This year Playmates Toys returned to the Star Trek franchise, bringing with it nostalgia for when the toy maker dominated the world of Star Trek merchandise in the 1990s. We have already reviewed the action figures from their first wave, and now we take a look at the two role-play toys from the first wave, the USS Enterprise and Phaser from Star Trek: The Original Series.
Nothing can match a good phaser at your side, and this new release from Playmates is perfect for cosplay or, more importantly, imaginative roleplay. It’s a toy, not a high-end replica. This is the phaser you want when you’re ten years old and leading your own away mission. And for that standard, it’s perfect.
There are three settings: “full,” stun, and overload. In a nice upgrade from the ’90s version, there’s a light in the middle of the switch controlling the three settings, so you can always tell which mode you’re in. Blue mode is a “full” continuing blast, red is single-blast “stun” mode, and blinking red indicates the slowly rising squeal of overload.
The new phaser has a nice weight and feels good in your hand. As to the mold, it definitely differs (as does the color) from the ’90s original. This new one is slightly more aerodynamic, for lack of a better word–it’s softer, with more rounded edges than the crisp, sharp sides of the ’90s version.
Do these subtle differences make the new one more accurate than the original props? I don’t know. But the “phaser one” section is not removable and it is weirdly chunky, rounded, and snubbed. It’s the only detail that truly feels “off” from what I expect to see on a phaser.
But maybe all that is subjective. In the end, though, it doesn’t affect the inherent fun of grabbing your phaser and beaming down into danger. Here’s hoping Playmates eventually releases an updated version with a detachable phaser one.
This video shows off the sounds and gives a comparison to the 1990s version…
For 2022, this is a totally new Enterprise, with more “realistic” colors and attachments than the ’90s version. And it comes with a fantastic, movable, clear plastic display stand. It’s easy to snap together and looks great on a table.
Again, this is more of a toy than a high-end replica. But for what it is, it feels accurate and, well, perfect to fly around your backyard. Or to display in your bedroom near your action figures and phaser.
I appreciate the small details, like the accurate feeling decals, and the fact that the shuttlebay doors look (and feel) like they could open rather than being an attached part of the mold.
The model is approx. 18” stem to stern, 7 ½” wide, and maybe 4 ½” tall. It features light-up nacelles, impulse power, and bridge/sensor domes. Buttons behind the bridge activate sound–phasers, photon torpedoes, “Captain command phrases” (“Arm photon torpedoes,” “Man battle stations,” etc.), and general ship sounds (red alert, klaxon, bridge background sounds, etc.).
Here is a closer look at the new Enterprise, including lights and sounds.
All in all, this first wave is a lovely first batch of products from Playmates Toys. For the price, these are perfect for gift-giving and imaginative play, whether your recipient is 5 or 50.
The USS Enterprise is priced at $50 and is currently discounted to $40 at Amazon. It is also in stock now at Entertainment Earth.
The TOS Phaser is priced at $30 and should be restocking soon at Entertainment Earth. Amazon is also out of stock but it is available via some Amazon resellers.
Both the Phaser and the Enterprise come in classic packaging that closely resembles the 1990s boxes.
Keep up with Star Trek merchandise news and reviews at TrekMovie.com.
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