Star Trek at 35: living long and prospering

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By Robert Scally<br><br>

Star Trek has indeed lived long and prospered.

Originally aired only from September 1966 to June 1969, the adventures of the crew from the Starship Enterprise have become ingrained in popular culture, mutating into new television series and movies.

Star Trek's newest iteration, Enterprise, debuted in September.

In 35 years, Star Trek licensed products have generated estimated retail sales of $3.5 billion to $4 billion. The property now has about 50 licensees covering seven major merchandise categories.

Viacom Consumer Products (Los Angeles), guardian of the Star Trek merchandise galaxy, is trimming its licensee roster, frequently not renewing expiring contracts.

"We've been conservative over the past two years," Pam Newton, VP licensing and interactive, Viacom CP tells License!.

Publishing remains the largest Star Trek licensed category because it extends the experience in ways that TV or movies cannot, Newton notes.

Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster), Star Trek's publishing licensee since 1979, has published more than 450 Star Trek titles and has sold about 85 million copies.

"Star Trek is probably the best known and best-loved property in all of science fiction," observes Greg Goldstein, VP brand development and licensing for master interactive licensee Activision (Santa Monica, Calif.).

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