McFarlane Disco Phaser cancelled?


First of all I said “it sounds like a likely reason” because of orange tips. I’m Canadian with family in England. Any members here from the UK know the problems with importing phasers. That problem has been around for a while.


@EWilliams: Yes, Todd did announce the DISCO Phaser and several action figures at the Vegas con last August. In his panel he mentioned that they had been working on prototypes for several months including a trip to the set to 3D scan Sonequa Martin Green for her action figure. While no one personally told me that had the license for a year, it sounds like it to me given their progress at the time.



Yeah I think people here need to be more honest with themselves regarding the potential success of a ‘toy laser gun’ based on a not-so-good semi-reboot of a SciFi show for adults distributed as an experiment on a paid web platform. The CBS licensing expo was just last week, and the primary goal is win potential licensing deals. Licensors must gauge the potential sales before signing up to make product. So I’d say it looks like Disco products are just not that popular with mass audiences, and the 500 or so diehards who frequent online message boards like this one aren’t enough to justify the full run of McFarlane phasers. This is a far more likely scenario than what has been suggested so far here regarding political motivations…


Amen to that…and thank you for expressing it…succinctly…uh…logically.


The show is all over the place with fans and newcomers and could likely be risky to get onboard for toys. It is not as successful as CBS claims. We will see after the 2nd season when supposedly Spock will appear. Have you seen the photo of the USS Enterprise Bridge? Put the damm show in the Kelvin Timeline.


I agree, Disco is in a weird place considering it was technically profitable before anyone even saw a single frame. The international distribution rights bought by Netflix were lucrative enough on it’s own to guarantee a second season, which means that it really doesn’t matter what CBS’ streaming numbers actually were. And the fact they’re having no luck selling their license to toy-makers proves that.

Regarding the image of the Enterprise Bridge that’s been floating around, that’s just fan art. It’s not actually from the show.


Given CBS and Netflix are not disclosing the viewership we have no way of knowing what sort of numbers a potential licensee would be looking at. Presumably McFarlane would have performed a market analysis prior to spending money on R&D and a license fee. Both of which I’m certain have been paid for as they made public announcement of the planned product, something they wouldn’t legally be able to do without having secured consent either in the form marketing analysis or a license.

The closure of Toys R Us isn’t enough to scrap a planned product you already spent money on. They would adjust their strategy just as every toy maker will do, including increasing their presence at Kohl’s as I’ve seen at my local store. They easily tripled the toy dept in the last year. Amazon is a huge market with Prime delivery and in some cases, same day delivery.

We can only speculate unless the company makes a statement and even then, how much will be a PR spin and how much will be truth is another subject. Most businesses operate free of emotional encumbrance so we can safety preclude it is a monetary decision. They may have done a secondary market analysis or relied solely on the pre-sale numbers and concluded the cost to benefit ratio was too low and a risk assessment too high. Better to cut the losses where they are and close the project.

I’d bet a few in the R&D dept have a Disco Phaser on their desk though…


I live in the UK, and have in the past have imported from Japan Airsoft RIF’s. No orange tips and by their nature, looking more like a firearm than a phaser. I doubt this would have been a major factor in McFarlane’s decision. I say best wait to see what they have to say directly.


I just watched the second season episode of that toy documentary on Netflix that was about Star Trek and how the merchandising was so badly managed over the years. It was truly painful to watch what was basically an advertisement for McFarlane toys at the end. It’ll be really disappointing, no matter the reason, to see them also mismanage the brand after participating in that extremely recent episode. The documentary also thoroughly kissed DST/Art Asylum’s ass. They did great stuff for a short duration, but how long do they really need to come out with the TNG Season 3+ phaser?

I’m still hopeful, though, that after all of the money they would have spent on the licensing and R&D that they’d still come out with the phaser.



So it may in fact be a CBS license issue. Not in them granting one but rather with the restrictions tied to its issuance and how those may be in conflict with a model retailers/McFarlane find marketable.


It sucks because I’m a disabled vet and on disability so some of the other options are out of my price range


Well, it does appear to be an issue with regulations around toy fire arms.


They’re very vague, but it sounds like they didn’t want to release it in a form that was too inaccurate, and the regulations wouldn’t allow that? But they don’t really say anything specific, so who knows.


Vague about the specifics within the reason but not the reason itself. Lots of conjecture as to why they were cancelling or possibly just delaying this item. Now we know. This is due to regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of toy guns.


I still don’t accept this explanation.

Mainly because I don’t for a minute believe they don’t know people older than 4 will take the accuracy to the next level and painting the orange tip is of zero consequence to someone wanting to modify it.

To someone unwilling or not wanting to modify it will most likely be happy as it is.


Regardless, it’s not going to happen and that’s that. People will have to be happy with the Rubies version until something else comes along…



That is not an absolute. They may yet release it.


That’s what I was thinking, too, that people that really want it are going to get it anyway. The ones I’ve seen moaning the loudest on Facebook about the orange tip probably weren’t going to buy it anyway. I’d gladly have this phaser with the orange tip and either paint it or leave it as is. I’ve got two of the old DST phase pistols, and they still have the orange tips. I’ve just been too lazy to try and modify them, but I was also never butt hurt about it like some are being.


I gotta imagine that after they have put this much time and money into tooling, packaging, etc, that they would really like to salvage the product. Hopeful… :confused: