Ask DST #249: Star Trek, the Final Frontier!

You all sent in your questions about Diamond Select Toys’ Star Trek product, and DST president DSTChuck is beaming back some answers! It’s the 249th edition of Ask DST – check back soon for #250!

David H.
Hi, I am a huge collector of the Star Trek ships collections both new and old releases. I was wondering if you would consider doing away with the try me play value on the packaging? The main reason I ask this is I have collected the older releases and most of them had issues of battery leakage which has damaged the ships. Also with the try me play, value adds to the wear on these collectible which would lead to damaging the ships quicker. I know some people just consider these toys but a lot of us collectors value these as highly collectible pieces. I have all of the older releases and I want to keep them in mint condition as well as factory sealed which keeps the value of the item higher. Without the try me option, the ships would also be sealed up in the packaging so dust or outside contaminates wouldn’t get on them from the small opening that exists now. I have a few of my ships damaged by contaminates getting on the paint through the try me opening. Plus, with no try me gimmick, you can save on providing batteries and not include them (batteries sold separately), thus saving money on battery cost. I feel these collectible ships are more for the adult audience and the try me option is something we wouldn’t miss!

DSTChuck: David, I very much understand, but I am sorry, a “try me” on the toy is something retailers require us to have on toys with light/sound. We try and make our batteries standard size, rather than a button cell, whenever possible for some of the reasons you outline. [Dave, I recommend placing the entire box in a protective bag, to prevent contaminants from entering the box. – DSTZach]

Jeff W.
Will you be doing USS Defiant and Runabout Rio Grande anytime soon?

DSTChuck: I would not use the word “soon.”

Randall M.
I have some related questions on the ships, cost and how you choose so I hope this might clarify some questions up for the fans and shed light on how you do things better so please bare with the questions and thank you. When you make a new ship with a completely new sculpt do you try and also look at other ships with that sculpt or similar so later down the road you can make another new ship while still being cost effective. Let me give you some examples: When you made the Enterprises you always make the regular version, mirror version and then a battle damage version and with the Bird of prey you made 3 different ones using the same model. The Enterprise B was made and then you used most of the sculpt to make the Excelsior.
1. So now for future ships, if you made the Reliant would you then make the Saratoga as seen in Star Trek 4. Make the Defiant and then the Valliant as seen in 1 episode in DS9? Now some of these are not as popular as the main ships but since you had the sculpt would they consider this, do they look at these avenues? If not then maybe later down the road or do you think they won’t break even on the cost and profits?
2. When you make new ship like the Bird of Prey You never made Martok’s ship from DS9 or the one from Star Trek 5 or 6. Is this because you don’t want to saturate the market too much into 1 alien ship and might later down the road make these? As they are the same sculpting but different ships.
3. Have you broken even and profited by all your ships you have made so far? Are the 2013 ships still going well? Any ships that did not go well or barley broke even as in netting all your cost back? Any that did really well?
4. Will you make the Excelsior NX-2000 at one point with some different sounds and decals?

1. I really can’t say this soon. We don’t REALLY get into the breakdown or possible variants until we’re pretty sure that is the ship we are going to make, because of the range of reference we have to find.
2. I think we hit the BOP pretty hard. I do think we have some variants in the bank, so to speak, but we TRY not to make them ones that would require sculpting and then not do that sculpting. If it’s going to need sculpting, we try to plan for that in advance.
3. I’m not sure information that detailed is something we want to share. To be honest, I won’t know for SURE until I see the end of year sales, but I think we’re in pretty good shape for our newest releases.
4. I think you will be happy with the June issue of Previews.

Arthur C.
Hello again, Chuck! I was glad to read that you are reconsidering adding the NX-01 electronic ship back into the lineup. I know this is WAY ahead of thinking that might be going on about it now, but would it be possible to get the rice bulbs upgraded to LED’s, improved sounds, an “always on” feature, and an updated stand? Or is DST not prepared to invest in such changes and will just do a repack? I hope the latter isn’t true. I love the first one and am glad to own it, but I know that a re-release would be the perfect opportunity to tweak it to perfection!

DSTChuck: I have to be honest, it’s way too early for that. IF we decide we’re going to go back and make more, we have to first find the old tools. Then we need to check on the condition of the tool as well as all the parts to go with the ship. Lots of stuff has to be done before we can even look at potential changes.

Rob B.
Hi, I have been a collector of your star trek figures from day 1. I think you’ve produced the best star trek figures to date and although I love the select figures, I do miss the standard action figures and I do hope one day that the sickbay mccoy , chapel and rand figures – as well as other characters will finally be produced . Love the minimates – great to see them back. I hope to see more , maybe the rest of the next gen crew ? My question concerns the retro figures , you have mentioned their return and I wondered if this is going to happen and if so can we please have the chapel and vina figures you promised and a janice rand so that , after all these years we can have a complete crew . You have commented that there was a lot of interest in chapel and rand retro figures – have seen many custom figures – even janice rands hairdo recreated on barbie dolls so if customers can produce these great looking figures, is there any chance we can see them produced by you ? The rest of the next gen in retro form would be great too! Thanks

DSTChuck: I think we’re still trying to formulate our plan for the retro cloth line, but I do know we’d like to make more figures in that line.

Janet H.
Can you tell me if you are going to make a figure of a Hirogen (Not the Borg Assimilated one)- but as they actually are? And a figure of Saavik (not the one in clothes as they get grubby). Thank you.

DSTChuck: There are no plans at this time, sorry.

Phillip S.
Hi Folks,
I don’t know what I would need to do to convince you that the 8″ Mego Star Trek figures and playsets are in high demand, but if there is something please let me know.
I missed these when they were available and wanted to purchase more. Some figures are completely unavailable from any online sites/stores and the ones that are available are fetching a huge amount of money – I have seen single figures go for 4 to 5 times as much as your asking price for a set of two.
If I had the option I would be interested in purchasing at least two of every Star Trek retro cloth mego set and playset available. If you don’t think the demand is high, just check Ebay or amazon prices on any of these items (if they are still available). They have a Sulu and Gorn set selling for $149.99 and $5.00 shipping.
Thank you for your time.

DSTChuck: Phillip, I suppose there is a chance we’d go back and make a new edition of a figure from the retro line. However in our experience a high secondary-market “value” for a figure does not always translate into the quantity needed for another mass production run.

Alan K.
Hi. I just wanted to comment on well Art Asylum reproduced the Bird Of Prey landing gear. Its looks exactly the way it is represented in the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. I would love to see your reference material. Its way better than the gear Round 2/MPC did for their upgraded model kit. Well done. Although the Art Asylum BOP is suppose to be from The Voyage Home film, in which the landing gear comes out from the wings… I definitely prefer the version you made ! Now how about that K’Tinga? Cheers, Alan

DSTChuck: Alan, so glad you like it. At this time, there are not any more versions of the BOP planned. As we run low on the versions we have in stock and look to produce more of the main version, I expect other ideas for variants will come up.

John E.
Hi DST. Few questions:
1) Is there a possibility that in the near future (perhaps Trek’s 50th) you will team up or go it alone in producing a studio scaled USS Enterprise NCC 1701 from The Original Series? Perhaps basing such a model off of the Polar Lights kit? I think it would be an amazing piece and a head turner for the millions of Trekkies world wide. It would also offer those not interested or creatively minded to build the Polar Lights version a chance to own an affordable studio scaled model of the most famous ship in Science Fiction.
2) It’s always fascinated me what the process is behind DST choosing a new Star Trek ship to produce. How is that done? Is there an actual, physical list of Star Trek ships you guys would love to do or is it mostly based on the ships that are the most recognisable/feasible?
3) Since Playmates (2009) and now Hasbro seem to have stopped producing Star Trek toys, will DST be hoping that come 2016 and a third Star Trek movie, you will be giving us product based on JJ Abrams Star Trek universe?

DSTChuck: 1) John I do not think we have plans to get back in there and make a new version of the 1701.
2) I guess it’s a combination. We do have a list of ships we consider viable. Fan interest is considered, for sure. We also try and look at how feasible it is to be produced properly. There are other factors like the probable retail of the item when it’s in stores. We do also factor in if there are possible variants that we can make that will be desirable and would help offset the cost and augment the sales of the main version.
3) We have asked about product for each of the new movies but it appears CBS would like the product handled by a larger, more traditional big toy company. While we do have an interest in the new movies, we’re very happy to be able to do what we are doing with all the classic movies and TV.

Kevin K.
First of all, I LOVE all your Star Trek ships. I already own most of them, and plan to buy the rest as I get the money to do so. I know you are planning more releases, but I have one request. There is a ship (it was never shown on screen so technically it wouldn’t be considered canon) but the design floats around the fandom. It originally appeared in the Franz Joseph Starfleet Technical released in the 1970’s, it’s called the “Federation Class.” It’s basically an original series-era three warp nacelle dreadnought class that has a thicker/higher ‘dome’ on the saucer section, and has both a forward and aft shuttle bay as well as forward and aft navigational deflectors. There’s also many fan submitted images floating around sites such as deviantart. I know it’s probably impossible because of the copyrighting issues, but if there’s any way you could make a model of this ship it would be extremely awesome. Thank you for your time.

DSTChuck: Sorry, Kevin, I do not think we have any plans for that.

Todd W.
I’ve been collecting your Star Trek action figures and ships, and I love the attention to detail. Just wondering if we will ever see Voyager or the Deep Space Nine station added to the catalog?

DSTChuck: I would doubt we would be able to do the station, but Voyager for sure would get consideration.

Lennard W.
When we you make a Star Trek the original series Klingon D7 Battle cruiser?

DSTChuck: I have no idea. We’d like to do two all-new ships each year, and we work on two at a time, so we’ll just have to see how everything progresses.

Steven H.
I was wondering if your company was considering producing ship replicas of the Romulan Warbird (Next Generation or Original series) & the Klingon Battle cruiser (like from the motion picture). I believe they would be great sellers. Your company produces quality products and look forward to future items in this line. Best Regards.

DSTChuck: Steve, I think there are lots of cool ships out there, and I think several of them could sell enough to justify the cost. Those ships are ones we could consider at some point, for sure.

Jeff M.
I’ve just started to get back into collecting action figures – specifically Star Trek. Any chances on re-releases some of the older figures. I’m loving the new Select line but would love to have a more complete crew set.

DSTChuck: I suppose that is possible, it’s not something that has been ruled out.

Donald W.
I see that you are continuing the Star Trek line with the Klingon Disruptor from Star Trek III as well as the Starfleet Phaser from the same movie (which I am getting both) so I am wondering if there are plans to also do the Assault Phaser from Star Trek V/VI? On another similar note, do you think there would be any consideration to do a NOMAD probe from Star Trek TOS episode “The Changeling”? This would be a definite purchase from any Star Trek fan!

DSTChuck: I am sorry, but neither of those are in the immediate plans. But we never say never.

Kevin S.
Are there any new Star Trek Vehicle ships planned? I would love to see the Enterprise-C and the Reliant. Also, Are you ever going to put the Enterprise-A into production?

DSTChuck: It is our hope to produce two new ship designs per year. It’s a goal that we don’t always get completed, but we’re going forward with the line.

David D:.
I read with great anticipation of your upcoming release of the ST lll Phaser,will you be releasing a ST lll communicator to go with it? – Dave from the UK.

DSTChuck: Right now, we do not have plans for the communicator, but it has not been ruled out.

Justin H.
Hi, I just enjoyed your star trek starships and roll play toys it is awesome and since the enterprise-d is coming back out this summer or the fall is there any chance to release of the enterprise-d from star trek generations with the sound effects from the film and does the uss enterprise-a will have new sound from captain kirk.

DSTChuck: Right now, our plans are to re-release the versions of the D we have done, including the All Good Things. I do not think right now we have thought past that. Yes, the new version of the A will have new sounds.

Daniel R.
I have a suggestion for future star trek prop replicas.i’ve been hoping that your company will come out with a classic star trek dr.mccoys away mission medical pouch that comes with a working hypo spray,medical scanner,etc.also,i’m hoping that you’ll make a next generation tricorder and cobra phaser from season 2 on to the series ending.thanks for taking the time to read my suggestions for future products and i hope you take them into consideration.

DSTChuck: Daniel, we’ve looked at the TNG Tricorder and a phaser, the issue with the TNG phaser is there are so many versions we’re not sure which would be considered the iconic one. But we’re looking at it, and the tricorder is really like a tablet that everyone is using now, so how do we make it interesting?

Brandon M.
Will you be producing anymore Star Trek NX-01 Enterprise models; and if yes when will I be able to purchase one and where?

DSTChuck: We are looking at the interest level in a re-run.

Mister PL: Hi Chuck! I was very encouraged to read that you’d “like to at least do something with [Star Trek Minimates] at least once a year.” I’d love to see a couple 4-packs offered through Previews that were based on fan-favorite episodes or films. The notion of being able to buy multiple sets that contain enough parts to make other characters and complete crews that have been started is pretty exciting.
Speaking of which, which Star Trek episode or film is your personal favorite and why? (And don’t say “The Voyage Home” because of the whales unless you REALLY mean it!)

DSTChuck: I’m not sure that’s the direction we’d be looking to take, BUT that said, we have not settled on a direction.

Nathan K.
Dear DST, Absolutely love the Excelsior thank you for bringing it out. Have ordered 2 Star Trek III Phasers from Previews. I’ve recently read that you don’t have any current plans for more role-play Star Trek Items. Please consider a Star Trek III Tricorder with lights and sound, and a Star Trek III Communicator. (Can we switch off the voices? I’d rather have a Walkie Talkie to keep in touch with people at a KAHHHNNN – or a button for cycling through the voices.) Best Wishes, Nate

DSTChuck: I’m not sure something like that would be something we would do, but those Walkie-Talkies sound cool!

Dan L.
Thanks for making such great products! In the most recent Star Trek Q & A, you wrote that there is a chance that more retro cloth figures will be made. If so, will you continue with The Next Generation and produce Data and the Klingon? I think those would both be great choices. Thanks for your time.

DSTChuck: Honestly, I do not know. We’ve had some conversations, but nothing is set or actively being developed.

David H.
Hi there! I really enjoy your line of large electronic Star Trek vessels. I was wondering if you will be releasing a K’t’inga class Klingon battle cruiser? I would love to own Kronos One with sounds from “Undiscovered Country” or one of the ships from the beginning of Star Trek the Motion Picture. Please let me know if this will be coming out.
Thank you,

DSTChuck: David, not at this time, but it’s something we would consider down the road.

Thomas L.
Hi Chuck. I’ve got another question for you regarding the Star Trek ships line.
Several of the ships have battle-damaged variants which were produced, or in production. The refit Enterprise from Wrath of Khan, The Enterprise-E and the NX-01 had them, and the Enterprise-B has a damaged variant coming out soon. My question is, have you considered doing a battle-damaged Enterprise-D from Star Trek: Generations? 20 years ago, Playmates made one to go with the movie, the damage didn’t look convincing at all, and it did not saucer separate. The damaged variant would go along with the other D variants. Keep up the awesome work, I cannot wait for the NX-2000!!!

DSTChuck: As a matter of fact, that came up when we discussed the current production run, but we tabled it for the time being – you never know, it could come back if the D keeps selling, for sure.

John T.
I have and love your HD USS Enterprise Starship model. I was wondering if you would ever create a quality model like that for the JJ Abrams Enterprise?

DSTChuck: John, I am sorry, but we have no rights to the movies JJ has done, so something like that would not be possible.

Several years ago y’all came up with a Star Trek III Klingon 2 pack featuring Cmdr Kruge and Maltz. The display photos I saw were amazing but you never produced these figures for sale. I was wondering if you would ever release them or produce them for a limited time or sale? The likenesses of Christopher Lloyd and John Larroquette as Klingons was spot on.

DSTChuck: T.C., I am sorry, but when we went out to retail, the orders that we compiled were well below what was needed to go forward with the project.

Chris M.
Hello, do you guys plan on bringing back the “Mirror,Mirror” Action Figure LT. MARLENA MOREAU 6″ Figure? Thank You.

DSTChuck: Sorry, we have no plans to go back in production on that figure at this time.

Steve P.
Hi, I have to say that I love your Star Trek role play items and have to say they are the best on the market in my personal opinion. However, my question is – I can see that you have commissioned the Search for Spock phaser, but do you have any future plans to release some TNG role play items? For example, Dustbuster Phaser, cobra headed Phaser, or Tricorders etc?

DSTChuck: TNG is an era we are looking at, for sure.

David M.
Have you guys ever considered doing The Phoenix warp ship? This would be a great addition to the collection. Any plans on re-releasing the NX-01 Enterprise? Loving all your ship releases so far!!

DSTChuck: No plans for the Phoenix at this time, and we are starting to look into a possible re-release of the NX-01.

Scott C.
Not so much a question, but a desire to add my voice to what I hope are many others who are desperately hoping that you produce a U.S.S. RELIANT ship sometime in the relatively near future. I have absolutely loved all of the Star Trek ships you’ve created so far. I have collected every one, but hands-down, the RELIANT has been my most-wanted ship for years. I have waited for someone, anyone to produce a model of this ship with all of the features and detail you currently offer in your Trek line. I was a bit disappointed when you reissued the TWOK Enterprise but didn’t offer a RELIANT to go with it.
Please offer me some glimmer of hope that SOMEDAY, an AA produced RELIANT with lights, sounds and incredible detail will eventually be doing battle on my shelf with my NCC-1701? Preferably before I’m eligible to collect Social Security. Thanks for the great work!

DSTChuck: Vote noted.

Theron R.
Hi DSTChuck! Although your comments on the subject sound promising, I just want to add another vote for more Star Trek Retro Cloth figures. I had to pass on these the first time due to my interest in other lines, but I have embarked on a mission to track down what I missed. ReMegos are a hot commodity right now and it’s great that DST has jumped back in with the Marvel Announcement. I hope to see Star Trek return in this format as well, both new and (dare I hope?) re-releases of previous figures. To ask a question in “Ask DST,”, would Star Trek Retro Cloth re-releases be a possibility? Thanks!

DSTChuck: More Trek retro cloth are still possible, as well as potential re-releases in some format.

Got a question for DSTChuck? Submit it to Ask DST at the link up top!

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