Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Almost Perfect, Somewhat Unnecessary, The Hot Wheels Battle Damaged Klingon Bird Of Prey!

The Good: Excellent sculpt, Great coloring details, Solid stand, Wonderful posability, Cool battle damage coloring
The Bad: Wingguns are incorrectly colored, Battle damage is underwhelming
The Basics: A good toy that is well-detailed and fun, the Battle Damaged Klingon Bird Of Prey is not as ambitious as the variant could be.

It always amazes me what my wife finds me to enhance my many collections and it further amazes me what she finds in the market that I had no idea existed before she tells me about them. So, while it impressed me to learn about the Hot Wheels Klingon Bird Of Prey starship toy (reviewed here!) by her gifting it to me with all sorts of pomp and circumstance, it was at least as impressive when she discovered the battle damaged Klingon Bird Of Prey toy from Hot Wheels as well.

The die cast Klingon Bird Of Prey from Hot Wheels that features the battle damage is far more rare than the common release, but outside a few paint smudges on the ship, it is otherwise identical. In every way but the rarity and the slight alteration to the paint job, the battle damaged Klingon Bird Of Prey and the standard-release Klingon Bird Of Prey are identical. Even the packaging for the damaged version only mentions it is battle damaged from a sticker on the front of the box.


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). On the battle damaged version, there is a paint streak on each of the aft wings (one above, one below) which make it appear that the Klingon Bird Of Prey has taken heavy weapon's fire and been damaged. The damage, however, is not so severe that it has blown a hole in the wings and die-hard fans and collectors may feel a little underwhelmed as a result.

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 Battle Damaged 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 Battle Damaged 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 and the fact that the battle damaged version seems to appear in about one in every ten cases! 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. Given that for every twenty of the standard release Klingon Bird Of Prey toys there is one Battle Damaged Klingon Bird Of Prey toy, the investment potential of it seems extraordinary.


Because of the immaculate sculpting and coloring details, this is an excellent Klingon Bird Of Prey toy. However, the battle damage aspect of it is fairly unambitious and that robs this toy of a perfect rating.

For other Klingon Bird Of Prey and Star Trek starship merchandise, please check out my reviews of:
Corgi Klingon Bird Of Prey
Hallmark Keepsake Klingon Bird Of Prey holiday ornament
Playmates U.S.S. Enterprise


For other toy reviews, please be sure to visit my index page for a complete listing!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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