The Copycats - Star Trek TOS
Prop Replica Reference Guide
Starfleet Command - Galactic Supply
This company was started by an individual that legally changed his name to the Captain of the Enterprise on TOS. None of his products were actually made by him from scratch, as most replica makers from that time did. He put out a catalog, and advertised in issue # 6 of Starlog magazine, heralding his products. Later on, due to his poor business track record, and bad business reputation, he also sold under another catalog name: “Galactic Supply”.
Years active: 1977-1994 (sporadic)
Phasers: 75-100 (cast aluminum and polyurethane lower halves)
Medical scanners: 50
Production run amounts are approximate.
His Phaser was a copy of The Starfleet Research version 1 unit, however his phaser body was made of sand cast hollow aluminum, and his hand unit was vacuum formed plastic. Hand unit did have prismatic Starfleet Research style tape, aluminum hollowed out midplate, and sometimes aluminum cut and glued on thumbwheel. Phaser did have machined aluminum nozzle, dilithium crystal cell door, and trigger. All again copies of Starfleet Research’s metal work. This unit was never sold with any electronics, but was advertised as being available with electronics in their catalog “coming soon”. It also must be noted that this phaser had 3 rear fin details as opposed to the 4 rear fins that Starfleet Research has on their unit. In addition, this phaser was copied from a very early Starfleet Research unit that had Velcro on the left side of the grip. Apparently, Starfleet Command removed the Velcro and left that side flat when they cast their unit, unlike the Starfleet Research later ones.
Left and above is the first early issue of the Phaser from the 1977 catalog. Note the same rear knob as Starfleet Research. The power meter reads "S" units, which came from another CB, supposedly, but not a Radio Shack unit. In addition, there was a recessed "window" above the nozzle, as well as the aluminum lock release shield was installed over it. In later issues, the recessed window and shield were omitted to just a flat area, with no shield at all.
Below is a later issue unit from the early 1980's. Note different rear knob, lack of overall quality and detail. This particular unit was delivered to the buyer 4 years after ordering from the catalog with a return address from a law office.
Restored early issues units by the author
His communicator was a copy of the Bruce Wegmann/Dave Heilman communicator. Vacuum formed plastic, aluminum parts, and brass plated steel antennae grid. 3 types sold:
Light up w/analog chirp
Light up flashing LEDs only
In addition, his black plastic shells went through some changes. His early comms were more defined, and had simple jewels attached for the indicator lights with no surrounding collars, and his control knobs were concave with no middle hole detail. His later units sometimes had painted, and not plated grids. In addition, as time went on, the shape of his shells changed to a more “chunky/fatter” look and the definition was poor. On last runs, grids were of very poor metal quality and hole diameters were too tiny or too large, and poorly painted and oriented on the surrounding wire. His functional unit had a large circuit board that ran off a 9 volt and had analog chirp and flashing LEDs. His last “functional” units had only flashing LEDs (no sound) and the back cover was glued in place with a 9 volt battery installed within. Quality of his final run was very poor.
First Run static unit - 1977 from their catalog
Pictured above right and left : MK II working Communicator advertised in their catalog 1977 flashing LEDs and analog sound. Acquired by the author in 1981.
Above - This particular example was made by the company, and considered for use in the upcoming " Star Trek Phase II " series that was scrapped in favor of the Motion pictures. Note slightly rounded and different upper shell, and concave smooth control knobs without middle holes. approximate production period 1977-1978
Pictured above and left : This was the beginning of the decline in quality at approximately 1984.The company contracted another individual that still hawks his wares today.He came up with the idea of putting a sloppy blob of solder on top of one of the hinge wheels of the comm so that the micro switch could be activated. Pretty visually lousy idea but then again at this point, it didn't matter. To make it worse, 3 blinking LEDS were installed and ran off a 9 volt battery . The back was glued on.
Final Production Run
Above images reflect the final run of the company of which, this unit was made in approximately 1992. They are now using grid metal with larger holes which is painted, and an early poor quality on board digital circuit board was installed. Along with a paper thin speaker akin to what is used in present day greeting cards. In addition, he was using a Steve Horch/HMS Moire disc and collars for the LEDS. Very fat shell body, poor quality vacuum forming, poor quality trimming, and of course the infamous glue on back. In addition, the circuit was not very reliable and rarely worked for long. Pictures courtesy from the collection of William Marseglia.
Approximate years produced: Between 1983 - 1990 thereabouts. Production amount: More than 500 units.
The above unit was made and sold by an associate of Starfleet Command. He does not have an individual category, since he obtained his shells and parts originally from them, and later made parts on his own. Made with later issue fatter inside detail shells, with grid having larger holes than Starfleet Command's, but nicely plated and manufactured. Moire disc had no ridges, and of course incorrect Tricorder moire graphic. Jewels were pressed into metal "button" type fittings resembling wardrobe or some other decorative attachments. They were sold primarily at conventions, and also through some resellers.
They were sold 2 ways:
Do it yourself kit w/instruction sheet
Again, this was a copy of the Bruce Wegmann/Dave Hielman offerings, however, as with all of this company's products, his quality, although his early units were nicely made for what they were, was inferior to the Wegmann/Hielman units.
Tricorder was vacuum formed plastic, with aluminum parts. Some did surface with tricorder lights and sound, but it cannot be known for a fact that those features were installed by the company. In their catalog it was offered, but to date, no functional units are known to be made by them. In addition, his last run units kept diminishing in size as he did not keep up on retooling his plaster molds. Very poor quality last runs so much so, that side panels shrunk in height to almost ¼ of an inch lower than they should have been, and in the kits, faceplates had to be cut down in all around diameter in order to fit in shrunken hood. Poor detail as well.
Pictured above: first issue unit from their catalog - 1977. Note smooth concave knobs without middle holes, and communicator moire design was used in the disc, instead of the correct design that was changed in later units.
Above: later issue 1979 or thereabouts - note control knobs updated to have holes and moire pattern changed to accurate style.
On a final note, this company was also notorious for long delays in shipping products ordered, and in addition, many purchasers did not get their orders at all. Whenever the company did show up at conventions to sell, they had to make good on whomever would show up at their table demanding product they paid for by mail and never received. In addition, this company also ran into legal issues with Paramount as customers were contacting the studio & Roddenberry assuming this company was connected to them. There were also issues they ran into with the Postal authorities. They were subsequently settled, but the company still kept running afoul of being integrous in filling orders and delivering them in a timely manner, or in fact, delivering them at all.