Wednesday, January 13, 2016

EMvTW Bonus 03 - Borg Cube

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

[Editor's Note (March 2017): 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.]

When I was a subscriber, Eaglemoss kept insisting that I be part of the second run of ships in our country, which left me a bit behind the other U.S. collectors, and that bothered me for some reason.  I eventually had to cancel my subscription to Eaglemoss back in January of 2015 because finances had gotten tight.  After things settled down, I opted to just buy them online from reputable sellers on eBay.  For the most part, I pay slightly more in cost and shipping than I would through Eaglemoss directly, BUT, I have more say in when I get my ships.  The downside to this approach is that you are no longer eligible for the free subscriber gifts.  I was a member long enough to get the dedication plaque and the future Enterprise D, HOWEVER, I did not make it to the Borg Cube.  People are now selling it on eBay but for quite a while, the prices were really high, like $150 or more kind of high and judging from the pictures, I was certain that it wasn't worth that kind of money.  I just happened across a seller that had the cube for considerably less and hopped at the chance to add it to my collection and get to review it.


With the addition of Eaglemoss' model, my collection now consists of theirs, a Furuta, a Hallmark and several MicroMachines.

You can read more about Borg Cubes by clicking on these links for Memory Alpha and Memory Beta.


Before we get into the closer looks at all of these, I am just gonna say that I have yet to find a model of a Borg Cube that has wowed me.  Let's be fair, they are rather boring.  They are perfectly square and most manufacturers opt to be lazy and duplicate the same side on each facet of the cube.

From my collection picture, you can see that the Eaglemoss model dwarfs the others and it also lights up.  Hallmark comes in second in size, and it also lights up and it talks too.  Then you have Furuta's version and the model I have from them lights as well.

I've had my MicroMachine Borg Cubes for quite a long time.  Apparently, I have two variants of thier ship.

 

Unfortunately, the fact that they are all cubes, and in order to keep costs down, each side mirrors the other, the pictures are rather plain and there are not a lot of angles I can show.

Moving right along, let's get into the closer look at the other manufacturer's cubes...

Eaglemoss

 
 

Well, let's start with the fact that it's HUGE when compared to all the other Eaglemoss models.  It measures in at a whopping 6" X 6" X 6".  Five of the sides are completely identical with a plain black/grey molded plastic that has a couple of holes with a white screen filling in the back of those holes.  I think that if they had gone with a "clear" grayish plastic, it would have been better when displaying the model in an unlit state.  Actually, splashing the model with a little grey and green paint in random places would have improved the look of the model too.  The bottom is where they break the pattern though as they needed to put the battery access plate somewhere.  The power switch is located in this area too.

Handling the model just feels all wrong.  It feels like I'm holding a cheap plastic toy, not a well crafted Eaglemoss model like I've come to expect.  There didn't seem to be a lot of thought put into it's design.

As I stated earlier, I ended up having to buy this instead of getting it for free.  This fact may be part of the reason why I'm so disappointed with it.

I also stated earlier that the cube is lit.  When turned on, it glows green.

 

While I was searching for the measurement of this thing, I saw someone do a photoshoot of thier cube next to thier Eaglemoss Borg Sphere.  It looked cool, so here is my two models.

 

Furuta


Furuta's Borg Cube ship is actually part of a two ship set.  The set includes a tiny Borg Sphere which I cover in my Eaglemoss vs. The world article on The Sphere.

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.

Once again, the design of this model is rather simplistic.  Unlike Eaglemoss, Furuta did add a splash of green/grey paint on the sides to break up the monotony of all the sides looking the same.

 

Furuta's cube also lights up,however, for some reason, Furuta chose to use a red light instead of a green one.

 

I did like the fact the the power switch is recessed into the model.  You actually need the stand or a small screwdriver to turn the switch on and off.

Overall, the complete set makes for a nice little display on your desk.

There is also a non-lit Furuta model you can get for a slightly lower price, but why not go the distance and get the "deluxe" set?


Modding the Furuta models is not that difficult and with a little bit of paint skills, you could make the Furuta models look a lot nicer.  If you are so inclined, simply lightly spray paint the sphere black and then lightly splash some green paint on both ships to give them that ominous dark look that we come to expect from the Borg


Hallmark

 

NOTE: YES!  I know my wires are cut off from the model.  As I stated way back when I started writing these reviews, I cut the wires off of all of my older Hallmark models because those wire detracted from the looks of my displays, and they threw the models off balance when I tried to hand them in those displays.

Released for Christmas in 2000, Hallmark threw thier hat in the ring and released a Borg Cube.  Honestly, they did a fairly decent job with this model.  

Although the sides are repetitive, they crammed a lot of pattern into the molding to make it not look repetitive.   They also gave the model a bit of a black wash to give it a more "dirty" look.  Overall though, I think the entire thing looks a bit too silver in color.  This could be because they were going for the look of the cube as we first see in in the TNG episode titled "Q Who" in which the cube was a bit on the bright side.


The bottom of thier model looks different though as this is where they needed to bring the wiring into the ship so that it could light up and talk.  


I can honestly say that I liked how they accomplished the eerie lights from within effect.  The only thing they could have done differently, which would have knocked this out of the park for me would have been to make the light green.

Conclusion

And that is all the pictures and comparisons I have to share on this ship at this time.  Which brings us to the pricing portion of my article.  As usual, I will continue with the tradition of rounding 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 = $66 (Or free if you are a long term subscriber)
Furuta = $25 (For the two ship set)
Hallmark = $26
MicroMachine = $9

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.

This was ultimately a tough decision for me.  As I said in the beginning of this article, the very nature of the Borg cube tends to leave you with a rather boring model.  I was not super impressed with any of the Borg Cube ships that I've collected so far.  Had I gotten my Eaglemoss ship for free, I would probably give it higher marks.  They did what they could with a relatively boring looking ship and of the three models I reviewed, they did get thier lights the right color.  And it is dark and foreboding.  HOWEVER, my final say is also based off of pricing and trying to help you the reader find the best model for the best price.  If you are not a subscriber of the Eaglemoss collection, and are buying them from other sources like me, then thier cube is going to cost you money to obtain.  And it is NOT worth $60 or more depending on your source.  Of the two remaining contenders, I like the look of the Hallmark model, although, with the advent of today's LED Christmas tree light strands, you will need an adapter and can only plug three Hallmark ships in to any given string.  Not being self powered is a bit of a drag too, and unless you cut the wire off like I did, thus ruining the ability to light, it really looks ungainly when trying to display it in a collection.  Which then leaves the surprise winner, at least in my book.  Although the color of the light in the Furuta ship is wrong, the fact that it is self powered, and that it comes with a small sphere ship as well, makes it well worth the money if you are collecting on a budget.

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.


With the writing of this article, I have now talked about all the Borg ships in my collection, including my Resin Modeler 1:1400 Borg Probe ("Coffin" Ship) and the Borg Sphere.  I wanted to share my entire Borg collection as it looks at this time.



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:
Hallmark     MicroMachine

2 comments:

  1. Nice article! If you haven't seen it yet check out the attack wing oversized Borg cube. It's the only one that's wowed me that I've added to my collection. My next best is the Futura.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Darthgodzilla! Thanks! How big is it? What are it's measurements?

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