(written from a Production point of view)
|1977-1981 (outside US)|
|2010 (Japan only)|
Aluminum Model Toys (AMT) was the original producer of Star Trek model kits and acquired the license on 1 August 1966, almost two months before the premiere of Star Trek: The Original Series. This licensing deal was brokered between Gene Roddenberry and Stephen Edward Poe, an employee of an advertising firm which had been retained by AMT for marketing and communications purposes.
With the 1966 deal, AMT is one of the earliest known, if not the earliest, companies to hold an official license to produce Star Trek-related merchandise on a commercial basis and therefore one of the cornerstones of what was later recognized as the Star Trek franchise. As it still holds the license as of 2018, AMT is presently the oldest and longest surviving franchise partner of Star Trek.
Troy, Michigan-based AMT started out in 1948 as a manufacturer of model cars and trucks, both as model kits and as finished display pieces made for marketing purposes. Model kits became the company's core product line in the mid-1960s and Star Trek models were the company's first foray into producing products other than automobile and truck kits. In a reflection of this, AMT needed a company to build both full-scale and scaled automobile mock-ups (typically out of wood at the time) to promotional ends, as well as to manufacture the templates or masters in order to construct the molds from which the parts for their model kits were extracted or cast. To this end they asked Gene Winfield to start and head a subsidiary company, Speed and Custom Division Shop. Set up in Phoenix Arizona, Speed & Custom Shop, the more commonly used abbreviation, started operations in 1966.
AMT ended its existence as an independent company in 1977 when it was acquired by Lesney Products, the owner of Matchbox. In 1981, the die-cast toy and model kit manufacturer Ertl Company acquired AMT from Lesney and established the AMT/Ertl brand and logo in 1982.
The AMT/Ertl brand came to an end in 1999 when the company was acquired by Racing Champions, now known as RC2 Corporation. The combined company was then re-branded as Racing Champions/ERTL. However, the acquiring company was traditionally a toy and die-cast model manufacturing company, and had no affinity with model kits, the production of which virtually halted after AMT/Ertl was taken over. The company redefined its mission in 2003 and AMT/Ertl was split into its original components, ERTL originally being a die-cast model manufacturer. In 2007, AMT was sold to Round 2 LLC, its current owner.
Since then, after a hiatus of nearly a decade, AMT model kits were again released on a regular basis, though the majority of them are actually re-releases of previously released kits, with relatively few newly conceived kits sprinkled in.
Star Trek associationEdit
AMT was given the rights in 1966 to produce models based on the show in exchange for helping out Desilu Studios with the construction of set pieces when needed. Stephen Poe was instrumental in brokering the deal, who in return was also was given free access to the studio lot which eventually resulted in the book The Making of Star Trek. The details of the deal were negotiated by Ed Pearlstein of Desilu and Don Beebe of AMT, and closed successfully on 1 August 1966, starting the decades-long association between the franchise and the model kit company. For Producer Robert Justman, this was a godsend as the production costs for the upcoming episode "The Galileo Seven" were spiraling out of control, as he stated in a memo he sent Roddenberry, evidently relieved, "'[Pearlstein] has made what I consider a very advantageous deal and has accomplished this at a time when everyone thought all was lost." (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, 1st ed, p. 304) Through their subsidiary at the time, Speed & Custom Shop, AMT was called upon to construct the studio model of the Galileo Class F shuttlecraft as well as the full scale interior and exterior mock-ups. Also produced at the Speedshop was the studio model of the Klingon D7-class, which originated from the desire of AMT to do a follow-up of the very successful USS Enterprise model kit – over a million copies sold at that time according to Matt Jefferies (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, p. 66). Specifically designed for AMT by Jefferies, who also created the construction blueprints for the previous and subsequent outing in the Star Trek model kit line, one of the two solid wooden "master tooling models" (templates for the molds from which the production model kits were to be cast) fabricated, was immediately appropriated by the studio (struggling at the time with severe budget cuts) for use as filming model in the third season of Star Trek: The Original Series, betraying its origin as a master for model kit manufacturing by not having internal lighting rig. The Enterprise and D7 model kits were the only model kits released while the series was still running, before its cancellation in 1969. As the series began to pick up popularity in syndication, AMT, starting in the early 1970s, resumed further expansion of their Star Trek model kit line by releasing versions of Romulan Bird-of-Prey, a model of Spock, the Galileo shuttlecraft, a standard exploration set (communicator, phaser, and tricorder), the bridge, and Deep Space Station K-7.
During the period 1966-1972, AMT chose not to market the Star Trek name outside of the US themselves. During that period, Aurora, another noted model kit company, leased AMT's molds and released the models outside of the US. Though the molds were the same and even the packaging was, besides the imprint, virtually identical, legally, Aurora's releases of the four models were not associated with AMT. The Spock figure kit originated from Aurora but a reciprocal leasing agreement gave AMT the exclusive rights to release the figure in the US. AMT bought the Spock figure's tooling from Aurora in 1976.
It should be noted that it was Matt Jefferies who drew up the construction plans for the first three outings in AMT's Star Trek model kit line, that of the Galileo included, in his spare time and in initial conjuncture with Poe, but that both men were excluded from any and all royalties arrangements resulting from their hugely successful sales. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, 1997, p. 173) From this it could be inferred that the Galileo model kit was slated for a release during the production of the Original Series, but that its cancellation had postponed the release until its renewed popularity in syndication.
The company retained the license through the 1970s, and, at the time owned by Lesney (1977-1981), eventually produced kits for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In 1981, the company was bought by Ertl, becoming AMT/Ertl. In 1984, after having renegotiated the license the previous year, the new combination began releasing Star Trek model kits, starting with reissues of some of the previously marketed kits under a new numbering system. The company began a true expansion of their Star Trek line with kits based on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine models followed in the 1990s, as well as more ships from the subsequent eight motion pictures. During the live-action Star Trek production in the Berman-era, the company did not acquire the license for Star Trek: Voyager, which went to Revell-Monogram, nor for Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek Nemesis, which went to later sistercompany Polar Lights. The last new AMT kits of the Berman-era were released by 1999. Later that year the company was acquired by Racing Champions.
Releases of Star Trek model kits went dormant as the new parent company was trying to decide in what direction it would evolve. A half-hearted attempt to revive the line occurred when re-releases were announced, of which only four were marketed in 2005 under its original brand "AMT/Ertl", though the company by that time was already split up in its two original components. Those four kits were the only releases of the AMT line that were marketed in eight years. However, in 2007, AMT changed hands yet again, this time acquired by Polar Lights owner Round 2 under whose ownership AMT (sporting the original imprint of AMT) started the run of re-releases in 2008 with a commemorative edition of its very first Enterprise model kit – (though the Enterprise kit was not a reissue of the original kit, but was instead a reissue of the model from much later renditions of the tooling, and was substantially different from the original AMT Enterprise model from 1966.)
In 2010, Round 2 sub-licensed the manufacture of four former AMT/Ertl Star Trek model kits, representing the Enterprise's B through E, to model kit company Platz Co., Ltd. as limited editions for the Japanese market only. The four kits eventually produced were marketed as "Platz-AMT/ERTL" products; they were released prior to AMT/Round 2's own re-issues that started one year later. To date, Platz has been the only company that has been given an international model kit sub-license, as Round 2 LLC administers the international marketing of their products themselves.
The history and development of the AMT Star Trek line was featured in the "Star Trek" episode of The Toys That Made Us in 2018. In the documentary collectors and toy experts alike, favorably credit AMT as the first bonafide Star Trek merchandise company, as their 1966-1972 releases were not only closely associated with Star Trek, but also highly accurate for the times, in stark contrast to, for example, the contemporary toy releases of Remco. Former Star Trek production staffer, but then "trekkie", Doug Drexler spoke for all his contemporaries when he commented on the first kit release, that of the USS Enterprise, "[T]he model kit was pretty close. It was the best thing that we had. I still remember vividly opening it up, and being able to be intimite with all the little parts of the Enterprise, I mean the impulse engines, the intercoolers, you know where the bridge was. To actually be able to see these things, I was flipping out!" Gene Winfield has also made an appearance in the documentary, commenting on his company's contributions to the AMT releases.
Star Trek releasesEdit
|Starship Model Kits|
|Item||Brand||Scale||Issue||Item No.||Notes||Box art|
|USS Enterprise||AMT||1:650||1966||S921||Issued with rudimentary lighting option|
|1968||S951||Re-tooled and renumbered; new box; enhanced lighting option; varying plastic colors were used|
|1973||New box art; enhanced decal sheet (sister ships)|
|1975||New box format; re-tooled; no lighting option from this issue onward|
|AMT/Lesney||1979||PK5102||European reissue of S951; Matchbox imprint "Yellow Crown Range"|
|AMT/Ertl||1984||6676||Reissue under new numbering scheme; logo not yet adjusted but slightly adjusted box art to reflect new ownership|
|1989||Reissue, new horizontal format box|
|1:500||1996||8790||"Cut-away" version; option to have the model built as "open" or "closed "; scale on box erroneously stated as 1:650|
|AMT/Round2||1:650||2008||AMT609||Limited edition (1701 pieces); Reissue of 6676; Tin box with art print. Retooled to remove the grid from the saucer|
|AMT610||"Legacy" reissue of 6676 in 1966-style packaging ; Retooled to remove the grid from the saucer|
|2009||AMT640||Reissue of AMT609, cast in blue plastic|
|2011||AMT695||Reissue of AMT609 Includes 2 in-scale Tholian web-spinners; Includes USS Defiant(NCC-1764) decals; cast in phosphorescent plastic|
|1:537||2015||AMT891||Improved "Cut-away" reissue of 8790|
|Klingon D7-class Battle cruiser||AMT||1:650||1968||S952||Issued with lighting option|
|1975||New box format; no lighting option from this issue onward|
|AMT/Ertl||1991||6743||25th Anniversary reissue with new stand; labeled as "Original Edition Klingon Cruiser"|
|AMT/Round 2||2011||AMT699||Collector's edition; re-issue of S952; tin box with poster box-art; cast in light-green with chrome parts. New Decal sheet. Holes for lighting the head removed, 2 grills removed from top of 'wing', 2 small lights on 'head' made much smaller|
|AMT720||Re-issue of S952; cast in light-green with chrome parts; new decal sheet, as with AMT699 holes for lighting the head removed, 2 grills removed from top of 'wing', 2 small lights on 'head' made much smaller|
|Galileo 7 Shuttlecraft||AMT||1:35||1974||S595|
|AMT/Ertl||1991||6743||25th Anniversary reissue with new decals, horizontal format box, and retooling of windows|
|Exploration Set||AMT||1:2||1974||S958||Comprises phaser, tricorder and communicator extremely inaccurate and about 1/3 the size of the 'real' props|
|1975||New box format|
|USS Enterprise Bridge||AMT||1:35||1975||S950||Included scale figures of Kirk, Spock and Sulu|
|AMT/Ertl||1991||6007||25th Anniversary reissue with new decals and retooling of figures|
|AMT/Round 2||2013||AMT808||With additional wall panel to complete bridge, and parts to compose 6 characters, and much better decals|
|AMT/Lesney||1979||PK5106||European reissue of S957 as "Romulan Space Ship"; Matchbox imprint "Yellow Crown Range"|
|AMT/Round2||2011||AMT665||Re-issue op S957, 1975 style packaging|
|AMT666||Collector's edition; re-issue of S957; tin box with poster box-art|
|Space Station K-7||AMT||1:7600||1975||S955||Included small, in-scale model of the USS Enterprise|
|AMT/Lesney||1979||PK5105||European reissue of S955; Matchbox imprint "Yellow Crown Range"|
|AMT/Round2||2010||AMT644||Reissue of S955 in 1976-style packaging|
|AMT645||Collector's edition; reissue of S955; tin box with Tribble|
|USS Enterprise-A (or Refit)||AMT/Lesney||1:537||1980||S970||Star Trek: The Motion Picture imprint|
|PK5110||European release; different box art; Matchbox imprint "Yellow Crown Range"|
|AMT/Ertl||1984||6675||Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Moulding has inaccurate panel lines added from this issue onward, causing the original issue to be called the 'smoothie'|
|1985||Star Trek III: The Search for Spock imprint|
|1987||6693||Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home imprint|
|1989||6693||Star Trek V: The Final Frontier imprint; included a shuttlecraft at 1:230 scale|
|1991||6959||With lights and sound effects|
|1992||8617||Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country imprint; reissue of 6693; limited to 5,000 pieces; included Galoob's Enterprise-D toy|
|AMT/Round2||2018||AMT1080||First-time reissue of 8617 under new ownership; new: metal support rod and updated decals (no aztec)|
|Klingon K't'inga-class Battle cruiser||AMT/Lesney||1:537||1980||S971||Released only as "Klingon Cruiser"|
|PK5111||European release; different box art; Matchbox imprint "Yellow Crown Range"|
|AMT/Ertl||1985||6682||Star Trek: The Motion Picture imprint|
|1992||8229||Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country imprint|
|AMT/Round2||2012||AMT794||First re-issue of the model in twenty years|
|PK5112||European release; different box art; Matchbox imprint "Yellow Crown Range"|
|AMT/Ertl||1984||6679||Star Trek: The Motion Picture imprint; reissue under new numbering scheme|
|1985||Star Trek III: The Search for Spock imprint, though the model never appeared in that film|
|AMT/Round2||2009||AMT641||Improved release, with magnetic attachment and revised detailing|
|1995||8772||Contains fiber optic lighting|
|8793||Star Trek Generations imprint|
|1996||8400||"Plus Pack"; contains glue, paint and brush|
|AMT/Ertl-Platz||2010||GDS8138||Sub-licensed Japanese reissue; improved decal sheet|
|AMT/Round2||AMT656||"Special Edition"; cast in transparent styrene for lighting purposes; replacement release for announced but canceled kit AMT643 which was an intended re-issue of 6619; Two issues in 2010, each which different box-art|
|1:1400||2016||AMT955||50th Anniversary "Cclear Eedition" for lighting purposes; removable saucer section|
|Klingon Vor'cha-class Battle cruiser||AMT/Ertl||1:1400||1992||6812|
|AMT/Round2||2017||AMT1027||First-time reissue; retooled clear parts; metal support rod|
|Runabout USS Rio Grande||AMT/Ertl||1:72||1993||6741|
|USS Excelsior/USS Enterprise-B||AMT/Ertl||1:1000||1994||6630|
|1995||8761||Star Trek Generations imprint; retooling of 6630|
|AMT/Ertl-Platz||2010||GDS8136||Sub-licensed Japanese reissue; improved decal sheet|
|2016||AMT843||50th Anniversary NX-2000 or NCC-2000 versions; Improved molding tools|
|Deep Space 9 Space Station||AMT/Ertl||1:3300||1994||8778|
|1995||8764||Includes fiber optic lighting|
|AMT/Round2||2012||AMT751||New decal sheet; cast in clear plastic for lighting purposes; includes 1:2500 USS Defiant model|
|Klingon Bird-of-Prey||AMT/Ertl||1:350||1995||8230||Star Trek Generations imprint|
|1997||6339||Includes "Flight Display" base, transparent mount for floating in mid-air appearance|
|unknown||"Plus Pack"; contains glue, paint and brush|
|AMT/RC2||2005||38389||Presented as B'rel-class|
|AMT/Round2||2011||AMT664||Improved tooling; includes optional landing gear|
|2016||AMT949||50th Anniversary reissue; revised wing baffles and landing gear parts; Star Trek: III version|
|AMT/Round2||2011||AMT667||Reissue 8766; improved tooling|
|2012||AMT714||Limited "Clear Edition"; cast in transparent plastic for lighting purposes|
|1997||8398||"Plus Pack"; contains glue, paint and brush|
|AMT/Round2||2014||AMT845||First-time reissue under new ownership|
|Cardassian Galor-class Ship||AMT/Ertl||1:750||1996||8324|
|AMT/Round2||2017||AMT1028||First-time reissue under new ownership; updated version with clear parts|
|1999||30065||Star Trek: Insurrection imprint|
|AMT/Ertl-Platz||2010||GDS8139||Sub-licensed Japanese reissue; improved decal sheet|
|AMT/Round2||2009||AMT613||Reissue of 6326|
|1:1400||2013||AMT853||Cover art by John Eaves|
|USS Enterprise-C/USS Yamaguchi||AMT/Ertl||1:1400||1999||8001|
|30065||"Pro Shop""; cast in clear plastic; featuring lighting rig|
|AMT/Ertl-Platz||2010||GDS8137||Sub-licensed Japanese reissue; improved decal sheet|
|1:1400||2011||AMT721||Reissue 8001; with battle damage decals|
|Romulan Warbird||1:3200||2012||AMT753||Reissue of one piece from kit 6858; new decal sheet|
|F-104 Starfighter||1:48||2017||AMT953||50th Anniversary "Tomorrow is Yesterday" edition; USS Enterprise in very small scale for forced-perspective display|
|Pre-painted Starship Models|
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701||AMT/Round2||1:2500||2015||AMT914-1||"Ships Of The Line" series; pre-painted, snap-together, 11 pieces|
|USS Reliant NCC-1864||AMT914-2||"Ships Of The Line" series; pre-painted with stick-on saucer rim decals, snap-together, 11 pieces|
|USS Defiant NX-74205||AMT914-3||"Ships Of The Line" series; pre-painted, snap-together, 6 pieces|
|Klingon D7 Battle Cruiser||AMT914-4||"Ships Of The Line" series; pre-painted, snap-together, 10 pieces|
|Multi-Piece Starship Model Kit Sets|
| 3-Piece Space Ship Set|
Contains the USS Enterprise, Klingon D7 Battle cruiser, Romulan Bird of Prey
|AMT||1:1600||1975||S953||First 'mini kit'; contains in-scale models|
|AMT/Ertl||1984||6677||Reissue under new numbering scheme|
|1989||Reissue with new packaging|
| 3-Piece Star Ship Set|
Contains the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, NCC-1701-A, NCC-1701-D
|1991||6005||25th Anniversary chrome plated edition|
|1995||8787||Includes "Flight Display" base, transparent mount for floating in mid-air appearance|
|AMT/RC2||2005||38387||Reissue under new numbering scheme|
| 3-Piece Star Ship Set|
"Adversary Set" containing Romulan Warbird (1:3200), Klingon Bird of Prey (1:1400) and Ferengi Marauder (1:3700)
|AMT/Ertl||Multiple||1989||6858||First issue of the "Bird of Prey" (with movable wings); only issue of the Ferengi Marauder until 2012|
|AMT/RC2||2005||38390||Reissue under new numbering scheme|
|3-Piece Star Ship Set|
"Legendary Space Encounter" contains the USS Enterprise and two D7-class Klingon Battle cruisers
|AMT/Ertl||1:2200||1996||8254||Featuring fiber optic display, and episode audio clips from TOS: "The Enterprise Incident"|
| 3-Piece Star Ship Set|
Contains the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B, NCC-1701-C, NCC-1701-E
|AMT/RC2||2005||38388||Reissue under new numbering scheme|
|3-Piece Star Ship Set|
Contains the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, NCC-1701-A and NCC-1701-B
|2-Piece Adversary Set|
Contains "Klingon Bird of Prey" (with movable wings) and "Ferengi Marauder"
|2012||AMT752||Reissue of two pieces from kit6858; new decal sheet|
|3-piece Star Trek: The Motion Picture Set|
Contains K't'inga-class, USS Reliant, refit-USS Enterprise
|1:2500||AMT762||"Cadet Series", new toolings K't'inga-class and USS Reliant|
|3-piece Star Trek: The Original Series Set|
Contains D7-class, Romulan Bird-of-Prey, USS Enterprise/original
|2013||AMT763||"Cadet Series", new toolings D7-class and Romulan Bird-of-Prey|
|3-piece Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Set|
Contains USS Defiant, the USS Saratoga and the Galor-class starship.
|2014||AMT764||"Cadet Series", new toolings|
|2-piece USS Enterprise Set|
Contains two differently scaled models.
|2015||AMT913||"Build 2Gether", parent-child kit; use of Polar Lights' set of molds for the smaller model|
|7-piece USS Enterprise Set||1:2500||2017||AMT954||All seven prime universe Enterprise versions; Snap-fit reissues of Cadet Series with new Enterprise NX-01|
|Figure Model Kits|
|Mr. Spock||AMT||1:12||1974||S956||US market release; use of Aurora's set of molds|
|1975||Reissue; new box format|
|AMT/Lesney||1980||S973||US-only retooled version of S956, adjusted for The Motion Picture|
|AMT/Round2||1:12||2009||AMT624||Collector's edition; Reissue of S956; Tin box with art print|
|AMT625||Reissue of S956 in 1974-style packaging|
|2013||AMT810||Lunch box tin edition with art print and bonus sticker|
|Captain James T. Kirk||AMT/Ertl||1:6||1994||8773||Vinyl Kit|
|Doctor Leonard McCoy||8774||Vinyl kit|
|Collector's Gift Set||8761||Containing 8773, 8774 and 8777|
|Chief Engineer Mr. Scott||8777||Vinyl kit|
- The USS Constellation as seen in TOS: "The Doomsday Machine" is an AMT model kit, No. S921, appropriately battle-damaged. The ship was given the registry NCC-1017, mostly because it was simple to rearrange the model's decal sheet and was the first time the reciprocal arrangement between AMT and the studio panned out in one of AMT's model kits showing up on screen.
- The USS Enterprise as seen in TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles" was another AMT kit, seen in Lurry's office window and orbiting the far side of Deep Space Station K-7.
- Industrial Light & Magic made use of a number of kits, No. S970, to construct custom-made smaller sized studio models of the refit-Enterprise and USS Reliant, both appearing for the first time in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- AMT/Ertl models often appeared as set dressings during the first few seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, including the USS Enterprise and an appraisal prototype of the USS Enterprise-D itself.
- Rick Sternbach and Andrew Probert created the Constellation-class NCC-7100 study model from two Enterprise-A kits and various other parts.
- AMT/Ertl models were used for several "kitbashed" starships from TNG and DS9. Parts from the Enterprise-D models were incorporated into the wrecked ships seen in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" and the Nebula-class study model seen in TNG: "Future Imperfect" and "The Wounded". Many background ships seen during the Dominion War saga used parts from AMT/Ertl and Revell-Monogram model kits, specifically the Enterprise-A, the USS Excelsior, the USS Reliant, the runabout, the Maquis raider, and the USS Voyager, most notably in the episode DS9: "A Time to Stand".
- The AMT model of the original Enterprise was released many times over nearly thirty years. One of these models was built by future producer Ronald D. Moore when he was young. It ended up as a set decoration in James T. Kirk's crew quarters during Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
- Parts of AMT model kits were sometimes used by visual effects houses to embellish their professional studio models. An early example is the use of a warp nacelle from the Romulan warbird model kit and two nacelle caps of the USS Enterprise-D model kit used as features underneath Industrial Light & Magic's SD-103 studio model in The Undiscovered Country. 
|AMT/Ertl 30th Anniversary bonus posters|
- On the occasion of the 30th anniversary, AMT/Ertl commissioned the production of two cutaway posters of the USS Enterprise-A and USS Enterprise-D and inserted those in their 1995-1996 model kit issues as a bonus. Which one was included was indicated by a sticker on the packaging. The artwork was done by C. Bruce Morser. As with the Sci-Pub Tech publications, the cutaway posters are not considered canon.
- A medical device used by Julian Bashir in DS9: "Visionary" was another warp nacelle from the Romulan warbird model kit. Coincidentally, the Romulans were the main adversaries in the episode.
- Most of the gold models in the display cases in the USS Enterprise-E conference lounge, featured in Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek Nemesis were gold plated, resin-reinforced AMT/Ertl models, built by John Eaves.
- Set decorator James Mees used a colorfully repainted Hallmark "Keepsake" USS Voyager and a Klingon Bird-of-Prey for Miral Paris' baby crib mobile in VOY: "Prophecy". The mobile's Klingon D7-class battle cruiser was made from a small plastic model from the AMT Star Trek 3-Piece Space Ship Set.
The Leif EricsonEdit
In 1974 AMT included an Interplanetary U.F.O. Mystery Ship into the Star Trek line, thereby suggesting that the design was part of the Star Trek universe, though it was not, its combined advertising on the box sides, pamphlets and catalogs of the time notwithstanding, a somewhat questionable industry practice known as "label slapping". (The Toys That Made Us; see also in this regard: Remco) It had, as one contemporary Star Trek collector put it in later live, "(…) confused the heck out of me as a kid." 
Nonetheless, it did have some behind-the-scenes Star Trek connections. Firstly, the U.F.O. Mystery Ship was originally designed as the Leif Ericson by Original Series Art Director Matt Jefferies (with the forward bridge module having more than a passing resemblance of the conning tower of his SS Botany Bay) for an abandoned science fiction project named "Strategic Space Command."  The concept was thought up by Jefferies together with his friend Stephen Edward Poe. (X) AMT's idea behind backing the project was – buoyed on by the success of their first Star Trek model kits – to release a series of science fiction kits accompanied by a worked-out "mini" background story and eventually create a Strategic Space Command universe, beefed out with an accompanying line of model kits.  AMT eventually released the model in 1968 as kit No. S954. When released, AMT had music recording studio Auravision even record a soundtrack as Sounds of Outer Space with a narrator speaking over futuristic sound effects with poetic lines like, "To be afraid and not care that you are afraid is the courage of which astronauts are made", and which came as a cardboard record with the initial release of the model.  Nevertheless, the original kit was considered a commercial failure and the project fell apart.
Secondly, according to Michael Okuda the design, being a Jefferies design, was seriously considered to be part of the Star Trek universe when it was briefly considered to make an appearance in Star Trek: The Animated Series, already showing up in several preliminary story boards.   In a ploy to recuperate their investments, AMT re-released the model kit twice, now designated Interplanetary U.F.O. Mystery Ship, molded in phosphorescent plastic to achieve a glow-in-the-dark effect. The first re-release was an attempt to marry the ship into the Star Trek franchise through combined advertising, and was timed to coincide with the airing of the The Animated Series, though its appearance there never came to fruition. Still, AMT's latest owner, Round 2 LLC, opted to re-release the kit, starting in 2009 with the 1975-issue as a retro edition.
Jefferies himself, though, appeared to have been quite taken with his Leif Ericson and was not yet ready to let go of his design when he resubmitted it in 1973 as the "hyperspace carrier" Pegasus while working as production designer for legendary science fiction movie maker George Pal for his proposed War of the Worlds television series, an intended follow-up of his classic 1953 Paramount Pictures War of the Worlds movie. Unfortunately, like the Strategic Space Command concept, the proposed series did not come to fruition, even though the series was briefly reconsidered four years later by Paramount for its projected fourth television network as a backup for Star Trek: Phase II, which was to serve as its flagship and on which Jefferies was now working. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, p. 59; ) For this occasion he redesigned the shuttlecraft that came with the original model kit, and its redesigned configuration served as the basis for the refit-Galileo shuttlecraft design for the ultimately abandoned Phase II television project. However, it too did not come to fruition as Enterprise shuttlecraft were not featured in the first four Star Trek films.
Additionally, according to Doug Drexler, the design of the Leif Ericson was a co-influence on the design of the SS Conestoga, "The Conestoga is a colony transport ship with a slight design echo of the old DY-100, Greg Jein’s Star Trek Chronology ship, the Valiant, and the Poe\Jefferies Lief [sic.] Erickson." (X) In 2014 though, Drexler, a huge admirer of Jefferies, seized upon the opportunity to have the design finally featured in a live-action production, when he, together with Gabriel Koerner, built a CGI model of the design which was featured as an Orion ship in the second episode "Lolani" of the fan film series Star Trek Continues.  Koerner used his co-build a year later for his May entry in the 2015 Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar, appropriately called "Leif Ericson", finally introducing the design into the official franchise in a licensed print production.
|Leif Ericson aka U.F.O. Mystery Ship||AMT||1:500||1968||S954||Design for abandoned "Strategic Space Command"-project|
|1974||S960||Reissue; cast in glow material|
|1976||Reissue; new boxart|
|AMT/Round2||2009||AMT622||Commemorative glow reissue S960|
|2011||AMT698||Commemorative non-glow reissue S954|