The Collective: Review – DST TOS Communicator |
jump to navigation

The Collective: Review – DST TOS Communicator March 7, 2008

by John Tenuto , Filed under: TOS,Toys , trackback

Just this week Diamond Select / Art Asylum has released the next item in their ‘Trek Tek’ line, the Kirk era version of the communicator. This joins the previously released TOS phasers and the forthcoming tricorder (announced at the recent Toy Fair). This is not the first TOS communicator made available, but for $29 it offers many features usually only available with high end replicas.

The original TOS communicator, designed by Wah Chang (who also built the Vulcan Harp, the tricorder, the Gorn, and the Tribbles), has been released by various companies over the years. These have ranged from the 2003 high-end Master Replicas prop all the way down to low-cost toy versions from Playmates in the 1990s. The new DST replica toy offers some of the detailing found on the more expensive versions, yet is much more reasonably priced ($29.99). It also offers some bonus fun features. The DST version features lights and the classic communicator opening sound effect. In addition, opening the communicator activates the moiré disk which moves, a feature lacking on many previous toy versions (the moiré was often merely a sticker on these previous items).

New DST Communicator (click to enlarge)

It talks
The toy also includes seven phrases, uses original clips of William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, and Leonard Nimoy. Entertainment Earth Exclusive Edition offers an additional Spock Phrase "Your signal is weak, can you turn up your gain?" Another unique feature is that you can push a button to set the communicator to hail you five seconds later with the familiar sound effect. When you respond Spock asks "Captain, should I beam down and armed party?" That can be fun at parties.

The new DST communicator

Available now
This replica toy is available in two versions, a regular communicator available from retailers and an exclusive from Entertainment Earth which features an exclusive phrase. You can order it and the TOS ‘Trek Tek’ Phaser below

EE Exclusive Star Trek Original Series Communicator Replica Star Trek Tek Classic Phaser
$29.99 $27.99



1. Captain Otter - March 7, 2008

Now, if they build these as working two-way radios, I would plunk down some coin for them. Other than that, I’ll pass.

2. CommonSense - March 7, 2008

Can’t wait to get mine

3. richpit - March 7, 2008

I’ve got mine on preorder from New Force Comics…but it seems pretty much exactly the same as the version from the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas that I got a couple years ago (except for the added voice clips).

4. jonboc - March 7, 2008

Nice. That’s a lot of bang for the buck. Bring on the TOS Tricorder and the “exploration set” will be complete.

5. El Ghost Host - March 7, 2008

I heart prop toys.

6. Ro-Dan - March 7, 2008

The moire actually spins?! Wow! I didn’t expect that! I pre-ordered this thing months ago. Mine’s already shipped and on its way to my house!!!

7. Batts - March 7, 2008

Hey! I feel like a kid again! LOL! I will put some money aside and play the real phaser tag!! HA!

8. Batts - March 7, 2008

No really I bet these will be some serious collectors items right around movie time:)

9. - March 7, 2008

Details are spectacular.

10. John Hudgens - March 7, 2008

Re:#3 – There’s some distinct differences between this one and the Vegas Experience one – there’s a pretty comprehensive thread about this new one (including photos of the thing disassembled and compared against the others) over at the Replica Prop Forum –

11. Jesustrek - March 7, 2008

Wooooowwwwwwwwww, “Kirk to Enterprise” ¡¡¡¡

12. trekkie1701D - March 7, 2008

Just a tip, if you can, stick a piece of tissue paper between the speaker and the shell and it will sound a LOT better (this involves opening up the comm, so only do it if you know what you’re doing)

13. Spocko - March 7, 2008

I can’t wait until they come out with the tricorder! I think that will be the coolest of all.

14. Scott - March 7, 2008

This sounds just about perfect without actually enabling the Enterprise to lock onto you and beam you aboard with it. The 5 second delay signal thing — someone was working overtime to come up with that bit of brilliance! I love it!

I bought the Star Trek Vegas Experience communicator with the spinning moire that came out a year or two ago, and I was disappointed in the sound quality of the sound effects, as well as the annoying loudness of the motor spinning the moire. I wonder if this prop solves any of those problems. Anyone?

Scott B. out.

15. T2 - March 7, 2008

awesome….just bought mine tonight at the Trek con here in New Jersey. Almost identical to one I paid three times as much for a number of years ago.

16. T2 - March 7, 2008

#14 I have the Experience one as well…this one is better, lights arent as blinding and the sound is better

17. Scott - March 7, 2008

Re: #16 – Thanks for the info T2! I just looked at the video clip above (didn’t notice it immediately for some dumb reason), and this one definitely sounds better and looks great!

Scott B. out.

18. Mary Jane - March 7, 2008

I want a cell phone just like that. Forget all the rest. (^_^)

19. Garovorkin - March 7, 2008

Amazing thing is that the old Trek communicator looks like some of the cell phones that well have now.

20. Robert Bernardo - March 7, 2008

Hmm, I wonder how difficult it would be to put the EE Exclusive sound chip (plus sound clips) into a Master Replicas communicator.

21. Scifigirl - March 7, 2008

This…. is just way too cool…. I am so ordering one!!! :D

#19 – The TOS communicator WAS the inspiration for today’s cell phones. If you get the chance, watch the documentary “How William Shatner Changed the World”, from the Discovery Channel.

22. Illogical - March 7, 2008

#20, somewhat do-able, there have been some additional screw posts added to the inside of the front shell that will get a bit in the way of the PCB in the Master Replicas and STTE. Putting an MR PCB in a STTE Comm is really easy, I’ve done it to one of mine….I also make these….

23. toddk - March 7, 2008

yes please give me this as a cell phone and then charge me $200.00 for the phone, I’m very serious about it. all my life i have wanted a working communicator..this will hold me til the TNG pin phone becomes available.

24. Andy Patterson - March 7, 2008

Cool. I ordered mine, I don’t know, how many months ago. Have been looking forward to it. ‘Bout time. I’m excited! I hope it outdoes the MasterReplicas one.

I’ll beat this into the ground again (I can be very single minded when I get something in my head)- I’d love for someone to make a Gary Seven style servo.

I’ve yet to find anyone who will reply to me on this subject. Believe me I’ve contacted many about it.

25. James Heaney - Wowbagger - March 7, 2008

You know, very nice. The moire disk is the most important part of the TOS comm, and all low-cost products to date have gotten it completely wrong. So kudos to DST.

But I’m personally more excited about the nifty new logo. The beamin effect right there? Very cool.

26. JustBob - March 7, 2008

Excellent, more toys! It looks like DST has done a fine job and the price is not what I expected…..the price is right!

27. I am not Herbert - March 7, 2008


…mine’s shipping to me at this moment…

heh, heh, =)

28. Iowagirl - March 8, 2008

There’s nothing like those TOS replicas to nourish the inner child. This time, it’s spinning, talking, and it’s affordable. Great job, DST!

29. Spock with a Crowbar - March 8, 2008

Why are there no star trek cell phones that resemble communicators?

I’m not talking about the “star trek” phone available, which has nothing to do w/ trek (you can find it thru a simple search), I mean a cell phone that looks and sounds like the thing on the video!! I’ve been keeping an eye out for years. As far as I can tell, there aren’t any in the works.

We’d all buy one, right? You’d think this is something that would be available by now, even if it were a custom, highly priced item.

No such luck.

30. Ali - March 8, 2008

Isn’t it a bit too chunky?

31. Laserlover2254 - March 8, 2008

Wah Chang also built those Hand Lasers in the Cage.

32. Stef* - March 8, 2008

in the 70ties I would have screamed for it – my own communicators were from thick paper, painted with watercolours and stickers glued on it …

… but for today? I’m in my fourties right now and don’t want a toy, to lay it down in my vitrine.

Hey, my whole life I wished for having a communicator to actually “use” it.

I want a cell phone inside this treasure – this has to be possible :) I’m an aduld german fan and would pay for it and would give something for it.

Please, make this possible somehow or I have to open up this replica to do this on my own with a small cell phone.

33. Bob Ritchie - March 8, 2008

These putative parties wherein trek toys are cool conversation starters … any wimmin there?

34. Holger - March 8, 2008

This looks very good, I’m gonna get the new phaser and communicator. I can’t wait for a tricorder, though. I already have a Playmates Phaser II and a Playmates tricorder; the Playmates phaser is pretty good but the tricorder sucks! But so far no choice if you don’t want to spend some 500 bucks for a tricorder replica. (Even the Starship Exeter fan film guys had to use the Playmates tricorder!)

35. star trackie - March 8, 2008

How they can sell this thing, with a machined metal antenna and a working motor, for $19-$29…and still make a profit, is beyond me. We’ve come a long way from the oversized blue mego communicators of the 70’s! The TOS communicator with that crazy alien-esque spinning moire and that gold flip top antennae is still the best.

This “toy” is gonna sell like crazy.

36. Nomad - March 8, 2008

Looks cool, my friend gave me one of the old ones that has a calculator, voice recorder and clock all built in!

37. Robert J. Sawyer - March 8, 2008

“Another unique feature is that you can push a button to set the communicator to hail you five seconds later with the familiar sound effect.” Actually, it’s not unique. That’s the same way the Master Replica’s TOS communicator works. :)

38. FishDS9 - March 8, 2008

This is much better than my TOS Communicator with hidden calculator. Ordered mine just now. Wish we could promote the site but I had to choose “other” when I was asked where I heard of EE.

39. Andy Patterson - March 8, 2008

I bought the one with the calculator hidden under the moire dial too. However, I left the batteries in too long and they leaked, rusted the insides or whatever, and ruined it. Doesn’t work anymore. It wasn’t my favorite but I thought it was a cool little novelty item to have. Hate that I let that happen. That’s why all my MasterReplicas versions are in their cases without batteries.

When the tricorder comes out I hope it has the little McCoy analyzer device to fit in the storage compartment underneath. That’s a cool little touch I had hoped for with the MasterReplicas version.

40. non-belligerency confirmed - March 8, 2008

y’know, i’m a pretty hardcore fan, but i’ve never had any interest in collectables, toys, vidgames, comics, costumes or anything other marketing stuff. (not that i don’t really enjoy hanging out at ‘forbidden planet’ every time i’m on union square…)

this communicator, however, really tempts me. i think it’s the “call back” feature. oh sure, fun at parties, but somehow pulling it out of my suit when i’m on a crowded F train, real deadpan, sounds like more fun. anyway. does anyone know if paramount gets a piece of my $29? i feel rather as if they’ve taken enough cash for a few years…

41. Irish Terran - March 8, 2008

But my brother already has a TOS communicator from a while back so I’m more interested in the phaser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, the idea for a tricorder sounds good!!!!!!!!!!!

42. Closettrekker - March 8, 2008

#29—I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would. The ring tone would have to be Uhura’s voice saying, “Enterprise to Captain Kirk”! But yes, the exact looks of a TOS communicator with modern cell phone function! Why anyone hasn’t done that yet is beyond me.

43. Scott - March 8, 2008

I’m apparently one of the last humans on Earth without a cell phone (don’t worry, my wife and kids have them); they’re largely an annoyance to me. I wish folks would hold conversations like Kirk had: “Kirk to Enterprise. Four to beam up. Kirk out.” Quick. To the point. And he managed it in a normal tone of voice.

That said, I would cave in and join the 21st century if someone would make a cell phone that looked exactly like the TOS communicator, with a “boop-boop” ring tone, and which you could program to call people by just flipping it open and saying “Scott to Joe Smith.”

Scott B. out.

44. DesiluTrek - March 8, 2008

I clicked to EE via the above pic and ordered two. Does Trekmovie get some change for helping EE make a sale? You should; I hope so.

45. Dr. Image - March 8, 2008

#30 Too chunky?
YES. The MR was, the STE comm which it was based on was, and now this one has the same fat bottom. MR and their dealings with the Chinese factory were responsible for the screw up. Now though, it’s actually, yes, CANON, since an MR appeared in that ENT “Mirror Darkly” episode.
I hate the look, but the features make it too good to pass up.
For the REAL stories on the classic communicators, go to
It’s a great site.

46. Garovorkin - March 8, 2008

I seem to recall reading about a company that suppoesedly built a device that was a rudementry Tricorder. I think our technology probably produce on now that could do the the same things probably even more then the one on the original show.

47. Will Doe 68 - March 8, 2008

$29.00 for the communicator and $27.00 for the phaser? I’d be an idiot to pass this up! :)

48. FREAKAZOID - March 8, 2008

Guess its time to start preparing the old costume for the movie release. Especially now that can have all the required landing party equipment.

49. AnnoyedFan - March 8, 2008

make sure u lose some weight;)

50. Will - March 8, 2008

22. Nifty. I’ve been pondering trying to put a bluetooth headset into one of those ear-things that Uhura and Spock used.

51. THX-1138 - March 9, 2008

On the Art Asylum board, they have done a pretty extensive side by side comparison of the MR, Vegas, and AA communicators. They each have their own benefits. The moire in the AA doesn’t look as good as the MR or Vegas versions, but the sound clips more than make up for it, I would imagine. The motor that makes the moire spin in the Vegas and AA versions is a little loud, but it’s a toy prop. The moire movement from the hero communicators from TOS were stop watches and they ticked as the disc spun. It also didn’t move smoothly like these new props do.
This is one I have to get. And get me the tricorder, pronto.

52. Anthony Thompson - March 9, 2008

I’ve got one of the Lincoln Enterprise replicas, put out by Gene and Majel in the early to mid-80’s. Said to be the most authentic of all the replicas. But no working parts or sound effects. So I’ve got one of these on order from Amazon right now!

53. The Vulcanista - March 10, 2008

I’m still waiting for a fully functional Transporter. Someone get on that immediately, please.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

54. Irish Trekki - March 10, 2008

Fine, I’ll give it a go!

55. The Vulcanista - March 10, 2008

#54 LOL!! A Transporter would have *really* been handy this past Saturday.

And I agree with everyone re the communicator cell phone. Why hasn’t *that* happened yet??

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

56. Dave Galanter - March 12, 2008

I use this on my cell phone:

To make it look like so:

:-) With the “beep beep” ring tone the sounds like the comm chime, I’m geeky without people knowing it.

57. RJS - March 16, 2008

Does anyone have a ring tone for a RAZR V3T that is the Soft tone””Beep Beep” from the communicator from the orginal series. I can’t seem to find it anywhere. its the tone that when the device it initially haled its intermmitted sound “Beep Beep Beep Beep”

If anyone has it let me know…

58. FishDS9 - March 20, 2008

Just got mine in yesterday. Way cool. It’s a bit smaller than my Calc Comm and the moire does make some noise. Overall it’s worth it and is well done. The lid doesn’t flap around like the Calc Comm does. The moire itself doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would. I wish the EE Comm had the lights from the Calc Comm. I’m glad I bought it.

59. Tanner Waterbury - March 22, 2008

I gotta say, I really like the Blue light better than the green one, however, i thought in the pic that the yellow was gonna be the green led. Oh well, I have one and i LOVE it!!! I was really surprised on how authentic looking it was. And A great price TOO!!!

60. הקשר בין האייפון לסטר טרק | To Boldly Go - December 15, 2008

[…] לפוסט”, אמרתי לעצמי. ואכן, ראו זה פלא: בתמונה העליונה- הקומיוניקייטור המקורי. מתחתיו, הסו קולד בארבי פון. מתחתם, שני […]

61. Ken Netzel - May 16, 2009

Hi all. Am I the only one having battery issues with my communicator? I put in fresh alkaline batteries, close the lid, leave it on the shelf and in a few days the batteries are dead. Am I missing something here? Is there an actual “on/off” switch on this thing somewhere, so I can not burn the batteries out? An email response would be great since I don’t come here that often. Thanks. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.