Thursday, January 28, 2010


While we do not indulge in such activity, there is little denying that cosplay, the compulsive drive to dress up as a fictional character, is profoundly geeky in nature.  Until now, we have overlooked the phenomenon, as we've always considered it relegated to the fringe of the fringe.  But recent events have given us cause to reconsider.  Indeed, it seems this trend may extend far beyond the range of the small subculture we'd believed and instead represent a wide range of the population.

The market has in fact spoken.  In the past, companies such as Sideshow Collectibles and Master Replicas have released products facilitating this activity, but they've generally sold these in editions limited to the thousands.  But a new tie-in to the recent Star Trek film has achieved an impossible level of interest from literally millions of fans eager to dress up and pretend they are crew members of the Enterprise.

What's more astonishing is the company producing this prop.  As impossible as it may seem, a facsimile Star Trek data pad has been produced by Apple Computers, and everyone from major media outlets to insane conspiracy theorists writing from their parents' basement are carrying the story.

The implications for this sudden and unexpected interest in Star Trek merchandise are both frightening and intriguing.  We expect these newly-awakened geeks to descend upon comic shops in droves and buy replica phasers and communicators to accompany their iPads.  Within a week, we conservatively predict, Klingon communicators which once sold for $19.95 will be going for hundreds of dollars on eBay.  And if you were planning on attending a Star Trek convention before the franchise becomes anachronistic in 2258, then you may want to buy your tickets and book a hotel room now.

It does deserve noting that some of the light and sound features may appeal to a small niche audience which isn't even aware they're purchasing a Star Trek prop replica.  But, ultimately, we doubt many of the millions eagerly awaiting this product are interested in what amounts to half a netbook with a touchscreen.

No, in our analysis, the vast majority must be Star Trek cosplayers.

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