EXO-6 Archer & Shran review

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EXO-6 has certainly been, as their Executive Producer Nanjin Tam might say, ‘firing a full spread of torpedoes’ so far this year. Today, we’re looking at the EXO-6 Archer and Shran figures. It’s a good time for Star Trek: Enterprise lately. This brings the number of figures released in just eight months almost hitting double digits, practically unheard of for 1:6 collectables companies. Especially those that are focusing their efforts on a single license like Star Trek.

They’ve also bought us the first high-quality Star Trek: Enterprise merch in many years. The previous efforts were the uniforms from the controversial Anovos and the studio scale replica of the NX-01, the prototype for which was recently auctioned off. We haven’t seen anything since the prematurely ended figure and ships line from Art Asylum. That was while the show was on air! Their efforts also represent the first-ever figure of fan favourite Jeffrey Combs alias, Andorian Commander Shran.

The packaging for Archer and Shran is what we’ve come to expect from Exo-6

EXO-6 Archer & Shran Packaging

To avoid too much redundancy, and given the packages are practically identical, the packaging for both of these figures will be reviewed together. They come in the standard 1:6 figure brown shipper. Within, you have the art sleeve, which goes over the standard windowed box with the figure credits and instructional video QR code on the back.

As always with EXO-6, these art sleeves have tasteful amounts of spot gloss to highlight the figure portraits and metallic printing for the series name, Star Trek logo, delta, and the drawn lines on the packaging. Sadly for this collector for Shran’s release, EXO-6 experimented with using a less reputable courier for the final UK side leg of the journey, resulting in the top back right corner of the box being a little bashed in. But given these boxes, for me, at least end up in a draw, that’s fortunately not much of an issue, and the packaging did its job of protecting the inner contents.

Commander Shran’s Sculpt

From the moment you lay eyes on this figure, it’s not only unmistakably Shran but also unmistakably Jeffrey Combs. Sculptor Waruna Waligamage did a wonderful job capturing the expressiveness that Shran would periodically fill our screens with. The eyebrows stood out as a particular highlight here.

Paintmaster Haoyu only enhanced the details of the sculpt further. There’s no mixing up that iconic Andorian blue, and it really stands out on a shelf. Equally part of the genius of Michael Westmore’s makeup designs was that they usually allowed the actor to emote with their face and body, whereas another artist may have given into the temptation of covering more of the face to create a more distinctly alien look. This is fully replicated in this figure.

This brings me neatly to one of my only critiques of it, which is that the lines on the face are a little too harsh under lighting compared to the series. Giving the figure version of Shran an extremely intense facial expression could make you jump if it caught your eye in the middle of the night. But then again, intense is certainly a word that I would use to describe Shran as a character, so maybe it does fit!

Shran’s Uniform

Uniforms are one department where Exo-6 has never disappointed and I’m pleased to report that this figure doesn’t break that trend. When he was first announced I was worried that there would be some corners cut, given that Enterprise is far from the most popular Trek show and that it’s a complicated uniform featuring multiple fabric types including leather.

Fortunately, my concern was unwarranted. The uniform looks superb and as though you could put it under an expanding ray and look as though it came straight out of the costume department. Every detail is recreated. The ribbing on the leather left arm, the armband on the right arm and none of it impedes the movement of the figure, although the boots are quite rigid which means you need to take care that he’s balanced correctly, or supported on the stand for more dynamic poses.

I was most surprised that it seems genuine suede has been used as well! I’m slightly concerned that over time the artificial leather may begin to deteriorate but unfortunately, that’s a risk that any collector faces if they buy a figure that uses it. Artificial leathers for use at this scale have improved a lot in recent years and it’s my hope that Exo-6 invested in a good quality one, which will see Shran looking pristine for years to come.

Shran’s Accessories 

Like with Saru, Shran isn’t short on accessories. Exo-6’s enthusiasm and love for the franchise shine through in this section. After all, it’d be easy to just throw an era-appropriate phaser and tricorder in with most of the figures.

Alongside an assortment (3 pairs) of extra hands. Here, we have amazing recreations of the Andorian Blaster, its holster, and the Andorian Rifle seen in Enterprise. Not just that, but also the Andorian Communicator! One of the real highlights of Enterprise as a show was that it really built out a few of the Trek species that had been around since the original series. Vulcans finally got their own tech! Several ammo/supply pouches fit easily onto Shrans belt.

But my favourite inclusion is that of the Ushaan ritual equipment. The Ushaan Tor and the protective gauntlet are seen in the Enterprise Episode United. Adding to my love of this inclusion is that it’s a pair. You don’t need an Archer figure to have two of each. They both come with Shran, so you can have him fighting any figure in your collection. Should you wish, of course.

Captain Archer’s Sculpt

Scott Bakula certainly has a face that you would be able to spot in a crowd. But I certainly don’t mean that in a negative way! The sculpt here from Godwin Nerona certainly managed to capture his likeness and especially that distinctive brow.

But with that said, I can’t help but wish that Scott Bakula hadn’t rejected the initially developed Archer sculpt with the Season 1 & 2 hairstyle. Hair is notoriously tricky to get right in 1:6. The seeming easiest-to-replicate styles are a couple of inches long. As seen on Archer in the later seasons, short-cropped styles are difficult to pull off. Sadly, This figure hasn’t hit the mark when it comes to hair, with it protruding from the ‘head’ in a very uniform jagged pattern that doesn’t feel or look ‘real’. That said, this only becomes noticeable when you get close up with the figure.

But aside from that, especially if you close an eye and hide the hair, the sculpt is Scott Bakula. The eyes especially really stand out when he’s on your shelf. For Enterprise fans, he looks ready for action, a common occurrence in the series!

EXO-6 Archer’s Uniform

Archer is the first figure from Enterprise to be released from EXO-6. So this figure would make or break the Enterprise line in the uniform department. But fortunately, they haven’t missed a trick here. Despite the right arm pocket being missing on the earlier prototype, it’s where it is supposed to be on the final figure.

Given the Enterprise uniform’s ‘utilitarian’ construction, missing a few details would have been easy. But they’re all here. The buttons on the back of the uniform. Every zip pocket. The iconic department colour shoulder detail and the Enterprise mission patch on the left arm. Like with Shran, the boots are stiff, so make sure he’s balanced properly or on the stand!

But further up the body. The main uniform zipper that goes down the torso is also completely functional! You can display your Archer in his more formal Season 1 & 2 look or lower it down for his more relaxed/stressed look from Season 3 & 4 to match the hair. On a 1:6 scale, having this functional zipper is impressive, and I’m sure fans will be grateful. Especially those that may commission a custom early Archer head sculpt!

EXO-6 Archer’s Accessories

In a strange turn of faith. I seem more excited to play with any EXO-6 figure accessories than the figures themselves! Archer certainly comes with everything you need to post your canine-loving Captain in a manner that is true to the character.

The detail on EXO-6 accessories continues to be unmatched as well. Like with the Discovery communicator seen in our Saru review. The Enterprise version also flips open and has all the relevant details beneath the cover. Included also is an Enterprise-era scanner with two different top attachments for extended and closed modes. But of course, no Enterprise figure would be complete without a Phase Pistol! Archer comes with one and the relevant holster. As well as the standard assortment of hands for each accessory.

I was slightly disappointed by the lack of a Starfleet pulse or particle rifle, but hopefully, as with the Voyager figures, the rifles will be included with the characters that were typically seen wielding them. So we might see one in a future release of Reed. However, the disappointment was more than made up for with including Porthos! Not lost by Scotty in transport this time, Archer’s prize beagle will complement any display.

Conclusion

Archer and Shran were always highlighted when they teamed up on any Enterprise episode. But it turns out they’re also a highlight together on any shelf! EXO-6 has done a fantastic job bringing these icons of the waning Berman era to a 1:6 scale, and any fan of Enterprise (or Trek Captains and aliens) would be wise to pick them up while they’re still easily obtainable.

The EXO-6 Archer is available for immediate purchase directly from the EXO-6 website for $205 + shipping. Along with Shran, who comes in slightly more expensive at $215 + shipping.


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James Amey
James Ameyhttps://trekcentral.net
Self declared expert on all things Star Trek: Voyager, dedicated advocate for there being a right way, wrong way and a Janeway. Enthusiast of science fiction in all forms and writer of content for Trek Central.

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