Trek the Halls – Star Trek Christmas Shopping Guide

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Do you have a Trek nerd in your life and you don’t know what to get them? Or maybe you are sick of buying your own Trekkie Christmas presents and want something to direct loved ones to for all your present-receiving needs!
Well, check out our ideas for Christmas! I have counted them down to my favourite! Let us know in the comments what should be on the list!

Note: this is a totally independent review.

19c

In at 19 is a TOS Spatula!  Every good galley should have one.  This one is particularly good for stopping your Ktarian eggs from sticking.  It can also do something that the Enterprise can’t – it can be extended for those tricky maneuvers while at warp.  You can pick one up in the Forbidden Planet on Crampton Quay in Dublin for €28.99.  They are $29.99 from Amazon.com and £21.14 from Amazon.co.uk .


18b

I’m sure you have seen some of Funko’s popular Pop! Toy line.  In at 18 is their nice selection of officially licensed Star Trek vinyl figures from The Original Series and The Next Generation.   Standing about 3 3/4-inches tall they are a nice gift that won’t take up too much space.  They are priced at £10 on Amazon.co.uk, $8 on amazon.com.  The Star Trek dolls are on discount in Forbidden Planet at €8.99 each and Eason on O’Connell Street have them priced at €14.99 or 3 for 2.

 


17b

Everyone should make sure they have access to some sort of a self defense device.  A Type 2 phaser with a removable Type 1 hand phaser fits the bill and comes in at 17! €39.99 from Forbidden Planet in Dublin. $24.32 from Amazon.com £31.54 from Amazon.co.uk .

 


16b

Metal Earth do a nice range of model kits.  They come on thin sheets of metal that can be put together by hand with no glue or solder.  The Star Trek models available are Klingon-heavy with both the Bird of Prey and the Battlecruiser available, along with the Enterprise D.  I’ve seen some in the Art & Hobby store in Dundrum but there are three available in Easons on O’Connell Street for €14.99 each.  £13.97 from Amazon.co.uk and $11.83 from Amazon.com.


15b

Anovos have a fantastic line of replica Star Trek accessories and uniforms.  This is the place to go if you have money to spend and you take your cosplay seriously!  They do have some items that won’t break the bank, like this replica comm badge from Star Trek TNG at $19.95, which is our number 15!  If you are going for the assimilated Starfleet officer look then this is not the badge for you as it has a nice magnetic back (rather than metal pins found on other replicas) so you don’t have to worry about putting holes in your uniform or yourself. Shipping to Ireland is $29.90 which is a bit pricey so you may want to throw some more items in your cart to make it worthwhile!


14b

They took our tradition, our hero, our rites, our bright decorations, our Khristmas tree lights.  They’ve changed up our story – they’ve got it all mangled, in much the same way that our lights become tangled! Available from Amazon.co.uk for £9.99, Amazon.com for $25 and Kennys Bookshop for €13.28.


13b

From my birth on the U.S.S. Kelvin, to my time in Starfleet Academy, to my meteoric rise through the ranks of Starfleet, this is where you will find the untold story about me. You may know me as Starfleet’s greatest captain but now I will tell you why.  I also include a full colour insert of pictures from throughout my life, including my Academy graduation photo.  You can get my autobiography from Easons on O’Connell Street for €28.45 / £13.49 Amazon.co.uk  / $14.02 Amazon.com.


12b

There are three rules: 1. No bright light. 2.  Don’t get them wet.  3. Never feed them after midnight, no matter how much they beg.  Eh…oh sorry, that’s the rules for keeping Gremlins.  The only rule for tribbles is don’t bring them onboard!  Their daily output would match the Rotunda’s yearly production targets.  They are cute though, damn cute.  Pop one in your bag, or give one a cuddle at night – no one will ever find out.  £11.99 from Amazon.co.uk and $9.99 from Amazon.com.

 


 

11b

Who doesn’t love pop-ups?  Perhaps many of you!  I think this would make a great present though. It is so beautifully put together and captures some great Star Trek moments in 3D.  While I browsed through this large book in Easons on O’Connell Street (priced at €31.55) I purposely didn’t look at every page so I wouldn’t ruin the surprise in case someone gets it for me!  Also at Amazon.co.uk for £15.56 and Amazon.com for $20.23.

 


 

10b

The last time I collected a regular magazine two big fat folders of Quest were my pride and joy. It wasn’t until Eaglemoss started their Official Starships Collection that I was willing to part with my cash again on a regular basis!  It wasn’t hard as the quality of these models is excellent. Just squeezing into the top 10 and one of my favourites is Deep Space Nine, which is slightly larger than their regular models. Eaglemoss have worked with some of the original ship designers to bring as much love as possible to these models. There is a nice weight to them and they are easily superior to the old Micro Machines models in both size and attention to detail.  They are die-cast and made from ABS metal. You can pick up the most current model in newsagents across Ireland for €15 but if you want a specific model (like DS9!) you can get them directly from Eaglemoss UK.  They are priced at £18.99 for DS9 while the standard ship models are £9.99.  Prices start at $15 from Eaglemoss in the US.

 


 

9b

Star Trek Enterprise was greeted with mixed opinions from fans when it appeared on our screens.  Arguably a lot more fans were won over by the 4th season but unfortunately it was cancelled.  This is under the tree waiting for me J I’m really looking forward to watching the series in binge mode with some new appreciation for how good this series is.  The extras are meant to be gold dust too where Brannon Braga drops the shields to give a real insight on what went on behind the camera.  I will also appreciate watching the Enterprise NX-01 in all its Blu-ray quality now that I know our new best friend Doug Drexler was the man that designed it!  

£50 at Amazon.co.uk, $129.99 at Amazon.com and €105 at Littlewoods.ie.


 

8b

I’m still waiting on a cheque from George Lucas as I came up with Star Wars Lego way before you could buy it in shops! 😉 Unfortunately Lego does not have the rights to make Star Trek kits, so Kre-o will have to do. Whatever your opinions on Abrams Trek this is still a great model and uses Kre-o’s LightTech bricks.  You could pick it up at a knock down price of €35 earlier this year in Smyths toy stores although I haven’t seen it there recently.  $50 from Amazon.com £44.99 from Amazon.co.uk.


7b

This looks like such a cool amt (glue together) model!  You can build it as a complete USS Enterprise or as a cut-away showing what’s happening on each deck. It should keep you busy over the Christmas holidays!  They have a few in the Forbidden Planet in Dublin for €65.99. $32.99 from Amazon.com and £47.95 from Amazon.co.uk.

 


6b

A beautiful depiction of the ships we love from the Star Trek Universe in stunning backdrops.  The love shown by Doug  Drexler and Margaret Clark in the creation of the images, along with Mike Okuda’s descriptions brings these ships alive.  As Gene Roddenberry said “The Starship Enterprise is not a collection of motion picture sets or a model used in visual effects. It is a very real vehicle; one designed for storytelling. You, the audience furnish its propulsion. With a wondrous leap of imagination, you make it into a spaceship that can take us into the far reaches of the Galaxy and sometimes even the depths of the human soul…”  It would look lovely on the coffee table, although let’s be honest here, this sort of book is in the head of every good starship, and within comfortable reach.  Kind of like the way a Bible was the first piece of décor in a Travelodge room, but don’t dare shove this beauty in a bed-side locker! BTW the edition with the red on the cover is the second edition with 75 more images than the blue edition. £18.95 from Amazon.co.uk , $21.66 from Amazon.com. Take her out!


5b

It’s no surprise really that this book is on my Christmas list!  It’s a fantastic insight by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann into the TNG series over 365 pages with some brilliant never-before-seen photographs.  There is also a similar 365 book concentrating on the Original Series, I haven’t seen it yet but it’s by the same crew so I’m sure it’s great!  $26.55 from Amazon.com / £16.58 from Amazon.co.uk.


4b

I mentioned earlier that Anovos have a fantastic standard of Star Trek uniforms, well here’s a sample!  They are not cheap but they are lightyears ahead of the costumes you can pick up in any cheap costume store. Captain Kirk’s command tunic is $150, Picard’s 5th season coat is $200 and Dr. Carol Marcus’s dress is $250.  Limited sizes.  Available directly from Anovos.


3b

In at number 3 is Star Trek Scene It! I must admit I have never played it, but I’d love to!  Most reviews say it’s a lot of fun, the word in Ten Forward is that it can be quite difficult but surely not for us! $20 from Amazon.comAvailable from a number of suppliers through amazon.co.uk, with prices starting at £7.99.


 

2b

Eaglemoss have struck gold again and are in at Number 2 with their replica plaques from the Star Trek universe. I always wanted to have my own Enterprise D plaque, and now I do! 🙂 They are of very high quality.  Whether it’s Voyager, the Defiant, or the Enterprise, a bridge plaque will make a fine addition to your Star Trek collection. I was initially disappointed as the plaque is about two thirds the size of the TV original, but I quickly got over this due to the sheer quality of it.  The back side of the plaque is totally flat, some sort of catch or screw hole on the back would have been nice!  Make it so Eaglemoss! They have told us that orders should be placed before December 14th so deliveries can be beamed to Ireland in time for Christmas. They cost £19.99 from Eaglemoss UK. Unfortunately it won’t ship for the US market until the new year from here at $19.99.   


1b

I have to admit I’m just slightly biased here as The Next Generation is my favourite Trek series and favourite programme of all time.  I was 10 when the series premiered in the US so it meant a lot to me through my teenage years.  (Who remembers the Starbase Ireland fan club?  Great memories!) I bought TNG on VHS tapes and then in those lovely TNG style DVD boxes. There were rumours for years about whether the series could be upgraded to hi-def, so I’m sure many of you shared my excitement when it was confirmed that CBS would go back to the original 35mm reels and bring it to Blu-ray.  To say my expectations were satisfied is an understatement.  Looking back it’s hard to believe a blurry Deanna Troi ‘helped’ me through my teens!  The extras are fantastic also.  Season 1 includes the main cast all sitting down together discussing the series. Other seasons see those behind the camera look back on their time working on the show.  This is a must-buy if you have a large TV and blu-ray player. Prices start at $25 dollars for a season boxset from Amazon.com or $230 for the whole series! From Amazon.co.uk you can get a season from £22 or the whole series boxset for a fantastic £118.90!  A lot cheaper than they cost me! 😉


 

Let us know if there are any items we should have included by commenting here! Due to the fact that my wife does not ‘get’ Star Trek I always end up buying my own nerdy presents! This inspired me to throw this Star Trek Christmas Shopping Guide together! It will all be worth it if one of you receive a Star Trek present from your non-Star Trek loving friend or partner! Oh and thanks to the staff of Easons on O’Connell Street who ignored me while I put this nice collage together of Star Trek merch that they have on sale!

Happy Christmas!

Ronan.

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10 Things The New Star Trek 2017 Series Has To do.

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As I’m sure you have all heard by now that CBS is making a new TV series of Star Trek. It’s due to air in early 2017 on the coat tails of the franchise’s 2016 50th anniversary. I am a huge Star Trek fan but I’m also a mostly reasonable one. This week the internet went ballistic with hatred for this new show that hasn’t even been written yet. One reason is that Alex Kurtzman who co-wrote the first two reboot films is behind the project. Honestly I don’t think it is really that important who is behind the show, so long as they stick to these 10 very important things.

1) Keep it Star Trek

This is the most important thing that has to happen. Keep Star Trek as it should be. Star Wars is a fantasy in space, “NuTrek” is a Sci Fi action film series. Star Trek the TV show has always been pure Science Fiction that comments on socio-political issues all while being fun with action and adventure. It needs to have heart and make the audience think and ponder. Star Trek aired in 1966 and broke profound social issues on racism and war, putting a mirror up to society. It was this ground breaking social commentary that made Star Trek the dynasty it is today. It’s a tone of morality that is by far the biggest thing missing from the last two reboot films. Without a sense of morals and tone, any new series simply wouldn’t be Star Trek.

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Making History through love

2) Keep the Original Cannon

Star Trek as a TV series, even before the JJ Abrams reboot, kept the feature films very separate from the TV show. Although the films were canon stories, their style, mood and tone were very different. From Star Trek The Original Series (TOS) all the way up to the end of Star Trek Voyager (not to discount the prequel series Enterprise) a whole world of canon, history, characters and rules were long established. Despite the reboots, it would be a shame to stray away from this long fan loved history of 703 episodes that spanned five TV shows. To just disregard the 40 plus years of stories and history that were established to attract new audiences would be a crying shame. Many fans are calling for their dream version of Star Trek. The problem there is that everyone has a different vision. I’ll be happy if the new series is set after Voyager, before The Next Generation or set during the Romulan war between Enterprise and TOS , as long as it’s not the NuTrek alternate timeline. A new series has to add to the legacy, not start over.

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Boldly Going into the Future of TV

3) Be Brave

As much as we love what Star Trek has done in the past the new series has to be different. The new series has to be brave and try new things and stand on it’s own two feet. Voyager set itself up to be a very different show at the beginning but fell back into old routines, never quite rising itself. Enterprise once again tried to be different but took several season to be brave about it. It would be great to see a darker side to Star Trek and the Federation. After all change and progress is the fundamental ethos of Star Trek.

4) Have Cameos

We would all love to check in our favourite characters. The last we heard of Commander Riker, he was Captain of the USS Titan, Worf was ambassador to the Klingon Empire and Janeway was an Admiral. It would be great to have those characters pop up on a view screen of a new ship or for them to pop by for an episode. In the case of a prequel series, Captain Archer could throw in an appearance as a wise admiral. The big thing however is that the new series does have to be able to stand on it’s own two feet just like Deep Space Nine and Voyager did with some small cross over characters in their pilots. Over use of known characters would unfortunately just turn into fan service and result in unlikely stories and scenarios unless it’s done in the right way. For an example of this done badly just see how little sense it makes for Walter Koenig to be in Star Trek Renegades.

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“I should be long dead” (Russian Accent)

5) A New Ship

A new Star Trek needs a new ship and to me, that ship can be any ship. It doesn’t have to be the next Enterprise or an old one for that matter. Despite my personal feelings towards certain characters in Voyager and some of the storylines, adventures on a different ship were exciting and fascinating to see. I would be hesitant to be on the Enterprise F, J or H far in the future and being thrown into a universe we really don’t know, with technology that’s reached a point of being completely magical. This was a pitch made by Bryan Singer about eight years ago. A new ship is essential for the series to work. Trying to recreate the Enterprise E again with a different crew would just be sad and would lack imagination and progression. I’m sure thousands of fans are probably calling out for the return of the TNG crew to a new series, it’s been over 20 years and it ran for seven seasons and four movies. Let it go friends, let it go.

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Enough Now…Enough.

6) A New Enemy

We need a big new threat. DS9 struggled through it’s first few seasons despite some great stand out episodes, it just didn’t connect with audiences well. Then they introduced The Dominion and if you haven’t gone back and watched it, I highly recommend it. It became a fantastic war series. The same in Voyager, they’re ultimate enemy most definitely being The Borg. Since however there has been a throve of novels, comic books and games with The Borg as the main enemy and we are done with them. Janeway crippled them and that’s that. What we do need is a whole new threat to the Federation. A new species that are hard to understand, something truly alien or a well known ally turned foe. The last we checked in with our universe the Romulan home world had been destroyed not long after making peace with the Federation. How interesting would it be for Starfleet to have to now defend and care for their former enemy, against forces trying to take advantage of the fallen empire.

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“We are the Borg. Using us is futile”

7) Have an Overall Story Arch

DS9 and Enterprise changed how Star Trek ran. With the exception of the odd two part special, every other Star Trek series ran with very independent episodes with very little relationship to one another. We rarely got a hint of a new enemy or story direction in TOS or TNG that would later reappear. In DS9 we had The Dominion War span three seasons, an idea that was planted in early season two and was carried to completion in season seven. That show had some great frame work. Enterprise, despite having some terrible story arch’s, still had full season stories. This is how most TV works these days, giving little hints each episode for a big final. It would be a shame for Star Trek not to evolve with TV. The new series is going to be released on CBS’s All Access online subscription channel and I would be very surprised if they’re stand alone episodes in our modern binge watching society. More likely we’re going to get HBO or Netflix style 10-13 episode season that supports one main story like Game Of Thrones, Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

8) A Strong Female Lead

In an ideal world this point should go without saying, however, women haven’t been depicted well in the reboot films. Falling into the Hollywood trope of sex sells, Doctor Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness had the sole purpose of existing to be topless for the trailer.

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“I’m a Doctor. Not a stripper!”

The Original Series sadly is a testament to it’s time and is extremely misogynistic. Thankfully Star Trek evolved. Back in the 90s we had this sorted, in 1995 we put a woman in the Captain’s chair. I personally had a lot of problems with Janeway as a character, but having a woman in command was no big deal and it worked for seven seasons.

DS9 had great female leads in Major Kira and Lt. Dax, the types of characters that TNG just didn’t hold well. I’m looking at Councillor Troy here, she was always so weak. Despite the strong start with Lt. Tasha Yar, her character was never replaced with a similar trope after her death. The closest we got was Whoppi Goldberg and she only made guest appearances. So I’m cool with it whether the Captain is going to be a man or a woman. No matter which way the casting goes the next senior officer has to be of the opposite sex. A Female Captain needs a male 1st Officer and vice a versa. It’s a dynamic that works and creates characters that everyone can relate to.

9) An LGBT Character

As mentioned above Star Trek has a long history of breaking social boundaries and highlighting modern thinking. One fact that has always failed Star Trek is it’s portrayal of Homosexuality in the future. It’s a part of life in the Federation that has only been hinted at and brushed with very lightly. Many writers and producers were very shy about portraying it and the only on screen appearances of homosexual relationships have been two women. David Gerrold wrote an episode of TNG entitled “Blood and Fire” that featured a gay couple. Sadly the show’s producers were terrified of public backlash and they buried the episode. It’s since been adapted as a fanmade TOS episode and you can see it here

 

What we need is a strong, male lead character, a senior bridge officer, somewhere between the Captain to Helm Officer. A man with a position of authority who is just as capable as any other male character, who just happens to be in a same sex relationship with another crew member. The most important thing is that it has to also not be a big deal, it has to be subtly written and portrayed just like any other relationship.

The main reason I’m calling out for a male/male relationship is that unfortunately studio executes wouldn’t be able to help themselves with a female same sex relationship and it would turn into sexy scenarios. For proof just look at the increasing tightness of T’Pol’s cat suit’s in Enterprise and Seven of Nine’s outfit’s on Voyager. Sex sells. But the point of showing a relationship like this is to almost not draw attention to it and to depict it as the norm.

Look at how Caprica did it with Sasha Roiz portraying the cold blooded gangster who was married to a man. Until we saw this character sitting at home entertaining dinner guest holding hands with his husband and offering a tender forehead kiss, there was no mention or attention given to his sexuality.

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Caprica more equal than Star Trek

10) Be Set After Voyager

Now this is just a personal preference of mine. I really want to be able to check in with my favourite characters and see what is going on in the future of the Star Trek universe. However I wouldn’t be heartbroken if we were given a series set between TOS and TNG or any other timeline. I made a comparison to Game of Thrones earlier for a reason. My dream show would depict several locations, with a lot of characters and cameos to work with. Follow a new ship and crew but have us check in with Starfleet Command, visit the USS Titan with Captain Riker and his crew. Lets us see Worf struggle with politics and have all their stories connected. Both Jonathan Frakes and Michael Dorn have been trying to get their own spin off shows made for years. Lets join them all together with a new ship and crew and make some fantastic poignant TV while we’re at it.

So that’s really 9 things I think are very important and 1 hopeful wish for 2017. So what do you want to see in the 2017 from the New Star Trek Series?

Shane