ViacomCBS Reportedly Sees ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ As Gateway To Toys And Theme Park Attractions

The CG-animated series Star Trek: Prodigy arrives later in 2021. And apparently, this show made explicitly for kids is a big deal with the higher-ups at ViacomCBS.

ViacomCBS sees Prodigy as “critical”

The story of Star Trek: Prodigy actually began back in April 2019 when CBS announced they were working with Nickelodeon (part of Viacom) to develop a new show for the kids-oriented cable network. The re-merger of Viacom CBS followed, and earlier this year it was announced that Prodigy would debut first on the rebranded Paramount+ streaming service, to sit alongside the rest of the new Star Trek Universe of TV shows. While this appeared to be just smart corporate synergy, Variety is reporting there was a lot more going on behind the scenes:

[T]he company set up committees of executives designed to find ways to exploit existing IP across multiple business sectors. A number of them are said to have engaged in a prolonged debate over whether the animated series “Star Trek: Prodigy,” originally ordered by Nickelodeon, would premiere first on the cabler’s linear channels or on the Nickelodeon-branded portion of Paramount Plus. It is now set to debut on the streamer, then air later on cable. “Prodigy” was viewed by many as critical to the fate of the “Trek” franchise, as it’s the first bid to engage families — a path that can lead to ancillary products such as toys and theme park rides.

Prodigy’s position as the first Star Trek series explicitly designed to appeal to kids and families has been emphasized frequently in official press releases and via the producers and star Kate Mulgrew, who will be reprising her Star Trek: Voyager role of Kathryn Janeway (as an “Emergency Training Hologram”). Apparently, this appeal to families is seen as important for Star Trek, which makes sense as new and younger fans can help to ensure longevity.

New Prodigy group image including Janeway

Trek returning to kids toys and theme parks?

The comment about Prodigy leading to more toys aimed at kids is backed up by something ViacomCBS Consumer Products President Pam Kaufman told Toy Book Magazine earlier this year. When asked about goals for 2021, she included ” expanding the Star Trek universe to the kids’ space with Star Trek: Prodigy.” No tie-in merchandise for Prodigy has been announced so far, but with the show set to debut later this year, it sounds like there are plans in place, with some releases likely before the important holiday season.

Starting with the original Star Trek series in the 1960s and through to the 1990s when there were multiple Trek shows on TV you could find Star Trek toys aimed at younger audiences. There were some releases around the 2009 Star Trek movie as well, but for the most part, the last decade or so has seen Star Trek merchandise more focused on adults and the collectors market.

Playmates Star Trek bridge playset from 2009

As for theme park attractions, that would be a welcome return for the Star Trek franchise. Currently, the only Star Trek attraction at a theme park is the Operation Enterprise roller coaster at Movie Park Germany. Fans can also still visit the Star Trek: Original Set Tour in Ticonderoga New York. In the 1980s, 90s, and 2000s there were a number of Star Trek theme park attractions around the world including Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas, Star Trek Adventure at Universal Parks, and the Borg Assimilator roller coaster at Paramount Carowinds Parks.

Transporter room from Operation: Enterprise (Movie Park Germany)

So it appears that Prodigy is more than just another Star Trek series coming to Paramount+. Hopefully, this new series can deliver on its potential and bring in new fans and maybe some former fans who want to introduce their kids to Star Trek.


Find more news and analysis for Star Trek: Prodigy.

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I remember being three and watching TNG for the first time. I thought Worf was the boss because he loomed over everyone and was intimidating. Star Trek really opened my mind to possibilities. I’m excited for it to get more accessible. If kids love Kate, they can graduate to watching Voyager!

I want to hug that big magenta alien.

Well, I don’t even remember being three… My memories set in around the age of 8 and at that point it was completely unthinkable for my parents to let me watch live-action genre stuff. All I was allowed to watch back then were harmless cartoons made for kids only. There were a couple of European animated shows made in the 70s that aired on public TV…

The first live-action show I was allowed to watch was Knight Rider but I must have been 10 or 11 by then. I didn’t even have access to most genre TV shows as we didn’t have private TV but only the few public TV channels controlled by the state.
The first time I was able to watch Star Trek was at the age of 13 when we finally got private TV… and my more than protective upbringing turned this into a very spooky experience… The Salt Vampire freaked me out beyond repair, those greenish faces behind the window on that overpopulated planet… gosh… I was totally overwhelmed with the spooky stuff… Don’t mention TNG Season 1… Armus or those Conspiracy Parasites freaked me out… and no, they didn’t even show that gory final scene in Conspiracy. It was cut…

No wonder I was even less prepared to watch MA programs like Alien at the legal age of 16 or 18… I was still trying to get into 12+ stuff back then. Sometimes I envy modern-day kids who are used to that stuff far earlier and aren’t virtually bathed in having second thoughts about that stuff. Because my dad not only prevented me from watching that stuff, he constantly expressed his moral issues he had with any uncensored bloodshed even until I was 30+

He’s dead now but those second thoughts still haunt me sometimes. This is why I really felt uneasy about some of the more visceral images on DSC and PIC…

Last edited 3 months ago by Garth Lorca

I saw Alien when I was eight and some of the stuff in Picard still bothered me. I think you probably just have a lot of empathy. What a great thing to have!

“I think you probably just have a lot of empathy. What a great thing to have!”

Maybe, but it’s not that great if it prevents me from appreciating modern fictional works in their enterity. This must be linked to my protective upbringing, my autism or both… I think the cause-and-effect pattern goes like this: my autism made be susceptible to rigorous black-and-white thinking and my parents (and state-induced youth protection) filled that set-up with no-goes and taboos and a lack of (early) experience…

And once I had learned that uncensored bloodshed is not okay, it remained that way even as an adult. I simply couldn’t evolve beyond those mental boarders. This is why youth protection couldn’t work for me and my autistic mindset. Something is either fully acceptable or simply wrong, no matter at what age you watch it. I know it’s probably different for “normal” people who are able to grow beyond those restrictions, but my mindset has not changed since I was 14… and that was 26 years ago…

I love hearing stories like this. I think a lot of us on this board started watching Trek at a young age. I first started watching TOS at 6 years old. I didn’t understand much but loooved watching Kirk get into fights with the aliens or all the humans in the really bad 60s costumes that they called aliens lol. But even then the show looked cheap to me, like you, I love all the ideas and possibilities it presented. It was very imaginative and

When TNG came around by the time I was 12, I was old enough to really appreciate the ideas and stories the show was telling. I really grew to love Star Trek from a very young kid to now a guy in his forties and love it even more today (even if the newer shows are still in the ‘so-so’ category for me).

I think that’s the point, give kids something that feels more approachable from the beginning and get to understand what the world of Star Trek is and as they grow up they can appreciate the older shows like TNG and Voyager when they are a little older. CBS knows what they are doing.

Get the little ones hooked early and then they too will be binge watching Kirk, Sisko, Picard and Janeway in no time!

Last edited 3 months ago by Tiger2

Loved these comments!

I too am not as involved with the new Treks as I was with the ’90s stuff. But sometimes I still feel a little like a kid again when I see a trailer for a new season. Child-like excitement is a wonderful thing to experience even if it’s only in small doses.

I thought Worf was the boss because he loomed over everyone and was intimidating.”

So did Worf, in “Conundrum.”

I actually think I got my start watching Star Trek TAS at like 6AM on the CBC kicking of Sat morning cartoons after O Canada in 1987. Lots of cool shots of the Enterprise, Klingon and Romulan ships. For a six year old, pretty intense mind blowing stuff.
That and for some reason KXLY in Spokane and RDTV out of Red Deer (CBC) showed TOS through the 90s. For some reason Western Canada and the inland northwest were subjected to almost more TOS than TNG (were we just lucky?!).
And even now that reminds me… if you can believe it last Saturday Night in 2021 at 9PM, like prime broadcast network TV time, they had on TOS – the Doomsday Machine (remastered CGI). Not complaining but WHY?!?!
Isn’t that amazing that TOS is STILL on prime TV? What I don’t get is KXLY is an ABC affiliate so figure that one out!!

Last edited 3 months ago by Cmd.Bremmon

Ah neat! I grew up in Montreal where our local CBC station (CBMT-6) aired TOS at 10am on Sundays – and weirdly, until TNG, no other local or over-the-border station aired any Trek at all. I think TNG aired on our local ABC affiliate, WVNY 22? But memories are fuzzy and a subscription to Newspapers dot com to find out is expensive. :)

KPTV Channel 12 carried Star Trek here in Portland, Oregon my entire young life. Carried all the Star Trek shows through at least VOY. Than they became our local Fox affiliate (ewwww) ;-)

Lol Must be an inland Midwest thing.
In fox’s defence they did Firefly; easily one of the few shows that captured the frontier feeling of space (Netflix Lost in Space pulls it off too).
The movie Master and Commander, though about sailing ships pulls it off too.

They also did The Orville.

I wish they would just bring back Star Trek The Experience but updated and expanded. Build out a full quarter of the DS9 promenade, make the hotel Starbase themed, use some of the modern tech to make it so you can see out some windows into space.

I’d love to see this. I was too young to go to Vegas when it was in its prime.

The Star Trek Experience was truly a level of detail and theming which has taken until more recent offerings based on movies to match in my opinion… I can only imagine how awesome it could be if done with modern budgets and not necessarily confined to a hotel in Vegas.

Uncoincidentally, Vega$ is an adult playground. And yes, Star Trek: The Experience is sorely missed.

I would absolutely love this. I was brokenhearted when The Experience was shut down before I got a chance to go. I want it to come back, but with every major era covered. I just kind of want to bask in that particular sun for a few days. I’m sure something like this will come again, though.

Somehow, I just don’t see any investor (or investment bank) in their right mind funding a project like this.

I also don’t see the type of Trek attraction I would hope to see ever happening. Between the modern aesthetic and the people who genuinely ask if I’d prefer it to “be made of cardboard like the old shows” when I say “I’m not a fan of how the sets look.”

I had hope for the various incarnations of the touring experiences (which I think would have done better if fully themed as if it was a literal Starfleet museum traveling attraction) but so far those have let me down from an immersion stance. The stop they did at the USS Intrepid in NYC was a particular let down because most of the featured attractions were broken (I don’t blame the people who put it on, Avengers STATION in Times Square had the same issue and I attribute it to just tons of kids bashing things while playing with them).

Still, a fan can hope… I know that if I somehow became a billionaire I’d blow my money on something like this.

Not surprising of course. I think they want it to go the direction like the Star Wars animated shows that has tons of merchandise for kids for those shows (but SW in general always had a lot of kid merchandise).

It would be nice to see this stuff for Star Trek again. Sadly none of the new movies or shows seem to have that pull at all. I don’t know why? Star Trek was famous for it’s merchandise as well. When Star Trek was big in the 90s, I mean really big, you couldn’t walk in a department or toy store without seeing Star Trek clothes, products or toys. I remember going to my local Toys R Us and there was literally an entire section just for Star Trek stuff, from TOS to Voyager. It use to be so much fun to see all things kids could buy. When the TOS and TNG movies came out, there were tons of stuff like happy meals, promotional books, toys, etc.

Now, you couldn’t even find a Star Trek Beyond t-shirt at a Target when that movie came out.

It would be nice if Prodigy can turn that tide and at least have some for a ten year old and not expensive models for older adults you can only order online these days.

And I loved the Star Trek Experience in Vegas. That was our Mecca for Star Trek fans. Star Wars now have billion dollar lands set up in Disney theme parks. It would be nice to get at least a ride again in the states.

I suspect the folks at CBS/Paramount/Viacom have cast an eye at SW Land and the Avengers Campus at the Disney resorts and secretly coveted that merchandising success of a bit now….forgetting it took 40 years of producing content from Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios to get to that point. Meanwhile, in the Trek Universe, we’re seven years between movies and a fairly recent flurry of activity in streaming services. I was feeling stupid and tracked down the website to buy a ridiculously priced bottle of Trek Whiskey (a bad lockdown habit, sorry), and while there appeared to be product available, try as I might, the website was impossible to navigate.

I really don’t think Trek merchandising will ever be anything then either an afterthought, just spur of the moment impulse products….

Cool – but why not bring families together on Discovery and Picard with a hopeful future to look forward to; without the unnecessary gore, crying and swearing?

Thanks, but no thanks. Just because you chose to breed doesn’t mean other people should be subjected to a silly, infantile Trek where people act unrealistically and don’t swear, cry or bleed. :)

hahaha well said!

Maybe that describes Prodigy, but I think there’s more to gain by aiming to make a TV-14 show like the 1966-2016 shows and films than one that many parents would hesitate to show their kids.

I’m not sure what Trek you’re referring to, but the unearned drama and ridiculous plots of some of the current shows are what strikes me as silly and infantile. TAS has better, more adult writing, and it aired on Saturday mornings nearly fifty years ago.

You know, sorry to say this but sometimes the “look, we are dark and realistic like everyone else” is much more infantile than trying to write a proper, literal and solid standalone story.

Yeah! Why would people want to escape from modern sensibilities when they watch… *checks notes*… escapist science fiction programming. O_o

I don’t think there’s really much in Discovery or Picard that I would be too concerned about showing to kids. Maybe the thing with Icheb’s eye is a bit much, but that’s mostly off screen anyway. Kids cry and swear all the time anyway, so I wouldn’t worry about letting them see it on TV.

I disagree. I think the violence in Discovery season 1 is graphic enough to make it unsuitable for a family audience. The swearing was whatever, but the gore and sexual violence was not something I can imagine ever watching with young kids, whereas my mother and I happily enjoyed TOS, TNG and DS9 (and the occasional Voyager) together when I was quite young. And the Icheb scene was very disturbing. It wasn’t just a random character being graphically tortured, it was a character we’d last seen as a sweet and loving teenager on Voyager.

It’s not healthy for the franchise in the long term to ignore four quadrant family appeal. Look at how parents have gleefully introduced their kids to revivals of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Doctor Who and even the Abrams Trek films. You’re not going to see as many kids getting their first exposure to Trek via Discovery and Picard, and in 20 years that’s perhaps going to be seen as a missed opportunity for encouraging longevity, all for the sake of getting to show more gore and some rape. Great.

Lol, children cry all the time, unlike repressed adults, so I don’t think ‘families’ are hating on Discovery for that reason.

Do you know kids? I have 5 nephews and 3 nieces. There is no way they could handle watching modern live action Star Trek to they are atleast 13. That is several lost years of viewership. If the tone was less ‘edgy’ then they could watch it.

My problem these days is that the real SpaceX / Starship launches appear more exciting with more science, frontier and tension then any of the Trek today.
Back in the day you wanted your kids to watch Star Trek that they’d ask “what is antimatter” and how can I be brave and logically solve problems.
Now it’s all magic mushrooms and crying adults (that being said I like Discovery, it just isn’t as redeeming as classic Trek).

Last edited 3 months ago by Cmd.Bremmon

STAR TREK always had a lot of made-up “magic” science.

And the answer to the Trek antimatter question was? Massive amounts of antimatter release energy that magically gets converted to a warp field using dilithium crystals? Every bit of that is as much nonsense today as it was fifty years ago, special effects just make it look better.

It’s always amazing when some Star Trek fans convince themselves they are watching a show that have episodes of them meeting Greek gods, fighting the ghost of Jack the Ripper, removing brains, running into space hippies, meeting ‘aliens’ that look and act completely human or can time travel simply by going really fast around a star is all somehow based on science fact.

Star Trek is mostly sci fi hokum and TOS clearly set that standard. This odd belief that the show is a hard science show is the oddest thing I ever heard. Even when I watched it as a kid, I never looked at the show more than a fun sci fi TV show with a few scientific theories thrown in, but it was still mostly hokum. Just really fun and imaginative hokum that was made to sound plausible, like current Star Trek is today. But very little of it is.

And if most of your technology is made up to explain how your ship can zip around the galaxy via dilithium crystals or spore drives then yes it’s all still the same magical science, not real science. Again it’s funny how some people compartmentalize this stuff and pretend one is any less silly than the other.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tiger2

The greater the fantasy cheese with no analogy the suckier the episode. The only exception is when they are making up an allegory for some real challenge (ie dilithium = oil, cloaking device = submarines), etc that they can explore some real life challenge (grounded in part by a real life conflict).
I’m a TOS fan – space hippies sucked. .

Antimatter is real. Smash a positron and an electron and you get energy. Hard storing it (and energy to create it) but regardless, there are universities doing proposals on antimatter powered spacecraft ( search Cambridge “ Fusion reactions and matter–antimatter annihilation for space propulsion”).
No university has or will ever propose magic mushrooms as being able to warp Spacetime.
That one equates spore drive with antimatter engines as equivalent “magic” is everything wrong with Trek today.

Yes, Tezna, they are burning audience that they may never recover.

Ours kids are now teens.

After the Iceb torture and death scene, one of them not only refused to watch Picard but also any other new Trek content. It was a real effort to get them to try Lower Decks (which they like). I also notice that they aren’t watching Voyager reruns the as much as they used to since it doesn’t bring them the same comfort.

Meanwhile Superman and Lois is a well produced and tightly written (so far) new series that the whole family is watching.

While most of us on this website discovered Trek as kids I think it’s important to separate our experiences from the broader viewing public. I saw TNG premiere as a 7 year old, but very few other kids in school (if any) were watching Trek. Most Trek fans I met in the 90s didn’t discover it until their early teens (13-15).

I think broadly, Trek, since 1979 (and until 2017), has mostly been an all-ages property that wound up mostly appealing to ages 13+, which some exceptions.

Prodigy will be the first time the franchise has actively aimed a series or movie at kids since TAS, something they came very close to doing in 2006 with “Final Frontier” an unreleased animated web series.

I for one love the idea. Would love to have Trek that specifically appeals to a broad audience of kids.

I agree. I recall watching Series 9 of the Doctor Who revival. The show was getting a little more adult and darker and complex, but it was still meant to be a family show. But during the course of the series, the Doctor lost his trusty sonic screwdriver and replaced them with sonic sunglasses he would just put on and tap, and they’d unlock doors or give him information etc just like the other device did.

The fan base went mental over this. Groaning about how stupid and silly it was, what was the showrunner thinking etc. Setting aside that it was replacing a sonic screwdriver which was already incredibly silly, the writer said in an interview that the whole point was so that children watching could now go play and be the Doctor just by grabbing any old pair of sunglasses, instead of having to buy a $20 toy. I loved that idea, and it warmed my jaded 30-something year-old heart. Sometimes we need to step back and embrace that not everything is about us.

that was cool.

I love the sonic sunglasses. Doctor Who should always be at least a little bit stupid and silly. That’s part of its charm.

Last edited 3 months ago by Legate Damar

Absolutely!

Whoooooo

Who lives in a big starship

Under the sea?

JJ Abrams in STID, it appears.

My older brother gave me a sticker of the Season 1 TNG cast out of a cereal box when I was 5 years old back in 1987, and the rest is history. I had already been watching TOS a bit in syndication, so I quickly adopted TNG as my own! (I still have that sticker!)

Actually, it was a sticker of Commander Riker. I just dug it out for a little nostalgia.

Last edited 3 months ago by Locutus

The Trek ride in Las Vegas where you get beamed up to the Enterprise is one of the greatest theme park experiences that I’ve had. I wish that they would build something comparable.

Last edited 3 months ago by Just Another Salt Vampire

Yeah I LOVED it! I been to both The Experience AND they had the original Enterprise D bridge at the Hollywood Museum back in the late 90s. I been on the bridge twice! :)

It will likely never happen, but I’d dearly love for there to be an entire Trek theme park with separate lands/attractions for the various shows. I’d happily vote for the kit and caboodle to be sold to Disney if for this reason only.

Either way, I take it as good news that they are placing this level of importance on “Prodigy.”

…and yet somehow, Star Trek thrived for about 50 years without becoming kiddified. TOS spawned four wildly successful sequels. New fans came into the fold.

PRODIGY isn’t going to make the under-10 crowd into lifelong Trek fans. It’s going to make them think of Star Trek as something babyish, to be discarded when going into middle school, rather like the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. What high schooler would be caught dead enjoying something like, I don’t know, MY LITTLE PONY that was a hit in elementary school? (Dr. Seuss excepted, of course.)

I’m starting to think, sadly, that this current crop of Trek shows may be the last generation of Star Trek. They’re treating it like the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Then again, it could be more akin to another Nickelodeon property, Avatar: the Last Airbender which, although aimed at 10 to 12-year-olds is still popular amongst teens and adults alike and for good reason. I think it’s a wait and see kind of situation.

Yeah, and maybe you wait and see a few episodes and judge it then. When I grew up TOS was considered a kid show anyway. Something placed along Lassie, Flipper or The Beachcombers.

I think you’re REALLY missing the point. The show can actually be both for kids AND adults like a lot of animation shows are today. Kate Mulgrew have made it clear the show isn’t to talk down to kids but to still be as challenging as the live action shows are, just introduce characters they can relate to more. You’re calling something ‘babyish’ you haven’t even seen yet.

The idea is if they like Prodigy enough, then they will watch Voyager later if they take to Janeway and the others. Can’t we just at least see what they do with it before we decide it’s most awful thing done with Star Trek to date? And here’s a thought, you don’t have to actually watch it, as there are now multiple (more adult) shows you can happily watch.

The idea, to channel 7 of 9, is flawed. Again, the far more likely outcome is that they’ll consider Star Trek babyish once they enter the tween years.

The idea is if they like Prodigy enough, then they will watch Voyager later if they take to Janeway and the others.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, Tiger2. Unlike on fanboy blogs, in business, you don’t always get to experiment without consequences. Accountability is indeed a thing. If this idea flops — and there’s an excellent chance it’s going to — there will be consequences. Shareholders will lose confidence in the CBS/Paramount management team. There will be difficult earnings calls with Wall Street analysts. “Wait and see” isn’t always terrible strategy, but it often is, particularly when the strategy is so laughably and predictably flawed.

Can’t we just at least see what they do with it before we decide it’s most awful thing done with Star Trek to date?

“Don’t watch Trek; there’s more adult things out there.” Sheer marketing genius, there. Geese, golden eggs, and all that.

 And here’s a thought, you don’t have to actually watch it, as there are now multiple (more adult) shows you can happily watch.

OMG man, just don’t watch the show then! Nothing is going to happen beyond if enough people don’t watch it, it will get cancelled. Can you stop with they nutty hyperbole.

Star Trek fans can be some of the pickiest and myopic people which is so strange.

a lot of animation supposedly aimed at kids also appeals to adults as well now.
that change happened in the 90s.

and anyway ST has always been a family show that kids loved back in the day.

Isn’t My Little Pony popular with older kids and adults these days?

I love the Bob’s Burgers (hey, another quality animated show with family appeal!) episode which did a whole storyline about Bronies.

This is very true of the My Little Pony and Equestria Girls which ended production a few years ago that seemed to be more targeted to a 8-12 year old group.

In fact, one of our kids found it too scary when they were in primary grades and really got into in from grade 4 to middle school.

But since Hasbro is a toy company first, the newest series is a reboot targeted at a much younger, perhaps preschool audience.

There are multiple Star Wars animated series with fan bases aged 6-90. It’s definitely possible to do an animated show that appeals to everyone, and however it turns out, I certainly think it’s a smarter strategy for the franchise to try to appeal to everyone than to only the Trek fans who grew up and like TV-MA content.

When did TAS air again, 1973? It was definitely kiddified. For a lot of Trek fans, that was their first exposure to the Trek universe.

Last edited 3 months ago by Phil

I will say, in fairness, that I can think of one commercially-successful franchise that might defy the MY LITTLE PONY point: Harry Potter. That one seems to have bridged the gap from tweens to teens to adults. But that’s assuming you’ve got writers as deft as J.K. Rowling, and even then you’re talking about creating a new franchise, not trying to shoehorn an existing, serious franchise into a kiddie mould. I ultimately think Harry Potter is sui generis.

There were very sound reasons why Paramount rejected the “Starfleet Academy” movie series idea after TFF flopped in 1989. Today’s Paramount is forgetting that lesson.

But they’ve never tried this before, so what is the harm? Trek was always a family franchise which had lucrative licensing deals for toys until Discovery came along and boxed out many of the under-14s. Why is embracing the appeal to kids less risky than making two shows that are aimed squarely at adults for the first time in 50 years? If it works, you’ll have a whole new generation of fans exploring the rest of the franchise and looking back on it fondly when they grow up. We’re not going to see that kind of legacy for Discovery and Picard regardless of their actual merits.

Paramount/CBS has experimented with Trek so many times. TMP was a big risk. TNG was a big risk. So was DS9. So was resting UPN’s fortunes on Voyager or moving the movie franchise onto TNG’s shoulders. Enterprise was a big risk. Spending twice as much as they’d ever spent on a Trek film for the 2009 reboot was a huge risk. Making a TV-MA steaming-only new series was a big experiment, ditto Lower Decks. I don’t really see why any of us should be getting cold feet about Paramount experimenting with Prodigy.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ian

This Prodigy thing look absolutely awful. It’s like a cut-price version of the Star Wars merchandise machine.

To me, it looks a lot like The Showrunners’ other show Trollhunters which was deceptively awesome so let’s not despair just yet.

Yes, Trollhunters was visually gorgeous and stealthily promoting positive psycho-social development.

Definitely top tier children’s programming.

And Prodigy has Chris Hibon a Swiss-British head of animation who has won significant awards in the art end of animation shorts.

But it seems that the deep American prejudice against “cartoons for kids” is coming to the fore in some of the comments on this thread.

I’m English, but I get your point.

ST used to be the big merchandise machine back in the day.

Yes. I remember a very cool Spock helmet.

…and all that Spock helmet merchandising was done without kiddifying TOS. Fancy that.

Last edited 3 months ago by The River Temarc

I feel like we’ve seen so little that it’s impossible to come to this opinion without it involving at least a little bit of preemptive bias.

Kind of jumping the gun, aren’t they? I guess we will wait and see.

I will buy almost anything ‘Trek to add to my extensive collection so BRING ‘EM ON!

I would love to see Playmates Toys start cranking out 4.5” figures, ships and playsets and role play again. Stick to just 4.5” figures! Let us see a return of Micromachines Starships as well. AllowSuper7,DST,Eaglemoss, Etc to continue with their products and we will all be very happy. I hope that if it is Playmates they can go back and fill in any holes left in the excellent line they started in 1992. I would definitely like to see some of their less produced ships and playsets like Voyager and the engine room being reoffered!

Back in t h e day, when there was just Star Trek….just Star Trek….kids watched and loved it and played with the toys. They also played with friends in back yards and playgrounds acting out the crew’s adventures. The series, with its bold colors, imaginative stories, exciting adventures and fun characters had no problem attracting and keeping a child’s attention. Of course, adults of all ages loved the series as well, but, in addition to the exciting adventures, it was the great, thought provoking writing and well developed characters they embraced . Families watched the series together. Newer spinoffs, never quite held that same over all appeal. The newer series were missing the basics that fueled a child’s imagination. It’s too bad the current stewards don’t understand how to weave together a series that can appeal to all ages, appealing on many different levels…all at the same time.

It’s telling that Lower Decks is not getting the same treatment.

Why would it?

Lower Decks is targeted at teens and young adults.

LOL, like that isn’t a huge market for theme park rides and collectable toys. In fact, in regards to Star Trek, that’s always been a much larger market versus young children.

The reason why they are doing this is because they are forecasting a much, much larger viewership than LDS, which is mainly geared for TNG-era older fans. Hardly anyone under 25 even knows LDS exists, nor would they get all the inside-canon jokes.

Last edited 3 months ago by Methusalah

Curious if we know how Roddenberry felt about official merchandising influencing storylines. And did he ever comment on the comparisons (people/producers) make between Trek and Wars merchandise? I am noting here that George Lucas’s most significant business decision was keeping the option to produce toys. 20th Century Fox didn’t make money from the first round of toys in 1977.

We know that Roddenberry came up with the IDIC symbol for the sole purpose of cashing in and Shatner refused to wear it because he was repelled by this form of cash grab. So GR forced it later on Nimoy.

WOW!