Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Collectible of the Week: Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Action Playset (1975; Mego)


I've featured other 1970s Mego playsets here on the blog (from Flash Gordon, Planet of the Apes and The Wizard of Oz to name a few...), but this Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise "Action Playset" was the toy of choice for a generation of Trekkie kids.

This mock-up of the U.S.S. Enterprise interior (bridge and transporter room) was a "giant, 24" long command center," "with captain's chair, console, two stools" plus six interchangeable "viewscreen scenes."  The set comfortably housed all the Mego Star Trek figures of the era, and, while not very show accurate in terms of design, was nonetheless a great home base for any Starfleet crew.

The coolest aspect of this famous Mego toy, no doubt, is the spinning transporter chamber.  You could place a landing party team member inside the chamber, spin a blue wheel, and then hit a red button to beam him down (to the outside of the playset....  Another spin and a touch of the green button would bring him back aboard.  Meanwhile, the yellow zig-zag/checkerboard details made it appear as if the crewman's atoms were actually spinning madly about. 

It sounds incredibly simple, but this toy feature is really captivating.  My son Joel is not yet a devoted Star Trek fan, but he loves to play with the transporter chamber on this Mego collectible. 

I remember lots of good times playing with this particular toy as a boy.  I still have my original playset, which also features a handle and the capacity to fold up for mobile play.  My old one is all ripped up, however, so last year for Christmas I purchased this "repro" of the playset from Diamond Select.  All my photos here are of that re-do of the classic toy.

I must have cherished this Mego playset as my favorite of all toys...until in 1976 Mattel released the three-foot long Eagle Transporter toy from Space: 1999, perhaps my favorite collectible ever.

Below, you can check out a 1975 commercial for the Mego U.S.S. Enterprise action playset, featuring the transporter and other features in all their glory...


8 comments:

  1. Wow! My absolute favorite Christmas toy of all time. In later years I still remember the terrible things that happened to some of the figures. Someone cut off one of Spock's ears with a scissor. Was really mad about that. Also I believe our dog chewed up the leg of the Gorn.

    My favorite part of this set, strangely, (and I think I referenced this in one of my previous responses to a post of yours) was the cardboard viewscreens which could be swapped in and out. And of course the transporter was fantastic.

    Lastly - here's a picture of my living-room in 1975L http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2qv8kf4&s=6

    Thanks John!

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    1. Hi Big Nick0,

      I loved and appreciated seeing your picture of the Star Trek Enterprise playset from 1975. Amazing! Brings back such nostalgia!

      I can understand totally why this is your favorite playset of all time. I had so many hours of fun playing with this toy in the 1970s.

      The cardboard view screens were great, and for me, nothing beats that crazy and inspired spinning Transporter platform.

      Thanks for a great comment, Nick. It's nice to read about your love for this toy.

      best,
      John

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  2. Anonymous12:48 PM

    John this was the greatest Star Trek adventure playset toy for me too as '75. Like you John, myself as a boy in 1976, the Mattel Eagle 1 Transporter playset was my favorite toy. It survived my countless hours of play over the years with my friends back then and I still have it stored today in the original box in excellent condition.

    SGB

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    Replies
    1. I'm going to have to a post about the Eagle again, SGB. That's another fantastic 1970s-era toy too, to be sure.

      I'm gonna start taking photos of it soon, for a post here!

      Thanks, SGB, for a great comment, and for the continuing toy love.

      best,
      John

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  3. One of my all-time favorite toys... I still have mine too! The seams where the "wings" of the set open up have split, so it's basically three separate pieces now, but other than that, it's in good shape, which I think must be a testament to how well Mego built this stuff. Like BigNick, I loved the cardboard viewscreens -- in fact, I think I had them hanging on my bedroom wall for a while after I'd stopped playing with the rest of my Star Trek toys.

    I also have the Eagle 1, although it's in pretty sad condition. I was always trying to recreate the crash scene in the show's opening credits. :) Look forward to your post on that one...

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    1. Hi Jason,

      My original (not the Diamond-Select repro) suffers from the same damage as your bridge play set, my friend. The seams are starting to split. I put that one away in the Diamond Select box to prevent further damage and put out the repro in the hub and flow of my office.

      And a Mattel Eagle fan as well? Were we cloned at creation? My eagle is in good condition, except the manufacturers' glue has yellowed on the white plastic, which kind of ruins overall sheen of that gorgeous toy.

      I can only imagine your re-creation of that crash... :)

      best,
      John

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  4. BTW, John, the toys are back, and they'eve even added some extra characters as well:

    http://drmego.fatcow.com/store/page2.html

    http://www.apieceoftheaction.net/2011/07/dst-emce-spotlight-captain-pike-mego.html


    http://www.apieceoftheaction.net/2009/10/aa-dst-spotlight-chekov-mego-style-emce.html

    http://www.apieceoftheaction.net/2011/07/aa-dst-spotlight-salt-vampire-mego.html

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lionel,

      Nice to see you, my friend. Thank you for sending these links. I can see I better make some extra money in the near future, so I can purchase these...

      best,
      John

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