The Tale of 2 Niners Caps

20 years ago*, the episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine called “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” aired on TV. In the episode, Captain Sisko is challenged by Captain Solok, an old Vulcan rival from Starfleet Academy, to a game of baseball in the space station’s holosuite. Captain Sisko is a HUGE baseballl fan and refuses to be beaten by Solok and has to train his crew to play baseball. TrekCore did a great article looking back at the episode which I highly recommend reading. But in the episode, Sisko and his crew call their team the “Niners” based after the name of the station and wore baseball uniforms and caps with the following logo on them: 

“Niners” Baseball Team Logo
Captain Sisko wearing his “Niners” cap.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – the official Star Trek Shop has a bunch of new merchandise including a baseball cap with the “Niners” patch on it. Excited by this – I bought one. Then ANOVOS announced at San Diego Comic Con this summer they were also doing “Niners” gear to celebrate the DS9 annniversary – also including a baseball cap. So I bought one from ANOVOS too. 

The two Niners hats side-by-side. Cap from the Star Trek Shop on the left, Cap from ANOVOS on the right. 

TL;DR – the ANOVOS Niners cap is a thousand times better than the official Star Trek Store cap. First issue: the bottom of the bill is green while the bottom of the bill for the cap used in the episode was grey. ANOVOS got it right. Second issue: the patch style of the Niners logo doesn’t match on the cap from the Star Trek Shop while on the ANOVOS cap it matches perfectly with what was seen in the episode. Third issue: the overall quality of the official Star Trek Shop cap is really low while ANOVOS is of high quality. The ANOVOS cap is essentially a exact replica of the one caps used in the actual episode. 

I call the issue of the 2 Niners caps out for a couple of reason. The first is I continue to be extremely disappointed at CBS for the quality of merchandise in the official Star Trek Shop. Marvel or Star Wars don’t seem to have this problem. In my view, the lack of quality of merchandise CBS puts in their official Star Trek Shop reflects a lack of respect for the fans on their part. Instead of selling a cheap Niners cap in their store why aren’t they selling the ANOVOS version? The second reason I call this out is because I think the work ANOVOS does on their products is AMAZING. And I thank CBS for continuing to allow ANOVOS to produce amazing Star Trek products. 

Want your own Niners cap? I highly recommend the ANOVOS version which is currently in stock here. In addition to the cap, ANOVOS also has Niner baseball jerseys for pre-order

REVIEW: McFarlane’s Captain Picard action-figure misses the mark

McFarlane Toys is kicking off a new series of 7-inch Star Trek action-figures starting with Captain Kirk and Captain Picard. These figures just hit stores and my figures arrived today. I collected all of Diamond Select’s Star Trek figures previously (and loved them) so I was naturally curious about what McFarlane’s versions would be like.

I’m going to cut to the chase: their Captain Kirk figure is amazing. So I’m not really going to talk about that figure much. But they really missed the ball on their Captain Picard figure. Details matter on figures I collect and they got a bunch of the details wrong which really disappointed me.

Close-up of McFarlane’s Picard figure.

You can see that they didn’t do a good job getting Picard’s eyes quite right. The rest of his face seems quite a match. It’s his eyes that bug me. But my biggest problem is with the uniform they used for their Picard figure. During the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, they transitioned away from using the form-fitting one-piece uniforms seen in Season 1 and 2 and went with a two piece uniform which consisted of pants and shirt that unzipped in the back for all the male cast members (and other male supporting characters like Lt. Barclay). But during that transition, Picard’s uniform was a bit off during the first few episodes of the third season. You had these two seams that ran down the middle of his uniform shirt.

Captain Picard as seen in the first episode of Season 3. Notice the two seams?

This weird uniform style for Picard was seen until the 6th episode of the third season called “Booby Trap”. In that episode – Picard has the uniform shirt that he will have for the remainder of the series.

Captain Picard as seen from the 6th episode of the third season called “Booby Trap”. Notice no seams?

So why did McFarlane Toys choose to model their Picard figure in a uniform style that was used in only 5 episodes of the third season rather than the more familiar uniform style he’s most recognizable in for the series?

Back of the Picard figure.

The other issue is the back of the Picard figure is also not right. It includes no zipper seam going down the middle and the lines are not right.

The quality of these figures is great but its the detail that is lacking and as a collector, details really matter to me. The next two figures in the new McFarlane Toys Star Trek 7-inch action-figures series is Michael Burnham from Star Trek: Discovery and Spock from the Original Series. I’ll definitely be picking them up but I really do hope they pay special attention to getting the details right.

The “Way of the Warrior” Star Trek Mission Crate

UPDATED on 8/20 to include tweet from Loot Crate on their new Shipping Status page. 

Subscription boxes have become popular with different fandoms over the last few years led by Loot Crate and others like Funko. These subscription boxes usually come every 1 to 2 months with a bunch of nerdy exclusives and other goodies based on a theme. I had been a subscriber for Loot Crate’s main subscription boxes – or “crates” – but canceled my subscription because I was finding the contents and themes for the crates hit or miss. Then late last year, Loot Crate announced they would be doing Star Trek subscription boxes. As you can imagine, I jumped on board immediately and bought a subscription for their Star Trek Mission Crates. How could I turn down getting a subscription box filled with Star Trek exclusives in partnership with Quantum Mechanix every 2 months?

Their first Star Trek Mission Crate subscription box was “Wolf 359” themed. It shipped in January in a box that looked like a shuttlecraft from the Original Series. Inside, it came with an exclusive “Locutus” limited edition statue from QMx and some other goodies. I didn’t blog about it here but this post here does a really good review of the box. 

Today I received the second Star Trek Mission Crate subscription box which is “Way of the Warrior” themed. “Way of the Warrior” was the title of the 2 part episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that saw Michael Dorn join the cast as Worf after war breaks out with the Klingon Empire. (Despite taking the theme from DS9, I had a little giggle when I noticed the box was labeled as “The Next Generation”.)

Opening the box revealed all the goodies!
Klingon socks, badge, and sticker with Mirror Universe tribble and Worf!
Worf looks pretty badass!

The box included:

  • A Worf “Master Series” Limited Edition Statue from QMx.
  • A Mirror Universe Tribble from QMx. 
  • A pair of Klingon socks.
  • A Klingon emblem badge from QMx.
  • A Klingon sticker. 
  • A Star Trek: Discovery Lapel Pin. 

Everything is this subscription box was awesome. I believe the Discovery lapel pin was handed out at the 2018 Office Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas earlier this month and since I couldn’t attend – I was glad to score one through this way! I have no complaints about the box. This Star Trek fan is impressed.

However, I do have a general complaint about my overall experience with the Star Trek Mission Crate subscription. I feel like Loot Crate is struggling a bit to fulfill the promise of shipping these boxes every 2-months. The second Star Trek Mission Crate subscription box was supposed to arrive in March. And it was supposed to be “Dark Frontier” themed after the 2-part Star Trek: Voyager episode “Dark Frontier” and feature Seven of Nine in some fashion. In May, I received an email saying this box was delayed and was expected to ship mid-July. That’s the last thing I heard about that box. Then in early July, I received an email saying that the “Way of the Warrior” box was delayed until late July. No word on what happened with the “Dark Frontier” box. Then on July 31st, I got another email saying the “War of the Warrior” box was delayed again to mid-August. The box finally arrived but still no word on the “Dark Frontier” box. It has been almost 7 months between boxes. I really want to see Loot Crate be more transparent about what’s going on with these boxes, which boxes are supposed to ship when etc. 

Overall though, I’ve been very impressed with the 2 Star Trek Mission Crates I’ve received so far and really excited for more!

UPDATED: Loot Crate responded to my tweet about this blog post alerting me to their new Shipping Status page. It just launched. 

Chris Pine walks away from Star Trek 4

A follow-up to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond is in development at Paramount with S. J. Clarkson on board to direct. “Star Trek 4” will be the 4th in the series of new Star Trek movies that began with 2009’s Star Trek directed by JJ Abrams. However, the new movie may be in trouble as both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have reportedly walked away after negotiations have stalled over money according to the Hollywood Reporter. Pine would have returned to the iconic role of Captain Kirk while Hemsworth would be returning to play Captain Kirk’s dad George Kirk which was announced in 2016 just after Star Trek Beyond his theaters.

Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk from Star Trek Beyond.
Chris Hemsworth as Lt. Cmdr. George Kirk from Star Trek (2009).

In 2009’s Star Trek movie – George Kirk was the first officer aboard the U.S.S. Kelvin as it was attacked by Nero who’s ship was thrown back in time. This resulted in the creation of the Kelvin Timeline. George Kirk died as he collided the U.S.S. Kelvin into Nero’s ship (the Narada) in order to help the crew of the Kelvin (including his wife and newborn son James T. Kirk) escape. 

When Chris Pine signed on to play Kirk in Star Trek Beyond, he also signed on for Star Trek 4 with the deal locking in how much he would get paid for Star Trek 4. From what I gather from the Hollywood Reporter article – it seems that Paramount wants to re-negotiate that deal after Star Trek Beyond didn’t do as well as they were hoping at the box office. 

According to IMDB, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond nearly had the same budget but Star Trek Into Darkness grossed $467 million worldwide while Star Trek Beyond grossed $343 million worldwide. I think Paramount was hoping Star Trek Beyond would do as well or better than Into Darkness. It seems Paramount’s expectations for Star Trek movies is that they will earn an estimated $400 million at the box office and that Star Trek isn’t at the same level as Marvel or Star Wars movies. As a result, they are looking to find ways to maximize their profit off these movies by (probably) lowering the budget and asking their lead actor to take a pay cut. 

I think this is a cheap thing for Paramount to do. If they want to make a 4th Star Trek movie, having Chris Pine as Captain Kirk is absolutely critical to the movie being even remotely successful. He’s a damn good Kirk and people recognize that. His appearances in major hit movies like Wonder Woman will also help. He’s *worth it*. In looking at things to cut from the budget, Chris’s pay (which was agreed on in a deal signed 2 years ago) should be one of the last things to try and cut.

I’m assuming a deal was signed with Chris Hemsworth when they announced he was returning to play Kirk’s dad in 2016. However, he’s not critical. Paramount can adjust the story if they don’t want to pay the big bucks for Hemsworth. Or they can go with a completely different story altogether. Take the time to develop a good story with the budget you’re willing to go with. There’s no sense in rushing a new Star Trek movie. 

But one thing is clear to this Star Trek fan: Paramount – you don’t have a Star Trek 4 without Chris Pine.