Star Trek is looking to rejuvenate with a Starfleet Academy series in production.
According to the New York Times (via CBR), a youth-centric series set in and around Starfleet Academy is officially in the works. There’s no word yet on anything other than what the New York Times article reported, but with Star Trek: The Merchandising Potential of Prodigy, another show aimed at a demographic younger like Prodigy could make this a huge project for Alex Kurtzman and company.
Prodigy brought great merchandise creators, like Playmates, back to the Star Trek brand. Star Trek, like every show and franchise, exists for one purpose; make money. Merchandise helps achieve this goal. Prodigy is gearing up to make tons of money when Playmates action figures relaunch and feature the new Prodigy characters.
The line could explode, like 2009’s Playmate stock line for that year’s Star Trek movie, but it’s also very possible that Prodigy will be a huge hit, at least in the toy aisle. If successful, more and more shows will be aimed at younger audiences. This Starfleet Academy series might just be the start.
Marketing to young fans is a smart business strategy
Fans of all ages spend money on the things they love, but fans’ parents spend the most money on the things their kids love. As someone who grew up in the 90s and owned the Playmates line of Star Trek action figures, I can attest to the amount of money my dad spent on me on action figures. It was absolutely the most fun thing I had as a kid. While some would argue that toy lines can’t compete with video games today and that may be an outdated idea, that’s not true. Home video games have been around since the 70s and were actually fun to own since the 80s.
Children still wanted toys back then. They will always want toys now. So will collectors for what it’s worth.
One of the most popular lines of action figures produced by Playmates was the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy TNG crew variants. Sure, Worf looked 50 and William Riker looked like Star Trek’s version of Cyclops from the X-Men, but they were awesome and fans loved them.
A series like the one set around Starfleet Academy could either be an animated show designed to sell toys, or a teen show that can focus on other forms of merchandising. Perhaps closer to something like CW’s Smallville or Arrow.
Beyond the merchandising possibilities with this teen-centric show, it will also give many fans their first taste of what Starfleet is really all about. Most fans didn’t dive into the Expanded Universe the way others did. This show would be a good starting point in this expanded tradition. As long as it’s done right, that is.
While the idea of attracting a younger audience may not sell to some fans, it’s a good idea and helps ensure that the fanbase exists far beyond the original few generations of fans. .