This was discussed last year when it first came out... the Vegas comm is a nearly exact copy of the Master Replicas
That's the Vegas on the left with its shiny shell, and the MR on the right.
The Vegas is a little "cheaper" looking, with its chromed pieces and inexplicably painted flipgrid. The grid is brass underneath tho, so if you clean off the paint you can make it look authentic.
As I said the black plastic shell is too shiny on the Vegas, and the haircell texture is going the wrong way (vertical, should be horizontal).
The worst thing about the Vegas is the horrible sound quality.. it sounds like it was recorded from an MR being played over a cell phone. (somebody, I think it was Hyperdyne, determined that the actual sound chip in the Vegas comm IS in fact capable of great-quality sound reproduction, and it's only the fact of the crappy recording that accounts for the poor quality sound.)
The moire also spins at a different rate, and if I remember correctly the opposite direction, than the MR moire. I think somebody said the Vegas comm is actually the accurate one in this regard.
The Vegas comm's flipgrid doesn't go back far enough when opened (tho if I remember correctly the MR in the following pic has been modified so the grid goes back farther than normal)
The lights work the same on both comms, tho to get the "static" sound effect you only have to push the button, not fiddle with it like you have to do on the MR. A minor nitpick: the buttons and "jewels" sit a little too high off the face of the comm on the Vegas (that is, their bezels are too thick).
The Vegas also tops the MR in cheesiness, in having the button on the back to activate the "boop boop" call sound, shaped like the accursed "delta shield" Star Trek symbol instead of the only moderately annoying oval on the MR.
The profile of both comms is the same as well. In fact the "butt" of the MR/Vegas is NOT as incorrect as most people seem to believe; in fact it's the "top" of the comm that is too NARROW; this gives the unit a "pear shaped" aspect which looks wrong.
Well, for the money, the Vegas/STTE comm is hard to beat. Better than any other toy available, and has all the same features as the overpriced MR. Too bad the audio is not as good as the MR, or for that matter the Playmates. Not 100% to the MR, but I remember reading that it was not something MR put together, but rather was a clone done without MR's knowledge. Too bad too. I'm sure the audio would have been better.
Other than the tinny sounding audio, my only complaint is the texture of the shells. And JTK is offering Kydex replacements.
There are better replica comms on the market, but you will be hard pressed to find one better that twice or 3 times the cost of a Vegas/STTE comm.
It's a cool piece for the price. I used a dremel wire wheel to remove the paint on the lid of one of mine. Funny enough the brass almost immediately tarnished to an almost exact match of the still painted lid. :unsure
A little fine steel wool on the body will knock that shine right off and make it look a lot better. Some fine sandpaper on the metal bits similarly improves those as well.
The sounds are indeed quite awful compared to the MR, and the moire motor is even louder than the MR, but again, for the price it's a fun toy.
I've modified one of mine a bit to look like the comm in the Science Fiction museum. The EXP comm cleans up well.
For the price the ST Exp. version is great. When I was there I bought 2. My lovely Shatner Sig. MR has never worked right from the get go. Sure the sound on the ST EXP. version isn't as crisp and clear, but at least it still works. $500 or $50. You can do the math on which is the better version for the money. I still love my Shatner MR.