TrekMovie’s Best Of Star Trek In 2008 – Merchandise

Well 2008 is almost at an end and so for the next few days TrekMovie will be looking back at the year that was. The editors have combed through the year to pick the Best of 2008 in a number of categories and today we start off with the best Star Trek merchandise of the year. See below for our picks for the best toys, figures and all the fun stuff for the year.


It has been a good year for collectors with all sorts of great new Star Trek items covering various eras, product types and price ranges. After combing through all of our news and reviews, we have picked our favorite items for the year.

Best Toy – Diamond Select TOS Communicator
There are few toys that receive near universal praise, and the Diamond Select Toy role playing TOS Communicator toy is one of those. It has nearly everything both collectors and role players want, an iconic item, great details, fun features, and all for just $29.99. The toy has everything from lighting and sound effects, to a spinning moiré, to the very fun call back feature so you can feel like one of the crew, all wrapped in an amazingly authentic shell, considering the price. [Full TrekMovie review w/ video]

DST’s TOS Communicator is accurate, fun and cheap…what else can you ask for?

Best Action Figure – DST / EMCE Retro Cloth Khan
If there is one trend in collectibles for 2008 it is the retro cool of The Original Series. In preparation for the film, many licensees are releasing items that hearken to good old days with everything from PEZ to Christmas statues bearing the likeness of Kirk, Spock and the TOS era characters. When DST and EMCE Toys decided to release their first ever original MEGO styled action figure, the choice was superior: Khan Noonien Singh as seen in "Space Seed." With this figure, fans got a true postmodern item — a totally new, yet retro action figure. The 2008 Khan features an incredible sculpt that at once was recognizably Montalban and yet also very much in the style of the MEGO action figures. [Full TrekMovie review]

Khan is the superior figure of 2008…of course

Best Ship – Johnny Lightning’s TAS Romulan Ship
Johnny Lightning ships are nicely detailed toys that retail for about $7. It is nice to have a collectible that is both affordable and offers such a nice variety of ships. This year, eight ships from all versions of Star Trek were added to the JL line, and while an honorary mention belongs to the Star Trek III destruct version of the USS Enterprise, perhaps the neatest item was the Romulan D7 battlecruiser ship based on the animated episodes. There has never been a great deal of items available from TAS, nor of the Romulan D7 and it nice to have a cool and detailed item from JL. [Full TrekMovie preview]

TAS gets its own ship toy from Johnny Lightning

Best Collectible  – Rittenhouse "Movies in Motion" Lenticular Cards
Offering lenticular (moving) trading cards of all 10 Star Trek films, the newest set from Rittenhouse is a wonder. The technology on the cards is amazing, as if the cards a like movie theaters showing a few frames of the film. By tilting the cards, fans can watch Kirk yell "Khannnn!" or Spock’s eyebrow express "fascination." Each box has three signed cards from various feature film actors and is a great item for those fans who do not like collecting toys. Also nice is that there are images from both TOS and TNG characters. [Full TrekMovie review]

Relive Khan with a 3-D card, one of many in the Rittenhouse movie set

Best Collectible News of the Year – So Many Licensees
Last year TrekMovie put product licensing on our ‘worst’ list for 2007, but what a difference a year makes. In June of 2008 CBS announced over a dozen new Star Trek licensing deals and more deals have been announced throughout the year covering products related to the new movie as well as ‘classic’ trek merchandise. New licensees (for example, PEZ, 20Q, Burger King), returning licensees (Mattel, Playmates) and continuing licensees (Pocket Books, DST) help show what we fans have always known, that Star Trek has value and is an attractive franchise. Star Trek is starting to be seen in retail stores again (Toys R Us, Walmart) which is a sign of its return to the mainstream, something Star Trek deserves and the sheer amount of licensees help to demonstrate.

First ever Trek PEZ came out in 2008

Worst Collectible News of 2008 – DST Delays
All in all 2008 was a good year and there really aren’t any products that we can point to as totally sucky. In fact the only real thing that qualifies for a ‘worst list’ are the delays of many of the Diamond Select items that were supposed to arrive in time for the Christmas season, including the TOS Tricorder, the Enterprise D ship model and many more figures and toys. Apparently the Olympics in China caused the delays, but some of these items have been on pre-order for over a year. But at least it saved some cash for collector’s this Christmas. 

DST’s D, one of the items not delivered in 2008

What we are looking forward to in 2009
Of course 2008’s loss is 2009’s gain as those DST items are will be coming out in coming months and Spring, and they will be butting up against all the movie toys as well. Here are some of the things we are most looking forward to in 2009.

Prototype of R/C flying Enterprise (the communicator is the controller!)

More Best of 2008 coming up
There is a lot more ground to cover in 2008. In the next few days we will be picking the best official productions, fan productions, and news & events from the world of Star Trek, along with our ‘Trekkies of the Year’ so stay tuned. 



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Looking forward to my TOS Tricorder. I’ve been wanting one of those for about 35 years…

Agreed, the delays were annoying. The D and TOS Tricorder look awesome.

It pisses me off that its known as the TWOK phaser. We all know it’s the TMP phaser Art Asylum, and that you’re just trying to brand yourself with the more popular movie.

I’ll bet you if they do the assault phaser it will be called the Star Trek VI phaser and not the Star Trek V phaser, just watch.

“It pisses me off that its known as the TWOK phaser. We all know it’s the TMP phaser Art Asylum, and that you’re just trying to brand yourself with the more popular movie.”

Sorry. The fact is, the TMP phaser was slightly redesigned for WRATH OF KHAN; the shape of the prop remained unchanged, but the backlit graphics on the phaser’s top surface were replaced with all-new ones. Diamond Select’s version is very definitely based on the WOK design.

Don’t believe me? Check out this page at’s online store: the phaser on the left is the TMP version, the one on the right is WOK.

Correction to #4: there were in fact slight physical changes to the phaser body between the two films, as the photo makes clear…

Does anyone care? TWOK TMP?

Start saving your pennies. 2009 will be HUGE for collectors, myself included. With Toys R Us on board it will be nice to snag at least some of this stuff at decent prices. Hate being at the total mercy of the pricier comics/collectibles shops eh? (Guess where eh?).

I was given the PEZ as a present this Christmas…….TWICE! :)

These delays have always been a problem with the Art Asylum stuff. And we’re not talking a few weeks but months. What’s the matter with these people?
But you always got an excellent model/toy in the end.

I looked for two weeks for the PEZ collection. I never found one. I went to dozens of Walgreen’s and over 25 different WalMart in California, Arizona, and Nevada. I never found a set.


11 – Playmates lost the license in 1998 after not wanting it anymore, they did release the WOK phaser and TUC phaser but they are not available from shops anymore.

The difference is that DST specialize in replica toys and will have far more detail and accuracy to their phasers than Playmates had, plus these will be available from shops rather than just ebay.

My son got me the Pez collection. I decided not to leave it in the box. I know. I know… but… I’m a Candy Dispensor not a Doctor, Dammit!

I got no Trek this Christmas. Again. :(

But my army of Daleks grows. :)

I too was disappointed about the Ent D being delayed but know that any model that says “Earl Grey Hot” is well worth the wait! Got a Corgi Bird of Prey instead from my brother and I love it, the light up display stand is a brilliant idea, really makes the model.


“Looking forward to my TOS Tricorder. ”

Yeah me too. Hear it’s been moved back even further. That communicator WAS the greatest. My two yr old son has his own too.

Ugh…that mega-creepy Kirk screaming “Khaaan” figure…

It’s Trilogy of Terror all over again…

They forgot to mention the Master Replicas Mark IX Science Tricorder that was supposed to be out last year and still hasn’t shipped…

Totally got the Pez collection for Hanukkah and it’s awesome. Looking forward to more cool collectibles in 2009!

I’m waiting for someone to make a TOS communicator cell phone. It is an item that is way overdue

Gotta agree with that DST TOS communicator vote. Easily one of my favorite movie collectibles.

Does anyone know if the retro-Mego Khan will be available more widely or will it remain exclusive to just a few vendors?

20: Yes, bring on that communicator cell phone already!

I’d get me a communicator cellular telephone… despite that all I coulda do would be call Scotty. I mean, no more spammy email, no more lewd textin’ ta’ me attorney, no more taking pictures o’ resteraunt floors wit’ me phone (pictures wit’ yer phone? … which be like making copies wit’ yer toaster) … all I could do is call Scotty.

And have him send me some o’ that kneck candy…

I glued 24 lazor pointers ta’ a distress flare ta’ make me own phazor… burned some fur off tha’ cat… No worries, little puss-puss wuz OK enough ta’ bite me arm. Hmmmm… maybe I can make some toast wit’ it since me toaster is pre-occupied wit’ documents… Oh, no it’s burnin’ me birth certificate and that winnin’ lottery stub fur two grand! Bad toaster! Should teach ye’ inner peace and become a tao-ster…

2009- New ship toy, new Kirkie doll, new sports car vehicle….

Sports car? Wait a tic…


First: LOL!

#23, BND: You just reminded me of the way they talk in “A Piece of the Action”; that TOS episode. xD

And, I gotta agree: This was a pretty good list. :3

Any word on new waves of JL ships? Wouldn’t mind seeing the Defiant-class Defiant, the Enterprise-E, and some more variants names and registries, like the old Lexington, the TOS-R D7s, and the Venture from DS9.

25, I agree. Unfortunately JL has been using the same model for far too long. It would be nice to see some new stuff. I’d add to your list the Excelsior, Romulan D’Deridex, Klingon Vor’Cha, Klingon BoP, Cardassian Galor, Ferengi Marauder, Romulan Science Ship, Enterprise-B, Enterprise-C, Type 6 & 11 Shuttlecrafts, etc. There is plenty of material out there that JL has yet to utilize. I hope that they will soon.

I agree with TrekMovie’s pick of “Best Toy of 2008.” The Classic Communicator is indeed the best of this year.

I’m looking forward to DST’s Ent-D. I have the DST Ent-E proudly on display and I hope to put the Ent-D right next to it next year.

Never saw the PEZ collection in any store nor have I been able to find any of the Johnny lightening ships. Are these things only found in certain regions of the country? I am awaiting the Kirk/Spock TMP figures that should be out on the 31st! And I may have to get that TOS tricorder.

I’m so glad the communicator images were labeled ‘open’ and ‘closed’.


Check thease out, first pic’s that I have seen on the new toys?

Wish they were bigger to see the detail……

Darth “Captains New Ballz” Ballz


I like the Phaser in Uhuras hand…

What about Round 2 re-releasing the 1/1000th Enterprises (NCC-1701 & NX-01), Klingon D7, and the anouncement of the 1/1000th scale Akira class coming in 2009? Also the release in 2010 of the TOS Enterprise in 1/350th scale.

There is a lot of excitement in the Trek model world, I’m also looking forward to the re-release of the 1/1400 Enterprise E in Feb 2009 ….

That Khan figure looks bowlegged.

i gotta say i’m looking forward to the remote control Enterprise…

29 –

wow..those look pretty convincing…now I want to see the new communicator!!

If this was the best, I’d hate to see the worst.

I bought the DST phaser and communicator from Hastings, a media store. They are great and are definately superior for the price. I have the Playmate versions except for Dr. McCoy’s instruments. They are great too, but a little less detailed. But, they were sure worth the $15 each I paid when they were still in stores. The tricorder was the coolest. I’m looking forward to the DST tricorder.

Thanx so much for the kudos on Khan, quite an honor. Hopefully everyone will feel the same way about Chekov, Sulu and the Gorn when they finally arrive.

On that note, re: delays, I can say as a supplier/partner with DST that the challenges presented by Chinese manufacturing processes this year have aged many of us in the toy business prematurely. It’s frustrating not to have had the Gorn out by Christmas, for example, despite it being in the planning stages for almost a year. We’re not curing cancer or launching real spaceships, so it boggles the mind that squeezing out a piece of cloth-covered plastic could be so difficult. Next year will prove even more challenging, as new toy import regulations will go into effect in February.

And our side of the business isn’t even that difficult compared to the work Art Asylum is doing wih DST. I have one of their communicators too, and I’m amazed at the detail (I can’t wait for the Tricorder, either). I would not want to be in their shoes when it comes to trying to get these things made, however, so they’re to be commended for getting the darn things complete and out the door at all.

Anyway, thanx for all the kind words on the MEGO stuff and here’s to the triumphant return of Trek in 2009!

Joe Sena/Paul Clarke

Yeah, it sure does suck that DST’s toys are always delayed by about six months. But all the bitching isn’t going to do anything. And it seems to be their MO. I remember the bad old days when there were NO trek toys to be had. Or the ones that did get released sucked badly.

I STILL can’t wait for my Tricorder, but I have learned not to pre-order anything from my friends at DST. Just let me know when the Enterprise D gets released and I’ll buy one. Just hope I don’t spend all my money on the ships and gear from the ne movie. wink,wink.

Joe Sena —

Your Khan is bow-legged.

How is that a compliment?

Fix it’s legs and I’ll compliment it…thus!

Oh…a BIG P.S.:

Stop putting Chinese slaves to work and put AMERICANS to work and maybe then you’ll see a faster turnaround of product…and maybe then your Khans won’t be bow-legged.

China is an enemy nation. You might never get those Gorns and when you do, they’ll likely be bow-legged too!

Late to the party…

What — no love for any of the Hallmark ornaments?

Love the DST communicator. Looking forward to the DST tricorder.

Got the PEZ set from my mom for Christmas. A complete surprise. My wife got me The Encyclopedia Shatnerica — another complete surprise, and a fun book.

Looking forward to the Mego-esque Gorn, and I don’t collect Mego figures at all. I just love the original Gorn. Love him. My favorite OS alien.

Invader: if you want to spend $150 on a DST tricorder, it can have “Made in USA” stamped on it. ;-)

Scott B. out.