It has been the stated intent that the new Star Trek movie will move the venerable Trek franchise back into the broader mainstream audience. One area where this will manifest itself is in merchandising and TrekMovie.com has learned that a big step has been taken by awarding the toy license for the new Star Trek movie to Playmates Toys. This is actually a ‘coming home’ for Trek toys as Playmates held the license for much of the 90s but dropped it in 2000.
The year was 1974. Richard M. Nixon was President. Stamps were ten cents. $11,197, now the cost of college tuition, was most people’s salary. Star Trek fans were enjoying the show on television re-runs and at toys stores. During the 1970s, Mego was the leader in action figures and toys with movie or television themes, from Planet of the Apes to Marvel Comics. Mego’s Star Trek toys are among the most collectible items from the 23rd Century. Toys included the amazing USS Enterprise playset with working transporter or the Mission to Gamma VI environment. Mego continued to make Trek toys through the 70s including figures for Star Trek The Motion Picture. Mego closed its doors in 1983, but now these classic Trek toys are back and as good as new (because they are new).
Fans of The Next Generation (and Deep Space Nine) will have much to look forward to in terms of Diamond Select collectibles for the rest of 2008. In honor of TNG’s 20th Anniversary there is a new Art Asylum first season Jean Luc Picard figure with Chair coming out in September (joining the already available Kirk and Pike w/ command chair figures). Plus Diamond has just announced a Nemesis Beverly Crusher, as well as TNG Season 7 Miles O’Brien, a limited Nurse Alyssa Ogawa, and (Diamond Previews Exclusive) Ro Laren [see below]. It is good to see DST has been listening to fan requests for more secondary characters. Those will be are joining other TNG figures becoming available over the next month…
While the the eyes of the Trekkie world are focused on the Las Vegas Creation Convention there was Trek Toy news happening at Wizard World Con in Chicago. September 2007 brings a welcome surprise for fans of Johnny Lightning’s Star Trek ships. After the third wave of ships nearly two years ago, it was rumored that the toys would be discontinued by JL. However, better than expected sales led to a Wave 4 of ships.
For the past few summers, the presence of Star Trek items at science fiction and popular culture conventions have been favorites, especially as exclusives. This July’s San Diego Comic Convention continues the tradition with action figures from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is pretty exciting for the action figure collectors because there has not been feature era action figures for about 10 years. However getting the figures is somewhat of a chore
It may not be a concerted effort, yet it is not entirely wrong to say that 2007 is shaping up to be the year of Kirk and Spock. The American International Toy Fare opened this week with Diamond Select Toys greatly expanding its line of varied Star Trek action figures and models. Star Trek toy fans are being treated with the most exciting year, with multifarious items and modern versions of favorites. Although there are some new items from TNG and DS9, it really appears that DST are trying to get in on the action of the resurgence of interest TOS.