Since I originally saw Star Trek’s Official Starship Collection line of scale models solicited in a Previews months and months ago, I was very interested. I’ve been a Trek-geek as long as I can remember, and these diecast/ABS composite replicas showed a ton of promise. I was able to get my hands on the first ship in the fleet, the Enterprise-D, and here’s the skinny.
There’s a whole lot of attention to detail going on in this replica. Down to the very last window and hull plate, the highlight painting and textures are spot on. Detail paint is just as beautiful and exact, with perfect stenciling on the saucer section and warp nacelles, and great color choice and matching on the main deflector dish and pin-striping. The ship has some decent weight to it, too, and it feels like a quality piece when you hold it in you hand. The ship slips very nicely in its supplied stand, and although the base itself seems quite stable, the support stand that the ship actually slips into and affixes to the base is a much lower quality plastic. While I’m fairly certain it’ll keep the inertial dampeners within standard operating level, a higher quality support stand would have be nice. Each model is labeled on the stand’s bottom, as you’d expect, but is also numbered, which was a very nice touch on this particular piece.
The packaging was adequate but not noteworthy. The standard Mylar bag contained a cardboard and plastic box which safely secured the ship and the two-part stand, but it doesn’t do the replica justice. If I hadn’t been able to get my hands on my store’s display piece I would have never even picked it up from a shelf for a second look. The real appeal of this model is its sheer attention to detail, and that just cannot be fully understood through even a couple of layers of clear plastic. This collection also comes with a collectible magazine highlighting the ship the replica is modeling, and while it’s a great accompaniment, they rarely make it through shipping at retail, or the mail for that matter, completely intact, and my copy had more than its share of creases and wrinkles. Although it may not be the selling point of the entire piece, it’s definitely part of the overall appeal, and I wish Eaglemoss Collections, the distributors of the Starship Collection, would take more care in their magazine packaging. It’s almost as if the magazine is just a way to get eyes on the product, but, with so many choices at the comic shop, it fails in that capacity as well.
Each ship in this collection is priced at about 20 bucks, and if you buy this model, or any other from this collection, from a comic shop or similar retailer you’re going to pay about that. If you subscribe to the collection, however, two Starships per month will be shipped to you at $20 a piece, but this Enterprise-D will only cost you 5 bucks! That’s a great deal no matter which way you decide to buy, but with ships like the Enterprise-E, U.S.S. Excelsior, U.S.S. Reliant, Akira Class Starship, and so many others, including ships from just about every race you can think of from the Cardassians to the Romulans, it’s one hell of an investment to go the subscription route. Membership DOES have its privileges, though, and subscribers will get the future version of the Enterprise-D after shipment 10, and a Borg Cube after shipment 16. That is a lot of ships, though, and any local comic shop worth it’s weight should be able to order these ship by ship, but that future D may be a tough find for diehard collectors. Either way, this Enterprise-D is a steal at 20 bucks, and would make a fine addition to any Trek-geek’s collection, without breaking the bank.
Star Trek The Official Starships Collection: Enterprise-D is beautiful replica that truly captures the essence of The Next Generation’s starring Starship, and it does so in a pint-sized, and pint-priced, size. It’s level of quality makes it appealing to even the most diehard collector of everything or anything Trek, but the affordable price-point makes this a really attainable collectible for anyone. I really wish the packaging was a bit sturdier so the magazine got here in better shape, and it could do a much better job of actually selling the product, but I guess that’s what reviewers like me are for: To tell you how cool it is!
If you’re simply a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation this is a great showpiece to let everyone know about your passion, or as just a great remembrance of that timeless sci-fi series. If you’re a fan AND a collector there’s simply no excuse for you not to have this recognizable Starfleet flagship in your personal collection. And, if you’re, like me, a Trek mega-fan, and love your Birds of Prey just as much as your U.S.S. Defiant, a full on subscription may be necessary, and getting this quality Enterprise-D replica for only 5 bucks is a great perk. If the quality of the rest of the fleet is consistent with that of this offering, it’s going to be worth the $40 a month.