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Deanna Troi

Star Trek: The Next Generation
by Artemis

The idea of having a ship's counselor is quite a positive one, in theory: that the crew's emotional wellbeing is just as important, and worthy of professional care, as the warp core or the phase inducers or whatever other damn thing Geordi's complaining about this week. That's in theory. In theory Communism works. In theory. In practise it's duff, because in Star Trek: The Next Generation nobody in the crew actually had any emotional problems, because they were all happy well-adjusted Roddenberry humans. Besides Barclay, of course. I think Counselor Troi deliberately kept Barclay miserable and maladjusted because otherwise she'd have been fired for having no purpose on the ship.

"People come to talk to you about things they want to reveal. As ship's counselor you have to get them to talk about things they don't want to reveal."

Finally getting tired of having nothing to do but say "Captain, he's hiding something," whenever they met a Romulan (it says a lot about Picard's self-restraint that he never snapped back "Of course he is, he's a Romulan!"), in the seventh season of TNG Troi took the bridge officer's test to advance in rank to commander. The test, designed to see whether a candidate has The Right Stuff to be in charge (although since Troi wound up in charge anyway when no-one else was available in "Disaster," it doesn't seem to matter much), basically boils down to seeing whether a would-be commander has it in them to order a crewmate to his or her death when necessary. Presumably there's some other test to weed out sociopaths, otherwise they'd wind up promoting the wrong people. Troi passed - no surprise, I think she wound up with a lot of pent-up anger from years of having no purpose. Just look at what happens when they let her drive the ship - she's two from two at crashing it into things.

This figure commemorates her advance in rank, since although the gold paint is very weak this time, close inspection reveals three full pips on her collar (she wore her proper uniform during Captain Jellico's brief command of the Enterprise, since he ordered her to, but she was only a lieutenant commander then). She gets the smaller of the available TNG female bodies, giving her a height of 7" with her big hairdo - Marina Sirtis is 5'4", so it's reasonable that her figure is topped by 5'8" Dr. Crusher's by a quarter inch. As noted in the Ezri Dax review - they share the body from the waist down - this body also has a much more pert, shapely backside than the generic-figured taller one; Troi also has a fuller upper torso sculpt to go with it.

She's got the same articulation as her fellow Starfleet officers, naturally: balljoint neck, swivel/pin shoulders, swivel biceps, pin elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, peg hips, pin knees, pin ankles. The lack of swivel and tilt joints on the legs, along with the way the trouser legs come right down to floor level and poke out beneath the bottom of the foot if it's tilted, makes putting her in an adventurous stance quite the balancing act, but it can be done - best, though, just to stand her with her shipmates, alert but neutral, and leave it at that.

The face is a good effort, but slips into caricature rather than capturing a lifelike likeness. I'm not that great to picking individual facial features (I'd be useless to a police sketch artist - I recall whole faces, not specific features), but if I had to guess I'd say it's to do with the chin and cheeks being a little too curvy - Troi has a full, expressive face, but at this scale I think less would have been more. Her hair is built up in a sizeable 'do, held in place by a hairband that's painted gloss black to stand out from the matte black hair, and it cascades voluminously down her back, sitting up off her shoulders behind her so as to allow the head to remain mobile.

Like all the TNG figures until recently, Troi comes with a single-pad transporter as a base - unlike some of the big beefy guys, her narrow stance allows her to properly stand on it, rather than with her feet half-on the edges, but it's still rather over-elaborate, especially if you buy these figures in any quantity. She also has a sundae, which may seem a bit odd if you only have a passing familiarity with her character, but it's established in several episodes that she's a full-on chocoholic - presumably the chocolate is hidden under the mound of whipped cream (with a cherry on top) piled up waiting for her to tuck in. Since we saw in one episode that her workout routine consists of doing the galaxy's most low-impact aerobics with Beverly (fun fact: in the 24th Century they still haven't figured out how to make leotards that don't produce camel toes [hooray for the future! --ed.]), she must've been beaming the stuff out of her stomach, or she'd have finished the series with a waistline measured in AUs.

And just to make her look serious, she has a late-model type-2 phaser (DS9 style, in fact, though I can't say for sure whether they filtered onto TNG near the end, when the two shows were running simultaneously), a tricorder, and a PADD.

If you're collecting the definitive Next Generation cast, you'd probably want Troi in her lilac jumpsuit, but her season seven promotion makes this a worthwhile variant. The facial sculpt is its weak point, but it's not so bad that you'd avoid the figure on that count - indeed, it's only by comparison to the rest of the line that it's weak; there are plenty of TV- and movie-based lines where it'd be par for the course. And of course there's the sundae - Troi herself wouldn't be able to say no.

-- 05/30/05

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