Playmates Week (Day 3): Review Of Star Trek Roleplay Toys: Phaser, Tricorder & Communicator | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

Playmates Week (Day 3): Review Of Star Trek Roleplay Toys: Phaser, Tricorder & Communicator April 15, 2009

by John Tenuto , Filed under: Review,Star Trek (2009 film),Toys , trackback

The third day of TrekMovie’ review of all the Playmates Toys for the new Star Trek movie brings us to the roleplay toys. We have detailed reviews with pictures and video for the new phaser, tricorder, and communicator.

 

 

PLAYMATES ROLE PLAY TOYS
As expected the first wave of Playmates roleplay toys are the core landing party kit of a phaser, a tricorder, and a communicator, all based on the props from the new Star Trek movie. All the Playmates toys feature electronic lights and sounds and retail for around $17 each.

Note: This review (and ranking) is solely based on these new items as toys, and not an analysis of the new movie props and their differences with the TOS props.

Phaser (4.5 out of 5 stars)
Toy guns are always a bit disconcerting because they often have to be styled in a way that differentiates them from the real and dangerous varieties. Therefore, the Playmates Toys phaser may be a little shinny for some fans who like exacting details, but it must be remembered that these items are meant for playability and imaginative fun and not as replicas. And, as especially the instance with the phaser, there are considerations a toy company always has when producing what could be mistaken for a real weapon.


Playmates Star Trek Phaser Toy

With these caveats in mind, the phaser is a good toy. Besides being a very good replica (other than the colorization) in size and shape, it includes sound effects from the film. Also, the pivoting feature of the movie phaser is included here in the toy switching from "stun" to "vaporize" settings (see VIDEO below for demonstration). The older fans who get this item to either play with or display might experience a strange mixture of nostalgia (in the that the shape is basically the same as the original 1960s design) and newness (because of the obvious changes).


Top detail on Phaser Toy

One of the neat details about the film that is learned from the phaser toy is that the delta insignia shape has been included in the design. Look below the pivoting buttons and you could see the obvious and cool reference.


Delta shield integrated into Phaser design
 

Tricorder (5 Stars)
The tricorder toy has many cool features. The way the top of the tricorder opens quickly with sound and lighting effects is almost thrilling and certainly fun. The tricorder includes six sounds when pressing the buttons which also engage coordinated lighting effects. (see VIDEO below for demonstration). For fans used to the TOS tricorder toys, and because of the sleeker design, this tricorder toy is kind of like going from records to CDs.


Playmates Tricorder Toy (closed)

For fun, I brought the tricorder to the college where I teach to show my students before classes started. Most of the students are not Star Trek fans, and some thought the tricorder looked like a MP3 player when I asked if they knew what this was. Interesting, because they are tech savvy, many students had an intuitive sense of how the tricorder would work as a scanner despite not having ever seen the show or the new movie.


Playmates Tricorder Toy (open)

All in all the new Playmates Tricorder toy is a fun item because of its colorful display and play features.


Inside detail on Playmates Tricorder
 

Communicator (4.75 stars)
Communicators in general are a personal favorite of mine because they are about being social (and for a sociologist, there is nothing more important). The Playmates Toys communicator features a sound effect when flipping open that is infectious to play with. When I shared this item with the college, people couldn’t stop opening the communicator (one person put it to their ear like a cell phone being unfamiliar with how a communicator works yet had fun with the toy anyway).


Playmates Communicator Toy (closed) with holster

The communicator also includes a holder for the communicator that could be worn on any belt. Playmates Toys is planning to include a role playing utility belt in a future wave of toys, but the inclusion of the holder is nice because it allows a role playing fan to have a phaser in one hand, the tricorder in the other, and the communicator clipped to them. Add the clip-on delta insignia that is available with every 3.75" action figure and you are totally ready for ST09 adventures.


Playmates Communicator Toy (open)

The communicator has two lines of dialog from the film. [SPOILER] When pressing the left button, Kirk says "Kirk to Enterprise! We are falling without a chute, beam us up!" while the right button has Spock saying "Spock to Enterprise, get us out now." Pressing buttons also engages the cool lighting effects. (see VIDEO below for demonstration) While it is a bit strange to hear someone else’s voice as Kirk and Spock other than Misters Shatner and Nimoy, this is a fun feature to include on the communicator and it makes sense that out of the three role playing toys, the communicator would have the voices of the actors because you could pretend to be talking to them. It might have been good to include more sound effects, though, for added play value.


Playmates Communicator detail

VIDEO: Role Play Toys
Here is a video showing all three in action.

 

CONCLUSION + Sociology Lesson of the Day
Interactionist Sociologist George Herbert Mead’s "Game Theory" argues for the importance of play in learning and socialization. The "Play Stage" often involves role playing that not only activates the imagination, but also teaches us to consider the feelings and experiences of others. This could be why role playing toys have always been a venerable brand of fun. In the 1930s, Superman fans could purchase a Superman belt to add their fun. Dressing as cowboys or fairies is a form of role playing. During the 1960s, Batman fans could mimic the Caped Crusader through cowls and Batbelts and 1970s Star Trek fans had their MEGO communicator themed walkie-talkies. The 2000s have everything from Star Wars to Pirates of the Caribbean role playing items. For the new film, Playmates Toys has the trifecta of required Star Trek items: the phaser, tricorder, and communicator. Each item is a very good toy replica of the film’s designs, with a sturdiness and durability needed for role play items. For those looking for inexpensive replicas or costuming items, these are also very nice. Play or display, it is your choice. However, my family would tend to agree with George Herbert Mead: play with these toys. You get to be Kirk or Uhura and that is something George Herbert Mead would have loved.

 

AVAILABILITY & PRE-ORDER
Playmates Roleplay Toys officially go on sale this Sunday, although some stores are selling Star Trek Playmates items already. They will be available at Toys R Us, Wal-mart and Target as well as other retailer. You can order them now at Entertainment Earth:

NOTE: Some Toys R Us stores have broken the embargo release and started to sell some Star Trek Playmates toys early.

Next up: 6" & 12" figures
Tomorrow we will have an article on all the big action figures from Playmates Star Trek line, and on Friday we will take a look at the new USS Enterprise.

Comments

1. ShawnP - April 15, 2009

Nice toy review, John. That phaser looks like it could be fun even for an adult. And methinks you’re a member of SSSI? Nice Mead tie-in.

2. Admiral Waugh - April 15, 2009

Wow, not bad.

3. johnny - April 15, 2009

they look awsome, i would repaint them my self

4. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - April 15, 2009

WHOA!! I hadn’t realized how tiny that Tricorder is – it’s about the same size as the Communicator!! That’s ridiculous, the TNG Tricorders are bigger than that.

5. Andrew F. - April 15, 2009

SWEET!!!!!!!

6. OneBuckFilms - April 15, 2009

I might pick these up.

7. Leonel - April 15, 2009

Agreed – hearing the different voices coming out of the communicator is kinda wierd.. but cool nevertheless!

8. Chris Basken - April 15, 2009

I wonder if the phaser barrel actually rotates from stun to kill like that in the movie…

9. Starfleet06 - April 15, 2009

I’m especially impressed with the tricorder. Very modern looking. If only someone would really invent one…

And only 2 lines of dialogue for the communicator?!? What the heck man? I mean, the TOS communicator ornament ’09 had about 12-15 lines from multiple characters! Weak sauce.

10. Weerd1 - April 15, 2009

I think the sound effects are a good middle ground between the classic 60s funky sounds and a modern version. In particular I like the updated communicator opening chirps (I use the classic version on my cell phone actually).

11. Chris - April 15, 2009

That stuff is cool and all, but I’m not down with the tricorder being so small. I guess they won’t be wearing the on a strap over their shoulder…

12. Jefferies Tuber - April 15, 2009

Cool, nuanced review. I love that it comes from a sociologist.

13. Hat Rick - April 15, 2009

I would like free samples, please. For, um, evaluation purposes. Yeah, evaluation purposes, that’s the ticket.

:-)

14. Darryl - April 15, 2009

This is the worst time ever to be jobless and poor. :(

15. The Original Spock's Brain - April 15, 2009

So ready to play with my nephews.

16. Kon (D-SF) - April 15, 2009

Spock sounds kinda weird through the communicator – Tricorder is pretty nifty – I wonder if I could hollow out the case and put an iPhone in it ;)

17. Gary Seven - April 15, 2009

Is there a type one and a type two Phaser like in TOS? I didn’t see where the small type one would fit into the top of the type 2.
From what I recall the smaller “square” type 1 was used on landing parties more often than the full configuration type 2 in TOS.

18. MvRojo - April 15, 2009

I’ll get the phaser, but seeing the video of the tricorder and communicator convinced me not to get them.

#9. Yeah, I agree. Two sounds for the communicator is pretty weak.

19. HomerT6 - April 15, 2009

Wow very very nice I was going to just buy and display not buy and play these might be fun for my little 2nd cousin’s to play with!

20. Andy Patterson - April 15, 2009

Hmmm. Thought I was going to be bothered by the new design but seems I miss the old sound effects a bit.

21. Darryl - April 15, 2009

J.J., I know you watch these message boards, and I’m here to tell you, I will prostitute and schill for you!!! My Enterprise tattoo and love of your work makes me the perfect pitchman!
I know this movie will open up Trek lore to a whole new audience, and I just wanna help……and maybe get some insider scoop on Lost.

22. Ryan O'Brien - April 15, 2009

Yeah Toys R US had a bunch of stuff yesterday. These, every 6 inch figure, 3 McCoy dolls, the playsets (about 6 each), the works!

Bought a tricorder and phaser. Wish I hadn’t. Enjoyable for five minutes but I’m 21 years old. I spent 30 bucks on them, will wear to a midnight showing then sell them on EBAY. Still cool though.

Went back today, a mere 22 hours later, to the same store. They were down to two phasers and a communicator, 2 transporters, and one bridge!

23. Ryan O'Brien - April 15, 2009

Oops. Typo. Bought a tricorder and a communicator, not a phaser

24. Alan Hsiao - April 15, 2009

that’s one hideous communicator

25. DanTHEman - April 15, 2009

I saw the new line of toys at a local Wal-Mart. The 3.75s look alot less like my playmates from the early 90’s and more like the early figures made for the TNG by Galoob! I must admit a child like YES!!! when seeing a new Lights and Sounds enterprise on the shelf.

26. Gep Malakai - April 15, 2009

Question for Anthony: does the comm still have the little thumb wheel on the right side that we saw in the prototype pics? If so, what does it do (if anything)?

27. emazinioii - April 15, 2009

Can’t you write a bad review of anything? Just one thing?

Any chance of posting a negative review of the film once it comes out? You know, just to have a balance of opinions out there?

28. sean - April 15, 2009

Love the Tricorder sounds! Sounds very Trek-like.

29. DGill - April 15, 2009

I really like how the phaser module rotates from stun to kill. Very impressive. However, I don’t know if it’s the video or the toy, but the firing effect doesn’t have a lot of “oomph” to it. Hopefully the movie will make it sound awesome.

30. sean - April 15, 2009

#27

In case you hadn’t noticed, this article is written by someone OTHER than Anthony. Sheesh.

31. Cato the Llama - April 15, 2009

Well, I can admit when I was wrong . . .

I just got the new Enterprise toy tonight (Surprised to find it!) and . . . I’m very impressed. While I would have of course done things differently, I am now very happy with the look of the new ship now that I have it in my hands and can see it at any angle. From the side, it looks sleek and graceful, yet pays homage to the original. We just got some of the most unfortunate angles in those original pictures. I now count myself as a fan of the new design. :)

I haven’t posted here in ages . . . but I just felt I had to say that.

Now I look forward to the role play stuff!

32. Agentm31 - April 15, 2009

When is this embargo being lifted with toys r us? My local one only has the ship. Not that I’m complaining…

33. Jack - April 15, 2009

I totally keep bringing this up, but personally I wish they’d stuck with the TMP-TFF Starfleet insignia, rather than the next gen version (which was also used in the Undiscovered Country)…

34. Capt. Roykirk. - April 15, 2009

Glad I allready have TOS versions of the Phaser and Communicator. I don’t care much for the looks of that phaser, even if you ignore that it looks nothing like the TOS version, it still looks weird. The communicator looks like a splice of the Galaxy Quest comunicator and a cell phone. And I agree #9, only 2 recordings? Surely they use it more than that in the movie.
The tricorder is ok, it still looks sort of Federation-ish, though way to small for that time period.

35. tholianhata - April 15, 2009

I looked at these today and was not impressed. Was somewhat tempted by the tricorder, but it looked and felt cheap, even for a toy. The stickers are what really killed it — more detailing would have helped immensely. It’s essentially a plastic box with three lights and some noise. At least it had a decent selection of sounds, which is more than can be said for the communicator.

These pale in comparison to many of the previous ST prop toys, IMO. Even the phaser game from the ’70s had better detailing. I don’t expect prop replicas, especially at this price point, but they ought to feel at least somewhat sturdy.

I suspect this stuff will be hitting in sufficient quantities that it will ultimately show up in the deep discount bin. For now, I’m thinking I’m going to wait it out. Maybe once the movie comes out I’ll feel differently.

36. McCoy - April 15, 2009

“Note: This review (and ranking) is solely based on these new items as toys, and not an analysis of the new movie props and their differences with the TOS props.”

Why not?

37. Tuvok - April 15, 2009

I’m impressed. I’m 15 and was considering leaving these for the kiddies, but now I really want that Phaser. Tricorder too.

38. I Am Morg Not Eymorg - April 15, 2009

36. McCoy: Because he is reviewing the toys, not the film.

39. Spock's Uncle - April 15, 2009

Oh dear god… “I don’t care much for the looks of that phaser, even if you ignore that it looks nothing like the TOS version, it still looks weird. The communicator looks like a splice of the Galaxy Quest comunicator and a cell phone. And I agree #9, only 2 recordings? Surely they use it more than that in the movie.
The tricorder is ok, it still looks sort of Federation-ish, though way to small for that time period.”

Puh-Leeze, it’s not a time period.. it’s FICTION… you numbskull.. look at what we have now and go from their… 60’s design won’t cut it… get with the program!

40. McCoy - April 15, 2009

39 “Puh-Leeze, it’s not a time period.. it’s FICTION… you numbskull.. look at what we have now and go from their… 60’s design won’t cut it… get with the program!”

These designs don’t look any more modern than TOS.

41. Spock's Uncle - April 15, 2009

ok, you’re right it sucks, please don’t go see the movie, and stop posting here, it’s terrible, and it will make you cry.

Thanks, good night.

42. Berti Semmler - April 15, 2009

Ah, to be a child again…
I really envy my little daughter and my nephew!

43. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 15, 2009

Crap. Crap. MegaCrap.

44. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 15, 2009

K.I.S.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2204/2188364087_7e656a9d9c_o.jpg

45. Marcus - April 15, 2009

Does everything get 4.5 stars or higher? Has Playmates improved product quality that much?

Will the larger figures get 6 stars out of a possible 5 ?

As has been pointed out by numerous other persons, the communicator is sadly lacking in design and audio. For 16 bucks I expect more…

The tricorder just looks like there is little play value there for the money. Will the silver finish scuff, scratch and flake off ?

Just disappointed with lack of time and thought that was put into these toys.

46. Valar1 - April 15, 2009

I’m just so freakin glad the new phasers aren’t based off those silly ass dust-buster ones from TNG.

47. Ensign Ruiter - April 15, 2009

Wonder why they didn’t put an LCD or OLED into the tricorder design, as this seems essential to the function of the tricorder as both a scanner and visual recorder, aka The City on the Edge of Forever.

It does have a sixties feel along with a more modern look – something the designers were clearly seeking to accomplish.

I’m interested in the review posted earlier wherein the communicator of Captain Robau [sic?] resembled the TOS design. I wonder what other throwbacks and nods to the original await? I’d like a crazy panning shot of the bridge zooming in from above, albeit not shakily.

Btw how will this site deal with the inevitable posting of Star Trek to Alluc and the like? How will our tight knit community manage the spoiler issue at this point? Something to ponder.

48. Capt. Roykirk. - April 15, 2009

#44. Now that’s more like it.

And thanks McCoy.

49. Ensign Ruiter - April 15, 2009

You know what, just watching This Side of Paradise on the PVR and when Spok drops his communicator the closeup shows it to be of such brilliant and sleek design – Apple worthy – it IS a shame it could not be preserved in the new film. It is unfortunate that times must change by definition.

50. Ensign Ruiter - April 15, 2009

uh…that would be “Spock,” sorry.

51. Valar1 - April 15, 2009

44

Thanks for the pic!

52. Bill Peters - April 16, 2009

all I can say is I want! cool!

53. captain_neill - April 16, 2009

At least they were faithful to TOS designs.

But these designs are no where near as good as TOS props. I have a TOS phaser and communicator and I sill prefer themn over these new designs.

At least the originals were iconic.

Glad they are faithful but I feel they should be black, not silver

54. captain_neill - April 16, 2009

The top of the Tricoder looks more like the 24th Century tricoder, it even has a 24th Century LCARS style.

55. Paulaner - April 16, 2009

The tricorder is very beautiful. It’s modern, but yet there is a vintage TOS flavor in the way it opens. I’m impressed.

56. Jefferies Tuber - April 16, 2009

46. Valar1: I agree. Then again, they were only up against wuss aliens like Romulans with shoulder pads and Ferengi. It’s not like they were used on a real enemy like the Klingons.

49. Ensign Ruiter: I miss the gold mesh, too. But the whole idea of a handheld communicator is obsolete in 2009. In a matter of years, cheap, replaceable retinal and cochlear implants will be available [if they aren't already] to military personnel and eventually consumers.

57. Netgic - April 16, 2009

Listen to this German Soundtrack shop

http://www.colosseum.de/product_info.php/info/p2225_Star-Trek.html

58. Valar1 - April 16, 2009

56
“But the whole idea of a handheld communicator is obsolete in 2009. In a matter of years, cheap, replaceable retinal and cochlear implants will be available [if they aren’t already] to military personnel and eventually consumers.”

Even if they have that technology available, I think it makes sense to have a redundant device you can adapt or modify on the run- like a handheld communicator.

59. cinemadeus - April 16, 2009

So much for the uber geeks…
But no MAKING OF or THE ART OF STAR TREK books announced yet :-(

60. Karl - April 16, 2009

I so want that Phaser! I love the way swivels to switch from Stun to Kill. I’ll keep mine on Kill!

61. John Tenuto - April 16, 2009

#45

Obviously, so. Ironic that your number post is also 4.5, no?

62. Valar1 - April 16, 2009

Keep posting these John, if you didn’t do these updates I wouldn’t have a clue what to look out for.

And BTW, these things are going way too fast for comfort. I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I’ve been to both Walmarts in my town, I see a display one night and then the next day it is gone, I ask the clerk what gives, and he tells me those things are sold out. They’re replacing all the Trek displays with Wolverine stuff to fill out the shelves.

63. Crewman Darnell - April 16, 2009

# 44

Yes, thanks for the tribute to the beautiful designs of TOS.

As a toy prop collector, I’m quite uninspired by these gadget renderings.

Unfortunately, the new Phaser (at least the Playmates toy depicted here) at best resembles the product of a mating between an automotive timing light/gun and a Flash Gordon “ray gun.” Something I’d expect to see in the toy section of one of those Dollar Stores.

The Tricorder is only slightly more exciting. The blinking lights and sound effects are neat but “It looks like an MP3 player!” ..Go figure.

The Communicator does have a cool sounding effect when it flips open but that’s the most interesting thing about it.

I hopefully assume the props will appear more convincing (the Phaser not so shiny?) in the film, but as for the toys, I wouldn’t waste a penny on these, unless Diamond Select releases better versions.

64. darrksan - April 16, 2009

27. emazinioii – April 15, 2009

Can’t you write a bad review of anything? Just one thing?

Any chance of posting a negative review of the film once it comes out? You know, just to have a balance of opinions out there?
—————————–
Yeah, I feel the same.
Not having balance of opinions is a bad idea.
It is too one sided.
It is too hard to trust someone who seems happy with everything from this film, all the time.
————————-
63. Crewman Darnell – April 16, 2009
Unfortunately, the new Phaser (at least the Playmates toy depicted here) at best resembles the product of a mating between an automotive timing light/gun and a Flash Gordon “ray gun.” Something I’d expect to see in the toy section of one of those Dollar Stores.
—————————–
Yeah, I thought the same thing.
all roleplay toys look like they are from the Dollar Stores.
hell, all the toys (figures, playset and so on) look like they are from the Dollar Stores.
They look cheap and bad. Just look at the Bridge playset, it is so bad.

65. ProperTrekkieUK - April 16, 2009

Wow some of you lot have some series issues! Firstly these things are toys, if they look cheap, don’t have an LCD screen or enhanced features thats because would you then really want some 5 year old putting sticky icky fingers all over it?

Also, they do very much look like their original TOS designs but with some modern sensibilities that very much bring trek into the 21st century! Can you seriously see Spock running round with his strapped up massive laptop scanner, when micro technology has reached such an advanced stage already!

Lay off the guys who write these articles as well, just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you can bash them! These are not master replica grade things, these are kids playable toys, and thats how they are reviewed! Geeeeeeeesh!

Sorry rant over, have just woken up and not in a good mood!

66. C.S. Lewis - April 16, 2009

The communicator had a very familiar look to it, but I couldn’t place it until now: it looks like one of the $25 Cobra FRS/GMRS radios you buy at Wal Mart, etc. The particular model we own has a plastic hemisphere over the LCD display and a rather sleek design for a consumer-brand, almost disposable radio. So no, it wouldn’t surprise me to finds a COTS inspiration behind the design itself.

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

67. st-midway - April 16, 2009

hey, there are some more clips from the soundtrack here:
http://www.cinemusic.net/2009/04/15/soundtrack-preview-star-trek/

68. C.S. Lewis - April 16, 2009

Slow morning; up early with my boy who rose with the roosters!

Looking again at the phaser, I see certain design elements from the Colt 1911. So many that this toy model is reminiscent of my S&W 3906 (which is a compact design in stainless steel from around ten years ago or more). I’m still not sure why the improbable and very awkward “rotating barrel” scheme, which looks more like a water pistol nozzle than anything menacing. I also do not understand why they went for a shiny metallic look when polymer and Parkerization have been the very welcome trend for a long time (flashy nickel plating went out of style about the time Kirk’s Corvette was made).

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

69. Littlenatey - April 16, 2009

Rotating barrel on the phaser goes back to The Cage. Pike switched the stun/kill setting on his “hand laser” by rotating the barrel.

70. AJ - April 16, 2009

67:

Good catch! It’s way better than yesterday’s collection of clips. Lots of A. Courage in those end credits.

71. Scotty Mon - April 16, 2009

I for one am thrilled to see Trek toys back on shelves, even if we are short-changed with the lack of building units with the Galaxy figures in Canada. The phaser is a hit with my 4 & 6 year old – It was funny watching my 4 year old son running around, stopping dramatically, whipping out my-his (point of contention still exists) phaser and stating, “I’m Captain KIRK!”

I know where to get the super high-detailed Trek-Tek stuff with AA & MR both producing them, should I want detail and accuracy. The mass production of fun toys that kids are enjoying is what Trek needs to continue to “the next generation”. . .and I’m seriously tempted to complete my set with a tricorder & communicator for me, ah, I mean, the BOY. . .as he would love the flip action of the communicator and the multiple lights / sound effects of the tricorder.

Thanks for the review, esp of the tricorder. . .it’s better in action than in package, that’s for sure!

72. John Tenuto - April 16, 2009

#27 and #64

I will start having negative comments now with your ideas, okay? You know, just to have balance.

Firstly, you are both of course free not to read my reviews if you don’t like them.

Secondly, #64, do you see conspiracies everywhere? “Trust”? What are you talking about? I am college professor who for fun writes these articles for fellow fans. I do it because I love Star Trek collectibles which I buy on my own (every item you see being reviewed here has been or will be purchased by me, except the phaser for personal reasons). I also do it because I could sneak in little sociology lessons now and again. My salary is the benefit of helping fellow fans because I wish someone had written articles with this detail long ago and communicating with others who love Star Trek. That’s it.

And yes, I do tend to like Star Trek collectibles. There are too many real problems in life to agonize about toys or whether a sticker is wrong on an item.

So, feel free to start your own articles at your own blogs. And bring on the criticisms of my writing or my ideas anytime. I don’t mind that. But, your comments sound like there is a conspiracy of some kind and are obtuse in their reasoning.

Should I give something a negative review just to be negative. Everything I write is my opinion. You could disagree with that. Please give me the courtesy of allowing me to have mine, though.

Plus, I think there is plenty of balance here in the comments where what I might give 5 stars a fellow fan calls “crap” to quote some comments here. Isn’t that balanced enough for you?

73. CAPT. CRUNCH - April 16, 2009

Phaser is awesome..though the chrome finish leaves a little to be desired.. the tricorder does seem small, but the flip design and sound effects are cool..the communicator really blows and that holster thing..get out the velcro and black paint and we have a rather nice assortment.. will be cool to see next to my original mego walkie talkie communicators and phaser I’ve had since ’75.. man I’m getting to old to play with toys!!

74. The Rusted Robot - April 16, 2009

In regards to the 3.75 inch Playmates figures…..I saw some yesterday at a WalMart in Canada. The Galaxy Collection figures do not, I repeat, do not, come with the extra pieces for the bridge or transporter playset. Not sure if anyone else has already mentioned this slightly alarming fact.

75. Joe Sena - April 16, 2009

Probably one of the most thoughtful and thorough reviews of a toy line I’ve ever read. And yes, we all hope that a new generation of young Trek fans will stick these in their belts, get outside and play with them, as opposed to just sticking them on the shelf in their original boxes while they sit on the couch and play videogames.

Although the cheesy drugstore squirtgun finish does kinda turn me off from a roleplay perspective the same way having “Star Trek” stamped on the MEGO toy phaser did in my youth. :-)

76. Star TRackie - April 16, 2009

I sure miss that one-of-a-kind distinctive communicator “chirp”. It’s a great sound effect, real shame they chose just another “bleep Bleep”.

Phaser is cool…again the sound is not as strong as that TOS shrill energy sound.. but I like the emitter swivel, that’s pretty cool.

And the tricorder is ok, but isn’t that the side a crewmember would be reading? What does the front side..the side facing the object look like?

All in all, nice replicas that are VERY reasonably priced…for a change. (although the DST communicator is a steal).

Thanks for the great review, I’ll be buying all of these.

77. J W Wright - April 16, 2009

that ridiculous fazer-ray gun is made even more ridiculous with the attempt to make it more ‘trek-ier’ by slapping yet another mission patch design element onto it, like everything in this movie.

the rotatable barrel is comically impractical.

the tricorder doesnt even have as functional an interface as a common decibel meter.

and that communicator? dont drop it with the lid open. one tumble and roll and that thing is lost, the holster isnt as functional as the old velcro patch.

is there a designer taking credit for dreaming up these beauties?

78. Omnibus - April 16, 2009

I really like the new communicator and Tricorder a lot, but IMO the new phasers are the weak props of the new movie. While I understand the concessions that have to be made for the toy, I just don’t think the real prop it comes from looks very good to begin with. To me it looks as silly as those TNG first iteration “dustbusters”. :-( Only on this one item does the original TOS item actually look better than its movie counterpart. The rest of the new movie’s production items seem to be extremely top notch though.

79. Anthony Thompson - April 16, 2009

The tricorder looks awful (no sale!), but the other two toys look OK though I’ll wait for good replicas to come out before I buy.

80. Refuge of Quark's - April 16, 2009

Great review, looks like I’ll be hitting some stores Sunday

81. AJ - April 16, 2009

I take the new phasers in the film do not insertable “phaser 1″ minis at the top? I always liked those tiny ‘fireboxes.”

82. New Horizon - April 16, 2009

78. Omnibus – April 16, 2009

They’re pretty much the same shape as the original phaser. I wouldn’t judge them based on the toy. The brief glimpses of the real prop look much better, not as slick and shiny.

83. Vman - April 16, 2009

remember IDIC and what it (and Star Trek) stands for.

84. Al Hartman - April 16, 2009

The new weapon looks nothing like the classic phaser, it looks much more like the Nebulizer from Galaxy Quest, as does the Communicator.

As toys, I guess these are ok. I wish there were neat toys like this for the original series when I was a kid. The AMT Exploration set and a built up toy set based on it, were the best we got.

85. TonyD - April 16, 2009

Even though these toys were always aimed first and foremost at the kiddie market, Playmates’ prior Trek offerings always had enough detail and features to also appeal to older collectors. With the possible exception of the Enterprise model, that doesn’t seem to be the case this time. The phaser’s silver sheen is all wrong (the pics from the film make it look like its made of darker materials) and the communicator and tricorder look to be pretty cheaply manufactured with minimal electronics. The playsets are similarly disappointing and the likenesses on the action figures are pretty poor.

Like I said, I know these are for the kids but as an adult collector I’ll be looking elsewhere. Hopefully Art Asylum or some other company will be able to get a license and produce something a little more accurate and appealing.

As to the aesthetics of the props themselves; they’re adequate but quite honestly I find the designs inferior to the original TOS versions, which have a timelessness and sleekness to them that still looks fresh and functional even today. I don’t believe in change for change’s sake and when it comes to these three props, I don’t think the new versions are an improvment over the originals in terms of aesthetics.

86. Al Hartman - April 16, 2009

Oh, and I don’t think I’ll be buying any of these. Bad original design and lousy choice of sound FX means I’ll pass on these.

The Tricorder is useless as any kind of scanning device. Where’s the display screen? How does a dozen blinking lights display any useful data?

Also, I think the Diamond/AA Roleplay toys are much better done in fit/finish and play options.

I have several Classic Tricorders on order and I’m looking forward to getting them.

87. tranchera - April 16, 2009

How irritating… you just know that these punks will get their tricorder before the proper TOS one comes out.

88. Star TRackie - April 16, 2009

#85 “The phaser’s silver sheen is all wrong (the pics from the film make it look like its made of darker materials) and the communicator and tricorder look to be pretty cheaply manufactured with minimal electronics.”

You do know these are $15 toys right? You’re not going to get brushed aluminum. You can have gray plastic or chrome plated plastic. I prefer the chrome plating to gray plastic. I also prefer brushed aluminum to chrome plating…but that isn’t an option. Nor is a boatload of lighting and sound effects at this pricepoint.

Should they have upped the pricepoint to $25 and threw in more electronic goodies for adult collectors or keep it cheap so parents are more inclined to buy them for their kids? Seems to me, they made the right choice.

89. Crewman Darnell - April 16, 2009

The term “Galaxy Quest” seems to keep coming up in reference to the Art Design choices with this film; especially in the prop department. I find that very annoying.

Unfortunately it’s understandable, from what I’m seeing so far.

A Phaser that looks like a shiny timing gun, with an embossed delta shield and a swiveling, plastic-like blue/red colored nozzle??

My apologies folks, but seriously, WTF??

90. Cameron - April 16, 2009

Am I the only one that noticed that the tricorder display has a LCARS interface! LCARS was a post original series interface introduced on TNG.

91. NCC-73515 - April 16, 2009

30 EUR for each of the equipment toys, 40 EUR for the Enterprise… and why is there nothing about the Narada yet?

92. Dr. Image - April 16, 2009

From a purely prop-guy perspective, I say “yeesh.”
From a toy perspective, I say “oh well.”

93. SPOCKBOY - April 16, 2009

prop vs toy
http://tinyurl.com/dxunxj

94. Randy H. - April 16, 2009

69. Littlenatey – “Rotating barrel on the phaser goes back to The Cage. Pike switched the stun/kill setting on his “hand laser” by rotating the barrel.”

OMG! I hadn’t realized that connection! That is a nod to canon and precedence that I had totally overlooked! I, too, felt the rotating barrel was silly when first described, but given that the toy version switches so quickly, plus the original design from The Cage, it all makes a kind of odd design sense.

95. TonyD - April 16, 2009

#88 – You do know these are $15 toys right?

Actually they’re $17, but regardless, yes I do know that they are “low end”. That’s why I mentioned not once but twice that I knew up front these toys were for kids first and not collectors.

I was just making an observation that prior Playmates releases, which also sold well and were affordable for their time, were good enough to appeal to both kids and those looking for something a little more ambitious, whereas these clearly are not.

I was also musing that I find the general design of these new props lacking when compared to their TOS counterparts. I have no problem with different looking props (I loved the phasers from ST:TMP even though they were very different from the TOS models and even thought the wrist communicators were an interesting design) but the aesthetic choices made for these three new props are not nearly as inventive as what has come before.

Does anybody know if Art Asylum, Diamond or anybody else have a license to make better toys/replicas from the movie? Or is it strictly Playmates for the time being?

96. Dr. Image - April 16, 2009

#93 Exactly.
#67 Giacchino seems to have out-Goldsmithed Goldsmith! Wow!!!

97. Raphael Salgado - April 16, 2009

@ #3: Don’t repaint it!

What happens if a Romulan mistakes it for a REAL phaser and disintegrates your molecules?!

Seriously, only real Starfleet officers should carry the real weapons.

98. Gabriel Bell - April 16, 2009

72. Thank you, John. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

99. THX-1138 - April 16, 2009

Thanks, SPOCKBOY. Now I know how to better accurize the phaser so it can actually be a display piece.

The communicator is a disappointment, as far as a toy is concerned. Not having hekd it in my hand it looks like it might break with repeated openings and closings. And the lack of sounds is troubling. I don’t think it would have taken too much to put in some more “mechanical” sounds that the communicator must make.

The tricorder looks pretty good to me though. Is it really that small? I mean, is the actual movie tricorder that small?

I will get many sets of these because I know that my kids will play with them and I can put them in my display case along with the TOS and TNG replicas I have.

100. Crewman Darnell - April 16, 2009

Spockboy # 93

Thanks. The film prop still looks to me like a Flash Gordon / automotive timing light, but at least it’s better than the toy.

No criticism intended for Spockboy’s link, but I’m still wondering how people are seeing a nod to Phasers from “The Cage” episode. Captain Pike *rotated* the front end of the weapon barrel to adjust the setting. This new Phaser has a nozzle that *swivels* from red to blue plastic. All that’s lacking is for it to feature sparks shooting out from the nozzle. (Anyone recall those dime-store toys?) No doubt it will be a hit, approved for ages 5-9. :-/

101. richpit - April 16, 2009

I’ve got the phaser. Can’t find the others yet. The quality is standard Playmates, IMO. Not great, but not crap.

The shiny finish started rubbing off of my phaser within 5 minutes of it being out of the box.

I totally agree that the original TOS designs were much better, but what can we do? Nothing.

102. drcancerman - April 16, 2009

I want one I want one!
A 24 year old guy wanting those stuff… screw the age, I want one!

103. DanTHEmaN - April 16, 2009

Hey, the TNG type one phaser was HUGE!
The Com Badge from Generations had a little red light that would glow when you tapped it. (Lets not even talk about figures with wrong uniforms)
The Klingon Dk’Thag from playmates…dont even get me started…

BUT THERE TOYS!

I still ran around the yard yelling at Geordi to beam me up from Veridian III with my younger cousins. I still went “Hand to Hand” with Targs in the woods. I still blasted that little bug from “Conspiracy” and never thought twice about the size, or proper coloring.

SURE, they do look a little on the cheap flimsy side, but if it inspires young straship captains and young science officers to bodly go where no kid on their block has gone before… I dont think it will really matter.

They’re suppose to be out in the dirt, balsting Romulan dirtbags, not collecting dust in some cabinent anyway.

104. Bradley1701 - April 16, 2009

These are not collectors items, they are toys meant to attract the attention of KIDS.

I don’t mind the props at all. The TOS props were good for the time, but were bulky compared to todays tech standards…I have TOS props made by the original company that made them and the communicator is a lot bulkier than a BlackBerry which is capable of doing a lot more things within a smaller unit. That being said, why would we duplicate those items from TOS when we are capable today of making devices that are able to do a whole lot more within smaller casings?

I think that these props give a nod to the originals but update them to make sense in todays hi-tech world. The phaser looks more sci-fi and is more in line with being a hi-tech gun. They aren’t updated completely, obviously they want to give a nod to the TOS communicator and tricorder, but one would hope that by the 23rd century we would be beyond using “smartphones”. Maybe there will be a BlackBerry that will act as a communicator AND a tricorder haha

105. Randy H. - April 16, 2009

100. Crewman Darnell – ” . . . No criticism intended for Spockboy’s link, but I’m still wondering how people are seeing a nod to Phasers from “The Cage” episode. Captain Pike *rotated* the front end of the weapon barrel to adjust the setting. This new Phaser has a nozzle that *swivels* from red to blue plastic. . . . .”

It is the concept of having different emitters for different levels of intensity. The Cage phaser had two and this new phaser has two. Rotating or swivelling seems irrelevant to the canon nod of needing to have different physical emitters at that time. I still think it a nice touch – whether intended or not!

106. Star TRackie - April 16, 2009

#104 “I have TOS props made by the original company that made them and the communicator is a lot bulkier than a BlackBerry which is capable of doing a lot more things within a smaller unit.”

Well thats where imagination comes into play. That little round window/speaker of the original communicator, with the spinning moire could do all kinds of things when you’re a kid using imagination. It can show pictures, video, project 3 dimensional read-out and images, play music, analyze objects set on top of it, etc etc. Not to mention hail a ship in orbit around your planet…something the Blackberry can’t do. Just because you never saw it happen doesn’t mean the unit wasn’t capable of doing it in the futuristic world of TOS.

And the new squared off communicator seems to be much bulkier than the ergonomically crafted TOS communicator which fits the hand perfectly and the cool metal gold antenna is way cooler than a plastic flip top. I like the new prop, but it hardly improves on the original.

107. Star TRackie - April 16, 2009

#105 “Rotating or swivelling seems irrelevant to the canon nod of needing to have different physical emitters at that time. I still think it a nice touch – whether intended or not!”

Agreed. Makes for some nice business when it’s being used on screen. I like it.

108. SerenityActual - April 16, 2009

I like the design of the phaser, not the color of it though. I believe my phaser and I have a date with paints soon. The other items, I will have to see before I make up my mind on them.

And does anyone know how the Playmates Enterprise replica compares to the Diamond ones? I really do not want to put it next to my original E and movie E if the quality is bad.

109. Jerry in Thailand - April 16, 2009

Gee! I envy you guys in the States! Getting to buy the Trek Toys!
ENVY ENVY ENVY!

110. THX-1138 - April 16, 2009

#109

Don’t envy all of us. The ones who are getting the toys are buying them from stores that aren’t playing by the release date rules. Where I am for example, there is nothing on the shelves. And I have checked my entire city and the neighboring city in the next state.

Oh well, I guess I’ll wait for Sunday.

111. Carnival0fSouls - April 16, 2009

These new landing party implementations are crappy. I don’t care if they were intended for children they are just plain ugly. Oh well, at least there is classic trek diamond select landing party equipment available.

112. Valar1 - April 16, 2009

103

“SURE, they do look a little on the cheap flimsy side, but if it inspires young straship captains and young science officers to bodly go where no kid on their block has gone before…”

Well said, that’s the main reason to buy these, not to make love to them from afar as they adorn your shelf in their mint packaging, but to give em to a kid to blast imaginary foes with.

113. Kirksgirth - April 16, 2009

I found the phasers and tricorders at a local TRU today, but they were sold out of communicators. I must admit, the 12 inch figures are really outstanding looking…better than I thought they would look. WM had nothing on the shelves yet. Also…if anybody starts customizing the paint jobs on the toy props to look more like the real ones…please share your techniques and progress here!

114. THX-1138 - April 16, 2009

“SURE, they do look a little on the cheap flimsy side,…..”

As a toy purchasing parent who doesn’t have an unending pile of cash to purchase toys from, I think that the flimsy look of the communicator gives me pause. $17 might not be a King’s ransom, but if I have to continually buy a new one to replace the quickly broken old one, then I may not be getting these for the kids. And it doesn’t do me or them a bit of good if it falls apart within the first week of play.

And as a collector, right now, I don’t have another alternative to put on my shelf. I don’t keep them in their packages but I do show them off. If they are accurate enough then with a little cosmetic tweaking, I can put them alongside my other gear. Don’t just dimiss the collecotrs out of hand because it’s not your particular thing. I don’t have any other source for new movie replicas as of yet, so this is what I will be doing with my props that the kids don’t get.

115. Rich - April 16, 2009

Star Trek 9? I thought this is going to be the 11th Trek. Anyway, I myself am looking foward to the tricorder. They all look pretty cool, but they seem to be more advanced than the classic props. So what happened in Pike’s time? Starfleet went back to the laser!

116. DanTHEmaN - April 16, 2009

To: #114

Very True, and I understand what you mean. I think the 1701-E from First Contact and the more acurate “fixed” version from Insurection is one example. You just have to make due with what they give you.

I still display some of my favorite Trek items. Until this year my Original Series 1701 from playmates sat proudly in our living room. Only to be booted by the Diamond Selects 1701 refit. (Wrath of Kahn Anniversary Edt.) The Refit has always been my favorite.

I think alot of people just have really high expectations, and good toymakers like Diamond Selects has a few of us spoiled.

On a special note I did feel motivated to go find all of my old Trek Toys, I dug out the old bridge playset was in the basement…good memories.

117. PicardsFish - April 16, 2009

OH MY GOD I CAN’T TAKE THE STUPID.

You people do realize that the chances of the barrel SWIVELING AROUND in the movie are… just mind boggling low, right?

IT IS A TOY.

IT. IS. A. TOY. A quick swivel is the easiest way to get from a blue barrel to a red one.

Yikes. Did you guys even pay attention to the changes that had to be made between film and toy when we were kids?

118. Jorg Sacul - April 16, 2009

#67!!!!!!!!!!!! THE MUSIC!!

wow… I like what I hear- and the closing credits… I don’t know what I got faster, a chill up my neck or a big stupid grin. LOVE IT!

119. THX-1138 - April 16, 2009

#117

Take a look at post #93. I’m pretty sure that the prop has a swiveling barrel, too.

120. Jerry Marlow - April 16, 2009

Thanks for the review. Between Friday and Saturday I spent about $200 on the new toys. I purchased all of the available 6 inch figures, the bridge, the transporter, the tricorder, and phaser. I am pleased if not thrilled with the look of all the toys. The bridge set had some factory flaws in it that I was unhappy with. The first set I purchased included one snap in chair that was not designed for the set. After returning it and exchanging it for the last one they had in stock at my local Target, both the chairs were wrong. They wouldn’t fit into the pegs. I ended up sanding the pegs off and super glueing them into place. Also, the plexi glass looking partitions withe the second brige I got had a flaw of bubbles in them that looked like glue blobs. But all in all, the bridge is an awesome replica. The 6 inch action figures are beautiful and highly detailed. Playmates did a wonderful job on them. The transporter is really nice too. Oh, I didn’t mention, I also purchased the Enterprise ship. It is amazing! Jerry Long Beach, CA

121. NCC-73515 - April 16, 2009

The 1701-E toy from FC was made canon in Nemesis.

122. Jonny Boy - April 16, 2009

The swiveling barrels are an interesting idea. But when I first read about the phasers having that feature, I thought that the barrel actually rotated on its centerline axis into a slightly different configuration or something. Just one barrel, which I though was kinda cool.

123. They call me Stasiu - April 16, 2009

I plucked the tricorder and a 6-inch Quinto Spock off the shelf before work this morning. Noisy blinking Trek toys always bring a smile to my face. Toys, glorious toys! Star Trek is marketable again! Don’t let jaded adult sensibilities interfere with the kid in you…

124. MC1701B - April 16, 2009

72. “I am college professor.”

Please let me know where so I can make sure my boys never have you.

125. Chris Basken - April 16, 2009

117,

From the review itself.

“Also, the pivoting feature of the movie phaser is included here in the toy switching from “stun” to “vaporize” settings (see VIDEO below for demonstration).”

It appears the barrel indeed swivels in the movie.

126. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 16, 2009

104. Bradley1701 – April 16, 2009

“That being said, why would we duplicate those items from TOS when we are capable today of making devices that are able to do a whole lot more within smaller casings?”

The TOS designs (in my view) were created to provide a specific and limited function for those that beam down to a new planet. You would not want to lose one of these devices on a developing planet without this safegaurd being in place.

The safegaurd for all these units may be thier simplicity.

The Phasers and tricorders probably would have a biometric identifier, so that htey could ot be used by anyone other than a Stafleet crewmember. The Communicator would need to comunicate with a Sarship that may be half a solar system away. The Communicator would not need to receive email, search the internet, receive email or even text. It’s only supposed to be used for the crew to contact thier ship. Fancy displays or any other excessive software features are not needed in the commuicator design.

127. Dances With Klingons - April 16, 2009

I have not gotten trek toys in years.

I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT GIMME GIMME GIMME!

128. awd - April 16, 2009

The second tricorder sound effect set sounds like Fred Flinstones’ Bowling move!

129. David - April 16, 2009

I have nearly all trek phasers and communicators since the early 80’s and these are the poorest examples. It’s been 20 years since the first cricket phaser and Playmates has nothing to show for the passing of time.

The communicator is really lame. The 1 (that’s right 1 sound effect- the other 2 sounds are clips from the movie. B-o-r-r-r-i-n-g!!!) is barely audible and forgettable… 1 out of 5 stars

The phaser has a 3 sound effects. All 3 are quick and also forgettable. The stun setting almost has a crackle like an old LP… 2.5 out of 5 stars.

There is no way a sane person would give these toys a review of 4 out of 5 stars.

130. Jovan - April 16, 2009

I’m a little bothered by the tricorder not having a screen and being smaller than the 24th century equivalent, but it won’t ruin my enjoyment of the movie. It could be slightly smaller for children’s hands, as the Playmates Classic Tricorder from the ’90s was (based on TOS’s design).

I also agree that the phaser sound needs a bit more oomph. I think Ben Burtt will deliver as usual however. The rest of the sounds heard here have the same texture, different flavour as the TOS sounds, which I like.

131. JonWes - April 16, 2009

Great reviews! I got these today and they are a lot of fun. I’m worried about all the tales I’ve read of the chrome rubbing off though. I really like the Tricorder a lot. The sounds and lights are fantastic! The phaser has grown on me. When I first saw it I thought it looked kind of cheap, but it’s a lot of fun to play with. The only slight disappointment is the communicator. I like the lights and the flip-open sound is great… but if I were a kid I’d be annoyed at the phrases they chose. They are so specific! That’s not really all that great for role play. They should have had Zoe Seldana record “Enterprise here.” or Chris Pine or Zachary Quinto say “Stand by for transport” or “Stand by for your orders” or something more generic.

132. Jack - April 16, 2009

117…yep, swiveling barrel. And, in the past, the playmates toys have been pretty faithful (ie. nearly identical) to the original prop designs… which is why I’ve spent far too much on ebay for them.

133. T2 - April 16, 2009

One more thing I forgot to mention in my post, which was here earlier and has now apparently vanished, was that I recall hearing a belt would be available for all the props. Only the communicator came with a holster (which is a little too open in the back, it slips out easily). I’m guessing the proper phaser and tricorder holsters will come wtih the belt. Also do they use shoulder straps on the tricorders in the movie?

134. Kirksgirth - April 17, 2009

Well, when my 4 year old nephew saw my phaser and tricorder last night he went ga-ga for ‘em. Then I felt like a complete dork when he asked me “Is this for me?” and I had to say…”Well…no but maybe we can get you one too.” A grown man buying toys that maybe should be going to a kid to play with….Anyways…at least I’m trying to indoctrinate him into Star Trek at an early age. I told him about the “stun” setting, and then went and told his Daddy that it was set to “sting.” Ah…the next generation…

135. Omnibus - April 17, 2009

93. SPOCKBOY

Thanks for posting the prop pic! I just don’t like the hand phaser for this movie at all. For me It comes across nearly as a 1930ish ray gun style and pug-ugly. I’m hoping they change them for the next flick. I have to say everything else in this movie looks great , but I do think the styling of it may become “dated” very quickly in the next couple of years. But that’s probably perfect for a TOS movie franchise anyway. :-) Real Star Trek is finally back.

136. Matt Etter - April 17, 2009

hopefully you’re right Omnibus

137. Kirksgirth - April 17, 2009

#17-

I wonder the same thing about the phaser 1/2 design. Seems that’s been done away with. I always read the smaller phaser 1’s were meant for a more diplomatic/non-weapony look on missions. Guess this new Star Trek crew shows up with pistol-ey looking weapons on every mission. Then again…maybe this will be addressed in future movies.

Just throwing this out there…from a tactical standpoint, how practical is a silvery metal weapon with lights on it anyway? I guess the rules of combat are different when phaser fire is flying everywhere…?

138. Matt Etter - April 17, 2009

maybe the shininess distract6s the enemy. Quick, someone shine light into his eyes! lol

139. Mark - April 17, 2009

I want the Phaser
It finally looks like a weapen again

It reminds me more of the TWOK phaser than the TOS phaser ,I like to think it’s an in between version

140. Mark - April 17, 2009

I want the Phaser
It finally looks like a weapon again

It reminds me more of the TWOK phaser than the TOS phaser ,I like to think it’s an in between version

141. The Gorn Identity - April 17, 2009

To #46…

Damn right! The phaser pistol returns! RIP dustbusters!

142. LordEdzo - April 17, 2009

Hey, I got my phaser last night at TRU. Waaaay cool toy! I especially love the dial on top, which activates a yellow light next to it and initiates a “powering-up whine” like so many other sci-fi particle weapons (e.g., Ronon Dex’s on “Stargate Atlantis”).

The “pivoting” feature of the phaser’s beam emitter is pretty neat, too. It was a little confusing when I opened the package because the toy doesn’t come with any instructions (duhhhh … Playmates). Mine came with the red “vaporizing” emitter in the forward position. It took me a few seconds to figure out that you have to manually pivot the emitter back to the blue “stun” side. There’s a silver button on the upper-left side of the grip that enables the pivot feature. Unfortunately, it only works one way … from blue to red. Kind of a bummer, but I know nothing of the mechanics of toymaking, so I’ll just shut up about that.

There’s also an “off/on” switch on the underside (rear) of the phaser … not sure why it needs one, but, again, what do I know?

The red “vaporizing” sound effect is really sweet, and if you hold in the trigger, the noise will repeat/pulse.

The blue “stun” sound effect is kinda lame, though … it’s little more than an electronic “sputter,” but it, too, will repeat/pulse if you hold in the trigger.

The only thing the phaser is missing … and it could be really helpful for those of us who plan on “wearing” the toy to the premiere … is a holster, or at least a clip-on feature (like the TNG phasers). I mean, c’mon, Playmates, if you include a holster for the communicator, then why not for the phaser and tricorder as well?

Perhaps a specially designed “utility belt” is forthcoming?

But it won’t be ready for the premiere! Damn it!

143. LordEdzo - April 17, 2009

To #140:

Mark, the new phaser is actually more akin to the Star Trek 3 & 4 version in size (particularly the handle/grip), and the Star Trek 5 & 6 version in shape (the upper halves are startlingly similar).

144. Michael - April 17, 2009

I bought all 3 role play toys tonight. Love them. Yep, they’re toys, not DST replica high quality collectibles. The ship is awesome Multiple lighting effects. The Tricorder flip open doors and sound/lights is great. The Communicator is ok, weaker fo the 3 in the wow dept. The Phaser is pretty neat. The swivel action from stun to vaporize is inspired.
The Tricorder size is inconsistant w/ the other 2, and is more child-fashioned. It is sad Playmates can’t pack more sounds in, when Hallmark Communicator ornament have 10-12 in an ornament that’s only 2X-1.5″ in size! Heck even the earlier keychains had more!

145. Jeff - April 21, 2009

Bottom line: the design of the phaser sucks big time as compared with the TOS version…same goes for the communicator. The tricorder is worthy.

146. Joe - April 23, 2009

I broke my tricorder three minutes after I bought it. The spring that pops open the door snapped on its own and it won’t pop open any more. Be aware guys, this thing is delicate…

147. RoobyDoo - April 27, 2009

#146 Joe

Same thing happened to me. Have to manually lift it now.

My kids enjoy playing with these toys, especially the phaser.

148. Bloons - April 27, 2009

In the UK these toys retail at around the equivalent of $28 (Toys R US) and you guys get them for $17 – welcome to rip-off Britain

149. Bloons - April 27, 2009

I actually think the inclusion of the delta in the phaser design is incredibly naff, to be honest

150. kitofnine - May 16, 2009

Just bought the Phaser.
It’s ridiculously shiny!
But, more importantly, really good fun :)

151. Matthew - January 27, 2011

#39 said: “Puh-Leeze, it’s not a time period.. it’s FICTION… you numbskull.. look at what we have now and go from their… 60’s design won’t cut it… get with the program!”

Yet all these Star Trek XI toys are on Amazon and eBay now for as little as £7.99, yet anything TOS still brings top dollar. Even second hand Art Asylum/Diamond Select phasers fetch £30 if boxed. Why? Because the 60’s design you reckon won’t “cut it” is iconic, timeless, and loved by all age demographics. The shmuck who designed the Starfleet away mission gear for Star Trek XI fell into the trap of thinking that to look modern, you have to have everything blinging in chrome and looking like it came from an Apple store. It was a great film, but right through, from the ship and bridge to the away mission gear, it was was horrible, horrible design. No one cares for it even now, let alone 40 years down the road.

See Star Trek III’s phaser and communicator for how to pay homage to the original designs but put a modern twist on them. THAT is exactly what the new designers should have done – kept the basic classic lines and put their own modern twist on them. I’ve seen fan designs prior to STXI that blew this instantly forgettable crap out of an airlock. I reckon you’re either like 12 years old or you just don’t know what you’re talking about. Utter nonsense.

TrekMovie.com is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.