Just 3 months ago at the New York Toy Fair, McFarlane Toys was showing off their upcoming line of Star Trek items, including giving us a hands on demonstration of an impressive prototype for a Star Trek: Discovery phaser toy. At the time it appeared pretty far along in development and we were told it would arrive this fall, reasonably priced at $35. However, over the last week, customers who have pre-ordered the Discovery phaser replica began receiving notices from retailers that McFarlane Toys had cancelled the item.
TrekMovie has not received any response from our inquiries to McFarlane Toys regarding these notifications. On Sunday, TrekMovie’s Kayla Iacovino was at Phoenix Comic Fest and was able to ask McFarlane Toys founder/CEO Todd McFarlane about the company’s plans for Star Trek, and specifically about the phaser cancellation notices.
Kayla asked the Star Trek question during the Q&A portion of McFarlane’s panel, and he did not address the cancellation directly, but indicated there have been different views between the parties involved (CBS, McFarlane, retailers) when it comes to the Star Trek products they should be introducing to the market, noting in part:
Sometimes what happens is you get to these weird circular conversations where the studios want you to put out something that the retailers don’t want, and vice versa. So, you have to start doing this dance – usually we can figure it out, but we’re just trying to make sure that everybody is sort of in agreement as to what should be and shouldn’t be out there.
Kayla followed up, noting we were impressed with what we saw at Toy Fair and are hoping the phaser gets made, to which McFarlane said “Yeah, me too!”
High hopes for McFarlane and Star Trek
Fans welcomed the news when McFarlane Toys announced they had acquired the Star Trek license last May, as the company is known for making high quality toys and figures with accurate sculpts. At the time, McFaralane Toys said they planned to make figures and role-play toys for Discovery as well as other Star Trek series and films.
Todd McFarlane also came to Star Trek Las Vegas last summer to show off some of his company’s ambitious plans for the license. At the Las Vegas con McFarlane trumpeted the time and effort they had put in to the Star Trek license, and specifically to Discovery, having done detailed 3D scans of the actors, costumes and props. He said at the time “The entire role of our company is to get it right.”
For now, the first and only Star Trek McFarlane products that are officially solicited for 2018 are two 7″ articulated figures coming in June. The two figures are a Star Trek: The Original Series Captain Kirk, available for pre-order from Entertainment Earth for $17.99 and a Star Trek: The Next Generation Captain Picard figure, also available for pre-order from Entertainment Earth for 17.99.
TrekMovie will provide any updates on this story, as they develop.