The Good: Amazing sculpting detail, Cool light effect, Great coloring details, Cool packaging
The Bad: Not as limited...
The Basics: A very cool toy which accurately recreates the slick Klingon ship, the Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy is as close to perfect as any company has gotten!
The Klingon Bird Of Prey is one of the coolest starships created in science fiction. More than any ship in the Star Trek pantheon, the Klingon Bird Of Prey is an awesome vessel that looks dangerous, fast and compelling. So, when my birthday came around, my wife found me the limited edition Corgi 40th Anniversary Klingon Bird Of Prey toy for my collection. I like it, but almost as soon as she bought it for me, we discovered there was another Klingon Bird Of Prey ship toy released the same year. The difference is the other Klingon Bird Of Prey (the subject of this review) was cast in the correct colors and was not nearly as limited (or expensive) as the silver-gray Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy.
The color difference is the only difference, but it is enough that fans ought to know about it and buy accordingly. Both were cast using the same diecast mold, but the properly-colored Klingon Bird Of Prey starship is likely to be more coveted by fans of the ship than those looking for something collectible.
The Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy is a recreation of the popular Star Trek starship cast in proper olive green plastic. The toy has the look of the actual starship as it appeared beginning in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock and in virtually all subsequent Star Trek franchises. The coloring is highlighted by an immaculate paint job which does such things as highlight the bridge section with the proper red ring. As well, the wing supports are properly silver and that is accurately represented on this toy. The only coloring detail that Corgi slipped on were the wing guns, which are cast in green and not painted the appropriate black.
This die-cast Klingon Bird-Of-Prey is truly a masterwork of detailing, though. At 5 1/8" wide (wing gun to wing gun) by 4 1/8" long by 2 ¼" tall, the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey is intended to be a display piece more than a toy. Still, this is a wonderful casting with green plastic for the body, wings and bridge section of the starship. The thruster array and torpedo tube of the ship are highlighted red, so with the light effect it looks like the ship is cruising. The Klingon Bird-Of-Prey, like most Klingon starships is intended to look armored and strong. As a result, the ship is covered in panels that both detail the ship and make it look like it could be protected in battle by the plating. Still, the Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey also captures details like the light ports on the bridge section and the power conduits on the wings. These are finer details which look precise and accurate (having seen the actual set-used model in person).
What is arguably most impressive about the sculpt of the Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey is the detailing of the wing guns. The guns at the tips of the wings are double-barreled disruptors and most manufacturers who replicate the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey tend to cheap out on the guns because they are more delicate by definition. In Corgi's case, the wing guns are made of a harder plastic which is clear, but accurately is cast to have both barrels on each gun! This is extraordinary detailing and it caps off the toy wonderfully for making a model-quality replica of the starship. Those who are fans of the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey will truly appreciate that Corgi made the thin weapons instead of either neglecting them (making them a single, thicker barrel) or making them disproportionately large, which have been flaws in other manufacturer's Klingon Bird Of Prey toys. It does, however, make the Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey fragile and make one wonder why the company did not paint them the appropriate black color.
The Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy from Corgi comes with only a single accessory: a display stand. The display stand has a 1 ½" plastic Klingon symbol which plugs into the lighted circular base for the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey. The top of the Klingon symbol plugs into the center bottom of the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey. The 1/8" in diameter cylinder surprisingly holds the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey level and stable. And it looks good there.
The stand itself is a 5 ½" in diameter disc which is ¾" tall. The disc has eight white lights spaced equidistantly on the outside of the disc and it runs on four AAA batteries. The batteries fit simply in the bottom of the stand and the battery chamber is sealed with a small screw, which is a bit annoying for those looking to get the toy set up quickly. There is a button hidden on the top of the stand which activates the light effect when a switch is flipped on the bottom as well. When the stand is "on," and the button is pushed, the lights light up for a few seconds, then slowly blink on and off for a total of twenty seconds. This washes the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey in light and highlights the nooks and crannies of the ship. I've had the batteries in (and the stand off when not in use) since I first received the toy and the batteries have not shown any recognizable level of drain. The light effect is as bright as the first time I put batteries in. Those who have the Playmates starship toys might be a little disappointed by the lack of a sound effect, but most fans will be thrilled by the inclusion of a light effect, as opposed to nothing at all.
The box for the Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy is almost an accessory in itself. The box unfolds and has information about the Klingon Empire and the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey starship. This is a nice selling point and it is surprisingly thorough, including lists of Klingon leaders (including Worf for the two minutes he was head of the Empire), Klingon history and technical specifications for the actual starship. This is an added value to both casual and die-hard fans.
To be honest as a reviewer, the Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey has almost no playability. Instead, this is intended more as a display piece than a toy. If it were a toy, one would expect the wings to raise and lower. But, because this is intended to appeal more to those who like models than toys, the Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey is a static ship and one does not imagine children would get much play out of it before the guns broke off the wings.
Unlike the limited edition Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey, the standard Corgi 40th Anniversary Klingon Bird-Of-Prey is fairly common and generally inexpensive. While not widely released, many toy dealers still have the ability to get it in. It is most commonly found in the secondary market at specialty shops where it commands prices at the original price or a little more, but not at exceptional prices. In other words, this is a good piece for fans and investors might have to wait a while for it to appreciate.
Fixing the coloring differences from the limited edition Klingon Bird-Of-Prey makes it much easier to recommend the standard Corgi Klingon Bird-Of-Prey starship toy. Anyone who loves Klingon Bird-Of-Preys will want to get one (at least!) of these for their collection!
For other Star Trek toys, please check out my reviews of:
Playmates U.S.S. Enterprise with lights and sounds
The Talosian action figure
Swashbuckling Sulu and Chekov Minimates
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.