Not too long ago, at the Destination Star Trek event in London, Star Trek Nemesis earned a great deal of attention. Jeri Ryan revealed the interesting fact that the character of Seven of Nine was initially considered for an extensive role in Nemesis. Denise Crosby spoke about her idea at the time that Sela could also have had a role in the film. Nemesis was a topic of conversation at the special reunion of the Next Generation cast, too. With all that attention on Nemesis, we thought it would be fun to time travel back to December 13, 2002, and look at some of our favorite merchandise available at time of the film’s premiere.

A month before the film hit theaters, fans could go to local toy stores and get four 7” action figures (Captain Jean Luc Picard, Data, Shinzon, and his Viceroy) produced by Art Asylum. These were some of the very first Trek figures ever made utilizing the then new imaging and scanning technologies. The Official Star Trek Fan Club Communicator Magazine at the time featured a making-of article by Jim Brumbaugh showing how the actors, attired in their costumes, had their likenesses scanned in a machine that looked as if belonged to the Star Trek universe itself, producing some of the most detailed action figures to date. Eventually, Diamond Select Toys, a current Trek action figure licensee, brought Art Asylum into their fold, and the company continued to release Nemesis-themed action figures all the way until 2009. Added to the line were Geordi LaForge, Worf, Beverly Crusher, and a two pack of Deanna Troi and William Riker.

One of the most innovative designs from Nemesis was the Scorpion attack fighter. Both Hallmark Cards and Polar Lights produced Scorpion collectibles. From Hallmark Cards, for Christmas 2003, a Keepsake Ornament based on the Scorpion was available. More immediately, in 2002, Polar Lights created a snap together model that included a miniature Picard and Data.
Licensee Rittenhouse Archives Ltd. created a set of cards from Nemesis that was available on November 20, 2002, three weeks before the film. Fans who could not wait to learn the story could get an excellent picture of what was in store for them through the 45 story cards, 17 “Quotable” cards, 8 behind-the-scene cards, 27 “Romulan History” cards, 6 technology, 7 “Casting Call” cel cards, 2 chase cards that joined together for a wedding photo, and assorted autograph and chase cards. Throughout the years, Nemesis has also been included in other sets by the company, including their “The Complete Star Trek Movies” set.
Del Taco had the license for Nemesis restaurant premiums. Hungry fans eating at Del Taco at the time of the film could obtain “Fun Cups” decorated with Trek characters, try to win a Trek-themed contest, and buy Nemesis decorated gift certificates.
Star Trek Generations was the first of the Trek films to really utilize the nascent Internet for promotion. By the time of Nemesis, the film took full advantage of the Internet and computer technologies to help fans learn more about “a generation’s final journey.” For example, the official webpage offered loyal fans who frequented the site unlock codes for Internet trading cards featuring images and voices of the characters. A company named Internet plc offered a Romulan themed, then state-of-the-art SmartCard Nemesis reader and various cards that were precursors to today’s flash drives. These cards gave fans planet tours, making of information, video clips and interviews.
In the film, Shinzon uses the metaphor a mirror, arguing that he is a mirror to Picard.  The same could be said of the collectibles of Nemesis which are a mirror reflecting what the society, franchise, technology, and fan interests were at the time, more than a decade ago when the film premiered.

Special Thanks: Dan Madsen


Maria Jose and John Tenuto are both sociology professors at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, specializing in popular culture and subculture studies. The Tenutos have conducted extensive research on the history of Star Trek, and have presented at venues such as Creation Conventions and the St. Louis Science Center. They have written for the official Star Trek Magazine and their extensive collection of Star Trek items has been featured in SFX Magazine. Their theory about the “20-Year Nostalgia Cycle” and research on Star Trek fans has been featured on WGN News, BBC Radio, and in the documentary The Force Among Us. They recently researched all known paperwork from the making of the classic episode "Space Seed" and are excited to be sharing some previously unreported information about Khan's first adventure with fellow fans. Contact the Tenutos at or
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