Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Hot Wheels Diecast Klingon Bird Of Prey Rockets Out Of This World!

The Good: Excellent sculpt, Amazing coloring details, Solid stand, Wonderful posability
The Bad: Wingguns are incorrectly colored
The Basics: The Mattel Diecast Klingon Bird Of Prey toy is one of the best starship toys on the market and bound to satisfy most Klingon Bird Of Prey fans!

When it comes to Star Trek merchandise, there are very few things I collect anymore. My once favorite franchise has since sunk into disrepair and the merchandising element of it has gone so far over-the-top that I started selling off most of my collection years ago to keep my house (sadly, even that didn't save it). So, when my wife is looking for things for me for giftgiving in the Star Trek vein, there are very few things I get excited about anymore. However, I still have a collection of Klingon Bird Of Prey toys and every now and then, she finds one for me that is a pretty exceptional deal. This happened a few weeks ago when we were out at Toys R Us and she found the Hot Wheels (Mattel) Diecast Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy. The Hot Wheels Klingon Bird Of Prey toy is one of the best small scale Klingon ships I’ve yet added to my collection and it is now proudly displayed on my computer as a result.


The Mattel Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy is a recreation of the popular Star Trek starship cast in appropriate dark green plastic. This Klingon Bird-Of-Prey is an exceptional work as far as the detailing is concerned. With a 4 ¾” wingspan (with the wings lowered, 5 ½” wide when the wings are raised to cruising position) by 4 1/4" long by 3" tall (when on the stand), the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey is intended to be a display piece more than a toy. This is an immaculately detailed casting with green plastic for the body, wings and bridge section of the starship with red accents underneath the wings as is appropriate. The tiny veins for piping and baffle plates are molded into the ship's body and wings, so this looks well-made. 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. Hot Wheels also molded into the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey such details as 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 Mattel Klingon Bird-Of-Prey is that the wings appropriately rise and fall so the ship may have its wings in any of the three popular poses for the ship: cruising, hovering and battle positions. The toy is made well enough that even if one switches between the various poses, the wings do not wear out and end up flopped in the downward position.

Also well done (as far as the casting goes) is the detailing of the wing guns. The guns at the tips of the wings are double-barrel 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. Like the Corgi Klingon Bird Of Prey, Hot Wheels was sure to make the wing guns 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 Mattel 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. This level of detail makes the Hot Wheels Klingon Bird-Of-Prey fragile.


The Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy from Mattel comes with only a single accessory: a display stand. The display stand is a solid Star Trek Delta symbol rendered in three dimensions for stability which is topped off in a ball which plugs into a hole in the base of the Klingon Bird Of Prey. The ball and socket joint that this forms allows the Hot Wheels Klingon Bird Of Prey to be displayed at extreme angles and this is a great benefit for collectors as it may add real variety for the posing of the ship for one’s collection.


The Hot Wheels Klingon Bird-Of-Prey has decent playability, but I have no idea who would want to play with this model-quality toy. The ship is intended more as a display piece than a toy. Still, because Mattel made the ship with wings that raise and lower, one figures it has decent playability as well as posability and I suppose children could hold it and make little space battles, though they risk the guns breaking off if they play too aggressively with the toy.


The Hot Wheels Klingon Bird Of Prey was released in undefined numbers, but its value in the secondary market is already skyrocketing, no doubt due to the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey’s popularity. The starship looks great in this sculpt and despite it not having an individual limited edition number, it appears to have been made in small enough quantities as to be valuable to fans and collectors.


Because of the immaculate sculpting and coloring details, this might well be the best Klingon Bird-Of-Prey toy on the market. If only Mattel had made the gun barrels on the wings the correct color, this would have been indisputably perfect. As it stands, it is close enough and most Trekkers are going to love having this in their collections!

For other Star Trek toys, please check out my reviews of:
Corgi Unlimited Klingon Bird-Of-Prey
Playmates Toys U.S.S. Enterprise
Burger King Sulu toy


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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