I am not quite sure where to begin today. Usually I just sit at my laptop and start writing, that is not the case today. No, before you ask, I don’t have a case of general writer’s block. Nope today I have a case of something that is just so truly bizarre that I am not quite sure what the hook for this post will be. For now I am just going to push forward and see what happens in the next thousand words.
Merchandising has become an essential component in the production of pretty much every single show that either appears in the movies or on the television these days. As costs have risen over the years the studios and producers have realized that by selling the rights for associated paraphenalia they are able to generate revenue with very little outlay of effort. Human nature is fairly predictable in cases like these and the majority of the population love to take the easy route.
The net result of this type of marketing is that if you think of almost any show there is bound to be at least a few items that you can buy to show to the world that you are in fact a fan. Of course Star Wars and Disney are king in this area and produce enough stuff to generate the same amount of revenue as a small developing country, we know this, but my guess is that you can find items related to others you would never imagine. Be it a game show or a news program, hey even commercials get there own merchandise. You either love it or hate it, I for one can’t get enough and often marvel at how creative the manufacturers are.
An action show like say Battlestar Galactica has its action figures, spaceships and laser blasters which totally makes sense. Westerns have pistols and gunbelts, dolls on horses and cool large brimmed hats. Cartoons have figurines and stuffed animals, the variations seem endless.
Every once in a while I stumble across something that seems to defy all logic. You see it and have absolutely no idea whatsoever where the designer was going with a product. For example imagine if someone made a sword and branded it for My Little Pony, maybe Stargate could have its own line of dance shoes? You see where I am going with this? Don’t get me wrong, I would bet actual money that even the least likely product would sell, perhaps not a lot, but sales would not be zero. It is truly a strange world we live in.
For me today’s post is about an item that for the life of me I cannot figure out. In simple terms it is not that complicated and there is no mistaking what it is, that being said, how it relates to the show for which it is branded is beyond me.
So without further ado, it is time to see the Official Star Trek Helmet. Yes, you read that correctly.
What the tribble is that?
More precisely what is that big red thing on the top? It looks like one of those old flashing lights that emergency vehicles used to have on top. Well people, I am here to tell you that in fact that is exactly what it is. Wha??
The visor flips up and the sides are proudly labelled with the classic Star Trek logo.
It even has antennae that can be put up and down. This thing is amazing, and since I first saw one several years ago I decided I had to have one… yes I said, “HAD to”. Seriously, how totally ridiculous is this toy? I am nowhere near being a Star Trek expert by any stretch of the imagination but I don’t recall ever seeing anything like this on the show.
Padded on the inside this piece was designed for comfort.
I love how it is labelled as a crew item and states that it is, “Property of U.S.S. Enterprise”, and that the wearer should, “Return to Ward Room” when they are done. Awesome.
Believe it or not this toy is only bested by the original box. Obviously as I searched for one of these it was essential that it came packaged, and for that privilege I knew I was going to have to pay.
Check this out.
Now can you see why I had to have this? Holy collectible toy Batman!
Made by Enco Industries Inc. in 1976 this is probably my favorite Star Trek collectible of all time. Ironically as I stated before it has nothing to do with show except the fact that it was a legit licensed product.
This toy came with a sheet of decals that could be used to personalize the helmet to indicate which character you were playing. Oh my goodness, this thing gets cornier and cornier with every passing moment, however I have dibs on being Spock.
Here is the complete sheet, mostly, the only ones missing are the Trek logos that have already been applied to the visor hinges.
Apparently Uhura’s hair was too big to fit into this helmet, I mean why else wouldn’t she get a sticker?
The helmet is large enough to fit most heads quite comfortably and measures about 9″ tall with the antennae in the down position.
I wonder if any kid ever showed up to play baseball with their buddies while wearing one of these? Just imagine them swinging at a pitch while the helmet’s light was flashing and it was making its beeping sound. Epic.
To give you an idea of this helmet in action I decided to put it on myself, no mean feat given the melon sized proportions of my head.
Ok, so the chin strap doesn’t quite make it all the way around my jaw but whatever. That being said it does make me look instantly more heroic. And, NO, I did not alter this picture in any way, this is exactly how I looked while stood in my living room… an amazing transformation for sure OK, maybe this toy isn’t that lame after all… R-I-G-H-T!
Expect to pay well over $100 just for a helmet. Boxed ones can easily hit $350. Clearly this toy was not such a hot seller back in the day and therefore it is quite rare almost forty years later. Now I come to think of it why did they even make this? The original Trek series was aired in 1966-69, and the first movie wasn’t did not hit movie theaters until 1979. Why someone decided that 1976 was the right time to make a Trek product is a little baffling… gotta love reruns I guess.
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