Playmates Star Trek Tricorder and Phaser

With everyone out of the house today, I finally have the opportunity to open the toys. These are the Phaser and Tricorder from the latest 2009 Star Trek movie. And they were made by Playmates, a company which started making Star Trek action figures and toys since Star Trek Generations. But there were a few complaints back then because most of these toys, although were aimed at kids, were snapped up by adults, who complained that it was either too small or not accurate enough when compared with the actual prop in question. Still, it was the only company which successfully made Tricorders, Phasers and other electronic toys.

And now, in the latest JJ Abrams movie, they have done it again. No, I am not going to go on about the action figures, which, after what MacFarlane has done to the action figure industry, its not as good. Yeah, just one look at a MacFarlane figure, which has so much details. Anyway, I am here to talk about the Phaser and the Tricorder.

Playmates have opted using these clamshell packaging
which is quite tough and they have removed the
"Limited Edition" serial numbers.
I have no idea why they came up with a shiny weapon. It reflects everywhere and I am very certain that in combat situation, all these Starfleet Officers would be discovered very easily. Not only that, its slippery and impossible to remove any fingerprints. If they Captain insists on doing an inspection, boy, you've had it. Still, the phaser looks quite nice but there is something missing at the back. And the first time you held it in your hands, it feels quite weird as if you're wank... er, holding a small chocolate bar. Unlike the TOS, there is no small itty bitty Phaser I attached in there. Its just one complete weapon.

First is the Phaser, which is about eight inches long.
The movie have followed along the lines of the TOS
phaser. But somehow, the more I look at it, the
phaser design seems incomplete, especially at the
back where the heatsinks are.

As the Phaser is all chrome, its not easy to take photos
without it reflecting me. Anyway, from here, you can
see the trigger button. Look to the right, just after the
grip, is a smaller dimple, which is actually the switch
for the toy. And where your thumb rests, there is a
button to switch the barrel around. And as you can
see from the grip, already there are fingerprints....

With the blue barrel, you are set to stun

Press the thumb button and it changes to the red barrel

And now, you are set to kill!

And oh, at the top, where you fiddle with the settings
here, you get the "power increase" sound effect.
However, the rotary switch feels very loose.
After looking at the toy carefully, I believe they
do not have to mould the phaser in two halves where
its so obvious. They could have moulded it the other
way round and use the screws to secure it completely.
Maybe its the manufacturing cost that stops them
from doing it in the first place

Just like any Star Trek phaser, there are no trigger
guards. And just like the TOS, the grip is too small
for me. In real life, if the barrels are too hot, you
can get your trigger finger burnt. So I still very
much like the Star Trek V and VI's Assault
Phaser below:

At least the grip is big enough. So, its a matter
of time before all the silver chrome wears
out and I can do a repaint on it. Or maybe,
do another modified phaser.........

One of the thing which turns me off from the original sereis was, apart from the outdated cheesy special effects, was the Tricorder. Granted at that time, precious sensitive equipment were housed in a leather case and equipped with a strap. So, the Tricorder mirroed that look and although its too big for a single hand operation, its still too small to be carried with the stap on your shoulder. It makes you look like you're carrying a ladies handbag and making you look so, pondan.

That is the reason why I preferred the Next Generation. The Tricorder in that era is an actual handheld device. Here, in this movie, they compromised and redesigned a smaller tricorder as the actors have problem with the first design.

One thing I hate about getting the Tricorder out of the
is that apart from the securing wires, the are
moulded tabs
which secures the toy tightly.

Once out of the box, its quite small.

When you push the black button upwards, the two flaps
would pop open. And that's where the lightbulb in my
head flikered. Yeah, this reminds me of those old electric
shavers or those fancy cigarette holders. Anyway, I
immediately do not like the design as the lower flap
keeps blocking my fingers when I use my thumb
to press the buttons. It needs two hands. And also,
the Tricorder screen is just a sticker. The movie did
not show the screen or any other close-ups and so,
Playmates got away with it. Bah.

Comparing the Tricoder with the Next Generation's TR-560.

And again, when both flaps are open. There are eight
sounds in total. Three in each of the black buttons
and two for the flap when it opens or closes.

With the chrome all over the place, its hard not to get
fingerprints on it. Moreover, there were some when I
got it out of the box and they cannot be removed as I
think the swea of the packer's hands have already
etched into the chrome.

The current 21st Century controversial Tricorder......

No comments: