Todd McFarlane Remains Hopeful Following ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Phaser Pre-Order Cancellations

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.

Official image for McFarlane Toys’ Star Trek Discovery phaser replica toy

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!”

Todd McFarlane with artist Greg Capullo at Phoenix Comic Fest 2018 (Photo: Jim Smith)

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.”

Shot of sculptor from McFarlane Toys working on scan from Star Trek Discovery, as seen in the Netflix documentary The Toys That Made Us

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.

McFarlane Toys is set to release their first Star Trek products in June, figures for Kirk and Picard

TrekMovie will provide any updates on this story, as they develop.

119
Leave a Reply

37 Comment threads
82 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
61 Comment authors
newest oldest
TonyD

Since McFarlane Toys had already announced the phaser months ago and was taking pre-orders, would it be fair to assume that CBS was the party that had reservations about its release? If yes, whichever exec poured cold water on the project goes to the top of the list for twit of the year. Really disappointing; hopefully they can get it all sorted out.

HN4

Maybe it’s because of all those kids getting gunned down.

Raul Vega

Gunned down by phaser fire ?

albatrosity

Literally never stopped any toy company before

Benjamin Adams

Things are different now.

HN4

It’s 2018. You should check it out.

Big_Green_spacehand

Come on, no one is going to buy STD rubbish.

Markonian

Don’t worry, you’ll never catch an STD. After all, it would require to have sexual intercourse with somebody.

HN4

OH SNAP!

JRT!

I catch STD whenever I can,wherever I can,it does NOT require sexual intercourse. LOL!! Some good episodes,and some not that good but still watchable. Exactly like ALL the other Trek shows really. lol

LMI

I wonder if CBS wanted a larger cut from sales of Disco merchandise and that would have driven the price too high.

Ken

Could have been the retailers, claiming that people don’t want props, they want sculptures and bobbleheads……..who the hell knows at this point.

HN4

If I was a retailer, I wouldn’t be going out of my way to sell toy guns.

Raul Vega

Oh but toy knives and swords or nunchucks are any better.

James

Nope

BorgKlingon

Actually, yes. I haven’t seen any school nunchuck mass attacks recently, have you?

Big_Green_spacehand

The problem is retailers don’t want anything to do with Discovery due to such negative reviews from the core fanbase, so it’s no wonder they don’t want to put in orders for hundreds of thousands of units.

Clearly the pre-orders didn’t make enough money to justify purchasing in bulk, yet CBS is only prepared to allow the licencing rights usage with a minimum income. They don’t just sell rights for pennies, it devalues the brand.

You’ll find this with all major retailers, I myself work in the head office of a UK chain, and our buyers (internal) decided to ditch Discovery merch all together as there’s no demand to justify it taking up rack space in our warehouses, where we can instead stock more lucrative items from companies like HotToys, Lego, Sideshow etc. Any time we bought up Discovery on social media posts and twitter polls the vitriol made it a no-go area. We get sent unsolicited sample products all the time for our buyers to check out, our meeting rooms are full of sample products we didn’t buy, and yet we’ve had nothing relating to Discovery.

While many will find that a hard pill to swallow, it’s the reality of the situation from a retailer’s perspective. The core audience of Discovery is a lot smaller than many would like to admit, and those who want to pay for merch having already paid for the show is even smaller.

Curious Cadet

@BGS — While I don’t deny that as a reasonable business practice, I’m not sure I would categorize it that way … the vitriol is mainly from a vocal minority. It is even on this site. I’m not sure anyone can say the core audience of DISC is a lot smaller — the core Trek fans are likely much smaller, but not necessarily the core audience of DISC. If CBS and Netflix have done their job, the core audience of DISC is not likely the same audience that buys fan merchandise, particularly cheap fan merch. I don’t think DISC is necessarily aimed at an audience to sell stuff. Eventually yes, but that doesn’t seem to be the way CBS is positioning it now.

Big_Green_spacehand

I would say the opposite is true. Many of the people in our company are hard core sci-fi fans. There’s no one in our head office who has an interest in Discovery, mostly people chat about how terrible it is. One of the guys in IT is a Star Wars fanatic who dips in and out of Trek, but goes out of the way to rubbish Discovery.

Our creative lead in eCommerce says (tongue in cheek) that he’ll get another job on the day he has to start working on Discovery artwork!

hn4

What have you been smoking???

Big_Green_spacehand

Smoking is a disgusting addiction.

HN4

Then you should stop.

mwz

Hard to believe that a new Star Trek phaser toy wouldn’t sell well. How do decisions like this get made so late in the game? What a waste of people’s time and money.

Isabella

Star Trek stuff only sells when it’s based on the popular stuff like tos or tng. Nothing else tends to sell. There might be lesson to be learned from that for both the merchandise and tv show producers.

mwz

But… how did they get this far down the line without remembering this (assuming it’s true)? I assume there are people whose job it is to know these things. Plus, it’s difficult to know if a Discovery phaser will sell well without… trying to sell a Discovery phaser. They can only sell so many TOS and TNG phasers.

HN4

Or maybe there’s just not that much grown men around that waste money on silly toys.

I’ve been watching Trek for over 20 years and I’ve never bought any merchandise. Paying for CBS AA the closest I’ve done, and it’s worth more to me than some silly toy.

thecapn

As a grown man who loves your so-called ‘silly toys,’ I take offense to this statement. If you don’t like something coming out, how about just not commenting? Considering how well the Anovos Discovery Phaser sold at a much higher price point, I think your statement is woefully uninformed. I agree with the posters who feel like someone (either the retailer or the studio) thought that having a gun in the toy aisle is bad form in the current environment…though I did just see a whole bunch of super soakers and other water guns in my local Target, so who knows.

Big_Green_spacehand

The irony is that Gene was dead set against phasers looking like guns in TNG.
I have a Playmates tricorder and phaser from the mid 90’s which I was given as a teen for Christmas. I think perhaps that is where the nostalgia stems from, I’m not sure the same would apply today due to the paywall to watch the show in the first place which knocks a lot of the audience, there’s no more “growing up with star trek” if it’s R rated and behind a paywall unfortunately, so they are adult’s toys (so to speak) from the outset.

hn4

The TNG phaser looks like a universal remote control. A kid bringing a Discovery phaser to school to show his or her friends would get the school locked down.

hn4

Look at a super soaker and look at that phaser. Now what do you think would happen if a kid flashed that phaser at a cop?

TonyD

If you’ve never bought any merchandise related to a show that you like then you are clearly not the intended target for these products. Collectables may be lost on you but for a lot of us having something tangible that looks like it came from a show I like is a great way to further connect with that show.

hn4

@TonyD I just don’t see the point of spend money on useless crap. I also find it funny that some of the same people who may spend hundreds of dollars on collectibles, gawked when they heard CBS was going to charged M..M..Money to watch Star Trek.

Martin

Forgive me for always reading between the lines… “circular conversations” could be the true reason here but I know in my line of work, we gage the success of a product by pre-orders. If there weren’t many pre-orders for the phaser, perhaps that’s why it was cancelled. I know the fans of what we now call ‘Prime Universe’ would usually lap this stuff up, but I wonder if those same hard-core fans just aren’t feeling all that hard-core when it comes to Discovery.

Kirk, James T.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I think retailers are saying… Discovery isn’t selling, we want more classic stuff because that’s what fans want which could explain why Kirk and Picard are going forward, McFarlane is letting the studio know and the studio are insistent on them producing Disocvery toys… not fully realising that Disocvery isn’t what the fans really want on their display shelves (yet). We’re 15 episodes into Disocvery, we were three seasons into TNG before fans really wanted TNG toys from Playmates. There’s just been an entire episode about how bad Paramount/CBS have been in regard to getting the right product out at the right time. Can’t CBS finally get Star Trek toys right?

HN4

Oh please……

JRT!

Aren’t they saying STD IS set in the prime universe? lol

chris ferguson

they SAY its prime, but it clearly is NOT PRIME! 1 of the reasons they insist its prime is because when they started trying to license std manufacturers werent interested unless it was prime because theyd been burnt so bad on jjverse merchandise not selling while prime universe merchandise flew off the shelves. so the makers of that fungal infection std have lied non stop to merchandisers and the fans from the beginning.
as for the phaser, the answer is obvious and simple, NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE WANTED THE THING!
JJVERSE AND STD SUCK! At least we still get prime universe books continuing all 5 star trek series. thats better than they treated star wars fans….just threw the eu in the garbage and ended all future eu books….40 years of reading and love gone, replaced by farce afakens and lost jedi.

JRT!

Ok,it’s prime then. lol!

mwz

Eh, it’s been Prime since Fuller was developing it. Where are you getting this information about licensing? Do you have a source? Or… are you just making stuff up?

Curious Cadet

@JRT! — yes it’s supposed to be the Prime timeline, the problem is — to the extent it is one — it’s visually incongruous with what a vocal minority of the Prime fans expect from a show that’s set in the Prime timeline. Otherwise, there’s no canon issues at all so far.

JRT!

Do socalled fans actually expect to look like it did in the sixties?! GEE!! Happy it doesn’t.

Curious Cadet

@JRT! — from what I’ve been reading, yes. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed in the DISC weapons. They’re a bit too similar to the original 1960s design style, rather than organically part of the new look they’ve adopted for the Starfleet architecture. I know the base fans probably think these are the best part of DISC, but for me, they don’t go far enough to blend into the new art direction.

I watched SOLO this weekend, and marveled at how well the mid-1970s art direction holds up. But in many ways, it was timeless — genius really, tying into the art deco look as a base for everything else. It’s fantasy, so it doesn’t have to look like our future, and dystopian in that it can look like our grimy past. Also looking at the control panels in the Millennium Falcon, I could see the influences of SPACE 1999, which also hold up amazingly well, save the bellbottoms and platform shoes. So all new designs fit well into that design language without major changes. Sadly, TOS was a pioneer in the field showing how to do some things right in serious modern scifi, but also how not to do a lot of it, thanks to various decrees from NBC’s parent company, RCA to sell televisions. 2001’s movie budget had a lot to do with what works today, and both 1999 and SW benefit greatly from that.

JRT!

Couldn’t agree more! And I loved Solo,by the way. Don’t care if it underperformed,not EVERYthing can be an instant hit,lol! And Space 1999 was fun! I know they’ve tried to reboot it,but still not getting it off the ground,it seems.

JAGT

As far as merchandise goes, there’s the problem that with all the visual changes you can’t “mix and match” – spoken as the sort of adult child I definitely am.

TonyD

As someone who is at best lukewarm on Discovery, I was still stoked to buy that phaser. The hardware of the show was one of its highlights for me and I would have happily bought in. I was far more interested in that that any of the other stuff being offered. The phaser was also very similar in design to the classic TOS model so I think there would have been more crossover appeal.

Captain_Neill

So is the DSC merchandise going to go the way of the Kelvin Timeline merch?

At the minute I am not enamoured enough with DSC to want any merch from it,the only thing as a fan I have a real want for is those new Kirk and Picard action figures, they look so detailed and and great beauties to add to my collection.

Isabella

Probably discovery merchandise will go the same way as the Kelvin stuff.

Who knew that if you annoyed the hardcore fans that they would respond by not buying your merchandise?
Who knew that alienating your core fan base would result in little merchandise being sold.
It’s a real mystery.

chris ferguson

EXACTLY! Who knew u couldnt lie to ur fanbase and tell them its prime without them knowing you’re lying? funny thing is lucas films and disney didnt know it was a bad thing to alienate ur hardcore fanbase either.

albatrosity

I think we’ll remember the 2010s as the era when franchise fever split fan bases between the die-hard purists and those who are ok with the new direction, with JJ at the center of the two biggest and most visible examples: Trek and Wars. All he is is a nostalgia fix, and the 2010s as a whole have become so nostalgia-laden that nearly all of modern culture is a blatant recycling of the old ideas. That explains why the only Trek toys that sell are TOS and TNG: people are remembering the good old days. At 52 years and counting, Trek has become a nostalgia property.

Isabella

It is really strange that the only two popular shows are tos and tng yet cbs rather than make a show like them. Decided instead to try and relaunch the franchise with a show which is a poor rip off deep space 9 (which never actually popular) crossed with the worst show ever made enterprise.

Shadowknight1

Is it worse when the KT merch started with Playmates Toys awful attempt at a line? Cause that stuff was bad. Just plain bad.

Mirror Galt

Shame, that. Praying the same fate doesn’t befall the proposed threat ganglia gummy candies…

Jack

Ha/shudder

Isabella

Says a massive a lot about discovery’s alleged popularity, that the only products coming from McFarland are from TOS and TNG.

Merlin

The Phaser is really all I want from DSC right now, I could wait for figures until the show is more settled into whatever it wants to be. Uniforms are bound to change over time, I doubt the S1 gear will become the iconic look of the series, but as a prop you can’t go wrong with this.

Jonboc

The props are the only thing I like in Discovery, so this news is very disappointing. Backdoor politics and pressure, no doubt, concerning CBS and Anovos. Why buy an outrageously priced $500 phaser replica when you can get a laser scanned duplicate from Mcfarlane Toys for $50?

Meeee

Just glue a buttload of deltas to the TOS props. Viola! Disco prop.

JAGT

Geez, thanks for reminding me of that preposterous Anovos thing. $500 for two weak LEDs (seen the “power indicator” on that thing? Seems like they never even heard of surface-mounted LEDs) and a battery pack that needs to be screwed in…

New Horizon

I really wanted that phaser. :(

SpectrePrime

It seems there’s a touch of irony here. With the “Toys That Made Us” having shown the Star Trek toys episode, the issue at hand seems to go in line with the history of Star Trek toys. With the TNG, the Galoob line tanked rather quickly, and it wasn’t until the 5th-6th season of the show that Playmates launched what can be considered some of the best Star Trek toys ever made.
Hopefully this is just a small hiccup for McFarlane’s line of Star Trek merchandise, although I have to admit that I have no interest in the figures at the current size (7+ inches).

Bluesaber

Am I the only one that realizes this is CBS or whoever makes these decisions being cowards because of all the anti-gun histeria?

HN4

All guns should be banned.

Raul Vega

Especially phasers, blasters and lasers. Any DEW (Directed Energy Weapon) and don’t get me started on those sonic weapons and water cannons.

albatrosity

I doubt that. Guns continue to sell in large quantities. America’s gun culture is insatiable and hasn’t diminished. In no way do I think current events could have any bearing on sales of a plastic toy phaser

kmart

In a William Goldman novel — sequel to MARATHON MAN if you can believe it, turns out Roy Scheider DIDN’T die from that terrible gutting — there was a point made that war toy sales go up before a war starts … every time. Have often wondered if there was data to support this, or just a clever-sounding notion.

0dkinWood

There are two possible reasons; low pre-order sales, or some social justice warrior at the studio clutching his pearls about making toy guns.

HN4

I thought ST was about peace and love.

James

Have you seen Star Trek Discovery? It’s about War.

Meeee

A war that leaves more questions than answers. A war we barely saw but we were supposed to believe.

Very lame war.

kmart

About war would be fine if there was a context and some thought behind it all, but being superficially about war — which is where DSC is at — is far worse even than being gratuitous about it, placing it below no-brainers like RAMBO.

I’d rather see a Trek that was about nothing, a la SEINFELD, assuming they could do it right (it’d probably be done wrong, like an all 10-forward show.)

JAGT

It’s not about war, it’s about GWAR… at least that’s what the Klingons look like… ugh, I just go on and on about that design choice. But seriously: Who likes bald Klingons?

michelle

i know that walmarts tend not to sell much of any trek stuff outside the dvds and blu-rays ulike star wars which always seems to be out of stock or close to it in toys and dvd/blu-ray and books and clothes at walmarts
with toys r us gone there is only two big box stores that could carrie trek toys target and barnes and nobel and once agian it comes down to what seels in stores and what does not and star trek toys are hit and miss unlike star wars and mcu ,dc toys are

Shadowknight1

IT BETTER GET MADE!!! I absolutely REFUSE to give ANOVOS money for their garbage “replica” that costs super tons of money and barely lights up!

Curious Cadet

@Shadowknight1 — actually that’s a very good point. I’m sure Anovos paid a pretty penny for the license to reproduce that replica. I’m sure there’s quite a bit of lobbying going on with CBS about competitors selling something that looks as good for so much less. I’m sure it’s a variety of issues in play here, but this alone could shut down this project.

Shadowknight1

Geez, I hope that’s not the issue. If it is, then maybe ANOVOS should stop overcharging for their stuff.

tkb1701

I went to big bad toy store to order it and because I live in California they said they won’t ship here.

Byron

I’d guess it’s retailers not wanting any gun-like toys on their shelves. It’s too bad, it looked like a sweet phaser!

Raul Vega

I know, it would’ve gone great with my klingon disrupter pistol.

Joe

Since THIS trek & NX-01 ENTERPRISE come BEFORE the original series, Capt Pike’s Enterprise did NOT have phasers or compact commmunicators(in the Cage & the Menagerie)!
They had —-> L A S E R S! <—-
Kirk also used the NON COMPACT communicator in Where no man has gone b4.
What continuity errors! arrgh lol
Period!

albatrosity

Maybe the Enterprise crew only brought down low powered lasers to their visit to Talos IV because they presumed it was just a rescue mission?

Goryl

Most likely retailers have a problem selling a “weapon” to the kids and receiving some pressure from some snowflake group

HN4

Get a clue.

Raul Vega

But TMNT weapons are ok.

HN4

Maybe it’s not such a great idea to be selling toy guns. I also find it odd that the fans of Trek always preach about how ST is all for peace and understanding, and yet they really like to glorify the weapons on the show.

Raul Vega

Yeah, like the Bat’lethal.

albatrosity

That’s not how capitalism works

Gonzo

As someone once said of war films, “It’s near impossible to make a pure anti-war film. War looks too damn good on film.”

Same goes for weapons.

Jonboc

…yawn…

Danpaine

Well, they were thoughtful enough in season one of DSC to tell us a war was going on, yet showed us virtually no war on-screen, which I guess can be called anti-violence…

Looking forward to REAL Star Trek merchandise- Not any of that Discovery garbage – But TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT and original movies but not JJ-verse

Alan Whelan

Agreed Clint. As a lifelong Trekker, I’ll buy anything with the Star Trek label on it. STD is not something I enjoyed,it was downright boring and pretentious. I love the look of McFarland’s Kirk and Picard figures, but will never spend a cent on STD merchandise.

albatrosity

ENT had some really cool toys in the beginning.

Samuel Côté

I completely agree with you on that! I actually shun JJTrek and STD merchandise but will buy ENT, TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY stuff anytime!

Fred Javelina

To be fair, I don’t think Kelvin Timeline toys really had a chance in the market, there wasn’t a proper rollout or pre-marketing campaign, it could also be Paramount/Viacom/whomever not really getting behind it. Certainly wasn’t advertised well to either kids or collectors. (Now, a skydiving Kirk / Sulu / Olsen set would have sold…) There was the Playmates ship with electronic sounds – of variable quality, mine had a ghost double silkscreen of the NCC-1701. Some ‘collectors’ quality larger-scale Hot Wheels die-cast ships, some tiny, low-quality Hot Wheels die-cast / plastic ships which you could never find (I managed to pick up a mini Vengeance almost by accident, in a bin in a toy store in Maryland). There were Playmates action figures done (I think?) to the earlier TNG scale, but also hard to find and almost no store stocked all the figures. Worse, since they were bundling parts of that bridge playset-mat with the figures, it was almost impossible to get all the parts for that, too. Likewise for the Playmates phaser. Did they even release a communicator / tricorder set? Polar Lights didn’t release the model kit until what…a year? Two years after the first movie came out? There weren’t models of any of the other ships AFAIK. There were, as usual, Hallmark ornaments (Vengeance + Kelvin, reasonably nicely detailed, and light-up!) but quickly hoarded by collectors. To date, the Eaglemoss ships have been fantastic (barring the lack of a Narada) – very nice 2009 Enterprise +… Read more »

Perplex

I’m curious to see how well the Discovery ship collection from Eaglemoss will do. Half of the ships are klingon and I don’t think they are very popular with the fans.

Isabella

Well since one of the klingon ships looks like a toilet brush, and that’s one of the better ships. It’s not that hard to figure out why the Klingon ships are not very popular with the fans.

Danpaine

Ha! Excellent description, Isabella. Seriously, the Klingon ships look awful, imo.

JRT!

The Playmates figs were nothing like their earlier ST line,and they weren’t that hard to find. I got them all at one store in MD,but since they cancelled wave 2 of all three lines,we’re left with two incomplete playsets,which is incredibly annoying,to say the least. I KNOW they made’em,someone here has a complete bridge playset for instance,there are pics online. Also pics of wave 2 of all three lines. I actually wish they WOULD do wave 2,since I liked the figs,even though no one else did. lol. And yes,they did a communicator and tricorder as well. You could them separately or as a set with a utility belt.

Fred Javelina

Maybe in the States, but they were pretty thinly distributed in Canada.

Isabella

There would only be a demand if people were watching and enjoying the show.
There is no way of knowing what kind of audience figures it is doing.

But if there is little demand for products that is a probably a very strong sign discovery is not doing to well and/or the people watching it are unwilling to spend money on products from the show. Again a bad sign for its popularity.

Fred Javelina

What numbers are you seeing that back up your opinion? You seem to be quite convinced the audience isn’t there but why else would they renew the show?

Isabella

These posts were about merchandising, since they have cancelled merchandise and there is no announcement for new merchandise this would be a strong sign there is not an audience willing to buy merchandise.

If the show had a large enough audience to sustain merchandise, merchandise would be produced.
So either the show has a small audience which cannot sustain merchandise or the audience who watches it cbs does not think they will spend money on merchandise.

The vast majority of tv shows have no merchandise.

Fred Javelina

I see your point, and yes, it is hard for us on the outside to know what the actual numbers were outside of the CBS live TV premiere and the Space channel (Canada) premiere; neither All Access nor Netflix release numbers. It’s also hard to determine ratings through DVRs (although there is better data nowadays from official catch-up streaming services provided by networks, or through services like CraveTV) Space did put out a press release stating they had ‘record’ ratings for a specialty channel for the premiere – the first two episodes had 1.17 and 1.2 million viewers, out of a population of 35,151,728; roughly 3.41% of all Canadians watched. That would be equivalent to a city slightly smaller than Calgary. The worldwide numbers, whatever they were, were positive enough that they ordered a second season after the 6th episode aired. There is definitely *some* audience out there. Compare to The Walking Dead, pretty much wrapping up after 8 seasons (I think) with one spinoff show, and which had ratings around 16 million viewers for its best episodes. Even limited to an adult audience on a cable network, it has enough demand for merchandise that BigBadToyStore lists _two hundred and twenty-two_ Walking Dead items for sale, including a slew of collector-grade McFarlane figures, cosplay accessories, MiniMates, desk accessories, Funko figures, board games, Jell-O molds and ice cube trays, glasses, mugs… I think it’s a bit unlikely that, worldwide, DISC has fewer viewers than The Walking Dead did for its first… Read more »

Isabella

It’s not necessarily the size of the audience but more the willingness of that audience to spend money on merchandise.

Discovery might have a big audience but one unwilling to buy merchandise.

Jeffrey S. Nelson

Picard figure looks good, Kirk not so much. Sculptors seem to have a problem with Kirk.

MikeB

This is THE Discovery product that I’ve heard the must buzz over. Bring it on!!

Nathsn

Yeah, I started wondering when Forbidden Planer here in the UK cancelled my pre order, claiming that the manufacturer stated it was no longer being produced. A real shame, as it looked like a quality product.

Thomas Mossman

I downsized what little collection I did have and personally I’m not looking to expand. One would argue that for someone who’s in the target audience for Star Trek, that’s a bad thing.

It seems to me the likeliest reason for this cancellation is simple lack of interest. This kind of “collectible” stuff is only going to appeal to a segment of your audience. Since the Star Trek audience is already so divided over DISCO, that portion that would buy this is likely smaller than it might’ve been otherwise.

BruthaD

There are literally no Star Trek toys on the market. Especially compared to Star Wars.

PEB

The problem is the other Discovery phaser that was being produced. It’s the better quality item and made for collectors (who will shell out more money for better quality). McFarlane Toys does amazing figures, they should focus on that and once you see how it goes, then begin releasing props.

JAGT

It’s supposedly better quality. On those things there’s a huge gap between the type 1 and type 2 parts, the “targeting viewer” is simply black (not even a sticker, let alone some sort of inlay that would make it look like an actual viewer) and the light effects are downright shoddy.

I had a chance to fool around with McFarlane’s phaser prototype. The electronics worked, the plastic mold looked great, and it had a nice amount of weight to it. It would’ve been a big hit with cosplayers.

Jonbon

I don’t know if we’ll hear the whole story, but one possibility is: Retailers don’t want this because they don’t think it will sell in the numbers they need it to. One unfortunate thing about the new series being “darker” is the audience is skewed higher, and thus the toy market is skewed as well. The prime audience for toys like this is typically kids/teens. Adults don’t simply buy enough of these to justify the cost of bringing it to market. Perhaps retailers don’t believe that the casual fans that have been brought in by the broadening of the brand will purchase this item. There’s probably a swath of data out there that retailers have with regards to the recent Star Wars toys that are driving this decision (from what I’ve read, they didn’t move as much from the last movie two movies as they had hoped). There is also a comparison to the last DS TOS phaser, which has a wider audience than Discovery’s, and I still saw those ones in the discount bin. No politics involved, simply business.

dave

Big Bad Toy Store Product Description

Please note – McFarlane is prohibiting distributors and retailers from shipping this item to consumers in California, Connecticut, Kansas, and New York due to the specific and restrictive “imitation firearm” laws in those states. All pre-orders and in stock orders shipping to these states will be canceled.

Click image for larger version.

Name: 10ef0d6a-c580-4c46-9c77-cd7129786a94.jpg
Views: 61
Size: 34.4 KB
ID: 806401

According to McFarlane customer service, this isn’t their call, it is up to the distributor/store. Same inclusion in the ToyWiz Store ad. So somebody is BSing. Anovos doesn’t have a problem shipping to customers who purchased their $500 prop copy, without the red tip.

Brainulo

Aw hell…this is about the recent proliferation of gun incidents, isn’t it?

Will

I bet the phaser was cancelled due to recent gun violence.

Don

First of all STD isnt kid friendly. That being said how do you market toys when my guess is most parents arent going to let their kids watch a show with nudity, sex and double endowed Klingons peeing on walls? Its a narrower audience, mostly adult collectors. Could be we arent going to see much in the way of ‘toys’ for STD especially with the demise of T r U. Not a fan of STD but I did like this particular design and was the only thing I was planning on buying from the show. I dont collect figures just props and so now no $$$ from me. STD has been a poorly thought out, shortsighted mess from the beginning.

Ian Dillon

QMX are making the best quality star trek figures, save up and buy those, I have and laugh now at the poor quality of all this shite. Waste of time, pay peanuts and you get monkeys, case closed! By the way, I paid for my figures, no freebies. Big love to all trek fans!

Rakmusen

Why do I feel like there IS a difference between a phaser and another type of gun?
Any kid that has a toy machine gun or military style gun is playing spray of bullets, blood, gore, death, all very cool, “I KILLED ‘EM ALL!”.

A kid who has a *phaser* is Starfleet role-playing “We don’t know what we’re dealing with; Phasers on Stun”.
A kid with a phaser isn’t going to pass it off as a gun, FFS. He’s gonna pass it off as a phaser. If any adult is oblivious to how much Star trek is ingrained in pop culture, it’s a given they’re dumb enough not to know a phaser when they see one.
WTF??

And as a retailer, which one would I be ok with selling?