Star Trek II TWoK Phaser
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
In the year 1996, the genetically-engineered superhuman Khan Noonien Singh abandoned Earth along with a group of his loyalist followers after his defeat in the Eugenics Wars aboard the nuclear-powered S.S. Botany Bay. He and his crew slept away their aimless journey in cryogenic stasis for three hundred years until, by chance, they were rescued by the Federation starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Leaving the Botany Bay adrift, Khan and his people attempted to hijack the Enterprise but were defeated by the efforts of her crew. As punishment, Captain James Kirk banished the 20th-Century criminals onto the planet Ceti Alpha V to live the rest of their lives without interfering with the peaceful galaxy…
Twenty years later, the survey vessel U.S.S. Reliant inadvertently came across Khan, and he managed to overthrow the senior officers and maroon her crew on Ceti Alpha V. Khan is now hell-bent on getting revenge on now-Admiral Kirk for making him suffer all these decades and defeating him earlier. He starts by stealing a highly-experimental machine called the Genesis Device, which has the ability to completely rebuild the surface of an inhospitable planet into a lush paradise inside of a few minutes! With the Enterprise badly damaged in an earlier surprise attack from the Reliant, Kirk must deal with both a vendetta on his head from an old enemy, and the revelation that he has a son!
Since the 2100s, PHASed Energy Rectifiers, or PHASERs, have become standard-issue defensive weapons aboard all Starfleet facilities and starships. Phasers vary widely in size and scale from small hand-held pistol units to large retractable turrets located on the hulls of starbases, starships, and specially-equipped shuttlecraft. They fire concentrated and focused bursts of rapid nadions, which are easily and safely stored. On warp-capable starships, though, phasers become useless because the rapid nadions still travel at slower-than-light speeds, rendering them useless, a weakness which is countered with the use of antimatter-powered photon torpedoes. If not carefully regulated by the user, however, phasers can quickly overload their power cells due to improper discharging and explode.
By the late 2300s, it was possible to field smaller palm-sized Type-1 phasers which could be more discreetly used. These were limited in operation, and so were designed to connect to the larger pistol-sized unit to collectively form the standard Type-2 phaser, which was more versatile in setting such as beam intensity and dispersion width, energy cell capacity, and a wider variety of uses beyond simple self-defense.
Three LLR4 batteries (which are pre-installed) are required for this set, and they are placed in a compartment underneath the Type-1. The Type-2 draws its electrical power from the Type-1 via a group of small metal prongs, so it does not need batteries as well.
The trigger to activate the light and sound effects is a rectangular button on the forward-center of the control panel on top.
When reattaching the Type-1 to the Type-2, there is a power-up sound, followed by a click. The Type-1 is held in place by both a magnet and a small motionless tab. Separating the two units is effortless, but the connection is solid.
The Type-2 does not function as a stand-alone unit, and requires the Type-1 to be attached in order to work; this applies to this replica as well. (In the movie, the Type-1 was never seen separated, even though it was originally designed to do so.)
Aside from the two triggers on both Phaser units, there is also the main On/Off button on top of the Type-2 and the Setting Selector Button on top of the Type-1.
The Setting Selector functions the same whether the two units are apart or not, and also serves as the On/Off button for the Type-1 when separated.
When the Type-2 is On the On/Off button will glow white and two LEDs on the forward-right side will always flash on-and-off independently on their own. If a Force Setting is not selected when the trigger is squeezed it will make a single beep, not a shooting effect. Pressing the Setting Selector button will activate one of four settings in this order:
- 'Light' Stun
- Full Stun
Each with a progressively more complex lighting and sound-effect pattern. This applies to both the Type-1 and Type-2 units.
For tactical purposes, any Phaser can also be intentionally set to overload its power cells, which will explode if not corrected within a few seconds.
When the Setting Selector Button and the trigger are pressed together for two seconds, all of the LEDs will turn on and stay on. No other function can be executed when set to Overload. Then, when trigger is pressed again, the Type-2 will emit an energy build-up sound while the LEDs in both units flash with increasing frequency. This concludes with an explosion sound effect, which also turns the replica Off.
Overloading the Type-1 is also possible, by pressing the Setting Select Button and its own Trigger at the same time, resulting in the same sequence.
This is an excellent replica! I can find no errors with it at all, even from a continuity perspective. Perhaps the only mistake that was made was the Force Setting LEDs along the left side were originally four different colors in "TWoK". The overall color of the shell also changed a little between movie and its appearance in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” third-season episode, “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, but these are minor, trivial matters.
As the first Phaser designed for the post-Original Series movies, it is clearly a more streamlined, simplified, and better integrated design than its TV predecessor. It was not well-known at the time it debuted that it was designed to separate since it was never seen as such in the movies, and so to have it come full circle for the first time in this replica is very welcome. With limited use in "TWoK”, Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum had to guess as to how the two Stun settings would work and sound, and they play here as simply lower-level versions of the canon Kill and Disintegration attacks seen in the movie. I feel that what they came up with was acceptable. Additionally, though the screw cover plugs are easily spotted along the left side and bottom of both units, I am certainly glad that they even bother to cover the screws in the first place!
I have four issues with this replica…
The first is- again!- the unusual brightness of DST’s selection of LEDs on the top of both units. It’s like looking into seven LED flashlights all at the same time! Because of the grated pattern on the emitter, the four red LEDs in front are not as bright. Considering this was one of DST’s first Star Trek replicas (2009), they hadn’t had much feedback at that time.
The second issue is the use of reflective decals along the sides. Why are they there? Why not just paint them in? It looks tacky considering the utilitarian nature of this device. (I’m guessing DST used decals rather than a lighter shade of silver because it hides the plastic separation lines there…)
The third is debatable, and may tie in to how accurate the replica is to the original prop. The grip of the Type-2 seems a little too big for the hands. A minor issue, but it seems a glaring oversight if the prop’s grip was smaller. (It’s so big you can set it upright on a table and it’ll balance just fine!)
And the fourth (which kind of drives me crazy) is that you won’t get a firing effect until after you release the trigger! You can squeeze those things as long as you like, but it won’t fire until after the pressure is released. …Why???
I can easily ignore all of those issues, though, because the overall package is very clean and cool. So I am putting my highest recommendations into the TWoK Phaser.
(Oh, by the way, this Phaser design actually made its debut in 1979’s “Star Trek- The Motion Picture”. Thanks for that one, Diamond Select Toys.)
|Posted 17 January, 2011 - 13:26 by EVA_Unit_4A|