Commissioner Bele, 1998
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Posted 02 January 2022 - 06:27 PM
Commissioner Bele, 1998
Posted 18 October 2022 - 12:02 PM
Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, 1997
At the 1997 San Diego Comic Book Expo the company exhibited a Dr. Zimmerman figure, which was supposed to arrive by the end of the year, along with a few others, but ended up not being produced.
Posted 02 March 2023 - 11:54 AM
1992 Romulan Sample Card Back, from the collection of the original designer. PM based the current cards on this design, so evidently they kept these too in some form. But I wonder how it was done -- did they scan in an original, or did they have this image in some other medium? Obviously a few things were added to the original for the 2022 card backs, in addition to the whole thing being scaled down. But it would have been amusing if they did not have an original and had to reengineer one from remaining figures.
A few of these are around and they come up for auction every few years, including ones from DS9. But I haven't seen any after the 1995 lineups.
Posted 18 July 2023 - 11:26 AM
Captain Pike, 1996
A test shot of the 1996 Pike figure, which was a neat if not amazingly popular item back in the day. These don't come up for auction all that often, and this one sold for $158.50. It would have brought more money had it been in an assembled state, but not a bad way to get into prototype ownership.
Posted 01 November 2023 - 12:09 PM
Cardassian Galor-class Warship (1994)
At Toy Fair 1994 the manufacturer demonstrated a Galor-class warship vehicle that would have been part of the second wave of DS9 merchandise. The working prototype featured a sound chip with phaser and photon firing sounds, a light up navigational deflector, and two light-up engines, two on each wing. A total of four buttons were located at the top of the midsection -- you can see four dark dots on the structure at the middle of the ship, right where the tail just begins.
The Galor-class made it as far as being announced, along with Ops, but was shelved in the run-up to a pretty busy merchandising year for Playmates with the debut of another wave of TNG figures, a second wave of DS9 figures and the whole "Generations" lineup. And Ops was not seen as a prototype toy, by comparison.
Why was it dropped?
The answer here is perhaps pretty simple: The Vor'cha, Bird of Prey and the Romulan Warbird were not hot sellers and shelf space was at a premium. The tooling costs for the Galor, which would have been just under a million dollars, also did not square up with how many Playmates could reasonably sell. Retailers had an easier time justifying the DS9 station and the Runabout, which actually appeared in the opening credits, but a third vehicle was just too much and was not expected to be as hot a seller. And buyers, for their part, were first going to buy the space station, then the runabout, and only then the Galor.
Perhaps another reason could have been that PM had already reached the limit of DS9 merchandising potential -- the series was notably shaky in its first three seasons.
(Assistant Product Manager Jim Garber)
Alien ships, as all manufacturers of the Star Trek license found out, were a crapshoot at best and a money-losing item at worst. The pace with which the Vor'cha and the Warbird moved off shelves was significantly slower than warp speed -- they were a little overproduced -- and by this point Playmates had already been burned by money-losing items like the Transporter. As the least commercially promising of the three DS9 vehicles (Runabout, Station and Galor-class), the Galor-class simply didn't make the cut.
Indeed, it's hard to imagine anyone but collectors buying the somewhat obscure Galor-class. The ship was not seen in every DS9 episode, to put it mildly, and it was not really that much of a "villain" vehicle because it didn't fight with Federation ships on screen. It also didn't look mean or particularly alien -- it was yellow, it wasn't shaped like a bird, and it didn't have any signature "moves." In fact, the Galor-class didn't really do a whole lot more than slowly float into view on the main viewer with its front and nothing else toward the camera, and then some Gul with an attitude appeared on screen.
It would be nice to find out now, in the present day, where this prototype is and just how many were made in total. It would be hard to believe that zero of them survived.
Posted 11 November 2023 - 06:02 PM
I weep at the fact that we didnt get that Cardassian ship. Looks like sculpting was pretty good too.
Posted 18 November 2023 - 12:03 PM
I think this would have done better than the Kazon ship, which is the only other unproduced large ship that was shown as a prototype.
But how often these were really seen on screen even on DS9 -- not a huge number of appearances. The runabout was an easier sell to retailers perhaps cause you could put figures in it, even though it was inexplicably inaccurate as delivered.
For every one thing that PM did right during this time, two things would be done wrong.
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