Trek back with Mattel and many more big names
As reported yesterday, CBS Products is at the New York Licensing Expo this week talking up the Trek brand. Today CBS has officially announced over a dozen new Trek licenses with partners like Mattel, Fortune Fashions, Pez many more. The licenses cover things from toys, to electronic devices, to clothes, to food, to bedding, so the next year is shaping up to be a Trek collectors dream.
The new Trek licenses cover a wide variety of areas, here is a quick breakdown.
Lots of new Trek toys and games from Mattel
Mattel, the world’s largest toy company, has licensed the worldwide rights to create numerous branded products including a line of Star Trek-themed Barbie® Collector dolls; Tyco® R/C flying radio controlled vehicles; a Scene It?® DVD game that includes content from Star Trek television series and movies; and a 20Q Star Trek trivia game. Mattel has had a Trek license before, in the late nineties they made a few toys including TOS-era themed Barbie and Ken dolls. However, this new license appears much more extensive.
Trek T-Shirts and costumes
Fortune Fashions will introduce a line of “fashion-forward, trend-right tees” featuring iconic characters and phrases from the Star Trek universe for the U.S. Fortune joins other recent T-shirt licensees Steve & Barry’s and Junkfood in the U.S. and NTD in Canada. And Rubies is back; the costume maker who had the worldwide license for Trek costumes for years before letting it lapse now has it again.
Trek candy and cakes.
The CBS release included the official announcement of the Star Trek Pez, which TrekMovie.com previewed last weekend. In addition, CBS announced DecoPac will be making Trek-themed cake decorating kits for US and Canada and Les Chocolats Vadeboncoeur will be doing Trek Easter chocolates in Canada. CBS also announced that Hallmark (who already make Trek ornaments and greeting cards) will now do Trek party supplies, which should go along great with your Trek cake.
Polar Lights and AMT Models
CBS also announced a new licensing deal with Round Two (for USA and Canada) who are the new owners of the Polar Lights and AMT brand model kits. So we should expect some new models coming down the road soon, and in fact a re-issue of the Polar Lights TOS-era Enterprise has already been announced for Fall.
Collectible stamps and key chains.
Two more licenses will come as good news to collectors. IGPC will be providing Trek collective stamps, which are stamps issued from around the world and resold in collectors packages. Plus Basic Fun will be making Trek figural key chains (USA & Canada), which are likely to be similar to the new Star Wars key chains available now at retailers.
But wait, there’s more
Other new Trek licensees announced by CBS:
- Dreamlink (US) – USB computer accessories
- GIT (Worldwide) – Digital collection of all Star Trek comics published through 2005
- Northwest (US & Canada) – Pillows and throws
- Armitron/E. Gluck Corporation (US & Canada) – Watches
Star Trek movie helping the big push
Clearly the Summer 2009 Star Trek feature is increasing interest in the Trek brand, allowing for this big expansion. In the official release CBS Executive Vice President Liz Kalodner noted:
We want to make the brand more accessible to not only those fans of Star Trek, but to all those fans of pop culture who appreciate the brand for what it represents. With a feature film release set for May 2009, Star Trek will be introduced to a whole new generation.”
This is big
This list is very exciting for collectors and general fans. While Star Trek certainly has been marketed widely during the last four decades, it has not been marketed this widely, with this kind of variety, all at the same time. Secondly, the list (combined with the earlier announcement that Playmates will be doing Toys and collectibles for the Star Trek feature film) shows that CBS Consumer Products is trying to engage all kinds of fans. There are products geared to all ages and to women, men, and families. Also, CBS is trying to introduce Star Trek to other kinds of collectors. Stamp, Barbie, Pez, and radio controlled vehicle collectors are their own subcultures. These kinds of products are for those brand collectors and Star Trek fans. It is a great way to introduce Star Trek to a wider audience at retail stores and with these kinds of hobbies. It also means that the Star Trek film marketing, much like Indiana Jones, will involve both retro Trek and new Trek. For example, the Indy film toys now are based not only on the newest film, but also the previous features. There will obviously be plenty of TOS items this year as get closer to the film. Basically, what this all means is that in 2008 and 2009, Star Trek is finally one of the “big guys” of marketing. Many of the items on the list are the kinds of products you see with Star Wars, and it is great to think that Star Trek has the potential of being in the same league. Frankly, its about time.
More details to come
There are still more details to be revealed about the specific products from the new licensees, so look for future ‘Collective’ columns to bring you news and previews of what we can expect in Trek Merchandise over the next year.
Sounds like CBS is really jumping on this Trek movie, hoping it is a fresh start for the franchise like I hope it is. /pray Come on, Star Trek!
Thanks for the article, John. It’s great to see that license holders are embracing Trek in a new way. I just hope they don’t go overboard like the Episode I overhype that you couldn’t avoid.
Yay! Stuff for me to buy!!
I’d love to be able to buy my toddler some Star Trek pajamas like the ones sold in the early 70s!
All I can say is: ABOUT BLOODY TIME! Finally, Trek will get the mass marketing it righteously deserves. It even might catch up with all the Star Wars marketing too. They need to overexpose Trek to the point of insanity! I applaud CBS for doing a fine job on these deals with the companies. Also, I CAN FINALLY GET AN RC FLYING ENTERPRISE! How sweet is that?!
I’m already buying an iPhone! Gawd… my wallet is going to be sore.
How about some decent Trek video games, the last few years they have put out mostly crappy games?
This is awesome… I grew up on Trek, and now, just before turning 28, I can see it resurrect. I never stopped believing, I never gave up on it, even at its very worst.
Long live TREK… and may it propser like never before!
Easter chocolates? Cool!
Ummmmmmmmmmm.. Star Trek Barbies????!?!?? Complete with a USS Enterprise Hair Dresser set? :-D
I remember the huge merchandising push that STTMP got when I was a little kid. “Star Trek – The Motion Picture” was plastered over everything and soooooo much of that merchandise just sat on the shelves for so long. A lot of companies got burned on that film and it hurt Star Trek merchandising for years after. Hopefully the same thing won’t happen this time. Any project that results in me being able to buy quality TOS merchandise is fine with me.
Cool! Can’t wait untill costumes and t-shirts come out!
Hey CBS how about starting a new series instead of smooching off of Paramount’s movie.
It’s official… I’m going bankrupt next year.
WOW!!! I’m excited about that. I’ll definitely be spending money on some Trek stuff next year. Woo-hoo!!!
I must confess I am just slightly ambivalent about this, just a tad. I mean, I want Star Trek toys, err “Role Playing Devices”, like the next fan: you know, the book, the soundtrack, the special edition DVD and a good model kit (I still have a TOS-era kit in its packaging waiting for that just-out-of-reach breather when studying and raising kids don’t stalk my attention). However, the “one of the big boys” approach to Star Trek that this marketing suggests concerns me. Can anyone name a film that, backed with such merchandising, was also a “critical” success? Sure, there have been plenty of “blockbuster” successes and huge money-makers but these are, well, popcorn films: you check your brain at the door and enjoy the huge excesses that pour over you from the screen. Spiderman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Transformers — big, ballistic experiences but kinda low on grey matter.
This is because in order to recoup their money from the largest possible audience, the film’s content and themes are self-consciously marketed to a teenage commercial constituency, aka the thirteen year old boy. This makes sense from a money-making point of view since film producers are sensitive to the purchasing potential of children and teens who can exert considerable influence over the income dispensed by subordinate parents. So they create films that draw these crowds via a style of storytelling which does not pretend to touch upon anything too deeply nor too seriously and instead expects to be regarded often like a “comic-book”. These comic book films are supported by huge marketing and merchandising campaigns, where there is something for everyone, an ecosystem of movie-themed paraphenalia. Now I have no problem with this kind of film. But I do have a problem with it if this kind of movie-making is keyed in with the current Star Trek film. Afterall, most of what I have liked has never been commercially popular: Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, etc.
Perhaps this is what is meant by the comment that “this isn’t your fathers’ star trek”? I think of the cheap sets from TOS counterbalanced by often sophisticated story-telling; a little 12 million epic called “The Wrath of Khan”; the intimate “Voyage Home”; even the “Final Frontier”, which, for all of its faults, has some of the best character moments ever put on screen …. I think it is difficult for someone like myself to see the huge investment in merchandising as a positive tick for the new film, mainly because such promotion usually follows comic-book films. That is not to say that I am not also encouraged by some of the other things I have read about the new film as I lurk on this website — this is what I meant by my ambivalence. Course, that I am encouraged at all is because of the superb viral marketing campaign that the new Star Trek production team have underway.
To put Theodor Adorno’s theory of the Culture Industry into a contemporary setting, the comic-book genre, in drawing its material from canonical publications, has been developed “into a formula which, to a certain degree, pre-establish[es] the attitudinal pattern of the spectator before … [they are] confronted with any specific content and which largely determines the way in which any specific content … [will be] perceived”. I beginning to think this is also true for Star Trek fans like myself who are more hospitable to a new Star Trek film if from the very early stages of production it follows the rules of representation laid down before it by the previous films and TOS episodes that preceded it. We are thus shaped from quite early on to be the perfect paying audience member based on our loyalty to specific canonical Star Trek material and the new film’s careful mining of that loyalty so that we might, just might, overlook the possibility that Star Trek has gone mainstream and in so doing has imported all the practices that attend the making of a blockbuster, popcorn movie hit.
Phew! Off my soapbox now!
Did anybody go to the con in Las Vegas last year or maybe the year before? I had heard that they had Hello Kitty/Borg tee shirts and of course I can’t find them anywhere. I was just wondering if anyone had seen them.
STAR TREK BED SHEETS!!! THEY SAID STAR TREK BED SHEETS!!!
I CAN FINALLY SLEEP WITH 7 of 9, and BEVERLY!!!
What about the Hallmark Ornaments?
I know this is probably the wrong thread to be posting this, but this is something I think you guys are going to ejoy, if you haven’t seen ti already:
The redshirt who dies with the most Trek toys wins!
I agree with #9. Just get me some decent Trek video games.
#18 — Jas in Perth
I couldn’t agree with you more
I hope they don’t pull another Star Trek the Motion Picture merchandising scheme by “counting the chickens before their eggs have hatched.” That little merchandising over-extention cost fans quality products for nearly a decade. I remember being disappointed as a child by not having any toys to go with the Trek films of the eighties. (Yes, there were those figures from ST 3, but good luck finding those in the toy stores of 1984 when your a small child!) They need to to be a little more considerate of certain realities of marketing, and be sure not to repeat the same mistakes again.
Just my opinion…
Spockanella#19- In the Promanade (a couple gift shops inside The Experience) there are so many types of Trek t-shirts it would boggle your mind. I am not sure about the ones to which you refer; however, I bought three last year that I wear proudly. Shall I tell you what they say? Okay!
1) I helped Spock survive his Pon Farr
2) I am James T. Kirk’s love slave
3) Spock mindmelded with me and all I got was this lousy T-shirt
Scene It? and 20 Questions all about Star Trek? Damn, I am so ready to launch Operation: Annihilate on all of my friends…finally, some games I know I can win!
The Star Trek Scene It is very welcome, indeed. I really hope the T-shirts are well-designed, I’ve never been thrilled with any of the licenced shirts available over the past couple decades — I certainly wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any of those dorky shirts advertised for years in the back of the Star Trek Communicator fan club magazine. Sounds like they’re really making a merchandising push this coming year. Just hope we don’t get smacked over the head with Trek the way we were with Star Wars merchandise/crap when the prequels were in theatres (question: is Neelix the Jar Jar of Star Trek?). Thankfully most of the above-mentioned stuff isn’t kiddie-related (no birthday party paper plates, back-to-school merch, pajamas, etc — yet) though I’m sure we’ll get the obligatory fast-food tie-in when the time comes. Model kits? Do people still do these? Okay, I’m kidding there — I’ve always done the Trek models (there goes my cool guy cred)…
#18 — Jas in Perth
I hear you, I really do. But then I also think Anthony and the staff writers here are onto something with that “What we can learn about Abrams’ Trek from MI:III” namely that that little Abrams opus didn’t seem to give a rat’s ass about impressing 12-year olds — and I think that’s great! I feel the movie is gonna impress us, probably even challenge us (certainly gonna challenge the perceptions and expectations of the die-hard fans). Let’s wait and see where all this goes.
…Star Trek-themed Easter Candy? Lemme guess – Tribble Peeps and Foil-Wrapped Chocolate Horta Eggs? :-)
” 3) Spock mindmelded with me and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”
I like it!
The new Star Trek Mego replicas look fantastic!
This better not suck.
” 3) Spock mindmelded with me and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”
I like it too!
#18 “We might, just might, overlook the possibility that Star Trek has gone mainstream…”
Too late. 20 years too late. It happened when TNG became a success. Nearly all the energy and focus in Trek fandom dissipated n the late 80s and early 90s. With endless TV series and the internet who needs clubs and cons, right?
wow. my head is spinning. can this be true!?
How much do you foresee spending on Trek merchandise over the next year?
Was my soul an option? It should have been.
I want them all! I mean, all the REAL TOS collectibles – not the based on TOS ones, the re-imagined ones, the re-invented ones, the crisped up ones; and most important of all, Kirk & Co. MUST look like Shatner & Co….
Ok, let them produce one or two different t-shirt designs with Pine et al in addition to all the real TOS gems – the kids should have some fun, too…;
I was wondering are these items going to be TOS based or Abrams TOS based in nature, or a mixture?
RUBIES !?!?!?!?!?! ARGHHHHHH….they are NOT of the body and and are masters of shoddy mediocrity :(
40, 41. That’s something we as fans need to consider in the near future: we’re going to start seeing a lot of Trek merchandise that have the TOS characters but are not going to have any TOS actors’ faces on them, with the exception of Nimoy. This will only increase as we get ever closer to the film’s premiere. I think we will still see some new stuff for the old school TOS fans with the original actors’ faces, but it’s definitely going to be different in the months leading up to May ’09.
Hey #15 MORN SPEAKS,
I think you mean ‘mooching’ and not ‘smooching’
Check The Star Trek Experience store for those “Hello Kitty” Borg shirts. My wife Mary Jo has one of these shirts and we ordered from there. There are also Ferengi and Klingon “cute” shirts. https://www.startrekexp.com/store/cart.php?m=product_list&c=504
#22: I believe this year’s Hallmark ornament is the U.S.S. Reliant–someone please correct me if I am wrong.
I would think the CBS Merchandising is capitalizing on on what is to be a big push by Paramount for the new film. Paramount will presumable manage the Trek XI merchandise separately.
CBS, I am sure, will begin pushing the TOS-R packs bigtime as well.
this is all VERY good news!
#40 “and most important of all, Kirk & Co. MUST look like Shatner & Co….”
This raises an interesting question. Who’s likeness will be on what? And if they choose to have, on the shelves at the same time, merchandising reflecting JJ’s Trek and TOS, will that confuse people’s decisions on what to buy? And what will the merchandisers use on the packaging to differentiate Star Trek 66 from Star Trek 09?
It will be interesting to see the two “StarTrek”s co-exist and compete against one another on the store shelves.