Few can deny we are in the midst of a full-fledged Star Trek renaissance. The latest box office take for the new J.J. Abrams blockbuster comes in at just under $250 million, and it’s spent weeks in the top ten since its initial release. My love goes back much further than this current infatuation, though. I grew up on Trek and still remember when my favorite Trek incarnation, Star Trek: The Next Generation, originally aired. That night I crossed the point of no return, and ST:TNG became a part of my own personal history. I quote it, I hum the theme music and I play with the toys. Which brings me to my latest acquisition. It’s none other than the main star of the show, the USS Enterprise-D.
Measuring over 15 inches long, the Enterprise-D is sleekly recreated by the geniuses at Art Asylum. There is so much awesomeness about this toy, it’s hard to find a place to begin. So I’ll take it from light and sound features, appearance and playability. The craft lights up and talks (a la HOT papa Patrick Stewart). Captain Picard gives commands, orders tea and portends history will never forget the name Enterprise. This classic dialogue is peppered with snippets of phaser and photon fire, transporter beaming and other familiar ship functions. You can light her up as well, in one of two modes. An integrated panel, when depressed, will activate the lights for continuous play. This allows you to have a stand-alone light-up display or to have fun adventures zipping the ship around your house (or outer space). You can do all this without relying on the sound effects to give you the cool lighting. Previous releases only have a light-up feature that works in conjunction with the sound effects. You can still access the sound/light feature by pressing down on the bridge. A finer recreation of the Next Gen style hasn’t been produced in this scale.
The overall look is really spot on, plus you get multiple options on how you can choose to display her. You can display the ship as a whole, or on two separate stands, one for the battle section and one for the saucer. The only thing that comes close in quality and appearance is the superb presentation of the old ERTL models. The Art Asylum release achieves a close second in looks without sacrificing the play features. And speaking of play features…this baby has a good one. Unlike the clunky and unsightly renditions of some Enterprise-D saucer separation features, this one actually delivers a work of plastic play-time art. The saucer does indeed separate from the rest of the ship, but it doesn’t use a tired plug-in feature, but instead relies on some heavy duty magnetic action. It’s so strong you want to make sure your pieces line up right when you are connecting the ship, otherwise the battle section will lift off the ground to dock with the saucer. This is pretty cool, but also has the potential to damage some of the electrical connections between the two sections, so be careful!
I can’t recommend this ship enough. It’s a must-own for any Next Gen fan, and is well worth the higher price tag you’ll drop for it. I think it’s like $10 more than the other Art Asylum Trek ships, but it is sooooooo worth it! You’ll find it for $39.99 (and up) at online retailers.