BORG: ASSIMILATION (ART ASYLUM)
Today’s post is brought to you by Super Awesome Girlfriend. No, she didn’t buy me this figure, but she did point to this spot on my calendar of upcoming reviews, hold up today’s figure and say “you should do this one on that day.” Who am I to argue? Well, the owner and head writer of the site, I guess, but I’m really not going to push this one.
In the early ’00s, after Playmates had held the Star Trek license for over a decade, the reins were passed to up-and-coming company Art Asylum. Poor AA ended up with some of the worst Trek properties to merch (Enterprise and Nemesis), but still put out a solid selection of figures. They weren’t afraid to experiment a little bit with things. One of those experiments was their Borg: Assimilation line, which toyed with what non-human races would look like when assimilated by the Borg. Today, I’m looking at the Klingon.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Klingon Borg, officially designated 1 of 3, was part of the first, and only, series of Art Asylum’s Borg: Assimilation line. The figure stands a whopping 8 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. He’s a little restricted in terms of movement, but he was fairly decent for the time. The big claim to fame of any Art Asylum figure was sculpting. The Klingon Borg had an all-new sculpt, featuring a tremendous amount of detail work. Every surfaced is covered with some sort of texture or small detail, from the ridges on his forehead, to the machinery of his Borg components. This guy lives up to the Borg’s penchant for asymmetry, with one cybernetic eye, two differently shaped shoulder-pads, and one big honking claw arm to replace his right limb. He loses the usual Klingon dreads, which impacts his design a bit; originally, he was designed with a bevy of cables that would replace the hair, but apparently this made him look too Klingon. As it stands, he’s got just the one big wire, which is a decent halfway point. His face is a good mix of Klingon and Borg sensibilities, with a determined, but still somewhat lifeless stare to his eyes. It’s worth noting that this figure is a fair bit more stylized than many of AA’s Trek offerings, with a more pronounced set of features on his face, slightly exaggerated proportions, and a decidedly slouched pre-posed nature. But, as a concept figure, this guy is more about what could be, outside of the limitations of a live-action sci-fi show’s budget. Though his paint is somewhat monochromatic, it is no less carefully detailed than the sculpt. His cybernetic sections in particular are rife with small detail work, showcasing a variance in silvers, greys, and brasses that keep him from looking too bland, and give him that nice “used future” feel. For accessories, all this guy had was the weird themed coin thing that all of the AA Trek figures got. This one’s red and has the Borg symbol on one side. Not really much to do with the figure, but given the effort that went into the figure’s design and sculpt, the lack of real extras doesn’t hinder him.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I remember seeing this guy when he was new. He seemed to hang around KB Toys for a little while. I almost got him on several occasions, but kept passing for other things. He and the rest of this series ended up being part of this year’s Farpoint charity auction, and it was that wonderful mix of being something I’d been looking for and also being for a good cause, so I went for it. Though I’m hardly the world’s largest Trek fan, I can’t deny this is one cool figure.