The Good: Excellent sculpt, Cool accessories, Good coloring, Great balance
The Bad: A bit over-accessorized (none, truly!)
The Basics: Poseable, easily recognizable and well-balanced, the Diamond Select Dr. Julian Bashir figure is another perfect figure from the reigning producer of Star Trek toys!
Few characters on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine have been as poorly represented in the merchandising as Dr. Julian Bashir. Between having hair that does not translate well to a figure and having a coloring that seems to confound those manufacturing toys (as well as, honestly, some of the directors lighting shots on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) Dr. Julian Bashir has been neglected when it comes to selling toys and making trading cards and the like. Sadly, when some of the best companies have tried to make Bashir figures, they have failed horribly, like when Art Asylum made the "Trials And Tribble-ations" Bashir figure.
But, on my recent trip to my annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, I found the ultimate Bashir figure. In fact, I only ended up buying two new action figures, the new Diamond Select O'Brien and the same company's Dr. Julian Bashir figure. The thing is, when you find a great action figure, sometimes it is worth buying because you know you'll never have to buy another version of the same character. That is what I was hoping for from the Dr. Julian Bashir figure and now that I have opened it up and had it outfitted with its many accessories, I am happy to say that that hope was realized. Diamond Select made a perfect action figure with the Doctor Julian Bashir figure.
The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Series 2 (2008) Collection of action figures contained only four figures (one of which was an exclusive to Preview Magazine) and it focused on the essential characters from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine which had not been done in the first assortment. The second-teir characters Diamond Select cast included Doctor Julian Bashir, Chief O'Brien, Kira Nerys and Martok, the Klingon General. Perfectly sculpted with amazing attention to surface details and coloring, Doctor Julian Bashir arrives in the Deep Space Nine assortment as a wonderfully realized action figure embodying one of the essential characters from the space station. Not widely available, the Bashir figure remains harder to find and one suspects the entire line will be gobbled up by collectors as soon as they realize it exists, in no small part owing to the overall quality of the line!
The Doctor Bashir figure is the Medical branch officer as he appeared in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (reviewed here!) from the fifth season on. This is a fairly standard costume for Bashir and he was actually the first character on the show to acknowledge the color change of the uniforms. This Bashir is coiffed in the new gray and black costume that became the standard on Deep Space Nine because it was the uniform being used in Star Trek: First Contact. Technically, fans may wonder if this is a Bashir Founder figure (that's an obscure costuming note for die-hard fans) or if it is actually Doctor Bashir! Bashir has a dark uniform with the requisite teal shirt beneath to indicate he is in the medical and sciences branch.
Standing seven and a quarter inches tall, this is an amazing likeness of Doctor Bashir immortalized in plastic. The character is molded in a neutral stance, which allows one to make the figure more expressive through posing, as opposed to forcing collectors to pose him in one of a few limited ways. The fingers on his right hand are half closed, to allow him to hold his accessories and the fingers on his left hand are extended more, so it looks like he might be reaching out with compassion to a patient. There is a decent level of uniform detailing, including the rank insignia which is painted on as opposed to any form of molding into the figure. As well, the communicator is molded and painted on his chest and his wrist stripes - another way to quickly denote he is in Medical - are painted on. My Bashir was immaculately painted and there were no chips or overlaps on any areas, like the occasionally problematic communicator badge.
Bashir's face is molded in a benevolent, neutral expression with a faint hint of a smile that is distinctly the visage of Siddig El Fadil's Bashir. Diamond Select managed to get such details as the strong nose and sharp jaw of Bashir as well as his piercing eyes. Bashir looks kind and professional, which is a good - and popular - look for him. As well, Diamond Select did an excellent job with the coloring details, getting Bashir's skin tones with some depth - save on the hands - and shading. Bashir is of Middle Eastern ancestry and the slightly darker, more olive colored skin is well-presented on this figure.
The paint job is incredible on the head as well. In addition to having great detailing to the eyes, Bashir's hair is realistically shaded. As a result, Bashir looks like he has a head actual, straightened short hair, as opposed to wearing some form of textured helmet! This is a nice sense of detailing and clearly Diamond Select took its time to make the best figure possible. This includes detailing on the nose which is extraordinary. In fact, the only part of Bashir lacking much in the way of detail are Bashir's hands, which have very subtle fingernails. The uniform is appropriately colored and the figure looks great in that respect. This includes the split cuffs at the bottom of Bashir's pants, which was a nice touch of realism.
Doctor Bashir comes with six accessories, making him heavily over-accessorized, but offering fans a lot of options for play or display. Bashir comes with: A StarFleet Type II phaser, two different StarFleet PADDs, a coonskin cap, a mug for coffee and an StarFleet medical scanner. That Doctor Bashir comes with more tools than weapons is a nice attention to detail, as Bashir was one of the more peaceful characters on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. If there is ever a Sickbay playset, we would hope a medical tricorder would be included in Bashir's gear, but until then, what we have with this works perfectly for him.
The Type II phaser is impressively detailed, basically being a little silver plastic piece in the shape of a phaser with black highlights on the handle. The buttons are molded into the phaser, as is the display. This one-inch long choking hazard fits well into either of Bashir's hands and while it has the requisite molded details and most of the coloring details, the emitter display is not colored as if it is lit up and able to shoot. Still, this is an extraordinarily well-detailed accessory.
The PADDs are two flat computer interface displays with different sizes. Both are appropriately silver and for their screens, there is a sticker which mimics the display panels on the Personal Access Display Devices. The bigger one has more buttons molded into it and having seen the real props, this is an impressive piece of work! The smaller one looks good, but lacks the instant recognizability of the standard PADD, which was used in many episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Then comes the coonskin cap, the accessory I was most lukewarm to when I picked the figure up. Bashir and O'Brien used to play an Alamo holodeck program and while it was alluded to many times, we never actually saw Bashir or O'Brien wear the coonskin caps they mentioned wearing. That said, the cap is a bit loose on Bashir's head and looks like exactly what it is supposed to. The cap is plastic and is molded to look like it is made of fur and it is hard to argue with the inclusion of "concept accessories," especially when they look good and recognizable, like this does!
Because of the way the hands are molded, the mug may be held in either of Bashir's hands. The small (1/2" tall) mug is a gray vessel designed to hold a beverage (if one actually puts beverages in their toys' hands) and this looks good in Bashir's hands.
But the unique to Bashir figure is the medical scanner. The tiny device is essentially a handle with a silver knob on the top and it fits loosely into either of Bashir's hands. This, too, has an extraordinary amount of surface detailing to it. Unlike the other accessories, though, this is light on coloring details as it is cast in a monotonal silver-gray. Still, it is obviously a StarFleet medical scanner recognizable to those who are fans of the series instantly.
Doctor Bashir helps to continue an exceptional level of quality from Diamond Select Toys and he is without a doubt the ultimate Bashir figure as he has a great sculpt, wonderful accessories and a great sense of poseability. Doctor Julian Bashir is endowed with sixteen points of articulation at the ankles, knees, groin socket, biceps, elbows, shoulders, wrists, neck, and waist. Only a few of the joints, like the wrists and biceps, are simple swivel joints. The knees, elbows and ankles are all hinge joints, which offer realistic movement for the joints. Other joints, like the shoulders and neck are ball and socket joints. As a result, the neck turns left to right and can nod! Similarly, the shoulders have a full range of motion because of the style of joint! Diamond Select made an immaculately articulated figure and this is great for fans of Bashir or Star Trek toys in general.
The Diamond Select toys do not include a base (or foot holes) for their figures, but the Bashir figure helps them make the assertion that they are not necessary. Bashir stands in virtually any pose unaided, so long as both feet are on a surface, preferably flatfooted. This is not difficult because of the flexible ankles and Bashir can be posed even in a crouching running pose before the figure tips over! Loaded with accessories and standing straighter, this figure is virtually untippable!
Diamond Select Toys seems to be very conservative in releasing its Star Trek: Deep Space Nine action figures and as a result, Bashir is available usually only through specialized stores like comic book shops and toy stores as opposed to the big box discount stores. The level of quality is clearly intended for a more discriminating collector, which is probably why Diamond Select is able to get $15.00 per figure. One suspects as time goes by and no one else makes more (or a better) Bashir figures this will become highly sought after and its value will appreciate.
Just how rare the Bashir figure is is subject to debate and it remains one of the two more common figures from this particular line of Diamond Select Star Trek: Deep Space Nine figures, so it will probably not be a great investment piece anytime soon.
This Diamond Select Doctor Julian Bashir action figure has everything a fan can truly want; he is perfectly articulated, ideally sculpted and comes with a wide array of accessories. Diamond Select clearly knows what they are doing and for the first time in a while, leaving Las Vegas has netted me two perfect toys to display!
For other Diamond Select or Art Asylum Star Trek: Deep Space Nine figures, please check out my reviews of:
Captain Benjamin Sisko
For other toy reviews, be sure to check out my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the action figures and toys I have reviewed!
© 2012, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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