Captain Pyke Reviews New 'Star Trek' Toys - Part 1
If you're like me, you woke up this morning with one thing on your mind. Where are the new 'Star Trek' toys and how do I procure them. Flying out of the house with credit card in hand, I headed down the street to my local Target. Sure enough there in the toy section sat the brand new 'Star Trek' phasers, action-figures, playsets, and the like. I quickly grabbed all that I could, looking over my shoulder periodically like a dog protecting it's bowl. I stuffed everything in my cart and to the check out I ran.
The polite cashier asked me if these were for a birthday or if I was a collector. "Neither" I said. "You see, my name is Professor Burlinghoff Rasmussen and I'm a historian from the future. I need to collect toy specimens for the study I'm doing on 21st century toy manufatoring....." After a long pause and an even longer blank stare, "collector" I whispered. "Uh huh" she said while handing me my receipt.
Opening the tricorder packaging first, I immediately removed the device and closed it's lid. I then hit the thumb switch on the side. The lid popped open again with lights and sounds and I gigled like a school girl. The lights on the device are bright, really bright, they look fantastic. Compared to my Playmates TOS tricorder, this new tricorder is blindingly bright. The brightness of modern LEDs still amazes me.
This tricorder sounds similar to the TOS version, with a bit of 50's sci-fi thrown in. There are two seperate scan buttons with three different sound effects each. There is also an opening and closing sound. Most of the effects work for me but one or two just don't sound like Star Trek.
The outer casing is made of inexpensive plastic in both 'chrome' and matte black. The build quality is what you would expect for something that costs $15. However, it does feel solid and the lights and sounds are better than I expected. I'll definitely be walking around the house scanning for lifeforms.
Looking like a cross between a TOS communicator and a inner stellar VOX from Galaxy Quest, the new 'Star Trek' communicator is the weakest of the three roleplaying toys. Similar to communicators of the past, this new device flips open with a distinct sound. Once open, you're greeted by only two buttons each with it's own sound bite from the movie. The build quality is decent, but the top piece (or cover) feels really flimsy. I could see a 10-year-old Captain Pyke breaking this in about 2 minutes. Something I hadn't noticed until now; the United Federation of Planets logo on the inside of the communicator cover is the same one used throughout current Star Trek cannon. It's interesting that the logo hasn't been changed for the new franchise reboot.
When the klingons start some crap or a Nausicaan get's up in your grill, what do go for? Your phaser of course. At first glance, this re-imagined phaser looks similar in shape to the Star Trek II phasers. You know, the one Kirk used to shoot that Ceti Eel after it pooped out of Chekov's ear.
Clad in all chrome plastic, this new weapon has the standard two settings: stun and kill. There is a slightly different approach to changing the settings though, the barrel rotates 180 degrees. I like this idea, it's very similar in function to the lasers from the TOS pilot 'The Cage". Each setting has a distinct sound and barrell color. Blue for stun and red for kill, appropriately. The sound effects are pleasing and don't seem out of place for the Star Trek universe. There's also a dial on the top, that when switched, turns on a yellow indicator light and activation sound showing that the weapon is hot. On the fun scale I would give the new phaser a 7. It might look a little goofy, but it sure is entertaining to sneak around the house and shoot the Mrs. with it.