Sunday, June 28, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight- Classic Medical Tricorder

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Item Name: Classic Medical Tricorder
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys

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Diamond Select released the Classic Medical Tricorder as a boxed Entertainment Earth Exclusive.

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The Rundown: AA/ DST seemed to be on a winning streak when it came to doing replicas of the equipment from Classic Star Trek. Their Phaser and Communicator replicas are both fantastic! When they first announced the Tricorder, I was ecstatic! Then came the production delays...and the loss of the scanner motor...and the price increase. So now that it's finally here, how does it measure up?

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Let's start with some positives- the first thing I noticed (obviously) was the size! After only having the Playmates version for years, it was really nice to have a pretty accurately sized Tricorder in my hands! Take a look at him up there next to his "little Playmates brother". Oh, and the box itself is pretty huge too!

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The strap on the Tricorder is sized for an adult (thankfully) and is made of a very nice leather-like material. Pretty sharp!

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Once the play feature is turned on, the Tricorder will automatically light up when the top section is flipped open. The first 2 buttons produce sound effects which will also cause the moire to spin. The sound effects are loud and crisp, and the moire spin is great. The sound effects also stay on for quite awhile when pushed. The screen is nice, though I wish the lights were a bit brighter.

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Okay, time for some not-so-positives- The the third button activates the voice chips. The Dr. McCoy voice chips on the three that I played with (and allot of the ones I'm hearing reviewed on line) are pretty poorly done. The voice is pretty sped up and high-pitched, making McCoy sound like one of the chipmunks. Lines like "He's dead Jim" sound like "hesdeacha!". And it's not the batteries either. It's a faulty voice chip and it's not an isolated problem. And what really stinks is that since this a mail order exclusive and you can't actually test the chip before buying, you have to take a real gamble when ordering.

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While not as big a problem as the cruddy voice chip, the bottom panel is also somewhat of a nuisance. It's made to come part of the way open and then stop, or if you want it all the way open, you push in the sides to get it all the way open. That's all fine, but it doesn't work all that well and looks kinda funky when fully opened.

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And here's the worst travesty of the whole thing: the medical scanner. This thing is CHEAP. When they first announced it, this puppy was going to have a motor to spin and electronic sounds. Then we got our price increase, and then they said they couldn't get both options into it, so they figured fans would want the sound. WHAT!?! What fan would have chosen the sound!?!? When did they take that poll!?! Um, hello? Can't the sound just come from the Tricorder instead? It smacks of DST cheaping out and trying to come up with an excuse. As it stands now, you have to spin the scanner manually with a little disk while attempting to hold down the button at the same time! Oh, and you can't just press the button and let it go and have the sound effects continue...you actually have to keep it pressed down! What moron thought it would be possible for someone to turn a dial while keeping their thumb stationary on the button!?! Oh, and the sounds are INCREDIBLY low on mine, and the one my friend opened.

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Lastly, there's no clip to hold the scanner in place! It just kinda rattles around in there! Would it really have cost that much to put a simple clip in there? The whole thing is incredibly lightweight anyway (almost to the point of feeling cheap) and it might have added a little weight.

I can excuse allot of stuff, but when a product is this expensive (WITH a price increase over the original suggested retail) and is delayed as long as this one was, this kind of stuff is pretty inexcusable. And I didn't even go into details on the paint flaws on the ones we ordered since that's a pretty random thing. All this stuff adds up to a product I would have been hesitant to buy had I actually seen it in stores, especially at full price. Buyer beware on this one folks! It's still a cool piece to have, but the flaws are pretty disappointing.

-James

2 comments:

  1. Are the paint problems random? Maybe the specific location is different from piece to piece, but it seems like every tricorder has a not-insignificant paint screwup.

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  2. otaku5003, I wish i could just buy the medical scanner and forget the tricorder.

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