This exquisitely made screen replica of the original Star Trek Communicator won’t beam you up, but it will connect you to Siri or Google Now.
It was too tempting to resist. “Does it work like that?” I enquired, rhetorically really, because I was going to try anyway. I flicked my wrist and sure enough, the cover flipped open and that familiar, instantly recognizable chirp-chirp-chirp sound followed. I grinned ear to ear, and Richard Blakesley, director of The Wand Company and maker of this amazing piece of tech said, “Even people who say they aren’t Star Trek fans smile when they do that.”
I was holding the Star Trek Communicator. Not the real one handled by Captain Kirk in the Original Series, but as close as it’s possible to get, and not only is it a nigh-on perfect replica of the famous device, it’s right up to date with smartphone connectivity and the ability to chat to Siri or Google Now. To paraphrase The Firm, it’s the future, Jim, but not as we know it.
The Wand Company has experience when it comes to making beautiful, screen accurate props, having produced a Star Trek phaser, Doctor Who’s Sonic Screwdriver, and a Harry Potter-style Bluetooth wand already. The Communicator is a step beyond, and is the result of two-years painstaking work. To say it’s impressive is an understatement. There is a single complete Communicator from the series left, and it’s owned by a secretive collector in California. The team managed to get some time with the model, and were permitted to take 3D scans to build the version you see here.
Examine it closely, and the details shine through. The grill in the bottom left originally came from a transistor radio, while the buttons came from slot car wheels on the prop, and are exact replicas taken from the original pieces. Even the amazing, hypnotic spinning moire pattern is there, and the metal surround has machined, beveled edges, and a matching gap underneath for the speaker — just as it all was on the prop. Even the instruction manual has been lovingly created, down to a beautiful rendered image showing the Communicator in one of the Enterprise’s mission control rooms.
Where no Bluetooth device has gone before
However, this is more than just a replica for hardcore fans. It actually works. Just to clarify, it won’t connect you with the Enterprise, but thanks to Bluetooth, you can make and receive voice calls from your phone using it. Press one of the buttons, and it activates your phone’s virtual assistant. You can mount it on the wireless charger to use it as a hands-free speaker phone or to play music. The button on the right is a tiny joystick, and when you push it around in various directions, it plays clips from the show.
The Communicator comes in a presentation box, along with a wireless charger that doubles as a stand to display the device on your desk, and a leather pouch to keep it safe on team missions. It all comes together in a very special package that’s hard to resist. It’s surprisingly light, the textured plastic is grippy enough that it won’t fly out of your hand when you flip open the top, the jewels glow and flash, and it feels extremely well made. We absolutely love it.
Even for the casual Star Trek fan, it’s marvelous, and for the Trekker, it’s probably a dream come true. Whether we’d actually use it out in the real world is another thing — although the thought of answering a call by casually flicking up the cover is really enticing — but as something to show off, or as the finishing touch to our Captain Kirk cosplay, it’s fantastic. The Star Trek Communicator will go on sale at the end of June, and you’ll need to boldly go to firebox.com in the U.K. with 120 British pounds, or ThinkGeek.com in the U.S. with $150 to get one.
- Faithful to the original prop
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Easy to setup
- Siri and Google Now interaction
- Feel like Captain Kirk/Scotty/Spock/Uhura*
*Delete as appropriate for your cosplay/personal preference
- Didn’t beam me anywhere when I asked