Inoperable Phaser Will Run You $500

Inoperable Phaser Will Run You $500

A new phaser replica is selling for $500, but despite the "dustbuster" in its name, it does no actual cleaning.

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Phasers in Star Trek were pretty ridiculous when the original series aired, being on par with the ray gun designs out of the 1950s. The Next Generation provided the phaser design that so many of us have come to associate with the franchise these days; if you're willing to shell out $500, you can be the proud owner of the Star Trek TNG Dustbuster Hand Phaser Prop Replica. The good news is that it looks like a real phaser but the bad news is that it does no actual dusting.

"Affectionately named after Earth's favorite dust bunny removal device," the product description says, "the Star Trek TNG Dustbuster Hand Phaser Prop Replica comes with a slick black display base and batteries, to give you the ultimate in futuristic self-defense equipment! With a working LED and awesome sounds, this collectible prop is going to look fantastic in any armory, office, or convention."

If this was a high-end, limited edition, replica/dustbuster, the $500 pricetag might seem a little less unreasonable. The problem, though, is that "dustbuster" was apparently stuck in the title because of the way the replica looks and for no other reason. That means all you're going to get for your money is a model that lights up and makes some "awesome sounds."

You know, I had a toy phaser that looked and sounded like the real deal when I was growing up. After some investigative journalism (I called my mother and asked how much she spent on it), I found out it cost about $30 at the time. Granted, it wasn't as highly-detailed as this replica, but I'm not sure this level of craftsmanship is worth half a grand.

Source: Entertainment Earth via Geek.com

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What to buy? This or the TARDIS? Choices...

I never liked the TNG design of phasers. I mean look at them, they're TV remotes! You can't even aim them!

Also, this phaser totally is operable. I really don't see how people keep calling that a real life lightsaber! It doesn't even utilise plasma! It's way closer to a Star Trek phaser in actual function.

It looks nice, ill admit, but...its a little, pricy? I supppose hard core collectors will love it though!

I think ill stick to the Cheap ones from Toys 'R' Us.

If i was to want to get one, Chances are it would be for a fancy dress party.

All Fancy dress parties ive been too since i turned 18 (now 21) have involved excessive drinking, And ive never come home with my whole outfit.

Girls like to nick parts of your outfits, be it a hat, or a toy sword.

If my $500 phaser went missing, I'd drop a bollock.

buy this and stick that star wars light saber laser thing on the end. Viola, you've got a working phaser.

Or you could make one yourself for less than a $100 $50.

Why would I buy this when I could buy a (almost) working lightsaber cheaper and it comes from a better series?!

Okay, this confuses me. Someone care to explain how it's a dustbuster? That isn't in the title at all...

Never watched Star Trek, does it have something to do with that?

they couldn't have gone with the sleeker design from later in the series?

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The old dustbuster models were ugly as hell.

-m

Zayren:
Okay, this confuses me. Someone care to explain how it's a dustbuster? That isn't in the title at all...

Never watched Star Trek, does it have something to do with that?

it looks approximately like a dust-buster?

-m

Zayren:
Okay, this confuses me. Someone care to explain how it's a dustbuster? That isn't in the title at all...

Never watched Star Trek, does it have something to do with that?

It's the model used in the early The Next Generation seasons. It's big and was nicknamed the "Dustbuster" due to it's resemblance to the portable vacuum cleaner of the same name. Later down the line they replaced it with a less goofy model.

I agree ... what the heck did they make it out of? Solid gold? I love Star Trek, but not that much!

thenumberthirteen:

Zayren:
Okay, this confuses me. Someone care to explain how it's a dustbuster? That isn't in the title at all...

Never watched Star Trek, does it have something to do with that?

It's the model used in the early The Next Generation seasons. It's big and was nicknamed the "Dustbuster" due to it's resemblance to the portable vacuum cleaner of the same name. Later down the line they replaced it with a less goofy model.

Okay, thanks.

"The problem, though, is that "dustbuster" was apparently stuck in the title because of the way the replica looks and for no other reason"
No. Dustbuster was the name given to it by the fans of the show and by the people on set during filming due to it's resemblance to a dustbuster. That name was thrown in because that is the style of phaser that it is, which is necessary information when trying to find a specific model in the sea of different phasers you'll no doubt find on the internet.

This is the kind of item that you don't notice the incredible difference in it unless you are obsessed with star trek. If you're the kind of person to translate shakespeare into klingon and send former cast members your prototype klingon condoms (both things that people have actually done. Also: RIDGED FOR HER PLEASURE HAHAHAH I AM SO FUNNYS LOLOLO) then 500 dollars is a small price to pay for the right level of detail in a prop.

No, I wouldn't buy it either. But it's not FOR us. This is a very specific niche-market item. Hence the high price.

Seriously, people are willing to shell out money for this?

I rather get a fake M-16 toygun and have continous roaring of that gun, all fake with lights for like..10 euros. 500 bucks is NOT worth that.

Hell, I rather get that lightsaber that actually has a dangerous laser beam!

Combine that with a Spyder 3 and I'd buy it.

yeah, when Lucasfilm came out with replica lightsabers they cost $120 for the really nice ones and they had a shaft that lit up just like in the movie and made the sounds when you moved it and even made the sound of lightsabers colliding when you whacked someone with it, and they are pretty sturdy. so in this particular instance Star Wars wins.

Well, at least I can still get a high-powered laser for around $200...

So it doesn't blow; it sucks.

These props were only ever used in season 1 of the TNG, it's just one of the many things that were wrong with that season. Owning a prop that highlights a major flaw is not my idea of money well spent.

... $500 for a toy phaser.

Good GOD, I bet the friggin' PROP didn't cost that much!

Cowabungaa:
I never liked the TNG design of phasers. I mean look at them, they're TV remotes! You can't even aim them!

Also, this phaser totally is operable. I really don't see how people keep calling that a real life lightsaber! It doesn't even utilise plasma! It's way closer to a Star Trek phaser in actual function.

I remember reading that when putting together TNG, the politics of Roddenberry and his wife were getting the better of them. Despite Gene passing on, he had a lot of say in how things were developed and were going to look. The design of the phasers were something people commented on from the very beginning, and I remember hearing that making them look like dust-busters was intentional because he wanted to give the impression that the phaser was more of a tool that could be used offensively than a dedicated weapon, so he wanted to change the design to seem less gun-like.

One has to understand that Star Trek is fairly disturbing when you look at it beyond the obvious. When Gene passed on a few writers subtly "went there". The fundemental idea is a hard core socialist future, with the idea that "big brother" actually is benevolent. Of course this is more or less unworkable despite the pie in the sky view of some of it's creators. A few things you might have picked up on (which were there for this reason, and apparently involved some arguements) are things like Star Fleet (which you see everything through the eyes of) recruiting only the best and the brighest of each generation on each planet. Despite the character being... obnoxious, Wesley Crusher was supposed to be the Davinci of time, space, and energy or something and he FAILED to graduate Star Fleet Academy the first time (stop and think about this for a second). When you see civilian planets you see situations with people walking around in matching drone jumpsuits, living as peasant yeoman farmers (Picard's brother), or existing in dystopian urban hellholes like the planet Tasha Yar came from or Picard visited while undercover as a mercenary. So basically your looking at an enviroment of what amounts to elitist military oppression.

The point isn't so much to argue those points, but simply that when this was all being conceived, and Roddenberry was in debates with other writers about how this was all supposed to work, he very much decided that he wanted to try and change some of the imagery, to hopefully move people away from those thoughts. Of course when he was gone people progressively jumped on it and showed things that he tended to gloss over.

Allegedly the whole flashback scene to Tasha's homeworld was something he didn't approve of, and while it came later firing her was supposedly a matter of politics, and not just the Playboy spread (the politics continueing after Roddenberry was gone).

Supposedly the politics involved, both actual, and interpersonal, are also one of the big reasons why Viacom doesn't want to mess with Star Trek and has tried to pull away from it so many times. It's not just fans, but also the fact that if they approve any project they will get a whole differant faction of people all over them screaming murder. Apparently it got to the point with some of the later episodes that writing was taking place by committee.

Or such is what I've heard.

At any rate all of this rambling about the Phaser aside, I imagine with a $500.00 price tag that this is a collectible that will increase in price. Doubtlessly aimed at hard core collectors with a limited production run, in a couple of decades people will probably be willing to pay ten times what this thing costs now.

NickCaligo42:
... $500 for a toy phaser.

Good GOD, I bet the friggin' PROP didn't cost that much!

Haha, I hadn't even thought of that, and the original television show had a low budget, so the original thing was probably a pile of crap that cost 10c to construct and was held together with prit stick and string. Though by now it's probably residing in some very old fan's basement with an approximate value of $78,942.

Baron_BJ:

NickCaligo42:
... $500 for a toy phaser.

Good GOD, I bet the friggin' PROP didn't cost that much!

Haha, I hadn't even thought of that, and the original television show had a low budget, so the original thing was probably a pile of crap that cost 10c to construct and was held together with prit stick and string. Though by now it's probably residing in some very old fan's basement with an approximate value of $78,942.

I can almost garentee the prop was made of, like, cardboard or something. You'd be shocked at how cheap-looking the props on a show WITH a budget actually are when you see them in real life. Those desks on news shows? In a lot of cases it's cheap plywood that's been hastily painted over. My kitchen counter is made of better stuff than they use on CNN. That desk sure looks good on the camera, though, doesn't it? Same with other props, and I'm willing to bet the Phasers were no different.

 

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