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

Star Trek: The Official Fan Club of the UK was, as its name suggests, the official UK fan club for the franchise. It was not related to the primary fan club in the US.

Established in 1993, the fan club was operated by Absolute Licensing and Wholestone Ltd. while Tim Gaskill served as its manager and the editor of its magazine. 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. During a 1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation cross-promotion, free copies of the fan club's magazine were featured at Pizza Hut restaurants throughout the UK.

In 1996, the Titan Entertainment Group began negotiations to take over the fan club and it took ownership in mid-1997. Three more issues of the fan club magazine were produced as stop-gap measures while Titan prepared to launch their own version of the 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 and later called Enterprise Echo), and Fair Trade (a merchandise catalogue containing exclusive fan club offers and products). In addition, a membership card, a welcome letter from the Honorary President, and a Star Trek Christmas card were sent. Six Data Cards were also posted each year (containing a character image and biographical details). Comlink, an audio magazine presented on CD, reached members once each year.

Fan club members who were signed up 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 underwent 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-sized poster.

The fan club magazines were dropped in 2004 which reduced the membership package to six issues of Star Trek Magazine, two A2 posters, and two Art Cards per year. Fair Trade superseded the "Tower of Commerce" section in the magazine and members received a discount on advertised merchandise found in it. Subscribers to the magazine automatically became members of the fan club.

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