For The Love of Trek

Posted by Jeff Cope (November 25, 2006, 3:12AM)

Diamond Select Toys has breathed new life into an old love of mine.

Star Trek has been a part of my life since I can remember. My family watched the series on it's original NBC run when I was a toddler (the original series debuted in 1966...I debuted in 1965). I don't remember those as much as I recall discovering the show in its orginal syndication run. I was hooked instantly on the adventures of the intrepid Captain James Tiberius Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise. As far as I was concerned it was the best thing on TV besides Speed Racer!

In December of 1979, even though I was sick, my parents allowed me to wait in line outside the Century 22 theater in San Jose, California on the opening day of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It had seemed like forever since being able to watch a new Star Trek tale unfold before me, though it had merely been ten years since the last new episode aired.

It was following the movie that Pocket Books began its series of Star Trek novels. I kept up for awhile, until the sheer volume became overwhelming and impossible to follow. 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan arrived a few years later giving a welcome shot of adrenaline to the film franchise, followed by several sequels of varying quality (though on some level I still love them all...even Star Trek V)

In 1987, beating all the odds, lighting struck twice when Star Trek: The Next Generation hit the air. Who were these new characters and how dare they have a ship named Enterprise? My friends and I were excited but doubtful this new incarnation would be able to hold a candle to the beloved original. But, it wasn't much longer before the debates began. Who was the better Captain...Kirk or Picard?

Well, The Next Generation was followed by Deep Space Nine (which I enjoyed quite a bit, especially in its later seasons), then Voyage and Enterprise (both of which I never warmed up to). Through all the television series, movies, novels, comic books, video games and action figures at some point it just became too much. My love for the house that Rodenberry built began to wane.

My dislike of Voyage and Enterprise were the final nails in the coffin. I didn't watch either series much past the second seasons and my interests moved on to other things.

Art Asylum picked up the Star Trek license after Playmates Toys finally let it drop and produced some nice stuff, but by that point the public interest in the franchise had also waned and they struggled in the marketplace.

Then Diamond Select Toys came to the rescue. DST teamed up with Art Asylum and planned to carry on producing Star Trek action figures.

I found my interest piqued.

Then DST announced their Star Trek: The Next Generation line and that was it. I was hooked again. I'm focusing on the seventh season core crew members and not really worrying about variants. But, dang, I love these figures. They're solid, well done figures with very good likenesses. My only complaint about the line (thus far) is that I'd really love to see more aliens, especially Classic and Next Gen Romulans. Maybe someday.

The Trek market is still pretty weak...but it's showing signs of life. 2006 is the 40th anniversary of the original series and nostalgia can be a powerful force. But even with the sluggish market Diamond is committed to their Trek products.

So, I've been reading Constellations, the 40th Anniversary short story collection recently published by Pocket Books, watching some of the re-mastered original series episodes that are currently being syndicated and even picked up the Star Trek Manga collection from Tokyo Pop.

I'm a Trekkie again (lets face it, I'm not obsessed enough to go with the "Trekker" moniker!) and loving every second of it, and I owe it all to Diamond Select Toys. So, my thanks to the crew over at DST. Keep those figures coming. I'm clearing more space on my shelves!