Friday, September 24, 2010
Item Name: Romulan
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
The Romulan was released carded as part of DST's Star Trek TOS "Wave 5" assortment.
The Rundown: Proving yet again that one can never have enough Kirk and Spock figures, DST brings us yet another....wait... wait a second... this isn't a Kirk!?! And I see some pointy eyebrows, but this isn't a Spock either!?! What... can this be... A new figure!?! GAAAHHHHH!!!!
A newly sculpted Trek figure from DST? Yeah, saying that I'm pretty excited about this release would be a huge understatement. When we first saw this figure at one of the conventions, he was one of three slated Romulan releases, which would help offset the cost of all the new tooling involved in him. The Romulan seen here is the first figure of the batch to see the light of day, with the Romulan Kirk coming soon in a 2-pack... and the Romulan Commander sadly stuck in production limbo. If I'd have had my choice, I'd easily trade a Romulan Kirk for that Commander figure... but I digress. Let's look at the standard Romulan!
As stated, the Romulan features an entirely new sculpt.. and boy is it nice! The figure features the standard range of articulation featured on the AA/ DST style of figures, lacking only the mid-torso joint used on many of their releases. That missing point is due to the fact that the Romulan features a solid torso sculpt; no rubbery shirt mold here! The only reused part I can spot on this body is the disruptor holster on the belt which first belonged to Kor. No big deal there... The holster works just as well here as it did on Kor, and I'm a sucker for working holsters on figures.
DST just labels this figure as a random Romulan, not pinning it down to any one in particular. It doesn't really look like the one pictured on the package either (which I believe is one of the guards that grabs Kirk in "The Enterprise Incident"). To me, the head looks like a nice cross between Decius (Lawrence Montaigne) and the unnamed Romulan scope operator portrayed by Robert Chadwick. Part of me thinks it was sculpted this way so that it could pass for both. Take a look:
See? Pretty close to both of 'em. The only thing that throws it off is the fact that both of them have a sculpted adornment on the front of their helmets that this figure lacks (which was also lacking on the "Enterprise Incident" Romulans). Since I prefer "BOT", I'm going to say for my own display that this figure is based on those Romulans. The figure itself offers enough display choices to make it possible for a collector to display the figure as both characters too-
First, the sash is a separate removable piece that plugs into the back. The shirt underneath is fully sculpted and painted, allowing one to display the figure as the scope operator. I totally didn't expect that piece to come off when they first showed this guy so this was a welcome surprise!
Next up are the hands; The Romulan includes a set of gloved hands that can be switched out with his standard ones. The "ungloved" look was obviously sculpted for use on the upcoming "Enterprise Incident" Kirk, but it's nice to see that DST included those hands here as well. It's tough to see in "Balance Of Terror", but I think maybe the scope operator doesn't have gloves in certain scenes, meaning you could definitely use those hands for him. The gloved hands do have a problem though-
Notice anything odd? Both the gloved hand and the wrist have sockets, meaning there's no stem attachment on either piece. The regular hands have a stem piece to plug into the wrist, while the gloved hands have an empty socket where a stem piece should have been inserted. With no peg on either piece, the gloves can't plug into anything and are merely kept on the arm due to the tight fit of the glove around the forearm. And it's not just mine that has it- It's like that on every Romulan I have seen. It's a careless quality control mistake that knocks what would have been a perfect figure down just a bit.
Glove QC issues aside, there are so many display possibilities with this guy that owning just one doesn't seem right. It's almost like 2 entirely different releases standing up there!
Accessories: The Romulan includes the aforementioned gloved hands and a Romulan disruptor, which is a repaint of the original AA Kor disruptor.
Though it seems like this is probably the end of the road for DST Trek product, the Romulan stands out as one of the best figures from the entire AA/ DST stable. The many display options coupled with a fantastic paint job and great articulation make him a desirable release all by himself, but his status as the first "army-builder" in the line make this one a definitive must-buy! The problem here is that TOS Wave 5 was produced in VERY limited numbers, so owning multiples may be tough. So if you see one, BUY IT!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Item Name: Star Trek Mighty Wallet
Manufacturer: Dynomighty Design
Dynomighty introduced these Star Trek branded "Mighty Wallets" in 2010.
The Rundown: I've owned the same wallet for the last 10 years. It's an old, torn, black leather job that has seen many a day resting in my back pocket. I thought I'd use that wallet until the day it finally fell apart... until I saw an ad over at Trekmovie.com for the new Star Trek Mighty Wallets. So long old wallet...
"Mighty Wallets" are the brain child of Terence Kelleman and his company Dynomighty. The wallet was first sold at the Museum of Modern art in New York. It's manufactured using Tyvek (the same material that the postal service makes it's express mail envelopes from), meaning that the wallet is incredibly thin and resistant to tears, water, and stains. The stitch-less design allows the wallet to expand and retract depending on how much you put in it. For a guy like me who stuffs a TON of crap in his wallet, the expanding ability is a huge plus...
Dynomighty offers the Mighty Wallet in a plethora of different designs (including "do-it-yourself" varieties), but it's obviously the Trek design that lured me in. They offer 3 versions of the Trek wallet: Gold Key Issue 1, Gold Key Issue 2, and a design based on a blueprint of the Enterprise. Being a sucker for Gold Key art, I chose the Gold Key Issue 2 design.
The wallet really does look like a folded up Gold Key comic, which I find INCREDIBLY cool. I'm always looking for ways to display my Trek nerdiness in "cool" ways, and this wallet definitely fits the bill. When I pull this puppy out of my back pocket, there is no mistaking that I am a full-fledged Trekkie. Word.
How's it stack up as an actual wallet? Glad you asked. There's 2 pockets on the inside for storing cards and stuff. One features the Star Trek logo in the corner. And the other...
...features the Might Wallet logo. I stuffed these things pretty full with my various cards (including some expired ones) and the lucky silver dollar coin my grandpa gave me when I was like 9. The wallet did exactly as promised, expanding to fit whatever I put in there. There's also 2 quick access slots along the sides of the wallet for business cards, but I honestly didn't realize that until after I took the pics. Oops!
The fully expanded wallet has 2 separate pockets for storing cash and receipts. I am crazy about stuffing receipts in my wallet. I usually have more receipts in there than cash. The picture you see above is actually right after a receipt deposit and a cash withdrawal. Having a divider so that I can keep those 2 separated is pretty sweet (a design lacking from my old trusty black leather wallet).
There she is fully loaded with all my crap. It was a little tough to keep it closed at first, thus why I am pinching it, but a week later...
...and it's exactly where I want it! I have noticed a little scuffing here and there, which I'm sure will get worse as time goes by, but you know what? I like that. I think this wallet will look cooler with age, just like a well-read Gold Key comic!
The Star Trek Mighty Wallets are available now through Dynomighty.com. The wallets only run $15 each and there is a free shipping option! Again, the one I reviewed here is Issue 2, but they also have a Gold Key Issue 1 (my second fav) and a blueprint design available. So go buy one.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Item Name: The Glommer
The Rundown: Hide your tribbles... because the Glommer is in town! Don't know what a Glommer is? Well shame on you. Somebody needs to bone up on their Star Trek cartoons. For now though, here's a pic of him and a description from Tribbletoys.com:
The Glommer is a genetically designed tribble predator created by the Klingon empire as a way to protect themselves against a particularly malicious Federation tactic called "The Scottish Engineer." The Glommer is a spiky, four-legged orange animal with two eye-stalks rising from the center of its beanbag-like body. It can eat as many as three tribbles a day, or it can live off its stored fat for several weeks, going dormant during times when food is scarce. Glommers can be found in every ecological niche on the tribble homeworld, wherever there are tribbles, but it prefers the savannahs because food is plentiful.
Got that? Good. I have wanted a plush Glommer for a LONG time... since way back in my childhood when I spied one in an old Trek collectible book. Well, thanks to David Gerrold (the creator of all things tribble) and his site Tribbletoys, I finally own one! What's he like? Let's take a look!
This is what the Glommer looks like when he arrives. I almost didn't notice before I tore him out of the bag, but they actually printed a Glommer warning on the bag! Pretty nifty!
When you purchase the Glommer, you not only get him in all his roughly 15" tall glory, but you also get a free small "genetically altered" tribble! What else are you going to feed him?
The "genetically altered" tribble is a great tribute to their look in the animated show. I think this guy would look great flopped down in the DST captain's chair! Why are animated series tribbles pink? Fun fact: Director Hal Sutherland was color blind, so to him pink was gray!
The Glommer is also pretty much a dead-ringer for his animated counterpart. The, um, "torso" is made of soft plush with four tusks encircling it.
Two eye stalks protrude from the top of the body. The eyes themselves are small stiched-on patches and the stalks are fabric wrapped around a wire insert. I love the fact that you can move the eyes around and pose them. Gives him a lot of personality for a plush...
Mr. Glommer rests upon four spindly legs. The legs feature the same inner wire construction as the eye-stalks. I haven't figured out a way to get him to stand without any kind of support, but he looks great resting over the back of my couch. Loving those little toes.
And now the coolest part- When I first opened him, I noticed that the body was a bit floppy on the Glommer. I thought perhaps mine just didn't get stuffed enough... but then I noticed some velcro along the base of the body:
Yep! You can actually open him up and stuff the little tribble inside! This is a GREAT feature that I was really surprised to see. Oh, and once the tribble is inside, the Glommer really fills out...
As a BIG fan of tribbles, this guy gets really high marks from me. The size and "eating" feature are great, the construction looks sharp, and you get a free pink tribble! At only $18, I really feel like he offers a lot of bang for your buck.
Head over to Tribbletoys.com and order him up! I will probably be heading back their myself soon, as both my boys have been eyeing my Glommer...
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Figure Name: Capt. James T. Kirk (Season 1 Casual Attire)
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
DST released this Kirk in 2010 as part of the "5th wave" of Original Series figures.
The Rundown: Gah!?! New Star Trek figures from DST!?! It's about time! After a LONG wait, DST is finally shipping it's 5th (and sadly, most likely final) wave of figures based on TOS! The wave consists of the Kirk seen here, a Scotty reissue, and a great new Romulan. Today, we'll take a look at the Kirk... which is AWESOME.
Oh how I've waited for this Kirk. DST first showed him last year, back when the 5th wave consisted of him, Rand, Chapel, and a short sleeved McCoy. Then that got canceled, and Kirk was moved over to being a Toys R Us exclsuive. Then that got canceled too, and the TRU wave became a Diamond Select exclusive wave. Phew. So he's been a long time coming. You may be asking yourself why I was so looking forward to "yet another Kirk". Well, this is why:
Kirk's new head sculpt! If you are a long-time reader of my blog, you may already know that I've never been all that pleased with the original AA Kirk head sculpt; In fact, it's probably my least favorite of all the head sculpts in the TOS line. Well, throw that head out the window now because there's a new Kirk in town! I absolutely LOVE this new head! While the hair may be a bit dark, the sculpt itself is far superior to the old AA standard. I like it so much that I'm going to be buying multiples of this Kirk just to put the head on the old existing Kirk bodies (more on this later).
Moving down from the head, we see that this Kirk figure has a new take on the casual attire, this time opting for the Season 1 wraparound. And unlike the other AA/ DST casual Kirks, this one's torso is solid plastic, meaning no more rubbery shirt! Yay! I never liked the rubber shirts, so this is a big bonus in my eyes. The only trouble is that now I REALLY want the regular crew reissued like this (which probably won't happen).
Past that, this Kirk is pretty much your standard fare for the line- Great articulation and solid paint apps. I did notice his pants were almost a very dark gray instead of black this time around, which really helps them pop a bit more.
Accessories: Kirk comes with a phaser, a communicator, and the INSANELY COOL bottle of Saurian Brandy! So now your Kirk figure can get drunk and hit on Rand... if we had a Rand figure to hit on. Oh, and surprisingly he doesn't come with any extra hands this time.
I seriously can't recommend this figure enough. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm holding a new Trek figure for the first time in months, but I really feel like the new head sculpt combined with the excellent work on the shirt area has moved this Kirk to the top of the stack of AA/ DST Kirks. If you are a fan of the DST line, hop on this one... but don't wait! The numbers on this wave are very limited, so they may not stick around for long. My online Trek store of choice, New Force Comics, is currently sold out of the wave but may get more in. Your next best bet right now is Big Bad Toystore, which has the Kirk available separately or in a set of three for $47.99.
Oh, and about switching the heads...
Yeah, that looks much better. I finally have a yellow-shirted AA Kirk I can be happy with! This kitbash consists of the new head, a DST yellow-shirt Kirk body, and the rubbery shirt from the TOS 2-pack Sulu (since the uniform shirt that DST always uses on Kirk stinks). The head sits a little higher than the old one, but I think it works great for a "Season 1 " version of the good captain...