Friday, January 11, 2013

A Cute Little Klingon Ship, The Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey Is Far From Flawless!

The Good: Good sculpt, Has a stand, Wings move
The Bad: Exceptionally breakable, Stand is awkward, Use of stickers, Proportions (with figures), Widely erratic collectible value
The Basics: The Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey toy is one of the few that has moving wings and that is all that truly makes it worth buying.

As a collector of (most) all things Klingon Bird Of Prey, when it comes to Star Trek merchandise, I sometimes have the tough job of wading through the crap for the truly worthwhile gems. Sometimes, it is hard to tell which is which and the only benefit of my collecting virtually everything in the Klingon Bird Of Prey memorabilia is that I usually can tell the difference. Unfortunately, the Playmates Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey toy is one of the lesser outings that masquerades as a worthwhile one. As one of the few Klingon Bird Of Prey toys with moving wings, as seen in their very first outing, the Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey toy initially seems pretty cool. However, the gimmick is a flimsy one and the proportions – relative to the figures that come with the toy – are problematic . . . and its stand is frequently insufficient, making it, ultimately, too tough a sell for serious collectors.

The Klingon Bird Of Prey, in this case, the K'Vort Class version, is a fair rendition, though it is not the very best sculpting or coloring of the amazing ship.


Playmates toys released the Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey and intends for it to be considered like the one originally seen in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (reviewed here!) and it lives up to that fairly well. Set in the obscure and highly variable scale of the Strike Force toy line (which had the Enterprise-D, Klingon Bird Of Prey, and Maquis Raider, all in the same size, when the ships are radically different sizes relative to one another!), the Klingon Bird Of Prey has a wingspan of 7” – 8”, depending on whether the wings are down or locked in their upright position. The ship is 2” tall when the wings are up and it is consistently 5 1/2" from tail to nose.

The hull of the Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey is detailed fairly extensively with all of the baffle plates that the ship had, along with the wing guns, feathering on the underside and similar details. What it lacks are the details molded into the front upper wing section, which is presented on this toy as a pair of stickers that have a circuitboard type pattern to them. The Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey looks battle-ready and sturdy and has decent surface detailing. The toy, however, is colored in a lighter green than the actual starship, so this is not olive green and menacing. As well, the wing guns are out of proportion: overlarge and ugly green.

It is similarly baffling that with such attention to detail for the sculptural lines and indentations, Playmates would resort to multiple decals for such things as both the insignias on the wings and on the front panels. At least, Playmates applied the decals for the fans.


This Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey comes with a stand! Supported by a generic Star Trek black oval-shaped base, the stand raises and supports the Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey about two and a half inches off the surface the stand it placed on. As collectors became more sophisticated with future releases and made it clear to Playmates that they wanted to be able to display the starships, Playmates began to include stands that the starships would rest upon and this one does that. That said, the ship fits very awkwardly upon the stand and the single peg that goes from the top of the stand into the hole and the slot in the bottom of the ship is seldom sufficient to support the Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey.

The Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey comes with two 1” tall mini-figures, Commander Kruge and Valkris. The only way one would know that the Klingon is Kruge is by reading the packaging, it is so generic and under-detailed. Similarly, Valkris is truly only identifiable to the die-hard fans who are more likely to recognize her by her costume than by any details specific to the actual mini-figure!


The Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey is a starship toy, yet it opens up in the nose section to accommodate a single mini-figure in what should be the Bridge. The other mini-figure may easily stand on the stand, though there are two slots there for the mini-figures, so they may be both be displayed there if one does not want one in the ship itself. Given how awkward the detailing is on the mini-figures, it is hard to conceive of who might like the figures standing outside the fairly well-detailed ship, especially considering the drastic difference in the scale between the ship and the mini-figures.

The mini-figures bend at the waist and have arms that rotate at the shoulders, but no other articulation.

The Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey is one of the few Strike Force toys that has a play function. In this case, a rather obtrusive button on the top of the ship allows one to manipulate the wings. Sliding the button forward raises the wings and locks them in the upright position. Unfortunately, this is an exceptionally fragile mechanism. I went through three Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Preys before I got one that worked properly (most frequently, the problem was one of the two wings would sag out of the perpendicular alignment it is supposed to have when the wings are raised.


Playmates vastly overproduced the Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey. They tried to make it more collectible by including a limited edition number on the box to each toy. My toy is numbered #002927 and so with at least 3000 of these out in the world, it's hard to consider it especially limited. Moreover, many collectors purchased these and stockpiled them when they were first released, though the market does seem to have gone up on them lately.


The Strike Force Klingon Bird Of Prey toy is a good idea, but its execution is too sloppy to recommend. The die-hards will buy it anyway, but for the discriminating collector, this is one Klingon Bird Of Prey toy that can be passed by.

For other Klingon Bird Of Prey merchandise, please check out my reviews of:
Hot Wheels Battle Damaged Klingon Bird Of Prey
Playmates Star Trek: Generations Klingon Bird Of Prey
Corgi 40th Anniversary Klingon Bird Of Prey
1994 Klingon Bird Of Prey ornament


For other toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page! There you will find an organized listing of all of the toys I have reviewed!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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