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iReview :: Star Trek Starships Collection – SPOCK’S JELLYFISH

Eaglemoss Collections releases its latest “special issue” model in their Star Trek Starships line of perhaps one of the more obscure designs to ever be featured in the extensive cinematic mythology.

When film director J.J. Abrams was given the duty of rebooting one of the longest-running science fiction franchises in popular culture, fans were more than a little nervous about how the visionary filmmaker would approach Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry’s “wagon train to the stars” inspired generations, and 50 years later it’s thriving beyond anyone’s expectations. Abrams then elevated the brand by creating an “alternate timeline”.

In his 2009 film Star Trek a Romulan ship from the future travels back to the 22nd Century and effectively shifts reality with its incursion. Another vessel from the future is also caught in the temporal wake, that craft is piloted by a legend and is among one of the most unusual designs ever seen in the Trek universe. Spock’s Jellyfish Ship is recreated by the folks at Eaglemoss Collection as part of their “Special Issue” releases of the Star Trek Starships Collections.

Solidly constructed and slightly larger than the regular line of starships Spock’s Jellyfish measures nearly 6” in length and diameter. Highly detailed and well-textured to evoke the vessel’s uniquely organic looking design. The gyroscopic spokes are on full display, but are not articulated to mimic the movement as seen in the film, but that hardly diminishes the overall attractiveness of this model. The coloring does dull its shine, though amplifies its authenticity.

In the script for the film the vessel is literally described as a “jellyfish” (as revealed in Mark Cotta Vaz’s book Star Trek: The Art of the Film) and was further developed from an original idea by comic book artist/illustrator Bryan Hitch, so it should come as no surprise that the ship itself is one of the most peculiar in recent cinematic mythology, but still maintains a continuity of Vulcan ships. Hitch insists that he wanted “something not like conventional Federation ships,” and with its gyroscopic design, the “Jellyfish” certainly lives up to that dictum.

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Of all the recent releases from Eaglemoss Collections this “special issue” is a bit lackluster. The model builders have been dedicated to producing a high-end subscription line with their Star Trek Starships Collections, but “Spock’s Jellyfish” is simply just a large-sized mock up. Perhaps it would have been asking too much to construct a model that also featured the gyroscope components — which could have been accomplished with just three parts — the Jellyfish is just not as interesting as a solid, non-moving, prop.

The model is also mostly constructed of plastic. Though it feels like it sports some heft, the die-cast may be relegated to a portion at the forefront of the model, which pulls it slightly down on its stand. A seam along the front hull is slightly off and should be something that Eaglemoss should carefully monitor in their quality control. This is often than not an issue with their models.

Given that the modelers have kept the price of their “Special Issues” at about $40 – $45 on the mainland (mostly because of the limited factory release of these larger-sized offerings) it is a bit pricey especially for those of us that mostly display these finds. Eaglemoss Collections can be depended upon for a unique collectible experience, but the sculptors need to be delivering a more sophisticated product, especially with competitors appearing on the market.

Recently they’ve announced the production of larger scale releases, an 11” Classic Series Enterprise NCC 1701 is the first in this new line, fetching nearly $80 for the avid collector. I would suggest that if they are looking to keep or court more fans to their subscription based products, they need to be more less careless. A little precision goes a long way.

● Eaglemoss Collections Star Trek The Official Starships Collection – Spock’s Jellyfish Ship “Special Issue”  is available now stateside or by visiting Eaglemoss Collections online.

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