This is "Part 2" of the comparison between the late 1990's Playmates Toys version of the Assault or "Burning" Phaser seen in Star Trek V/VI and the "Copperhead Special" variant created for me by Casey Sullivan of Triple-Fiction Productions, a fan film and propmaking company based in Florida.
The Playmates Toys version of the prop, which I bought from eBay for only $32.00 (that's a steal for one of these), was never made in very large quantities even when it first came out. When I was a child, I remember only ever seeing one of them on the shelf at Toys R' Us - and, of course, my parents wouldn't let me have it. These days, this popular design is so rare - and coveted - that it tends to start bid wars on eBay the moment a listing pops up.
The toy-prop is not full-sized. It's probably only about 2/3 the size of the real prop, which was built from prop versions of the Beretta M93R machine pistol and still retains parts of the frame and controls from the 20th century handgun whose functions as "Phaser components" were not and still haven't been fully explained. Therefore, it looks notably smaller than the Copperhead Special, and does not feel quite right in my hand as it's a bit too small, causing me to grip the very top part of the detachable "magazine" (the battery compartment) when holding the prop.
However, it does have some "functionality." The Playmates toy has an opening slide (although there is no Phaser 1 inside that can be removed). Two "firing modes" can be selected. One triggers a single burst, the other a triple-burst. When the trigger is pushed, the prefire chamber, barrel tip and force setting indicator on the rear of the weapon all light up (this indicator is replaced by a green decal sticker on the "Copperhead Special" stunt prop). Even the battery cover could be counted as "functional" because the real prop used a magazine-like power cell that dropped like the magazine of a real-life handgun. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a belt clip and therefore I have to find a way to holster it when I'm carrying it around (the real ones were worn by threading their handles through loops attached to an actor's uniform, usually somewhere on the belt).
On the other hand, the "Copperhead Special" is a totally unique prop. It is a hardwood piece, so it has much more weight and feels far more solid than the Playmates toy, which is largely hollow - but it is a "stunt" or "dummy" prop, which means that it's pretty much entirely solid wood and has no functionality whatsoever. It's proportionally larger than the Playmates prop, but does not really look like it's bigger at first glance because part of the simplification that went into this design involved eliminating the oversized bottom part of the magazine that extended past the bottom of the handgrip, consequently reducing a good portion of the prop's height.
The redesigned color scheme, including silver highlights on all control surfaces and exposed knobs, was intended to make these details - and the prop's "layered" texturing - stand out on camera and give the piece a more "dynamic" appearance compared with the plain flat black of the Playmates toy and the real prop, which tends to drown out all of the details on the piece. Furthermore, the "Copperhead Special" has no need of a holster. I can easily carry it on my belt because it's got a belt clip attached to the right side of the weapon by two screws.