TOS Communicator Kits - what now?

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.


eoconnor2305

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just thinking out loud. Noticed John Long is selling the last of his kits on eBay. Don't see DStines kits much either. Sooo, other than making your own shells, machining your own parts and gathering the rest, what are/will you do to put a kit and build together? Since I'm still new at all of this, I'm thinking there are other people out there of,which I'm not aware.

look forward to comments!

Edward
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Lost in Trek

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I think there is still plenty of room for kits. Die hard trek collectors will still want to make other versions of the comm.
 

DrMcoy

Sr Member
While there may be room for kits, it seems unlikely. Here's why: for years, nothing, then AMT kit (disappointing) followed by unlicensed kits (some good, many bad, but still the bad was better than anything licensed) followed by Playmates (best licensed to date) and then more unlicensed kits (some reaching walked-off-the set accuracy) followed by Master Replicas, then Vegas Experience toy then Diamond Select -- with HMS/Roddenberry kits, John Long's kit and other unlicensed kits.

That's a LOT of Star Trek communicators floating around...all for a series that ended in the late 60's.

Seems like most everyone who would have wanted an fairly accurate replica would have one by now -- and still, low and behold, we get the WAND replica that will offer bluetooth phone functionality AND, as far as the prototype looks, be 99% accurate to the props used in the show.

Don't get me wrong -- I sure hope they keep making communicator kits until the tribbles come home, but it seems to me like the number of people still willing to shell out over $100 for a prop replica that is discernibly better than the WAND piece will be fewer and fewer.

Could I be wrong? Of course -- I never would have guessed in a million years that the WAND piece would come out after all the toys and MR piece -- yet here it is, planned for January 2016...and while weirder things have happened, it would simply surprise me if there is much of a market for the kits after all this - especially if the kits cost more than the WAND.

I have collected communicators since I was in high school, and I am currently pushing 55 years of age. Had the WAND been the first replica to be released, I don't think I would have been interested in any of the others except as a curiosity. I may eat my words, but I can't imagine being interested in any future kits of the TOS comm once I have the WAND kit.

We shall see.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

DrMcoy

Sr Member
Totally agree, there is a market for builders as well as collectors, who knows maybe years down the road the Wand Co Comm will be copied by another Company as were the MRs

perhaps, but there will come a time, and i would think it can't be that far off, that the interest in collecting props from TOS will wane simply because the die-hard fans of the original series -- fans who would want to own a prop replica that don't already have one -- will be in their 60's and 70's, no?

please know i am not trying to incite a debate, but while there is a renewed interest in Trek due to movies and upcoming TV series, I gotta think at some point the TOS will have had its time in the sun as far as merchandising goes...

but as i stated before, i NEVER thought i'd see licensed replicas -- not to mention from so many different manufacturers over a 10 year stretch of time -- coming so late in the game. that said, i have to guess that the average age of people buying the WAND phaser and communicator has to be 55....no??
 

Nicksdad

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Don't know if I agree with you Ted.
The wand comm is a replica of Alpha and has a lot of traits dissimilar to other screen used comms on the show.
I think there will always be collectors and builders who want real Kydex shells and actual brass comm grids for their collection.
 

DrMcoy

Sr Member
Don't know if I agree with you Ted.
The wand comm is a replica of Alpha and has a lot of traits dissimilar to other screen used comms on the show.
I think there will always be collectors and builders who want real Kydex shells and actual brass comm grids for their collection.

as much as I adore the original series and the props, i think saying there will "always" be collectors who want props from TOS is a bit of a stretch. I give it another 5 years for licensed prop replicas from TOS and 10 for fan-made kits or build-ups. i hope i'm wrong...and more importantly, hope i'm around another 10 to 20 years either way! ;)
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
I think you are wrongly assuming that there are no new fans discovering the original series. Studios are still making Star Trek movies, and every time one comes out, a new batch of kids potentially rediscovers the original series. These movies aren't being watch only by us old fans.

My teenage daughters went back and watch almost all of the old Dr Who episodes because the new series has captured a new audience. I think Trek continues to do the same thing.
 

DrMcoy

Sr Member
I think you are wrongly assuming that there are no new fans discovering the original series. Studios are still making Star Trek movies, and every time one comes out, a new batch of kids potentially rediscovers the original series. These movies aren't being watch only by us old fans.

My teenage daughters went back and watch almost all of the old Dr Who episodes because the new series has captured a new audience. I think Trek continues to do the same thing.

I believe the original series may be of interest to younger fans, but I still think that they will view it more as a curiosity, but consider that even the younger fans who fall in love with series, there will only be a percentage that will want screen accurate props.

Look, my point is not to dissuade anyone from making kits, I'm simply saying that it is my opinion that within the next 5 to 10 years, the demand for certain types of licensed merchandise based on the original Trek TV series will start to wane because the fan base who desires screen-accurate props are older and will already have what they want -- and the market for making yet another screen-accurate version of the communicator, phaser or tricorder will not warrant the costs to produce them on mass scale.

But rather than having me continue to rationalize my opinion, perhaps those who feel differently can explain to me why, 5 to 10 years from now, you think there will continue to be a huge demand for screen accurate props from the original series. I ask because I am sincerely curious why you would think this? Do you truly think the original TV series will continue to hold such interest for future generations that they'll be seeking out such merchandise?

Again, this is simply my opinion -- if you had asked me 20 years ago if we would have multiple companies making licensed figures and models of various starships etc., along with toy versions and high end replicas of the props, I would have laughed and said absolutely not...(and i would have been dead wrong)...but now that all that merchandise has been put out there, I find it hard to believe that the original series will continue to generate such interest another 10 years down the road...especially enough to create a renewed interest in the props.

Disagree? Cool -- tell me why you feel differently? Do you think they'll keep making TOS prop replicas 20 years from now? 30? 40? 50? When do you think it will stop?
 
Last edited:

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oh ye of little faith! :lol

Great topic that needs its own thread, as this one is about Comm Kits and lack there of


Disagree? Cool -- tell me why you feel differently? Do you think they'll keep making TOS prop replicas 20 years from now? 30? 40? 50? When do you think it will stop?
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
I think we both love Star Trek so I only mean for this to be a friendly discussion about this topic. I hope I haven't come off as offending in any way.

My primary disagreement is based on your seeming assumption that all of the original series collectors are older people.I think you are underestimating the effect that the continuing films have on the fan base. I don't see that the next ten years are going to be much different than the last ten years.

I agree with you that some new fans won't be interested in the older stuff, but some of them will seek it out because it is the origin. But I don't think that is much different than how the fan base has been all throughout Trek's years. Some fans never collect, some collect special items and some horde everything they can get. The new films keep adding new fans to the fanbase which means it'll keep growing.

You may be right that future interest in the original series may diminish. On the other hand, it may become regarded as more special - much like the original Star Wars films are.
As long as the studios keep re-invigorating the fans with more movies, the fanbase will keep growing. And the studios are only doing it because it still makes money for them, which speaks to the liveliness of Trek fandom.


...Ok, I'm done derailing this thread. Cuz it looks like it is a really cool product!
 

DrMcoy

Sr Member
all good points.

as for keeping this thread on topic, i am not aware of ANY licensed communicator replicas currently being offered other than WAND and any Diamond Select toys still floating about -- but last I checked, the toys grids had plastic instead of the original metal. other than John Long's excellent kit (now on ebay) and a few other assorted comms on ebay (built up or kits) i have not seen anything else out there.

Roddenberry store had suggested there was an upcoming communicator, but I think that news was some 3 to 5 years ago -- and I have heard nothing about this since they put a teaser graphic on their site. Hero.comm had suggested the sale of plaster bucks based on the pencil box, but it seems like this was listed some time back and I have no idea of the timeline.

do any of you fellow RPFers have any other insights?
 
Last edited:

DrMcoy

Sr Member
so, now that i've attempted to get this thread back on track, 4 days and nothing but the chirp of crickets? What up?
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

DS Operative

Well-Known Member
I still have one of the JTKirk communicator kits with a kydex shell that I haven't built. At the time he put it out, it was supposed to be one of the most accurate kits available. Some people have built it up with the stopwatch like the original prop to spin the moire. I doubt I'll ever get around to building it. Maybe I should just sell it some day.
 

DrMcoy

Sr Member
I still have one of the JTKirk communicator kits ... (edited) ... Maybe I should just sell it some day.

Well, DS, that's a tough call as it is hard to say what the market is for fan-made replica kits now that the WAND has been announced. I am sure there are still some die-hard prop enthusiasts who would be willing to pay the original price and maybe even a little bit more for the JTK (I used to have one and it was a REALLY nice kit). But IMHO, the WAND piece is going to make such kits much less desirable except to only the most die-hard collectors, considering that it will likely be 99% accurate to the screen-used prop AND come assembled with spinning moire and authentic sound effects. I don't think there was EVER a kit or build-up out there that ever came close to $150 with all the bells and whistles (light & sound fx).
 

DrMcoy

Sr Member
I did my out scratch built hero comm. As much as I am looking forward to the Wand comm I still find making them much more enjoyable!

Pielock, I can certainly attest to how amazing your replicas are -- and there will always be those who enjoy making things themselves, especially if they are as talented as you are with the skills to make them essentially from scratch. Your replicas are some of the nicest I've seen, and I have been collecting for well over 30 years.
 

ecl

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The original Star Trek was on TV decades before I was born. I loved TNG, and discovered TOS much later, having passed on it. One day I decided to watch TOS on Netflix. The last couple of years, I've become a huge fan of the original series and absolutely love the genius that went into the making of the show props. I like the prop products with all the fun sounds and lights, etc., but I love the kits that come closer to replicating the uniqueness of the originals so much more. I am certain that in the future, new generations will come to discover TOS; maybe in smaller numbers, but they'll be there!


Here's a JLong kit I put together (Lid soldered by a friend on the Trek forums). This thing sits near me in my work studio, and I even took it to Vasquez Rocks for a photoshoot :D It has a few upgrades: original vintage Swarovski crystals, original vintage T-Jet hubs, the "4 hole" repeating pattern mic grill (same as the pieces used on the show props), as well as the same brass oval screws on the back. One of my favorite props, and it was really fun putting it together after studying all the interesting info from the herocomm website.

I do hope more kits come out in the future....maybe someone will produce a few shells using vintage kydex :D

HCGajJx.jpg


7ckzFAc.jpg



0AuXMoy.jpg
 
Last edited:

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Top