1996: Voyager was over a year old, First Contact was on the way, and Worf had been a fixture on Deep Space Nine for several months. In a way, this time frame was the last hurrah for Star Trek merchandising, before the public tired too much of the franchise. Playmates, having seen very limited success with its lines of Deep Space Nine and Voyager action figures, folded all of its Star Trek toys into a generically-packaged range whose blister card simply bore a movie-era “Star Trek” logo. While continuing to introduce characters from the later series, Playmates also acceeded to fan demand for more version of the classic Star Trek characters. Continue reading
After the smash success of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Ertl stepped up to the plate to grab the toy license for Star Trek III – which, of course, was a much less action-oriented movie. Ertl produced only four characters, as well as small die-cast metal replicas of the Enterprise (not as good as the earlier version released by another manufacturer for Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and the Klingon Bird of Prey. Continue reading
Despite releasing characters from A Piece Of The Action and City On The Edge Of Forever, Playmates’ most inspired choice of episode-specific classic Trek characters was its four-piece subset of toys from The Cage, the original pilot which NBC rejected. Continue reading
If you believed the advertising hype, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was going to be the next Star Wars. Now, of course, we all know it wasn’t, but that’s beside the point – we still got some decent toys out of the whole thing.
Mego, who also made toys based on the Buck Rogers TV series and Disney’s The Black Hole, (and had earlier based a 12-inch G.I. Joe-style line of figures on the characters as they appeared in the original series, opted for figures with no more articulation than the original Kenner Star Wars figures (whereas the Buck Rogers and Black Hole toys borrowed the nine-jointed design of Mego’s popular Micronauts toys). Continue reading
Here’s an entire series of toys fraught with bloopers.
In pre-production for Star Trek: Generations, which premiered over the Thanksgiving 1994 holidays, a new costume design – rather a spiffy one, I always thought – was conceived for the crew of the Enterprise-D in their first film. But at the last moment, despite the fact that a lot of money had been spent actually creating these new costumes, the powers that be decided to reduce the number of “new” and unfamiliar elements, opting instead to outfit the Enterprise’s crew in a random mix of their original Next Generation uniforms and DS9-style jumpsuits.
There’s just one problem. Playmates had gotten to work on their new line of Generations toys before the movie ever got in front of the cameras …and as far as they knew, the new uniforms would be in use. Continue reading
Having enjoyed two years of tremendous success with its line of Star Trek: The Next Generation toys, Playmates released a marvelously-packaged set of seven figures in a window box with an interior modeled loosely after the Enterprise bridge. Unsurprisingly, the Classic Trek boxed set was an instant sell-out during the 1993 Christmas season, despite its $50+ price tag. Continue reading