When Star Trek: The Next Generation was just about to wrap-up its seven-season continuing mission in the early ’90s, Playmates Toys started putting out action figures and other such toys for kids to play with and boldly go where no backyard had gone before. I remember having a small Starship Enterprise that opened up to reveal a tiny bridge playset with little Picard, Riker, and Data guys, and a phaser that opened up to reveal some other playset (the shuttle craft maybe?) which had a Geordi and Worf figure. I loved these things, but I never thought one day one of them would be a real thing; I mean, I couldn’t possibly turn that phaser into an actual functioning weapon, could I?
Well, no, I couldn’t; that’s impossible.
However, one keen fan and technical wizard HAS made the Tricorder toy a reality. Well, a movie-prop reality anyway. Nick Acosta (not to be confused with singer Nikka Costa) has gutted an old Playmates medical Tricorder toy from TNG, removed the basic LED light-ups and things, sanded down the jagged edges, and stuck an old iPhone 4 in there to be the new video screen. He made a video to show off the “functioning” features of the new Tricoder. It looks pretty cool, eh?
That got me really excited…could he REALLY have made it do all that? Well, no. He made it show all that; Acosta actually just created visual effects to display on the iPhone for the purposes of the video. He shot stuff on the iPhone and combined it with Flash animation created by Lcars.Org.UK, who in turn based it on the heads-up display and readouts created by Star Trek production designer Mike Okuda. It had me legitimately fooled for a bit. But even if it doesn’t work FOR REALS, it’s still a damn-near-perfect replica prop that does a whole lot more than the silly toy ever could.
See below for the VFX video as well as a gallery of the Tricorder looking awesome.
Were you fooled? What Star Trek prop would you like to see in real life? Let us know below!
HT: Cargo Collective