07:50:12 on November 25
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: TrekWeb Features
Written for TrekWeb by Nicholas Roche
Hello everyone! I hope everyone who reads TREKWEB has had a very Happy Thanksgiving. So if you’ve recovered from the overdose of tryptophan from your turkey intake, we can continue. (G)
My second “care package” has arrived from the folks at the STAR TREK COMMUNICATOR, and this time, they’ve sent me clothing.
Not just any old “socks and underwear” package, though. This is three of the newest offerings from the COMMUNICATOR’s apparel line, and they are top-rate.
First off is the STARFLEET OFFICER’S DRESS UNIFORM. This lovely piece of formal wear is styled after the Dress Uniform jackets seen at the beginning of STAR TREK: INSURRECTION, where Picard and crew are honoring a delegation from the newest members of the Federation, the Evorans. (You know…the short ones who gave Picard the nice head necklace.) But I digress…
This particular sample was the Sciences version (gray vest segment, blue stripes and piping) worn by Crusher and Troi. I, for one, was singularly impressed with the quality of the piece. This is no RUBIES quick-slap-together Halloween costume, but a highly crafted, well-constructed garment. The single-piece unit combines the outer white jacket with an attached gray vest piece, where the garment zips closed. CREATIVE CUSTOM PRODUCTS, who is producing this item for the STC, must be commended. They were given free reign of the STAR TREK costume department for samples on which to base these pieces, and they have not missed any detail in doing so. The stitching, inside and out, is very high quality, producing a garment that is meant to last quite a while…maybe not to the 24th Century, but darn close. Even comes with a metal version of the current trapezoid-backed STARFLEET Insignia Comm Badge, and a set of 3 gold and 1 black pip, for ranks from Ensign to Commander—even Chief Warrant Officer if you feel like wearing only the black pip. (The CAPTAIN’S DRESS JACKET—a white-vested variant—comes with Comm Badge and 4 gold pips for Captain’s rank, as this version was worn only by Picard in the movie.)
The only thing I really have negative to say about this—and this is something the piece DOES unfortunately have in common with the RUBIES costumes—is that the sizes run small. The Jacket sent to me was a size Medium, which I had no hope of fitting into (being 5’11” and pushing 285 lbs.). Thankfully, my grandmother, Florence Ruff (I’m sure she’ll enjoy seeing her name here) is a petite woman and offered to try the Jacket on. Even then, however, the piece proved too small for her to try and zip up. (We could have forced it, but I’ve got to return this to the STC, and I don’t want to send back a damaged piece.) My suggestion if you want this or any of its’ variants (the jacket is available in Command Red and Ops Gold versions, as well as the above-mentioned Captain’s edition): Buy a size or two larger. All four versions are available in adult sizes from Medium to 2X, and the Medium looks to fit a VERY slender adult or possibly a 10-to-14-year-old child. (Case in point: The model in the picture of this piece is a smaller-build gentleman, who probably takes a Medium but is wearing the Large so it looks baggy on him.) Those of larger stature (like myself) may or may not fit into the 2X, and they are only returnable for exchange (no refunds). So I’d suggest dropping a few extra pounds to fit in this one. In addition, the STC recommends dry cleaning for this piece, if only for the gold trim/piping used on it. (The fact that the uniform is 100% Cotton shell with 100% polyester fill will also probably persuade you from giving this piece the old washer-and-dryer treatment.)
Second on the review list is a neat novelty piece, the SPOCK MIRROR, MIRROR UNIFORM REPLICA. For those of you who REALLY liked MIRROR, MIRROR, and have ever wanted to emulate the Alternate-Spock, this is the piece.
CREATIVE EMBROIDERY (presumably a sister division to CCP above) has put this one together, with the same care and quality as the Dress Jackets reviewed earlier. The jacket closes via the miracle of Velcro along the front seam, and the satin-finish material really makes it a stand out from the crowd. Included are a neck scarf, gold sash and Terran Empire insignia pin (red Earth bisected by sword). Again, the sewing on the piece is made to last. But again, it runs on the small size. My sample sent was 2X, the largest version of this made, and it’s a snug fit to say the least. (Okay, yes I need to lose some weight—there, I’ve admitted it to the entire Internet audience around the world—I AM FAT!) Otherwise, it’s a good fit, and can be worn proudly at your next gathering or convention appearance.
This piece, like the Dress Jackets, is available in adult Medium to 2X, and is constructed of a 100% Acetate shell and lining, also meant for Dry Clean Only.
Last, but certainly not least, is the NINERS BASEBALL JERSEY. Now who here didn’t absolutely love the DS9 episode TAKE ME OUT TO THE HOLOSUITE? Sisko finally gets to play a real game of the ancient sport he loves. Granted, it’s a grudge match with the T’Kumbra’s captain, but that did not detract from a well-made episode that pleasantly diverted us from the ongoing Dominion War storyline. (But then again, I’m stepping on O.Deus’ toes here—I’m just reviewing the MERCHANDISE, not the shows. [G])
Not an exact replica of the uniforms used in the show—call this the “Spring Training” variant. Produced by CREATIVE EMBROIDERY in 100% Cotton, this is a jersey you’ll want to wear to your next softball game, or to the stadium next season to cheer your hometown team to victory. Something tells me there are some Yankees fans on DS9, because this uniform’s color scheme is very reminiscent of those jerseys. Blue pinstripes on white, with a printed Niners’ name emblazoned across the front, blue short sleeves and a DS9ers logo (the station, overlapping a baseball so that one of the pylons replaces the baseball’s stitching) on the left sleeve. Of the three pieces I was sent, this was the one I personally liked best. My sample was an XL, but unlike the Uniforms above, this piece fit me perfectly. Well, 95% perfectly. It fits fine, but had I bought this one, I would have still opted for the 2X, if only to be able to toss this one in the dryer and get the “just new” look off of it without it being too small to wear again. (As is, the STC is letting me keep this sample—which is in NO way influencing this review…seriously—and it has gone through a wash and HANG OUT TO DRY, and looks no worse for the wear.)
The DSNiners Jersey is available in adult sizes Medium thru 4X, although the 2X-4X sizes run a little more expensive.
INITIAL INTEREST: Definitely high for the Dress Uniforms and the Niners Jersey; not so much so for the MIRROR, MIRROR uniforms, although the Kirk vest and Uhura 2-piece uniforms do look interesting.
DRESS UNIFORM: A / SPOCK MM: B- / NINERS JERSEY: A
OVERALL QUALITY: All three of these pieces are sewn to last. The stitching is of highest quality, and almost seamless. No worries about loose threads or snagged seams here.
DRESS UNIFORM: A / SPOCK MM: A / NINERS JERSEY: A
INITIAL VALUE: The Dress Jackets are on the expensive side--$125.00. But worth every penny for the care and time used to put them together. Spock’s MM ensemble comes in at $105.00, so it’s mainly for those REALLY into the Mirror Universe. The Niners’ jersey runs $48.00 for Medium to XL, $55.00 for 2X to 4X. Compared to what you’d pay at your local sporting goods store for a MLB facsimile jersey, that’s a good price.
DRESS UNIFORM: B+ / SPOCK MM: C / NINERS JERSEY: A-
COLLECTABILITY: Like the Lithograph I reviewed last time, Clothing is another sort-of shaky category as far as collectables go. Unless you plan on NEVER wearing these pieces—and they are definitely meant to be worn—you may want to stick with the more-steady categories of toys, games, books, etc. But you’re not going to buy these to put them away in storage, hoping the value goes up on them. You want to wear these so your friends can drool at them and say, “Where did you get that MADE?” They’ll never believe you bought off the rack, so to speak. So for those reasons, and those reasons alone, I have to give all three pieces a C+ in this category. (Would have been just a C, but these are VERY good pieces.)
DRESS UNIFORM / SPOCK MM / NINERS JERSEY: C+
DRESS UNIFORM: B+. Meant to wear, not collect. But a good investment in your Uniform rotation.
SPOCK MM: B-. Might have made a B if it weren’t so specialized a piece.
NINERS JERSEY: B++. Not quite an A- for being clothing, but definitely the best Trek clothing I’ve seen in a long while.
As always, if you have your own slant on my reviews, or just want to rant and rave about my opinions, please feel free to comment below.
On behalf of my family and friends, I want to wish you and yours a happy holiday season. Talk to you all again very soon!
Live Long and Prosper,
_NJR_ Nicholas Roche