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Star Trek: The Official Fan Club of the UK

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(written from a Production point of view)
Official UK Fan Club logo

Original logo of the Official Fan Club of the UK.

Star Trek: The Official Fan Club of the UK was, as the name suggests, the official UK fan club for the franchise. It was unrelated to the primary Fan Club.

Established in 1993, the Fan Club was run by Absolute Licensing and Wholestone Ltd., with Tim Gaskill as editor and manager. The original membership package consisted of a quarterly magazine, a pin badge with a different design each year, and a membership card which provided a 10% discount at Forbidden Planet and other comic retailers.

In 1996, Titan Entertainment Group began negotiations to take over the Fan Club, with the changeover taking place in mid-1997. Three more issues of the Fan Club magazine were produced as a stop-gap measure, while Titan could prepare and launch their own membership package.

The new Fan Club, renamed The Official UK Star Trek Fan Club, featured a vastly expanded membership package - each year, members would receive five issues of Star Trek Explorer (a behind-the-scenes magazine), Federation News (a newsletter detailing events in the Star Trek universe from the perspective of that universe - later Enterprise Echo) and Fair Trade (a merchandise catalogue containing exclusive Fan Club offers and products); as well as six Data Cards each year, containing a character image and biographical details, a membership card, a welcome letter from the Honorary President, and a Star Trek Christmas card. In addition, Comlink, an audio magazine presented on CD, was released once a year.

Fan Club members who were signed on at the time of the changeover received a special preview pack, containing issue 0 of Explorer and Federation News, plus the first set of Data Cards and a specially marked edition of the Heroes of Starfleet postcard set.

Each year, the Fan Club appointed a different Star Trek cast member to act as the club's Honorary President. These included Ira Steven Behr (Year 1), John de Lancie (Year 2), Marina Sirtis (Year 3), Armin Shimerman (Year 4), and Robert Picardo (Year 5 - 2003).

In 2003, the Fan Club received a slight change - the Data Cards were replaced by Art Cards, featuring production art and designs. The Enterprise Echo was dropped, and Explorer received a content update. Each club mailing also came with a full-color A2 poster.

2004 saw the Fan Club magazines dropped - the membership package became six issues of Star Trek Magazine, two A2 posters and two Art Cards per year. Fair Trade became the "Tower of Commerce" section in the Magazine, with members receiving a discount on advertised merchandise. Subscribers to the magazine automatically became members of the Fan Club.

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