I’ve been a Star Trek fan for a long time. The original series was in first run when I was born and I started watching regularly when the show was in its first set of reruns in the early 70s. As a kid, I built the AMT model kits of the Enterprise and even the Enterprise’s bridge. Soon after Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out, Pocket Books released a punch out paper bridge that was very cool. I had two of them — one I made up as the bridge from the first movie and one I modified to look like the bridge from The Wrath of Khan. Sadly, all of those models have since been lost to the ravages of time.
When the new Star Trek movie came out in 2009, Playmates Toys started a new line of action figures. Along with their Galaxy line of 3.75″ action figures, they marketed a playset of the bridge. I saw photos of the bridge and was pleasantly surprised that it was a decent replica of the bridge as shown in the movie. This just seemed like too much fun — a good, sturdy model of the bridge and there are action figures that fit it. The only catch was, the bridge playset was not complete. You had to collect action figures to get all of the stations for the bridge.
I was somewhat hesitant to buy the bridge playset since it wasn’t complete. However, my wife ended up buying it for me, so I started collecting the figures so I could have the complete bridge. Now, Playmates had released only a few of the bridge pieces in their first wave of action figures. They had announced a second wave of action figures that would have more bridge pieces. I had just finished collecting all the pieces in the first wave of toys about the time the second wave was due to be released. The only problem was the second wave never came.
A couple months after the second wave was due out, I saw a post at trekmovie.com that indicated that sales had not done as well as Playmates had expected and they weren’t releasing the second wave of toys. However, Playmates was looking into a way of releasing the rest of the bridge pieces for those of us who had started collecting. So, I waited.
A year after the new Star Trek movie came out, I had still seen no sign of an announcement from Playmates about how collectors could complete their bridge playsets. So, I wrote to Playmates to ask them about it. A Consumer Service Representative wrote the following to me: “I am sorry the line is not going to be coming out. None of the 2nd wave was ever produced or distributed. Playmates Toys has been trying to come up with several alternative ways to continue distributing our Star Trek brand of toys to our consumers. Unfortunately, we have been unable to come up with additional distribution options and have discontinued the Star Trek line.”
I still wanted to complete my bridge and I noticed that the Star Trek figures were on clearance for $2.25 apiece at my local Walmart. I pulled out the original playset and noticed that several of the consoles that had already been released were simply duplicates and mirror images of other consoles. I realized that I could mix and match pieces that had already been released and come up with a fairly complete bridge. So, I went off to Walmart, picked up a few duplicate action figures and put together my bridge. Here’s the result:
Now, it’s not perfect. The four stations at the back of the bridge were supposed to be slightly different and bigger than the ones I used. Also, there were supposed to be two stations on either side of the captain’s chair and two more of the stand-up displays. However, I’m much happier with this than the partially completed bridge I had before.
If you’re like me and you had collected all the pieces you could collect in Playmates wave one and would like a more complete bridge, here’s what I bought to get the set where I have it: 3 Scotty figures with piece B11, 3 Pike figures with piece B2 and 1 Kirk figure with piece B9. Hope this helps a few frustrated collectors out there get a more complete set as well.
You might well wonder what became of the extra Scottys, Pikes and Kirk. As it turns out, my daughters were happy to give them a home. Turns out the Galaxy set of Star Trek figures are almost the same size as Polly Pocket.