Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Benefit Of Being The Only: The Strike Force Maquis Fighter Remains Worth Recommending!

The Good: Good sculpt, Has a stand, Wings move, Awesome coloring details, Wonderful collectible value!
The Bad: Mini-figures are poorly detailed, Stickers on front of the ship.
The Basics: The Strike Force Maquis Fighter toy is one of the few maquis-related toys ever produced and (fortunately) Playmates got it right!

Despite their importance in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, the Maquis are one of the grossly neglected affiliations in the Star Trek universe. Part of that may come from the fact that the rebels do not have a technology or culture truly distinctive – the ex-Federation colonists use StarFleet technology that is outdated and the Maquis on Star Trek: Voyager are assimilated so fast that they becomes Maquis In Name Only after about an episode and a half!. And yet, when Playmates Toys was releasing their problematic Strike Force toy line, one of the few pieces they got right was the Maquis Fighter.


Playmates toys released the Strike Force Maquis Fighter and it is reminiscent of the ships first seen in “The Maquis, Part 2” (reviewed here!), though the presence of the Chakotay and B’Elanna mini-figures with their characters in their Maquis outfits make it clear this is intended to be the ship commanded by Chakotay in “Caretaker” (reviewed here!). This is a surprisingly well-sculpted and well-colored starship toy. Set in the obscure and highly variable scale of the Strike Force toy line (which had the Enterprise-D, Klingon Bird Of Prey – reviewed here!, and Ferengi Marauder, all in the same size, when the ships are radically different sizes relative to one another!), the Maquis Fighter has a wingspan of 6 1/2”. The ship is only 1 1/2” tall and 5 7/8" from tail to nose.

The hull of the Strike Force Maquis Fighter is detailed fairly extensively with all of the vents and plates that the ship had, along with the wing guns, engines and similar details. In fact, this ship is instantly recognizable to the fans and has pretty awesome molded detailing on the wing guns and the guns next to the cockpit. The Strike Force Maquis Fighter looks battle-ready and sturdy and has decent surface detailing. The toy also manages to hide the button that adjusts the wings in the sculpt itself, so this is a nice looking piece, as well as very playable.

The coloring for the Strike Force Maquis Fighter is incredible. Cast in standard StarFleet ship gray, the plastic for the engines, rear vents and forward phaser arrays is immaculately painted to appear real. There are even exhaust lines on the wings and the front of the ship that make it look more weathered than new. Sadly, Playmates cheaped out on the front windows and resorts to stickers for the ports on the front of the ship. Otherwise, this is an incredibly well-sculpted and well-colored ship toy!


This Strike Force Maquis Fighter comes with a stand and two mini-figures. Supported by a generic Star Trek black oval base, the stand raises and supports the Strike Force Maquis Fighter about two and a half inches off the surface the stand it placed on. As collectors became more sophisticated with future releases and made it clear to Playmates that they wanted to be able to display the starships, Playmates began to include stands that the starships would rest upon and this one does that. That said, the ship fits fine upon the stand and the single peg that goes from the top of the stand into the hole in the bottom of the ship is adequate to support the Strike Force Maquis Fighter.

The Strike Force Maquis Fighter comes with two 1 1/4” tall mini-figures, Chakotay and Torres, both in their Maquis outfits. Both feature a phaser molded into their hands (Chakotay in his left, Torres to her right), and Chakotay’s outfit looks right. Torres’s outfit is molded well, but is colored a bit more pink than one might recall it being from “Caretaker.” Chakotay is underdetailed enough that he does not have his iconic tattoo on his face. Torres has no forehead detailing to even suggest that she is half-Klingon!


The Strike Force Maquis Fighter is a starship toy, yet it opens up in the nose section to accommodate a single mini-figure in what would be the cockpit. The other mini-figure may easily stand on the stand, though there are two slots there for the mini-figures, so they may be both be displayed there if one does not want one in the ship itself. Given how awkward the detailing is on the mini-figures, it is hard to conceive of who might like the figures standing outside the fairly well-detailed ship, especially considering the drastic difference in the scale between the ship and the mini-figures.

The mini-figures bend at the waist and have arms that rotate at the shoulders, but no other articulation.

The Strike Force Maquis Fighter is one of the few Strike Force toys that has a play function. In this case, a rather unobtrusive button on the top of the ship allows one to manipulate the wings. Sliding the top sensor array (which is the button) forward raises the wings and locks them in the upright position. Far more durable than the wings on the Klingon Bird of Prey, this is nevertheless a baffling play function as the wings did not move on the actual Maquis fighters!


Playmates vastly overproduced the Strike Force toys, but the Maquis Fighter was the shortpack of the lot. Between that and the fact that it is one of only two toys of the Maquis Fighter (the other being a Galoob MicroMachine), this toy has skyrocketed in value. Playmates made it even more collectible to the fans by including a limited edition number on the box to each toy. My toy is numbered #002330 and so with at least 2400 of these out in the world, it's hard to consider it especially limited. However, because it was the least-produced of the series, it has exploded in value!


The Strike Force Maquis Fighter toy is a good idea, executed very well. Unfortunately for most fans, it is usually only available now at a premium price, but for those who love the Maquis, it is a piece well worth hunting down.

For other Star Trek ship merchandise, please check out my reviews of:
Playmates Toys Klingon Attack Cruiser
Corgi Klingon Bird Of Prey
2012 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D Hallmark ornament


For other toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page! There you will find an organized listing of all of the toys I have reviewed!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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