(written from a Production point of view)
Furuta is a Japanese company which produced a Star Trek "gashapon" line called the "Federation And Alien Ships Collection" and was released in three volumes between 2003 and 2006.
In 2003, Furuta delved into the Star Trek universe with the release of small-scale injection-molded plastic models of starships and space stations with their release of first volume of the Federation and Alien Ships Collection. Volumes Two and Three followed in 2004 and 2006 respectively. What made these collections remarkable was that aside from well-established ships, Furuta also produced ships that were rarely touched upon by other licensed companies including the Prometheus-class, Olympic-class, Nova-class and the Species 8472 bioship.
These models were pre-painted and surprisingly detailed for their size and required a small amount of assembly as they were "snap-fit" models and required no glue for assembly. Furuta's line was sized larger than its contemporary competitor Romando, which also released a gashapon Star Trek line at around the same time. Konami and F-Toys also released Star Trek gashapon lines in later years.
Furuta also released the "Star Trek Pins Collection" in 2006. It was a gashapon line of enamel pins which featured twenty unique insignia from the Star Trek franchise.
|Futura Star Trek blind boxes|
|Volume 1||Volume 2||Volume 3α||Volume 3β|
Bandai is the company which trademarked the term "gashapon" for the combining of candy and toy models into a single package. The term "gashapon" has become very common in Japan as a generic term for all manufacturers of these "candy toys". More recently, the term "gashapon" has also come to signify "blind box" trading figures, referring to a line of small-scale toys, figurines or models that are sold in identical sealed boxes. This means that many gashapon packages must be purchased in order to complete a toy series.
The combining of candy and toy models is now common in Japan as many candy companies traditionally have included toys with their products as enticers, often packaged in such a way that they can be dispensed from vending machines. "Gashapon" gets its name from the sound the box makes when falling down as the vending machine dispenses it. In the case of some companies, the candy is included so that their toys can be sold on supermarket shelves.
Rarer "secret" or "chase" items are often included in a series to boost sales and are produced in smaller quantities than the regular items in the series. This method of collector-focused marketing has a strong resemblance to trading cards sales methods. Typically, a "gashapon" line is a singular unrepeated release which can cause the more sought-after releases to become highly valued collector's items.
Federation And Alien Ships Collection Edit
|Federation and Alien Ships Collection, Volume 1, 2003|
|Deep Space 9||1:15700|
|Species 8472 bioship||1:437|
|Federation and Alien Ships Collection, Volume 2, 2004|
|Jem'Hadar attack ship||1:1250|
|USS Enterprise (original series version)||1:2175|
|Future USS Enterprise-D||1:6300|
|USS Enterprise-E||1:5125||"Secret item"|
|Federation and Alien Ships Collection, Volume 3α, 2006|
|Federation and Alien Ships Collection, Volume 3β, 2006|
|USS Rio Grande||1:306|
|Borg cube & sphere||n/a||"Special item"; Cube lighted; late addition after Vol.3 was already released, as is evidenced by the 2004-style stand|
- Scale info courtesy of Starshipmodeler
Star Trek Pins Collection Edit
Each insignia pin was packed individually and came with a display stand.
- TOS USS Enterprise Command division
- TOS USS Enterprise Sciences division
- TOS USS Enterprise Operations division
- Films II - VI with officer's patch
- DS9 & VOY
- TNG alternate
- Mirror universe Starfleet
- Bajoran Militia
- Borg Collective
- Cardassian Union
- Vulcan IDIC
- Starfleet Medical
- Romulan Star Empire
- United Federation of Planets
- Ferengi Alliance
- Klingon Empire
- TMP revised patch
- Furuta.co.jp - official site