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TrekIn2011: Best Star Trek Merchandise Of The Year December 28, 2011

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

Today TrekMovie begins its look back at the year that was. 2011 was a year of Trekversaries, from the 45th anniversary of the premiere of the original show to the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the sixth and fourth Star Trek movies. To celebrate, Star Trek fans had options among many items to collect. TrekMovie presents its annual “best of” Star Trek collectibles winners for the year.

 

BEST STAR TREK MERCHANDISE OF 2011

Neelix Award for Best Kitchen/Useful Item – Enterprise Pizza Cutter

This year, companies such as Think Geek (Star Trek Enterprise Light Up Feeding System) Westland Giftware (cookie jars, salt pepper shakers, water globes, mugs) all had items that could be useful in your kitchen. And the best of the lot goes to Think Geek for their Star Trek Enterprise Pizza Cutter which is both a useful and creative idea. It is packaged beautifully in a display box and is something both collectors and pizza fans could enjoy!

Gamesters of Trikselion Award for Best Game – Klingon Monopoy

2011 saw a resurgence of Star Trek games, including board and collectible card games. Wiz Kids premiering its Star Trek: Expeditions cooperative game based on the 2009 film. Also from Wiz Kids is Star Trek: Fleet Captains which features some excellent, unpainted starship totems and represents the various televised versions of Star Trek. Continuing Star Trek’s impressive return to the world of gaming, Bandai offered a 300 card Star Trek: The Next Generation deck building game. A second edition is planned for early next year.

The winner for “Best Game” goes to USAopoly who Klingonized Monopoly this year. The company used social media to ask fans to vote on what pewter pieces would be included, and it is obvious the company had a great deal of fun making the game. Especially cool is that there are two versions of the game, a regular edition and a special edition with a limited edition mini replica of Chancellor Gorkon’s Klingon cane. If there is to be a brave new world, whose going to have a harder time living in it as they pass Go and collect $200?

Wear No Man Has Gone Before Award for Best Apparel – Star Trek Robes

2011 has seen a myriad of new Star Trek T-shirts (both licensed and non-licensed), and the introduction of the new Udi Behr jewelry line. However the TrekMovie choice of the best wearable item is the Star Trek bath robes from Robe Factor (available at ThinkGeek). They first released Kirk and Spock robes, which were followed up later in the year with a Scotty robe and a shorter Uhura robe for the ladies.

Naomi Wildman Award for best Baby/Kids item – Enterprise Light-Up Feeding System

And for the little ones, the coolest Star Trek item of the year was certainly the animated Star Trek Enterprise Light-Up Feeding System of bib and spoon from ThinkGeek.

The Most Toys Award for Best Toy/Replica – Star Trek Mr. Potato Heads

In one of the worst years ever for Star Trek action figures (there were a grand total of 2 released in the United States), there were nonetheless some nice toys and prop replicas available in 2011. EMCE Toys and Diamond Select Toys joined together again to continue their fun line of original MEGO styled retro action figures, this year with Christopher Pike (“The Menagerie” version) and the Salt Vampire. Quantum Mechanix made available a reasonably priced, nicely detailed phaser prop replica based on the 2009 movie design. Toy Factory, which produces plush items for vending or “claw” machines, had a wonderful and diverse line of Star Trek TOS teddy bears this year.

The winner for “Best Toys or Props” goes to PPW TOYS. How do you know you are hot? When you are made into a Potato Head! (Get it…hot potato…okay, never mind). Available this past November, PPW Toys has two dual packs of Mr. Potato Head themed Star Trek packs, Kirk and Kor together, and, appropriate because of their romance, Spock and Uhura. Star Trek joins such icons as Kiss and Star Wars in getting Mr. Potatoized.

Joanie Loves Tchotchke Award- For Best Collectible/Tchotchke – Star Trek/M&M Figurines

This award is for which Star Trek Tchotchke earns a grade of “Ayyyyy!!” (Two Happy Days references in the same article…correctamundo!) Star Trek produces much tchotchke or ephemera, from the Bradford Exchange items (rings and trains) to Hallmark Cards, from trading cards to Kurt Adler Christmas items.

This year, the winner for “Best Star Trek Tchotchke” goes to the Bradford Exchange for their Star Trek themed statues in the M&M style. Yes, its another “blended” item, yet such items have appeal to more than one fan group and often show the enduring popular culture iconography of Star Trek’s characters. (Warning: You cannot eat these statues…we know, we tried).

To sum up, here is a Christmas themed video for all the 2011 great 2011 Star Trek merchandise presents.

Do you agree with the list? Anything you would add or subtract? Please post your ideas in the comments as we take a scan of Star Trek 2011 memorabilia.

THE YEAR AHEAD IN MERCH:

2012 has its own anniversaries, chief among them the 25th celebration of the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation. There will be many great items to celebrate, including more games from Bandai and TNG Pez dispensers. Also, 2012 brings us a year closer to the next movie and we should begin to learn news of the licensees. There should be teaser posters available and most likely some kind of promotional items available. Here is to a New Year full of both the collectibles of Star Trek, and more importantly, its spirit of compassion, exploration, helping, and friendship!

MORE BEST OF 2011 TO COME

Stay tuned to TrekMovie this week for more of the best of 2011 in Star Trek, including books, comics, viral videos and more.

 

 

Comments

1. Spock/Uhura Fan - December 28, 2011

Spock and Uhura potato heads… Lovely!

2. Odkin - December 28, 2011

Hallmarl ornaments for Spock and “Mirror, Mirror” get no mention? Hallmark is a reliable year after year supporter of Trek, yet you prefer cheesy M&M advertising pieces?

3. Sci-Fi Bri - December 28, 2011

2:

totally agree

4. SupremeDalekOnTheBridge - December 28, 2011

To be honest, I have no interest in any of this stuff. The merchandise has gone to shit in recent years. CBS are just milking this cash cow dry.

5. Gabriel Bell - December 28, 2011

2. You sound so angry? That makes me laugh. I know you can’t really be chuffed about the omission of a “toy” you deem worthy for this fun recap. (If you are really chuffed, then that makes me laugh even harder.)

John, not sure if the Wrath of Kahn Communicator was 2011, but I think it might have been. That was a great piece!

6. Vger23 - December 28, 2011

Gabe-

Where have you been? Star Trek “fans” are always angry and b!+ching about something. It IS amusing in a way, but it also makes me sad (and sometimes embarassed) to call myself a Trek fan.

7. Chelsea - December 28, 2011

My future child is going to have that adorable spoon and bib for sure.

8. Red Dead Ryan - December 28, 2011

#5.

I agree the TWOK communicator is great. Sadly, it appears that it is one of the final releases from DS/AA. They’ve cancelled the Bird-Of-Prey, Klingon disruptor, and the Exelsior/Enterprise B.

9. bill hiro - December 28, 2011

I got the pizza cutter for Christmas 2010.

10. Drake1701 - December 28, 2011

I got the Kirk & Kor Potato head set for Christmas (along with the bottle opener!) :-)

11. CarlG - December 28, 2011

@5, 6: I think you’ll find a succinct explanation of the situation over here:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuinedFOREVER

;)

12. Basement Blogger - December 28, 2011

Still can’t get over that guy doing a Superman pose in a Star Trek robe. It’s kind of funny.

13. Andy Patterson - December 28, 2011

This reminds me,….I was going to get one of those robes. May do it still. Christmas has kind of tapped me out.

14. Odkin - December 28, 2011

@#5 Gabriel Bell

Not angry at all. Just… aghast. An ceramic M&M advertising statue from the dicey “collectibles” huckster Bradford Exchange? With a big “M” logo on it?

The Mr. Potatohead toy doesn’t bother me, because it’s honest mass-market fun. But the M&M Trek thing is something that somebody in a trailer would order off the back of Sunday’s “Parade” magazine.

15. chrisfawkes.net - December 28, 2011

I’m pretty happy with the free Star Trek communicator app on my iphone.

16. Khan was Framed! - December 28, 2011

All crap.

And sadly, I own the pizza cutter because someone thought it would make a nice gift for a hardcore trekkie like me.

it didn’t.

Can we please get some decent action figures or some affordable ship replicas that i don’t have build & paint myself?

Somebody amongst the powers that be, please throw a fanboy a bone!

No new Trek on TV & no respectable merch on the market; It’s like the 70’s all over again.

17. Robert Bernardo - December 29, 2011

Ooooo, the Enterprise Light-Up Feeding System! I must have it! I already have the sweet Enterprise pizza cutter and both bathrobes.

18. SB - December 29, 2011

Just thought I ought to mention that in British slang, to be “chuffed” means to be extremely delighted or pleased, not angry. “I’m chuffed to bits over those Star Trek potato heads! They’re brilliant!”

There’s also a variation, “chuffing,” which is sometimes used as a substitute for the f-word: “Aw, chuffin’ hell, those Potato Head things are rubbish!” But it doesn’t seem to apply here.

In American slang, of course, it doesn’t mean anything because we don’t say it. :)

19. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - December 29, 2011

I saw the robes for sale at the Vegas Con and was going to get one but I didn’t and now 4 months later I’m still mad.

20. The Bear - December 29, 2011

Other than the WOK communicator, it was a pretty lame year for Trek merchandise. I don’t hold out too much hope for 2012 with the economy as it is.

21. John Tenuto - December 29, 2011

#2, #14

I welcome debate about something as subjective as a “best of” collectibles article. I believe in Star Trek’s message of tolerance and diversity and differeing ideas debated respectfully.

Perhaps you may enjoy learning about why the M&Ms won and Hallmark didn’t.

My family and I own every single Star Trek Hallmark Ornament ever made from 1991 to today, pictures of which are available in the Christmas article Tony wrote. My wife is the President of our local Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Collectors club. We love Hallmark Ornaments. And I have written many articles to share news about Hallmark at this site.

This year’s ornaments were, as usual, nicely produced. However, there wasn’t anything particularly noteworthy or new about them. Another Spock, another ship. Nothing from the new movie. Nothing outside of the comfort zone. The M&M ornaments, however, were something new. Whether people like M&Ms characters or not doesn’t change the fact that they are iconic, and when one icon meets another, in this instance Star Trek characters, it is noteworthy popular culture.

That being said, I also have doubts about the comment that Hallmark “supports” Star Trek. Hallmark is a liscensee who profits from Star Trek ornaments. I do not believe Hallmark makes them to support a cause of some kind. It is a mutually beneficial economic situation. Star Trek ornaments gets a different kind of collector into Hallmark stores and they sell nicely. I thank Hallmark for making them as they are a family tradition. Yet, I do not think the ornaments are some kind of rallying item to help Star Trek’s messages, at least not mainly.

And to conclude, my son enjoyed the M&M items very much. We have gotten nice reactions from those who have seen them, including everything from smiles to befuddlement. We don’t live in a trailer, but if we did, I would be as proud to live there as I do our four bedroom home if that is all I could afford, if it provided a home for my family, and if I worked hard to own it. What’s wrong with a trailer?

Thank you for reading

John Tenuto

22. Daniel Shock - December 29, 2011

#8 are you sure they’ve canceled? It looks like they’re still working on it from these posts:

http://www.artasylum.com/blog/2011/12/ask-dst-145/#more-5681

23. Damian - December 29, 2011

21–I agree this years ornaments were kind of no frills. Perhaps the Spock/McCoy ornament from “Mirror, Mirror” was a sort of honorable mention, since it was a little more unique. One thing that kind of bothers me is that I’ve been to a couple of Hallmark stores because my wife likes the Disney ornaments, and I’m a bit bothered at how many of the Star Trek ornaments are left. There are a ton of Romulan Warbirds and Spock ornaments left (the Mirror, Mirror seemed to have sold a bit better).

24. Holger - December 29, 2011

These items are not my cup of tea. I’m more into models, prop replicas, naturalistic action figures and technical manuals.

25. Holger - December 29, 2011

As for the “feeding system”: I don’t have kids myself, but people who have tell me that this system of blinking toys is a perfect way of distracting little kids so that they will have absolutely no interest in food!

26. Trekker5 - December 29, 2011

I’m lovin; the robes! And the baby stuff is too cute!

27. Chris M - December 29, 2011

I got the Enterprise Pizza Cutter for Xmas and it is absolutely awesome!! :-)

28. Shannon Nutt - December 29, 2011

Yeah, the pizza cutter is definitely from 2010…it was on my Christmas list LAST year. Because I remember my wife giving me 50 reasons we didn’t need to cut our pizza with the saucer section of the Enterprise!

29. Shannon Nutt - December 29, 2011

Also, I realize it’s a book, but STAR TREK VAULT should have made this list…I got it for Christmas this year, and it’s a nice stroll down memory lane. My only complaint about the book is it’s not long enough (a ton of stuff was left out).

30. Gary A. Neumann - December 29, 2011

Meh, There were two other star trek board games. The klingon star trek monopoly is crap, mainly because monopoly is crap per se. Both Star Trek Fleet Captains and Star Trek expeditions are far more enjoyable.

31. Smoking Robot - December 29, 2011

Can we get a plastic model kit of the new Enterprise? Now that it’s that good a design, but what the heck.

32. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - December 29, 2011

I would still like to get my hands on a U.S.S Kelvin Salt Shaker.
Also. Would love a life size stuffed Mugato. Or Salt Vampire.
I would love to see a Quarks Bar Game as well.

33. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - December 29, 2011

All I ask for is a Tall Ship and a Star to Star her by.

34. Odkin - December 29, 2011

All I ask for is a Tall Steer and a Star to Ship her by.

35. CmdrR - December 29, 2011

Yikes. My inner nerd-o-meter is pinning because I actually want this stuff.

36. Odkin - December 29, 2011

@21 John Tenuto

There is nothing wrong with Trailers. There is however, something wrong with people who order “limited edition collectibles” from the cheesemeisters at Bradford Exchange. They have a reputation for both low-quality merchandise and predatory marketing

Of course Hallmark supports Trek only to the extent that it is mutally financially beneficial. But they are coming up to 20 years of doing so, through both fat and lean times for the franchise. We should appreciate that. Other licensees come and go with the seasons. How many items are announced just as trial balloons and then dropped when the pre-orders disappoint?

I don’t mean it to sound like I collect or own stock in Hallmark – I don’t and honestly don’t really care that much. You just made a really puzzling choice.

37. Steve Moss - December 29, 2011

More than anything, Monopoly seems like the wrong sort of game for Klingons. I get trying to slap a franchise on a game, but at least find the proper archetype… Klingon Risk or Klingon Stratego would seem better translations. …and then you could do a Ferengi Monopoly, with special Rules Of Acquisition.

Incidentally, I’m available for consulting roles should anyone want to apply logic to Star Trek merch again.

38. MJ - December 29, 2011

Product Alert:

The toy K–7 space station bib and Enterprise baby feeding system contains Quadrotriticalie-based baby food that has been poisoned by the Klingons. Do NOT use this system to feed your baby!

39. Star Pig - December 29, 2011

I think this holds promise for 2012 and beyond. Does this qualify as merchandise? HAHA!!! Sounds HOT to me!!!

http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2011/12/29/science-fiction-themed-brothel-opening-soon/#comments

40. Anthony Pascale - December 29, 2011

Odkin
It is not your place to denounce “what is wrong with people who…” Fans can chose to collect or not collect however they want. There is nothing “wrong” with people who prefer some brands or products over others.

41. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - December 29, 2011

I want to get the klingonopoly

42. Red Dead Ryan - December 29, 2011

#22.

But DS/AA announced those TWO years ago, with no hard release date in sight. So I’ve given up seeing those ships and props. It’s a real shame as they’ve done some real good work with their products, but they seem to have problems with selling them.

#31.

There was a model for the new Enterprise, but it got cancelled.

#36.

Knock it off!

And to John Tenuto:

Your articles are well appreciated! I enjoy reading about your choices, even in “slow” merchandise periods such as this year.

The “M & M” Kirk and Spock look really cool.

43. AJ - December 29, 2011

When I was in high-school in the early 1980s, a friend of mine had a 4-foot high red bong he named “The Enterprise.” Cool, right?

While all this swag is cool, I wish there were a steady flow of merch for kids. ‘Star Wars’ did it right, but the ‘Trek’ stuff always seems aimed at nostalgia-buffs who buy it, keep it packaged, and store it or resell it on eBay.

When my kids discovered all my ships, communicators, tribbles & phasers, collected over years, they PLAYED with them, and asked me why I had them. Well, kids, let’s watch ‘Star Trek!’ And two new fans are inducted.

On Christmas, a friend came over with his family, and I have 4 Playmates NCC-1701 Enterprises sitting on a radiator. His 8-year-old daughter asked me “why do you care so much about this stuff?” She had no idea what Star Trek was. Star Wars? Yes.

$3000 lit Enterprises and “Mr. Potato Heads” do nothing to grow the fan-base, especially when the films are perpetually delayed & postponed to the point where kids will see the next film who may not have even been born yet in 2009.

44. Red Dead Ryan - December 29, 2011

#43.

Well put!

Hasbro puts out good quality “Star Wars” toys for kids, and they also make good collectibles as well. I enjoy collecting the Clone Trooper action figures from the prequels as they come in different varieties.

I also wouldn’t mind seeing Reel Toys do the figures for the next movie. I know they are more for collectors as they are made for display, but the “Terminator” figures are really done well, especially the T2 battle damaged steel mill Terminator. And the Robocop figure is perfect!

45. T'Cal - December 29, 2011

When will The Experience return so we can buy all this cool stuff at the same place we can go on some Trek rides, visit a Trek museum, eat at a Trek restaurant, and renew our vows on the Bridge?

God, I miss that place! The Tour was at the Kennedy Space Center this summer and it was a near perfect pairing of science fact and science fiction. Add the rides and restaurants and you can’t go wrong!

46. Shannon Nutt - December 29, 2011

@39

I want to go to there! :)

47. James T. West - December 29, 2011

I am a big fan of the MEGO/ECME figures! Can’t believe they were solicited in 2010, and we only saw 2! this year! MOAR!!!!!

48. John Tenuto - December 29, 2011

#42

Thanks!

49. AJ - December 29, 2011

44:

RDR:

Also, LEGO has done well with both Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises, and are about to launch LOTR products. Would love to see a TREK series as well.

For a good laugh, LEGO recently released this ad

http://www.metalinjection.net/tv/view/8020/lego-hardcore-show

50. Dean Gorby - December 29, 2011

As the Business Manager for PPW Toys I want to say THANK YOU for this recognition for our Star Trek Spuds!

We realize that our Mr. Potato Head toys are not exactly the Star Trek collectible figures that collectors may be looking for, but we appreciate the fact that many of you “get” the humor and the intent of these toys and have given us your support.

Our objective was to create a fun toy that paid homage to the characters and world of TOS. And we are proud of the end result.

Thanks again for your support!

51. Red Dead Ryan - December 29, 2011

#49.

AJ,

Lego “Star Trek” would be great, except that I think CBS prefers going the cheap and easy route with Playmates.

“Lego Star Trek” would be fantastic, but it’s never going to happen.

52. John Tenuto - December 29, 2011

#50

Thanks Dean!

53. Chasco - December 30, 2011

The Star Trek robes are now available in red too – obviously the manufacturers finally got the message that there were three main colours on the ‘Enterprise’ – see http://store.startrek.com/categories/14622-robes

54. Anthony Thompson - December 30, 2011

Odkin should just be banned. He’s a troublemaker.

55. Peter - December 30, 2011

The Hallmark Star Trek figures may not have made the list, because the quality is so poor.

56. Chain of Command - December 30, 2011

My cousin got me the Pizza Cutter last year for Christmas. Thing is hilarious….and heavy. I don’t think I’ll ever use it, but it’s fun to look at occasionally

57. Simon - December 30, 2011

#53 – Gee, now you have to worry about being killed in your pajamas.

58. Daniel Shock - December 30, 2011

# 42 – RDR – Point taken, but they are notoriously slow. I am not giving up hope, because I want to complete my Enterprise collection. Fingers crossed we get these as well as an Enterprise C

59. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 30, 2011

#57 Perhaps there is a difference between being (in) a red-robe as opposed to being a redshirt, especially in light of the idea that we may see Kirk walk out of the shower and reach for his red robe. Could he be in mortal danger? Enquiring minds would like to know…

Bob Orci?

60. David G. - December 30, 2011

I was a “collect ‘em all” buyer of Hallmark’s “Trek” ships and figure ornaments …

… until this year.

I’ve bought one of each of the releases ever since that first Enterprise ship 20 years ago. And I was lucky enough to be at the San Diego Comic Con a couple of years back when Hallmark sold that Uhurah-in-tan-uniform repaint ornament.

But a couple of months ago, I found out that Hallmark had released a limited edition ship ornament for a comic book show in New York over the summer. With the minimum — minimum — price on eBay now going at $150 for one of those things …. well, I knew my “completist” days were done, and I didn’t even bother with this year’s Hallmark releases. (Ditto for the Star Wars ones, with the prices going for the limited SDCC Dengar/IG88 two-pack.)

It would make total sense for Hallmark to make some of these ornaments available in larger numbers over the Internet … and maybe just slap a special “SDCC” or “New York Comic Con” sticker just on the packages of the ornaments sold at those particular events. There are a lot more than 1,000 fans/consumers out there who would like to be able to buy these things that Hallmark is limiting to just 1,000 people (and a sizeable number of those 1,000 are just opportunists/scalpers anyway).

61. Desstruxion - January 2, 2012

Does anyone make any decent toy ships anymore?

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