• Enjoy almost-lost audio from Star Trek’s third season

    Enjoy almost-lost audio from Star Trek’s third season

    The Star Trek blooper reel was a highlight of most early conventions — even if the images were faded and grainy and the sound crummy.

    A better experience, surprisingly, can be had on a record called Trek Bloopers, released in the early ’70s. First, the sound quality is excellent and, second, it features recordings from third-season episodes (Whom Gods Destroy, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, The Way To Eden and Turnabout Intruder) while the blooper clips shown most often at cons were drawn from the first two seasons only. 

    And the LP beats the blooper reels in one other regard. Where the film clips focus on pratfalls — William Shatner bouncing off a door that fails to whoosh open, James Doohan stumbling on the dungeon stairs or Michael Forest air-kissing the camera — the record instead paints a picture of workaday TV production. You get a good share of flubbed lines, curse words and directors struggling to be patient, but the recordings are also a bonanza for production nerds like me, interested in how the show was made.

    For example, many takes start with the recording engineer reading a notation like “Production 60043 dash 70” and the back of the album helpfully informs us that 60043 was the code Paramount assigned to Star Trek, and that the 70 refers to the 70th episode filmed, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. (It’s also interesting to note that Paramount counted The Cage as episode 1, even though at that time it had never been seen on TV.) These notations performed the same identifying role as the familiar clapboards seen in many behind-the-scenes photos, such as this one from the extensive collection of Gerald Gurian (used with his permission).

    A production photo showing William Shatner in the captain's chair while a production staffer prepares to clap the clapboard.

    Where did the recordings come from?

    The LP was released by Blue Pear Records, a name that was obviously a joke on “blooper,” and the company was supposedly based in Longwood, Florida. That is about all I or apparently anyone else knows about it. Some online sources say the album was released in 1975 and that the company produced bootleg recordings of stage plays. I don’t know if any of that is accurate.

    And neither does the city of Longwood. I contacted the Economic Development and Special Projects Manager to ask if the city maintains any records of companies from the 1970s. I was told “Sorry, but no we do not have such records.”

    Here is the LP’s origin story, as detailed on the back cover.

    This blooper record has been edited from six original on-set dialogue tapes. These tapes were found in Hollywood in a garbage can. As the story has it, the finder merely wanted some recording tape to use at home and took them with the idea that they could be erased, put on smaller reels (the originals were on ten-inch professional reels) and recorded as he saw fit. It was only when he saw the magic words Star Trek on the side that he thought otherwise and contacted a friend, a fan of the series, to see if he might be interested. The answer, of course, was an immediate yes, and the tapes then passed to another, and another, and another. Their final resting place is an East Coast collector of Star Trek memorabilia. However, on the way, we were lucky enough to obtain copies of these tapes from which this blooper record was created.

    The back cover the the album, featuring a track list and some details of the LP's production.

    Again, I don’t know if this is true but it sounds plausible. After all, the 11-foot model of the Enterprise sat in the corner of a Paramount storage area for years and could easily have been discarded. 

    I’m just thankful Trek Bloopers exists. It’s a wonderful record of the soundstage between October 1968 and January 1969.

    All the tracks are available below. My favourite bits include Shatner on side 2 offering a comforting “That’s okay. You’re alright” after DeForest Kelley flubbed a line and Harry Landers as Dr. Arthur Coleman burning at least 24 takes to get through this one small section in Turnabout Intruder, also on side 2.

    KIRK: I thought my presence might quiet Doctor Lester. It seems to have had the opposite effect.

    COLEMAN: It has nothing to do with you. It’s a symptom of the developing radiation illness.

    MCCOY: Tests with the ship’s equipment show no signs of internal radiation damage, Doctor Coleman.

    KIRK: Didn’t Doctor Lester’s staff become delirious before they went off and died?

    COLEMAN: Yes, Captain. Yes.

    MCCOY: Doctor Lester could be suffering from a phaser stun as far as the symptoms I can detect, Jim.

    KIRK: Doctor Coleman, Doctor McCoy has had a great deal of experience with radiation exposure on board the Enterprise. I am guided by his opinion.

    COLEMAN: Doctor Lester and her staff have been under my supervision for two years. If you don’t follow my recommendations, responsibility for her health or her death will be yours.

    KIRK: Doctor McCoy, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to take you off the case and turn it over to Doctor Coleman.

    MCCOY: You can’t do this! On this ship my medical authority is final!

    KIRK: Doctor Coleman wants to assume the full responsibility. Let him do it.

    MCCOY: I won’t allow it.

    KIRK: It’s done! Doctor Coleman, your patient. Doctor Coleman, didn’t you suggest a sedation to rest the patient?

    COLEMAN: Yes, Captain.

    MCCOY: It’s not necessary, Jim. Can’t you see she’s coming around?

    KIRK: Doctor Coleman.

    COLEMAN: Nurse, administer the sedative.

    But the best bit is the phaser-fire boops on side 1. Here is one take:

    Here is the full audio.

    Side 1

    Side 2


    The film clips shown at conventions were a treasured glimpse behind the production curtain, but Paramount was not happy about these screenings. One organizer of Toronto Star Trek ’76, for example, was threatened with jail time for showing the outtakes.

  • Peter Pan spins tales of new life and interstellar diplomacy

    Peter Pan spins tales of new life and interstellar diplomacy

    The second of my soon-to-be-growing collection of Peter Pan record-and-comic sets features the original stories Passage to Moauv and The Crier in Emptiness, and both are good original tales that are consistent with the themes and values established in the original series. On that measure, this is a better outing than the first set I covered. (That article also gives some background on Peter Pan Industries.)

    The artwork in the read-along comic is colourful and mostly accurate, as in the other set, but it strikes me as even more dynamic. The artists were really working to boost the drama of the tales.

    Here are the two stories. You can start the audio and flip through the scans in pace with the story — just as kids did in 1979 when this set was released.

    The Crier in Emptiness

    A boring mapping mission is interrupted by strange musical sounds which start as minor annoyances but quickly progress to full-out threats. The story was reportedly written by Alan Dean Foster, who added a number of sophisticated elements that raise the tale above basic kids’ fare. These include using the shuttle to provide respite for the crew, who take to it in shifts to escape the sounds, and the introduction of a creature who exists as sound only and, it seems, is simply trying to communicate. There is also a nice bit at the end in which Uhura says to no one in particular “I heard a voice, crying in the wilderness”  — a biblical reference to either Isaiah or John. 

    Passage to Moauv 

    The Enterprise is on an important diplomatic mission — to deliver an ambassador’s pet. The crew grouches about the assignment but both the Federation and the Klingons are trying to get the strategic planet Moauv to join its alliance, so this babysitting task could be critical. This is an interesting premise, reminiscent of Elaan of Troyius, but you are reminded this is a story for kids when the pet escapes and that somehow causes the crew to begin to meow and growl.

    Lieutenant M’Ress, from the animated series, makes a welcome appearance but it is odd that she does not look like a cat. Peter Pan apparently only had rights to the likenesses of Kirk, Spock and McCoy (which is why Uhura is a blond white woman, for example) but it’s still surprising the company didn’t give its new M’Ress fur, a tail, or cat ears.

    Peter Pan cashed in on the excitement around Star Trek: The Motion Picture by using movie images on the covers of the albums it issued in 1979, even though all but two of its 11 stories were written before the movie premiered and feature TOS-era comic artwork. The wrapping of TOS stories in movie imagery is a little jarring to adult fans but probably did not bother the kids who dropped allowance money on these entertaining stories and comic books.

    My pursuit of more record-and-comic sets continues.

  • Spend time with the two sides of Leonard Nimoy

    Spend time with the two sides of Leonard Nimoy

    Leonard Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931, and I am commemorating his birthday by listening to Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy — and you can too. All the tracks are playable below.

    Nimoy reflected on Spock and on his own view of the world in this 1968 album. The theme of the LP is described on the back of the record sleeve: 

    Ever since Gene Roddenberry and his Norway Corp. created the series “Star Trek” for Desilu, Leonard Nimoy has developed a distinctive second personality. He now spends half of his life as “Mr. Spock,” the highly logical, unemotional, intelligent and super-efficient first officer aboard the Starship Enterprise. The original Nimoy is the talented, experienced actor who has played many TV and movie roles, and who is called by his friends an “Actors’ actor.” Nimoy is also proving himself a most capable singer and entertainer in his personal appearances throughout the country. In this album, Leonard Nimoy offers musical versions of his “two sides.”

    The back cover of the album features a track list and a large photo of Nimoy.

    The description “a most capable singer” may ring a little thin to modern ears, as much of the music is not terribly impressive, but the insights into Nimoy and his thoughts on Spock are worth exploring. The album is a precursor to his self-reflective musings in the books I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock.

    The idea here is that side one is Spock speaking and side two comes from Nimoy. 

    Here is side one:

    Highly Illogical

    The Difference Between Us

    Once I Smiled

    Spock Thoughts

    By Myself

    Follow Your Star

    Amphibious Assault

    The album opens with a lighthearted (and somewhat sexist) take on humanity called Highly Illogical. Next is The Difference Between Us, which really sounds like it’s about Droxine in The Cloud Minders, except that the album was released six months before even that episode’s story outline was penned. The lyrics include:

    If you could live for just a moment in my world, 

    and recognize what makes me what I am, 

    perhaps that would the catalyst be, 

    to harmonize the differences between you and me.

    Similarly, listen to Once I Smiled and just try not to think of Leila Kalomi as Nimoy sings “Once I smiled a smile so rare, Loved a girl with golden hair” and even references that the singer “swung from trees.” 

    A scene from the Star Trek episode This Side of Paradise, in which Spock is hanging from a tree and grinning at his girlfriend, Leila Kalomi.

    Another highlight of side one is Spock Thoughts, but I was disappointed to learn it is not original to the album. The track is a slightly modified version of the poem Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Some of it applies well to the Spock character, some not as well. Here are three sections.

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. 

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story. 

    Be at peace with god, whatever you conceive him to be.

    Here is side two:

    The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

    Cotton Candy

    Gentle on my Mind


    If I Were a Carpenter

    Love of the Common People

    The cover of the book The Musical Touch o Leonard Nimoy.

    And, it must be said, some songs are quite awful. Cotton Candy, on side two, is painful. It is, however, notable as it was apparently written by Star Trek camera operator Cliff Ralke. That is a cool bit of obscure trivia. He is not credited by name on the album, which states only that the song was “written by one of the camera crew on the Star Trek series,” but a few sources, including a great little book called The Musical Touch of Leonard Nimoy, lists him as the writer. And he had a track record with Trek music, as the liner notes for William Shatner’s 1968 album The Transformed Man state Ralke encouraged Shatner to record the album.

    One highlight on side two is Love of the Common People. The song has been performed by many artists, including Paul Young, Waylon Jennings, John Denver, The Everly Brothers, and Bruce Springsteen, and Nimoy’s version is quite good. The lyrics are about poverty and hunger but most versions present it with an upbeat tempo, as did Nimoy. 

    And then there is the famous — or infamous — The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. The album explains: “Long an admirer of the ‘Hobbits,’ Nimoy sings of the adventures of the bravest Hobbit of them all.”

    Honestly, this track alone is worth the price of admission, especially if you also watch the music video Nimoy made. I have never seen a high-res version; here is the best I can find.

    And, once you have enjoyed the musical stylings of Two Sides, watch the actor briefly discuss his recording career at Fan Expo in Toronto in 2009.

    You have to respect that Nimoy, like Shatner, was an accomplished actor who decided, what the hell, I’ll make some albums too. And we all benefit from that willingness to trade the safe confines of a TV soundstage for the unknown frontiers of a recording studio.

    Happy birthday, Leonard.

  • Shatner wanted to get closer to his fans in 1977

    Shatner wanted to get closer to his fans in 1977

    I recently shared Doug Drexler’s story of photographing William Shatner in 1977 for the magazine All About Star Trek Fan Clubs, and then I realized that issue is probably among the more than 150 Star Trek magazines I own. And I did find it in one of my storage boxes.

    Here are the highlights from that interview.

    The cover of the magazine, showing really well done paintings of Captain Kirk and 1970s William Shatner.

    Shatner opens by telling magazine associate editor Don Wigal that he has a newfound interest in connecting with Trek fans, but adds that his interest is essentially commercial: “I’m actively, now, looking for those people I’ve ignored all the years. I have now my own record called William Shatner Live. I’m mail ordering it myself. So I too have a vested interest in reaching the fans.” 

    It’s good that he’s honest. I guess.

    The interview itself is a prime example of the semi-professional nature of most genre magazines in the ’70s. The piece is disjointed and meandering, because it seems the writer used everything that was said, rather than editing for clarity and interest. For example, when Shatner promotes an upcoming play, the magazine includes this exchange:

    The playbill for Tricks of the Trade, featuring photos of Shatner and Yvette Mimieux.
    Image credit: Kevin G. Shinnick

    WS: Then, there is a play which I’ll be doing—Sidney Michaels’ “Tricks of the Trade,” here in the summer. And— (to his agent) do we know where?

    Agent: Westport, Conn.

    A more experienced editor would have left out the aside. 

    But the Shatner we know today does come through in the piece, especially when he talks about the many topics that interest him. He touches on “the conservation of whales and porpoises” and the “slaughter and genocide” humans inflict on them, Neanderthal anthropology, child welfare, and the meaning of life: “It’s such a mysterious thing. What people call God, or what the various religions attach a name to might just very well be the mysticism of what life is.”

    Here is the interview in its entirety.

    And here is the magazine’s spread of the Drexler photos mentioned above.

    A collage of nine Shatner portraits, taken as he was interviewed.

    The magazines of that era are a wonderful look into 1970s fandom, when both the publications and the celebrities were a little less polished and practiced.

    The back cover of the magazine, with an alluring headshot of Shatner, plus his autograph in pink marker.
  • Check out these photos of Bill Shatner from 1977

    Check out these photos of Bill Shatner from 1977

    I have had the privilege recently of interviewing Doug Drexler for some articles (including this one) and he told me an interesting story about photographing William Shatner back in 1977, while Drexler worked at The Federation Trading Post in New York City.

    I took photos of William Shatner backstage at the Ed Sullivan Theater in 1977. He was doing a game show, and a magazine, All About Star Trek Fan Clubs, arranged to interview him backstage. We knew the editor through The Federation Trading Post and he knew I liked to take pictures, so he asked me if I wanted to come along and be his photographer. I was snapping shots while he was being interviewed, and I caught some really good moments, because I knew all of Shatner’s moves, I knew where he was going. He could tell that and he started playing to me.

    We sat and chatted after that. It was awesome.

    The photo is owned by Doug Drexler. He has posted more from this series on his Facebook page.

    I also wrote about the article in that issue of All About Star Trek Fan Clubs.

  • Join me for two Trek tales from Peter Pan Records

    Join me for two Trek tales from Peter Pan Records

    I own all the mainstream Star Trek original-series comics but some of the lesser-known books are not on my shelves. When a post on the excellent Star Trek Comics: Across Generations Facebook group in November 2022 reminded me that many Peter Pan records came with comic books, it suddenly bothered me that I had none of those. 

    To eBay! I picked up two book-and-record sets for C$18 each, still sealed in plastic. I am writing about one of those here.

    (A small aside: there are a ton of Star Trek comics and comic strips and as far as I know only two people own all the US and UK English-language instances: Rich Handley and Mark Martinez.) 

    The cover of the 1976 Star Trek album from Power Records, featuring Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sulu reacting to a threat seen on the main viewscreen.

    A quick history: Peter Pan and Power Records

    Peter Pan Industries produced records for kids under the brand names Peter Pan and Power Records. The recordings were dramatic performances of original stories, with music and sound effects. The company’s tales featured many TV shows, including The Six Million Dollar Man and Kojak, and a bunch of superheroes and cartoon characters. It also produced 11 original Star Trek stories between 1975 and 1979 and packaged and repackaged them across more than 20 33-1/3 and 45 RPM discs. Ten of those sets included colourful read-along comic books. 

    My recent acquisitions include the 1976 LP that published The Time Stealer and republished A Mirror for Futility, originally released in 1975 although apparently without the comic that accompanied the later release. (Honestly, the permutations of story and comic releases are headache inducing.) 

    The artwork is dynamic and quite true to the show — except when it isn’t at all. For example, Sulu is depicted as a black man wearing science blue and Uhura is a white woman with very blond hair. A Star Trek fan named Clay Arden told me that he asked Neal Adams, a frequent Peter Pan artist, about this. Adams said the depictions were intentional, as the company had only licensed the likenesses of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley.

    Here are the two stories, both the audio and the comics. You can start the audio playing and click through the scans along with the story — just as you were meant to do in 1976 with the record and the comic.

    A Mirror for Futility

    This is the better of the two stories. It was written by Alan Dean Foster, a prolific author who also penned the Star Trek Log animated-series adaptations, and drawn by Adams, who also created my favourite Star Trek poster.

    The Time Stealer

    The Peter Pan stories were written and drawn for kids, so you have to expect some silliness. Even so, the two antagonists here look exactly like Conan the Barbarian and Merlin, and the plot relies on Spock using magic and the Enterprise computers to project the “mental images” of millions of dead people — or something. Oh, and Kirk tries to shoot a possibly sentient being with the ship’s phasers. This one was written by Cary Bates and Neal Adams.

    I also own the 1979 LP that features the stories The Crier in Emptiness and Passage to Moauv but uses photos from The Motion Picture on the front and back covers even though the comics are set in the TOS era. I wrote about that one here

  • Revisiting the quirkiest Star Trek book, with Doug Drexler

    Revisiting the quirkiest Star Trek book, with Doug Drexler

    There are about 140 original-series reference and non-fiction books worth owning. One stands out for sheer oddness: the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual

    The cover of the Medical Reference Manual. It is a deep blue with lettering and a caduceus in silver.

    About half of this delightful 1970s fandom jetsam is like a real-world textbook, with lists of diseases and drugs, instructions on lifting injured persons, and information on the Heimlich Maneuver, CPR, and resuscitation. The other half is fanciful speculation on the species — humanoids, non-humanoids, parasites, and plants — that filled Star Trek, plus information on otherworldly elements, psionic studies, and the requirement that “each Starship shall have in its health crew complement at least one person so designated as a Doctor of Chiropractic.” A chart will inform you, quite correctly, that palladium is represented by the symbol Pd, has the atomic number 46, and was first identified in England in 1803, and then the next entry is about pergium, Pe and atomic number 111, which was discovered on Mercury in 2023. 

    A chart detailing two chemicals: the real adrenalin and the fictional benjisidrine.

    The book is a decidedly odd mix of fact and fancy and one of its creators, Star Trek luminary Doug Drexler, told me that most of the people who worked on it didn’t really want to. 

    “It’s a strange anomaly of a book that we would not have done except that Ron had this girlfriend,” he said, referring to Ron Barlow, with whom Drexler worked at the storied Federation Trading Post, a Star Trek store in New York City in the 1970s. “Ron had a girlfriend, Eileen Palestine, who was a registered nurse and she had the idea of doing the Medical Reference Manual. I thought we could have spent the time doing something more interesting.”

    Barlow and Palestine convinced Drexler, store employees Geoffrey Mandel, Mitch Green, and Anthony Frederickson, and others to work on the book. The team was tasked, for example, with describing the Tribble digestive system and then Frederickson had to draw it. “We had to say to ourselves ‘How are we going to figure this out?’ but we did it for Ron’s girlfriend. We would rather have been doing ships.”

    Palestine handled the medical information and she and Barlow wrote the text, while the rest worked up the illustrations. Drexler cannot recall which of them drew each one. The first version of the book, a fan edition with a shiny white cover, was sold in the store. 

    Then one day “a guy came into the Federation Trading Post and he had a contract with Ballantine Books to do a Star Trek book, and he knew nothing about Star Trek. He came in to pick our brains.” 

    The publisher sent the man’s manuscript to the store for a review — and it was terrible. “We told Ballantine that, and they cancelled the book with this guy,” Drexler said. “We had the fan edition of the Medical Reference and they saw that and said ‘Well, we could make a book out of this, if you want.’ And that’s how it happened.”

    The book must have been at least fairly successful, as its first printing in October 1977 was followed one month later by a second. 

    The happenstance nature of its publication is typical of 1970s Star Trek merchandise, much of which was created by semi-professional fans who started out making unlicensed items for themselves or for sale at conventions. 

    Then DS9 made a bunch of it canon

    Drexler worked as a scenic artist on Deep Space Nine, and when the producers needed some graphics for the wall of Keiko O’Brien’s classroom in season one, they grabbed illustrations those store employees had created more than a decade earlier. 

    Seven drawings were colourized and used on a display labelled Comparative Xenobiology, seen here in the episodes A Man Alone and The Nagus

    Which makes the location of Horta ovaries canon.

  • Quick-hit TOS novel reviews

    Quick-hit TOS novel reviews

    I have been revisiting the Star Trek novels I loved as a young fan — and I did love them. All of them. One of my favourite fandom memories is flipping through the sci-fi novels at my local library and finding a Trek I had not read. It was as exciting as if I had discovered an unknown episode.

    But if young me loved every novel that had Star Trek on the cover, I cannot say the same for the adult me. It turns out that a lot of Trek novels are really crummy. They were pumped out to satisfy hungry fans, and the quality was all over the place.

    I have been buying ebook versions of all the classic novels I already own in paper, whenever they come up in the publisher’s monthly $0.99 sales.

    I won’t comment too much on some of the titles I didn’t like, such as Memory Prime and Vulcan’s Glory (which I didn’t finish), The Entropy Effect (which was okay) and The Joy Machine (truly awful; I wrote about it here).

    But I’ve read a few that were quite good.

    Postscript: I have to call shenanigans on the cover of The Vulcan Academy Murders. Spock is pictured confronting a le-matya (first seen in the animated episode Yesteryear) but in the novel Spock never even travels out into the desert and never encounters the predator.

  • How I got three Matt Jefferies signatures

    How I got three Matt Jefferies signatures

    Running a Star Trek collectibles site means you get contacted by people looking to sell stuff. Sometimes that ends in disappointment but sometimes you land a big envelope of Matt Jefferies autographs from Australia. 

    This is a story of the latter. 

    I received an email in early October: “I have hand written letters, card, magazine…. All signed by Walter Matt Jeffries… Found in a box of books I bought in an auction… Maybe you’re interested… cheers Tracy”

    I was, and I asked for photos. Unfortunately, Tracy did not have set sketches or production notes, but rather personal correspondence from later in Jefferies’ life. The best item is a signature on an article about Jefferies in the December 1996 issue of Aviation Illustrated magazine. But yes, I was interested. Jefferies, the art director for TOS’ entire run, is a Star Trek hero and I had only the official signed card and the book his brother wrote, Beyond the Clouds.

    Tracy suggested $100 plus shipping, and I countered at $100 including shipping. She agreed, and that’s when I learned she’s in Australia, so even better. $100 Australian is about $88 Canadian. 

    While I waited for the package, I asked Tracy for more details on the acquisition.

    I bought a box of books at my local auction (deceased estate) and found some personal stuff belonging to Effie Young amongst the books. On the front of the envelope says … Do not throw out… friend since I was 15… Effie was an American girl (who ultimately married an Aussie) and she knew Matt Jeffries when she was a teenager (possible romance?) Effie lived in California growing up… Effie married and moved to Australia but she must have had a strong friendship over the years with Matt and his family, as he posted the signed magazine to her from California.

    The package arrived and I am certainly pleased with my purchases. I got the magazine, a business card, a large envelope, a note signed “Love Walter” and a Christmas card he signed “Love Mary Ann ’n Walter.” For the scans of the last two items, I cropped out the personal details he shared with Effie. Jefferies was unwell and undergoing treatment, and the details are a little too personal to share. 

    Thank you, Tracy. It’s nice to get a small glimpse into this long-term friendship, and you made a little money and I have a few items connected to Matt Jefferies. Good deal.

  • Display your collectibles, the Mego edition

    Display your collectibles, the Mego edition

    A good friend of mine is a longtime Star Trek fan and an active collector, but he has none of his collectibles on display — and he has a room available for this purpose. This bugs me to no end, because the best way to enjoy your collection is to put it out where you can see it.

    A case in point: I recently created this Mego display area in my Star Trek room.

    A large display unit featuring colourful Star Trek toys, including action figures loose and in boxes, walkies talkies, and a bridge playset.

    This was prompted by two recent acquisitions: a pair of Star Trek Communicators walkie-talkies and the matched Command Communications Console. All three toys work perfectly and are in surprisingly good shape. The Console seems like it has barely been used; the stickers are peeling a little with age but otherwise it looks great. I also got the original box, although it is a little beat up. The toy came from England, and the seller said: “I had an elderly relative who owned a small independent gift/toy shop and whilst clearing out the warehouse we discovered a wide range of action figures, including quite a few rare and collectible items.” We haggled over the price a little and settled on 180 pounds, about $280 Canadian, plus shipping. I got it in September 2022. I picked up the pair of Communicators for US$85, about $115 Canadian, two months earlier. 

    The Console has moving red and green lights on the front, reminiscent of some of the computer displays on the show. Here is a video of those lights and another with the Console’s alert sounds.

    I purchased the Mego U.S.S Enterprise Action Playset in 2018 for the amazing price of US$100 and it had been living on a bookcase shelf since then, but I always felt it deserved a better space. The figures were acquired over time. I bought Uhura, Scotty and Spock (all loose) for $200 from Steven Panet at Fastball Collectibles in Toronto (who has a number of Star Trek items for sale, including a nice playset with box), the Kirk was a steal for $25 at Hamilton Comic Con, and the Klingon and McCoy figures were both purchased loose years ago for about $20 each.

    The three mint-on-card figures were about $100 each, acquired at different times, and the signature on the Kirk figure was free

    Buying the Console and the Communicators convinced me I needed one home for all my Mego stuff, so I bought a nice shelf unit at Ikea for $150.

    Add that up and the items in my new Mego display area set me back about $1,200, plus some shipping costs. Say $1,400 total. 

    There is even room for expansion: if I ever manage to afford the Mission to Gamma VI Playset and the Telescreen Console Playset, I can simply remove the doors on the lower part of the cabinet. 

    $1,400 is a lot of money, even spread over a few years, but the new display makes me happy every time I walk into my Star Trek room. Which is why people should display their collectibles. They don’t make you as happy sitting in boxes.

    And now for some commercials

    The commercial Mego made for the Command Communications Console also shows off the Communicators, although oddly the Console is different from mine: the colour seems much darker and the antenna is attached at the right side, rather than the left as on my toy. Perhaps that’s because mine is from England. The photo on this UK collector’s site looks just like my toy.

    And here’s the commercial for the Communicators.