Where is all the Star Trek merchandise? That’s what I’ve been asking myself for a while. Polar Lights has done a good job of relaunching older AMT models. The company has also produced some new kits from the original series and the new Kurtzman series. The toylines, however, have been stagnant for years.
In the 1990s, Playmates Toys ruled the Star Trek landscape. Nearly every character from every Star Trek series, old and contemporary, got their own action figure. Old Scotty? Yep. Young Scotty? Yup. Khan? Oh, yes. Barclay? Who didn’t own ten Barclay figures?
Then for the longest time, the toyline stayed dormant. That was until Figures.com published a PR announcement from Playmates. Karl Aaronian, the company’s senior vice president, stated:
“We’re excited to be transported back into the Star Trek Universe, a brand and world that we know very well. Our product team includes some lifelong super fans, like me, and we are honored to join with ViacomCBS again to help further engage fans with the wealth of new content coming as well as captivate a new generation of kids with the positive values that Gene Roddenberry introduced in his Trek world.”
Playmates Toys has been a bit of a non-entity for a long time. Sure, the company still makes toys, most recently some Godzilla figures and a series about two kids named Vlad and Nikki. No idea. Don’t ask me.
The 2009 Star Trek reboot toyline tie-in didn’t go over too well. I remember seeing the figures overflowing on the clearance endcaps of Toys R Us. Could Playmates recapture the lightning it had for most of the ’90s? Is the market there for ST: Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks figures? I’ve been following the IPs merchandise lines for a few years and noticed that TNG and OS stuff sells well while the new stuff stays on the shelves.
From TMNT to Star Trek, the company put out a ton of great toys. I had quite a few Next Generation figures, including the transporter playset and the tricorder replica. Good times. I’m not sure that Star Trek will bring in the same fanbase in its current state.
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