The Collective: Review – DST Star Trek TOS Medical Tricorder Toy |
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The Collective: Review – DST Star Trek TOS Medical Tricorder Toy June 12, 2009

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

After a long wait, the Diamond Select Toys original series Star Trek Medical Tricorder roleplay toy is now available, as an exclusive through Entertainment Earth TrekMovie has a first review of the item that many fans have been waiting for, including lots of pictures and video.


There will be three versions of the Diamond Select Tricorder. This review focuses on the first to arrive which is the Medical version, an exclusive to Entertainment Earth (for $39.99). There will also be a Science version available at various retailers coming soon, and in the future DST will be releasing a geological tricorder.

DST Medical Tricorder

The TOS Medical Tricorder
Diamond Selects new tricorder is the first time a "full sized" tricorder to be made as an affordable toy for fans.  Playmates Toys had a miniaturized tricorder during the 1990s (about half the real size) and Master Replicas had a $400 prop replica.  However, the exclusive Medical Tricorder has many playable and fun features without being too expensive. 

Close-up on opened top w/ screen

Some of the feature are:

Video demonstration

The Diamond Select Medical Tricorder is a really great item, one that my seven year old son enjoyed playing with and which looks very nice as either a conversation item or along with the previously released role playing items.  Great for Halloween or convention costumes, this is a toy that almost seems like a tribute to Dr. McCoy.   As with most DST role play items, if you hold down the Dr. McCoy voice button, it will loop once all of his phrases. While it would have been nice if the ‘salt shaker’ medical scanner could have been designed to spin without having to continuously press the slide, that is the only real suggested improvement. Also you should be careful opening the lower door that holds the scanner asif you open it too far it can come off, but it is easily put back on.

DST Medical Tricorder w/ lower door open & close-up on scanner

The Packaging
The Medical Tricorder is packaged in the now familiar unified Star Trek style (logo, blue background, Enterprise).  A nice customization is that Dr. Leonard McCoy is appropriate positioned in the corner of the box (it is always good to see DeForest Kelley on any product).  The window allows for a "try me" function although you will definetly want to open the box to enjoy all that the toy has to offer.  Because the Medical Tricorder is an Entertainment Earth exclusive, it features unique stickers on the packaging. 

DST Med Tri packaging front and back

Bottom line is that the Diamond Select Medical Tricorder is a cure for those who always wished to own a tricorder yet don’t want to pay the high price of a prop replica and his highly recommended. 

The Medical Tricorder is available from Entertainment Earth now for $39.99.  

Order Star Trek Original Series Medical Tricorder – EE Exclusive from Entertainment Earth!

Star Trek Original Series Medical Tricorder - EE Exclusive

Complete you ensem with the Gold Handled Phaser and Communicator role playing toys, also an exclusive to Entertainment Earth and now on sale for $39.99.

EE Exclusive Star Trek Classic Gold Phaser and Communicator

Order EE Exclusive Star Trek Classic Gold Phaser and Communicator from Entertainment Earth!

More to come
There is also a regular (or Science) version of the Tricorder available soon and TrekMovie will have a review of that item as well.  Plus TrekMovie will have more news from DST and a review of the new Enterprise D coming soon.



1. MC1 Doug - June 12, 2009

I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and have already pre-ordered it. It looks awesome as is the rest of the collection they have put out!

Can’t wait to get it!

2. Son of Sarek - June 12, 2009

Received mine yesterday! Outstanding!

3. jotin - June 12, 2009

wish i had some spare money right about now.

4. Michael - June 12, 2009

You would think these days, with LCD screens in everything from iPods to phones, they would have used one so the screen could show tons of things, actually making it seem like a real tricorder. i remember buying the one from TNG in the 90s…if that had had an LCD at the time, it would have been the bomb!

5. toddk - June 12, 2009

I really want one of these, I would like to have the tricoder screen show video snippets from TOS episodes “City on the edge of forever” and other screens from the show. I was so hoping that the smaller scanner would spin and make sounds on its own. The McCoy voices were cool, but dont forget that spock used his own tricorder more often.

6. Spock - June 12, 2009

This is an insult, I have to day. Delayed for months on end, and we get a manually turning ‘salt shaker’ toy. The backlight on the tricorder screen looks terrible.

The medical one should not have been even approved FFS… they should’ve concentrated on getting ONE tricorder accurate and released on time. Instead of trying to make two at once (at the same time as making a series of unimportant action figures) and severely pissing me off in the process.

I wouldn’t mind the delays if it meant a decent product, but this thing is a cop-out! It’s like they finally went ‘screw it, if we don’t release these things as they are, we’ll just lose customers or something’. Laughable.

7. MC1 Doug - June 12, 2009

#4: For the price Diamond Select Toys is charging, it seems like a pretty good bargain to me. I imagine anyone with any good electronics skills could alter it to suit their tastes if they want something more complicated, but personally, I don’t want to pay a huge amount for what I would use primarily as a display.

#5: The medical tricorder is the first of three different models to be released. You did read that, didn’t you?

#6: Yeesh! If you don’t like what you see, the solution is real simple. don’t buy it.

8. Duane - June 12, 2009

I have both their phaser and communicator. I’m not pleased with the quality but the price is right and all I do with these things is put them on a book shelf. For some reason I think I’m going to wait for the geological version to comme out, and then decide what to buy. I’d love a Master Replica’s tricorder but I’m not sure they come up for sale that often.

9. Captain Dunsel - June 12, 2009

WHAT is that clicking noise on ALL the toy demonstration videos?

10. Michael - June 12, 2009

My review is mixed, and I did post a review, buried on this site where the Med. Tric. and other DST’s toys were intially talked about prior to release, so hunt for it.
Anyway. The Tricorder is between the PM & MR version. The medical sounds are great, lud and play true. The McCoy phrases on mine were laughably sped up making DeForest Kelly sound like he’d inhaled helium.
The light up screen is poor. It is badly lit up by way of a small light bulb to the far right corner, which marginally lights up the sickbay monitor static screen slide. But the most disappointing is the scanner. It’s designed badly. It does has a button to depress to make the familar sound(although the level on mine was very low). But in order to get the center to spin, you must manually take your thumb and move a slide wheel to provide motion. Something you cannot do simulaneously w/ the sound button to achieve a flawless medical scan action. Major bummer.
The PM’s scanner was superior as far as sound level, but even it’s center spindle was a lame, shake your wrist and get a slight rotation.
The strap is rubber, but adequate. My unit suffered from a defective battery contact that was flakey and cause power failure, and had to jiggle it, to get power on when hood was opened. Also, I carefully removed the very tiny(cheap) microscrew to take off the battery well cover, hidden behind the faux memory disc panel. I barely tightened it back partially, and then coudln’t get it to unscrew again! I ended up taking 2 thin knives and popping out the other side portion of battery panel and twisting it off the screw hole and breaking it off forever. I contacted EE and they were very nice and told me their 90 day no hassle return policy covered my replacement of the defective toy. They emailed me a prepaid FEDEX postage paid label, dropped it off @ a Kinko’s and they should get it by Monday and begin my replacement shipment soon. When I do get my replacement, I will carefully take the battery cover off permanently, as it’s not needed, so I won’t repeat the break off scenario again, when I need to replace batteries.
I’ve seen many products that use a thumb tuck and slide and click closed covers, so why some toys companies like to use these horrible microscrew designs that w/o a doubt will fail, is beyond me.
I hope when I get my Science version, I don’t have any issues, like a Chipmonk sounding Spock, etc.

11. John Tenuto - June 12, 2009


Its the sound of nitpicking fans

12. Andy Patterson - June 12, 2009

’bout time.


And Duane…haven’t gotten mine yet but I’m almost positive it’s a better deal than the Master Replicas one. Just looking at the video this seems too good. I’ll let you know, though

13. Brad - June 12, 2009

That thing looks like something from the 1960’s!! Oh wait, it IS from the 1960’s! lol

14. Andy Patterson - June 12, 2009

I still don’t see why the Master Replicas version couldn’t have had the salt shaker too.


And John I see you read the same education journal I did in college. While it’s not my first line of defense I’ve found a little well placed sarcasm works well from time to time in the classroom – despite what my education professors said. Funny. We were always warned not to use it. When’s the last time they were in the field, anyway?

15. Andy - June 12, 2009

This will be an upgrade for my Halloween costume!!! Awesome!

16. NCC-73515 - June 12, 2009

“Playmates Toys had a miniaturized tricorder during the 1990s (about half the real size)”
Mine looks just fine concerning size…

17. JimJ - June 12, 2009


18. Star Trackie - June 12, 2009

Spinning moire, lights, sounds…solid contstruction…and even a cool extra data disc battery cover…all for $40? Crazy. Yes, the scanner could be better…it could be louder and it could spin with a motor…but I have to keep reminding myself…Star Trackie…what do you want for $40?? For the the money, it’s an outstanding and fun prop replica. Get one, you won’t regret it!

19. Weerd1 - June 12, 2009

16- I have that one- it’s way too small, and I can’t get the strap to do more than hang off my shoulder- not over the head like the original.

My local comic shop has been telling me this will be in “in a couple of weeks” for six months. Hopefully, this is the weeks they mean it.

20. paustin - June 12, 2009

got mine the other day, i was pretty bummed out by the light up screen, they got so many things right but the screen not lighting up entirely (you can see the bulb on the extreme right, the still in the video even shows this) sticks out like a sore thumb

21. Mot - June 12, 2009

#9 It’s the remote control from “Spocks Brain”

22. Spock - June 12, 2009

I picked up one the other day. I was a little dissappointed at the scanner, since it didn’t spin automatically. The light on the screen should have been centered and the voice is a little too fast. It is a good display piece along with the communicator and phaser. I put them in my entertainment center with my Trek DVDs.

23. NCC-73515 - June 12, 2009

Yes, the strap is way too short. But I never realized that the tricorder itself is only half sized?!

24. Canadianknight - June 12, 2009

Got mine in two days ago. At first, I was over the moon to have it. Looks amazing.

The scanner/salt-shaker is a disappointment. A manual wheel to make it spin? C’mon. And the sound is SOOO quiet on it!

However, I could live with the scanner being sub-par, if the main unit was awesome. It’s not QUITE what I’d hoped for.

As others have noted, the screen is terrible. You can easily see the lights on the far right side, and the lighting is dim and totally uneven. Why they couldn’t put a white LED with a diffuser behind the screen, rather than two (clearly visible) yellow LEDs on one side, is a mystery to me.

I love the unit, as I couldn’t afford the MR when it came out. The new DST looks great on the shelf, and it’s awesome to have a full-scale tricorder for 40 bucks!

However, I’m seriously debating taking it apart, and putting a plain gray sheet behind the “glass”. The light-up effect and medical screen are such a disappointment that replacing them with the prop-like non-functional gray screen would be a huge improvement…

25. Alex Prewitt - June 12, 2009

For the price, my opinion is that people should lighten up.
It’s a toy. If you want idealized perfection, which the screen used props were not–you should probably pick up the MR versions. I will look into a way to modify the lighting on the main screen, but I think these are great, and my landing party set is now complete!

26. Telly - June 12, 2009

Holy shit.,.. i looked at this thie other day and was appauled at it. It looks more like a replica toy mass produced for the fanbase than a real life working Tricorder with a “salt shaker” probe that could detect and cure the rectal cancer I contracted from having something up by butt all these years.

Good God people. Could it be better? Yes. EVERYTHING could be better. But it’s a freaking toy. My hats off to the folks who have forty bucks to spend on a toy right now.

27. Andrew - June 12, 2009

I am disappointed the scanner is not motorized. I would rather have that then the sound. I am hoping I can kitbash it to get a motor inside, but that was the main reason I wanted to get one of these so it is a little disappointing.

28. THX-1138 - June 12, 2009

I have had this on order for over a year.

When one waits that amount of time, one expects the quality to be on a higher order. I have been a faithful customer of this company from before the Diamond Select merger and have appreciated the quality of the products they put out. For the price point, the communicator and phaser are awesome. When the tricorder was announced, I was really excited anticipating having a really accurate finishing touch to my landing party gear.
After all this time waiting, we didn’t get what we were led to believe was being made. The thumb wheel scanner is a cop out and probably the reason for the delay. The screen is just awful and I will take Canadianknight’s advice and replace the medical display with a static gray screen like that seen on screen. Maybe if I get ambitious, I will pry open the scanner and do away with the sound effects and put in a motor.

BTW, why didn’t they just do that in the first place? Wouldn’t it have been better to put the scanning sound in the tricorder and just have a battery operated motor in the scanner? It would seem to so easy.

I will never pre-order another item from AA/DST again. If that means I miss out on some items becasue they sell out or are just not available in my area, so be it.

29. Andrew - June 12, 2009

I was not expecting the screen to be fantastic, but I do plan to take it apart and add some electronics to make it look even better. Some flashign LEDs in the screen will make it look great. I understand this stuff can’t be added by DST as it would ahve skyrocketed the cost, but for the price it is not a bad representation. I have the MR Tricorder and I wanted this (knowing it would not be on par) due to the fact that it was an affordable toy. One that I could actually use as a prop instead of a display piece.

30. OneBuckFilms - June 12, 2009

I saw one of these in person (a friend had one), and it looks and feels great !!!

Certainly, when the Science Tricorder comes out, I’ll be getting one of those.

Budget permitting, I may end up with all 3.

The only two issues have meen mentioned:

– Screen Light is not great. Replace the lightbulb with 4 LEDs (one each side) to get a more evenly lit surface.
– Hand Scanner doesn’t rotate. This is a simple motor, but perhaps would have pushed the price up a bit more than ideal.

Since the Science Tricorder won’t have the rotating sensor, the second issue obviously won’t exist with the Science Tricorder, and the Screen is something I’m not bothered about.

It is as close to perfect once can get for a $40 toy, and togetther with the Phaser (which looks the part, though very plasticky) and Communicator (which is absolutely perfect barring the motor noise), we have never had it so good.

The other two DST items I’m looking forward to:

– WOK Phaser
– WOK Communicator

31. Jeyl - June 12, 2009

Recommend for whoever shot the video to work on the light set up. You can’t see the moire spinning when you bring the camera in close.

32. Alex Prewitt - June 12, 2009

After all this time waiting, we didn’t get what we were led to believe was being made.

What were you led to believe? What did you think you would be getting for 40 bucks? Metal trim? Leather strap?

33. John Tenuto - June 12, 2009


Yeah, thanks.

34. Capt.Farragurt - June 12, 2009

Im utterly distugsted by the lot of you. Moaning whining for a TOY, a $40 toy at that. Not to mention that there is no medical tricorder in existence that actually does all the things you want it to do I.e. its a FANTASY you really should be ashamed of yourselves. On top of that, some of us don’t even have jobs or money to spend on a luxury like this. I was laid off over a year ago and still have found no meaningful employment, try that and you will soon appreciate life in a whole new way. Suddenly your toy collection has very little meaning..

35. Joseph Chapes - June 12, 2009


I believe that is the sound of the internal tape deck on the camcorder recording. The internal microphone on many of these small camcorders will pick up the sound of the tape recording. This can be solved by purchasing an external microphone to record the sound.

(Long time reader, first time poster. Love the site, but wish these sample videos were shot with better lighting and better sound. Sorry, just a nitpicking video guy.)

36. John Tenuto - June 12, 2009


Welcome Joseph!

37. Joseph Chapes - June 12, 2009


If you wanted a suggestion on a microphone that might work for your camcorder, here’s one:

Audio Technica ATR-55 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

If you search it on Amazon, you can find it. It’s not too expensive and it will eliminate the clicking noise (if I am correct on the source of the noise). I purchased one several years ago to use on my small camera and it worked great. It’s mono, but by the time it’s on Youtube, it shouldn’t make a big deal.


38. Rastaman - June 12, 2009

Looks cool. I would have killed for this as a kid!

39. Tanner Waterbury - June 12, 2009

You know, this tricorder got me thinking, when will they make a TNG Tricorder, Phaser AND Communicator? Would be bomb to have those.

40. alex - June 12, 2009

that is NOT the salt shaker scanner. The salt shakers were the conical shaped aluminum props seen on McCoy’s surgeon’s table that were ACTUALLY made from salt shakers. This medical scanner was a custom made prop that had nothing in it from the salt shakers.

If you want photos of a 100% accurate medical scanner prop recreation, or a bunch of other TOS props, have a look at my webpage by clicking my name here.

41. Frederick - June 12, 2009

I saw on the video how the person demonstrating it still had trouble getting the front flap to open. The original design makes it hard to get your finger up under the ridge to open it, and is strage why it was made that way.

42. Thomas Jensen - June 12, 2009

This is a very nice toy…it’s not a prop replica. Prop replicas are more accurate, made with better materials and are much more expensive. I have four prop replica tricorders, all representing various aspects of the original tricorder used in the series three seasons.

There is a first season model, another type of which the toy tricorder represents and the geological tricorder which was used only once in the show.

And the scanner in the series was not a saltshaker; those were used quite frequently in sickbay and were unmistakably real saltshakers.

43. girl6 - June 12, 2009

Mine is defective. Nothing happens when I flip it open but everything else works so I know it’s not the battery. I’m sending it back. That said, I love it. It’s perfect for convention costumes and Halloween and fun to play with. It is of course, no match for my real tricorder form

Yes. I said ‘real’ tricorder.

44. Lance Uppercut - June 12, 2009

With a modest $40 pricetag, you could customize this thing to address all the gripes mentioned above. Might I suggest installing an iPod Nano behind the viewscreen area? Putting a motor in the scanner is an easy modification.

45. THX-1138 - June 12, 2009


Man, I must have a target on my back lately.

What did I expect after waiting a year for something I ordered and have it delay 6 times with the original delivery date being last October?

Oh, I don’t know. I would have liked the lights to be positiioned behind the display and not on the side. I would have liked the scanner to spin mechanically as the original promotion led one to believe. It’s the reason I got the medical tricorder and not the science tricorder.

Look, I realize it’s a toy. I should, since I have about 20+ items in my collection from this company. But having said that, it seems to me that the quality of this particular product is not quite that of some of the other items I own.

46. The Bear - June 12, 2009

The Medical Tricorder is a bargain for $40.00! Yes, it has a few minor flaws (screen not totally lit and no scanner motor). I love mine, and look forward to the release of the Science Tricorder. I’ll probably pick up two of those – one to go on a uniformed display mannequin, and the other just to play with. Geo Tricorder will also find a home with me.

I remember back in the late 80’s early ’90’s paying $100 + for garage kits of TOS props, that had NO Lights or sounds, etc. Again, at $40.00 these Tricorders are bargains and worth every quatloo payed for them.

47. Closettrekker - June 12, 2009

#6—-“This is an insult, I have to (say). Delayed for months on end, and we get a manually turning ’salt shaker’ toy. ”

It’s only $40!!! Are you really insulted that the scanner is manually operated???

How sad.

48. RD - June 12, 2009

Geologial Tricorder Eh?

If the Medical Tricorder has McCoy’s voice and the Science Tricorder has Spock’s voice, who is on the Geological Tricorder? D’Amoto’s and Jaeger’s Voices? What would the accessory be? I don’t recall anyone else using a scanning device besides Spock and McCoy.

And what exactly is the difference between a “geological” tri-corder vs. a “science” tricorder? The last I checked geology was a science. I get the specialized medical tricorder, but shouldn’t the science tricorder cover everything else?

Then there’s the tricorders Scotty, Uhura, Checkov and Sulu used. Were those science tricorders or some other variant? Perhaps they will also come out with the tricorder Yeoman Rand used: the “dictation” tricorder, which I believe was also used for drink orders.

49. Spockish - June 12, 2009

Now all they need to do is add the Ultrasound scanner equipment that is around $260 in the inventor’s part costs, and you’ll have a close to real Tricorder. The east coast collage Professor who invented the stuff wants to make modern medical care cheap for Africa. Could you see doctors running around Africa with Tricoeders saving lives. How proud would that make McCoy/Kelley.

The scanner was on Discovery Channels Show BRINK on every Friday and was repeated about four weeks ago. I recorded it and have a copy on DVD some where in my 2800 DVD’s I’ve recorded

I have all but Voyager on DVD and the last two seasons of TOSe, waiting for Christmas to get season one.

50. Robin Hu - June 12, 2009

For those of you not happy with the DST tricorder, you can go to and get the HMS tricorder that the DST is based on fully built with electronics by HMS themselves for $700. You can also get the medical scanner with a motor in it as well. That will cost you an extra $150. An MR will cost just about as much on Ebay these days, give or take. A custom made tric with electronics would also cost just as much, if not more. Perfection has a price.

Diamond could also have made this better, sure, but then they could have also charged $100 or more for it. They were trying to do the best they could at this price point to make it as accessible as possible to the widest possible audience. For the price, it is fantastic. It is, after all, a toy. If you want a prop replica with all the bells and whistles, you have to pay for it. If want a cool toy that you can play around with for fun and wear with a costume and not be afraid to get it banged up and scratched, then this is the perfect solution. If you want a museum piece, look elsewhere and be willing to oay for it as well.

51. Robin Hu - June 12, 2009

The Geo tric has an odd tube-like piece where the discs are on the other trics. It also has a white screen where the moire should be. It’s the most different and unique of the tricorder trio.

52. RD - June 12, 2009

24. Canadianknight – I fully expect there to eventually be a “deluxe special edition” re-mastered Blu-ray release when technology affordably allows, which goes back and adds many of the missing details to TOS, like actual data screens on the tricorders, different graphics on the surrounding bridge screens and replaced cyclorama backdrops on the planets, among others. But no more gray screens where their should be something.

53. D - June 12, 2009

I was very pleased with the tricorder, but I was very sad to see the poor lightening of the screen and the McCoy lines sound as if a chimpmonk recorded them, I am not sure how this happened or if I got a bad one- but it really did cut into the excitement of the product. The medical scanner is OK but I think the playments version sold years ago was much better- I simply need to locate the box I have it stored in-

Has anyone else experienced the McCoy sound problems?

54. THX-1138 - June 12, 2009


Watch out pal. If you complain too loudly around here someone may question your intelligence for not being 100% satisfied and thrilled with things that don’t meet your expectations. Even if it is the apparently recurring problem that seems to be reported about McCoy’s voice being an octave too high. You shouldn’t expect that kind of quality for $40. Quit being unreasonable.

55. Oh No, Odo - June 12, 2009


Yes my McCoy voice button sounds veru high-pitched as well. You’d think they would have checked this sort of thing in Quality Assurance before shipping them out.

Maybe they should put Janeway on the box instead of Bones? It certainly sounds more like her than him.

56. Alex Prewitt - June 12, 2009

Yeah #53, you don’t want to be on my list, like THX!!

57. THX-1138 - June 12, 2009


Yeah, thanks a lot. Now I can’t get dinner reservations to the places I like. Or at least when I do, my table is right next to the kitchen. And don’t even get me started about that promotion I was up for. After your horrible lambasting my name was dropped from consideration.

And quit calling my house claiming to be having an affair with me. My wife won’t talk to me. Well, without giggling.

58. Alex Prewitt - June 12, 2009

: )
Well deviating slightly off topic–I’m hearing that newer versions of the DST communicators have dropped the metal antenna grids in favor of plastic lids, similar to the old Playmates versions. Can you confirm? I guess DST is really cutting corners to maintain a lower pricepoint. A shame, really.

59. Telly - June 12, 2009

(hangs his head)
No wonder they mock us.

60. Dr. Image - June 12, 2009

Got mine yesterday. Same size as the MR. (Whew!)
Hey, yeah, disappointed by the scanner, but for 40 bucks, what the hell do you want???
People don’t realize that a few- well, more than a few- years ago, we would have KILLED for something like this!!
It’s perfect for modding up!
(AND- even the hero didn’t have a rotating moire, btw.)

61. T - June 12, 2009

I agree with #60. I just received the two I ordered. One has a few scratches on the silver part next to screen and the screen doesn’t light to well. The other one is perfect. The perfect one will go on display and the scratched one is for play… er I mean to show to people.

62. Michael - June 12, 2009

Ok..logically, rationally folks… if Hallmark can make a mini-palm-sized communicator with TRUE sounding voice clips for a 1/3 of what DST’s SRP for their Medcial Tricorder…Houston we have a problem! DST in an email told me they had no reports of Kelly’s voice be too high in octive…this board alone dsiproves that theory!

63. D - June 12, 2009

Hey THX-1138 – May the Great Bird of the Galaxy leave an unreasonable despoit on your car hood- so you will know what is truely unreasonable and what is average quality at best.

64. Mr. Fanboy - June 12, 2009

Just arrived home to find mine on my doorstep. Opened it up right away to find the same issues everyone else has reported. The screen is lit poorly by two yellow lights on the right side only, McCoy’s voice (and the scanning sound effects) all sound sped up a bit to where McCoy sounds like he inhaled a helium balloon. I was also disappointed that the scanner didn’t rotate automatically, and it’s pretty difficult to press the sound effects button while rotating it. Anyway, it’s just a toy. I didn’t pre-order it, just bought it online last weekend. I think it’s a cool toy for $40, and I would’ve killed to have this as a kid, but I probably would have broken it in a week of playing with it outside. Anyway. Congrats to Entertainment Earth for being the first to make an affordable life-sized Tricorder toy. Beats the heck out of that nasty mini-sized Tricorder that Playmates sold years ago, but after such a long wait, it would have been nice to have a little better quality. But it looks great next to their phaser & communicator toys. I hope they release a Klingon disruptor & agonizer next. I’d buy a set of those!

65. Canadianknight - June 12, 2009

Oh for goodness sake folks.

For one thing, people are allowed to complain if they have a legit beef.

Like others, I ordered mine six months ago. Generally, I *LOVE* this thing. Who would have thought, back when I was a kid, that we’d have life-size tricorder toys of this nature for a mere 40 bucks? I’m delighted to have it in my collection.

But people are allowed to be disappointed too. I mean, the darn instruction page indicates that the scanner should be powered. The scanner is minor to me… I’m more disappointed about the poorly lit screen.

Perhaps I mis-spoke earlier…. these are minor nitpicks, and I *DO* want the Science version as well. (Not sure about the Geo version… we’ll see.)

That said, if I can’t have a nicely lit screen… I’ll likely modify it to MAKE it nicely lit, or make it grey. (Putting an iPod nano in there sounds kinda fun… wonder if there would be room to link it to internal speakers, and load it with McCoy sounds?) *evilgrin*

Folks, are the McCoy quotes actually too FAST? Or are they too tinny? The speed sounds correct to me, but it sounds like a cheap speaker was used that can’t produce a wide enough sound-field to recreate the sound accurately. Course… that could be the beer talking. ;) Hafta go listen again…

66. Taya_McCoy - June 12, 2009

I got mine yesterday, and i LOVE it. I ordered it back in october so i was really shocked to get it, i was starting to think it was never going to come. but i think its brillient especially for the price…it makes me laugh so YAY lol. I mean sure it could have been better quality but than it would have taken longer and cost more…so im happy with it, and its so coming with me on my next “away mission” (or camping trip if you would rather call it)

67. Grouchy Old Bastard - June 12, 2009

folks forget, with higher quality comes higher price tag. Especially in today’s market. I’ve finally checked a friends out. There are imperfections. The sound (esp. McCoy) is a bit weird, and it’s composed mostly of plastic.

But it’s a toy. A mass-produced toy replica from a toy company. It’s not meant to be 167% accurate. Would it have been nice for it to have been? Of course. But as the philosopher Jagger once said, “You can’t always get what you want.”

And folks have a right to be mad if they find the workmanship shoddy. But all these “the screen should be fully lit” and “the scanner doesn’t spin and make noise” and such… it’s decisions like those that let the item sell for $40. has pristine replicas on their website at a price tag that shows you why the $40 mass market toy doesn’t have every little function the writers cooked up in the 1960s.

Just rest assured that your $40 toy that you’re unhappy with does more than the original shooting props did.

68. Spock - June 13, 2009

FFS! It’s not just about the $40, jeeze. When they have delay after delay after delay, you sort of expect that there’s a reason for it. It’s obviously bad management and it really gets on my nuts. If they’d just released this thing on time, as it is now, I probably wouldn’t be so annoyed.

I still think the idea of selling two (possibly three) kinds of tricorders is absolutely bonkers. They should’ve concentrated on getting one out the door. Sell McCoy’s mini scanner on its own.

And enough with those punks saying ‘it’s only 40 dollars, stop complaining’. It’s my money, I chose how to spend it months ago when I saw the prototype on a video, and if I’m annoyed that the end product isn’t very good, I’ll damn well say so! Go climb a rock!

69. Quinn - June 13, 2009

Gang, you can adjust the strap length. Just pop the sides off.

I think this is a damn fun toy to have. That being said, I also experienced the same display/sound issues referenced above. Perhaps I can fix the display issue myself. However, my unit had silver paint dropped randomly on the black parts – and even the screen! I like what they were trying to do, but I think they need new Quality Control Measures.

70. Rico - June 13, 2009

Love mine. I even got two of them. One to open and play with and the other to keep in the box.

71. agentm31 - June 13, 2009

What’s with the gold handle? I’ve been wondering that forever

72. THX-1138 - June 13, 2009


I have read your posts. Rest assured, I am more than familiar with what constitues “average quality”.

I have to agree with #68, who spoke to my complaints more eloquently than I. The money wasn’t the issue. After waiting over year I would expect there to be no scratches in the exterior. I would expect there to be no silver paint splashed all over the black parts of my $40 toy. I would expect McCoy’s voice to be the right pitch.

And if you read the instructions that come with the toy, they say for the medical scanner, “Inside a hollow clear cylinder there is a SOLID clear Cylinder with a TAMPO red stripe and 2 mylar circle stickers applied to the cylinder. v Solid Cylinder will spin. When this Button is pressed.”
I take this to mean that the intent was to have a motorized spinning scanner and that is not what was delivered.

If you want to make a money issue out of it then are you content to spend your money on defective items that promise one thing and deliver something much less than that? After waiting for 14 months? My tricorder looks like it was beat to hell before I even got it. The voice is poorly pitched. And it has silver paint splotched in all the wrong places. And somehow I am the bad guy because I am not satisfied.

73. MC1 Doug - June 13, 2009

I’m guessing that all the complaints are from folks who actually thought the tricorders worked *for real.*

I jest (I think).

74. THX-1138 - June 13, 2009


Yeah, that’s it. That’s exactly what I wrote. Good guess.

75. alex - June 13, 2009


Gold handle is due to a screw up at the factory. The correct color they were going for was a dark metallic bronze which is what the real props were painted.

76. Canadianknight - June 13, 2009

#67 – I didn’t expect a museum quality piece here. As others have said, it’s not about the cost. It’s about waiting after several delays, and the end product not being QUITE what was originally envisioned.

…and the complaint about the screen is a fair one. There would be very little cost difference to put a plastic diffuser/reflector and a white LED centered under the screen, rather than two poorly lit yellow lights off to one side.

I’m not expecting, nor asking for, a masterpiece here. I *am* expecting the same level of quality that I got in the DST phasers and communicators, and it’s not QUITE there. It’s a nice piece… but it’s not quite what I’d hoped.

I have yet to see any complaints that are over the top … and would the people who are saying “you can get a perfect replica over here here and here” please bug off. No one is ASKING for a perfect replica. People are simply expressing minor disappointment that they didn’t get what was displayed on the prototype and/or the packaging.

77. Dave - June 13, 2009

Well toy or not theTricorder itself is great fun the screen could be lite better but the Hand scanner is waste of fracking time it doesn’t even spin and the sound you can bearly here it. Well if the excuse is cost I would have spent more money for a more acurate hand scanner, What a joke seriously.

78. RD - June 14, 2009

#8. Duane wrote:
I think I’m going to wait for the geological version to comme out, and then decide what to buy.

OK, I’m going to ask again:

What the hell would be the difference between the Geological tricorder and the science tricorder. As far as I can tell it only ever appeared in two episodes. Would it feature D’Amoto’s and Jaeger’s Voices? I mean who the hell would give a damn? (see #48)

79. kirksgirth - June 14, 2009

IMHO, after this long of a wait, people are entitled to gripe if the tricorder they received doesn’t AT LEAST do what the box says it does.

However, I’ve never been able to afford a “prop replica” tricorder (or even a kit). As a kid, I tried to order the AMT “Exploration Kit” model from a catalog only to receive a letter telling me they had been “discontinued.” I spent much of my youth trying to BUILD my own tricorder prop for myself much to the chagrin and confusion of my family (WHAT is he trying to make?).

I spent HOURS poring over the Marco Enterprises catalogs imagining what it would be like to hold an actual tricorder prop (or phaser, or communicator) in my hands. But now, thanks to Diamond Select, I have REASONABLY accurate replicas of all three devices, and they were all PRETTY affordable. So, on that level, I must say that despite the viewscreen with uneven lighting and the manual spinning scanner, I’m QUITE pleased to hold what looks more a tricorder prop than anything I ever managed to build. And I only spent around $40.

Plus the moire pattern spins. And it really, really looks cool.

80. Kirk, James T. - June 14, 2009

This isn’t all that great, looks a little tacky tbh.

I like the Enterprise – D they’ve done but I’ve really lost interest in what DST do.

I hope Hot Toys or MR picks up a license to do classic Trek props and 12 inch master piece figures :D

Can’t wait for the QMx Enterprise!

81. franbro - June 15, 2009

If the packaging and the instructions say “electronic medical hand scanner” and it’s not isn’t that almost false advertising?

82. Al Hartman - June 16, 2009

I got two of these on Monday from EE. They are pretty nice for $40 retail. I can’t complain.

Yes, the screen lights up poorly. Yes, McCoy sounds like he was sucking helium. Yes, there are flaws in the paint. No, the scanner doesn’t have a motor and the sound is barely audible.

But, for $40.00… I’m pretty happy.

83. THX-1138 - June 16, 2009

I sent off a complaint to AA customer service 4 days ago and have yet to hear back from them. I will keep you posted on how soon I get a response.

84. THX-1138 - June 17, 2009

Still no response 5 days later.

85. YOUR MOM - June 18, 2009

It’s a freaking toy people!!!

NONE of you are “owed” anything better, you bunch of self-entitled complainers!

86. THX-1138 - June 18, 2009


Do you own one? If you do and you are happy that it’s beat to hell out of the box and doesn’t function correctly for your $40, then you are an idiot. When I pay my money I at least want the damn thing to look new. And after now 6 days I would at least like a response from AA/DST that I’m out of luck or that they can replace it. But I have heard nothing back from my e-mails.

For $40 I AM owed what was advertised. No broken parts, no paint smeared all over it, and some kind of response to my inquiries. I don’t have too much of an issue with the poorly thought out design issues. I can and have modified some of the previous things I have gotten from AA/DST before to suit my liking. I plan on displaying it as well but it isn’t even presentable in it’s current state.

87. THX-1138 - June 19, 2009

It’s been a week and still no response.

88. Wade Bingle - June 20, 2009

I was not expecting a prop replica for $40. I was expecting quality along the lines of previous products in this price range. Mine doesn’t do what the box insert says it should do. My phaser and communicator for about the same price from Art Asylum delivered. This product is a bad product full stop. Do not buy it.

89. THX-1138 - June 20, 2009

Three e-mails and I have heard nothing. Eight days after my first message and not a response. I am really starting to lose faith in this company

90. agentm31 - June 24, 2009

Yeah, I can imagine with DST. On the other hand, New Force Replicas replied to my email within the hour. That was very cool

91. Larry Lee Moniz - June 27, 2009

Good and Bad.

It is a great looking, full sized and affordably priced Tricorder. The sounds are well picked, and it is nice to have finally have the last piece of what could be described as a modern day “Exploration Kit”. A perfect accessory to a classic Star Trek Halloween costume, or convention wear.

I can’t inagine why they couldn’t get that display monitior to light up right.
Even Playmates Toys was able to do that. It would actually look better with no back light rather than the two horribly placed, dim LEDs they used in the corner. And if they couldn’t make the scanner spin, a manual “thumb dial” is an insulting alternative.

All in all, I am still pleased they have released this, as well as the Science Tricorder. Perhaps some day in a future release, Diamond Select can work these quality issues out.

92. Chris r - September 3, 2009 is making TNG tricorders with WORKING media devices in them. I may buy one. I bet they could mod one of these toys with some pretty cool guts since there is so much more working space in these then in a TNG tricorder.

93. Ken M - January 1, 2010

I got my Mom to order it for me for Xmas (I don’t have an online account like PayPal, etc). I am STILL play with the handheld medscanner, and I got the Tricorder on Wednesday the 30th. My only gripes: The Mescanner is too quiet, and the thumbwheel. Other than that, It’s awesome. The Tricorder’s flaw; the medical beeping and Scanning sound are too loud, and the lighting on the display is too dark. Other than all of those minor flaws, it’s awesome. (The reason I like the medscanner is that, where I work, I deal with abusive customers, it’s small enough to hide, so I can pretend to scan the abusives for lack of inelligence). is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.