Playmates MK VIII Tricorders

During the third Season of Star Trek the Next Generation TV Series, the Tricorders have been upgraded from the MKVI to MKVII (which will last until the second Star Trek: The Next Generation movie). Before you ask me what Tricorders are, I will tell you:

A handheld device used for scanning an area, interpreting and displaying data from scans to the user, and recording information. In other words, a plot device for the show. In the "real" World it is used to locate lifeforms, matter analysis, microfractures, etc. And ever since that show, I always wanted a Tricorder of my very own. A Mark VII, in fact. And so, a few years later, Playmates came up with some toys of the show. They introduced the Phasers, Tricorders and even the ships; all were equipped with push-buttons which plays different sound effects. And I was lucky to get one. It was fun to play with it but after a while, I realised that it is missing something, namely the flashing LEDs.

These are the only STNG Tricorders to ever made it into the mass market by Playmates. No other manufacturers have ever done so, except for Master Replicas. (Art Asylum will be making the TOS version so that does not count). The MKVII Tricorders come in two versions: The standard/Engineering Tricorder and the Medical Tricorder. The Medical Tricorder is a standard Tricorder fitted with a higher resolution sensor array (but in the toy, the sensor cannot be removed)

The two Playmates Tricorders. Medical (TOP) & Standard (Bottom)
Note the position of the switch on the Medical. Although its the
same as the Standard Tricorder, its in fact a bit off. I also realised
that the seller has used the stickers. And so, if I really want to mod
it, I would have to peel it off and get a new one made. This means I
would need to find someone who can print or most likely, silk-screen
on to vinyl stickers

The Medical Tricorder is longer by about 4cm. The toy is about 14 years
old now and because of its plastic, you can see it age (it discolours to
yellow). The plastic is soft too and can be scratched or mutilated easily.

You can see the sensor array on the front of the Standard Tricorder (right)
but not the Medical as it has a handheld high resolution scanner instead

The Standard Tricorder'sbattery compartment is located underneath
while the Medical's is on the side. The speaker grill of the Standard
Tricorder is located just under the clip whereas the Medical Tricorder's
is can be seen clearly. But these points do not matter for now. The flat
ribbed square on the Medical Tricorder can be slide forward to present
the handheld scanner.

Sadly, the flap angle between the two Tricorders are not the same
but is does not bother me

Here, you can see the two different screens. The Standard (left) and
the Medical (right) versions. Each Tricorders have their own set of
sound effects.

And the item I won was ........

After 20 days of waiting, I found it on my desk this morning! Woo Hoo! This is the item I though I would never win because the price went spiralling upwards as the other bidders fought. But in the last minute, I went on and tried my luck. Luckily, there was no sniping. The final price, I was charged, was very much less than on the winning bid total. Wierd.

Much to my technician's bewildered faces, I opened the box
and took out the Tricorders, smiled and then put it back in


More on this later. Have to work for more eBay "ammo", y'know.