Just look at most of the Star Trek toy lines over the decades. With the exception of the Mego action figures with fabric clothing that were released before Star Wars first hit theaters the Trek lines have paled and suffered in comparison to the toys and collectibles associated with the six live action SW films and their numerous spinoffs. The Playmates action figures of the nineties and 00's were a noble effort to mainstream Trek toys and lay claim to a chunk of the market, but for the most part they were unsold and unloved except by die-hard Trekkers who wanted plastic representations of their favorite characters.
Exactly. Star Wars unlike Trek has characters that appeal to younger children who are the primary consumers of action figures. I don't know any children who desired the Trek action figures even after the huge commercial success of the last film. Whereas as someone said up-thread children still want a Yoda lunch box.
And to paraphrase Mel Brooks in Space Balls
- 'the real money is in the merchandizing.'
I think variation in theme plays a big part as well as the fact that Star Wars
is more akin to cowboys and indians. Much easier for kids to get into.
Back to variation of theme... we have basically four or five Picard figures that essentially all look alike (early TNG, late TNG, TNG jacket and First Contact). With just vague changes in the color scheme. Most of the ships are also just variation on a theme. Star Wars
just destroys Trek on this front.