Review: EXO-6 ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Data Figure Is Almost Human

Star Trek: The Next Generation Lt. Commander Data 1/6 Figure

Manufacturer: EXO-6
Price: $190 ($230 with additional accessories)
Grade: A+

Our favorite android

Just as Leonard Nimoy’s Spock became the face of the original Star Trek, Brent Spiner’s android Data encapsulated the appeal of 1987’s syndicated sequel series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Conceived as a kind of hybrid of Spock and the android Questor from Gene Roddenberry’s failed pilot The Questor Tapes, Data was a more innocent figure than the sophisticated and often sarcastic Spock, so much so that when the show’s writers attempted to recreate the pointed banter of the original series’ Spock and Bones McCoy with Diana Muldaur’s second season physician Dr. Katherine Pulaski, the dialogue came off as cruel and fans rebelled.

Brent Spiner as Lt. Cmdr. Data in “Data’s Day”

Brent Spiner’s casting as Data was particularly sharp. More of a Broadway song and dance man, Spiner was a naturally broader performer than the reserved Leonard Nimoy, and his work to contain his stage-bound mannerisms and expressions resulted in a perfectly contained demeanor for Data, who seemed to “hum” with controlled energy even as spoke in a gentle, near whisper of a voice. The android was prone to alien influences and had a malevolent “brother” constructed by Data’s fatherly creator, Dr. Noonien Soong—and with Spiner portraying all three characters, the actor had numerous opportunities to emote and slip into alternate personalities over the course of the series.

Brent Spiner as Lt. Cmdr. Data in The Offspring”

EXO-6 Data Figure

EXO-6’s line of high-end 12-inch action figures actually launched with a Data figure as well as Jean-Luc Picard—but depicted them as they were seen in the theatrical movie Star Trek: First Contact. EXO has cranked out a variety of figures over the past two years, all but completing a Star Trek Voyager line, adding captains from Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, and figures from Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and the Original Series as well as a Locutus and Q from TNG, but we haven’t seen any regular TNG crew members—until now. The TNG Data is long-awaited and EXO more than delivers on its promise with this sleek reproduction of the character in his familiar black-and-mustard Starfleet uniform.

EXO-6 TNG Data figure

The facial sculpt by Godwin Nerona perfectly captures the character’s neutral expression, which can be read as quizzical, quietly defiant, concerned, remorseful—whatever you want. Paint detail subtly reproduces an almost mauve skin coloration and adds a wonderfully inhuman glint to Data’s eyes under the right lighting conditions. EXO’s best figures tend to defy the camera’s ability to show off their subtleties—in hand Data looks just about exactly like a shrunken-down Brent Spiner and unnervingly alive.

EXO-6 TNG Data figure facial sculpt

The figure’s uniform represents the two-piece affair which I believe was introduced in season three rather than the early seasons’ tighter one-piece jumpsuit that reportedly caused the cast enormous discomfort and Spiner actual back injury. The resulting look is sharp and clean, and the looser fit affords the figure’s 30 points of articulation abundant maneuvering room to pose the character.

EXO-6 TNG Data figure

And while EXO could have cheaped out and simply provided the fold-out tricorder and cobra phaser they made for the First Contact figures, they step up here and add a TNG-appropriate tricorder and phaser that are just microscopically different in detail from their First Contact counterparts.

Data comes in two variations: an “Essential” $190 version that comes with the tricorder, phaser and their holsters, the usual transporter pad display stand, and four hands (two relaxed and two configured to hold the phaser and tricorder), and a “standard” $230 issue that includes those accessories plus a PADD and two head sculpts, one the same included with the “Essential” release and one featuring an opening panel in Data’s hair to show his cybernetic brain. The more expensive version also includes not one but two Spots—Data’s beloved(?) cat—one in a sitting pose, the other designed to drape over Data’s forearm as he holds the animal. Adorable!

EXO-6 TNG Data figure “standard version” extra accessories

Aside from EXO-6’s First Contact Data there’ve been a couple of other 12” figures of the character released over the years, including a Star Trek Insurrection figure from Playmates and Dragon’s release of the character, which seemed pretty neat back in the ‘90s but which is absolutely put to shame by EXO’s.

EXO-6 TNG Data figure (L) compared with Dragon Data figure (R)

Picard and other TNG figures are in the pipeline from the company, although for 2024 it looks like we’ll be seeing more DS9 (Kira and Odo), Strange New Worlds (Pike and Spock), and movie figures (TWOK’s Saavik and Trek III’s Lord Kruge, both of which look to be spectacular figures). But if Data is any indication, collectors are in very good hands—this is a stupendous release.

Both the “Standard” ($230) and “Essential” versions of the Data figure are available now ($190) at EXO-6.com. The Essential version is also available at Entertainment Earth.

EXO-6 TNG Data figure

The Data figure is part of EXO-6’s Star Trek: Next Generation collection, including Locutus and judge Q. The Judge Q figure is available at EXO-6.com. The Locutus figure can be pre-ordered at Entertainment Earth.

A closer look at Data

 


Jeff Bond is a freelance writer and book author who’s addicted to plastic models and action figures. You can catch up with him on Facebook and Instagram where he posts model works in progress, and takes commissions. His latest Star Trek book is Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Art and Visual Effects.

Find more Star Trek merchandise news and reviews at TrekMovie.com.

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Very nice, but perhaps a slightly too grim facial expression? This is one of the better ones though — nice job EXO-6.

Some of this company’s sculpts have been pretty bad, but this one is really good.

Somebody call me when they make “Picard Season 1” Data from the pilot :P

Which one though? his hairline kept changing sometimes it would change from shot to shot in one scene

Isn‘t that ideal for two or three spare heads? xD

Nice work, though the expression reminds me of when Data was playing dead to spite the collector guy who captured him. What’s his face. Daphne’s boyfriend from Frasier.

Kivas Fajo, played by Saul Rubanek

I picked up their Locutus and TMP Spock and both lived up completely to my expectations. Can’t say I love the expression on this one of Data, but it looks good considering. I would have liked one of his more “curious” looks. They seem a bit hit and miss on others I have watched online like Kira and 7 of 9, but that’s a bit subjective. Kruge and Saavik look amazing! Those aren’t my favorite characters though, so given the price points I’ve got to hold out for a few other favorite characters. Can’t wait to see what they do next!

Wish list: TOS McCoy perhaps although TMP McCoy with the beard is a hoot? TWOK Khan? TWOK Kirk? TNG Picard (although they’ve already done First Contact Picard and Old Man Picard from Picard looks like the next one)? Riker! Dax! Worf! The Gorn! The First Contact Borg Queen! The Mugatu? I’m going to be broke…

I want a Jeffrey Hunter Pike, Majel Barrett Number One, and Dr. Boyce. That would be my wish list.

That’s cool! It would have been so interesting to see how Star Trek would have developed with that original cast. “The Cage” is a great episode!

Still waiting for a proper Uhura from TOS

Almost human? Does that mean he is “fully functional”?

Dragon’s Data sculpt is embarrassingly bad. Since when did Lance Henriksen play Data?

I got the TMP Spock and Kirk. Terrible likenesses. You compare this to Hot Toys figured and this EXO stuff is trash.

At least I could flog it on eBay for more than tge figures cost!

TMP Kirk looks bad, but TMP Spock is a good likeness, but to each their own.

Check out Hot Toys Superman. It’s uncanny, like having Reeves in miniature form

Wow! That is a great version of Reeves’ Superman. I’ll have to pay more attention to that company.

Re: expression. I got the Standard version because the 2nd head ( the one with the removable head piece) has that slight upturn in the left corner of Data’s mouth. That’s the Data I want, and I wish they had mentioned it in the review

Oh nice! Didn’t realize that was a feature it offered.

Yes! It’s a slightly different expression, but just enough to change the affect

Looks so life like of Data.

Shoulda come from Exo III instead.

I still think it’s very confusing and misleading that the “Standard” option is the more expensive