Saturday, July 21, 2012

Good, But There Is A Better Jadzia Dax Figure By Comparison!

The Good: Decent sculpt, Good accessory
The Bad: Poseability/balance, Accessory
The Basics: This Lieutenant Jadzia Dax figure is hampered by balance problems and a half-lame, half-great accessory, making it an average action figure.

Sometimes, a little bit of time makes for a better review. Take, for example, the Star Trek action figures by Playmates. At one point, these were the gold standards of Star Trek action figures and people were impressed by the detailing and poseability of the 4.5" figures. Then, Playmates did a line of 6" figures which were largely rejected by fans because their figure collection was dominated by the other scale. Now, along has come Art Asylum and Diamond Select with their 6" action figure line which is now blowing collectors out of the water with the detail and quality of their sculpts and paint jobs.

This is where reviewing products years after they come out comes in handy. Had I reviewed the Playmates Warp Factor Series 2 Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax action figure when it was first released, I am certain it would have fared better than it does now. But now, there is a much better sculpt from Art Asylum and Diamond Select (link at bottom) and it makes one rethink the lack of balance and split decision on the accessory with this figure.


Beginning in the fifth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the StarFleet uniforms were changed to a darker color scheme that made for a more generic appearance of the officers and it reflected the thematic darkness of the imminent Dominion War. As a result, Lieutenant Jadzia Dax was able to be resculpted and re-released by Playmates toys.

The Warp Factor Series 2 set of action figures includes Lieutenant Jadzia Dax in her new, darker uniform. Standing 5 1/2 inches tall, this is a decent likeness of Lieutenant Dax immortalized in plastic. The uniform is well-colored and well-detailed for the character and the face is a real good likeness of Terry Farrell. The figure includes such accurate and important details as the two and a half rank pips on her collar indicating she is a Lieutenant, the correct communicator badge for the uniform (with the square buckle-style backing) and the spots that indicate she is a Trill. The spots on this Dax are not as dark as on other Dax figures. The result is a figure that looks quite a bit like Dax.

This is a decent likeness of Lieutenant Dax and there is no mistaking Dax for anyone else in the Star Trek universe. Given how Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is largely neglected in the merchandising department, it is refreshing to see Dax featured in this wave of figures. Honestly, the head shape on this Dax might well be the best sculpt. The paint job is split between this one and the Diamond Select one (which has an odd shaped head).

The only paint job note I have is that I am fairly certain that by the time this season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine came about, Dax was a full Commander, so it seems like Playmates might have gotten that detail wrong.


Lieutenant Dax comes with only one accessory: her navigation console from the bridge of the U.S.S. Defiant. Made of plastic and cardboard, the console is a real split deal. The actual console is great. Over six inches long and an inch thick, this heavy plastic piece has a sticker that appears to use the precise graphics from the television series. It is incredible!

But then there is the base. The base is cardboard and it unfolds and slides into slots in the plastic console piece. The cardboard piece seldom fits precisely into the console base (I've gone through three of the figures in this fashion) and the result is that frequently, the cardboard tabs, which are not precisely bent to fit the console, will get bent in inappropriate ways. It is hard to argue this is a great accessory to the good figure when it is so easily damaged and often falls over (the cardboard is rather thin and the console is reasonably heavy.

Lieutenant Dax comes with no sidearm, Tricorder or other accessory. It's refreshing to see a toy that is geared entirely for the bridge environment!


Despite the idea that Dax is destined to stand at her navigation console (on the ship she has a chair), Dax is remarkably well articulate. Unfortunately, the poseability suffers some because the only way this figure seems to balance well is by having Dax standing up straight. In other words, attempting to pose her with anything other than the figure standing flat-footed makes her fall over.

Lieutenant Dax is blessed with fourteen points of articulation, though: knees, thighs, groin socket, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck and waist. Dax is deigned to be an action figure, all of her articulation allows her to be quite poseable, but not to stand up. She can make dramatic and surprisingly sophisticated poses, but then the figure tips over. Given that this is one of the most realistically-proportioned Dax's on the market, this seems odd.

Also, rather odd is that the hands on this Dax figure are designed to hold accessories, like a tricorder or phaser, but there is none with the figure. In short, while Dax seems quite poseable, she is touch to display, save in the most boring pose behind her console, which is more or less par for the Warp Factor Series 2 6" figures.


Playmates mass produced the Warp Factor Series 2 figures, including Lieutenant Dax. None of them appear to be more or less common than the others. To encourage collectors, every figure in this line has an individual number stamped on bottom of the toy's foot. It is hard to consider something with at least 15,000 pieces a limited edition (my Dax's # is 014572), but Playmates made fans believe by putting the number stamps on each figure.

The problem from a collector's point of view is simple: there were no other 6" figures at the time these figures were released and there have been very few since, none from Playmates, if memory serves. As a result, the five figures in this line (along with the five from the prior line) more or less stand alone. This makes them generally less collectible because people tend to want to be able to put all of their figures together and these stand out like sore thumbs.


Still, it is hard to complain about anything Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and while these are overproduced and might never appreciate significantly in value, the figure looks good. Moreover, it does capture the likeness well, especially given the character. But the manufacturers (and fans and come to think of it, the writers on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) tend to forget that Dax was not just the helmsman of the Defiant, she was the station's Chief Science Officer. In other words, a Tricorder and PADD might have been more appropriate than the console. And even with the console, a chair would have been nice.

Ultimately, this is a perfectly average action figure.

This figure utilizes an image and style of Lieutenant Jadzia Dax as seen beginning in the fifth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine reviewed here!

For other 6” Playmates figures or toys focusing on Jadzia Dax, please check out my reviews of:
6” Jem’Hadar Soldier
Lieutenant Dax as seen in “Blood Oath”
Art Asylum's (best!) Jadzia Dax action figure


For other toy reviews, be sure to visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2012, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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