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TrekIn09: Best Star Trek Merchandise of 2009 December 24, 2009

by John Tenuto , Filed under: List,Merchandise , trackback

It seems appropriate for today’s entry in our look back at Star Trek in 2009, to focus on the year of Trek merchandise.  Because of the renewed interest in Star Trek and the promotion of the new feature film, 2009 was a banner year for Star Trek collectibles. It was difficult to choose, but we have made the calls and present the Best Trek Merchandise for 2009.

 

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BEST STAR TREK MERCHANDISE OF 2009

Best Toy: The Original Science Tricorder from Diamond Select Toys

The Science Tricorder is an iconic technology from Star Trek, and DST provided a fun and interactive toy version this year (also available in a Medical Tricorder format). It features Spock’s voice, a spinning moiré, light effects, among other play features. [Available at Entertainment Earth for $49.99 – see TrekMovie review]

Best Action Figure: Diamond Select Toys Gowron

DST released some bold figures in 2009, including taking a chance on secondary character action figures such as Gowron. The facial sculpt and detailing are some of the best this year from DST. [Sold as part of two-pack with Worf — Available at Entertainment Earth for $26.99 & NewForce for $24.99 — see TrekMovie review]

Best Ship: USS Enterprise 1701 D Diamond Select Toys

After a long wait, the toy version of Captain Picard’s starship was worth it. While DST offered fans a sticker to fix a small detailing error on the side of the ship, the features are otherwise excellent and the playability quite fun: what could be better than controlling your own saucer sep? [Available at Entertainment Earth for $49.99  — see TrekMovie review]


 

Best Playset: Transporter Room Playset by Playmates Toys

"I never beamed three people from two targets onto one pad before…I thought that was pretty good!" says Scotty in the new film. As much could be said for the Transporter Room playset by Playmates Toys which featured the ability to "beam" 3.75" versions of the crew to adventures on imaginary planets. From the sound effects to the playability, this was a fun toy that also makes for a nice display.  [Available at ToysRUs for $19.98  — see TrekMovie review]

Best Collectible: The Star Trek Collectible Electric Train by the Bradford Group

Not for the faint of checkbook, the Star Trek train is HO scale, currently with 8 different Trek themed issues to date. There is something charming about having an old fashioned hobby such as trains meet the future of Star Trek. [Available at Collectibles Today for $69.95 (first issue) — see TrekMovie review]

Best Tchotchke: Star Trek Puzzle Cube

Everything old is new again (and that includes Star Trek!), and as Rubik cube-like toys make their nostalgic return, Star Trek has a its own puzzle cube toy that is in both full and keychain sized versions. [Available at Star Trek Store for $14.99]

Best Game: Star Trek Scene It? Star Trek Edition by ScreenLife and Mattel

Celebrating the entirety of the Star Trek franchise, this is a game that includes scenes from many episodes and feature films. There are two tin varieties and a regular edition available. [Available at ToysRUs for $10.98  — see TrekMovie review]

Best Home Product: Animated Musical Star Trek Lamp from Rabbit Tanaka

This new Rabbit Tanaka lamp includes a rotating USS Enterprise, a nicely design lamp shade, lighting effects, the music of Star Trek, and the famous narration by Captain Kirk (although it does sound somewhat faster than it does on television). [Available at Hammacher Schlemmer for $99.95]

Best Movie Tie in of the Year: Food Items

Fans had their choice of a variety of Star Trek food items and collectible premiums from Kellogg’s and Burger King this year which helped promote the new feature film. From Star Trek glasses and toys at Burger King to a variety of collectible packaging and premiums such as flashdrives and plates from Kellogg’s, caloric Trek intake was a real concern in 2009, albeit a fun one and it was plain wonderful to see Star Trek in grocery stores.


Best Apparel item of the year: Star Trek Sneakers from AirWalk
2009 saw the return of wearable Trek. Companies like Trevo and Junk Food and others made a number of cool Trek T-shirts and once again Rubies returned to make Star Trek costumes. There’s even a company making Star Trek socks in the UK. But the coolest item of the year were the "STPL x Airwalk Star Trek Terrain Starfleet Edition Hi Skate" sneakers, available in Red, Blue and Gold. They are good looking, comfy, and let you walk like a Trekkie.  [Available only at Payless for $49.99TrekMovie Preview]

Most Unique Item of the Year: Star Trek Waffles

Was is the Star Trek perfumes and colognes from Genki Wear which garnered the attention of the mainstream media such as The Tonight Show? Was it the amazing Sporks? How about the Star Trek Christmas tree lights? The Trek Vermont Teddy Bears? There were many items that could qualify as most unique collectible of the year. However, it had to be the site of the Kellogg’s Star Trek waffles that really showed just how much Star Trek – dismissed in the mid 2000s by naysayers as irrelevant – had returned to the mainstream. Hannah Montana and other big franchises get the waffles treatment, and Star Trek joined their company this year. Of course, the only problem is how to preserve this item, which also adds to its cache as a unique item. And we thought the marshmelon, er, I mean, marshmallow container offered for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier by Kraft was something amazing in 1989 – how about Star Trek waffles!

 

More TrekIn09
TrekMovie is looking back at the year that was. In the series so far:

And there is a lot more to look at. Each day until the end of the year TrekMovie will have another year in review looking at more aspects of Star Trek from the movie, to celebrity news and more.
 

NOTE and DISCLOSURE: TrekMovie has received samples this year from Diamond Select Toys, Mattel, Genki Wear, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Round 2, the Bradford Group, Burger King, and Playmates Toys.

Comments

1. somethoughts - December 25, 2009

wish they brought back the metal toys of the 80s

2. Phil Bell - December 25, 2009

You guys get all this stuff for free whiles the rest of us have to spend our hard earned dough to get it. Why don’t they send freebies to all the other people who run Star Trek fansites and blogs about these things too. A bunch of other sites do even more coverage on trek collectibles — these companies should send stuff to eclectorama.blogspot.com, the trektoy forum the star trek scrapbook, the toy maniacs, that new toy smell, and all the many other sites that have great merchandise reviews. Come on Playmates, DST, etc. get on it for 2010!!!

3. Holger - December 25, 2009

I agree: The Tricorder is a great item.

4. GarySeven - December 25, 2009

The Tricorder is great and fun. Spock’s voice is too fast, which is annoying. Other than that, it’s pure joy. And my four year old son loves beaming people in the transporter. You can order the other figures, and make stories up. It’s good for kids.

5. Charla a long time STAR TREK FAN - December 25, 2009

I have the waffles! I plan on keeping them as long as I can keep them frozen!

6. Christine - December 25, 2009

I don’t have any of these items (except for one of the BK glasses; the Spock one) but they are really cool. I want to get that Scene It, mainly because that’s a really fun game even if it’s not Star Trek!

All in all, it’s been a great year for Trek merchandise. May the franchise live a long and prosperous life in the hands of the fans, marketers, and the “Supreme Court”. xP

7. Trey - December 25, 2009

i have all four of the BK Star Trek glasses even if it took me a while to get the Nero glass, got 13 out of the 16 of the BK Star Trek toys, got The Starfleet Engineering Badge from a box of POPS Cereal, and sadly ate all of the waffles. I wanted to keep them but I got hungry. this year has introduced me to Star Trek. I was aware about Star Trek but never gave it a chance until I saw the new movie.

8. dep1701 - December 25, 2009

@#2

Wow, bitter much?

While the disclaimer states that they get some swag from the manufacturers listed here, not everything reviewed on this site is received free. John Tenuto and other reviewers here spend quite a bit of their own money on the items featured here. If you go back and read past articles, I would say that perhaps one out of every four items reviewed is provided free by the manufacturers.

I wouldn’t shed too many tears for those other websites. If they want some free samples, perhaps they should cultivate a better relationship with the manufacturers in question, who in this case know who their potential customers are and where they hang out. It’s called smart marketing. Besides, most of these websites are run by people who love the subjects they cover, and do what they do for that love, and not for the potential freebies. If any of them are in it just for swag… or are hoping for profit… then they are doing it for the wrong reasons.

I don’t begrudge any of the people here anything they get gratis, considering the fact that they provide me a valuable FREE glimpse at new items, so that I can decide whether or not I want to spend my hard earned sheckles on them.

9. Christine - December 25, 2009

#7 :: I think it’s way cool that you gave Trek a chance — and apparently, really got into it! I know a few years back when I picked up my first Star Trek movie, I didn’t think I’d like it at all. Boy, was I wrong. But you’re not alone. Since the release of ST09, I’ve seen a lot more people (especially around my age, at school and stuff) try giving Star Trek a go. And it’s taken off at Warp Speed. ;3

10. dep1701 - December 25, 2009

BTW – That lamp is a little pricey, but it was so cheese-tastic I had to have one for my media room. The Enterprise model in the center is actually a slightly modified Corgi diecast. I’m not sure whether rabbit tanaka commisioned them from Corgi, or bought the molds from them, but it is virtually identical to the Corgi release ( down to the paint job and finish ).
The only differences are that the Corgi logo has been removed from the starboard engine strut, and the nacelle domes are smooth and not frosted.

I usually don’t go in for goofy Trek-related items like Enterprise phones, alarm clocks, or lamps, but I really like this stupid thing. If you’re in the U.S. look for an FYE store. Some of them are carrying it ( it’s about $70. but watch for post holiday sales, when they’ll probably mark them down ).

11. CardassiPrimera - December 25, 2009

Gowron’s details are excellent.

12. T'Cal - December 25, 2009

For Christmas, we Trekked the halls! I received the Hallmark ornaments and BDs of ST 1-6 and 11, which was the special edition with the four movie badges. Way cool. We got our oldest six hardcovers of some great ST novels, along with the Dioamond Sellect ISS Enterprise, the science tricorder, and TWOK phaser. I also got him the coolest dagger, which has a pair of magnetic batarangs (BB/TDK) attached to the hilt.

13. Desstruxion - December 25, 2009

#1
wish they brought back the metal toys of the 80s
——————————————————————-
Still have my Enterprise D from the Galoob Next Gen collection. Then the other day I found my old refit E from TMP. Put a little paint on it. Gonna make new decals. Good as new. Good memories.

14. Desstruxion - December 25, 2009

I did get the new Playmates movie Enterprise. I like it a lot.

15. CoolPT - December 25, 2009

Loved all the art Asylum STII Wrath of Khan action figures! Need to do the Reliant, Carol & David Marcus, and Yochem(?) to round it out! A Bridge playset would be great as well, oh, and a limited edition 1:1 sized Genesis probe would look great in my den!

16. tuvok1701e - December 25, 2009

#2 waaa waaa waaa

17. Lieutenant - December 25, 2009

Loved those waffles. I always enjoyed eating Kirk or Uhura’s face.. x)

I really went all out with Star Trek this Christ(Trek)mas. I only regret not being able to get those Disc lights. :(

18. RoobyDoo - December 25, 2009

Agree that the BK glasses were great. And I finally spotted the waffles a few weeks back and picked up a couple of packs. The images were actually pretty well done.

19. RoobyDoo - December 25, 2009

Oh, and too bad BK food turns my stomach, otherwise I would have gone back more often. As it is, I’ve got Kirk & Uhura glasses, Kirk and Scott (“I’m giving her all she’s got, Captain!”) figures, tricorder, and shuttlecraft.

20. AJ - December 25, 2009

Gowron looks nothing like Gowron.

I met Bob O’Reilly in his garb, and that ain’t him.

No blue eyes, and the doll’s not fat enough!

21. Weerd1 - December 25, 2009

I think my problem with the transporter playset is it was better WITHOUT the extra pads from the figures! When you make the full circle, the back wall doesn’t fit any more.

I have to vote for COL. Kira in Starfleet uniform for best figure, but I did love the 3.75 playmates figures for how easy it was to customize. My Commander Thelin turned out great.

The DST tricorder was simply magnificent.

I am a runner- the Kelloggs uniform shirt giveaway quickly became my favorite running shirt. If you’re in Arizona, watch for the marathon geek…

22. Anthony Thompson - December 25, 2009

The tricorder is a dud. Cheap, plasticy, light and flimsy. Voice on medical version does NOT sound like DeForest Kelly at all! Not nearly on the same level as their TOS phaser and communicator.

23. ryanhuyton - December 25, 2009

Out of the items listed above, I have the Gowron figure, the science tricorder and the Enterprise-D. They are all magnificent. Plus I bought the I.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701, the Wrath of Khan phaser, the Kirk and Spock Amok Time pack, the Kirk and Spock Motion Picture pack, a Playmates 6 inch Quinto Spock figure, the 09 movie phaser, the 09 Enterprise. Alot of stuff, plus all 10 previous movies on Blu Ray plus the 09 Blu Ray with pins, as well as magazines, the TOS Blu Ray seasons 1and 2 and the Star Trek :The Art of The Film Book. Very expensive year, but well worth it.

24. brixton - December 26, 2009

Have to say, the BEST item this year was the film Enterprise that came with the DVD 2-Pack at Target. Pretty detailed (moreso than the Playmates toy), well engineered (easy to put together AND holds the discs!) and the price was right- the whole enchilada was twenty bucks with tax.

25. dep1701 - December 26, 2009

@#22

“The tricorder is a dud. Cheap, plasticy, light and flimsy. Voice on medical version does NOT sound like DeForest Kelly at all! ”

Buddy, I hate to tell you, but the actual series tricorders were “light and plasticy” too. I have a repro tricorder, built from an original prop, and aside from the aluminum faceplate, side pieces and connecting bar, the vacuform plastic has about the same heft on that replica as the Art Asylum version. In fact, I’ve had to repair the prop repro several times over the years as the screws are insufficient to keep the whole thing together.

As to the voice samples, mine sounds just fine. In fact I can identify all of the samples from their various episodes ( Metamorphosis and Arena being the two main sources ) and it’s definitely Kelley’s voice. There will always be some distortion on a toy chip, but life goes on. The two science tricorders I picked up have some slight speed variation from model to model, but so did the two different Enterprise D’s I tried.

The point is, these are toys…and damned good looking ones for the price. Yes, occasionally duds will get through, but I’d suggest returning it if you’re unhappy and requesting a replacement. Both Entertainment Earth and Action Figure Xpress have good return policies. In fact, AFX told me just to keep a defective “All Good Things Enterprise D” rather than ship it back while they sent me a new one. So now I have a free ship to play with, in addition to the ‘hands off’ display model. That’s pretty rare for a retailer!

26. Captain Robert April - December 26, 2009

I’ve already decided that when I get one of the DST tricorders, I’m only gonna run the voice functions to make sure they work. Not worried if they work well, or frankly, if they work at all, but just to test them. Because for the most part, that’s not the part I’m interested in, it’s the actual sounds of the tricorder that I’m worried about. If those work fine, then who gives a crap about the voice samples?

The damn thing never talked during the series, so why worry about it talking now?

27. Michael - December 26, 2009

Ok here we go… The Playmates movie Enterprise was pretty good, better voice clips would have been cooler along w/ more sound effects. The Role playing toys were kinda lame. They afren’t aa inpspired as their orig. 60’s counterparts.
I got the BK glasses, so-s-0.
I did buy a couple pkgs of Trek ceraeal, and Kellog’s assort. ones for a couple of gthe truely lame lightup badges. I did send away for 2 USB flash drives.
I scored the Target Exclusive Bluray ed. w/ model of Enterprise that houses the discs inside the saucer halves.
The DST Tricorders were a mixed bag…kinda cool, w/ kinda let-downer.
The voice clips(Especially McCoy) were too sped up. The battery compartment was designed by monkeys on crack. 1 ultra micro screw guaranteed to strip and thus you’re ending up prying and breaking compartment cover off to change batteries!
I did score both sci/med. Awaiting Geological.
I passed on the DSt/PM action figures, playsets and Hallmark ornies.
I never found the Trek Eggos, and the pop Tart premiums for free movie tickets arrived in stores just as film was leaving theaters.
But I did score a set of tickets by buying Kelloggs stuff @ QFC stores..and generating a coded pass I had to go online for and print out tickets to a local theater.
I’ve also scored all 11 filsm on Bluray, all 3 seasons of TOS on TOS-R dvds and Bluray and the TNG films!
I’ve suckled enough on CBS/Paramount’s cash cow teets quite enough for 2009!

28. Brandon - December 26, 2009

This look back has me lamenting the fact that Playmates Wave Two movie figures were canceled. :( I sure hope that the 3 3/4″ TOS figures that were designed by both DST and Playmates still find a way to get out there and into stores! Please let 2010 be a good year for Star Trek toys in general and let all the stuff that both DST and Playmates canceled make it into our collections.

29. dep1701 - December 26, 2009

Re: #24 -“Have to say, the BEST item this year was the film Enterprise that came with the DVD 2-Pack at Target. Pretty detailed (moreso than the Playmates toy), well engineered (easy to put together AND holds the discs!) ”

I’m with you on this one. That model was really cool. I went out of my way and spent a few bucks more to get one. As an employee of a music / video store, I could’ve gotten it cheaper with my discount at work , but being an Enterprise fan, this was too nice to pass up.

30. devon - December 27, 2009

I too am lamenting the cancellation of all the DST/Playmates Trek merchandise. I have faithfully bought everything to date and it bothers me greatly that the bridge set wasn’t intact with all stations, and that some of the best sculpts ever such as the Kruge/Maaltz 2 pack and the 12″ Nero,Uhura, & Scotty were never produced! I hate incomplete collections, it drives me nuts! I wish Playmates would release the remaining 12″ figures as exclusives like they did with Sulu & Pike! Please make it so!

31. Kevin Dilmore - December 27, 2009

What, no love for the Keepsake Ornaments? ;)

32. ryanhuyton - December 27, 2009

#31 The keepsakes are pretty good, but a little pricey. Especially the Klingon Battle Cruiser. In Canada, it was $45 for a 5 inch ornament. As for the phaser, I bought the Art Asylum 2-in-one hand phaser so buying the Hallmark version would be redudunant.

33. Trekluver - December 27, 2009

Oh rats! I asked for ST: Monopoly, got it, and then saw that the best board game was Sceene it? Star Trek! Oh well the ST Continuum edition is cool exept that the Borg unicomplex should hav been in a diffrent property group than the first one!

34. A.J. - December 31, 2009

Let’s see. Off this list I picked up the Enterprise D, The Transporter Room (the Bridge is better) , Scene It, the BK Glasses set, the Captain’s T from Kelloggs(surprisingly really nice quality), the wristband Flash drive from Kelloggs, and a blue pair of the sneakers. (Which I am in fact wearing right now as I type this up at work!) I also picked up the SE Blu-Ray version of ST-11 from Best Buy, which came with the metal pins.

35. John - December 31, 2009

The best Star Trek item of the year was the Star Trek II CD from Film Score Monthly.

36. Fubamushu - January 1, 2010

The waffles are/were magically delicious

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