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Old February 12 2013, 08:54 PM   #44
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Location: Georgia, USA
Re: Star Trek Toys of the 1970s

Other than providing an allowance my father didn't help me with my role-playing (back then we just called it, "let's pretend"). Obviously, I was not inventive enough to attach a clip to the communicator on my own or even consider the idea. Maybe I thought such would "ruin" the look; I can't remember.

I think the one thing that disappointed Kyle and I about the "Exploration Set" kit was the single unit aspect of the Type II phaser construction. We had hoped the Type I "pocket" element could be removed from the pistol grip section for those more diplomatic landing parties. We were certainly not skilled enough to cut awy the "pocket" phaser's features from the larger pieces and block in the gaping holes. So we just "beamed" onto the ""planet" armed to the teeth all the time.

Writing of rebuilding parts of the kit, I wonder which parents really helped to indulge their kids' playtime and modeled Trek field gear from scratch? You know, studying what few scant resources existed at that time, the photos in Whitfield's "Making of Star Trek" and the occasional publicity shot to construct phasers and comms milled from blocks of wood. Such props would have been far more durable than the hollow shells of brittle styrene that the AMT kit provided. But alas, my father was not a wood worker with a sense of whimsy.

Now THAT would be nostalgic. A middle aged man climbs into the attic to retrieve some item. He uncovers a box that he literally hasn't seen in decades. When he opens it, he discovers a group of three items acrved from wood, portions milled and/or lathed, glued together and highlighted with shiny accents, either metal or plastic. The paint has cracked and flaked in places from the years of dry heat. The glue has crystalized and thus some pieces have loosened or even separated. The metal pieces have tarnished, maybe rusted. But it reminds that person of a seemingly simpler time, bugging his father in his wood shop by thrusting a copy of Whitfield's book in his face and pleading, "Dad?! Can you make me a phaser? Stevey and I want to fight off the Klingons!" And while putting on a show of being grumpy, the father quietly relishes the thought his son came to him for help.

Good grief, that turned into a Norman Rockwell moment, didn't it? But the point is still valid. Did anyone's parents help you make some Star Trek toys?


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