"The Wand Company" classic Tricorder

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Redfern, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unless I lose my job before next summer, I'm SO going to get this puppy!

    "The Wand Company" classic Tricorder

    I already have The Wand Company's Phaser pistol universal remote and their Bluetooth Communicator, so this replica will complete the quintessential "landing party" field gear! (I learned of those just two days ago when I went to TrekCore to reference a couple of screen captures. I'm just surprised (and a tad embarrassed) I did not discover this 2 months ago when it was first announced around July 20th.

    A couple of years ago when I had issues with my Phaser and contacted The Wand Company for assistance (who went above and beyond to help), I asked if there was a chance they'd release a Tricorder. At that time it just did not seem likely which was, of course, disappointing. Obviously, circumstances have since changed! Yay!

    Now, the "byline" in the link is a bit nebulous about any planned features, though it hints at a radio receiver, audio recording functions, and with certainty a fully functional LCD based video screen. It also alludes to measuring and presenting some basic weather features. While it is in no way stated or even implied, I think the Wand Company will miss a great opportunity if they do not store some or better yet all the episodes of the original series within the device for playback upon the quaint lil "TV screen" and possibly also upon separate, larger monitors. After all, a person interviewed upon "Adam Savage's Tested" did just that! He obtained the pieces from professional prop makers and installed a "Blackberry" system within the casing to store the data and play it upon the tiny viewer. So the concept is doable, at least on a "one off" basis., "soon") we will have a Tricorder which will also offer "practical" functions.

    I have NOT been disappointed with either my Phaser or my Communicator, so I have strong faith The Wand Company" will offer another impressive item!
     
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  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If this is Alexa-capable, I’ll be all over it.
     
  3. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cannot get too excited over a mid 2021 release date. Plus need more details.
     
  4. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Looks great! Thanks for posting about it. I wonder how this - and the phaser and communicator you mentioned - differ from the Diamond Select models in terms of looks.

    Also, anyone know if anyone ever made a credible Phaser One replica? (Yes, I realize the irony of me asking that. :D)
     
  5. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Diamond Select items are actually pretty darn close, all things considered. The biggest "give-away" is the use of plastics painted metallic instead of actual metals for things like the emitter barrel and the "chrome" band around the comm' and the pocket phaser. Well, when Art Asylum was still selling them, the communicators had actual metallic "flip antennas", but as a costing costing measure, Diamond select switched to plastic (which at least still had the honeycomb holes). The AS/DS comms were a a tad thicker as the case widened at the base, but that was to accommodate the batteries. Unless one were looking at it from the side zoomed extremely close, it is not that noticeable.

    The other "give-away" for the phaser was an ever so slight "dip" to the thin "bands" that run along the length of the pistol component underneath where the pocket phaser rests. Again, you have to look d*mn close to see that. Shoot the things were deemed good enough to use in the "Enterprise' episodes "In a Mirror, Darkly". That has to say something.

    The AS/DS tricorder had poorly illuminated "video monitors". 2 LEDs were positioned at the inner edge and 'projected light sideways, so you had two obvious "hot spots" and dimly lit elsewhere. The biggest disappointment was probably the "scanner" for the medical tricorder. The audio mechanism was rather faint in a lot of units (even with fresh batteries) and the famous little "spinning effect" of the scanning "head" was achieved by a manual "flywheel". It was tough trying to spin it with one's thumb while holding it in one hand. AS/DS argued they could not fit a battery operated motor plus the sound chip system. I would have thought maybe a "clockwork" mechanism could have fitted. Wind up the device and then press a single button to activate the sound and release the "spring", allowing it to spin for the length of a couple of "passes". The science tricorder had a similarly sized Feinberger based upon a prop Daystrom used in "The Ultimate Computer". It housed a color changing LED and no sound chip. But again, the cosplay prop was properly scaled (unlike the Playmates Toys 'corder), all the panels opened 9including the bottom where the hand scanners could be stored, so they were certainly good enough for cosplay.

    Oh, for both the AS/DS communicator and the tricorders, the cool little "moire" discs actually rotated to create that funky psychedelic pattern. And the pocket phaser could be ejected from the pistol grip, the control wheel raising and lowering that little acrylic "sighting lens". So I'd say they did provide a decent pocket weapon.

    The Wand Company display pieces? Wow! They are just amazing. The pocket phaser ejects from the pistol grip, so there's your accurate unit right there. It can even be used independently of the grip. Metal is used where appropriate. I can't really tell from what the main "casing" is composed, but it certainly does not feel like cheap, thin polystyrene. the bloody thing has "heft". the LED that illuminates the barrel is a "super bright" variety and it changes color for each of the 9 or 10 settings. It "strobes" with slightly alternating colors to beef up the effect. Plus, the pistol element has an oscillating mechanism so that the whole thing "buzzes" when fired, adding to the roleplay experience. Oh, in terms of serrings, Wand really researched the material. Remember the stun setting from "Wink of an Eye" which showered the corridor green and resonated with a kind of "stuttering chirp"? The device replicates this! Well, the whole room doesn't glow green, but the emitter does and plays that particular sound effect.

    I've never tried "programming" it to use upon my Tv or other devices, so I can't assist how well it does in that regard but as a "functional' museum quality display piece, I've read claims it outdoes the far more expensive Master Replica versions.

    The communicator, again, dead accurate to the Wah Change prop. it's not overly thick at the base as it uses a lithium battery (recharged by a proximity mechanism, so no "non-cannon" ports or slots. It chirps and beeps as one would wish plus by using the left button as a kind of joystick controller, you can have several of the crew "greet" you or "close out" communications, using snippets of dialogue from the series. Like the AS/DS toy, the "moire" disc spins (a lot more quiet than the toy) and the indicators blink. Like the phaser I have not tried the 'practical" functions as a Bluetooth accessory (as I don't own a smart device), so I can't rate that ability. But again, it's so accurate (from reading the pages at HeroComm) that is is uncanny!

    So, if the attention to detail for the upcoming tricorder is anything akin to Wand's existing Trek products, it'll be a "slam dunk" for sure!

    Okay, that got more verbose that most members would like, but I figured you'd want a detailed critiqu[SIZE=4]e.[/SIZE]
     
  6. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Absolutely! Thank you so much! Wish I could like it 100 times. I'm very glad to hear that the Phaser One part can come out of the pistol grip. (Even though I do prefer the, uh, second-numbered variety :biggrin:.)

    Have you got a link to the phaser and communicator? I'm doing web browser maintenance. :bolian:
     
  7. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Good write-up! I'll also add that you can even remove the access cover on the phaser to reveal the actual crystal housing inside.
    They come in sturdy carry cases that try to maintain a general Starfleet aesthetic, and even the government mandated warning signage was altered as much as legally possible to make it more Starfleet-ish.

    For anyone looking to get amazing prop replicas, I vouch for the Wand Company releases. I cannot wait for their tricorder.

    https://intl.startrek.com/article/creating-the-tos-bluetooth-communicator

    http://www.herocomm.com/WandComm/TheWandCommunicator.htm
     
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  8. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Videos? You've got'm!

    An official Wand Company promo for the Phaser...



    Another for the Communicator...



    All of the Wand Company's clips which also fearure its Harry Potter wands and Doctor Who sonic screwdrivers (no Tom Baker version yet)...

    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWandCompanyLtd/videos

    ,,,and finally a general collection videos, some being end user reviews going into minute detail...

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wand+company+phaser

    (Of course, other barely tangent clips are retrieved so you'll have to employ some manual filtering. Enjoy!)
     
  9. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Redfern . . . you've just earned your pay for the week.
     
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  10. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought you'd catch the reference! :techman:
     
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  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    SOT, but I missed getting the Wand phaser. Is it worth it to go to Ebay?
     
  12. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Actually took me a sec! Very crafty. :D:techman:
     
  13. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The original list price was between 125 and 150 dollars. I got mine through "Think Geek" but they've since went "belly up".

    I just visited The Wand Company site and accessed the page about the Phaser. The business noted they are no longer producing them, but one could try Amazon. I went there out of curiosity and the seller was asking...1,500 dollars, ten times the original list price. Dayum!!! Maybe eBay is offering better deals; I honestly don't know.
     
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  14. Q2UnME

    Q2UnME Commodore Commodore

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    ^ There were several phasers on E-Bay recently and they were going for $800 or more USED. Be glad you were able to get one when the were originally released. To get one now is not for the faint of heart.....

    Q2
     
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  15. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh...believe me! I AM grateful I purchased my replicas when I did!

    I'm also grateful for the Art Asylum/Diamond Direct "toys"! While the "metal" elements are just plastic painted, the dimensions and proportions of those props are just about "on point" (save for the "concession" required for the comm's battery compartment) and were inexpensive enough to risk as "roleplay/cosplay" accessories..

    Shoot, even Playmates' phaser pistol and communicator were "good enough" for their time. True, the pocket phaser could not be removed from the pistol grip and the comm's antenna lid was solid, but hey, that made them arguably a bit more rugged for the intended age group. I am a bit less forgiving about Playmates' "shrinking" the tricorder. Oh, I understand the reason, to put its price range closer to the other field gear, but still...

    Yes, I'm even grateful for the AMT plastic assembly kit, the "Exploration Set" that when finished resulted in roleplay/cosplay field gear props. True, they were certainly not screen accurate and they were all "shrunk" to fit the hands of children, but at that time they were like the gift of the "Holy Grail"! Before that kit's release, my childhood buddy Kyle and I had to make do with either cardboard constructions (all effectively "2D" because we were not skilled enough to attempt making pieces that could be folded into 3 dimensional "boxes"), or our props were repurposed household items, TV remotes for phasers (Kyle's mom was not thrilled to realize her remote missing), "used" makeup compacts as communicators (Kyle claimed a black rectangle case; I got stuck with a round, pink one), and a binocular case with a shoulder strap for my tricorder (I was smart enough to leave the binoculars at home). So, yeah, for all its "faults", by comparison, that "Exploration Set" was a dream come true!

    I was NOT grateful for a Remco brand "electronic" phaser that was released around 1975 or '76. I spent several weeks allowance to purchase it. But when I opened the box and removed the toy, it proved a disappointment. "Clunky" with proportions like a weapon from Bizarro's world, when I inserted the batteries and pulled the trigger, I did not get the hoped for "cicada" like "trill" originally developed for George Pal's "War of the Worlds" (the levitating sound effect). No, it "chirped" like a freakin' bird! That sound was more apt for the opening of a communicator. My father wouldn't let me return it for a refund. He thought it an "object lesson" not to blindly accept "sales hype". Uh, no, I saw no commercials for that toy with obviously deceptive Foley work; I just expected it to sound more like the show. That made me appreciative of toy packaging with "try me" access. One gets a much better idea what the toys actually do.

    Well, once again I went on a ramble. Hopefully it did not come across as pedantic, but more like the goofy back porch anecdote from the "weird" uncle. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
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  16. Dr. Kravaal

    Dr. Kravaal Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I’d be afraid to drop them.
     
  17. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    OMG - I did the same exact thing!! :lol::beer: Looked good, too.

    Nah, it was an outstanding post. :) I loved the part about your dad saying it was a lesson and you thinking that it was actually a case of false advertising. You were right! :techman:
     
  18. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I fear I may have phrased myself poorly. I meant to say I could not blame my expectations on "false advertising" because I never saw a TV ad promoting that Remco phaser. I just assumed it would sound exactly like (or at least close to) the Foley work layered into the final episode soundtracks. Eventually toys would reach that level of audio accuracy, but the technology was just not there yet in 1975. Actually, I think Remco may have repurposed an audio board originally designed to fit within a mechanical canary novelty bird cage. I'd seen them in beach side gift shops when my father and I visited the Florida coastal panhandle around the same time. They sounded quite similar...as though mocking my gullibility! BTW, I opened the toy to look at the electronics. The tiny "circuit board" did not have an IC chip, just some transistors, resisters, a small amplifying coil and a couple of capacitors. This was still s few years before chips started to be commonplace in toys.

    Again, it was great when Playmates constructed the boxes to have "try me" access holes so that one could hear exactly how the toy would sound. Remembering my Remco fiasco, I was rather amazed the chips could store actual "sound samples" from the shows rather than merely vague "approximations". We take that technology for granted now (shoot, for 20+ years), but when I was a kid, audio was still often handled via those mini phonograph devices used in things like those creepy "laughing boxes" or "The Farmer Says" pull string toys. I was about to say there's no way they could have fitted one of those in a tricorder, let alone a phaser toy, but I almost forgot there were some GI Joe and Barbie dolls that had an even smaller version of that mechanism fitted within the torsos. So, it could have been done, but the sound would have been absurdly "tinny".
     
  19. Lt. Tyler

    Lt. Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Was it the lower pull out compartment for on the TOS science tricorder?
     
  20. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Any guesses as to when we get more information?