Monday, February 22, 2010

Star Trek 'Potpourri' Spotlight-
Unproduced Coleco Vehicles

Sigh... I really hate being outbid on unique Trek pieces on eBay. Take for example these Coleco presentation boards. They were listed about a month ago with buy-it-now options of $100 each. I passed then, thinking they were a little too pricey. They didn't sell, so the seller relisted them with a starting bid of $50 each. I figured I'd be able to snag them for around $75 each since no one else even placed a bid on them, and they ended at like 4 a.m. on a weekday. So I set my alarm and woke myself up at 3:30 to place my bids in the last seconds... and got outbid on both pieces. Argh! And what's funny is that I would now gladly pay the $100 each! Double argh! Every gray cloud has a silver lining though; By a sheer stroke of luck, I actually know the guy that outbid me and he was nice enough to send over pics for the blog! Thanks man!

Anyways... Coleco must have just picked up the Trek license for fun in the early 80's because it seems like everything they tried to put out didn't get produced. They made plans for a handheld game based on "The Motion Picture" which never made it past the prototype stages in 1980. And then there's these vehicles, which never made it past these art boards apparently.

First there's this cycle. Pretty much your standard "Big Wheel" fare. Had it been produced, it would have probably looked a lot like this Coleco G.I.Joe Cycle shown here-

Sure, that would have been cool to have, but this would have easily trounced it-

How sweet would that have been? If you're having trouble imagining it, take a look at this G.I.Joe version to get your brain juices flowing-

Now we don't know for sure that all the functions and features would have been present on the Trek version, but it's a pretty sure bet. This thing would have been motorized (think Power Wheels) and would have featured sound and lighting effects. Man, I would have had a BLAST with this as a kid! Heck, I'd probably still be driving it.

Ah, what might have been... Thanks again to my friend for sharing the pics! And yes, I still want to buy them from you. ;)


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dinky Toys Spotlight-
'Klingon' Battle Cruiser

Item Name: 'Klingon' Battle Cruiser
Manufacturer: Dinky Toys

Dinky Toys released this dastardly devil of a ship as a single piece and in a 2 pack with their Enterprise.

The Rundown: While not quite as cool as Dinky's Enterprise, the Klingon Battle Cruiser is still pretty spiffy. The color choices are a little odd, but the sculpt is nice and the ship is the perfect play partner for the Dinky 1701. Let's take a look at what all the cool Klingons were flying back in the 70's...

Okay, so it's metallic blue and white- A pretty far cry from the muted gray of the ones seen on the show. I'm sure it was the choice of some toy exec who thought that the brighter colors would better grab the attention of some unsuspecting 7 year old walking through the toy aisles. It's a little off-putting, but just try to imagine this ship as belonging to some hot-rodding Klingon b@st@rd who doesn't give a crap how conspicuous his ship looks. He wants the attention. Heck, he's thinking about painting flames on it. And pinstripes.

The overall sculpt is really quite nice, and captures a good amount of detail. If I had a spare, I'd hit it with some gray spray paint just to show how nice of a replica this ship really could be.

Just like Dinky's Enterprise, the Klingon ship can fire little disks, *ahem* I mean "torpedoes". The discs load into the top of the "head" of the ship, and fire out of the front. The feature still works great after all these years!

The ship comes with some decals for you to spruce her up with. She'd look pretty plain without the insanely cool Klingon symbol attached to her. I almost went with a Klingon symbol for my Trek tattoo, but I quickly scratched that idea when I thought most Trek fans would identify it with the more honorable TNG Klingons and not the sneaky conniving Klingons of the original series (my preferred variety).

Accessories: The Battle Cruiser includes a bag of 7 white disks for you to fire at your Enterprise, thereby violating the Organian peace treaty. Stinking peaceful Organians.

I'd call this a "must-buy" only if you happen to own the Dinky Enterprise. The 2 ships really do look cool together (I wish I would have taken a pic of them next to each other). If you don't have the Enterprise, this one is probably only worth hunting down for the big time Klingon fans. The Battle Cruiser gets overlooked a lot when it comes to making toy versions of Klingon ships, with most companies opting to do the movie era Bird-Of-Prey, so it is somewhat unique in that regard.

Oh, and I've decided to go exclusive with Dinky. They gave me a promise ring and everything.


Hey... I Got An Award!

Awww... People like me! My friend (and fellow Spock fan) Chunky B over at eclectorama was nice enough to present my little page with one of these nifty "One Lovely Blog" awards! Thanks buddy! I really appreciate that!

In turn, I am supposed to choose a few blogs that I feel are also deserving of the award to pass it along to. Stealing Chunky B's allotment of 7, here are my picks. Oh, and please know that if you are on my reading list and didn't make the cut, that doesn't mean I love your blog any less! I love all the blogs I read and I'd give the award to all of you if I could!

eclectorama- Chunky B's site is the cat's pajamas! Swing over and check out the plethora of toy goodness... and Spock-cation! (which I want in on!)
My star Trek Scrapbook- Frederick's page is literally a HUGE online Star Trek scrapbook. How he managed to keep track of all these articles over the years amazes me. You can spend hours on this site just reading all the great stuff he's saved.
A Year of Toys- Head over to this blog and followed the daily thrills of a year in the life of a toy collector!
The Nostalgia Factory- I grew up in the 80's, so the Nostalgic G's page is like a trip through my childhood. And...
Nostalgia Factory Presents: Trek Nostalgia's the Trek-centric Nostalgia page!
My Life in the Shadow of the Twilight Zone- I know far less about Twilight Zone than I really should as a Sci-Fi fan, so thankfully Craig Beam's site is helping me take a crash course in TZ-ology...
A Thousand Words- Okay, so it's playing favorites, but I couldn't mention my fav blogs without including my wife's photography blog. It's got a ton of great pics of my kids, and my wife's skills behind the lens really astound me. Great job honey!

Thanks for putting forth such great blogs guys and gals! And thanks to Chunky B for the award!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Star Trek The Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition Extras-
"The Galileo Seven"

All the extras from the Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition of "The Galileo Seven". A bunch of Nimoy's segments are in this one...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mego Spotlight- Tricorder

Item Name: Tricorder
Manufacturer: Mego Toys Corp.

Mego released this super cool Tricorder back in the mid-70's. Just like all the Mego boxed stuff, the box art is a real treat! Here's the back of the box if you'd like to see that too-

The Rundown: Mego did many great things with the Trek license during the years they had it. Sure, a great majority of the stuff took extreme "artistic license" when it came to reproducing things accurately, but they made up for their lack of realism with an overload of the fun factor. Take for example this Tricorder- sure, it may not match the real prop, but if you want to talk about a fun toy that probably saw plenty of play time back in the 70's, this one fits that bill perfectly. Combining the fun of a toy Tricorder with the abilities of a tape player makes this piece my favorite of all the Mego Trek role-play items! Let's take a look...

While it doesn't match the look of the TOS Tricorder, Mego at least captured the shape and basic design in this toy. The colors look like they were probably more inspired by the cartoon than the show, with vibrant shades of blue replacing the black and chrome of the original prop. There's a nifty little Trek logo imprinted on the top flap to remind you that "yes indeed, this is a Star Trek toy".

Flip open the top flap and you reveal a bunch of really nice decals depicting the "inner workings" of the Tricorder. There's shots of Kirk & Spock and a couple of nifty star charts. Great decals that really help sell the Tricorder's playability.

Beneath the decals are the Trciorder's controls. Theres a dial for volume, a switch that controls the functions of the player, a button for recording, and a small area for you to speak into while recording. The small multi-colored moire up there also spins while the tape is playing!

Speaking of the tape- Included with the Tricorder is a cassette tape for the owner to take on his or her Trek adventures. One side is left blank for recording your own logs, while the other side is filled with snippets from the episodes "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "The Corbomite Maneuver". Listening to the tape recently I was reminded of being a child back before the days of DVD, DVR, and even before VHS was prevalent- back when the only method we really had to record our favorite shows was to stick the tape recorder in front of one of the TV's speakers and create our own "radio show" versions. Ah, the good ol' days...

Oh, and before I forget, I want to mention the amazing heft of this toy! When I took it out it's box, I was amazed by it's weight... and that was BEFORE I put the batteries in! A kid could have done some real damage to a rogue Andorian by whipping this beast around!

So there ya go... the Mego Tricorder! A great, affordable piece of Trek toy nostalgia! And practical too! Just be sure to test it before purchasing as the wiring is prone to coming loose over time.


For Those That May Not Have Seen Them Yet-
Upcoming DST/ EMCE Mego Style Figures!

So there wasn't much to see at Toy Fair this year in the way of Trek stuff. DST showed off the Enterprise B, a REALLY nice Klingon Bird Of Prey, and a Klingon Disruptor (along with a few already released items). For me though. the most exciting announcement was the addition of 4 new figures to the DST/ EMCE Mego-style figure line! Feast your eyes on Captain Pike, Vina as an Orion, Nurse Chapel...and the SALT VAMPIRE! Woo hoo! Oh, and please keep in mind that these are EARLY prototypes, so the heads a re a bit large and the skin tones don't quite match yet. (Thanks to an anonymous contributor for the photos and my buddy Scott for alerting me to them!)


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Reading Room Spotlight-
"Star Trek: Spock- Reflections"
From IDW Publishing

Name: Star Trek: Spock- Reflections
Published by: IDW
Written by: Scott & Dave Tipton
Art by: David Messina, Elena Casagrande, Federica Manfredi, & Arianna Florean

The Rundown: Ah... Star Trek comics. They've been produced by just about every comic publisher at one time or another, with varying degrees of success. The Gold Key stuff was fun but sometimes highly inaccurate, the DC run was long-lived but had a very mixed bag when it came to good stories and art, Marvel had it twice but didn't deliver much memorable stuff, Wildstorm was just a brief flash in the pan... which leads us up to IDW. For the first time (at least in my eyes), I feel a publisher is treating Trek comics as a truly viable medium to continue the onscreen adventures. I have yet to be disappointed in an IDW Trek book. Each one that I read seems to capture the "feel" of the characters better than anything presented by those previous publishers. So for my first comic spotlight, I'm picking one of my favs from the IDW era: Spock- Reflections

Reflections is a four issue mini-series that spans Spock's life, from his days as a young outcast on Vulcan up through his efforts of reunification on Romulus. The story is told in flashbacks set against a "current" story of Spock on a mission to bid a final farewell to an old friend. You can either snag the trade paperback pictured above to get it all in one handy volume, or if you prefer single issues, here's what you'll be looking for (the retailer incentive cover, if one was available, is pictured to your right)-

Issue 1 finds Spock leaving Romulus in secret for Earth. Spock has to deal with a talkative Saurian, and through their exchanges we see a little more behind the reasoning for Spock's departure. A brief flashback with Captain Harriman, and a scene from Spock's youth on Vulcan give you a feel of what to expect from the series.

The second issue continues Spock's talk with the Saurian. In this issue, we get flashbacks of Spock's return to the Enterprise in "The Motion Picture", his time serving with Pike, and a brief scene on Romulus that basically set the stage for the "current" story. The TMP scene is especially well done and may be my favorite Trek comic moment EVER. It truly feels like a deleted scene from the movie.

Issue 3 finds Spock leaving the company of the Saurian to charter a ship for a little pickup before completing his journey to Earth. We get to see more of Spock's past, from an encounter with an old flame on Vulcan during the time of Spock's attempt to complete the Kolinahr Ritual back to an adventure during the original 5 year mission with Kirk and company (a moment I had anxiously awaited since the first issue).

The closing issue of the series finds Spock completing his mission to Earth interspersed with flashbacks to his experiences with Saavik around the time of "Wrath Of Khan". The story ends with a very touching moment shared with an unexpected special guest...

Overall, "Spock- Reflections" is one of the best Trek stories to hit comic shelves. The Tiptons know their Trek and can really get inside the mindset of these characters (something lacking from many of the previous Trek comic writers). The art too is elevated to a point beyond what the other publishers have offered and has a truly cinematic feel to it. You can tell by reading these books that this isn't just a job to these creators, but in fact they really do care about this property and are putting everything they have into delivering a high quality product. Can't wait for more!

Picking up the trade is probably your best bet if you just want to read the story (which you SHOULD do). Amazon has it for the low price of only $12.23, which is well worth it!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

AA/ DST Spotlight- Captain Spock
("Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan")

Item Name: Captain Spock
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys

Diamond Select released this Captain Spock as part of it's "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" line.

The Rundown: Fun little story for you- I was only 4 years old when TWOK hit theaters, but I still had a pretty good knowledge of Trek thanks to watching reruns on Sunday mornings with my mom. One of my earliest childhood memories stems from my love of Trek; I vividly remember playing around outside my grandparent's house in the summer of 1982, acting like I was Spock. One of the older neighborhood kids came up to me and asked "What are you playing?", to which I replied "I'm Spock". The older kid gives me a little chuckle and says (without even so much as a spoiler-warning mind you) "awww, it's too bad he dies in that new movie". He then hopped on his bike and rode away. I remember standing there being completely dumbfounded at what he'd just said, staring in shock as he pedaled off, probably to dash some other child's hopes and dreams. Ever since that day, whenever I see a Spock in his familiar TWOK garb, my mind goes right back to that moment. Weird, huh? Anyways...

One could argue that Spock is the most pivotal character from "Wrath Of Khan" (hell, you could easily argue that Spock is the most pivotal character in Star Trek period), so the fact that he was missing from the first wave AND the second "Comic-con" wave of TWOK figures was a little distressing. With so many Trek crews left unfinished in figure form, having to wait until essentially the third wave to get a Spock was torture. Obviously, we did get him...and man was he worth the wait! This Spock rocks.

As good as the AA TOS Spock head sculpt is, I think this older Spock captures him a bit better. Maybe it's the fact that Nimoy had a little more "character" in his face by this point that made it a little easier to nail the likeness, but whatever the reason the fact is that this is one excellent head sculpt. The only small gripe I have is with the skin tone- it looks a little like Spock has been hitting the tanning beds or he's trying out for the next season of "Jersey Shore". I wish he'd had a bit more of a pale green tint to his skin, but alas, what can you do?

As I've discussed in the other DST TWOK spotlights, there is some body reuse between the characters. Not really a big deal, since the uniforms are all basically the same and some minor changes are made to reflect different ranks and divisions. Spock is no exception, but regardless of it being a reuse, the body works. The build is a good match for Spock and the body has a good range of movement without sacrificing the look of the sculpt.

Accessories: Spock includes a phaser, communicator, the book he gives Kirk, and 3 (count 'em 3!) extra interchangeable hands. I'm especially pleased to see the book included- who'd have thought we'd get that!

If you are just beginning to collect DST stuff- the "Wrath Of Khan" line is a great place to start, with this figure HIGH on your list of priorities. He's a great sculpt with solid accessories and reflects one of the greatest moments in Trek history- even if some punk kid spoiled the end for you.