Playmates Star Trek Toys Put On Hold

While this year has been an incredibly successful year for Star Trek, Playmates Toys has told TrekMovie that it is placing its future Star Trek line on hold for possible reorganization. TrekMovie has the details.

 

 

Playmates Trek On Hold

In 2009, Star Trek fans and collectors were greeted with a sight unseen for nearly a decade: the return of Star Trek toys to mainstream retail stores. One of the companies responsible for helping bring Trek items back to retailers was Playmates Toys whose line of 3.75", 6", and 12" action figures, along with role playing, playsets, and toy ships was one of the most extensive toy lines ever produced for a Star Trek movie. Playmates Toys is one of a very small group of toy companies that has the ability to bring items to the shrinking number of retail toy stores and had been successful in convincing stores to take another chance on Star Trek (2009) items.



 Bridge Playset and Figures + Enterprise toy- just part of Playmates first wave of Star Trek toys released in April

Playmates recently released a few more items, such as the Star Trek Movie Utility Belt role playing set and two 12" action figures, Sulu and Pike, which are exclusive to Toys R Us. For this autumn, an entirely new wave of action figures was planned, including accessories to help complete the bridge playset and toy versions of the Narada and Jellyfish ships. In addition, there were possibilities of 3.75" action figures based on the original television show and other lines announced at a recent toy fair.


Star Trek utility belt role play toy released over the Summer

Unfortunately all future lines of Star Trek items from Playmates Toys plans are currently on hold. Some major retail stores have not yet made decisions about future orders pending what happens with their current stock of the April line of toys and online presales were not as much as required to justify the production of a second wave of figures. Some retailers such as some Target stores have reduced the price of Star Trek items to clearance and removed them from the regular aisle. Those fans who have placed preorders with online retailers should contact them for more information. Playmates Toys has told TrekMovie that they are committed to Star Trek and hope to continue the line in the future if sales make that a possibility.

Regardless, Playmates is currently working on a plan to help collectors finish their bridge and transporter playsets. Some of the pieces for the sets were set to be included in Wave 2 figures. TrekMovie will report when Playmates has more details on those bridge pieces.



Some of the figures from Playmate’s Star Trek wave 2 – now on hold

The issues with toy sales is not unique to Star Trek. In the Summer Playmates cancelled their plans for a second wave of toys based on Terminator Salvation.  Other movie toy lines have also had issues, including Hasbro’s GI Joe. And even though Hasbro’s Transformers toys have sold well, many retailers over-bought the line expecting even greater sales. Bottom line is that the weak economy has not been good for toys, and so Star Trek’s big comeback to the mainstream retailers is on hold. That being said, Playmates is still hopeful for the future and still bullish on Star Trek. Playmates VP of marketing Paul Fish tells TrekMovie that they hope to pick up the license for the 2012 Star Trek sequel, and they expect that film to be even more "toy friendly."

TrekMovie will bring any information about the future of the Playmates Toys Star Trek movie line to fans as we get the information. For those wishing to complete their collection, many Walmart and Toys R Us are selling Star Trek toys, both online and at retail stores.

 

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Will Decker
November 25, 2009 3:10 pm

This is horible news. First!

BB43MAN
November 25, 2009 3:10 pm

First! Too bad about the cancellation. Make sense, though, from a financial standpoint.

Kosher Coder
November 25, 2009 3:10 pm

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Lore
November 25, 2009 3:12 pm

Star Trek isn’t really a 4kids production, it never has been. It was and is an action drama that happens to take place in the future. The fact that the toys don’t sell well is no surprise.

NX01
November 25, 2009 3:13 pm

Can the Enterprise maneuver effectively through space with half a bridge?

DavidJ
November 25, 2009 3:17 pm

4

Agreed. They really should have gone after the collector’s market with bigger, higher quality sculpts.

Heck, even most kids out there probably thought those Playmates figures were too small and cheap-looking. lol

Bryan
November 25, 2009 3:26 pm

As strange as it is, my Daughter who is 4 years old is totally into the Star Trek toys (with absolutely no encouragement from me) She sits and plays with them, but wasn’t able to get an Uhura… so this has completely devestated her because everywhere I look I cannot find one.

Alex Prewitt
November 25, 2009 3:30 pm

It does suck for the folks who have purchaed the first wave I suppose. I hope the license will end up going to AA/DST. Their overall quality is far better than what I”ve seen from Playmates. That Enterprise ship toy is pathetic!

ryanhuyton
November 25, 2009 3:30 pm

I’m not at all surprised by this. Every store that I have been to where they sold these Playmates toys still had lots remaining on the shelves even after the discounts. Unfortuneately, the overall demand for toys in general appears to be decreasing due to the economy. Kids today are more interested in video games. It’s just the way it is. As for plans for toys for the sequel, I would expect a smaller line with all figures in one size. As for for Playmates doing the Narada or the Kelvin, those hopes are now dashed unfortunenately. Hopefully, Art Asylum gets a lisence to do the next movie for the collectors while Playmates goes for the younger crowd.
But I wouldn’t count on it.

Eric
November 25, 2009 3:31 pm

This makes total sense. has anyone seen these toys, they are garbage. The figures do not look anything like the movie characters and that bridge play set is terrible. The Trek figures in the 90s were fantastically sculpted. Here is a word of advise for the toy maker, if your product looks dumb then no one will by them.

Sean4000
November 25, 2009 3:37 pm

Damn, I guess the Jellyfish and Kelvin ships will go on my list of models/collector toys that will never get made….right next to the Scimitar.

TerilynnS
November 25, 2009 3:40 pm

Also – the second movie has been pushed back to 2012…the stores will get no new free advertising push from any new movie or DVD sales. They’re going to wait to see what Paramount does I think. It’s always, always connected somehow…Playmates or the retailers they deal with aren’t about to place themselves into a weak sales position when Paramount doesn’t know when the next picture will be.

Bob
November 25, 2009 3:40 pm

I knew something was up.

Unlike some, I actually liked the line especially the Enterprise.

Perhaps it was a bad idea to have so many different size figures. They should have just narrowed it down do just one size. Personally I would have just picked a size of 5″, which was right between the 3.75″ and 6″ figures they did come out with. Plus the 5″ size would have fit in nicely with their older Star Trek lines.

If they do continue the line, perhaps one way to cut down on costs is to offer the line as a store exclusive at a national chain.

I’m crossing my fingers that they continue the line.

Prologic9
November 25, 2009 3:45 pm

Yeah shitty toys don’t sell, big surprise.

Their Enterprise wasn’t bad for what it was meant to be (and was probably the top seller in the whole line). I would have picked up a Kelvin for sure.

Of coarse, its just another reason they did poorly. Everyone asked for the Kelvin, since before the movie was even released. Did they make a Kelvin? No.

Yeah, big surprise.

I am not Herbert
November 25, 2009 3:45 pm

These toys are not selling because they are low quality products based on a franchise reboot that holds no interest beyond the initial “entertainment”.

Yes, they are toys, but they should be aimed at collectors, not kids IMHO.

Kids are not stupid. They can recognize “stupid” toys. These peg cloggers will be in the bargain bins in no time…

I’m GLAD that Art Asylum / Diamond Select did not get this license!

I'm Dead Jim
November 25, 2009 3:47 pm

Geez! I hope the economy doesn’t jeopardize the creation of model kits. I think it’s crazy that we still don’t have a decent high quality model of the Enterprise yet and news like this makes me wonder if we will before 2012.

SirBroiler
November 25, 2009 3:51 pm

Art Asylum! Best Trek figures hands-down.

Enterprise
November 25, 2009 3:55 pm

Um, look at those pics. No wonder this toyline bombed.

November 25, 2009 4:09 pm

Round 2 said they plan to do a Kelvin model kit eventually, so not all hope is lost for a Kelvin.

richpit
November 25, 2009 4:14 pm

I agree that, all in all, the Playmates toys were crap. I bought the phaser, communicator, tricorder and Enterprise and they were low quality and badly designed (IMO).

I would love to think that AA/DST would get the license for the next movie, but that’s not going to happen. They’re not a big enough company to get “major” retailers like WalMart and Target interested. Plus, they’re always at least a year late on promised delivery dates.

November 25, 2009 4:22 pm

The economy has nothing to do with this–the economy is an excuse. The fact is, these toys look atrocious. Playmates aimed to market cheap, ugly toys that look nothing like their movie counterparts to young children in the hopes that these children would want the toys regardless. Kids know when things aren’t right. Kids don’t care if the package says it’s Captain Kirk. If it looks like a startled Toby MacGuire wearing a yellow sweater made of chain mail, they’re not going to want it.

Brandon
November 25, 2009 4:33 pm

More of you should read Art Asylum’s Q&A’s its recently been talked about that DST and Playmates were going to be jointly working on TOS figures so these would probably have had better sculpts and articulation. By not getting behind this line alot of collectors probably drove a nail into the coffin for any future revenue that DST could have garnered from these figures going mainstream. Star Trek Wave 5 by DST is looming dangerously close to following the Borg Wave into cancelation too. Just thought everyone who passed on those Playmates movie figures should know.

Ensign RedShirt
November 25, 2009 4:34 pm

Playmate’s other Trek toys sold quite well to adults for a number of years….I wonder if this is an indictment of the design aesthetic of the film; there are those of us that wouldn’t take a new Enterprise model or bridge set if it were given to us for free.

Selling the bridge set in pieces to force people to buy figures they might not have wanted was pretty cheesy too.

McCoy's Gall Bladder
November 25, 2009 4:38 pm

Dear Lord!

They’re making the Vagina Monster into toys?

The human race is doomed. Millions of boys will be scared for life.

Flake
November 25, 2009 4:44 pm

Solution = Star Trek Cartoon for kids.

Brandon
November 25, 2009 4:56 pm

25 That should be obvious to the powers that be at Paramount! Why can’t they grasp that animated Trek would bring in the kiddies the same way Clone Wars is for Star Wars?

November 25, 2009 5:07 pm

#24

Thanks. That made me laugh.

Playmates didn’t so a lot of promotion for these toys that I saw. I mean, except for here. I would go to their site before the movie came out and saw nothing about Star Trek. I did my part and bought an Enterprise, communicator, phaser, and tricorder. And I buy DST/AA’s stuff as well. Round 2 will be putting out the Enterprise and I saw a review of a garage mold of the Kelvin model that didn’t look too bad. But this is what we get for Playmates involvement in the Trek toy line. If you look at other lines they carry it would seem that they are ill-equipped to handle or deliver in the modern market and economy.

So let’s translate this into how well the movie was marketed to those outside of Trek fandom, particularly kids. Any opinions?

J.R.Q
November 25, 2009 5:09 pm

no15 I wish Art Asylum got the License Maybe Kirk would have look like Pine.

CmdrR
November 25, 2009 5:18 pm
You hit on the heart of the problem in the article without saying it outright. “Terminator Salvation.” The “GI Joe Movie.” “Transformers.” “Indiana Jones.” “Batman.” Even “The Hulk.” They’re all competing for shelf space with action figures that essentially could exist in the same universe of the imagination. No matter how quickly the movie comes and goes (how many times in the last week has someone mentioned “Watchmen?”) if it spawned genre action figures, those suckers are still on the shelves. And don’t even get me started on “Star Wars.” If you have an unlimited budget, it’s great. But, if you’re a Trekkie who just wants to spark a childhood memory or two, it’s overload. Hollywood certainly includes these items on their spread sheets. But, do we really need every character from “Wolverine” immortalized in plastic? The problem is overproduction… of kitch, and the even of the movies that spawn it. I don’t know that I have a suggestion. No one’s going to voluntarily delay his movie, or recall his or her junk. Do I wish better films prevailed? Do I wish crappie flicks didn’t glut the googleplex? Do I wish for the days of one or two movies dominating the landscape for an entire season? Maybe. Not gonna happen, though. Or maybe there should be shorter lines of products, but that would leave some cute moppet sobbing for want of a Sulu figure in sub-orbital dive gear and collapsible katana. (What, no Kung Fu grip?!) As for Trek, I… Read more »
Trekenstein
November 25, 2009 5:24 pm

Playmates expects the 2012 Star Trek sequel to be even more “toy friendly.”?

Really? What have they heard that none of us have? Last I knew, there was no script, no ideas, no direction, only preliminary discussions. Sounds like internally they have been discussing how to make the next movie even more kid friendly. But of course the studio is not dictating any terms.

I SMELL EWOKS! ;-)

Dac
November 25, 2009 5:34 pm

They should have gone the AA/DST route and aimed for an older audience. If anything this movie was aimed at the young adult crowd moreso than the kiddy crowd, and it worked.

James R. Kirk
November 25, 2009 5:35 pm

30.

Maybe Keenser and Uhura will have a fling this time.

Kirk, James T.
November 25, 2009 5:48 pm

Sad news really however i think there is still a market out there for Star Trek (2009) but it lies within the hands of the NECA’s and the Sideshows/Hot Toy’s.

In all honesty what did Paramount, Playmates, CBS expect? with nothing but one amazing 2 hours to keep kids hooked on Star Trek and nothing like a Clone Wars style TV show to keep the ball rolling through until 2012 – it’s no wonder this line died.

If they wanted kids to be hooked enough to buy the toys they should have thrown Star Trek at them with video games, cartoons and Hasbro – not Playmates.

November 25, 2009 5:54 pm

I bought the $30 12″ figures, wincing all the way to the register.

Trekluver
November 25, 2009 6:02 pm

Oh man! I’d have loved to have deep roy’s character and the ice monster so I could play lunch! LOL! Anyway it is dad that it had to be but I knoticed it at my Walmart when they cut their stock just 3 weeks after the first wave. The scone wave’s first figures that were esentially a re-release where allready on their shelves so those will probably be gone soon. The Terminator Salvation line was stupid and not surprised that that failed. I am surprised that GIJoe and Transformers was considdered a fallure, they looked tile they sold well…

AJ
November 25, 2009 6:34 pm

Iron Man, Xmen and Batman toys clog the bargain bins every year to this day.

At the same time, my favorite Walmart in Westerly, RI had no Star Trek items for sale at the time fans here were complaining their fave items were sold out at Toys ‘R’ Us or being sold on eBay at ridiculous prices.

Toy producers most likely overload the supply chain with every new film, and assume a certain amount goes to the bins.

Toys are the little ads in our kids’ rooms that keep these franchises alive for them between films. No toys means they’ll forget. Bad move.

November 25, 2009 6:48 pm

Playmates needs to market exclusively to just ONE RETAILER just as KISS did recently with their new CD – SONIC BOOM which was sold only at Walmart!

Enterprise
November 25, 2009 6:55 pm

The things that were cool were the phasers, tricorder, etc. They should just focus on those items, and not the crappy figures. Look at the Star Wars line – that’s STILL going strong. Why? Because the figures are still cool!

Canon Schmanon
November 25, 2009 7:00 pm

I was always shocked by the number of toys they had coming out. Even this newer, faster-paced, more Star Warsy version is not a kid’s film. Playmates execs probably got caught up in the enthusiasm and went too far. After all, if the last year or so has shown us, most corporate execs are blithering idiots who know a lot about nothing.

Bill
November 25, 2009 7:09 pm

I NEED A KELVIN and the rest of my bridge, WTF? I finally get some disposable income and I want to dispose of it! Argh!

garen
November 25, 2009 7:13 pm

this was easily foreseeable. they were way over saturated. And kids werent really interested in them. The Barbie line is no available at my local Big Lots/Odd Lots store. its a shame really.

November 25, 2009 8:02 pm

Am I the only one here who thought the toys were dreadful? They weren’t fun at all.

Kirk's Kid
November 25, 2009 8:07 pm

My Art Asylum TOS phaser went on the blink about five minutes after I took it out of the box. What a waste of $30. At least these toys are cheaper, but I’m not really interested in them.

MikeTen
November 25, 2009 8:13 pm

I have to say I’m not surprised. My wife picked up the playmates Enterprise for my birthday and I was very dissapointed in it. It is very cheap looking and of poor quality especially compared to the ships made for the TV shows and the TOS movies.
I put it back in it’s box and put it in the closet.

bones
November 25, 2009 8:21 pm

you have got to be kidding me!!! this is such bull crap! altho I do agree with Mike Ten.

ryanhuyton
November 25, 2009 8:21 pm

Nothing will compare to the mid 90’s when Playmates was putting out toys from TNG, DS9,TOS and the movies. There was a great selection of ships, props, and action figures. I still have the DS9 station, Romulan Warbird, TOS Enterprise and Klingon attack cruiser. I have a Quinto-Spock
a phaser and the Enterprise from the new movie but it just isn’t the same.
At least we have DST/Art Asylum putting out action figures, props and ships from the prime timeline, but seeing as they are a small company, I fear the day when we learn from Anthony that they went out of business.
I own the TOS props, the Enterprise-D, refit Enterprise, Enterprise-E, TOS Mirror Enterprise, and many of their action figures including a TWOK Sulu signed by George Takei. The new Playmates toys are ok but just don’t compare to DST/Art Asylum.

Michael
November 25, 2009 8:44 pm

RETAILRES…TAKE NOTE: Put all those figs/role play toys NEXT to your copies oft Trek on dvd & Bluray! If they see the movie and the toys, ther’d have more impulse buys. Buy yea…otther than the pistol/comm/tric/ship, which were soo-so, ok(for small children)..the smaller figs were average. The larger figs were pretty good. The Transporter, fair. The bridge was pure crap. Buy a playset with HOPES they releaee future waves to complete? Huh????????????? A cheap piece of saran wrap that’s painted for the brdige floor mat?????????? Absolute garbage!

November 25, 2009 8:57 pm

I can’t believe no one has said this yet, but …

THIS IS A DISASTER!!!111!!1!

*satisfied* … aaaaaaaaaaaah, that’s still funny, even after all this time.

Dan
November 25, 2009 9:08 pm

I bought the Transporter Room at Meijers for $7 a couple months ago….on a clearance shelf. I have all of the 6inch figures and the Enterprise. I was really looking forward to new ships, not more action figures. I wouldn’t mind if they dropped the second wave action figures and put out more ships.

November 25, 2009 9:11 pm

This is sad. All though, Star Trek was not marketed to the younger crowd as much as some of the other movies like Transformers and GI Joe. I think if the marketing of the movie was better, it would have been more of a hit with the toy line. Fewer younger people are buying this line. Mainly the fans are. It’s a shame, this set looks way cool and would love to have it and see it hit the top lists.

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