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STAR TREK COLLECTIBLES #08

Updated: January 25, 2020

Mego Action Figures No 1970s Star Trek-dominated childhood was complete without these babies. Standing eight inches tall, the figures boasted uniforms, accessories and likenesses that rival or even surpass similar toys that would come later. Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and most of the Enterprise gang (No Sulu or Chekov back in the day) facing off against the lone Klingon figure who may or may not have been Koloth from The Trouble With Tribbles provided countless hours of adventure. Things got even more awesome with the inclusion of the U.S.S. Enterprise Action Playset, which looked more like the inside of a disco club than the bridge we all remember from the series. A second wave of figures consisting of various aliens that bore little or no resemblance to actual creatures seen on the show was harder to come by. Recent years have seen reproductions of the original figures as well as new additions to the roster and more accurate representations of various Star Trek aliens, which largely succeed in recreating those fun times of yesteryear.

Rayline Tracer Gun Im pretty sure nearly every kid who grew up in the 70s remembers some version of this thing. It was one of several toys that bore a Star Trek label while looking absolutely nothing like anything you might recall seeing on the TV show. So far as I can, tell it remains the most popular of the bunch, surpassing such oddities as the Rocket Pistol or the Space Fun Helmet. As for the Tracer Gun, it looked nothing like a phaser and yet was still completely awesome. I must have had six or seven of these things over the course of my single-digit years. You could load it up with these little plastic discs that came in all sorts of colors, and proceed to shoot out the eyes of all your friends. Fun for everyone! Of course, this was back when child safety was pretty much an afterthought when it came to toys. Ah, those were the days. Later versions did somewhat resemble a phaser, but its the classic model that collectors still go after.

Mego Super Phaser II Target Game Speaking of phasers, how about this gem? Well before Laser Tag and Paintball were cool, there was this. Mego strikes again! The game consisted of an oversized phaser-like gun that was basically a flashlight, and a reflective target featuring art of a Klingon battle cruiser. Hit the target and you get a satisfying buzzing sound from the gun. Ingenious tykes like myself partnered with a friend who also had one of these and both of his eyes after surviving any number of engagements with our Tracer Guns and we would wear the target reflectors strung around our necks while running around the neighborhood and trying to take each other out. Fresh air, exercise, and the thrill of the hunt: Tell me how Call of Duty competes with that.

Remco Utility Belt Now were talking! So, you say you wanted to inject at least a little accuracy into your playground role play? Remco was your dealer, with this utility belt that featured a phaser, communicator and a tricorder, all of which made a heroic attempt at looking somewhat like the equipment carried by Captain Kirk and his landing parties. As a bonus, the phaser fired those wonderful little Tracer Gun discs. Jiggity.

AMT Models Specifically, the Enterprise and the Exploration Set. I built a couple of the other kits in this line at different points during my childhood, but the Enterprise? I must have assembled a half dozen of those things, mostly because I kept breaking them after I was finished building and painting them. Likewise, I went through several of the Exploration Sets, which included a phaser, communicator and tricorder. Those were prone to breakage thanks to the irresistible urge that compelled me to take them outside and play with them even though they were fragile plastic models. Whoops! Guess I had to go and get another set to build. Just my tough luck. Another favorite was the truly cool Mr. Spock model, where he’s depicted shooting his phaser at a giant three headed snake. There also was the Enterprise bridge diorama, but I actually didnt attempt to tackle that one until my twenties (Hint Im a horrible model builder). Most of these kits have been reissued in recent years, and yes, I’ve been tempted to buy and build them all over again.

FASA Role Playing Game This came along in 1982, when I was in my teens. Before Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered, material like this fueled fans imaginations and need for new Star Trek material. I remember begging my mother for an advance on my allowance so that I could run to the hobby shop at the local mall in order to buy the big box that was the first edition of this game and a bit later the expansion set focusing on the Klingons. The original edition of the game was jam packed with rulebooks, game scenarios, playing pieces and deck plans for both the Enterprise and a Klingon battle cruiser. FASA would continue to produce new rulebooks and supplements until 1989, and Im almost embarrassed to tell you just how much of this stuff I still have in my library. Hey! Its good reference material. Honest!

Dinky Toys U.S.S. Enterprise A die-cast metal model of everyones favorite starship, with a truly dinky (Yeah, I said it.) shuttlecraft stored in the secondary hull, and which fired little orange discs from the front of the saucer. Totally screen accurate, right? Of course not, but nobody cared. There also was a Klingon ship, but I never managed to get my grubby paws on one of those. There arent many Star Trek toys that I’d like to reacquire now that Im older and possessing more disposable income, but the Dinky Enterprise is near the top of that short list.

Mego Communicators Long before everybody started carrying a phone in their pocket, walkie talkies were the toys to have. They came in all shapes, sizes, and broadcast ranges, which varied between two and two hundred feet depending on line of sight, weather, interference from metal or magnetic objects, and whether or not you could last an hour before finding a way to break the three foot antenna sticking out of the things. Mego made sure Star Trek got in on this action, by producing a pair of walkie talkies that looked suspiciously like oversized communicators from the original show, complete with flip cover. When it came time to play Star Trek with your friends, you grabbed these and your Tracer Guns and hit the streets, ready to defend the neighborhood from whichever kids in the group got saddled with playing Klingons or some other alien menace. Good times, those.

Puzzles, Comic Books and Colorforms Hey, remember the era were talking about, here. It was before video game consoles, computers, tablets, and smart phones. Hell, VCRs were still years away. A kids imagination was his or her greatest weapon against boredom, and Star Trek stuff helped to fill that void. I probably had ten different Trek puzzles, including three or four inspired by The Animated Series. And lets not forget those gloriously cheesy comics from Gold Key that had the Enterprise shooting fire out of its nacelles and Spock with ears big enough to pull in radio signals from Neptune. Lastly, there was the Colorforms Playset, which let you create your own Star Trek scenes on something resembling the Enterprise bridge. I also had the Planet of the Apes Colorforms set, which let me create my own crossover adventures decades before comics got in on the act.

Megos Mission to Gamma VI Playset I saved this one for last, as it actually is something of a Holy Grail item; a toy I wanted but never received. I remember drooling over pictures of this in the Sears Christmas catalog. The sets centerpiece was the large, lizard like idol which may or may not have been Vaal from The Apple, and which was worshipped by a quartet of small aliens that looked as though they may have escaped from one of those Barrel of Monkeys games. Hey, it was the 70s. Vaal had his very own trap door, and sticking out of the mountain which housed the idol was a fabric glove. Putting your hand into the glove allowed you to terrorize your Mego Captain Kirk and other figures. If I ever manage to snag one of these off eBay maybe along with a Bionic Bigfoot or Venus Space Probe to fight my Six Million Dollar Man figure I could die a happy geek.


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