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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Polar Lights logo

Polar Lights Models was the model-making division of the toy company Playing Mantis, set up in 1994 with the specific intention to re-issue Aurora Plastics Corporation's signature monster and science fiction kits of the 1960s and 1970s. The company's name itself was an homage to "Aurora" (both references to the northern and southern polar lights). Apart from the figurine kits, the company also produced scale models of famous vehicles from various TV and movie projects, such as the Ghostbusters ECTO-1 and the Back To The Future Delorean Time Machine.

In 2003, Polar Lights started to release Star Trek model kits, including some not previously released designs, having been given the license as then owner of AMT/Ertl (hitherto the regular licensed manufacturer of Star Trek model kits), Racing Champions, showed no interest to develop the Star Trek line any further. At that time, no Star Trek model kits had been marketed for four years. Unfortunately, Playing Mantis itself was acquired late 2004 by the same Racing Champions and production of new model kits was halted immediately by the new owner, which resulted in 2006 in the announcement of Polar Lights' closure, due to the elimination of the brand. [1]

Yet, a year later, the product line of Polar Lights was sold to Round 2 LLC, which also acquired AMT the same year, and the brand was revived in 2008, resulting in that all US-based licensed Star Trek model kit manufacturers were once again under one roof. In June 2009, Round 2 indicated that they would start releasing entirely new models under the Polar Lights brand, including the Enterprise from Star Trek (slated for 2010 release, postponed to 2011, and finally canceled in 2012), in addition to other kits, by 2010.

Star Trek releases

Item Scale Release Item No. Notes
USS Enterprise 1:1000 2003 PL4200 This kit can be built in three versions: the Enterprise seen in "The Cage", that seen in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and the standard "production version" seen in later episodes
2008 POL803 Re-release of PL 4200; acquisition by Round 2; new numbering; two issues in 2008 each with different box art
2012 POL889 Lunchbox tin edition
1:350 POL880 Same size as original three-foot studio model; based on Gary Kerr's research; original detailed tooling; with interior bridge, shuttlebay and in-scale Class F shuttlecraft; avant-premiere edition for "1701 Club" subscribers, limited to 1701 pieces and regular edition with differing box art [2]
Polar Lights Model kit PL4200 USS Enterprise 2003 Polar Lights Model kit POL803 USS Enterprise first issue 2008 Polar Lights Model kit POL803 USS Enterprise 2008 Polar Lights Model kit POL889 USS Enterprise 2012 210px 210px
Enterprise NX-01 1:350 2003 PL4201 Featuring over 200 pieces and clear parts for lighting
1:1000 2005 PL53028
2008 POL807 Re-release of PL53028; acquisition by Round 2; new numbering; two issues in 2008 each with different box art
PolarLightsEntNX01 Polar Lights PL53028 Model kit Enterprise NX-01 2005 Polar Lights Model kit POL807 Enterprise NX-01 first issue 2008 Polar Lights Model kit POL807 Enterprise NX-01 2008
Klingon Template:ShipClass Battle cruiser 1:1000 2003 PL4202 This kit can be built and labeled as either the standard Klingon version or the Romulan version seen in "The Enterprise Incident"
2008 POL806 Re-release of PL4202; acquisition by Round 2; new numbering; two issues in 2008 each with different box art
Polar Lights Model kit PL4202 Klingon Battle Cruiser 2003 Polar Lights Model kit POL806 Klingon Battle Cruiser first issue 2008 Polar Lights Model kit POL806 Klingon Battle Cruiser 2008
Star Trek Nemesis Reman Template:ShipClass fighter 1:33 2003 PL4203 Comes with Jean-Luc Picard and Data figures for the cockpit
PolarLightsScorpion
USS Enterprise-A (or Refit) 1:350 2004 PL4204 Featuring a full interior shuttlebay, three small shuttlecraft, TMP-Style Work Bee pod, botanical garden, conference room and VIP lounge; includes a large number of clear parts to facilitate lighting of the kit; two box variants
2009 POL808 Reissue of PL4204; acquisition by Round 2; new numbering; new box
1:1000 2010 POL820
PolarLightsEntABox1 PolarLightsEntABox2 Polar Lights Model kit POL808 USS Enterprise-A 2009 Polar Lights Model kit POL820 USS Enterprise 2010
USS Enterprise (alternate reality) 1:2500 2011 POL836 This kit was developed using Ryan Church's CGI scans provided by ILM from Star Trek. Slated for 2011 release[3], eventually canceled in 2012
USS Thunderchild 1:1000 TBA TBA to be confirmed[4]

All the above kits are snap-together style and featured detailed decal sheets. No glue or paint were included with the kits.

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