Showbag and contents, Sydney Royal Easter Show, licensed from the television show 'Star Trek The Next Generation', plastic / metal / paper, made by Bensons, made in Australia / China / Taiwan / Italy, 1995
Created by Gene Roddenberry, the original 'Star Trek' series lasted only three seasons, first screening on the American NBC network in August 1966 until June 1969. The first two seasons were produced by Desilu Studios and the third season was produced by Paramount. The action takes place 200 years into the future. Earth is united and prosperous, and heads up a 'Federation' of worlds which freely share technology and culture. They also try to protect planets which haven't made it into space on their own, and are frequently in conflict with their rival superpower the Klingons. To reach the stars, one needs 'warp drive', which allows faster-than-light travel. The Federation's space military (called 'Starfleet') runs large cruiser-sized ships such as the Enterprise which carry smaller ships. To get down to planets without landing these big ships, people use either shuttles or 'transporters', which convert matter into energy and then back again, allowing people and things to be 'beamed down' and then 'beamed up' again. The main weapons are 'phasers', which can be small, like personal pistols, or large, fired by the ships. There are also 'photon torpedoes' and 'quantum torpedoes'. Ships protect themselves with 'shields'.
When the 'Star Trek' movies proved successful, the creator of the original series Gene Roddenberry was able to get 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' on the air. Avoiding networks this time, he sold the show directly into syndication. In Australia it appeared on Channel 9. It originally ran for six seasons from 1987 to 1994. It starred Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
This showbag comes from a group of 3000 toys that was auctioned on 8 and 9 September 2002 by Goodman's at Double Bay. The toys, nearly all officially licensed merchandise from television productions, films and comic books, were accumulated in Australia by Barry Woodley since his youth. Most have their original packaging and have never been opened.
This showbag is suitable for inclusion in the proposed exhibition about television in Australians' lives. In this context it can be used to illustrate themes relating to 'Children, television and the family' and merchandising.
The showbag was made by Benson's in Melbourne in 1995. The contents were made in Australia, China, Taiwan and Italy in 1995.
The showbag and its contents came from a collection of over 3000 toys accumulated by Barry Woodley of Sydney between 1980 and 2002. Woodley began collecting seriously at the age of 17. He was consistent in his approach, collecting only toy vehicles and robots licensed from television, film and other media such as comic books, that were in mint condition and in their original packaging. Woodley collected for his own pleasure and did not open the toys or play with them. The showbag and its contents were sold with the rest of the Woodley collection by Goodman's auctioneers in 2002.