Saturday, September 19, 2009
Return of the Starfleet Utility Belt...
The new Starfleet utility belt from Playmates Star Trek movie line is a welcome addition to an already great toy line. The folks at Playmates have really impressed me this year with their wide range of products based on the new film. The utility belt is a great toy for kids, the kind of toy I would've gone crazy for as a kid and would've gotten hours of fun and imaginative play out of.
The packaging is very nice and exciting since it gives kids a look at everything thats included on the set and once you open it up you'll find some of the coolest looking toy replicas available right now for any movie or TV show. The only complaint I have about this set is that the belt can only be adjusted up to 28 inches, but it wouldn't be too difficult to rig something up in order to extend it by adding some width to it for the back so adults can wear it too. The holsters for the communicator and the phaser are pretty sturdy and the previously released electronic movie phaser and communicator fit perfectly in them. The perfect way to play with this is to add the electronic phaser since the one this set comes with has no lights or sounds, but the phaser in this set looks much better than the previous one which suffered from a weird dulling and peeling of its shiny coat.
The big draw here for kids is the electronic unit in the belt which features lights and sounds and the ability to receive a series of messages from Starfleet for either Kirk or Spock so kids can decide what character they want to play as. The messages send kids on a variety of missions. You also get great sound effects like the transporter beam and communicator chirp.
The delta insignia in the middle of the utility belt buckle lights up -- yellow for Kirk and blue for Spock. Another great little detail which makes this toy even cooler. By placing the communicator in front of the insignia kids can hear all the messages from Strarfleet sending them on eight different missions.
I really love the way these accesories look. To me they are just as good as any prop out there at the cost of a toy. This is the kind of toy that offers kids the ability to use their imagination while at the same time making them feel closer to being a part of the movie. Kids can continue the adventure with their friends long after having watched the film. When I was growing up I used to love playing out scenarios from my favorite films or TV shows with my friends. The new generation of Trek fans are very fortunate to have such a great variety of toys to continue the adventure for the next couple of years until the next voyage of the Enterprise hits the screen.