The Good: Good sculpt, coloring, articulation.
The Bad: No accessories, Lack of balance.
The Basics: The Art Asylum Vina The Orion Slave Woman figure is a nice Star Trek standard presented in a great sculpt here, but she falls over too easily.
With the recent twists of fate in my life it is funny (to me at least) that I still find time to review all sorts of things I have had sitting around for years. Three months ago, I was packing my stuff up to move to Michigan to live with my partner and shortly thereafter, the tables turned and she came to live with me. Now, we're going through all my stuff to sell off what we can in order to make space for us to live in! One of the things I am sure my wifel be glad is FINALLY disappearing from the dresser where I have several items awaiting review is the Art Asylum Vina The Orion Slave Woman action figure.
For those loyal readers of mine who might think, "Didn't I just read a review on that?!" a little while back, close (a gold star for attention to detail!). That figure was the Playmates Vina as Orion Animal Woman (reviewed here!) and this is the Art Asylum equivalent of the same character. The scales are different, the sculpts are different and yet . . . some of the same problems exist. Both are the same character, though. And, in the interest of full disclosure, none of the deals associated with this review are for this actual figure because, apparently, no one on Amazon actually has the classic Art Asylum figure for sale!
The Star Trek Original Series Wave Three Collection of action figures contained only four figures and it was focused on the villains of the original Star Trek; the only main character was a beaten-up version of Captain Kirk. The hardest figure in the line to find was the Vina The Orion Slave Woman, (the other two in the line were Kor and the Gorn captain) which was bought up by fans quickly because she is a green alien bellydancer who is essentially an average man's wet dream. Immortalized in plastic, the figure was quickly bought up by fans and collectors and remains tough to find on the secondary market even today. The thing is, out of the package, this Vina is remarkably mediocre and bears odd variations of problems of the Playmates Vina figure. Where that Vina tipped easily because it lacked articulation in key areas, this Vina is over-articulated and falls over because she has too many joints!
The Vina figure is the incarnation of Vina as an Orion Slave Woman, from one crucial scene from "The Cage" (reviewed here!). Vina is dressed, more or less, in the scanty dancing outfit from the pilot episode and she is cast in a pose that implies dancing, with her hands wide open, illustrating she is double jointed. Her character was designed for seduction and the toy looks like it is trying to connote that.
Standing six and one-quarter inches tall, this is an exceptional likeness of Vina The Orion
Slave Woman immortalized in plastic, though the outfit does not have as many holes as the original one in the episode did. The character is molded with her fingers extended straight, so Vina looks like she is ready to seduce a willing companion with a light tough. Unfortunately, the costuming detail is mediocre. Vina's outfit was not brown-gold, it was a dark shade of green, so the green woman looked like she was just covered in moss. This figure has a slightly metallic-colored outfit on. As well, there was barely any outfit to be considered; the costume designer made a brilliant outfit that implied revealing far more than it showed by having many holes in the outfit through which skin could be seen. On this figure, the outfit has circles in it, which are filled with the same color as the rest of the outfit and do none of the work of the original outfit in that regard!
On the plus side, the rubbery outfit is flexible and it does have one of the most revealing holes in the hip area, making it much more detailed than the Playmates Vina figure.
Vina's face is molded in a smiling expression and it has some nice detail; the lips are colored red, but the green flesh tones of Vina lack any subtlety or shading. The figure includes such important details as Vina's bright blue eyes and her fingernails are a darker green, as are her toenails. Still, the face lacks any sense of realistic toning. Her soft brown hair does, however, have brown accents which are a real nice touch. Her eyes are appropriately blue and her pupils are actually black. She looks good!
The paint job is mediocre at best. The skin tones are monolithic green and lack any shading or subtlety. Still, that Art Asylum included painted toenails is pretty cool and adds a level of detail most fans will appreciate even if they are let down on the costuming problems.
Vina comes with only two accessories: an action base and an Art Asylum coin. That Vina comes with no equipment makes sense as her role was brief and used no accouterments. The action base is nowhere enough to support Vina as it is a clear plastic circle just under two inches in diameter. The base has a peg which fits into either foot, but unfortunately, it makes the figure no less tippable.
The Art Asylum coin is supposed to be - one supposes - a certificate of authenticity, but it is basically a little plastic disc with a StarFleet delta symbol on one side and the Art Asylum logo on the other. It has no resemblance to anything to do with Vina.
Vina The Orion Slave Woman was part of Art Asylum's continuing bid to improve Star Trek action figures and in their attempt to make the most articulated, realistic action figure, they unfortunately made it too articulated. Because there are so many points of articulation, the joints seldom hold and Vina falls over ridiculously easily. Vina The Orion Slave Woman is endowed with seventeen extraordinary points of articulation: ankles, knees, thighs, groin socket, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, and neck. Most of the joints are simple swivel joints, but the head and shoulders have exceptional articulation as they are ball and socket joints. As a result, the neck turns left to right and can nod. This is facilitated by the fact that the hair is molded down on the Vina figure and is made of the same rubbery material as the outfit, which makes it flexible. This is an exceptionally articulated figure.
However, this is a problem. For sure, one can have one foot flatfooted and another on tiptoes, but the figure cannot stand that way. Raising her hands and arms also causes Vina to tip over. On her base, Vina is also quite unstable. This figure tips over easier than most any other Star Trek figure and her balance is quite poor, exacerbated perhaps by the sheer number and type (hinge) of joints. This is a mediocre toy for play and her tippability makes her a poor figure for display as well.
Art Asylum did not mass produced this wave of Star Trek figures, preferring to keep figures more limited and valuable. As a result, this Vina figure is actually fairly coveted and has increased in value over the few years since her release. This Vina can not often be found for less than $20.00, so it was a strong investment for those who found them back in the day. Still, this is not the most limited Star Trek figure Art Asylum ever produced.
I like this Vina figure, but while I recommend it - every Star Trek fan needs a green animal slave woman of their own! - it is a weak recommend. Art Asylum did a great job with the sculpt, but as one who displays figures out of their package, this is an irritating figure for any collector as it is impossible to keep it standing in any decent poses.
For other Star Trek toy reviews, please check out:
The Keeper Talosian action figure
Dr. McCoy In Dress Uniform
Playmates U.S.S. Enterprise
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here to check out an organized listing of this type review!
© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.