Review: QMx Star Trek Movie Phaser Replica

Quantum Mechanix has released their new USS Enterprise Metal-Plated Phaser Replica from the 2009 Star Trek movie. QMx has kept the price affordable on this new replica by focusing on recreating the look and feel of the phasers while leaving the lights and sounds for a future (more expensive) offering. The results are pretty impressive. More details in our review below.


REVIEW: QMX Star Trek Movie Phaser Replica

Star Trek (2009) USS Enterprise Metal-Plated Phaser Replica
By: Quantum Mechanix
Price: $49.95 (at QMx store)

Since Master Replicas ceased operations a few years ago collectors and cosplayers have been limited to Diamond Select’s line of role play Star Trek prop replicas on the lower side of the cost spectrum (with phaser replicas selling for $25-$30) and (where a phaser will set you back about $700). Up until now, fans seeking prop replicas form the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie have had to settle for the defunct Playmates line of toys, which are probably still clogging up remainder bins at Toys R Us somewhere. Toy lines have come a long way as far as screen accuracy goes, even since Playmates’ original line of Star Trek toys from the early ’90s. But they’re still toys; they feel like the lightweight plastic that they are and their lines are usually marred by giant screw holes that don’t exactly scream “23rd century technology.” If you want something remotely like what you see in the movies and TV shows, you need to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege.

Packaging for QMx’s new Star Trek  Phaser Replica

QMX is attempting to find a middle ground with this “stunt phaser” prop reproduction—and it’s actually pretty dazzling. Based on the digital files used to create the actual screen prop, this collectible is made of polystone, the same material most high-end collectible figure statues are made out of, but it’s plated in real metal that gives it a highly realistic weight (one pound) and finish. There are no “beauty shots” of the prop in the film so a lot of the initial impressions of the 2009 Trek phaser were made by the Playmates toy. Playmates attempted to reproduce the multi-hued finish of the actual prop with their toy, but the results just looked like chromed plastic and they added to a bum rap about the new phasers—that they looked gaudy and “toy-like.”

QMX phaser (top) and Playmates phaser (bottom)–the Playmates toy is actually close to the size of the real prop.

The QMX reproduction should help to rehabilitate the new phaser a bit—with the mixture of gunmetal, steel, brushed aluminum and chromed metal finishes and the slightly increased size over the Playmates toy, the QMX phaser looks and feels business-like, sleek and imposing. The piece comes with a smoked clear Lucite display stand that is unobtrusive and attractive in its own right. Since it’s based on the “stunt phasers” used in the film there are no moving parts, and the decision to have the red-painted “kill” barrel facing forward (as opposed to the metal-finished and more blunt “stun” barrel) may frustrate some. However if you’re determined to overcome that problem, I’ve seen at least one collector successfully break the top half of the upper, gunmetal-painted cowl off, free the rotating barrel piece and, after sanding and filling the barrel, sticking a piece of rubber over the rotating piece to hold it in place, allowing you to position the spinning piece the way you want. Good luck with that!

QMx Phaser with display stand

The replica reveals some interesting details. With the Playmates toy, there was a standard index finger trigger at the top of the gun handle. However, this trigger is missing from the QMx replica because it was actually not part of the original hero prop. The actual Star Trek movie phaser (and this replica) has buttons on both sides of the handle (see below). The button on the right side is to spin the barrel, and the button on the left (for your thumb) is the trigger. So apparently in the future, all humans and Vulcans are right-handed. Star Trek’s new barrel spinning setting approach is visually interesting, but what happens if you have to reset from stun to kill while firing down a really narrow crack in a wall or something? Nomenclature on the sides of the phaser read “UFP-PH T-1” (United Federation of Planets Phaser Type 1?) and T-1 BATT ONLY. R/B. Arrows on either side also seem to indicate that the upper cowl is designed to be lifted, so it’ll be interesting to see all the things this prop is actually supposed to do
when we get a “fully functional” version from QMX (which is expected to cost much more).

Arrows show the upper cowl is supposed to lift of be removable.

More details on left side of phaser

At $49.95, the QMX phaser competes very favorably with resin prop kits and high-end replicas that normally run anywhere from $100-$900. Cosplay enthusiasts may have to try to recreate the movie’s equipment belt, since there’s no other way to attach the phaser to clothing. With the weight of this replica, Velcro or string isn’t going to cut it.

Star Trek 2009’s Neil S. Bulk (He can be seen just behind Kirk’s head in the scene where Kirk is promoted) models the new phaser at Vasquez Rocks.

Here’s how the phaser looks against plaid

The Star Trek 2009 USS Enterprise Metal-Plated Phaser Replica is available now and you buy pick one up at the QMXOnline for $49.95.

More photos:

DSC00520 DSC00519 DSC00518 DSC00515 DSC00513

QMx also offers additional Star Trek 2009 movie items, including badge replicas and posters. They also offer replicas, posters, shirts and more for Batlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13, Doctor Who, Firefly, and more. Find out more at

Jeff Bond is the author of “The Music of Star Trek” and “Danse Macabre: 25 Years of Danny Elfman and Tim Burton“; he covers film music for The Hollywood Reporter.


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Love the fact that they are seeking to get a low cost Phaser replica on the market for collectors, rather than kids.

This isn’t a phaser, however; it’s a blaster as clearly defined by the way it fires rounds not beams.

Maybe team JJ will get it right for part two.

I’ve had this phaser for a month or so and it is very nice. An amazing replica at this price point. I wish I could afford the “hero” version when it comes out, but I’m sure that’s going to be in the $500 range at least…well out of my price range for something like this.

Anyway, this “stunt replica” is very nic and well worth getting.

Looks slick. I want one, or two.

It looks cool, but the spinning barrel is ludicrous gimmickry and shows a lack of understanding of how well thought out the design features of the original already were. They reinvented the wheel on this one…and made it square.

Worst phaser in any movie

#1 definately, they made it a lame star wars weapon…

give me the cobra model phasers any day

Does it have Skittles inside?

Nice review. I may just have to get one of these.

Funny that Playmates was able to engineer the spinning barrel into their cheap little toy, but this company apparently couldn’t.

I really wanted to get this too, but the red tip just doesn’t look NEARLY as cool as the silver one.

Btw, the design is just ok but the prop replica itslef is great. I hope they do the Kelvin gear as well, that stuff really captured the esthetic of TOS.

For those interested, I’m really visible at the end when Kirk gets promoted (although I’m also in the trial scene, in the “Spock section” as Zachary Quinto called it). At the end I’m in the front row of the cadets, behind the senior officers and in the same row as McCoy, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu (he chews Dentyne Ice). That day was a total thrill for all of us because that’s the day Nimoy was on the set!

If you watch “The Man Trap,” the very first time the phaser is fired on Star Trek (when it’s used to stun Professor Crater) it also fires a “round” rather than a beam. Therefore according to canon the phaser has always been a blaster, not a phaser.

Nice work on the location shots at Vasquez.

The pointy fin at the back end makes running with this phaser almost as dangerous as running with scissors!

I don’t really mind that the new phaser is more like a blaster. I think it brings in a much needed “Star Wars” type of energy, which no doubt helped the film at the box office. J.J Abrams decided to do something different, and for that he deserves props. The days of seeing beams shooting out from phasers are over folks, so you might as well just accept it.

J.J Abrams doesn’t have the “technical manual functionality” mindset that most fans exhibit. All he’s concerned about is making a great movie that entertains. He prefers to focus on story and character, rather than on how “accurate” make believe weapon should “function” in a movie.

Actually it doesn’t.
What it fires is a beem that pulsates.
The same thing happens later when McCoy blasts the Salt Vampire.
If the beem actually stopped for even a second you would be right, but it never cuts off.
I know, I studied it frame by frame to try and animate a phaser myself.

Pretty sad huh?

Oh and nice replica to be sure, but it looks like a Flash Gordon ray gun.

Amazing, and a bit suspect, that 40 years later it actually looks more cheesy 1950’s zap gun then it did in the 60’s. That phaser looked like it could actually do things.


I admire the low price point for collectors also since many of us could not afford the pricier replicas-that being said-2009 trek phaser gun not exactly a very exciting prop–tos has it beaten hands down–heck i like my hallmark ornament phaser better–speakin of which isnt it almost hallmark ornament time? Wheres our preview?

I’d rather have the assault phaser from (gag) STV:TFF. Hated the movie, loved the prop.

Off topic: Netflix came through! All Star Trek series are available streaming!!

^ Oh wait, not DS9 or TAS

You know this phaser would not be so bad if it did not have the daft twirly thing…

Phasers that go PEW-PEW. I really hated that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the 24th Century to ensure Nero never gets born.

Wasn’t a big fan of the ’09 phaser…sorry…too shiny! And what was up with the clunky holsters/utility belts???!!! Like the role-play stuff we had in the 70s…

Master Replicas AND Playmates are both belly-up?? Damn recession!

I didnt mind the new Phaser effect and the spinning barrel may be a little cheese but didnt really put me off. Do those of you who dislike the bolt instead of a beam also dislike the First Contact Phaser Rifle for the same reason? The Phasers of the TOS movies did not fire exactly in ‘beams’ either.

17 Agreed, it just doesn’t work for me either…looks a little, er, “silly” rather than functional…

I still love the original. Genius design and can’t be improved upon. Would have killed for one when I was a kid.

@12 – The audio people in post production also added a ricochet sound from the phaser blast too. Kinda funny in retrospect…

I have a few of these on their way to me, I’m considering doing a mod to make it more TOS-ish. I will post pictures when I’m done!

“Star Trek’s new barrel spinning setting approach is visually interesting, but what happens if you have to reset from stun to kill while firing down a really narrow crack in a wall or something?”

Heh. You may as well ask why you would build a massive starship on the ground when the technology exists to do it much more safely (and conveniently) in orbit, or why the turbolift on the Kelvin goes down when the shuttlebay is up, or why a military organization would promote a cadet on the verge of expulsion to captain its newest flagship. Some things, Man was just not meant to know.

The replica itself is impeccable, and actually looks better than in the movie or still photos of the actual prop. The artisans at QMx are wonderful; I root for their success, and just wish they had better designs to work with. Thank goodness I acquired my Master Replicas Enterprise while the getting was good.

Nice to see it clearly enough to see the color variation. On screen, it looks like a chrome-plated toy. I’d still prefer to see something close to the TOS original, with some nice new detail. Face it, the TOS phaser is yet another great icon in a show loaded with them.

Why does an energy weapon need to have any moving parts, other than a button to change the mode, or a way to open it and replace the battery?!

On the spinning barrel, this is actually reasonable from a canon point of view. In the Pike-era version of the weapon (laser/phaser) in “The Cage/Menagerie”, a front piece was physically *turned* to line up a different firing emitter depending on the setting. This mechanical flip in the 2009 phaser could easily be seen as an alternative design path based on the earlier Pike version.


That I’d like to see.

Just because we never saw a steady beam from the 09 movie phaser doesn’t mean it is incapable of doing it. And being a phaser isn’t dictated by the way the beams come from the barrel…it’s the nature of beam. A phaser beam “phases” and disrupts molecules…according to The Making of Star Trek, it’s not an energy weapon…That’s why Roddenberry switched to phaser instead of laser after The Cage. An as far as the replica goes, it’s pretty sweet…just wish the barrel did spin, I dug it!

Its still a stupid looking design…

I still think the TOS phaser looked the best and had a really neat design.

The handle for the gun is actually the power pack, and you could remove the smaller Type 1 “cricket” phaser from the larger Type 2 pistol and use it on its own.

The rationale for the existence of the detachable smaller phaser from the pistol was that in the 23rd century, electronics and batteries would be miniaturized enough that the tiny cricket phaser would pack more than enough punch for most situations. Also, its small size allowed it to be easily concealed and was less threatening, which would be useful for first contact and diplomatic missions.

It was a really well thought out and practical design.

I don’t mind too much about the JJTrek phasers firing bolts (though I do miss the beams), but I think the spinning barrel is just too gimmicky and toy-like and takes away a lot from the believability of the tech.

That said, my least favourite phaser was the big “Dustbuster” hand-vacuums in season 1 – 2 of TNG. That thing was just hideous! :D

Good price for such a nice replica.

Remember too, that the Defiant from “Deep Space Nine” had rapid fire pulse phaser canons. And the phaser rifles from “First Contact” fired pulses as well. So I kind of find it funny how everybody is getting upset about J.J Abrams not sticking with the phaser beam.


I give you JJ Abrams’ mother, everyone.

@39 – Good point.
@40 – Smart-@ss. (Only Star Wars fans think “blaster” is a real word. ;) )

It’s a very nice piece of work, I must say.

I hate to say it, but the red-nozzle-forward aspect may actually keep me from buying it.

Maybe they’ll introduce a variant in the next production run. If there is a next production run.

to clarify, Playmates is still in business. It is their STAR TREK line that stopped before doing the 2nd wave. They will likely be back for the 2012 sequel

“They will likely be back for the 2012 sequel.”

Only if the sequel is back for the sequel.

Nice review, thanks!

But I’ll take a TOS phaser anyday! Much better design.

But I may get one of these because the cost is reasonable and they did a nice job on the replica.

I’m a designer and I understand why this new phaser is designed this way, for visual effect on the big screen and to create a new design language for this alternate universe. But designwise, can’t beat Jeffries original. Next best design was the Star Trek 5 assault phaser.

I really prefer the Playmates, which actually seems the right size too – this replica is too long and too big

I really prefer the Playmates, which actually seems the right size too – this replica is too long and too big

I agree with Al. I prefer the Playmates (the only toy
of theirs that I do, bleckk!) The spinning barrel
is too cool to pass up and at a price between $10
and $20, it really can’t be beat.

Maybe if Diamond / Entertainment Earth could
make one…. They’re pretty accurate with all their
Trek stuff.

Sorry but this is a sad reproduction of a sad prop based on a sad design. The look of the original prop was gaudy and unwieldly and utterly inferior in every way to the elegant design of the original phaser (ditto for the communicators and tricorder). The notion of the rotating stun/kill barrel was just silly and the finish, even when dulled up a bit, just looked too shiny and silvery for a realistic weapon.

Also, I find it amazing that QMX couldn’t put in some working lights, sounds or moving parts when toy manufacturers are capable of just that on replicas costing half as much.

Hopefully the next Star Trek film will feature some improved prop designs and Paramount will give the license to some good companies that can make replicas that do the actual props some justice.

#15 -“J.J Abrams doesn’t have the “technical manual functionality” mindset that most fans exhibit. All he’s concerned about is making a great movie that entertains. He prefers to focus on story and character, rather than on how “accurate” make believe weapon should “function” in a movie.”

I agree that he doesn’t care about the details; all he cares about is trying to outdo his idol George Lucas, the worst director in Hollywood.

Watch his comments in last years ILM documentary if you don’t think so. He is quite open about feeling that all the good ideas had been done by Lucas & was insecure about how to top them.

What Abrams is missing is the love for the small details that ultimately shape the Star Trek universe & give it it’s own unique feel.

Instead of enriching his film with them & using new technology to bring them to audiences, he would rather turn it into a franchise he does understand by emulating the logistics of Star Wars.

What can I say? Right director, wrong franchise.

Combining that with Orci & Kurtzman’s track record for sequels & I’m not optimistic about the strength of the next movie.

@42. Anthony Pascale – “to clarify, Playmates is still in business. It is their STAR TREK line that stopped before doing the 2nd wave. They will likely be back for the 2012 sequel”

That’s terrible news, Anthony.

I’m sorry to hear they will once again be given the chance to tarnish the merchandising for Star Trek.