Friday, September 24, 2010
AA/ DST Spotlight- Romulan
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!