Thursday, January 22, 2009
First look: 'Star Trek' toys boldly go nouveau
By Mike Snider, USA TODAY
A new Star Trek film without new toys would be, as Spock might say, highly illogical. So action figures and other items are beaming down to stores in advance of the J.J. Abrams-directed film, opening May 8.
The Playmates Toys' products, in stores starting April 19, are part of a marketing mission that includes Mattel Barbie collector dolls (Kirk, Spock and Uhura), trading cards, radio-controlled spaceships and board games.
The action figures re-energize a franchise that "helped prove figures based on science-fiction properties not directly created with kids in mind were a viable market," says Cliff Annicelli of Playthings magazine. "They paved the way for the development of what today is a cottage industry for collectible toys targeted primarily towards adult males."
The starring triumvirate of Kirk, Spock and McCoy will be available in 3¾-inch ($7), 6-inch ($9-$10) and 12-inch ($30) models. Also available will be figures of the original Spock, who meets the young Spock in a time anomaly. Other crewmembers will be available in the smaller sizes. Playsets include the Enterprise Bridge and Transporter Room.
The goal: to "make the brand more accessible to not only existing fans but to a new generation," says Liz Kalodner of CBS Consumer Products. "It's important to us that we honor the iconic property for what it has contributed to American pop culture."
"Since this is a whole new take on the franchise, we followed (Abrams') lead with a new approach including collectible features, new figure and vehicle scales, and new materials," Playmates' Paul Fish says.