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Youth Blog: Trek Toys Review and X-mas 2008 Wish List December 24, 2007

by James Trowbridge , Filed under: Trek for Kids , trackback

Another blog from the TrekMovie.com youth correspondent James T.

Since it’s the holiday season, I thought that it would be logical to write a review on Star Trek toys and games for kids. Because the toys for Star Trek (2008) have not been released yet, I will write about some of the previously released toys in my collection. Most of my toys are from Enterprise and Star Trek Nemesis because those are the latest Star Trek productions.

I said in my last blog that the Enterprise action figures are delicate. I am gentle on my toys, but several of my action figures have broken. The same is true for the Star Trek Nemesis action figures (Picard, Data, Shinzon, and the Reman viceroy), which were made by the same company, Art Asylum. But they are not all bad. They are really good models and look realistic. By the way, my seven year old sister, Holly, plays with the Star Trek action figures, but she does not always stick to the original plot. For example, she uses the Trip Tucker and T’Pol action figures as the parents and various Harry Potter action figures as their children!


Trek action figures…not kid proof

As for the starship models also by Art Asylum, the Enterprise NX-01 is a good replica, but if you hit it even gently, the warp nacelles fall off. However, their Enterprise NCC-1701-E is much better because it has sound effects and lights, like the NX-01, but the nacelles stay on. I also have the 40th Anniversary Limited Gold Edition Enterprise from The Original Series, and although I am tempted to open it, I am keeping it as a collectors’ item. From what I can tell, it looks about as good as the model of the Enterprise E.


NX-01 still working out some of the kinks

Art Asylum has also made models of the phase pistol and communicator from the Enterprise series as well as the phaser from The Original Series. I think that they are good models and are priced nicely. The phaser has a detachable type I so it is especially cool and the phase pistol is good too, but the communicator’s flip top lid comes off too easily. I also have a type II phaser from The Next Generation that was made by Playmates in 1993, which my father bought for me unboxed at the convention. I like The Original Series phaser, it looks almost like the real prop.


Prop models are cool

I recently got Star Trek Legacy and I like playing it. I have played as every species and almost every ship. I especially like playing as the Borg cube because it is very powerful. I also like the Federation Starship Defiant because it has almost every weapons system as well as a cloaking device. My least favorite ship to play is the Excelsior class because the weapons systems are primitive and the design of the ship as well as its speed are lacking. The only problem with the game is that it is kind of slow to load and the torpedoes don’t always fire right away, but it is worth the wait.

What I want for next Christmas
When the new movie comes out, I hope that they make 16 to 18 inch long models of the ships that do not fall apart easily. I also hope that the action figures look realistic and that they are not so delicate that they are intended to be merely collectors’ items. I would like them to release a video game that involves a mix of strategy and fighting evil, kind of like the Dominion War. I would also like to have some of the action set on planets or space stations, and hope to see more alien species included. There should also be an updated Star Trek Encyclopedia that includes the rest of Voyager, Enterprise, Star Trek Nemesis, and the new movie.

I had eight of my fifth grade friends over for a sleepover and one of the things we did was watch Star Trek: First Contact. Most of them liked it. My teacher asked my dad for a DVD of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home to show at recess on rainy days. And the same group of friends who liked First Contact were watching Star Trek IV. It really held their attention. I think that if they made better toys and especially excellent video games for next Christmas, more children my age would show an interest in Star Trek.


My unopened Enterprise…can’t wait for one from the new movie

 

Happy Holidays,

James T.

 

EDITOR’s NOTE: Of course Next Christmas James T. and his family will be getting an amazing present, as they have all been invited to Los Angeles to attend the premiere of the new Star Trek movie as the guests of Leonard Nimoy.

Comments

1. Sean4000 - December 24, 2007

I have the NX-01 it’s a fairly good replica. Still waiting for the Reman Warbird Scimitar. :(

2. J.D. Lee - December 24, 2007

great job!

3. Chris Clow - December 24, 2007

Great article, James. I agree with you about pretty much everything!

4. Anthony Pascale - December 24, 2007

Thanks a lot James…another great blog. And for all you kids out there…to see if Santa is bringing you any Star Trek toys you can keep track of his movements here:
http://www.noradsanta.org/en/home.htm

5. TJ Trek - December 24, 2007

You lucky bastard…. I am jelouse. However, this was a good little blog. Although I don’t have any of them, I have been thinking about getting some of the star ship models. The ships have been one of my favorite aspects of the show. But I am not sure I would have the pt to put some of the more elaborate sets together.

6. Cervantes - December 24, 2007

All the very best for Christmas and the New Year to you Anthony, and all the various contributers and visitors to this fine site which has entertained me for many months now.

As for what I wish for next Christmas Trek related…just an entertaining Star Trek Movie that satisfies the majority of fans eagerly anticipating it, and that proves to be a perennial favourite thereafter. Okay Santa J.J.?
Oh, and a knockout trailer that pulls in a large ‘uninitiated audience’ wouldn’t go amiss either.

So then, just one year of waiting, leaks, perhaps surprises, perhaps disappointments, tears and tantrums, and general mayhem on these (TrekHQ? ) boards to go, then ALL will thankfully be revealed.

And Orbitalic – I hope Anthony won’t mind, but sometime in the New Year, I’ll finally post that finished, alternative 15 minute intro. of mine, for you and others to mull over, to tide you over until J.J.’s final vision…complete with ‘camera angles and shots’…

So in the spirit of Christmas, good luck to Simon Pegg…
Now where’s their Enterprise?, and bring on the sequels! :0

7. jonboc - December 24, 2007

Nice blog James T. FYI, be on the look out for a new original series communicator coming out soon to go with that TOS phaser. It’s being put out by the the same company that does the figures and ships and did the TOS phaser…which I agree is the best phaser ever. This new communicator will have working phrases from the show along with lights and teh familiar chirp. Also rumored is a TOS tricorder to complete the set, if the communicator sells well. The phaser sells out evertime they do a run so I think the odds are good that we may have a complete landing party “exploration” set before long.

8. SPB - December 24, 2007

THIS JUST IN…

…there is now an invention called “super glue.” Don’t be afraid to use it.

9. David Macheska - December 24, 2007

I absolutely adore the new line of Star Trek figures and ships put out by Art Asylum, especially the ones centering around TOS, and the even newer line centring around TWOK. For Christmas next year, I would love to see AA put out a line of TOS alien figures. Here are my suggestions: Andorian, Romulan, Talosian keeper, and perhaps a two-pack featuring Nancy Crater and the M-113 salt vampire.

10. Frasor - December 24, 2007

Where do you get these things? I haven’t been able to find any models, not even on eBay!

11. SPB - December 24, 2007

#10 – Frasor

Try Amazon.com to start. They seem to have a healthy selection of TREK/Art Asylum toys and collectibles to choose from. I just ordered the electronic STAR TREK II Enterprise from them last week and it should be arriving today. Can’t wait!

(Of course, I’ll get the typical, “What the hell did you just buy?” response from my wife when it arrives!)

12. James Heaney - Wowbagger - December 24, 2007

When I was still young enough to receive presents from St. Nick, the Playmates line of toys was still going strong, and *those* were sturdy models. I did eventually break Deanna Troi’s arm, but it took years… and David Reller’s dog did bite off Picard’s head, but it was okay, because he let me play with his Generations Enterprise-D with exploding hull pieces. Which was pretty awesome.

Wonderful blog. If Star Trek Online is good, we Trekkie gamers might finally have our wish come true for the first time ever next year.

13. johndell - December 24, 2007

#10 – Frasor
look at http://www.bigbadtoystore.com Figures , Model Kits & Statues
and Star Trek Elite Force II game & Star Trek starfleet command 3 for PC in Amazon.com

14. Captain Pike - December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays James.
You are a luck lad. I had to wait until I was 40 for a TOS Phaser II with a separate Phaser I!

15. last o' the timelords - December 24, 2007

I think most of us ‘collectors’ love our toys so much because they are far and away better and more diverse than the weak stuff we had as kids. LOL

Merry Christmas all and may the Great Bird of the Galaxy be looking down on you.

16. girl6 - December 24, 2007

Hi James–

Thank you for a very informative article. Including the pictures was a very good idea. I’m just startiing with my own collection and it’s good to know which pieces can be handled and which to leave in the box.

That was very funny what you wrote about your sister. When she’s a teenager, she’s going to read that and want to strangle you! Just remind her how lucky she is to have a cool brother like you.

Happy Holidays.

17. ZoomZoom - December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas young James.
Only a year to wait!!! ;)

18. Jimtibkirk - December 24, 2007

I’m an avid collector and really like the Art Asylum figs. Just picked up 4 from the Wrath of Khan line. Khan is especially well done. Looking forward to more of these, plus whatever they do for the new film.

What bugs me to no end is this: WHY do they take the SAME toy and REISSUE it over and over with different paint jobs? Phaser. Phaser with white handle. Phaser with gold handle. Silly. How ’bout a Klingon disruptor? Or, Enterprise A in white, followed by Enterprise no A in silver. Again, how ’bout Reliant? Mind you, I have 6 or so Kirks lined up on the shelf with different outfits, so there you go.

Great job James and Happy Holidays to you and your family. And congrats on being Mr. Nimoy’s guests next Christmas. Wow!

19. I AM THX-1138 - December 24, 2007

I’ve got an Art Asylum 1701 original series and the new Wrath of Khan E. Both are beautiful. I also have all the models that I have built from kits and scratch. I’ve got some MR communicators that I payed a ransom for and some from Star Trek-The Experience that are almost as good but at a fraction of the price. The Art Asylum TOS Phaser is another of my favorites as well. Very close in detail to the actual props. My wish list includes the Enterprise E from Art Asylum or from any of the various model kits. Oh and my ex destroyed all my TNG props, so I would like to replace them some day. A TOS Tricorder would be nice, too. That would be another ransom. Just throw in a MR Enterprise replica and call it good, Santa.

20. YUBinit - December 24, 2007

Yeah THX I have the TOS phaser and looking forward to the communicator soon. As a kid I would kill for this stuff. All we had back when was the basic models. We used to use empty Tic-Tac containers wrapped in electric tape, with a push pin bent and point tucked under the tape as the button of our mini phasers! LOL

I’m right now in the process of building the old Excelsior model for LED lighting through fiber optics. It’s to be my personal Enterprise B (modified to somewhat bridge the design philosophy between A and C/D. ;)

Never did like the design of the canon one. Mostly the HUGE outer impulse engines added just killed the scale and impression of it’s true size. Not to mention they aimed directly back towards the warp nacelles?! :P

Yeah I’m a geek. LOL

21. Jeffrey S. Nelson - December 24, 2007

Worst figures of all are the captain in the chair series. Uniform insignias are smeared…chairs are nicked…very disappointing.

22. CmdrR - December 24, 2007

Raises a good question (jumping in before I read everyone else, so forgive me if I’m not FIRST) — When will the toys come out for the new movie. If they want them to be Xmas-hot, they’ll need to release them a month or two before the movie comes out. Could that mean… we’ll know exactly what the E looks like? Or will we know much sooner?
(Hey, I just stuffed my kids’ stockings and then my wife’s. I want a sneak peak, dangit!)

23. Buckaroohawk - December 24, 2007

I’ve collected the TOS figures Art Asylum have produced. The likenesses of the actors are amazing, but their sizes seem a bit off. McCoy’s a bit tall, but that’s a tiny nitpick.

I’ve also collected their magnificant ship replicas. The level of detail is amazing, especially on the movie version of the Enterprise. Beautiful, every one of them.

The prize of my collection is the TOS Phaser, though. Man, that is a fun toy, and darn close to prop quality as well. I believe that the gangs at Starship Exter and New Voyages use them in their episodes. It’ll be great to add the Art Asylum Communicator (and hopefully a Tricorder) to my displays.

Great blog, James T! Happy Holidays everyone!

24. Bramblett - December 25, 2007

The art asylum TOS phaser was used on ST: Enterprise. (In a mirror, darkly) I believe they also used a MR communicator.

25. Jeff Bond - December 25, 2007

I enjoyed all the phaser repaints and they are finally doing a communicator–the repaints and success of same is smart marketing. If they have to do that to make this line turn a profit and keep going that’s fine with me–you don’t have to buy them if you don’t want to…

Nice little article about Trek Remastered in the LA Times BTW by a reviewer who was initially horrified by the idea of seeing redone effects on the show but found themselves pleased by the results.

26. Orbitalic - December 25, 2007

6. Cervantes – December 24, 2007

I look forward to it.

27. section9 - December 26, 2007

Shameless prediction: the Communicator will be resurrected as a commercial tie-in as a Cell Phone.

I can virtually guarantee that someone at Paramount has thought of this. The technology exists, pioneered by Motorola years ago in the old RAZR. All you need is the commercial tie in with one of the large cell phone manufacturers.

Imagine a button free technology that works off voice-activation. Then, you design it around the STXI Communicator (or the TOS model) to kick off the technology. It’s nothing new, but using Star Trek as a marketing tool is probably something that’s been thought of.

Funny how most of America is walking around with Gene Roddenberry’s technology in their hands.

28. Captain Pike - December 26, 2007

I’m not sure who we should give credit to for the communicator. Wah Chang designed the series TOS version I believe. Actually he designed most of the really eye catching original stuff like the Phaser II and the Klingon Bird of Prey. He’s very under appreciated.

29. Edna Hussey - December 27, 2007

Hi, James,

Now I wish my sons had kept all of their Star wars toys! I’m glad you appreciate playing with them. I’m sure your review of the toys will help parents and their kids make better decisions about which ones to get. I, too, am looking forward to the premiere of the movie!

Mrs. Hussey

30. Edna Hussey - December 27, 2007

Hi, James,

OOPS! You do know I meant Star TREK! Yikes!

Mrs. H.

31. Galene - December 27, 2007

Can you tell me where to find the gold enterprise? I have all the other toys and ships, but have never seen that one before.

32. bernie - December 30, 2007

good thing i never opened my art asylum figures and ships!

33. General Order 24 - January 2, 2008

The bases on the Starship line by Art Asylum suck. Had 2 break at the ball socket on the NX-01 and TOS Enterprise. Very poor base design. Contacted Art Asylum about the problem. No response from those numbnuts. Cheap Chinese plastic. I expect better for $40 + a pop. Plus I stopped buying the figures. Damn paint scratches off on the faces. The Playmates Trek toys might have looked kiddiefied but they were at least durable.

34. Tom - January 11, 2008

Does anyone know if art asylum will be producing a perfect full sized replica of the STTMP/STTWOK phaser? It’s such a great sleek looking design! Has anyone contacted them about it?

35. steve wright - June 9, 2009

can some one tell me where i can get the model warbird scimitar and how much

36. dan - September 7, 2009

Glad to see im not the only older person who still loves their star trek toys. I have a whole lunch box filled with star trek micro machines, and a toy box with star wars and star trek ships/figures, and just today i saw what some of the shit goes for on ebay…could never sell the things though, i enjoy playing with them sometimes ^.^ just a big kid.

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40. Edward M. Fraraccio - January 16, 2010

Why did you take T’pal’s head and foot off ?

41. Abhishek Jain - April 18, 2011

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