Tuesday, November 25, 2014

EMvTW 08 - USS Excelsior NCC-2000 (Excelsior class)

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

[Editor's Note (February 2016): This will mark my second re-write of this article.  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 original article.]

Article number eight of my "Eaglemoss vs. The World" series will now focus on the USS Excelsior in my collection.

This is a relatively small collection of this ship as there were not a lot of choices to go with when collecting a small scale version.  Currently, I have an Eaglemoss, a Hot Wheels, a Furuta, and two MicroMachines models.

Speaking of MicroMachine, here is the MicroMachine ship for your quick viewing pleasure.


I'm not sure how I ended up with two of them, but I did.  It's a nice little toy, although the coloring is a bit dark.  The nacelles also suffer from the bending rubber due to thier length.


I'm going to break from tradition and talk about the Furuta model first.

Before we get into that though, I always like to point out the following for my first time readers that 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.


Although Furuta did release thier own version of this ship, it was done during thier Volume 3 era where all of thier ships were small.

Top: Micromachine - Bottom: Furuta

The end result was that you ended up with a MicroMachine sized vessel.  I have to say, for it's size though, it's a nice looking little ship.  They did a fairly decent job on the paint scheme although they did not highlight the phaser arrays.

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark

As I started getting into collecting and wanting to expand my collection, I found a serious lack of  comparative data out there showing the various small scale pre-built and pre-painted ships available to the collector.  And so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.

So now I present to you what I like to call "the gravy shot", a series of pictures I wished I had seen long ago, and the main reason I started this blog.

Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels vs. Eaglemoss

As you can see from the comparative pictures, there is a major difference in size between the two ships.  There are also some subtle differences in the paint jobs on both ships.



Let's start with the smaller of the two ships.  My biggest beef with this ship is it's size.  When you compare it to other Ealemoss ships, she just seems small.  I think part of the problem is that she is a long ship.  And to keep her in line with the length of the other Eaglemoss ships, she scales down to this size, but in the end, it just feels wrong to me.  

The details on her are pretty good for the most part.  

The ship sports some light aztecing which gives the top of the saucer section some added flair.They did a nice job of accenting the phaser banks and RCS thrusters on her top half as well.  

And then you flip her over and you realize that they must have blown thier budget on paint with the aztecing.  The big painted on ring on the underside of the saucer section is missing as are the RCS thrusters.  They are also lacking the detail to the area around the sensor dome that they did to the bridge section on the top half.

Anytime I review a Starfleet ship, I like 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.

They really dropped the ball here.  We've gone super detailed on the top of the ship, cut back on the bottom and for this part we're just gonna blob some paint and call it a dish.  They probably could have blobbed a little paint on the upper torpedo launchers as well just to make them stand out from the rest of the neck.  The molded details around my deflector dish seem a bit messed up as well, like someone dinged the model and then painted over it to try to cover up thier mistake.

Hot Wheels


This ship is almost too big for my collection tastes.  As I stated earlier, she is a very long ship.  I know, I can't be pleased right?  I feel the Eaglemoss ship is too small, and I think this one is too big.

Looking at the top side, they did a great job with the metal and plastic molding, allowing for nice highlights of the various details of the ship.  The bridge paint is a little sparse, allowing it to blend in with the rest of the saucer section.  And the back of the engineering hull is plain white and I believe it should be slightly grey in color.  Other than that, it looks great.

Looking at the bottom side, Hot Wheels continues to do a good job with thier molding work.  This is where I feel that the paint detail far surpasses Eaglemoss' rendition of the ship.  All of the important pieces are represented as well as some detailing here and there that just make the ship pop.  There is one glaring mistake though.  The registry number is facing the wrong way.

Taking a nice close look at the deflector dish, we can see that they gave the ship a little extra attention here with the plastic molding as well as paint.  I also like that they gave the upper torpedo launchers a little dash of paint to make them stand out at well.

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.    Although this has yet to happen to my Excelsior, on other ships, 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 if most ships, once they break off the display stand, they will not look so graceful in your display case.


And that is all the pictures and comparisons I have to share on this ship at this time.  As for pricing, I will continue with the tradition of rounding up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices from eBay at the time of this article's writing.

Eaglemoss = $25
Furuta = $11
Hot Wheels = $32
Micro Machine = $7

This one turns out to be a no-brainer as far as which one is the best bang for you buck.  Although Eaglemoss does a fine job of making a model of this ship, they just can't compete with Hot Wheels attention to details.  At the time of the original writing of this article, the Hot Wheels model went for around $20.  It's gone up a tiny bit from November 2014 to February 2016, but not by much.  Based on that fact, I'd still put my money onto the Hot wheels model over Eaglemoss if I could only afford one ship.


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.

It was bound to eventually happen as you can't have a Star Trek starship collection without making ALL of the Enterprises.  So for issue #40, Eaglemoss finally produced thier rendition of this ship.  You can read my review of the Excelsior Class Refit by clicking on THIS LINK.

Anyway, I hope you found this article useful and informative.  Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.

So for now, "Live Long And Prosper!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:
Eaglemoss     Furuta     Hot Wheels

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