Friday, April 1, 2011
AA/ DST Spotlight-
Original Series Communicator
Item Name: Original Series Communicator
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
Diamond Select first released this communicator around 2007 in the black style box seen above...
...followed by a pairing with the TOS phaser (pictured is the Entertainment Earth version)...
...and lastly, in the blue "universal" branding single box (available through Toys R Us). *Phew*
The Rundown: If there's one thing that Diamond Select has done better than just about any other Star Trek licensee, it's offering really nice prop replicas at affordable prices. Sure, their stuff might not be as screen accurate as a Master Replicas piece, but you absolutely can't beat what you get for the price. We've previously looked at the various DST Tricorders (which you can find HERE), and one day I'll get around to highlighting the plethora of Phaser releases... but today we are gonna get chatty with the TOS Communicator replica!
Now I'm no prop expert, but I think DST did a heckuva job replicating the screen used prop here. The size and shape seems just right, and the internal area looks like it jumped right off the screen. Often times, a toy (and yes, this is technically still a toy) will have to compromise it's accuracy in favor of electronics. Not so with the DST Communicator. Everything works exactly as it should, with no oversized buttons or enlarged speakers getting in the way.
Speaking of the electronics- there's no shortage of bells and whistles here! Let's start with moire. A lot of previous communicators settled for a lenticular sticker to reproduce the spinning moire effect. Stickers suck. With the DST Communicator, flipping open the grill activates an actual electronic "spinning" effect. It's a bit on the noisy side, but man does it look sweet...
Now that we have her open, we can access the rest of the effects. The interior area features 3 lights (yellow, blue, & red) and a small silver area which houses 2 buttons and small speaker. The lights activate when the communicator flips open, but most of the sound effects are initiated by the use of the 2 buttons. The button on your right (closest to the wall of the communicator) allows you to cycle through the different voice clips stored in the device, while the button on your left activates the "red alert callback" feature. Press it in for a few seconds, close the lid, and your communicator will actually call you... You don't even need friends with this thing.
Check out this quick video for a rundown on the electronics. Oh... and I used the "test" feature on the voice clips so that I wouldn't have to keep pressing the button over and over. Just in case you were curious. Which you probably weren't.