The Collective: Review – DST Star Trek TOS Medical Tricorder Toy

After a long wait, the Diamond Select Toys original series Star Trek Medical Tricorder roleplay toy is now available, as an exclusive through Entertainment Earth TrekMovie has a first review of the item that many fans have been waiting for, including lots of pictures and video.


There will be three versions of the Diamond Select Tricorder. This review focuses on the first to arrive which is the Medical version, an exclusive to Entertainment Earth (for $39.99). There will also be a Science version available at various retailers coming soon, and in the future DST will be releasing a geological tricorder.

DST Medical Tricorder

The TOS Medical Tricorder
Diamond Selects new tricorder is the first time a "full sized" tricorder to be made as an affordable toy for fans.  Playmates Toys had a miniaturized tricorder during the 1990s (about half the real size) and Master Replicas had a $400 prop replica.  However, the exclusive Medical Tricorder has many playable and fun features without being too expensive. 

Close-up on opened top w/ screen

Some of the feature are:

  • When opening the tricorder, a slight clicking noise is heard and the three button lights and the monitor are engaged
  • The middle section’s moiré spins in a nicely varied pattern
  • The tricorder features two looped sound effects
  • The tricorder features seven lines of dialog from Dr. McCoy ("Shock, radiation burns… internal injuries for certain", "This is medically impossible!",
    "Some heart flutter. Better risk a few drops of cordrazine", "Respiration normal; blood pressure normal","He’s in perfect health", "He’s dead, Jim",
    "I’m a Doctor, not a brick layer!")
  • The strap is adjustable
  • The "salt shaker" scanner includes sound effects and spins (with a manually pressed slide) 
  • The monitor, while a static image, also is lighted when tricorder is engaged

Video demonstration

The Diamond Select Medical Tricorder is a really great item, one that my seven year old son enjoyed playing with and which looks very nice as either a conversation item or along with the previously released role playing items.  Great for Halloween or convention costumes, this is a toy that almost seems like a tribute to Dr. McCoy.   As with most DST role play items, if you hold down the Dr. McCoy voice button, it will loop once all of his phrases. While it would have been nice if the ‘salt shaker’ medical scanner could have been designed to spin without having to continuously press the slide, that is the only real suggested improvement. Also you should be careful opening the lower door that holds the scanner asif you open it too far it can come off, but it is easily put back on.

DST Medical Tricorder w/ lower door open & close-up on scanner

The Packaging
The Medical Tricorder is packaged in the now familiar unified Star Trek style (logo, blue background, Enterprise).  A nice customization is that Dr. Leonard McCoy is appropriate positioned in the corner of the box (it is always good to see DeForest Kelley on any product).  The window allows for a "try me" function although you will definetly want to open the box to enjoy all that the toy has to offer.  Because the Medical Tricorder is an Entertainment Earth exclusive, it features unique stickers on the packaging. 

DST Med Tri packaging front and back

Bottom line is that the Diamond Select Medical Tricorder is a cure for those who always wished to own a tricorder yet don’t want to pay the high price of a prop replica and his highly recommended. 

The Medical Tricorder is available from Entertainment Earth now for $39.99.  

Complete you ensem with the Gold Handled Phaser and Communicator role playing toys, also an exclusive to Entertainment Earth and now on sale for $39.99.

More to come
There is also a regular (or Science) version of the Tricorder available soon and TrekMovie will have a review of that item as well.  Plus TrekMovie will have more news from DST and a review of the new Enterprise D coming soon.


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I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and have already pre-ordered it. It looks awesome as is the rest of the collection they have put out!

Can’t wait to get it!

Received mine yesterday! Outstanding!

wish i had some spare money right about now.

You would think these days, with LCD screens in everything from iPods to phones, they would have used one so the screen could show tons of things, actually making it seem like a real tricorder. i remember buying the one from TNG in the 90s…if that had had an LCD at the time, it would have been the bomb!

I really want one of these, I would like to have the tricoder screen show video snippets from TOS episodes “City on the edge of forever” and other screens from the show. I was so hoping that the smaller scanner would spin and make sounds on its own. The McCoy voices were cool, but dont forget that spock used his own tricorder more often.

This is an insult, I have to day. Delayed for months on end, and we get a manually turning ‘salt shaker’ toy. The backlight on the tricorder screen looks terrible.

The medical one should not have been even approved FFS… they should’ve concentrated on getting ONE tricorder accurate and released on time. Instead of trying to make two at once (at the same time as making a series of unimportant action figures) and severely pissing me off in the process.

I wouldn’t mind the delays if it meant a decent product, but this thing is a cop-out! It’s like they finally went ‘screw it, if we don’t release these things as they are, we’ll just lose customers or something’. Laughable.

#4: For the price Diamond Select Toys is charging, it seems like a pretty good bargain to me. I imagine anyone with any good electronics skills could alter it to suit their tastes if they want something more complicated, but personally, I don’t want to pay a huge amount for what I would use primarily as a display.

#5: The medical tricorder is the first of three different models to be released. You did read that, didn’t you?

#6: Yeesh! If you don’t like what you see, the solution is real simple. don’t buy it.

I have both their phaser and communicator. I’m not pleased with the quality but the price is right and all I do with these things is put them on a book shelf. For some reason I think I’m going to wait for the geological version to comme out, and then decide what to buy. I’d love a Master Replica’s tricorder but I’m not sure they come up for sale that often.

WHAT is that clicking noise on ALL the toy demonstration videos?

My review is mixed, and I did post a review, buried on this site where the Med. Tric. and other DST’s toys were intially talked about prior to release, so hunt for it.
Anyway. The Tricorder is between the PM & MR version. The medical sounds are great, lud and play true. The McCoy phrases on mine were laughably sped up making DeForest Kelly sound like he’d inhaled helium.
The light up screen is poor. It is badly lit up by way of a small light bulb to the far right corner, which marginally lights up the sickbay monitor static screen slide. But the most disappointing is the scanner. It’s designed badly. It does has a button to depress to make the familar sound(although the level on mine was very low). But in order to get the center to spin, you must manually take your thumb and move a slide wheel to provide motion. Something you cannot do simulaneously w/ the sound button to achieve a flawless medical scan action. Major bummer.
The PM’s scanner was superior as far as sound level, but even it’s center spindle was a lame, shake your wrist and get a slight rotation.
The strap is rubber, but adequate. My unit suffered from a defective battery contact that was flakey and cause power failure, and had to jiggle it, to get power on when hood was opened. Also, I carefully removed the very tiny(cheap) microscrew to take off the battery well cover, hidden behind the faux memory disc panel. I barely tightened it back partially, and then coudln’t get it to unscrew again! I ended up taking 2 thin knives and popping out the other side portion of battery panel and twisting it off the screw hole and breaking it off forever. I contacted EE and they were very nice and told me their 90 day no hassle return policy covered my replacement of the defective toy. They emailed me a prepaid FEDEX postage paid label, dropped it off @ a Kinko’s and they should get it by Monday and begin my replacement shipment soon. When I do get my replacement, I will carefully take the battery cover off permanently, as it’s not needed, so I won’t repeat the break off scenario again, when I need to replace batteries.
I’ve seen many products that use a thumb tuck and slide and click closed covers, so why some toys companies like to use these horrible microscrew designs that w/o a doubt will fail, is beyond me.
I hope when I get my Science version, I don’t have any issues, like a Chipmonk sounding Spock, etc.


Its the sound of nitpicking fans

’bout time.


And Duane…haven’t gotten mine yet but I’m almost positive it’s a better deal than the Master Replicas one. Just looking at the video this seems too good. I’ll let you know, though

That thing looks like something from the 1960’s!! Oh wait, it IS from the 1960’s! lol

I still don’t see why the Master Replicas version couldn’t have had the salt shaker too.


And John I see you read the same education journal I did in college. While it’s not my first line of defense I’ve found a little well placed sarcasm works well from time to time in the classroom – despite what my education professors said. Funny. We were always warned not to use it. When’s the last time they were in the field, anyway?

This will be an upgrade for my Halloween costume!!! Awesome!

“Playmates Toys had a miniaturized tricorder during the 1990s (about half the real size)”
Mine looks just fine concerning size…


Spinning moire, lights, sounds…solid contstruction…and even a cool extra data disc battery cover…all for $40? Crazy. Yes, the scanner could be better…it could be louder and it could spin with a motor…but I have to keep reminding myself…Star Trackie…what do you want for $40?? For the the money, it’s an outstanding and fun prop replica. Get one, you won’t regret it!

16- I have that one- it’s way too small, and I can’t get the strap to do more than hang off my shoulder- not over the head like the original.

My local comic shop has been telling me this will be in “in a couple of weeks” for six months. Hopefully, this is the weeks they mean it.

got mine the other day, i was pretty bummed out by the light up screen, they got so many things right but the screen not lighting up entirely (you can see the bulb on the extreme right, the still in the video even shows this) sticks out like a sore thumb

#9 It’s the remote control from “Spocks Brain”

I picked up one the other day. I was a little dissappointed at the scanner, since it didn’t spin automatically. The light on the screen should have been centered and the voice is a little too fast. It is a good display piece along with the communicator and phaser. I put them in my entertainment center with my Trek DVDs.

Yes, the strap is way too short. But I never realized that the tricorder itself is only half sized?!

Got mine in two days ago. At first, I was over the moon to have it. Looks amazing.

The scanner/salt-shaker is a disappointment. A manual wheel to make it spin? C’mon. And the sound is SOOO quiet on it!

However, I could live with the scanner being sub-par, if the main unit was awesome. It’s not QUITE what I’d hoped for.

As others have noted, the screen is terrible. You can easily see the lights on the far right side, and the lighting is dim and totally uneven. Why they couldn’t put a white LED with a diffuser behind the screen, rather than two (clearly visible) yellow LEDs on one side, is a mystery to me.

I love the unit, as I couldn’t afford the MR when it came out. The new DST looks great on the shelf, and it’s awesome to have a full-scale tricorder for 40 bucks!

However, I’m seriously debating taking it apart, and putting a plain gray sheet behind the “glass”. The light-up effect and medical screen are such a disappointment that replacing them with the prop-like non-functional gray screen would be a huge improvement…

For the price, my opinion is that people should lighten up.
It’s a toy. If you want idealized perfection, which the screen used props were not–you should probably pick up the MR versions. I will look into a way to modify the lighting on the main screen, but I think these are great, and my landing party set is now complete!

Holy shit.,.. i looked at this thie other day and was appauled at it. It looks more like a replica toy mass produced for the fanbase than a real life working Tricorder with a “salt shaker” probe that could detect and cure the rectal cancer I contracted from having something up by butt all these years.

Good God people. Could it be better? Yes. EVERYTHING could be better. But it’s a freaking toy. My hats off to the folks who have forty bucks to spend on a toy right now.

I am disappointed the scanner is not motorized. I would rather have that then the sound. I am hoping I can kitbash it to get a motor inside, but that was the main reason I wanted to get one of these so it is a little disappointing.

I have had this on order for over a year.

When one waits that amount of time, one expects the quality to be on a higher order. I have been a faithful customer of this company from before the Diamond Select merger and have appreciated the quality of the products they put out. For the price point, the communicator and phaser are awesome. When the tricorder was announced, I was really excited anticipating having a really accurate finishing touch to my landing party gear.
After all this time waiting, we didn’t get what we were led to believe was being made. The thumb wheel scanner is a cop out and probably the reason for the delay. The screen is just awful and I will take Canadianknight’s advice and replace the medical display with a static gray screen like that seen on screen. Maybe if I get ambitious, I will pry open the scanner and do away with the sound effects and put in a motor.

BTW, why didn’t they just do that in the first place? Wouldn’t it have been better to put the scanning sound in the tricorder and just have a battery operated motor in the scanner? It would seem to so easy.

I will never pre-order another item from AA/DST again. If that means I miss out on some items becasue they sell out or are just not available in my area, so be it.

I was not expecting the screen to be fantastic, but I do plan to take it apart and add some electronics to make it look even better. Some flashign LEDs in the screen will make it look great. I understand this stuff can’t be added by DST as it would ahve skyrocketed the cost, but for the price it is not a bad representation. I have the MR Tricorder and I wanted this (knowing it would not be on par) due to the fact that it was an affordable toy. One that I could actually use as a prop instead of a display piece.

I saw one of these in person (a friend had one), and it looks and feels great !!!

Certainly, when the Science Tricorder comes out, I’ll be getting one of those.

Budget permitting, I may end up with all 3.

The only two issues have meen mentioned:

– Screen Light is not great. Replace the lightbulb with 4 LEDs (one each side) to get a more evenly lit surface.
– Hand Scanner doesn’t rotate. This is a simple motor, but perhaps would have pushed the price up a bit more than ideal.

Since the Science Tricorder won’t have the rotating sensor, the second issue obviously won’t exist with the Science Tricorder, and the Screen is something I’m not bothered about.

It is as close to perfect once can get for a $40 toy, and togetther with the Phaser (which looks the part, though very plasticky) and Communicator (which is absolutely perfect barring the motor noise), we have never had it so good.

The other two DST items I’m looking forward to:

– WOK Phaser
– WOK Communicator

Recommend for whoever shot the video to work on the light set up. You can’t see the moire spinning when you bring the camera in close.

After all this time waiting, we didn’t get what we were led to believe was being made.

What were you led to believe? What did you think you would be getting for 40 bucks? Metal trim? Leather strap?


Yeah, thanks.

Im utterly distugsted by the lot of you. Moaning whining for a TOY, a $40 toy at that. Not to mention that there is no medical tricorder in existence that actually does all the things you want it to do I.e. its a FANTASY you really should be ashamed of yourselves. On top of that, some of us don’t even have jobs or money to spend on a luxury like this. I was laid off over a year ago and still have found no meaningful employment, try that and you will soon appreciate life in a whole new way. Suddenly your toy collection has very little meaning..


I believe that is the sound of the internal tape deck on the camcorder recording. The internal microphone on many of these small camcorders will pick up the sound of the tape recording. This can be solved by purchasing an external microphone to record the sound.

(Long time reader, first time poster. Love the site, but wish these sample videos were shot with better lighting and better sound. Sorry, just a nitpicking video guy.)


Welcome Joseph!


If you wanted a suggestion on a microphone that might work for your camcorder, here’s one:

Audio Technica ATR-55 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

If you search it on Amazon, you can find it. It’s not too expensive and it will eliminate the clicking noise (if I am correct on the source of the noise). I purchased one several years ago to use on my small camera and it worked great. It’s mono, but by the time it’s on Youtube, it shouldn’t make a big deal.


Looks cool. I would have killed for this as a kid!

You know, this tricorder got me thinking, when will they make a TNG Tricorder, Phaser AND Communicator? Would be bomb to have those.

that is NOT the salt shaker scanner. The salt shakers were the conical shaped aluminum props seen on McCoy’s surgeon’s table that were ACTUALLY made from salt shakers. This medical scanner was a custom made prop that had nothing in it from the salt shakers.

If you want photos of a 100% accurate medical scanner prop recreation, or a bunch of other TOS props, have a look at my webpage by clicking my name here.

I saw on the video how the person demonstrating it still had trouble getting the front flap to open. The original design makes it hard to get your finger up under the ridge to open it, and is strage why it was made that way.

This is a very nice toy…it’s not a prop replica. Prop replicas are more accurate, made with better materials and are much more expensive. I have four prop replica tricorders, all representing various aspects of the original tricorder used in the series three seasons.

There is a first season model, another type of which the toy tricorder represents and the geological tricorder which was used only once in the show.

And the scanner in the series was not a saltshaker; those were used quite frequently in sickbay and were unmistakably real saltshakers.

Mine is defective. Nothing happens when I flip it open but everything else works so I know it’s not the battery. I’m sending it back. That said, I love it. It’s perfect for convention costumes and Halloween and fun to play with. It is of course, no match for my real tricorder form

Yes. I said ‘real’ tricorder.

With a modest $40 pricetag, you could customize this thing to address all the gripes mentioned above. Might I suggest installing an iPod Nano behind the viewscreen area? Putting a motor in the scanner is an easy modification.


Man, I must have a target on my back lately.

What did I expect after waiting a year for something I ordered and have it delay 6 times with the original delivery date being last October?

Oh, I don’t know. I would have liked the lights to be positiioned behind the display and not on the side. I would have liked the scanner to spin mechanically as the original promotion led one to believe. It’s the reason I got the medical tricorder and not the science tricorder.

Look, I realize it’s a toy. I should, since I have about 20+ items in my collection from this company. But having said that, it seems to me that the quality of this particular product is not quite that of some of the other items I own.

The Medical Tricorder is a bargain for $40.00! Yes, it has a few minor flaws (screen not totally lit and no scanner motor). I love mine, and look forward to the release of the Science Tricorder. I’ll probably pick up two of those – one to go on a uniformed display mannequin, and the other just to play with. Geo Tricorder will also find a home with me.

I remember back in the late 80’s early ’90’s paying $100 + for garage kits of TOS props, that had NO Lights or sounds, etc. Again, at $40.00 these Tricorders are bargains and worth every quatloo payed for them.

#6—-“This is an insult, I have to (say). Delayed for months on end, and we get a manually turning ’salt shaker’ toy. ”

It’s only $40!!! Are you really insulted that the scanner is manually operated???

How sad.

Geologial Tricorder Eh?

If the Medical Tricorder has McCoy’s voice and the Science Tricorder has Spock’s voice, who is on the Geological Tricorder? D’Amoto’s and Jaeger’s Voices? What would the accessory be? I don’t recall anyone else using a scanning device besides Spock and McCoy.

And what exactly is the difference between a “geological” tri-corder vs. a “science” tricorder? The last I checked geology was a science. I get the specialized medical tricorder, but shouldn’t the science tricorder cover everything else?

Then there’s the tricorders Scotty, Uhura, Checkov and Sulu used. Were those science tricorders or some other variant? Perhaps they will also come out with the tricorder Yeoman Rand used: the “dictation” tricorder, which I believe was also used for drink orders.

Now all they need to do is add the Ultrasound scanner equipment that is around $260 in the inventor’s part costs, and you’ll have a close to real Tricorder. The east coast collage Professor who invented the stuff wants to make modern medical care cheap for Africa. Could you see doctors running around Africa with Tricoeders saving lives. How proud would that make McCoy/Kelley.

The scanner was on Discovery Channels Show BRINK on every Friday and was repeated about four weeks ago. I recorded it and have a copy on DVD some where in my 2800 DVD’s I’ve recorded

I have all but Voyager on DVD and the last two seasons of TOSe, waiting for Christmas to get season one.

For those of you not happy with the DST tricorder, you can go to and get the HMS tricorder that the DST is based on fully built with electronics by HMS themselves for $700. You can also get the medical scanner with a motor in it as well. That will cost you an extra $150. An MR will cost just about as much on Ebay these days, give or take. A custom made tric with electronics would also cost just as much, if not more. Perfection has a price.

Diamond could also have made this better, sure, but then they could have also charged $100 or more for it. They were trying to do the best they could at this price point to make it as accessible as possible to the widest possible audience. For the price, it is fantastic. It is, after all, a toy. If you want a prop replica with all the bells and whistles, you have to pay for it. If want a cool toy that you can play around with for fun and wear with a costume and not be afraid to get it banged up and scratched, then this is the perfect solution. If you want a museum piece, look elsewhere and be willing to oay for it as well.