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Star Trek Toys Boldly Go Where We've Been Before - But Look Really Cool

 Star Trek.

Those two words mean a lot to a geek like me.  The words "Star Wars" mean more... but still...

Before I go any further, check this out:

Come on.  You know it, even if you won't admit it.  That looks absolutely rockin'.  Even if you were the guy who beat up on the kid who loved Star Trek, you have to admit it.  This looks like a great movie.

I can't quite get the concept of people not liking Star Trek.  It has broad appeal, for both men (giant adventure, big space battles, exploration) and women (admit it, girls-you all have a thing for Picard) alike.  This franchise is broad enough to have spawned five television series, eleven movies, God knows how many novels (in the hundreds, I'm sure), comic books, conventions, video games... And toys.  Lots of toys.

With the onset of a new Star Trek movie, we're about to get a whole new round of toys from Playmates.  And they look pretty cool.

Since the new film heralds back to before the original series (TOS to us geeks out there), the designs of these toys reflect that late 1960s funky look-but are modified to represent today's modern technology.

For example, here's the old communicator design:

The original cell phone... um... I mean communicator designThe original cell phone... um... I mean communicator design


And here is the newly retrofitted communicator for the 2009 motion picture:

The new, retro-designed communicatorThe new, retro-designed communicator


It's no secret that certain elements of Star Trek have influenced real technology.  Communicator = Cell Phone.

I've always wanted a tricorder.  The concept of a portable computer/scanner/research device is really neat.

Here's the design from the original series:

Tri-corder, circa 1966Tri-corder, circa 1966


And here's the revamped design for the film:

Tricorder revamp, circa 2009Tricorder revamp, circa 2009

Tricorder = advanced Palm Pilot/iPhone.

Then you have the phaser.  Original design:

1966 phaser pistol design1966 phaser pistol design


Revamped design for the Phaser:

The 2009 phaser has a certain "bling" factor...The 2009 phaser has a certain "bling" factor...

I'm not a huge fan of this-it's too shiny or something.  And while there's not really a modern equivalent for this weapon, I think it's safe to say that something of this nature isn't too far away.

Then we have the action figures:

The old costumes return--on new actors.The old costumes return--on new actors.

 

Having watched the preview above, you know that we have different actors playing the roles of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the others.  They look pretty good to me; but I'm not a purist.  I have a friend who is quite disgruntled that new actors have assumed the roles of such classic characters.

Of course there are accessories for the action figures, the most important of which is the new bridge of the Enterprise.

For some reason I want to order a cappuccino every time I look at this picture...For some reason I want to order a cappuccino every time I look at this picture...

 


Now, this has come a long way from the bridge that I had as a kid:

It folded into a carrying case.It folded into a carrying case.

While the Mego bridge was cheesy, it sure was fun.  Just the memory of the spinning transporter tube makes me chuckle.  Yep-it was essentially cardboard coated in vinyl.  But it was really a fun toy.  The new bridge looks quite spiffy.

Here's where I'm gonna nit-pick a bit.  I'm not a huge fan of the re-imagined design of the USS Enterprise.  The nacelles (those engine things on the pillars toward the back of the ship) just look... I dunno... fat.  Too bloated.

Take a look:

This sort'a brings me to the main idea that I had when I sat down to write this article.  Re-designing iconic images for a beloved film/TV franchise is not really a good idea.  Many of us grew up on this stuff and have more knowledge of it than we have of American history (sad, but true).  So when something looks different, we're gonna notice.

That being said, I can't help but admire the way that these new designs don't (in general) stray too far away from the stuff in the original series.  They have a certain 1960s retro aesthetic that recalls those gadgets from the past.  Sort of Flash Gordon-ish.

Until the film arrives, I can't say how well it will fit in the canon.  I have substantial knowledge of the plot and feel that fans have nothing to worry about.

And besides: without new designs, how would all of us toy fans get new toys?

I'm gonna get a tricorder.

And yes.  I'm going to play with it.

Beam me up, Scotty.

SOURCES: Amazon and StarTrekMovie.com.

Comments
Mar 16, 2009
by Anonymous

*sighs*

I wish I could have those stuff. On other things not everyone can watch videos.

Mar 17, 2009
by Anonymous

Thanks

for a great article!

May 11, 2009
by Anonymous

Havent seen Movie Yet

But from this piece I like the:
New Retro Phasers
Bridge
& Tricorder.

Very nice & appealing vs 1966 era.

Like the new Enterprise with revised engines.,

Im a Tech Trekker.

Into IE Scottys Realm.

IE

K7
DS9
Starship assembly
Klingons, Romulans Tech
Dynsonspheres
etc.

But how about:

Fullsize Enterprise bridge for Home use from 1966, 1979,
1980s movies, STTNG 1980s, ST Voyager, & new Star Trek movie???

Radical.

2 bad US Industry is so focused on 1968 vs 2018 era.

Ok Scotty Beam US Up & Warp Out