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TOS Communicator

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40 comments posted
If you really want the

If you really want the ultimate "cheapie" communicator, I can't recommend the Hallmark ornament from last year highly enough. I'm a huge fan of the ST TOS equipment and have owned a bunch of their incarnations over the years. Heck, my dad got me the models for the phaser, tricorder, and communicator when I was about six, and I still have them over 30 years later (and I carried them EVERYWHERE, LOL). While I was excited about the latest tricorder and communicators, I found the quality iffy and the sound f/x sub-par. The tricorder is particularly bad (hollow voices that tend to play at the wrong speed). The communicator is slightly better, but it's still not great quality. And the loud moire motor bugs me to no end. :-(

The ornament is durable and has sharp details. The moire doesn't spin, but the lights and buttons all work (they even got the inner speaker colored gold--nice catch!). It chirps when opened, but you can't flip it or roll it with your finger. Where it really shines is the audio. It has to be heard to be believed. The quality of the clips is right up there with the $100-300 replicas. No exaggeration whatsoever. They are loud and play at exactly the right speed and pitch. Better still, you get FIFTEEN long phrases, in addition to the chirp!! And they set them up very intelligently. Basically, button one has requests by Kirk, and button two is various replies. You can alternate hitting them, and they very often make sense. It's really fun to see which two are queued up (each button plays its clips in the same order, though each button works independently).

Button one (all Kirk):
-nevermind about me, protect my ship!
-bridge, this is the captain
-as you can see, we have...another problem
-kirk to enterprise
-we're beaming up, notify transporter room
-stand by, no one is to leave the ship!

Button two:
scotty: we can't...make transporter contact, sir
spock: your signal is very weak, can you turn up your gain?
spock: captain, shall I beam down an armed party?
scotty: we're puttin' everything but the kitchen sink into the impulse power, sir
spock: spock here, are you allright captain?
spock: getting strange readings from the planet's surface, captain. some sort of power field down there
scotty: enterprise to captain kirk
scotty: condition red! condition red!
uhura: enterprise to captain kirk, come in captain!

The ornament is maybe 60-70% full size, so it is perfect for a pocket or a little desk toy. And for some crazy reason, they never caught on, so you can get them for dirt cheap on Ebay. About the only thing it won't do is the nifty callback function that the toy has. So if you enjoyed the toy, go and grab the ornament, and I think you'll have a blast! ^_^

(sorry to blather on, but this is one of my favorite ST "toys" from the past few years, heh)

japester's picture
Posted by japester on 31 August, 2009 - 16:17
I knew that Playmates Toys

I knew that Playmates Toys put out a TOS Comm many years ago, but I found no references to it in researching this one for me to compare (every reference I found came back to the DST ver. above).

I just finished my text review of the Science Tricorder (my next review) a few hours ago, and in it I noted that Leonard Nimoy didn't have quite the same bass as he did in the series. I thought it might have been a limit on clip memory space available, but they did seem to play a hair faster, distorting his voice to a slightly higher pitch. (I will mention that specifically in the video review too, BTW.)
While I was not planning to pick up a DST TOS tricorder to begin with, it was an impulse [power?] purchase since it was the only other TOS item other than the Comm on the shelf at the time. But, I still gave it a strong- if not as enthusiastic- recommendation.

The weight of these replicas might be the only common failing point, but the Comm was just too good to pass up; I had no complaints whatsoever, except for the weak-looking joints on the antenna cover, and the difficulty in reaching the battery compartment. (For the latter, though, I am thankful that the entire backing came off, so that the backing wasn't split apart by separation lines!)
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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 31 August, 2009 - 17:50
I have the old Playmates

I have the old Playmates communicator right here. I didn't buy the DST one, but here are some differences:
-it has plenty of heft (even w/out batteries) and feels solid
-moire is a big, shiny sticker (looks very fake)
-cover can be flipped easily using your finger, but grill is not perforated (just has molded indents)
-only has 3 sounds (call, open chirp, and a scanning noise), no voice clips
-two buttons on the outside (where your thumb would be) activate call and chirp, does not chirp automatically when opened
-yellow light is painted, other two lights work
-left button just lights red light (lame), other activates green light and scanning sound
-large belt clip permanently molded on back
-battery compartment is old slide-off style near bottom rear

Good for its time, but nothing compared to today's models. :-)

I don't know the deal with the tricorders. I heard both the Spock and McCoy versions, and both sounded like chipmunks. Sound chips are cheap, so I considered that inexcusable since the voice f/x are the main draw. Also, the pinpoint backlight behind the display was shoddy. They could have diffused it somewhat so it didn't look like a light bulb behind the readout. That, too, would have been a cheap fix.

I bought several of the newer Trek toys, but its obvious they were leery of spending too much on construction, in case the market was soft. They cut corners all over the place. Even so, the communicator isn't awful, and a tricorder toy hasn't been made in ages, so something is better than nothing. I'm glad you enjoyed your purchases! That's all that really matters.

japester's picture
Posted by japester on 31 August, 2009 - 18:53
Yeah- the display screen

Yeah- the display screen lighting in the tricorder is a bit weak. I did really like, however, that the plastic window not only had curved corners, but bulged outwards like CRT TVs of the past. Epic!

I'm planning to get the TOS black-handle Phaser, and a few of DST's Enterprises (TOS standard, -A without damage, -D standard, and maybe -E without damage).
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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 31 August, 2009 - 19:08
Is there an A? And other things...

Did Diamond Select make an A? I know they have a refit version of NCC-1701, both with and without damage, but I hadn't seen an A. (Suppose it wouldn't be too odd for them to do. It'd be the same toy as the refit version of the originl, just a change in the paint applications to add the A to the registry number.) Anyway, I'm quite happy to have the -1701 refit version, as that has always been my favorite version of the good ship Enterprise. (Even though the A is identical on the exterior, I liked the internal design of the refit original better.)

Anyway, damn you for your review. I was thinking I'd be happy sticking with my Playmates one, now I fear I may have to upgrade. For purely informational purposes, it is worth pointing out that Playmates actually had TWO different TOS Communicators. There's the one that's already been mentioned here. And there was another (although I'm not sure mine would still work... when I rediscovered mine a few years back the old batteries in it had leaked and I've not ever made the attempt to change them out) that didn't have any sounds from the show on it, but instead let you record your own brief sound clip onto it for playback.

As far as other prop toys... I had the Playmates TOS Phaser II back in the day, but that suffered from the same battery problem as the above mentioned communicator. For that reason, and for the reason of getting a detachable Plaser I, I was most happy to pick up the new model when that came out! (I also have the more common Playmates communicator, which does still work... but I refer you to the aformentioned damning of you.) Also still working is my Playmates TNG Phaser II.

I used to have Playmates TNG Tricorder as well, but I don't know what ever became of it. Never had an Original Series Tricorder, so I've certianly been eying that. I'm rather excited at the upcoming movie era (most promanantly as seen in The Wrath of Kahn) phaser, and hope that they do other Classic Trek movie era prop toys. The Search For Spock phasers, which looked rather like a more streamlined and updated version of the ones from the Original Series, have never to the best of my knowledge been done in toy form, and I'd love to get my hands on one of those! And while Playmates did do one for the Assault Plasers from Treks V and VI, and I have been eying them on eBay as of late, I'm sure if Diamond Select did one of that design it would be much better. Communicators and tricorders from the film era would of course also be welcome!

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Posted by Yotsuyasan on 1 September, 2009 - 13:07
Re: Is there an A? And other things...

Oh- it may have been just the refit rather than the -A; either way, I want the clean one rather than battle-damaged. The point is that you are Trekker enough that you knew which one I was referring to...

Dude- I would totally rock the ST-II and -VI phasers! I think the Assault Phaser (your word for them) is the best movie version of the TOS, and I also think that the remake/alt-timeline Phaser was based on it mostly.

I would like a TNG Phaser and Tricorder too, but I can wait for DST to make those.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but: has the TOS Phaser been the only one- like, ever- that had a second, built-in phaser in it? I know TNG had a smaller Type-I, but it didn't combined with the standard -II.
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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 1 September, 2009 - 14:03
Re: Phasers and Ships.

Re: Assault Phasers. The word I used, perhaps, but not a term of my coinage. The origin is unclear, but it seems to have become the common name for that phaser type. I know I've come across it a few places. Pretty sure I've seen it in at least one published (albeit "fannon") technical book, and another example of it's use is at the website www.phasers.net, which is all about phasers. (That site does in fact ponder the origin of the term itself, going as far as to wonder if they'd started it, or picked it up elsewhere themselves.)

Re: Combining phasers. The most known example, of course, is the Original Series types I and II. The ones shown in Star Trek III were only seen, if memory serves, as Type-II, but their design was highly reminicent of the Original Series ones, and there was what was undoubtably a Type-I atop it.

The phasers seen in The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Kahn, the one that Diamond Select is coming out with soon, allegedly had a removable smaller phaser but this was never shown on screen, I know of no pictures showing how it would have been done, and I couldn't even say if it was something the prop was capable of. Perhaps the upcoming toy will solve the mystery? Probably not, nor will I be bothered if that is the case.

A curious one comes with the Assault Phasers. The one Classic Era phaser design that I never would have even pondered a removable smaller phaser for... aparently does in fact have one! The following photo, aparently of one of the props, shows where the smaller phaser is stored within the larger unit: http://www.phasers.net/2280/st5prop1.jpg

Re: The Enterprise. Yes, the non-damaged one is definitely the way to go. I normally prefer my toys free of battle damage. They especially overdid it on The Enterprise. Been a while since I saw that version, but if memory serves, half the saucer section was a chared mess! True, the thing may have looked like that for half a second on screen, but it still looked horrible on a toy.

If they'd done a more tasteful battle damage deco, such as trying to capture the look of the ship as it was at the end of II / beginning of III, or if they'd gone more extreme in the damage and re-molded it to have half the saucer section missing to really capture the ship as it was mid-self destruct, that would have been one thing. And especially in the case of the remolded damaged saucer, might have even been worth picking up! But what they did just seemed half arsed.

I do hope they do some other ships at some point, and if they are classic movie era I hope they keep them in scale to The Enterprise, even if that might be a bit expensive in the case of The Excelsior. (I suppose they could always make it a different Excelsior Class ship and make it in scale with the D, but I'd much rather have The Excelsior.) The Grissom would also be nice. The one I'd most like to see, though, would naturally be The Reliant.

Yotsuyasan's picture
Posted by Yotsuyasan on 1 September, 2009 - 18:37
Re: Phasers and Ships.

If memory serves, didn't, um... Kirk kill a Klingon with a phaser in ST-III, and sending him sprawling across the Genesis Planet? ;)

Ooh- DST is making the ST-II phaser-? I'll get one, w00t! But... they're gonna make it separate? How exactly; it can't, unless they simply remove the grip!

I wasn't aware the ST-VI phaser could separate; they never showed it and I've never heard of it. Billionaire Paul Allen of Microsoft-fame has his sci-fi collection up on public display (aka, Seattle's Science-Fiction Museum, I've been there twice in 5 years, meh), and there's several Star Trek props and costumes there, including phasers, on show there. So, I got to see an authentic Assault Phaser up-close... and even then I wasn't aware it could separate.

Yeah, the Battle-Damged refit was too messy; I like my sci-fi factory-fresh & clean in appearance and function... just like Gene envisioned for Star Trek.
Honestly, though, I would not get a half-destroyed refit; that'd be worse for me than getting a Battle-Damged!

They need to do something about the Sovereign-class -E's warp nacelle lighting, though. I saw some vids on YouTube, and they completely blanked out on those nice streamlined nacelles, I was devastated!

Ships I'd like to see DST make-?

  • definitely an Excelsior (or Ent-B if I must, but not my first choice)
  • an Ambassador-class, aka Enterprise-C, would be nice
  • Grissom and Reliant would be nice, though not required
  • I'd love to get a Thunderchild-class (a quick and defiant death to the Akira-prise, thankyouverymuch!)
  • maybe the Defiant (I saw very little of DSleep9)
  • concept version of the TOS Ent, aka the S.S. Valient (my personal redesign of the Akiraprise was based heavily on it)
  • remake-Enterprise from 2009 film!
  • maybe a few non-Federation ships
    • Klingon BoP, D7 cruiser, and Negh'Var-class to match against the "All Good Things..." Enterprise-D
    • Romulan warbirds from TNG and Nemesis (would a poseable- thus, larger- Scimitar be too-far reaching...?)
    • a Borg Cube w/ removable Sphere

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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 1 September, 2009 - 21:06
Re: Phasers and Ships.

Oh, sorry, I worded a bit of that somewhat poorly. When I said, "The phasers seen in The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Kahn, the one that Diamond Select is coming out with soon, allegedly had a removable smaller phaser," I meant the design of phaser in general and not the upcoming toy of it. Hence my then speculating on if the toy would go on to solve the mystery of how it seperates or not. However, reading Diamond Select's page for it (http://www.diamondselecttoys.com/store.asp?p=item.asp%3FItemNo%3D74215%26CategoryID%3D335), it does indeed say, "this replica features the never-before-seen removable Type 1 Phaser." I guess the mystery will indeed be solved, then!

Anyway, your memory of Star Trek III is correct, in that a phaser blast did throw a Klingon a good bit of distance and into a rock wall, the only time I can personally recall one having such an effect. Much like Star Trek VI being the only time I can recall a phaser blasting a small hole into someone without carterizing the wound. But whatever, it's all good. There are certianly greater head scratchers concerning how stuff works in the Trek universe.

Going back to ship designs, now... Ooh, I'd forgotten about the Defiant, but admitedly I was only speaking of Classic Movie era ships, which the Defiant is not. But that would be a nice one to have. As would Deep Space Nine itself. Wish I still had my Playmates DS9, 'cause blimey, do those seem to fetch quite a price on the secondary market these days!

And I'd go for an Enterprise B, but as with your preferences, I'd rather my first choice of an Excelsior. Especially since I always thought that those knobby bits they added to the secondary hull on the B to save damaging the base Excelsor Class model when they blew a hole in it spoiled the ship's lines. Still, a B and an Ambasador Class C would be nice in the long run for people who want to be able to set up a display of the various good ships Enterprise. (Guess for authenticity, a release of the A would also be nice for people who want to represent that ship, since as I pointed out the current one of that mold is actually the 1701-refit and not the A.)

I also agree that some alien ships wouldn't be a bad idea. Not sure I'd personally get too many of them (space concerns, mainly) but I wouldn't wish to spoil anyone else's fun! Wouldn't personally be keen on anything from Nemesis, but that's not a knock against any ship designs, just the fact that I do my best to forget that film exists.

Yotsuyasan's picture
Posted by Yotsuyasan on 2 September, 2009 - 01:06
Just give me a Starship

Just give me a Starship Legends-quality Reliant and I can die a happy man. LOL

The ships of Trek are my favorite part of the mythos. I'd say the collections put out by Furuta several years ago are tops, despite their tiny size. Great quality and good variety. I've got them on permanent display, mixed in with some old Micro Machines and the newer Johnny Lightning ships.

Although, sitting on my desk right next to the Hallmark communicator is another ST ornament--the Reliant. LOL. A sharp sculpt and GORGEOUS light f/x make it my favorite Trek "toy" ship of all time. ^_^

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Posted by japester on 2 September, 2009 - 01:50
Little Starships

Oh, yes. When I saw Hallmark had a Reliant, I had to get it! And since I already had the Hallmark Enterprise-A, I display them close to each other and they complement one another quite well. (Not quite as well as if it wasn't the A, but such is life.)

Somewhere in a box (and still in their packaging) I have the first three three-packs of Trek Micro Machines from back in the day. There was a Classic three pack (I'm working from memory, but I think it was The Enterprise, a Klingon ship, and a Romulan ship), a Classic Movie three pack (of I think The Reliant, The Excelsior, and a Klingon Bird of Pray), and a Next Gen three pack (of I think The Enterprise-D, a Romulan Warbird, and a Borg Cube).

I've got three Johnny Lightning ones. Again with the A, which I beleive originally had a rather stupid looking torpedo being fired from it, but it was nice enough to snap off fairly cleanly. Sitting next to that (and firing a phaser at it) is the Defiant from The Tholian Web (and also, I suppose, also from the only two half-way decent Enterprise episodes, In A Mirror, Darkly). And displayed seperately is another Reliant, sadly in a battle damage deco.

And heck, I've even got a few pewter starships! I've got a nice little trio of figurines consisting of The Reliant and The Enterprise (again, the A, but you'd only know that from reading the underside of the base) circling Regula 1, and then I have two more in the form of The Excelsior and the Enterprise-D.

But I must say again... I want a bigger Reliant! I want a Diamond Select one in perfect scale to The Enterprise! That would be most epic. ^_^

Yotsuyasan's picture
Posted by Yotsuyasan on 2 September, 2009 - 02:11
"In A Mirror, Darkly" ftw!

"In A Mirror, Darkly" ftw! ...Just not mirror-Akiraprise.

BTW, in an interview somewhere on YouTube, there's a split-second shot of two Starfleet ships from the 2009 remake. One of them is the remake-U.S.S. Reliant... And, being that after the destruction of Vulcan we saw no other Federation ships, that means that she was also one of the victims of the 8km-long Narada.
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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 2 September, 2009 - 02:20
Since, admittedly, this is

Since, admittedly, this is more your area of expertise than mine (toys, that is)... what kinds of toys- if any- were there in the '60s and '70s of TOS before Playmates Toys took on the charge for TNG?
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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 1 September, 2009 - 00:01
I hope I'm not coming across

I hope I'm not coming across as insulting towards your review--I just thought if you liked the toy you'd love the ornament. :-)

I wouldn't say I'm an expert on the older stuff. I was just a kid at the time, and I never went back and researched it when I got older. I did have a few of the more popular toys, but they weren't much like what we have today.

The phaser I had was a big, bulky affair that was nothing more than a flashlight housed in a rough approximation of a phaser body. The cool part was that you could slip black discs in front of the light that had ship cutouts in them. So you could project the silhouette of the Enterprise, a Klingon cruiser, a starbase, etc on the wall. There were one or two other phaser toys, like a target game, but I didn't own them.

The communicators were cool--they were walkie-talkies! Again, not really on-model, but reminiscent of the basic design. They were blue and had solid flip covers (no grill pattern) with the delta on them. Better still, you could buy a sort of command center for them that looked like an Enterprise computer center. It was a more powerful walkie that you would put on a desk and use to talk to the handsets.

Found a few pics!
Scroll down for a shot of the communicators:
http://www.newforcecomics.com/trekref/startrek.htm
Here is another shot of the communicators, the Command console I described (awesome!) and the phaser target game (not the one I had):
http://www.newforcecomics.com/trekref/megoplay.htm

These are just the role play items. Mego made far better dolls of the main characters, along with a fantastic bridge playset. Both of which have been re-released recently. Plus a playset of a planet. Dinky toys also made several diecasts of the hero ships, including a nifty Enterprise that I still own. Deploys a tiny shuttle from the bottom and had (strong!) firing photon torpedoes out the front.

There were lots more, but these are some of the more well-known items. ^_^

You'll like the DST starships. Their early offerings were really top-notch, then the quality suffered for a while (garbled sound, reduced optics, cheap plastic that let lights bleed through). I think they are back on the upswing, though.

japester's picture
Posted by japester on 1 September, 2009 - 02:15
Cool, thanks for the

Cool, thanks for the info.

Naw- I just want some Enterprises to put around my room, and disguise the new Playmates Toys one from the 2009 movie I have... Eventually, when I get the TOS and -A, I'll be able to compare them; a shame I didn't get the remake afterwords, or that would have been easier to accomplish!
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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 1 September, 2009 - 02:42
My pleasure! I loves me

My pleasure! I loves me some Trek toys. ^_^

I got the new movie Enterprise as well. It's got a nice sculpt, but the sound quality and variety is worse than any DST ship I've seen so far. You should be pleasantly surprised with your purchases.

To try and help out, I made a quickie video of the two other communicators I mentioned. Let's see if this works.

japester's picture
Posted by japester on 1 September, 2009 - 03:53
Comms VS All

Wow, that Playmates Toys Comm is Fail. But I'll agree that the Hallmark Comm has great sound quality. Chances are, though, I won't be putting my resources into finding either one. Thanks!

Try to make that a related video on YouTube to my own Comm vid, and I'll persuade Josh to accept it.
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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 1 September, 2009 - 11:06
Toy Rules

This toy is cool. Like lots... I love the TOS cheese.

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Posted by Lizardspock on 31 August, 2009 - 17:18
It's funny how into all this

It's funny how into all this type of stuff I am,yet I have only watched maybe 2 or 3 episodes of Star Trek in my life. I never saw any of the spinoffs like Next Generation or whatever the other ones were. I think I saw the cartoon once.
I did see the new movie though,and it ruled. I'm sure Trekkies got nitpicky about some of the changes,but since I didn't really know anything going in I didn't really notice.

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Posted by kidnicky on 1 September, 2009 - 21:55
So far as I am aware, most

So far as I am aware, most Trekkers have taken very kindly to the 2009 reboot. It did exactly what the press around it said it would: remain faithful to all past incarnations while freeing itself of the burden of much of the continuity which had more-or-less buried the Star Trek universe in itself. It also 'introduces' the current generation to an old-reaching franchise in a way that was not unfaithful to the spirit of the franchise either... something that a LOT of film remakes fail to accomplish.

To be fair, I recently re-watched the pilot episode for The Next Generation ("Encounter at Farpoint" Pt1 and 2), and it is astounding the difference- they had no clue about where the show would go! (I could also tell that I am in serious need of reviewing TNG- I haven't since all the eps came out!)
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Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 1 September, 2009 - 22:19
The 2009 Film

I enjoyed it. It was certianly a breath of fresh air compaired to the disapointments of Voyager, Enterprise, and Nemesis. My reaction can be sumed up with the following statement: "It is nice to watch a modern day Trek production and have only friendly nitpicks rather then major bitches."

My main nitpick was that I didn't buy how they tried to fit it with existing continuity. (Warning for anyone who hasn't seen it... There be spoilers ahead!)

Allegedly, this is supposed to be an altered timeline that branched away from the established one with the arival of Nero and the distruction of the Kelvin. Okay. But then why did uniform and technology design on the Kelvin look nothing remotely like what was seen in, say, The Cage? I can buy uniform and technology asthetics developing allong different lines from there to what we saw in the main portion of the film, but that begining sequence should have started in familiar territory. Not things that only look vaguely like what we should know on a ship (crew of over 800?) much larger then anything that had been established as existing for the Federation at that point! The Enterprise, by comparison, which was of a class that was implied to be the largest and most advanced in the fleet, in the original timeline featured only a crew of about 200 in Pike's time, which of course was somehow doubled by Kirk's time, but even that would only be about half the size of the Kelvin's crew!

There's other things that stretch the boundries of beleivability that the distruction of one starship would cause such great changes within only the span of a few decades, but I'll not dwell too much on them. But there are a few other things which cannot be ignored and do cause a further raised eyebrow. The main offender I can recall (been a while since I saw the film) is as follows: How does a simple change in timeline change Delta Vega from being a distant outpost of a planet that is reachable under impulse power from the edge of the galaxy (as seen in Where No Man Has Gone Before) to being in the same system as Vulcan, as evidenced from seeing Vulcan's destruction from its surface?

But I was able to come up with a theory which made me happy. Nero didn't travel back onto his own universe's timeline and cause it to branch off into a new one. He (and Spock) were thrown into what was a parallel (but similar) universe to begin with. Nero just didn't know enough to be able to tell the difference, and when we first encounter Spock, he had spent all of his time either in Nero's captivity or on the surface of Delta Vega, and thus wouldn't as yet have had the knowledge to know this for himself.

At least, that's my theory and it allowed me to mesh continuity in my head. And since I think they're likely to only venture forward in any sequels and not try to directly tie into past continuity again, hopefully I can keep my theory. (This theory also has a benefit in that past Trek universe timeline changes have implied the canceling out of the negated timeline, and this theory does allow both continuities to co-exist together, thus making established Trek not be for naught!) So bring on the Trek 2009 sequels! And as for the original continuity, I'll leave that to the fans, and say bring on the next episode of the fan series Phase II!

(Been waiting almost a year for that next episode... Stupid mid-two-parter cliff hanger...)

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Posted by Yotsuyasan on 2 September, 2009 - 01:44
DISCLAIMER: If it ain't on

DISCLAIMER: If it ain't on the screen, it ain't in-continuity. That is Paramount Pictures' rule, set forth by Gene Roddenberry years before TNG came out, not mine.

The Star Trek Wiki claims that there is a pre-reboot-movie comic book that takes place in the 24th century. Supposedly, the Romulans were experimenting with pieces of Borg technology recovered from Wolf 359. The Narada was indeed a geosynchronous-orbiting mining starship, but the Romulan government used it as a prototype for what they had learned... hence its massive scale, stark physical appearance both externally and internally, impressive weapons layout, and black/silver/green color scheme. (A picture of the pre-Borg-ified Narada is provided, which started out much smaller than the reboot Enterprise.) This explains how she was able to be repaired after being rammed by the Kelvin by the time the Enterprise launched 28 years later- the Borg technology fixed her up- and how she was able to plow through 47(!) Klingon battle cruisers on her way to Vulcan.

Now, if that were to be taken into account... The survivors of the Kelvin had copies of all her sensor data with them regarding her encounter with the Narada. Presumably, the launch of the Enterprise in the reboot universe was delayed by 13 years to accommodate some of that information (though it doesn't explain how all of the cast members would be born 13 years later either... a significant continuity error I will not get into in this thread).

Keep in mind, in TOS, Kirk was not born on Earth. He was born on the colony on Tarsus IV, and was one of only 9000 survivors from its destruction at the hands of Kodos the Executioner. It is possible that the reboot's writers slightly altered this- to say instead that he survived the destruction of the planet inside his mother's womb, and that the Kelvin was the ship that carried them away. George Kirk became an officer on the Enterprise, and did indeed live to see his son take command of her before he retired. (Recall that James Kirk did not take command of a new ship- she was about 10 years old by the time he took over. Which means TOS through ST-III took place over a 10 year period.)

So, the destruction of a colony may not have had any effect, but the loss of a Federation starship and some of her crew at the hands of a highly-advanced mobile station transported through a lightning storm may have been enough to throw things outta whack.

You also need to realize that some of the physical changes were simply due to artistic differences between 1966 and 2009! Do NOT waste my time and be that kind of Trekker, ok? Besides, this is technically a reboot, so some change is warranted. Its the history of the future [hah?] that they're trying to change here, not erasing TOS from ever happening.

Um... the name "Delta Vega" was a tribute to the TOS-pilot episode, not a misuse of it.

Your alternate-parallel universe theory sounds- um, sound. I could live with it.

Only real continuity issue I had was what happened to the Narada during her 28-year wait, and why didn't she attack Earth earlier?! You wanna allow Spock to be born so he can witness the destruction of Vulcan? Fine, but do something else in the meantime! (Supposedly, the Klingons captured the Narada after the Kelvin rammed her, since she was only 80,000km from their border, and the crew was imprisoned for most of that time. But then... why didn't the Klingons steal her technology as well?)
It would have been easier for me to believe that they used friggin' "red matter" to transport themselves 28 years into the future and sit on their hands for a few minutes while Spock Prime appeared.

Friggin' "Phase II"... -_-;
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 2 September, 2009 - 03:15
Warning! There be continuity nitpicking here! ^_^

Oh dear... Now I have to go and argue continuity... Disclaimer: The following is intended all in good fun! Second disclaimer: Damn, I've got too much time on my hands and Trek in my brain, especially seeing as I'm not as rabid a fan as I once was, yet I still retain all of this knowledge with only minimal checking of references to make sure I'm remembering correctly!

Re: Your disclaimer. I shall try to keep most of my arguments to things that are derived from on screen evidence. A bit of knowledge may creep in based on things read once upon a time in the officially published Timeline or Encyclopedia books, which themselves were based as much as possible on on-screen evidence. Feel free to call me on anything you may wish to, though, and I'll try and find on screen sources. (Although I would caution that further escalation could cause this hopefully friendly debate to continue endlessly! ^_^)

>>though it doesn't explain how all of the cast members would
>be born 13 years later either... a significant continuity
>error I will not get into in this thread

Yeah, that was one of the things I was refering to in my post when I said I wouldn't dwell on them too much. ^_^

>>You also need to realize that some of the physical changes
>were simply due to artistic differences between 1966 and
>2009! Besides, this is technically a reboot, so some
>change is warranted.

Sorry, but in my mind they don't get off on that one. The inclusion of "Spock Prime" means they wanted to include their reboot in with the existing continuity. If they want to have their cake and eat it, too, that means they have to suffer through the same continuity nitpicking by the fans that has plagued Trek ever since someone tried to reconsile "United Earth Space Probe Agency" and "United Federation of Planets." ^_^

So I still say that if this was supposed to be earlier in the established timeline, or rather just after the break from the established timeline (which one would assume would happen the instant that the disturbance that brought Nero's ship there came into being) The Kelvin should have looked, asthetically, like something similar to what was seen in The Cage. And yes, it isn't the 1960's anymore and production meathods have change a lot by 2009. But changes in the way things are done does not excuse "artistic differences." They tried to have us beleive that the events concerning The Kelvin were the divergence point. Thus, things should not have diverged that much as of yet. They could have kept the original asthetic on The Kelvin, and things could have then developed independently from there to what we saw in the rest of the film.

I think the Phase II fan series (which your, "Friggin' "Phase II"... -_-;" would seem to indicate some awareness of) shows that the look can be captured quite well, and even updated a bit, while using today's meathods. (For example, they've recently refirbished their bridge set to include actual monitors for many of the display screens and now some of them even feature non-static displays upon them.) If I'm reading your comment on the series correctly, I'd assume you were less then impressed with it... If this comes only from experience with their first few episodes (back in the "New Voyages" days) I'd strongly recomend checking out their most recent few efforts, which are light years beyond where they started!

But I'm getting a wee bit off track, there... after all, a fan produced series shouldn't be discussed too much in a cannon debate, ha ha! (If one wants a more canon example, they certianly didn't try to update the look of things past in Trials and Tribblations on Deep Space Nine.)

>>Keep in mind, in TOS, Kirk was not born on Earth. He was
>born on the colony on Tarsus IV, and was one of only
>9000 survivors from its destruction at the hands of Kodos
>the Executioner.

Kirk's always been from Iowa, even prior to the reboot. His family did live on Tarsus IV for a bit, as you say. This was when he was thirteen. But as he said in Star Trek IV, "I'm from Iowa, I only work in outer space." (Since his apartment as seen in II and III was in San Francisco, this couldn't be a reference to his current Earth domicile, and when people say "where they are from" they usually only mean currently or originally.)

>>Recall that James Kirk did not take command of a
>new ship- she was about 10 years old by the time
>he took over. Which means TOS through ST-III took
>place over a 10 year period.

Actually, most official sources place the ship at about 20 years old when he took command, meaning that her construction was delayed a hell of a long time in the new film! Don't forget, Spock served with Pike on The Enterprise for 11 years! And one must figure in the command of Captain April prior to Pike, as well. (April having been established in the animated series, of course, and being an element of it that was an accepted part of canon even before the animated series itself, long a red headed stepchild of canon, was seemingly finally accepted back in in recent years.)

And adding together your two "10 year" suppositions, I take it you're going by Admiral Marrow's, "Jim, The Enterprise is twenty years old," comment in Star Trek III. Official continuity sees that line of dialogue as an error as it does not match up with any other on screen evidence. She's actually about twice that age. Heck, Kirk's first command is placed as being from 2264 through 2269, and II and III take place in 2285. That's about 20 years right there, and doesn't leave any room for Pike's 11 years, even if you don't want to accept April!

(If you're going to argue, "Marrow's comment was on screen, it counted!" Then keep in mind the following. Data, someone who should be infallable, said in Encounter at Farpoint that he was an Starfleet Academy graduate of the class of '78. This date makes no sense with any other dates established in The Next Generation, and the most recent '78 would in fact be between The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Kahn! Later episodes would establish his graduation as being in 2345.)

>>Um... the name "Delta Vega" was a tribute to the
>TOS-pilot episode, not a misuse of it.

And if it was a clean reboot, I'd have thought to myself, "Huh, cool." But as I said, with the inclusion of Spock Prime and trying to have their cake and eat it, too, I see this as a valid critisism.

But hey, as I said, all of the issues I had with the film were friendly nitpicks! I know it may not seem as such, what with the length of some of 'em, but I wouldn't put that effort into a film I disliked. I'd probably just say it was crap, leave it at that, and move on.

And they're all reconsilable nitpicks, thanks to my parallel-universe-rather-then-altered-timeline hypothisis, which is the best kind of nitpick of them all! ^_^

Yotsuyasan's picture
Posted by Yotsuyasan on 2 September, 2009 - 10:31
Watch me blow your mind and

Watch me blow your mind and end this debate all in one shot (seriously, we're taking up a lot of space not talking about the review above, which is easily bound to happen between Trekkers anyways):

The reboot has changed absolutely nothing in continuity, save for the destruction of the Kelvin, and the significant loss of Vulcan.

Khan still left in 1996 and is still floating out there in the S.S. Botany Bay, thus the Eugenics Wars and World War III still happened. All the characters- while clearly pre-destined to get to the Enterprise- arrived there by pretty much the same paths. The Planet Killer and whale probe are on their ways. Sybok (*shudders*) will still be a bastard-child. The NX-01 (*sigh*) still launched. I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on...

Anything and everything that happened in the past will reappear in this alt-continuity at exactly the same times. The difference is, when they get here, it will unravel in a different way.
So, really, nothing has changed, continuity still applies. Not to be demeaning or anything, but this film has changed nothing, and did not free itself of the same constraints that buried the franchise in the first place! Everything that happened pre-TOS will happen again. And that includes even if they ignore the TNG-era of back story (which, technically now, no longer exists).

This is why Spock referred to this as an "altered" timeline rather than as an "alternate" timeline; if it were alternate, they wouldn't be aware of the difference even if the Narada still did arrive.

But, seriously- get off your high horse and drop the aesthetic-changes-bug you got up your ass!
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 2 September, 2009 - 12:02
Ouch.

>>But, seriously- get off your high horse and drop
>the aesthetic-changes-bug you got up your ass!

I didn't wish this debate to go on forever myself... but I was hoping that while it did continue that it could remain friendly. Thus, on that note, you may consider it ended.

Yotsuyasan's picture
Posted by Yotsuyasan on 2 September, 2009 - 13:13
It was a friendly

It was a friendly discussion! =) It was just rapidly becoming way off-topic, is all.

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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 2 September, 2009 - 15:45
get off your high horse and

>get off your high horse and drop
>the aesthetic-changes-bug you got up your ass!

Eva - these words do not come across as friendly on the internet. It seemed harsh to me.

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CollectionDX Admin

JoshB's picture
Posted by JoshB on 2 September, 2009 - 16:35
Well... I did say it with a

Well... I did say it with a smile on my face, not a frown. ;)
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 2 September, 2009 - 16:44
Damn... You know your stuff.

"So, really, nothing has changed, continuity still applies. Not to be demeaning or anything, but this film has changed nothing, and did not free itself of the same constraints that buried the franchise in the first place! Everything that happened pre-TOS will happen again. And that includes even if they ignore the TNG-era of back story (which, technically now, no longer exists)."

This has changed nothing agreed! Except for the destruction of Vulcan which they will fix... in a future film? The aesthetic changes we're great for everything and much needed (a much more realistic & gritty feel) this movie was made to also appeal to non-trek fans but not ruin Trek for us true fans, and they did a great job with that... The older generations of ships were all clunker like the Kelvin "think old submarines" and the fleet that went to Vulcan. They all had a much more realistic feel like the inside of a Naval Submarine, that was a level of realism they brought to this new film that was very cool. I won't argue the time-line thing, but they did arrive from the NGR time, where Picard is drinking Earl Grey.

Lizardspock's picture
Posted by Lizardspock on 2 September, 2009 - 14:56
It is said that when TOS art

It is said that when TOS art director Matt Jefferies first saw "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" in a theater for its 1979 debut, he fell asleep not even half-way through the film! And, he never saw any of the films after that. (He died in 2002, between "...Insurrection" and "...Nemesis".) Thus, Herman Zimmerman began his reign as the designer-of-all-things-Trek for near 20 years non-stop, starting with TNG, and ending with "Nemesis".
(John Eaves- who designed the Ent-E- came back for the 2009 film, though Ryan Church and Scott Chambliss took over concept art and production design respectively from Zimmerman because J.J Abrams brought them over from his own company, Bad Robot Productions.)

Of his TOS designs, Jefferies said [and I'm paraphrasing here] that he wanted a durable & practical look and feel everything for related to Starfleet, and the lines and shapes used in all subsequent incarnations were "boring" and more for flash than function.

And so- differences in budget and time of photography aside- regretfully, "ST: Enterprise" may very well be the closest to the original art style than anything from the TNG-era and the 2009 film.

And so, I must disagree that the 2009's look is more "gritty". "Realistic"- as in changing the viewscreen to a wide-aspect ratio 'glass' viewport, having large transparent tactical display screens, hiding the transporter operators behind protective cover, uncomfortable structural braces at the entrance to the shuttlebay, and having Engineering be a mass of conduits and pipes where you can't see the bulkheads- I can agree with. But in no way do I think the ship(s) are more gritty.
If anything, the Narada was a glamorous mass with a gritty interior! (BTW, was anyone else other than me pissed-off that the drill came out the bottom of the ship rather than from the center of all those spires...?)
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 2 September, 2009 - 15:40
Gritty like a tub that needs Comet

"Griddy" maybe not the best choice of words "Realistic" yes! I didn't mind the Narada, it looked like the inside would be was used to process asteroids and space rock with all those arms, swallow them up on space. It was actually meant to mine moons & stuff, right? That drill was cool, more of a stage for a fight scene... I like how they showed Romulans without just generic bowl haircuts and the same damn clothing... One guy had a beard, many were bald, Nero was quarky "Hello Christopher", I though of TOS immediately. Nero's wife long hair in that flashback, little details like this throughout the movie that made it a winner for this fan. And once again we can go on and on... =}

Lizardspock's picture
Posted by Lizardspock on 2 September, 2009 - 17:12
Wow, JP and Yotsuyasan

Wow, JP and Yotsuyasan bringing the serious heat!

I figure it's a tad more appropriate to post this in EVA's review of the new movie phaser...but the conversation here is going great.

Anyway, I used to be a Trek fan when I was younger--not so much anymore--but I'm still a huge ray gun nut and I'll always love the original show. No, I'm not a collector of classic ray gun toys: prices of vintage tin are daunting! Plus, I like to play with my toys--not just lock 'em in a display case forever.

I had the Playmates TOS Type II phaser from a while back (like Yotsuyasan), but you couldn't remove the Type I from the top. Other than that, it was a good toy. Good sound fx and the light-up tip was adequate. Oh, and unlike a lot of Playmates' Star Trek ray gun toys, it was normal-sized! I recall the Bajoran and Klingon guns they did were tiny!

So is the new Art Asylum (is that the same as the Diamond Select one?) the way to go? I know the Type I separates, but is it a useless lump or is it actually cool? And, EVA, can we expect a review of that? ;)

Thanks, guys...and keep bringing the good stuff!

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 1 September, 2009 - 22:13
I just knew there had to

I just knew there had to be some Trekkers on CDX-! It just took a little motivation, is all. ;D

Yes, Sanjeev- I am planning on covering a few more DST ships and props... if I can find them.

  • TOS black-handle Phaser Mk.II (there's also a bronze- and white-handle, BTW, but I don't want those)
  • TOS remastered-Enterprise (not the two series-pilot versions, though, the standard one that we saw the most, someone else can cover the others)
  • refit-Enterprise (I'll not cover the battle-damaged one, someone else can do that)
  • TWoK Phaser
  • TNG Enterprise-D
  • TNG-finale Enterprise-D (from "All Good Things...", ...maybe)
  • Enterprise-E (undamaged ver.)

Even though I don't want it, I may also get the TOS Medical Tricorder to compare/contrast to the TOS Science Tricorder I'm reviewing now...

I may go for a Tribble, though, mwa-ha-ha.
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 1 September, 2009 - 22:31
I don't see myself ever

I don't see myself ever buying any Trek toys but I really liked TNG and DS9 back in the day. Never cared for TOS or any of the movies though.

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 2 September, 2009 - 00:31
Not a useless lump!

The Phaser Type-I does indeed function on it's own, complete with light and sound, and in fact it is the Type-II that is a useless lump without it! (But that's as it should be.)

Yotsuyasan's picture
Posted by Yotsuyasan on 2 September, 2009 - 01:49
Good to know. Thanks,

Good to know. Thanks, Yotsuyasan!

Yeah, Dave, I still like the original series and I dug Deep Space 9...even though there were some really crappy parts, it got very Babylon 5-ish towards the end. I watched The Next Generation...but it's just not for me...

Anyway, does anyone around here collect any of the Master Replicas stuff? I saw that they were coming out with a "Type IX Science Tricorder" (along with the assault phaser)...basically the tricorder from DS9, Voyager, and TNG movies. With all the lights and sounds done up right, that could be an amazing piece. But I think it retails for $400 (ouch!) and has been delayed for months...

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 2 September, 2009 - 09:32
If you want a kick-arse TNG tricorder....

If yoy're looking for a kick-arse TNG era tricorder, with lights and sounds and all that jazz, for less then $400, check out this website: http://www.ameralisgrafx.com/tricorders.html

I came across this when doing some random web-surfing the other day. According to the website, they start at about $250. And in addition to having authentic lights and sounds, the display monitor isn't some painted on light up graphic. It's an actual 2.8 inch monitor allowing for moving graphics! In adition to being usable as a straight prop reproduction, this tricorder can also function as a media player for your music and movies!

If I had more money handy myself, I'd be all over one of these. As it is, I may have to save up a bit eventually.

Yotsuyasan's picture
Posted by Yotsuyasan on 2 September, 2009 - 10:42
Holy CRAP, those

Holy CRAP, those AmeralisGrafx tricorders are cool! They sure seem to blow the Master Replicas ones utterly out of the water...in terms of functionality AND price! Damn.

Might have to look into these.

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 2 September, 2009 - 22:53
Yeah, DST will seriously

Yeah, DST will seriously have to demote a few LEDs to make a sell-able Mark IX tricorder. But consider that the TOS Science tricorder I'm working on now had 8 LEDs in it, so they have a bit of space to work with.

Ooh- I still love the look of the Assault Phaser, but that thing is way too damned over-priced for what it offers up! (Is it just me, or was it slightly out-of-scale as well...?)
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 2 September, 2009 - 12:07
For the person who asked

For the person who asked what kind of Trek toys were available way back when,Mego used to make Star Trek figures exactly like their superhero figures. IIRC,one of the Star Trek aliens was Spider-Man baddy The Lizard with different clothes on.
You can get repros of these figures at places like Suncoast.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 2 September, 2009 - 23:18
 
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