Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sisko From "Trials And Tribble-ations:" Sticky Shirt Undermines A Decent Sculpt

The Good: Good sculpt, Great accessories, Articulation
The Bad: Cannot hold all of his accessories, Dust sticks to shirt.
The Basics: A good, but not great, figure, the "Trials And Tribble-ations" Sisko seems to be a dust magnet that cannot easily be cleaned, making it a collecting liability.

I am one of the rare people who takes toys out of their package still. I have little diorama's up around the house of my favorite figures posed in interactive displays. I have friends who come over and rearrange them in obscene positions. Sigh. I don't let them come over anymore. In all seriousness, if one is not playing with toys, the best action figures and toys make for interesting display pieces that keep one connected to their favorite things.

One of the sets of action figures I had been pretty excited about was the series of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine action figures from the episode "Trials And Tribble-ations" (reviewed here!). That episode put key members of space station Deep Space Nine back in time into an episode of the original Star Trek and forced Sisko, Dax, O'Brien, and Bashir to go undercover in classic Star Trek uniforms. And the nice thing about reviewing one of the original highlights of the set, Captain Benjamin Sisko, is that there is a pretty severe problem that comes up with the Art Asylum produced figure as time goes by: dust.


The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "Trials And Tribble-ations" Series of action figures contains a Captain Benjamin Sisko figure - technically - Lieutenant Sisko, as he is disguised as a Lieutenant. His is wearing the yellow and black Star Trek uniform. In that series, yellow (gold) was for Command. Standing six and seven-eighths inches tall, this is a decent likeness of Captain Sisko immortalized in plastic. The uniform is well-detailed for the character and the face is a strong likeness of Avery Brooks's legendary character. Unlike the later Art Asylum Sisko figure, this one lacks detailing in the beard with it painted on somewhat lightly. As well, the head is made of a single color plastic, so it has a more monolithic coloring to it than the later figure.

The paint job is generally well done. The uniform is appropriately colored and the figure looks good in that respect. The Command Delta symbol is printed on the figure's shirt and herein lies perhaps the biggest problem with the Sisko figure: dust sticks to the rubbery shirt of the action figure. I recently took the figure out of storage and discovered there was ordinary dust on the action figure. Since then, I have attempted to remove the dust by carefully wiping it and then later with hot water and friction. All I accomplished was ruining the paint job on the collar and the delta symbol. I did, however, move the dust around the figure. The point here is that I tend to keep my figures clean and the bright yellow shirt - made of rubber to allow for chest articulation - is now a dingy yellow with a bit of a smudge on the front. Sigh. It is, however, a very useful thing to know: if you take this figure out, put it in some form of sealed environment that will allow the figure to stay absolutely dust free (much like Stormtrooper figures from Star Wars need to be kept out of sunlight or they yellow . . . fast).


Captain Benjamin Sisko comes with four accessories: A Classic StarFleet communicator, a classic Type II phaser, a classic PADD, and a pair of tribbles. That Captain Sisko comes with a PADD makes a lot of sense as he used one at the end of "Trials And Tribble-ations" to get Captain Kirk's autograph. The PADD is a 7/8" x 1/2" choking hazard that is equally incredible in its detail. It does fit in his right hand, which is the only one that is open (the other is in a fist).

The Communicator fits awkwardly in his hand, but the detailing is absolutely amazing. The buttons are red and green and for such a tiny piece that attention to detail is incredible. Unfortunately, the top, gold grill does not fold over for any increased playability.

The phaser is similarly well-detailed. Unlike the old Playmates figures, which came with solid-colored accessories, this phaser is gray and black with colored details and it fits perfectly in Sisko's right hand. One might think that Art Asylum molded it to be a perfect fit . . . This is truly incredible for a toy in terms of detailing and styling of the accessories.

At least, to the tribbles. The tribbles are simple fluff balls. It's pretty much what the standard is for a toy of a tribble, but it still seems pretty lame.


Captain Sisko is one of the most playable and poseable Star Trek action figures yet and Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toys deserve a lot of credit for that. Captain Benjamin Sisko is blessed as well by having nineteen points of articulation: ankles, knees, thighs, groin socket, biceps, elbows, wrists, shoulders, neck, chest and waist. The neck articulation is incredible given that the base of the neck is a ball joint, allowing for up and down posing as well as left to right movement. But the shoulders are equally impressive. As ball and socket joints (like real shoulders!), Captain Sisko is able to strike a number of poses that might otherwise be impossible and allow him to be posed in pretty advanced poses. But what sets this figure apart is the articulation in the chest. In addition to turning at the waist, Captain Sisko is jointed just below the pectoral region with a joint that allows for left to right and front to back motion.

Moreover, for use with actual play, Captain Sisko has all sorts of movement potential making him one of the more realistic Star Trek action figures to play with (for those who actually play with these toys!). Unfortunately, while there is a lot of articulation, the ankles are somewhat problematic; they basically pivot the foot up or down and there seems to be a predisposition in the sculpt - at least the one I have - for the foot to be angled down some and there is some resistance to flattening it.


Art Asylum and Diamond Select did not exactly mass produce the "Trials And Tribble-ations" figures. Indeed, most were exclusives, including the Captain Sisko figure, which was exclusive to Tower Records. Unlike previous Star Trek toy lines, there are no individual numbers on these figures, but mostly they were only available at hobby and comic book shops, so it is not like they were drastically overproduced by any means. The Sisko is was still fairly well distributed and it does appear that the market was never flooded with these. As a result, it has - at the very least - retained its original value.


Despite the general decency of the figure, because there are better ones, I am ultimately falling to the "not recommend." In regards to the sculpt, it is hard to argue with the articulation of this figure, but it is too easy to knock over and discovering (the hard way) that it gets so dirty from ordinary household dust and becomes virtually impossible to clean off without ruining the detailing on the figure makes it far less durable as a toy.

For other figures of Benjamin Sisko, be sure to check out my reviews of:
6" Captain Benjamin Sisko
Commander Sisko
Sisko from "Crossover"
Captain Benjamin Sisko
Warp Factor Wave 2 Captain Sisko As A Klingon
Diamond Select Captain Benjamin Sisko


For other toy reviews, be sure to check out my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the toy reviews I have written!

© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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