Star Trek: Ds9 Captain Benjamin Sisko SX (Standard Version) 1:6 Scale Action Figure
Star Trek goes deep
It’s strange that while Star Trek Voyager and even Enterprise have seen their respectability factor raised in the decades since they were released, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, while often regarded by a hardcore group of fans as the best of all the Trek shows, still seems unfairly dismissed by a big demographic of Trekkies/ers. Released at the height of The Next Generation’s popularity, DS9 defied the established Trek format by staying put on an alien space station rather than exploring the galaxy on a Federation starship. The show’s creators intended for its heroes to be stuck with the ramifications of their actions week after week, and this, along with a lengthy Dominion War arc that dominated the back half of the series, resulted in a show full of shades of gray, with sympathetic villains, compromised heroes, and shady characters like Cardassian spy Garak (Andrew Robinson) and Ferengi bar owner Quark (Armin Shimmerman) who were inherently untrustworthy but somehow compelling and loveable.
Unfortunately, the result of this was a show that consistently struggled in the ratings. Oddly, what could easily have been a classic “jump the shark” moment, with TNG’s Klingon Worf (Michael Dorn) added to the show to improve viewership, instead resulted in some of the show’s strongest seasons as Worf’s Klingon intrigue and the eventual Dominion War arc enhanced the series considerably.
Avery Brooks’ Benjamin Sisko, the first Black lead on a Trek show, was equally complex—introduced as a victim of the Borg who bears a grudge against TNG’s Jean-Luc Picard for his perceived collaboration with the Collective. Like TNG and many other Trek shows, DS9 took a few seasons to find its space legs, and Sisko’s character too took time to fall into place (in an early episode the writers sought to differentiate him from the intellectual Picard by having him punch Picard’s godlike nemesis Q in the nose). But the Dominion War Arc (along with some compelling episodes focusing on Sisko’s relationship with his son Jake) truly brought Sisko into focus, particularly in the episode “In the Pale Moonlight,” which finds Sisko increasingly involved in skullduggery with Garak, including the assassination of a Romulan emissary designed to bring the Romulans into the war. Initially infuriated at being used by Garak (and characteristically punching the character in the nose), Sisko eventually dictates the details of the incident into a private log, adding in a bitter toast, “I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would.” After which Sisko erases the log entry.
EXO-6 brings Sisko to life
EXO-6 launches its line of Deep Space Nine action figures, appropriately, with Benjamin Sisko (its new line of “Out of This World” alien “adversary” figures recently put a new figure of Quark up for pre-sale as the second DS9 figure). The Sisko figure comes in two versions—oddly the Standard Version is the more expensive and better equipped, while an Essential Version eliminates some accessories—and hands—and sells for the company’s regular $180 price.
The Standard Issue comes with six interchangeable hands, equipment including a Type-3 phaser rifle, phaser pistol and holster, tricorder and holster (both holsters magnetized to affix to the figure’s waist), a PADD, a baseball, and a whiskey glass.
Sisko is packaged in his standard DS9 uniform (fans will note that this is virtually identical to the crew uniforms in Star Trek First Contact and EXO-6’s First Contact Picard and Data figures), but the Standard Version also adds the maroon “undershirt,” suspenders and casual vest Sisko wears at the end of “In the Pale Moonlight”—and the square whiskey glass and appropriately gripping hand included allows you to recreate the final toast of the episode precisely.
EXO-6 has now released around a dozen Star Trek figures—some of them are “just” very, very good collectible action figures, and some, like Sisko, seem like the company literally just miniaturized Avery Brooks in costume as Sisko. The likeness of Brooks is truly remarkable here, from the subtly rendered goatee to Brooks’ nose and the distinctive, powerful shape of his shaved head. The eyes are startlingly realistic—the expression is neutral, not reproducing Sisko’s bitter, twisted grin from his “In the Pale Moonlight’ toast, but the eyes more than capture the character’s strength and complexity.
Unlike with Picard (another famously bald character), Sisko actually has a neck joint at the base of the skull instead of molding the head and neck as one piece. This leaves a visible seam at the back but the shaping and coloration is so well-executed that the seam is barely noticeable—this joint may limit the total up-and-down movement of the neck compared to Picard but the location of the joint itself adds realism to the figure.
The accessories are beautifully executed—along with the usual magnetic attachments, the folding tricorder etc., the phaser rifle even includes a clear, green-tinted, movable sight barely an eight of an inch long, and the whiskey glass—alcoholic beverage included—scales very realistically with the figure. The final accessory is a LCARS-like autograph card as well as the standard transporter base.
Generally, I’m not a fan of the TNG-era’s casual vest outfits (for some reason they put me in mind of Chekov’s humiliating “Buster Brown” costume in The Search for Spock), but I definitely wanted to reproduce Sisko’s “In the Pale Moonlight” look and this turned out to be much easier than anticipated. While the Starfleet jacket appears to include a miniature zipper, the front actually features a concealed Velcro attachment as does the vest, so all you really need to do to get the “Pale Moonlight” look is remove the jacket to reveal Sisko’s maroon shirt and suspenders, and slip on the included vest (the Essential Version comes minus the “Moonlight” vest and extra maroon, zipperless shirt, phaser rifle and whiskey glass—and before you panic, while opening the Standard Version, the extra accessories are all stored on the bottom of the main packaging holding the figure and main accessories).
Sisko starts off EXO-6’s Deep Space Nine line with one of the best figures they’ve produced yet. At its finest, the company has shown a knack for reproducing not just Star Trek’s most memorable characters, but its most unforgettable moments, in 1/6 form.
The Sisko figure is available for pre-order at Entertainment Earth in Essential Edition for $180 and Standard Edition for $215, with availability expected in January. Both are also available for pre-order through Sideshow Collectibles and other retailers. To save up, collectors can look into ways to send money online.
A closer look at Sisko
Much more coming from EX0-6
EXO-6 recently released, and sold out of, a new figure of Admiral James T. Kirk from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (review forthcoming) and a Spock figure from the movie should be announced for immediate sale too. 1/6 scale collectors should prepare to hold onto their wallets as the company’s rate of releases will likely increase considerably in 2023.