One of the coolest Star Trek props ever is the Starfleet Assault Phaser from Star Trek V and Star Trek VI. Now you can have your own, courtesy of Master Replicas. We have a full review with photos and videos, plus an exclusive video preview of the upcoming MR Mark IX Tricorder.
REVIEW STARTREK V & VI STARFLEET ASSAULT PHASER
Master Replicas — MSR $499.00
From a phaser to a gun
One element that’s been relatively consistent, and consistently interesting, over the Star Trek TV and movie franchise (TNG notably excepted) is the design of the Starfleet sidearm, the phaser. From the original series design executed by Matt Jefferies and finalized by artist Wah Chang, this pistol energy weapon has retained its unique "two-in-one" design, with a small, rectangular "phaser one" or hand phaser locked into a larger, pistol-shaped "phaser two"—and a distinctive, rear-swept silhouette that has always set the phaser off from the countless other blasters, lasers and other sci fi ray guns seen in film and television over the years.
Like some other aspects of the series, the phaser design was advanced enough that when Trek briefly underwent development for a "Phase II" TV series the original design was retained almost unaltered. But when the Phase II project morphed into Star Trek – The Motion Picture, a sleeker, simplified "BMW" gray phaser was designed, and this phaser was retained for Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan. For Star Trek III, Nilo-Rodis came up with an equally sleek design that was nonetheless much closer to the look of the original Matt Jefferies phaser, but when William Shatner took on the reigns of Star Trek V – The Final Frontier, he instructed his prop designers to come up with a phaser that was more like a real gun.
Phasers from TOS, STII & STIII
Elements of the Colt .45 automatic pistol originally developed in the early 20th Century were incorporated into the Trek V phaser, including a big, textured grip with a removable "clip," a sliding upper cowl similar to the sliding breech on a .45, and several side mounted "safeties" and releases very much in the mold of the classic Colt pistol. The black metal/silver trim finish and heat vents finish the effect of what could almost be described as a "steampunk" phaser pistol.
A Colt. 45: Shatner wanted the real gun feel for ST V
Master Replicas was the first company to do serious, functional licensed prop replicas from the Star Trek franchise, and their classic original series phaser remains the standard for this type of product—an amazing, all metal reproduction of the original series prop with something like 11 different sound and light settings and all kinds of functionality. All of that was based on research on the actual prop (it did several things which for one reason or another were never demonstrated fully on the show) as well as three years’ worth of episodes that showed it doing all kinds of different things.
Master Replicas Klingon disruptor, TOS phaser
and the new assault phaser(click to enlarge)
To date the Starfleet "Assault Phaser" designed for Star Trek V has appeared Star Trek V and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and maybe a Voyager and Deep Space Nine episode or two. Nevertheless it’s one of the most popular and cool-looking incarnations of the phaser and Master Replicas announcement of an Assault Phaser at Comic Con a couple of years ago caused excitement among prop collectors.
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VIDEO: See the original assault phaser in action
Master Replicas shoots first
MR has delivered the goods with this, their third phaser replica (after the classic version and a Next Generation style "Cobra" phaser). Like the original prop, it’s huge—the chunkiest phaser we’ve yet seen in the series. Unlike MR’s classic phaser, the Assault Phaser is made of a mix of materials. The lower end of the removable clip, the upper front and rear protective cowl, the silver barrel and rear heat sink, the setting dial and side mounted cowl and clip releases are metal; the main body and hand grip are made of a hard, durable plastic—the equivalent of high-tech composite materials. Consequently the gun has a nice weight to it but it’s not as unwieldy as an all-metal take on the prop probably would have been.
The first phaser with a ‘clip’ to lock and load! (click to enlarge)
The functionality has been demonstrated on this site in an earlier piece but it’s worth explaining again: The clip is removable and released by the side "safety" just above the top rear of the grip; when you slide the clip in our out of position a metallic "loading" sound augments the action. The top of the clip is a glowing "ready" light that is visible when the forward cowl is slid forward—if it’s open when you load the clip you can see the glowing power light travel all the way up the inside of the grip. The bottom of the clip is a rubbery red plug with the Starfleet emblem that identifies the clip (or maybe the phaser itself) as from the Enterprise, numbered "070"—I assume these numbers are the same on all of the Assault Phasers replicas.
Bottom of the clip (click to enlarge)
Aside from the cowl release which snaps the cowl forward along a spring-loaded track on either side of the gun, the main function switch is the little silver setting wheel just above and behind the clip release. Turn that and a neat "wheeeee!" power up noise sounds. Depress the trigger and the "stun" sound coincides with a green activity light on the top rear of the phaser and of course the white barrel light that recreates the look of phased energy emerging from the barrel. This is a simple effect but the way it’s timed with the sound effect gives a very convincing feel—the barrel light is quite strong and really gives off a nice, realistic "glow." One of the problems with Master Replica’s classic TOS phaser was that the speaker was hidden underneath the removable phaser one and that muffled the otherwise extremely impressive sounds from the prop replica. Here the speaker is nicely hidden just behind the silver heat sink at the rear of the weapon and looks like another futuristic detail of the prop.
Top and side views, open and closed (click to enlarge)
When you fire, the power light in the energy clip is extinguished; after the phaser firing sound and light effect finishes, the power light surges back to full force, indicating that you’re ready to fire again. This is a really cool effect but in order to see it you have to have the cowl open. The Assault Phaser’s "phaser one" is a tiny device about the size of TNG’s "cricket phaser." It actually shows design elements of both Matt Jefferies original phaser one design and a touch of the TNG "cobra" phasers in its nose—the Master Replicas take on this is a small plastic piece with a frosted clear plastic indicator light on top—this is just a clear piece of plastic that transmits the light of the power clip up through it in order to make the phaser one look like it operates under its own power—it basically transmits the clip "ready" light so you see that effect whether the phaser one is inserted or not. One artifact of this is that you must have the energy clip inserted or the phaser one will just rattle loose inside the metal phaser cowl; the hand phaser snaps right over the top of the energy clip and is not attached to the phaser two at any other point. The "kill" setting is one notch higher on the setting wheel and gives off a different phaser noise, a variation of the "stun" sound without the little opening twist. You might wish for more sound and light effects but the Assault Phaser basically does everything that it’s shown to do in the two movies it appears in.
Lights on the clip and top show you are ready to fire (click to enlarge)
Like the other MR prop replicas it comes with an impressive metal display stand—the phaser grip slides sideways into this one and is held tightly in place, and there’s a column forward of the grip mount to hold the phaser one if you want to show that removed. You’ll have to keep the cowl shut if you want to display the phaser with the included clear Lucite display cover it as the open cowl extends just slightly past the edge of the display stand.
When you aren’t playing it makes a nice display (click to enlarge)
All in all this is a hugely impressive display piece—it’s the only Star Trek phaser that actually looks like a real gun (interior "collomator rings" visible through vents in the forward cowl and some subtle color variations in the grip details add greatly to the realism), and while I sort of object to the included literature’s dismissive description of the original Star Trek phasers (still my favorite take on the weapon) as "squirt guns," this is another lovingly crafted reproduction of a classic prop from the company.
VIDEO: Assault Phaser + Exclusive Preview of MR Tricorder
Master Replicas has provided TrekMovie.com with an exclusive first video look at their upcoming TNG era Mark IX Tricorder. The video also shows off the Assault phaser.
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And if you missed it, here is TrekMovie’s previously reported video of a MR rep demonstrating the assault phaser at the Las Vegas convnention
Master Replicas Assault Phaser
The assault phaser is starting to ship to some pre-orders now and you can reserve yours at masterreplicas.com or at Entertainment Earth, all orders should be shipped over the next few weeks. The Mark IX tricorder ships later in the fall.
I want this! Uh….can someone loan me $500?
pretty awesome stuff!
too bad I don’t have a spare $500 :(
No price is too high.
The Tricorder is pretty sweet. I don’t know if it’s $349 worth of sweet, but sweet nonetheless.
I have the phaser and I like it, but I am a little shocked at what looks like an intentionally misleading jump cut in the editing that “glosses over” the fact that you have to manually snap the P1 onto the top of the clip once the clip is inserted — and it ain’t easy. In reality, there is no way to insert the clip, fire, and then pop the cowl to show the P1 inside — it would be tumbling all over the place, loose.
Can’t wait to get my tricorder.
The more I watch that phaser video, the more pissed I get. Up until now I have been cutting MR a break. But that video is PURPOSELY edited to mislead, no two ways about it. If I bought the pahser based on that video, I would be pissed as hell when I got mine.
$500 for a toy gun when I could get a real one for $500. I suppose one stuns your friends and the other kills bad-guys.
Tough sell guys, I bet the props didn’t even cost that much to make, though they probably weren’t as detailed.
I have the tricorder pre-ordered!
hope i made the right choice….when these were announced, i had just enough extra cash to pre-order one…and i chose the tricorder so i’d have a little extra cash left. now after seeing the videos, the phaser is incredible, but i’m sure i’ll be happy with the tricorder. nice job, M.R.
I thought Master Replicas wasn’t around anymore?
This is something I unfortunately can not afford. If I could, I’d have the Phaser.
Me? I’m saving my sheckles for the Trek XI Master Replica phasers! >:)
Did anyone notice that the ID tag on the bottom of the assult phaser grip says NCC-1701, and not 1701-A?
I still have the Playmates version and for all intents and purposes its pretty damn good minus the funky lights so I prob wont spring for this. If they make the ST3 Phaser thats a different story, and the ST2 as well
I hope Diamond Select makes an assault phaser. BTW, the phaser is based on the Beretta 92F, not the Colt 1911.
why are they this price? are they real
Anyone else nostalgic for the STIII phaser?
I admit that when STIII came out, I was at the perfect age — it was summer after 4th grade, and I had been revved up about ‘Trek’ since the summer after 2nd grade, when I saw STII.
Between the ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’ films of that era, my boyhood imagination was quite captivated… so I’m sure the fact that I was at sort of a “magical age” influences my fondness for props, production design, musical scores, etc. from STII and III.
Ohh… Tomorrow is a work day Monday..
Do they make functional phasers? I need one.
I saw this at the Vegas Grand slam…Nice phaser but doesn’t work, or at least the one on display as well as the video shows..Nice phaser but the Rodd.com phaser is better..No offense!!!
The Star Trek III phaser is my favorite … One Phaser to Stun Them all. I have a non-functional fan prop version that displays nicely, but if MR really wanted to get my money, that’s the phaser I would shell out for.
As far as the MR Trek V phaser, I’m passing on that one, as I actually prefer the Playmates toy version. As you can see in the photos above, the Trek V phaser is ENORMOUS compared to the earlier models. The Playmates one is scaled down and about the same size as the TOS, TMP, and Trek III phasers, and I just prefer the way it looks – especially when they’re all displayed together, along with that great communicator from “The Cage” prop repro I bought from a guy on eBay a couple of weeks ago … nice ‘n’ clunky.
Search the words: Blu Ray Laser Phaser hack
…and learn now to make your own,
The Assault phaser was not based on a COLT .45
It was built on a Beretta 93 frame (as was the Robocop pistol).
> I saw this at the Vegas Grand slam…Nice phaser but doesn’t work, or at
> least the one on display as well as the video shows…
I was at the Creation Las Vegas Convention, and the MR rep demonstrated a working one in front of me. I was very impressed (but I was also thinking about modding it to get a laser light coming out of the front).
Oh, yeah, I asked the rep that MR should do a TOS phaser rifle.
This is a great model. I love it with how much care these replicas are produced. But the Assault Phaser is too militaristic for my tastes, as the name of it tells already. I prefer the sleek futuristic look of the TMP, WOK Phaser. The Assault Phaser looks too much like Rambo-goes-to-space.
Again, here’s my video review of the Assault Phaser replica.
Yes, I did rate it 3.9/10 and that rating still stands. It would have been 7.9 if it wasn’t for that dumb “charging” moment when you need to wait a whole three seconds before firing again. Phasers don’t and shouldn’t work that way! If you miss your target, you shouldn’t have to wait three whole seconds before you can fire another shot.
Still like the TOS type II phaser the best.
…the adventure continues…
Great review of one of my favorte sci-fi weaopns. I love MR’s classic TOS phaser, being all metal it has great heft really feels “real”. I’d love the MR assault phaser, it’s an awesome design by Richard Coyle that “means business”, but I just can’t get behid the plastic construction for that price point. They should have at least made the clip all metal to give the gun the needed “heft” to make it feel less toy-like while handling it.
Too expensive. It seems that most folks who market Star Trek stuff never took Marketing 101.
When you overprice stuff, you sell a LOT less of it.
Marketing 101 lesson: Lower Price, sell more, make more $$$.
At $199, I’d think about it. At the astronomical prices that MR sells stuff for… I’ll pass.
I bought a resin kit for $30.00 and it looks just as nice on my shelf. It doesn’t make sounds or light up. But, who cares about that?
I’d rather have that additional $300 in my bank account.
my favorit phaser,it would by nice with my original communicater in my collection
I’m afraid it would have to be capable of actually vaporizing a person (and Boy, can I think of a few who’d be eligible) or a building for me to even consider that kind of ridiculous money.
Really well done!
The whole “phasers should look like contempory guns” nonsense was part of Shatner’s unimaginative inability to actually understand “Star Trek” and it was an aggregation of many of these failures on his part that caused the film to be awful and ultimately a commercial failure all its own.
You could still argue the Assault phaser was the coolest thing in the film!
I definitely recall Shatner or someone mentioning the Colt .45 as the inspiration for this weapon; I don’t doubt that the prop was then ultimately “built” around the Beretta grip as the shape is obviously different. If you look at the clip release that seems to have come from the .45; the other releases are obviously from the Beretta. But seriously, I know I’ll be fried by gun collectors for saying this, but if you showed a civilian a Colt .45 and the Beretta how much would you think they’d notice the differences. The basic layout of the gun is quite similar, just shows what a classic design the .45 is.
Don’t forget, the TOS Phaser II also had a “clip”, although we never saw it used… the entire handle was designed to “unplug”, with brass prongs like an electrical cord, from the upper housing. This was the Power pack we heard mentioned in The Omega Glory. Essentially a battery cell for the whole pistol.
#33 Wow surprised you having a go at Shatner, you’re usually his biggest fan.
Your post is nonsense. You want to go after someone who didn’t understand the Star Trek universe when it comes to the cosmetic designs: Nick Meyer.
The guy had fire extinguishers in the corridors and crew members sharing bunk beds like they were on small submarines. He took the miltary analogy way too far.
Gene Roddenberry had a problem with a lot of his aesthetic choices for the movies. I don’t recall him ever saying he had a problem with the phasers in Star Trek V.
The phaser is awesome, but $500? What could possibly make it cost that much? Is it made of gold or some other precious metal? Even if I bought it I’d never want to take it out of it’s case. It’d be worth half as much as my car.
#33 “The whole “phasers should look like contempory guns” nonsense was part of Shatner’s unimaginative inability to actually understand “Star Trek” and it was an aggregation of many of these failures on his part that caused the film to be awful and ultimately a commercial failure all its own.”
Shatner’s “ability” as a director is suspect.
I asked him at a convention (just before “Generations” was released) if it was shot anamorphic Panavision (you know, like Star Trek V). He gave me a look like I had asked him for the personal locker combo in TOS!
This stuff is way outta my price range!
Ye’ all will shoot yer’ eye oot wit’ that!
And havta’ wear yerselves a patch…
> pretty awesome stuff! too bad I don’t have a spare $500 :(
Actually, at WilliamShatner.com, they have it at 10% off.
MR’s stuff is indeed pricey but the quality is excellent. I have a TOS phaser and communicator and I love ’em both.
Can’t afford to spring for anything else from them at the moment, but if I had the cash I’d get the TOS Tricorder.
I love MR’s stuff, but I’ve always felt that their prices are out-of-this-world high. I understand the deal: R&D, sculpting, manufacture, artificially low production (to drive the price) up, etc…but I don’t believe that they couldn’t put out an almost identical product and sell it for $200. Like someone just above said: lower price / sell more / make more $$.
Or, maybe I’m just bitter because I’ve never been able to afford one of their Trek items…
Vic, the MR TOS Tricorder is a thing of beauty. Its the only MR I shelled out for but wow is it gorgeous.
The good news is you can have it both ways: the Diamond/Art Asylum prop reproductions are excellent and have functionality on a par with the best MR pieces; if you want the collectibility and class of the metal and precision workmanship MR offers and you can afford it it’s there.
And to echo Jeff’s post, if the Art Asylum phaser was good enough to use onscreen in those “Enterprise” episodes, its good enough for my shelf. My own “Exploration Kit” is actually the Art Asylum phaser, the Master Replicas Tricorder, and the Star Trek Experience exclusive communicator, and they all look terrific together.
#33: I’m going to respectfully disagree. Fans may chalk it up to having no imagination, but seeing them in ST6 was really effective, you have to admit. They were big, black, dangerous looking, and SOUND like it on top of it. I don’t think any of the other phaser designs or sound effects would have worked as well. When I was a youngster watching ST6, I cringed because I certainly wouldn’t want one of those pointed at me.
Conclusion: If you bring sci-fi just a little closer to home in its design inspirations, people subconsciously understand and get into it a little better. Battlestar Galactica is a great example of this.
Cool for you if you like the “assault” phaser, but bigger and clunkier than the TOS phaser always struck me as going backward, not an evolution. The same with the Star Trek II communicator, that raw metal box (that I think was a rent-a-prop).
Such a weapon as the “assault” phaser should be left with the Federation marines, not the explorer-diplomacy arm of Starfleet.
@47 — Haha, Steve … I have the very same budget-minded “Exploration Set.” I also stumbled into a way to display them all nicely inside the tricorder display box.
Who said anything about clunky? It looks rather comfortable to hold, though most fans give that award to the ST3 phaser.