Star Trek Toys of the 1970s

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Amen, brotha'!

    Since Kyle and I had the Exploration Set rather than the Remco collection, we didn't have a belt to store our gear. I nabbed the strap from my binocular case (which served as my "tricorder" before the model kit appeared) and threaded it through the hollow shell. It was just about long enough and thus resolved that issue. But the phaser and communicator, that was another story.

    We'd usually push the grip through a belt loop. That actually positioned the gun similarly to what we saw in the show, but it was prone to sliding and falling to the ground. We wound up snapping off "emitters" and having to re-glue them. I usually just carried the comm' in my hand or stashing it within a pocket. Kyle tried rolling a length of adhesive tape into a "tube" with the sticky surface facing outward, applying it to the back of the comm' and slapping it to his belt to be a bit more authentic. Yeah, it usually pried loose from any movement.

    Uniforms? well, Kyle initially had a light brown pull-over with a dark collar. Looked pretty decent as a "command" department tunic. I had a blue turtleneck, but it was almost navy rather than a mid range blue. Kyle had black pants, but I had to settle for beep brown. Kyle had some brown boots he tried turning black two different ways. One time, he got a roll of electrician's tape and "mummified" the footwear. Another time, actually tried to spray paint them!

    Later, Kyle and I discovered shirts being sold at JC Penny's with starsip chevrons. They didn't have rank braids but rather black elastic cuffs that matched the collar. I think I read that they were sold as sleepwear. But dang it, to have an arrowhead breast patch that wouldn't dislodge (as we had used cardboard gripped with tape) was paradise! we could "forgive" the cuffs.

    Sadly, about the time we had collected our somewhat more authentic ensembles, we both moved to different parts of the state and I didn't find anyone else with whom I could "pretend".

    Sincerely,

    Bill

    Follow-up: Ah, I see ssosmcin and I discussed the same clothing. I did a wee bit of Google-fu and learned DonMoor made those cuffed Trek shirts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  2. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My dad helped me with the communicator fastening issue: he attached a metal belt clip to the back and there ya go! It was on my belt. I did the same thing you did with the phaser (belt loop) before I got the belt or after the belt had broken (it was pretty danged cheap). After a big snow and after my did shoveled the driveway, I climbed around the snow mounds shouting "a god need compassion! Mitchell!" The neighbors had learned to ignore me, as well as my constant shoulder rolls and Kirk Fights in the front yard, often by myself.

    Oh and I had the Donmoor shirts as well as the pajamas. There was no stopping me back then.
     
  3. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wonder who that kid is and whether he ever admits to having modeled that thing.
     
  4. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    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?

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  5. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Outside of putting the clips on my communicator and fixing my Enterprise model after I sat on it, my parents left me to my own devices.

    They were supportive of my love of Star Trek because they shared it. I got the whole family into it and it was a show we all watched together for a long time. So, as long as we had the money, or for Christmas/birthdays, getting Star Trek toys was no hassle. I do remember my dad putting together my first model Space:1999 Eagle. It took him days because he wanted to get it right. He did a great job on it.
     
  6. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    The standout things I recall my father doing: he sat at the kitchen table with me and we built the original AMT Enterprise kit, when I was too young to do it alone.

    And one day he surprised me with THE MAKING OF STAR TREK, which he had evidently seen in a bookstore. It hadn't occurred to me that such a book could exist, and it was a pretty big deal. I must have been about 10 at the time.
     
  7. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I beg to differ. It's great music. :cool:
     
  8. GeorgeKirk

    GeorgeKirk Commodore Commodore

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    You don't remember that episode where they're in the Transporter Room and Kirk is like "Hey Spock, you ready to beam down?" And Spock is like "One moment Captain, I must don my Space Fun Helmet."

    Shatner was jealous of the attention Nimoy was getting from female fans, so he had it written into his contract that he had to wear that helmet so he's look stupid and the fans would drool over Shatner instead.
     
  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Nimoy would have jumped at the chance to wear that helmet in "Plato's Stepchildren" if it meant he could keep his trousers on. :)
     
  10. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    My mom had a pattern for costumes and made them for my brother and me when I was in 3rd grade. My dad phasers and communicators to complete the look. I actually found the same pattern online and my mom volunteered to make me an adult costume a couple years ago for Halloween. It's incredibly accurate - better than any of the retail ones I've seen.

    I also built bridge and engineering TOS playsets out of cardboard when I was younger. I matched the size to the action figures and paused the episodes to make sure everything was as accurate as possible. I could never figure out how to add aux. control to the set though. haha. All in all, I spent many hours making everything just right. Great memories!
     
  11. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I had a friend who did that, reconstructing the transporter platform. Only one minor deviation; he made the "chamber" rectangular! He didn't have the Tech Manual or the ship blueprints and thus never realized from the TV alone the platform was circular. I acted like a bloody schmuck and gave him h3ll for that.

    On the other hand. he contructed a "life sized" medical bed readout screen that wasn't too bad. He added a really cute feature. The range "needles" were rigged with strings which connected to two different "rods". Pull one rod and rge readings "elevated". Pull the other and he could perform a "Gary Mitchell" and "flatline" on command! Well, I found it clever.

    It reads as though you have some really understanding and fun loving parents. You don't have any photos from that era, do you? If you're concerned about identity, you can use an image editor and blur out your face and any other details that might reveal too much.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  12. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    You guys really captured the experience of role playing Trek in the 1970's; it was a great time, and no matter how inaccurate the toys were.

    I remember attending a convention in the early 70's and was amazed to see one of the many custom, life-size Phasers for sale. It was a then-whopping $150.00 (which was mind blowing when my frame of reference for Phaser value was the Exploration Set), but the grip was not even close to being accurate, as it was shaped like three tubes taped together, and the emitter was too thick.

    Still, it was a great experience looking at something that was sort of close to the series prop. Imagine a kid getting that as gift back in the day?!?
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember seeing this in a public television kids show
    http://www.plaidstallions.com/playground/spacecruiser.html

    Now You remember the disk firing Dinky TOS. Well, I distinctly remember an ad for a TMP version with the linear naceles. Not the small Dinky miniature of around 1/2500 mind you--a refit Disk firing version.

    I saw this art one time--I think at the Huntsville space center around 1980.

    Those were good days.
     
  14. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    ^^^Wow, just wow.
     
  15. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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  16. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    Wow, the medical bed readout thing sounds awesome. I'm jealous of that.

    And, yeah, my parents were great about Halloween. They loved making costumes and props...although they both more or less hate TOS now. I may have worn them out on it. haha.

    And if I can find pix I'll post them! A thread of board members in ST costumes as kids might actually be kind of fun.