Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Pretty Terrible Exclusive: The Hot Wheels Star Trek Into Darkness U.S.S. Vengeance Toy Crumbles Under Scrutiny!

The Good: Excellent sculpt, Solid stand
The Bad: Nacelles are incorrectly colored, Surprisingly low collectible value
The Basics: The Mattel Diecast U.S.S. Vengeance toy is an exclusive not worth the price of hunting down.

I absolutely love my wife. She knows me exceptionally well and sometimes, there are things she knows I want, but that I don’t want to spend my own money on. When it comes to DVDs (and now Blu-Rays), my wife knows I like the versions that have all the bells and whistles. In the case of Star Trek Into Darkness (reviewed here!), I’ve spent the entire summer bitching about the film, so when there was an exclusive version released, my wife figured even though I have strenuously argued that the movie was terrible (check out that argument here!), that I would still want the exclusive version. In the case of Star Trek Into Darkness, what the exclusive Blu-Ray boxed set had was the diecast U.S.S. Vengeance toy. The Hot Wheels U.S.S. Vengeance toy is an unfortunately poor exclusive because it is an erratically-manufactured toy (my wife was hugely disappointed that the U.S.S. Vengeance exclusive did not match the size of the exclusive Enterprise case that holds our Blu-Ray of Star Trek) and does not fit the scale of pretty much any other Star Trek starship.


The Mattel U.S.S. Vengeance toy is a recreation of the covert Star Trek starship cast in glossy dark gray plastic. This U.S.S. Vengeance is an exceptional work as far as the detailing is concerned, for the body, not the nacelles. Measuring 3” wide by 6 1/4" long by 1 1/2" tall (3 3/8”when on the stand), the U.S.S. Vengeance is intended to be a display piece more than a toy. This is an immaculately detailed casting, though the coloring on the nacelles is way, way off. The tiny veins for piping and baffle plates are molded into the ship's body and painted on for extra accents on the engineering hull and saucer section. The U.S.S. Vengeance, unlike other Federation starships looks armored and strong and has a section missing from the middle of the saucer section. There is no logical reason for the open section near the bridge section, but it looks pretty distinctive. Hot Wheels also molded into the U.S.S. Vengeance such details as the light ports on the bridge section and the veins on the nacelles. These are finer details which look precise and accurate, most notably the ports on the underside of the saucer section.

What truly sucks down the U.S.S. Vengeance are the warp nacelles. The nacelles are cast in a matte gray plastic that is lighter than the rest of the starship. As well, there is no coloring to the nacelles in terms of lights or internal power sources. In other words, the nacelles are entirely incongruent with the rest of the ship.


The U.S.S. Vengeance toy from Mattel comes with only a single accessory: a display stand. The display stand is a solid Star Trek Delta symbol rendered in three dimensions for stability which is topped off in a ball which plugs into a hole in the base of the U.S.S. Vengeance. The ball and socket joint that this forms allows the Hot Wheels U.S.S. Vengeance to be displayed at extreme angles and this is a great benefit for collectors as it may add real variety for the posing of the ship for one’s collection.


The Hot Wheels U.S.S. Vengeance has decent playability, but I have no idea who would want to play with this model-quality toy. The ship is intended more as a display piece than a toy. This toy has decent poseability and I suppose children could hold it and make little space battles, though it is hard to imagine who would shell out for the exclusive version just to have children play with it.


The Hot Wheels U.S.S. Vengeance was released in undefined numbers, but its value in the secondary market is surprisingly low. Despite the fact that the boxed set with the Blu-Ray continues to retail at $45, stripping the set for the U.S.S. Vengeance toy has not seen the toy appreciate at all in value. In fact, it can be found currently on eBay for less than the value of the common release U.S.S. Vengeance toy from Hot Wheels.


Despite having an incredible basic sculpt and body coloring, the miscoloring of the warp nacelles make it impossible to recommend anyone shell out money on the Blu-Ray set of Star Trek Into Darkness just to get the exclusive U.S.S. Vengeance toy.

For other Star Trek toys, please check out my reviews of:
Strike Force Maquis Fighter
Playmates Toys Klingon Attack Cruiser
Burger King Sulu toy


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

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