To Boldly Go Beneath the Tree: The Star Trek Bridge Play Set

Über-Blog Boing Boing points out that one of the two most brilliant toys ever to be deposited beneath a Christmas tree has been re-issued:

The Star Trek Bridge playset was, hands down, the best toy I owned as a child. I played with it for approximately 10,000 hours. Especially the whirly-twirly transporter cubicle. I loved the psychedelic cardboard viewscreens, the tippy chairs and furniture, the stick-on UI for same that was as inscrutable and ridiculous as the authentic show computers.

Apparently these figures and the play set have been available for a year or so, but this is the first I’ve seen of the toy since, well, longer than I care to admit.

The Starship Enterprise bridge play set beamed down to my Christmas in, I think, 1976, and I have photographic evidence to prove that I actually received this amazing gift.

Set Phasers on Fun!

That’s right. Not just one, but two goateed Klingons! No waiting to beat up on a bad guy for Kirk and Spock—they each had one to deal with.

It’s interesting to note that the play set came out several years after the end of the Original Series in 1969. These action figures and accompanying props were tied rather to the Animated Series of the early 1970’s, or at least drew on the audience that the Animated Series was sustaining.

To judge by the Star Trek toy page of the 1975 Sears Wishbook, the Klingons were the only enemy available, with no Red Shirts to serve a fodder for Kirk’s planetary adventures.

Detail of 1975.xx.xx Sears Christmas Catalog P572 on by Wishbook via a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike license.

The re-issued bridge play set and figures come courtesy of Diamond Select Toys, which seems to specialize in science fiction collectibles rather than actual toys to be played with. But, running a quick inflation calculation on the cost of the bridge play set plus four figures ($25.33 in 1975 dollars) to today yields a current cost of $100.40.

Looks like you could get a bridge play set plus two figures for about that much today. So I suppose the difference between toy and collectible is just the age of the person who owns it.

Oh, and what’s the other, arguably even more brilliant toy, to ever be deposited under a Christmas tree? The Space: 1999 Eagle, of course. To have played with it and lost it is better than to never have played with it at all.

(Wishbook image detail courtesy of Wishbook via a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike license.)

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