The Collective: Review – DST TOS Communicator

Just this week Diamond Select / Art Asylum has released the next item in their ‘Trek Tek’ line, the Kirk era version of the communicator. This joins the previously released TOS phasers and the forthcoming tricorder (announced at the recent Toy Fair). This is not the first TOS communicator made available, but for $29 it offers many features usually only available with high end replicas.

The original TOS communicator, designed by Wah Chang (who also built the Vulcan Harp, the tricorder, the Gorn, and the Tribbles), has been released by various companies over the years. These have ranged from the 2003 high-end Master Replicas prop all the way down to low-cost toy versions from Playmates in the 1990s. The new DST replica toy offers some of the detailing found on the more expensive versions, yet is much more reasonably priced ($29.99). It also offers some bonus fun features. The DST version features lights and the classic communicator opening sound effect. In addition, opening the communicator activates the moiré disk which moves, a feature lacking on many previous toy versions (the moiré was often merely a sticker on these previous items).

New DST Communicator (click to enlarge)

It talks
The toy also includes seven phrases, uses original clips of William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, and Leonard Nimoy. Entertainment Earth Exclusive Edition offers an additional Spock Phrase "Your signal is weak, can you turn up your gain?" Another unique feature is that you can push a button to set the communicator to hail you five seconds later with the familiar sound effect. When you respond Spock asks "Captain, should I beam down and armed party?" That can be fun at parties.

The new DST communicator

Available now
This replica toy is available in two versions, a regular communicator available from retailers and an exclusive from Entertainment Earth which features an exclusive phrase. You can order it and the TOS ‘Trek Tek’ Phaser below

EE Exclusive Star Trek Original Series Communicator Replica Star Trek Tek Classic Phaser
$29.99 $27.99


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Now, if they build these as working two-way radios, I would plunk down some coin for them. Other than that, I’ll pass.

Can’t wait to get mine

I’ve got mine on preorder from New Force Comics…but it seems pretty much exactly the same as the version from the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas that I got a couple years ago (except for the added voice clips).

Nice. That’s a lot of bang for the buck. Bring on the TOS Tricorder and the “exploration set” will be complete.

I heart prop toys.

The moire actually spins?! Wow! I didn’t expect that! I pre-ordered this thing months ago. Mine’s already shipped and on its way to my house!!!

Hey! I feel like a kid again! LOL! I will put some money aside and play the real phaser tag!! HA!

No really I bet these will be some serious collectors items right around movie time:)

Details are spectacular.

Re:#3 – There’s some distinct differences between this one and the Vegas Experience one – there’s a pretty comprehensive thread about this new one (including photos of the thing disassembled and compared against the others) over at the Replica Prop Forum –

Wooooowwwwwwwwww, “Kirk to Enterprise” ¡¡¡¡

Just a tip, if you can, stick a piece of tissue paper between the speaker and the shell and it will sound a LOT better (this involves opening up the comm, so only do it if you know what you’re doing)

I can’t wait until they come out with the tricorder! I think that will be the coolest of all.

This sounds just about perfect without actually enabling the Enterprise to lock onto you and beam you aboard with it. The 5 second delay signal thing — someone was working overtime to come up with that bit of brilliance! I love it!

I bought the Star Trek Vegas Experience communicator with the spinning moire that came out a year or two ago, and I was disappointed in the sound quality of the sound effects, as well as the annoying loudness of the motor spinning the moire. I wonder if this prop solves any of those problems. Anyone?

Scott B. out.

awesome….just bought mine tonight at the Trek con here in New Jersey. Almost identical to one I paid three times as much for a number of years ago.

#14 I have the Experience one as well…this one is better, lights arent as blinding and the sound is better

Re: #16 – Thanks for the info T2! I just looked at the video clip above (didn’t notice it immediately for some dumb reason), and this one definitely sounds better and looks great!

Scott B. out.

I want a cell phone just like that. Forget all the rest. (^_^)

Amazing thing is that the old Trek communicator looks like some of the cell phones that well have now.

Hmm, I wonder how difficult it would be to put the EE Exclusive sound chip (plus sound clips) into a Master Replicas communicator.

This…. is just way too cool…. I am so ordering one!!! :D

#19 – The TOS communicator WAS the inspiration for today’s cell phones. If you get the chance, watch the documentary “How William Shatner Changed the World”, from the Discovery Channel.

#20, somewhat do-able, there have been some additional screw posts added to the inside of the front shell that will get a bit in the way of the PCB in the Master Replicas and STTE. Putting an MR PCB in a STTE Comm is really easy, I’ve done it to one of mine….I also make these….

yes please give me this as a cell phone and then charge me $200.00 for the phone, I’m very serious about it. all my life i have wanted a working communicator..this will hold me til the TNG pin phone becomes available.

Cool. I ordered mine, I don’t know, how many months ago. Have been looking forward to it. ‘Bout time. I’m excited! I hope it outdoes the MasterReplicas one.

I’ll beat this into the ground again (I can be very single minded when I get something in my head)- I’d love for someone to make a Gary Seven style servo.

I’ve yet to find anyone who will reply to me on this subject. Believe me I’ve contacted many about it.

You know, very nice. The moire disk is the most important part of the TOS comm, and all low-cost products to date have gotten it completely wrong. So kudos to DST.

But I’m personally more excited about the nifty new logo. The beamin effect right there? Very cool.

Excellent, more toys! It looks like DST has done a fine job and the price is not what I expected…..the price is right!


…mine’s shipping to me at this moment…

heh, heh, =)

There’s nothing like those TOS replicas to nourish the inner child. This time, it’s spinning, talking, and it’s affordable. Great job, DST!

Why are there no star trek cell phones that resemble communicators?

I’m not talking about the “star trek” phone available, which has nothing to do w/ trek (you can find it thru a simple search), I mean a cell phone that looks and sounds like the thing on the video!! I’ve been keeping an eye out for years. As far as I can tell, there aren’t any in the works.

We’d all buy one, right? You’d think this is something that would be available by now, even if it were a custom, highly priced item.

No such luck.

Isn’t it a bit too chunky?

Wah Chang also built those Hand Lasers in the Cage.

in the 70ties I would have screamed for it – my own communicators were from thick paper, painted with watercolours and stickers glued on it …

… but for today? I’m in my fourties right now and don’t want a toy, to lay it down in my vitrine.

Hey, my whole life I wished for having a communicator to actually “use” it.

I want a cell phone inside this treasure – this has to be possible :) I’m an aduld german fan and would pay for it and would give something for it.

Please, make this possible somehow or I have to open up this replica to do this on my own with a small cell phone.

These putative parties wherein trek toys are cool conversation starters … any wimmin there?

This looks very good, I’m gonna get the new phaser and communicator. I can’t wait for a tricorder, though. I already have a Playmates Phaser II and a Playmates tricorder; the Playmates phaser is pretty good but the tricorder sucks! But so far no choice if you don’t want to spend some 500 bucks for a tricorder replica. (Even the Starship Exeter fan film guys had to use the Playmates tricorder!)

How they can sell this thing, with a machined metal antenna and a working motor, for $19-$29…and still make a profit, is beyond me. We’ve come a long way from the oversized blue mego communicators of the 70’s! The TOS communicator with that crazy alien-esque spinning moire and that gold flip top antennae is still the best.

This “toy” is gonna sell like crazy.

Looks cool, my friend gave me one of the old ones that has a calculator, voice recorder and clock all built in!

“Another unique feature is that you can push a button to set the communicator to hail you five seconds later with the familiar sound effect.” Actually, it’s not unique. That’s the same way the Master Replica’s TOS communicator works. :)

This is much better than my TOS Communicator with hidden calculator. Ordered mine just now. Wish we could promote the site but I had to choose “other” when I was asked where I heard of EE.

I bought the one with the calculator hidden under the moire dial too. However, I left the batteries in too long and they leaked, rusted the insides or whatever, and ruined it. Doesn’t work anymore. It wasn’t my favorite but I thought it was a cool little novelty item to have. Hate that I let that happen. That’s why all my MasterReplicas versions are in their cases without batteries.

When the tricorder comes out I hope it has the little McCoy analyzer device to fit in the storage compartment underneath. That’s a cool little touch I had hoped for with the MasterReplicas version.

y’know, i’m a pretty hardcore fan, but i’ve never had any interest in collectables, toys, vidgames, comics, costumes or anything other marketing stuff. (not that i don’t really enjoy hanging out at ‘forbidden planet’ every time i’m on union square…)

this communicator, however, really tempts me. i think it’s the “call back” feature. oh sure, fun at parties, but somehow pulling it out of my suit when i’m on a crowded F train, real deadpan, sounds like more fun. anyway. does anyone know if paramount gets a piece of my $29? i feel rather as if they’ve taken enough cash for a few years…

But my brother already has a TOS communicator from a while back so I’m more interested in the phaser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, the idea for a tricorder sounds good!!!!!!!!!!!

#29—I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would. The ring tone would have to be Uhura’s voice saying, “Enterprise to Captain Kirk”! But yes, the exact looks of a TOS communicator with modern cell phone function! Why anyone hasn’t done that yet is beyond me.

I’m apparently one of the last humans on Earth without a cell phone (don’t worry, my wife and kids have them); they’re largely an annoyance to me. I wish folks would hold conversations like Kirk had: “Kirk to Enterprise. Four to beam up. Kirk out.” Quick. To the point. And he managed it in a normal tone of voice.

That said, I would cave in and join the 21st century if someone would make a cell phone that looked exactly like the TOS communicator, with a “boop-boop” ring tone, and which you could program to call people by just flipping it open and saying “Scott to Joe Smith.”

Scott B. out.

I clicked to EE via the above pic and ordered two. Does Trekmovie get some change for helping EE make a sale? You should; I hope so.

#30 Too chunky?
YES. The MR was, the STE comm which it was based on was, and now this one has the same fat bottom. MR and their dealings with the Chinese factory were responsible for the screw up. Now though, it’s actually, yes, CANON, since an MR appeared in that ENT “Mirror Darkly” episode.
I hate the look, but the features make it too good to pass up.
For the REAL stories on the classic communicators, go to
It’s a great site.

I seem to recall reading about a company that suppoesedly built a device that was a rudementry Tricorder. I think our technology probably produce on now that could do the the same things probably even more then the one on the original show.

$29.00 for the communicator and $27.00 for the phaser? I’d be an idiot to pass this up! :)

Guess its time to start preparing the old costume for the movie release. Especially now that can have all the required landing party equipment.

make sure u lose some weight;)

22. Nifty. I’ve been pondering trying to put a bluetooth headset into one of those ear-things that Uhura and Spock used.