Thursday, November 6, 2014

EMvTW 01 - USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D (Galaxy Class)

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

[Editor's Note: This will mark my third re-write of this article.  The second re-write was done because I finally added the Hot Wheels' version of the Enterprise D to my collection.  I had felt it necessary to re-do this article as a way to re-kick-start this series.  Now that I've written over 50 of these Eaglemoss vs. The World articles, I feel like I've developed a certain style and flow to the articles and I wanted to make all of them have that same feel across the series.  Consider this the REFIT version of the article.]

With that being said, welcome to the first article in my Eaglemoss vs. The World series.

As I stated in one of my previous blog entries, I will do a review of the ships in my collection as they are released by Eaglemoss.  I may change that policy later but for now, this will be the format I go with.  My collecting tastes tend to stay with the small scale starships.  I like the ships in my collection to stay under 6 inches in length as they tend to display better.

The first ship that we will take a look at is the Galaxy Class and more importantly, the most famous of these class of ships, the USS Enterprise (NCC 1701-D).


The picture above shows the collection I have of this mighty ship.  Besides the Eaglemoss, Hot Wheels, two Hallmarks, Furuta, and Micro Machines variants, I also happen to have a beat up Galoob Die Cast model from 1987.

Sitting behind those ships is the Eaglemoss gift which is a resin copy of the dedication plaque from the Enterprise D.  If you would like a better view of this plaque, check out THIS ARTICLE after you are done here.

You can read more about the Galaxy Class line of starships by clicking on these links for Memory Alpha and Memory Beta.


Good old MicroMachine produced two variants of the Enterprise D.  The original one they made was a static model while the one they produced as part of the collector's box set, actually featured a separating saucer section.

 
 

And that is all the attention I will give those models as this series of articles focuses more on the slightly larger scale models.

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Galoob vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels

I decided that I wanted to start writing these articles as a way to provide a little more information to the collector than what you normally get in a review.  I found that there was a serious lack of size comparisons of the various pre-built and pre-painted small scale models and so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.

Here is what I like to call "the gravy shot", the one picture I wished I had seen long ago, and the main reason I started this blog.  Had I seen this, my collection have have been vastly different as I may not have bought into Furuta.  Actually, that is a lie.  I still would have bought all the variations, but maybe not in the order I did as I would have focused more on what I thought was a better version first.

Top Row: Hallmark 2012 vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark 1993
Bottom Row: Galoob vs. Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels

Top Row: Hot Wheels vs. Eaglemoss vs. Galoob
Bottom Row: Hallmark 1993 vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark 2012

Hallmark

Since I started my collection way back in the day with Hallmark ornaments, let's focus on them first.  

Back in 1993, Hallmark released thier first Enterprise D.  They then re-released the ship in 2012.  Once I got the 2012 model, I figured I'd be "cool" and made some labeling for the older model and turned it into the USS Yamato.

1993 Hallmark

 
 
 
 

2012 Hallmark

 
 
 
 

As you can see, I "ruined" the 1993 model by cutting off the cabling.  The 2012 model was slightly more detailed, however, they permanently mounted it to a stand, and unlike thier other releases, this didn't light up.  And, I "ruined" this one by snapping it off of the permanent stand so that it could hang.  

 1993 vs 2012

What I don't understand is, why would you put an ornament eye on the 2012 model, call it an ornament and then hard mount it to a strand?

1993 vs 2012
 
1993 vs 2012

1993 vs 2012

1993 vs 2012

In my opinion, the 2012 model is the better of the two that they produced.  I will focus on this one for the remainder of this article.

I am going to reiterate that I am not happy that this particular model does not light up like all of Hallmark's other "normal" ornaments.  As stated before, I do not like the fact that this model was permanently mounted to a stand which made it really dumb looking if you hung it on a tree.  As such, you will see in one of my pictures above, the hole where I broke off the stand.

The overall ship color is a pearl white (Is that what you call it???) As with Furuta, they did this to continue blending the ship with the rest of thier produced fleet.  I'm OK with this as it gives a consistency when you line up all of the Hallmark Starfleet ships next to each other.  And quite frankly, I'm really not that concerned about it.


I really don't have anything bad to say about the detailing on the top side of this model.  It is very detailed for a Hallmark ornament.  All the key features are represented.  


On the bottom side, the only complaint I can come up with is in regards to the phaser strips on the bottom of the nacelle support pylons.  They are in the wrong place.  They should be more up on on to the sides of the pylons rather than on the bottom.

Anytime I review a Starfleet ship, I am going to hyper-focus on the deflector dish as it usually gives me a good idea of the level of attention to details that a manufacturer puts into thier models.  Let's face it, this is a very important part of the ship and should be accurately represented.

2012 Deflector Dish

This was the first time I've ever really looked closely at the deflector dish for this ornament.  First, of all, the colors are off.  If you Google the deflector dish, there is always a ring of blue surrounding the outer part of the dish.   They also raised the inner section.  I have never seen that in the show or on any other model.  The entire dish is supposed to be concave.  

1993 Deflector Dish

I took a closer look at the 1993 variation and although the colors are still off, they at least had the inner piece flush with the outer ring so that you got that "dish" effect.

1993 vs 2012

There were a few other Hallmark renditions of the D.  In 1995, they released a tiny variat in a set called "Ships Of Star Trek".  This one was ideal for hanging on the Deep Space Nine ornament which I will be high-lighting in THIS future article.  


In 2007, Hallmark produced the future version of the D that was commanded by Admiral Riker.  That one was self-powered.  You can read about that ship in THIS ARTICLE.

Galoob

Let's talk about that Die Cast Galoob model next.

Galoob vs. Hallmark

Apparently, Galoob tried cashing in on thier licensing for TNG by producing action figures and other toys.  According to Memory Alpha, this is the only ship they produced in thier die-cast line.

Besides being a fairly detailed model, it is also fairly hefty as it has very few plastic parts.

 
 
 
 

Up until I acquired my Hot Wheels variation, this model was the only one of my larger models that had a functioning detachable saucer section.

 

Looking at the Galoob deflector dish is a major let down though.  They did not put a lot of thought into it.


Furuta

 
 
 
 

Up next is Furuta's model.  

I always like to point the following out for my first time readers.  Furuta is a Japanese company that produced a series of gashapon toys.  Gashapon toys are meant to be nothing more than cheap little $1 to $5 bubble gum machine prizes.  I like to remind my readers of this fact so that they can take any critical reviews I may make in the spirit it is given.  I am in no way expecting these toys to be on the level of a Hallmark, Eaglemoss or Hot wheels toy.  I found a neat video about these types of toys and you can check that out at THIS LINK.

Given that these models are mass produced and NOT hand painted, you would expect some mistakes.  I've bought the entire collection of Furuta models and have not noticed anything horribly bad about the paint jobs.  They are also snap together models meaning that you have to put them together.  That being said, there almost always is some sort of seam misalignment between the various parts.

The model is a battleship grey in color which matches all thier other primary Starfleet ships.  There is much debate on whether this is accurate or not but given that they are trying to hold all of thier models up to a standard, which makes sense as any fleet, whether make believe or real, tends to keep things standard.  This seems perfectly logical, and personally, I don't really care, so let's move on.


Looking at the top side of the model, they have covered the obligatory phaser strips on the saucer section and rear of the ship.  The model is missing the words USS Enterprise and the placement of the ship's registry numbers is a little to close to the bridge.  All that wording should have been one more ring out on the saucer section.


Looking at the bottom of the ship, we find that once again, the registry numbers are too close to the center and they are missing the phaser strips on the bottom of the nacelle support pylons.


I never noticed it until I was writing my review on the Galaxy X class, but it also appears that Furuta forgot to paint the impulse engines.


Deflector dishes are always a tough one for manufacturers of these ship models.  The coloring is technically true.  As you can see, the plastic work and paining is a little shoddy.  I expect that though with something this small and that was mass produced.

Hot Wheels

 
 
 
 

This is the newest piece to my Enterprise D family.  I managed to get her for a bargain on eBay and was very surprised and delighted to find that she featured a separating saucer section just like Galoob's version.

 

I have to say, Hot Wheels did a very nice job with this ship.  The coloring is a Battleship Grey ranging more towards a bluish color.  The stand makes for a good display on your desk or shelves.


The top side of the ship appears to cover all the basics like registry and phaser bank placements.  I really don't have anything bad to say about it at this point.


The bottom looks pretty good too except for the phaser strips on the nacelle pylons.  First and foremost, the thing that stand out the most is that they were not painted like the other strips.  The second issue is that they are placed a little too low on the pylons.

 

I was pretty delighted with thier work on the deflector dish details.  They included some blue coloring in there.  The one issue I see is that the dish on my model does not seem to be flush with the model.  This may have been a manufacturer defect.

WARNING: One last note about the Hot Wheels ship.  I used to think it was just an issue with one of my other ships, but as time has gone by, it appears to be a manufacturer issue with all of thier different types of ships.  The stand fits very snugly into the underside of the ship.  I started noticing that my ship was gradually tipping forward as the front of the ship was much heavier on the model.  I would periodically readjust it.    After the third time of removing it for pictures, the stand snapped off, leaving the ball joint stuck in the ship.  Obviously, these are not meant to be "played" with and are for display purposes only.  Given the shape of most ships, once they break off the display stand, they will not look so graceful in your display case.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

Last but not least, I'll now focus on the Eaglemoss model.  

The first thing I'm going to do is give you a little warning that I wish I had known or thought about.  If you get a brand new model, still in it's original packaging, BE CAREFUL WHEN TAKING IT OUT OF THE PACKAGING.  In my haste to remove it, I snapped off the saucer section at the neck.  Luckily, the model is all plastic at that section and I was able to glue it back together with super glue.

I literally have no complaints about this model.  Eaglemoss' attention to detail on this model is just amazing.

Some people do not like the stands that Eaglemoss has come up with.  The stand is clear plastic, and comes up mid-ship, hugging the engineering hull and then "clamps" on to the back of the saucer.  It makes the model look like it is sailing up and away from where ever you have placed it.  Personally, I like the stands.  They really are not that noticeable, especially when compared to the Furuta stands.  Also, this style of stand does not require them to put a hole anywhere on the model so you really do have a "realistic" ship.

As for the colors, Eaglemoss claims to have done extensive research both in the Paramount/ABC archives, TV/movies as well as the official CGI models to produce the most accurate coloring possible.  They even do something called aztecing to give the saucer section a more tech and machine like look.


The details that they molded into the plastic and metal parts is really amazing.  They also use clear plastic parts to represent areas of the ship that glow, like on the nacelles. 


Since I did an up-close shot of all the other models' deflector dishes, here is the Eaglemoss version for you to compare with.  I absolutely love thier rendition of the deflector dish.

Conclusion

And now, let us do a quick check on eBay to get some prices of the ships I've shared with you.  I typically will just round up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices (with shipping included in that price) from eBay at the time of this article's writing.

Eaglemoss = $16
Furuta = $11
Galoob Die Cast = $19
Hallmark 1993 = $16
Hallmark 2012 = $30
Hallmark 1995 Ships Of Star Trek = $12
Hot Wheels = $33
Micro Machine Original = $7
Micro Machine Separating Saucer Section = $15

We now come to the part of my article where I like to give you my opinion of which ship gives you the "best bang for the buck", which is my rough way of telling you which one is the best one to get, for the best price.  To put this in a nutshell, when I write these, I am trying to give my opinion of which model is the best for the least cost.

Had Hallmark not decided to re-release the model in a crappy non-ornament form, they would have scored some higher marks from me.  That being said, the Eaglemoss model is by far the best choice. Their attention to detail was just absolutely amazing. Although I do have to say, the Hot Wheels rendition with it's separating saucer section gives you a fun model that provides various displaying options.

BONUS ROUND!!!

Every once in a while, I'll have a little extra stuff to share with you that sort of fits in with my comparison articles.



In May of 2016, I finally got around to re-writing my review to the Galaxy X Class and realized that I never tied this article to that one.  Feel free to see what Eaglemoss and a couple other manufacturers did to upgrade thier model.  You can read that article at THIS LINK.


As always, I hope you found this article useful and informative.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

So for now, "Live long and prosper!!!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:
Eaglemoss     Furuta     Galoob     Hallmark 1993 2012   
Hot Wheels     MicroMachine     Comparative Shots

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