Toy Tribute: Esoqq vs. Nausicaan (Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation)
I've always thought that Esoqq and Nausicaan from the Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation line are interesting "companion" figures. Both are weird aliens, both have very similar body shapes and hair length, and both have very similar weaponry. If I were a kid, I would have thought them brothers or something. But given their similarities, it was inevitable that they should clash with one eliminatating the other, like matter destroying anti-matter. Now it's time to decide, once and for all, which is the coolest Star Trek alien in these here parts.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Height: Esoqq - 5"; Nausicaan - 5"
Year Stamped: Esoqq - 1994; Nausicaan - 1994
Assortment: Esoqq - 3; Nausicaan - 4
Number (on bottom of foot): Esoqq - 022028; Nausicaan - 063176
Esoqq is a pretty freaky-looking dude. He has a face resembling a wart hog with spindly sickle-shaped teeth, a protruding rostrum, and crazy eyes that make him look like he's thinking about how best to cook you for dinner. But this Chalnoth isn't all doom and gloom; his costume and hair look like they're straight from a glam rocker band. Which is just awesome, I say.
Nausicaan is undeniably cool himself. With his pincer-like mandibles, he's sort of the Star Trek equivalent of the Predator. And speaking of the Predator, Nausicaan also has similarly long, braided hair. Cool stuff indeed, but points are deducted for unoriginality. Nausicaan's costume is less glam rocker, more grunge.
Although, give Nausicaan some platform shoes and he'd be a stronger contender.
They both have similarly-shaped knives as weapons; so similar, in fact, that I've always thought that they were the same sculpt . But they are distinct: Nausicaan's knife (bottom) has a nice inward curve on the distal part of the blade; Esoqq's (top) has a more detailed handle with a short protrusion from the handle guard onto the blade to give it a bit more support. Esoqq also has the advantage of a leg holster for his knife.
Esoqq's legs are sculpted in a more interesting action stance. But Nausicaan's left hand is sculpted in a jabbing gesture. It's a tie, so we'll have to look at historical footage from the episodes in which they're featured to make a decision.
In Tapestry, we see that the Nausicaan is a pretty effective fighter, with some skills in using a knife. But he has a bit too much trouble fighting a puny, juvenile human (Picard) to take him too seriously. Also, he jabs Picard in the back, which is just a pansy move.
Esoqq reveals in Allegiance that his society is in total anarchy, with only the strongest surviving. Not bad. But he also shows that he has the munchies for the Mizarian. That's right, Esoqq eats sentients... which gives his figure the advantage in this match.
The figures are very similar, but there are a few key differences. They both have restrictive neck movement because of their hair sculpts, but Esoqq also can't swivel his shoulders upward because of his shoulder armor. Esoqq also has a bit of trouble standing given his more action-oriented stance.
Let's also consider the weaknesses of the characters in the TV show. Nausicaan's main weakness is that he doesn't seem too bright. "Play dom-jot... human?" There doesn't seem to be much going on upstairs. Also, he can't win a game of dom-jot without cheating. Wuss.
Then again, Esoqq can't eat Jell-O.
Yup, Esoqq wins this battle royale! He has a cooler, more ferocious-looking sculpt, with a costume that betrays his dream to Rock and Roll All Nite and Party Every Day. And his blade is a bit more useful with its leg-sheath. That's not to say that Nausicaan isn't awesome in his own right, and probably in the top ten greatest Playmates Trek figures ever (which would be a cool article in and of itself), but he can't quite match the awesomeness that is Esoqq.