Wrath of Khan Phaser
Diamond Select Toys

Wrath of Khan Star Trek phaser by Diamond Select Toys

You're having a tough day. Your boss, or your co-worker, or the person in front of you in line at the Target check out, has just displayed truly idiotic behavior. Said behavior is making your bad day worse, and let's face it - it's all about you. You throw back your head, look to the sky, and scream "KHAAAAAANNNNN!".

Of course you do, because you're a Star Trek fan. If you were a big Streetcar Named Desire fan, you'd scream "STELLLAAAA", but that would make this ridiculously irrelevant, and I try to only be ridiculously irrelevant every other week.

For most fans, the second film "The Wrath of Khan" was the best big screen Trek flick released, at least until J.J. Abrams got his hands on the franchise, do in no small part to Khan Singh.

Ricardo Montalban reprised his role as Khan, Kirk's nemesis with a grudge. Although he has been in almost 200 movies and television shows, it is this role (in a dead heat with Fantasy Island) that future generations are most likely to remember.

With the upgrade to the movies, the show's basic tools got an upgrade as well. The Khan phaser was distinctly different from what we'd seen in the original show, and now Diamond Select has released their take on it, built from the original diagrams and including both light and sound features.

It's available at many online shops right now, and you may find it at your LCS as well. Expect to pay around $25 or so.
Wrath of Khan Star Trek phaser by Diamond Select Toys
Wrath of Khan Star Trek phaser by Diamond Select Toys
Wrath of Khan Star Trek phaser by Diamond Select Toys
Wrath of Khan Star Trek phaser by Diamond Select Toys
Wrath of Khan Star Trek phaser by Diamond Select Toys

Packaging - ***
The package shows off the phaser pretty well, but lacks the usual 'try me' feature. The battery, buried under the Type 1 phaser on top, has one of those small plastic tabs to avoid battery discharge, but it's also in a place that's unreachable until the toy is freed.

Sculpting - ***
I've seen this phaser modified by some customizers to be more accurate to the film, and those models can pull big bucks on ebay.

That's due largely to the fact that while this is technically a toy, the overall attention to detail and accuracy is extremely good. For a very good price it gives them something  of quality to build off of.

This is actually two phasers of course - the large Type 2 phaser, and the smaller Type 1 phaser that fits inside the larger handle. The smaller phaser is held in place with a VERY strong magnet that keeps the electronic contacts in place.

Unlike the older style phaser, this Type 1 has a bit of a rough looking back edge. This is due to the overall design of the Type 2 phaser, a phaser I have to admit to not liking as much as its old school cousin.

The one real nit with the overall sculpt is the trigger. On the actual version, the small button in front is the trigger, but here there is a larger cut out section on the front of the handle. The small button is sculpted on the handle, but pressing it actually moves this section back as the trigger. It's not as attractive as the real deal, and does make this look a bit more toy-like.

Paint - ***1/2
The exterior is done in an attractive metallic silver, and is very even in finish and color. It seems to me like it was a bit more of a metallic blue in the film, but this is probably one of those situations where the on screen color and real color of the prop didn't match up.

There's a cool multi-color reflective sticker that runs around the top section that adds some pop to the plain silver, and of course the light features (which I'll discuss more in the next sections) add quite a bit as well.

Sound Feature - ***
The phaser makes a number of firing sounds, depending on which lights are activated. In fact, I think there's four or five different sounds, but it's tough to tell at times because some are very, very close to each other.

The type 1 and type 2 phasers both emit the same sounds, not too surprising since the buttons on top are the ones that control them.

The speaker is loud and clear, easily heard over normal conversation, and is optimally positioned right up front.

Light Feature - ***1/2
The lights are even better than the sounds, with a great combination of effects. There are six small lights on top which light up differently as you press the button labeled with the arrows. Depending on which lights are blinking, the phaser makes a different sound. The lights also blink differently when the phaser is firing.

To round off the light effects, the large on/off button on top lights up brightly. It also emits a noise (sadly, I forgot to mention that in the previous section!), when turning on or turning off.

To round things off, there's also a 'phaser beam' light, emitted from the front of course. Being a reddish light, it's not as bright or easily visible under normal room lighting, but in a dimmed room it looks pretty good.

Fun Factor - ****
If you're going to the Con as an older Kirk, then this is the phaser for you. It's perfect for co splay, with enough detail to be interesting but not so much that it costs an arm and a leg. Sure, you can get much more accurate, high quality versions of this phaser, but at many times the cost you probably won't want to drag them around on Halloween or at the local sci-fi con.

Value - ***1/2
While this isn't quite a 'prop replica', it's certainly more than your average toy, too. At $25, you're getting a great deal either way.

Things to Watch Out For -

Overall - ***
I have to admit my bias - I never liked the newer STOS phasers as much as the originals. They are sleeker, and a bit more futuristic I suppose, but there's something about the older versions that simply looked more lethal and realistic to me.

Still, if you're looking for a cosplay phaser from the films, then this is the one you should be checking out. The price is really reasonable considering the quality of the lights and sounds, and this is the perfect toy for the Star Trek geek.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***1/2
Sound Feature - ***
Light Up Feature - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Things From Another World has the phaser at $24.

- Mike's Comics N Stuff has it in stock at $25.

- Big Bad Toy Store has it at $25.

- Urban Collector has it for $25.

- Alter Ego Comics has the phaser for $25.50.

- Entertainment Earth his it in for $28.

Related Links -
Star Trek goodies include:

- the last full size phaser I looked at was the STOS version from DST (along with their Communicator).

- I also checked out one of the DST released Tricorders.

- the last wave of figures I looked at was the fourth series of TNG figures.  

- the other most recent reviews were also from TNG, including Barclay and Geordi, and the Riker and Worf wave.

- the last wave released to general stores included the Gorn and Kor. I also reviewed Vina, but separately, since it took me awhile to find her.

- check out the second wave of TOS figures to see how things have continued to improve.

- there's a great guest review of the first wave, along with a guest review of some of the Trek mini-mates.

- Enterprise wasn't left out - they were actually some of the first figures done by Art Asylum. 

- Art Asylum did their first yellow shirt Kirk as a SDCC exclusive.

- and let's not forget that long ago (not that long ago), Playmates did their Trek line, including the 9" figures like Amok Time Kirk and Spock.

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Wrath of Khan Star Trek phaser by Diamond Select Toys

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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