DST released this HD Enterprise as part of it's Starship Legends line of ships.
The Rundown: DST has brought the Enterprise back to stores! This time, she's been repainted to replicate the new CGI version from the High-Def Remastered versions of Star Trek (thus "HD Version"). So, what's new here?
The most obvious change is the addition of weathering and grid lines to the saucer section. The original 11 foot shooting model of the Enterprise received this detailing back in 1991 during one of the Smithsonian restoration projects (you can read a little about this here). The CGI model used in the Deep Space Nine episode "Trials & Tribble-ations" must have used those changes as reference, since the grid lines and weathering are obvious there. Same goes for the Master Replicas Enterprise; it too has the more obvious grid lines and "rust ring". The Remastered Star Trek episodes also feature the grid lines, but do not seem to have the weathering, so I'd say the "HD" name is a little off on her, but that's splitting hairs. Any way you look at it, the addition of the grid lines and "rust ring" are justified changes on this model. The lines are clean and the weathering is nicely handled.
The next obvious change is the loss of the "plugs" from the bottom of the saucer. The original DST version had small circular plugs on the bottom, covering up mold holes. This version has totally eliminated them. It's a change that really improves the look of the saucer. Kudos to DST for taking the time to make this change!
There is a bit of a bummer on the underside though: No grid lines. You can see them on the show, and they are on the MR version, but they're sadly missing here. I'm not sure what the reason is for them not being here; could be an omission designed to cut costs, or simply something that was missed at the factory (like the neck windows on the Enterprise D). The ship still looks good even without them though. And to put things into perspective- The MR version cost around $1000, while this one falls in the $30-$40 range. There's only so much detail you can squeeze in at that price, so if something had to go, I'm glad it's the underside grid lines.
The rest of the ship looks pretty similar. I couldn't really spot any differences. All the great detailing from the first version is here again.
And of course, the ship is still loaded with some excellent electronic features. The lighting effects seem to be the same as the original version, but they were awesome enough on the first go-round that there wasn't much room for improvement (although the lights seem a tad brighter, but that may be due to new batteries). The sound effects are where things got changed up a bit, with more Shatner lines than before. Here's what you get:
-"James Kirk, commanding the Starship Enterprise"
-"Mr. Scott, ready the transporter room"
-Photon torpedoes firing
-"Energize", followed by transporter sound effects
-Ship running effects
-"This is Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, representing the United Federation of Planets"
The back of the box mentions red alert and phaser effects, but they aren't present and the instructions don't mention them. I guess that was just a carry-over from the original effects list...
The ship again includes a switch-out battery cover and display stand. The stand seems to be sturdier this time, but time will tell if it has the same issues as the original release.
One small gripe- The seam lines on my ship aren't as tight as I'd like them to be, especially near the shuttlebay doors. There's also a pretty noticeable paint smudge on one of my nacelles. I'd say it's just mine and not a widespread problem though, but it may be something to watch out for.
So is this worth a pickup? I'd give that a big yes. For those who don't have the original version, it's a no-brainer. The ship looks great, and everybody needs an Enterprise. If you do have the original, this one has enough cosmetic changes to make it seem like a different ship (imagine this as the old girl near the end of Kirk's first five year mission). Plus, if you have the first 3 DST Enterprises, this one compliments them quite well and makes for a really nice "Evolution of the Enterprise" display! It's hitting stores and online shops now, so go grab it!