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Ask DST #257: Star Trek: Deep Space Toys!

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In the newest episode of Star Trek: DST, the crew of the U.S.S. Diamond Select must weather a deadly barrage of toy questions from an encroaching fleet. Can DSTChuck possibly answer them all? SPOILER: Yes, he does! Get your Star Trek answers right here!

Shawn W.
Your toys are top notch . I wanted to know if you guys had thought about making a STNG Tricorder or the First Contact Mark-X tricorder? I know that playmates made a very poor version of the tricorder and I know that you guys can make it so much better.

DSTChuck: Right now, I don’t see us making the TNG tricorder, as its really a tablet that you can buy now everywhere – isn’t it amazing? – but for sure it’s not ruled out.

Tim S.
Hi Guys. As always I cannot say enough about your Starships, Phasers, etc. And as much as I would like to see a lot more stuff I completely understand the supply and demand decision making process. I own most of your ships and role play items some in duplicates, my son has some also and as much as I liked the original release of the Enterprise-A I cannot wait to see yours. I was really curious if it has a feature where the lights stay on because That and the -E are my two favorite ships and neither one has that feature. And I cast my vote for next enemy ship to be a Klingon Battlecrusier from TMP or Star Trek VI. Thank you and keep up great work.

DSTChuck: Tim, we are going to have the lights on feature in all of the ships that we can. Some, if they have existing electronics that do not allow it, will not have it; others if they are getting a complete rework, like the A, will have them going forward.


Sebastian P.
Hello, I collected several toys you made about 12 years ago for Star Trek Enterprise and like to stay up to date with what you are making and what is up and coming. I just learned that you are going to be selling a Star Trek IV Phaser this fall which is very exciting. Can you tell me anymore about what is coming up after that? Can we expect some accessories from the “The Next Generation” and beyond? I would be over the moon to be able to buy a TNG Dustbuster phaser and the followup “Boomerang” designs. Tricorders would be 100% welcome as well and I know I have seen petitions online for these toys. Thanks.

DSTChuck: Sebastian, your best bet to keep up to date on what we have coming is check our websites and Facebook, as well as signing up for our E-Newsletter. Sometimes we might even sneak a surprise out at a trade show, but if you keep up with our web presence you should be in good shape.


Andrew L.
I know you can’t say what the next Trek Tek is beyond the Star Trek III phaser, but is the laser pistol form “The Cage” at least one of the considerations for a future release?

DSTChuck: I don’t think we’d pick that one any time soon…


Wes C.
Any chance for the Wrath Of Khan Tricorder or Trek V-VI Phaser? How about a Knight Rider Wrist Comlink? Thanks.

DSTChuck: No plans for any of those in the near future, sorry.


Benjamin W.
So, I was wondering if you guys had ever thought about a concerted preorder push to fund projects that might not be all that profitable without cemented financial commitment from your fans. I am a huge Trek geek, and have been purchasing each of your ships as they’ve come out since I’ve found out about them, and there’s all these fan-favorite ships that keep coming up in your ASK DST column that while the geeky hordes might be salivating over them, they might not be anything resembling a guarantee of a financial success with the collecting public. While I can’t say that I know anything about the ins and outs of your business, I’m wondering if you would consider putting out polls to your fan mailing lists to see what they want, and then put forward a prepaid preorder request for something that piqued enough interest, with a price tag that would (hopefully) guarantee at least a modest profit for you guys once the threshold had been met. If successful, you could even consider going with larger, more intricate and well-lit-up designs in the future as you could always just refund their preorder authorizations if things didn’t work out. Just an idea.

DSTChuck: Benjamin, that’s really not our sales model. For the most part we rely on retailers to make our sales for us. Our web store is also not even set up to sell worldwide. I’d have to be honest with you, too, I would really doubt we would get enough direct sales to go forward with an item that our retail community thought was not sellable. For that to work, you would really have to think most retailers have no idea of their customers. To do a ship or even an action figure, you require blocks of steel tools to be created, as well as sound chips and masking. For the most part, items that require a steel tool do not become profitable until sales cross the 15K piece threshold. That’s for simple ones with some tricks of the trade applied – and that’s just to cross over to profit from loss. I can assure you, if we thought the support was there for something, we’d just go ahead and develop it – we want to make money, too.

Miriam C.
Hello – What happened to the line of Star Trek Femme Fatales statues? After the release of 7 of 9, I can’t find any updates on it. Might as well include a wish list. Borg Queen, Captain Janeway (especially as Queen Arachnia) Seska (She was great!) Troi Tasha Yar (in the sexy outfit when she got with Data) Sela Ro Laren Torres (in a Klingon outfit) K’Ehleyr (you need a Klingon in there somewhere!) Orion Slave Girl (an updated version) Guinan? Ok. Thanks! – Miriam

DSTChuck: We are thinking right now about if there would be demand for another piece in that line. The first one did pretty well.


Robby D.
Love the Star Trek III Phaser. I’m hoping for a video of it soon. I have 2 on preorder for myself and 1 for a friend. Now that CBS has declared that Hasbro will not have the license for Star Trek 2016, will you guys actively pursue it?

DSTChuck: Robby, I know as soon as DSTZach gets a working copy he makes those videos – glad you like them… So far CBS has not been interested in having us work on the new movies, but I suppose you never say never.


Dave C.
If you go back to the Retro Cloth 8″ line, is there a chance that you could produce the unproduced vintage Mego Enterprise Bridge 2.0/Sickbay playset? I have seen pictures of the prototype over at Megomusem (http://megomuseum.com/community/showthread.php?46378-The-Lost-Mego-Star-Trek-Playset) and it looks like this would have been a dream playset to have if Mego actually released it. Also how about a repro of the Mission To Gamma VI playset?

DSTChuck: That is very cool, but I’ll tell you just making that bridge repro was a MAJOR undertaking… not sure we’re want to get into that again.


Jean P.
Hi DST. Could we possibly see the return of sculpted windows back on your Star Trek ships? If this means we forgo the painted windows then I’m all for it. It’s easier for a customiser to paint the windows in him or herself but it’s a bit tricky for someone to sculpt the windows into the toy themselves. I just feel that sculpted windows add a level of depth to the toy when displayed, it’s something I think would have really added to the level of detail to the Enterprise D, Enterprise B and Excelsior ships had their windows been sculpted in. Whilst it would be great to have both sculpted and painted windows on these ships I realise that the cost of doing both may be too much to justify. I think back to the NX-01, Enterprise A and Enterprise E you guys did and just feel sculpted windows look better than painted on windows and if people don’t feel the same way it’s easier for those who like the painted windows to paint them in themselves with a sharpie or pencil. Thanks for your time and I can’t wait to see what ships you offer up next!

DSTChuck: Jean, we talked about it a little, but we have no plans to change the process. We want to make the ships as good and detailed as we can for the largest group of fans. Believe it or not, our current process is the most expensive. The tampo printing cost on these ships is staggering.


Sebastian H.
Hi there, I haven’t seen any Star Trek Items on your SDCC Booth on pictures. Is there anything else coming apart from the Enterprise-A, the NX-2000 Excelsior and the ST III Phaser? And what’s up with the Star Trek Select Worf, when will you have first pictures? Greetings from Germany – Sebastian

DSTChuck: Lots of development is still going on with Trek, we just don’t want to show anything anymore that we don’t feel we can provide a reliable ship date for. We have been burned in the past showing items too early. Worf was on display at NYCC. We also have a new Borg cube silicone tray.


Lawrence G.
I have bought from Art Asylum and Diamond Select Star Trek Ships over the years and I Thank You. Check out my website the TE History page to see my collection, etc… But, all I see is the same repeat of the same old ships. (Like The USS ENTERPRISES NCC-10701, NCC10701A, NCC10701D and NCC-10701E.) Three ships that should be very much considered is first the Enterprise Legacy The USS Enterprises NCC-10701C. (You have the original – TOS, The NCC-10701, 10701A, 10701B, 10701D, 10701E. BUT, NOT, The 1701C. ‘?’)Second the Reliant from the Wrath of Khan and Third along with the Akira Class Starship which inspired to design for the USS Enterprise NX-01. I do not understand why these favorite Ships are not produced like the others. These are definitely Fan favorites. Give me real reason why you think that these would be hot, successful. Thanks for your time and consideration.

DSTChuck: We plan to keep producing ships as long as sales are there, and ideally we’ll produce two “new” ones a year. However, these are complicated items that have many steps, and development does not always go as smooth as we would like, but we’ll get to as many ships as we can.


Evan C.
Is there a timeframe when we can expect the reveal of the next Star Trek ship? (Weeks? Months? Years?) I have quite a collection and can’t wait for the next one. I’m crossing my fingers for either Defiant, Voyager, or NX-01. Thanks for all you guys do, I love the products.

DSTChuck: We will show a new ship when we feel the factory has produced a sample that we think is pretty close to where we want production to be.


James H.
Please release the Voyager and Defiant models…Please please!!

DSTChuck: Very possible at some point – there are also lots of request for more alien ships and the C.


Taylor V.
Dear DST Chuck, like sweet manna from Heaven, my prayers have been answered and you are producing a Star Trek III Trek Tech Phaser! I almost cried tears of joy when I heard the news. I’ve already pre-ordered 4 of them and I’m very excited. It’s the last one I needed to complete my collection. Since the “unveiling” at the Expo in February, I have been eagerly waiting for some new product shots, perhaps a YouTube video of it in action. So far I haven’t seen anything. Is there any new news? Any tidbits you can share with us anxious customers dying to get our hands on one? Thanks again!

DSTChuck: Taylor, as soon as DSTZach has a nice, clean working sample he will take a video of it in action.


Paul D.
Hi there, are there any plans to release the star trek voyager tricorder ?

DSTChuck: It has not been ruled out, but it is not planned for 2015.


Joshua S.
Up until the Nemesis Enterprise E, you had a relatively quiet trademark on the side of your products. With the E-E, you’ve suddenly done a blackboard sized black stencil on the side of nacelle. I have nine of your products and although this “E” is probably as graphically correct as any of them, why did you feel you had to smear your trademark all over the hull? Nobody else builds models like this, so why would you maul one of your own products?

DSTChuck: We are required to place that on all products, all your other models from other companies should have it on there somewhere. That said, it was not the best spot for it and was a little over the top, I agree… It’s one of the last steps done, and by the time we saw it, it was too late to change. I’m not sure where we could have placed it, or how downplayed it could have been but they are aware now we’re looking for something much less obvious, if possible.


James W.
Hey Guys, It’s me again. I love the Star Trek Select line and the idea of doing main characters and what we have seen so far has been pretty good. However, I was wondering if you guys have given any thought in maybe expanding the line to “Sci Fi Select” instead of just Star Trek? You could touch on main characters from a bunch of different shows. Buck Rogers, Classic Battlestar Galactica, V, Lost in Space, Six Million Dollar Man, Space 1999, Babylon five and Star Trek as well – Just a thought. I am sure getting the individual licenses for all of the different shows would probably be a hassle but it would be cool to see. Next question – when will we see a prototype of Worf? Thanks, James

DSTChuck: The Worf Select paint was shown at NYCC. We’ve got a long history of working on sci-fi properties, so it’s always possible we’ll jump into that again.


James S.
I understand that you are making mass marketed products so that they have to fit a certain construction format. However, your build quality seems to be questionable at best. I own a 1701-A with dead lights on the port nacelle. Recently my 1701-B simply died — wasn’t batteries, it was an internal melt down on the activation button located on the main bridge. Some of your models come with complete paint schemes, some don’t. Some come with paint and glue slobbered all over the place while others are immaculate. Sales of your products continue to climb even though the buyer has no idea whether they are getting a hit or a miss. Isn’t there something YOU can do about build quality? Why is it that the buyer has to basically take all the chances? – Thanks.

DSTChuck: James, I am sorry you’re upset with our products, but know we back them 100%. If you have an issue with our products, please email customer service and they will do what they can to help you.
That said, I have to take issue with your email. I don’t think you have ever worked here or in my Hong Kong office, so I’d have to say you have no idea how we handle QC, the thought we put into a product or the efforts we take to make it right. Sometimes products we would not want on the marketplace do make it to stores and consumers, and that’s NOT something we think is OK. It’s something we discuss and work toward improving every day.
I’m not sure how we can “know” ahead of time that you might have issues with the lights or power down the road. Perhaps you overused the item, perhaps there was an issue with the parts that make up the assembly, maybe after 11 years the A’s nacelle simply wore out. Neither of us know that. I do know we use the best parts and best factory we can for a job, and if there is an issue we stand by it. When you say the paint was slobbered on, maybe it was a poor application, or maybe you are looking for something that is beyond what we can supply at the price we offer the product at.
Best thing I can tell you is, if buying our products causes you stress and does not make you happy, then don’t buy them. If you buy them and there is an issue, contact my team and we’ll do the best we can to make it “right”… However, don’t e-mail in to Ask DST for everyone to see and grandstand and attack my team here or overseas and the effort they put in. Constructive criticism is fine and expected, and we look forward to it.


Seth K.
May you please make a Star Trek Data removable head action figure? His head was frequently off during the show and this would be a realistic figure to make. And not only that, but it can open in the back like when they were making adjustments. Or maybe it comes with a spare head that already has just half of it with skin and the other half already open exposing circuitry. Possibly the front or back, whatever works best? Thanks!

DSTChuck: I would suppose it’s possible, if we made a Data figure in the Select line, that we’d do something like that.


Barna I.
When is the release date of the Star Trek Select Worf figure?

DSTChuck: We had hoped to get it into fans hands in 2014 but right now it looks like early 2015. It will be available for pre-order later this week.


Dear Diamond Select Toys,
I’ll try my best to be brief, I could almost imagine how many inquiries, questions, reviews etc. you must get. But, as a collector of DST items, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the team at Diamond Select & Art Asylum for the great quality, as well as how incredible the models and collectables you produce. I, personally have only collected some of the Star Trek Starships, and I think they’re pretty amazing. I’ve read critics on mess ups with writing or detail on the starships and whatever. But, like all things, they have flaws. We all do. It just depends on how we fix them up. I don’t get to worried about those minor problems. These questions are not for online chat room purposes, or anything like that.
But, I was just curious, ( I have seen many online users ask similar questions ) due to the recent ( ish ) release of Star Trek Into Darkness, as a huge fan of the Star Trek Starships, by DST and in Star Trek itself. Is there a chance that anytime soon, or has been planned for the release or production for the starship USS Vengeance, and the ‘Into Darkness Enterprise? I’ve seen that Revell, Hallmark & Playmates have made their own versions of the Star Trek ships and items from the franchise. And due to legal reasons, pricing for materials, mass production, supply & demand, etc. these particular models may not be given permission to be made. Which is okay. Just as a fan of sci-fi and Diamond Select products, I was very interested, as well as curious. And knowing the attention to detail the team at Diamond Select and Art Asylum put into all collectables and products, as well as the starships. I could see a very amazing Diamond Select USS Vengeance & J.J.Abrams Enterprise. One last question, slightly unrelated. I’ve heard rumours from online chatter about DST collectables and toys. But, I was curious about the 2002 Star Trek Wrath of Khan/ Search for Spock self-destructing, battle damaged refit Enterprise. I’ve heard from a review on YouTube, and from a Star Trek collectables review site, that only 3000 of the Self destructing Enterprise were made. Is this true? Or were more or less made?

DSTChuck: Thanks for the kind words. Honestly ,we would love to mess around with products from the new movies, but for now CBS wants to keep the classic stuff and the new stuff with separate companies. I’ll leave it at that. Not sure we’ve ever told anyone this, but we were CLOSE to being able to do a toy of the Enterprise from the first movie, but the deal I worked out never came all the way to complete in time.
Honestly, I don’t know about how many ST3 Enterprises we made way back then but its possible – some of the variant runs we have done in the past (aside from SDCC) have been as low as 3K, so it’s possible.


Jeff W.
I have been collecting the Diamond Select Star Trek Ships for a while now. On the star trek ship blogs I have seen a lot of requests for obscure ships deep in star trek story lines and the response has been usually been of the sort “thanks for the request but no plans”. That is a pretty valid response. Two Ships I need really to complete my Federation/Enterprise Collection (I don’t -really count the NX-01). The most sensible and probably most economically possible is the USS Reliant from Star Trek Wrath of Khan. Is there an immediate plan to produce this ship in the near future? The second ship and probably not as realistic to expect is the Enterprise-C (Ambassador Class) ship. This would complete the Enterprise Line of ships. Now granted, I don’t yet own a Diamond Select Galaxy Class or an Original Constitution Class yet but they are out there to purchase.

DSTChuck: Jeff every request from a fan is a valid request. It might not make business sense or might not be a direction the company wants to take, but fans are entitled to their wish list for their own reasons. That does not mean they speak for all fans, or they can be sure it will make a boatload of money or such… I’d LOVE to see a Springsteen River box and I THINK lots of other fans would. BUT I have no real idea, nor do I have any idea what Bruce is working on or the direction he is going in. That’s what makes me a fan! I can say the most requested ships from the Federation are the Defiant, Reliant, Voyager and the C.


Matt B.
Hi, will you ever make an Ambassadar A-class ship (Enterprise-C or Zhukov, Yamaguchi) or ever get into contact with the Devs of Star Trek Online to make some Star Trek Online ships and weapons?

DSTChuck: I don’t think we’ll move into the online stuff anytime soon.

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