The definitive source for information on collecting screen-used Star Trek props and costumes

Star Trek The Internet's premier source for information on collecting Star Trek props and costumes, as well as coverage of all major Star Trek auctions from the famous 2006 Christie's Star Trek auction, through the It's A Wrap Star Trek auctions on eBay and the Propworx Star Trek auctions. Star Trek Props is the best source for information of collecting original, screen-used props & costumes.

Monday, December 31, 2007

It's a Wrap eBay auctions - Week 52 Results

Week 52 Results

(51st week of IAW auctions)

While this is actually the 51st week of auctions, I am going to use the numbering system Burt came up with for his Star Trek Auctions Archive to keep consistent. Week 46 was an off week, thus the discrepancy. For the record, there have been 51 weeks of auctions.

The top costume this week was the TNG Sarek's Robes at $ 2,750. This was a good deal I believe. Now looking at the Christie's catalog, the meditation robe went for $ 2,800, so this one was right on target. My friend Mark won this, and I know he was willing to go much higher, so that was a good buy!

The Enterprise Orion Slave Girl Maras costume went for a surprising $ 2,363. This is a record for these costumes, with previous ones going for $ 699, $ 1,264 and $ 1,837. This wasn't even the nicest of the costumes, so I think this was a bit steep. This was a first time buyer too!

The B'Lanna Torres Uniform Lot went for a reasonable $ 1,703. The Starfleet uniform even had the rank pip, which is cool. A good replica comm badge from Federation Surplus and you are set!

The Enterprise Malcom Reed Starfleet Uniform went for $ 1,453, and it had rank pips and boots, so I think this was very fairly priced. Main characters from Enterprise have been going in this range for a while.

The Early TNG Starfleet Uniform was a Sciences blue one and very nice. I have the Tasha Yar of this style and they display very well. At $ 1,450 this was a decent price, and went to another first time bidder.

The Enterprise T'Pol Costume was a bit weak, and so at $ 1,436 I think it just wasn't very desirable. It was basically her uniform pants with a tank top.

The Dr. Bashir Starfleet Uniform was the Voyager style but sadly didn't have a turtleneck undershirt. At $ 1,250 I think this was just a tad overpriced. The winner will need to get an undershirt to display with this costume (as well as pips and a Voyager Comm badge from the aforementioned Federation Surplus).

My best Aussie friend (actually my only Aussie friend!) Chrissy, won the Enterprise Starfleet Uniform at a reasonable $ 1,025. These are great uniforms that look good on simple displays like the costumers I have told you all about.

The Command Gold version went for $ 1,020. This is my favorite type, as the gold looks great against the blue of the uniform.

The Jem'Hadar costume and the "Feature Film Able Seaman" jumpsuit both went for a very cool $ 700 each.

As far as props go:

The Concept Drawings for Voyager were won by yours truly at $ 1,237. These are some of my favorite items. Ever since I bought the Star Wars Sketchbook by Joe Johnston, I have been in love with production artwork. John Eaves is absolutely my favorite and I love all his work. My very good friend Steve D'Errico even gave me a John Eaves original and is going to introduce me to Eaves when he gets time off from the new Star Trek movie.

The 24th Century Molded Phaser and Tricorder went for $ 1,145. This was pretty good as these two looked to be in good shape. These are the one piece foam versions that were for background players or stunts.

Captain Picard's Damaged Computer Terminal went for a reasonable $ 1,051. This wasn't so damaged that it won't go back together and look great. A good prop at a good price.

The Enterprise Data Retrieval Panel went for $ 1,050. This panel was really beautiful with great detailing. This will look great on someone's wall.

The Galactic Dilithium Spectrum PADD was a good deal at $ 1,031 as it lights up. Not a particularly beautiful example, but cool none the less.

My buddy Giles won the Nemesis Reman Medical Lot went for $ 878, which was a good deal because there were a few pieces to this lot.

The Earth Station McKinley Model was a great deal at $ 810. It didn't look like much in its box, but I am sure it will look great on display and with some restoration will be very impressive. It gets my best deal of the week.

The Transporter Inhibitor at $ 790 was a good buy. This is a beautiful and detailed prop that just needs a metal rod to support it for display.

I also liked the Voyager Schematics lot. Things like this make for very different types of Star Trek items that appeal to different collectors. I know these have little interest for me, but my buddy Daryl loves this stuff. Different strokes they say.

I also won the Enterprise Andorian PADD for a measly $ 565!! I wanted the Shran PADD in week 27, but it went for an astronomical $ 2,425. There just aren't that many Andorian PADDs around!

Finally, the Data Emotion Chip went to my buddy Jason and he got a great deals on it. It may have been in the deleted scenes, but still an important and very cool prop. And at $ 535 my Sleeper of the Week.


Best Costume of the Week: Star Trek: TNG Sarek's Robes at $ 2,750

Best Prop of the Week: The Concept Drawings for Voyager at $ 1,237.

Best Buy of the week:
The Earth Station McKinley Model was a steal at $ 810

Worst Buy of the week: No bad deals this week! Keep up the good work and the prices down!

Sleeper of the Week: The Data Emotion Chip at $ 535 was a very good deal on a very important prop.


Star Trek: TNG Sarek's Robes at $ 2,750.

Star Trek:
Enterprise Orion Slave Girl Maras costume at $ 2,363.

Star Trek: Voyager
B'Lanna Torres Uniform Lot at $ 1,703.

Star Trek: Enterprise Malcom Reed Starfleet Uniform at $ 1,453.

Star Trek: TNG Early TNG Starfleet Uniform at $ 1,450

Join the live chat on the Star Trek Prop, Costume and Auction Forum during the auctions each week.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

One Year Anniversary!

Well, this past December 17th was the one year anniversary of this blog! My first post was about the Christie's Auction Catalog. Over the past year we have had:

8,328 Unique Visitors

45,807 Visits to the site

76,964 Pageviews

We had over 1,700 unique visitors last month alone making this blog THE source for information on Star Trek screen-used props and costumes.

Also, make sure you are a member of the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum. This is where collectors come and share information.

Thanks to all my loyal readers!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's a Wrap eBay auctions - Week 51 Results

Week 51 Results

This post is late (we just finished Week 52) and that is only because I had to deal with IAW's crap when they got me suspended from eBay. Typical IAW nonsense. I frankly shouldn't even do these blogs anymore, because it is just free advertising for them and they are total ingrates.

None the less, I do this for us, the collectors, so I will just have to deal with the fact that IAW benefits.

The Star Trek: Enterprise Captain Archer Starfleet Uniform at $ 2,550 was a bit rich for a distressed costume. His costume have gone for $ 1,000 less in this condition.

The Star Trek: Nemesis Reman Military Uniform at $ 2,125 was just about where these usually go. They have all sold around $ 2,000 and are a good deal at that price as they are truly spectacular costumes.

The Star Trek: Voyager Romulan Tal Shiar Uniform at $ 1,575 was strong for a background costume, but fair none the less because these are very cool. This is the last version of a Romulan costume, as seen in Voyager, before they moved to the Nemesis style ones (which strangely were used in Enterprise as well...go figure). Congrats to my Brit pal Willie who snagged this!

The Tom Paris Uniform and Costume Lot went for $ 1,239. We will see this again, as the winner was one of the accounts for the guy who got banned from eBay for leaving 23 negative feedbacks for IAW. This was a good deal because it includes a Tom Paris uniform. The rest is junk basically.

My buddy Jim Williams and I won the Nemesis/DS9 Romulan Senator's Costume Lot for $ 1,225. Now this was a great deal because not only did it have a set of Romulan Senator's robes from Nemesis (which Jim wanted and are quite beautiful) but the costume on the right was Stephen McHattie's when he played the doomed Senator Vrenak in the classic DS9 episode "In the Pale Moonlight". While his name on a costume tag was not mentioned in the description, the costume matches up perfectly. So I was pretty happy about that!

The First Contact Style Starfleet Uniform went for a reasonable $ 1,156. These look great on display, and I think around $ 1,000 they are a great deal.

The Voyager Style Starfleet Uniform - Sciences Blue at $ 1,025 was a bit strong, which can be attributed to new bidders it seems. These are the least popular of the costumes, and with hero costumes going around $ 1,200, paying more than $ 800 for these is a bit much.

The Enterprise Starfleet Uniform went for a very reasonable $ 810. These are pretty plentiful, so this is about where they should go. They look good on display and don't require a mannequin, just use the costumers I always talk about from Advantage Fixtures in Texas.

The lot of Starfleet Feature Style Uniform Undershirts went for $ 772. Good to complete a Maroon or make it all match. I think this was a good deal as these are hard to come by.

As far as props go:

The Star Trek: TNG Botanical Research Terminal at $ 2,026 was a nice piece. We have all seen this on screen and it is just missing the clear globes. Nice detailing on this.

The Enterprise Starship Defiant Science Station Scope at $ 1,763 was a great deal I think. This is so freaking iconic! Everyone knows this prop and under $ 2,000 I think it was just a steal.

Surprisingly, Captain Janeway's Gramophone went for a strong $
1,314. Not crazy about this one. A lot of money for a prop not from the 24th century!

The Remmler Array model components from "Starship Mine" went for $ 1,223. This needs some rebuilding, but if put together, will look nice. So a good price I think.

The Hirogen Tricorder from Voyager went for $ 889. I really liked this prop and almost went after it. It is different from most we have seen and was reused at least once. A good deal on a neat prop.

My buddy Dana won the Voyager Plasma Explosive Charge at $ 799. These are nice and they light up. I was surprised it went so high, as I estimated about $ 500 considering where props have been going.

The Enterprise Klingon Disruptor went for a very cheap $ 735. WOW! What a deal! These are really nice and I think under $ 1,000 this is just awesome.

The Starfleet Energy Carbine went for $ 718, also a good price. These are rubber, and I haven't seen them up close. A decent price though.

The Cardassian Soldier Metal Badge at $ 700 was nice and very different. Amazing that they made a metal badge for just a few episodes, but rather cool!


Best Costume of the Week: Star Trek: Voyager Romulan Tal Shiar Uniform at $ 1,575

Best Prop of the Week: Tough to call. The Enterprise Starship Defiant Science Station Scope at $ 1,763 is iconic. As Dax would say, you can't beat early 23rd century aesthetics!

Best Buy of the week:
The Jem'Hadar Ketracel White Installation Model at $ 566 was a STEAL!

Worst Buy of the week: No bad deals this week! Everyone is wising up!

Sleeper of the Week: The Enterprise Klingon Disruptor at $ 735 is a great deal.


Star Trek: Enterprise Captain Archer Starfleet Uniform at $ 2,550

Star Trek: Nemesis Reman Military Uniform at $ 2,125

Star Trek: TNG Botanical Research Terminal at $ 2,026

Star Trek: Enterprise Starship Defiant Science Station Scope at $ 1,763.

Star Trek: Voyager Romulan Tal Shiar Uniform at $ 1,575

Join the live chat on the Star Trek Prop, Costume and Auction Forum during the auctions each week.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Solving the mess IAW caused

Well, I got eBay to reverse the suspension that IAW caused. They told me point blank that IAW saying I was involved with feedback abuse made no sense, since there was no evidence. So today they reversed my suspension.

Of course Dominic claimed he had no idea what I was talking about and said it must have been eBay's fault, which of course it wasn't. eBay had no reason to suspend me as they had no proof of wrong doing. I was only suspended because of what IAW told the investigations group.

Tiara wouldn't even return my calls about this.

At this point, nothing surprises me.


IAW screws me....AGAIN!

Well, looks like the incompetence at IAW has struck again. Last week, a guy named Alex at MiamiSciFi left 23 negative feedbacks under 5 different eBay IDs. I offered to help IAW work this out with the buyer. What do I get?

Well IAW includes MY NAME in their complaint with eBay and I get suspended for "Feedback Abuse"! Yeah, IAW, who I have driven hundreds of thousands of dollars in business to, have screwed me by getting my eBay account banned!

I was on the phone with eBay for an hour last night and finally got a supervisor. I told him that I had been on eBay for 10 years, and was the founder of Marketworks, a big eBay partner and I had been to eBay HQ probably two dozen times on business, including with CEO Meg Whitman. Well he actually knew who I was and has personally started the internal process to get this resolved. He told me that the complaint on file made absolutely no sense to him. He also said that IAW is one of their biggest customers and they have a special group within the investigations department that deals with high volume customers.

Dylan feels he will get this resolved as I told him what happened with IAW last week, and everyone agrees, that through either stupidity, vindictiveness or sheer incompetence, this was just a mistake. No matter what, I plan on having my attorney deal with this now and IAW is going to pay for screwing me like this.

First they screwed me by backing out of the promise they made to me to sell me the MACO Sniper Rifle, then they sold an item that was promised to me for months that they were unable to generate a simple invoice for, and now this.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Profiles in History Auction Part 3

OK, this installment of my review of the Profiles in History auction we discuss 3 Star Trek props that Brett Jones (of Federation Surplus) and I have some issues with. Now, this doesn't mean we think these are fake. It means we have questions that call the items authenticity into question for us. Everyone needs to decide for themselves if the provenance is adequate. And again, thanks to Michael Moore from HMS who did a bang-up job explaining how he authenticated many of these props.

One thing to remember in this auction, is that Michael, was not authenticating that anything was screen used. Michael was basically authenticating that the prop was production made to the best of his knowledge. He knows the tells to look for in these props. He and others, leave little clues, that they keep secret, to allow them to know in the future if a piece is authentic or not. When authenticating, Mike is looking to see if the prop came from the original molds, has the tells he knows about, was painted consistently with his experience, looks like the pieces his company produced, etc.

Now we know that this consignor used to work at Propr Effects. The consignor could easily have made extra casts out of the original molds, set them aside, and painted them later (the reason for the weathering). That happens in the industry. Mike would wind up authenticating them, because they were from the original molds and looked right. All the tells would be there.

Now this is all speculation. You have to make you own determination as to what you trust and if the provenance of a piece satisfies you. What I write here is the thought process of Brett Jones of Federation Surplus and myself. This in no way minimizes my high opinion of Michael Moore and his authenticating expertise. His opinion is the most important part of my overall determination.

When Brett and I previewed the props at the Profiles in History offices, there was one glaring problem we had with half a dozen of the pieces. They had been washed down with something the purpose of which was to make the prop look old and dull the paint. Now, Michael Moore of HMS Studios says this sometimes happened on set when a prop needed to look less shiney or more used. The problem Brett had with this explanation is that he has never seen a prop weathered this way and he has handled hundreds of Star Trek props. So assuming Michael is correct (and there is no reason not to, Mike knows his stuff) the problem is that this consignor had half a dozen pieces that looked this way, and that is not very likely. All of a sudden a collection shows up with half a dozen pieces so weathered, when pieces that look like that are rarely seen?

Maybe these pieces were recently cast and the weathering was applied so they all didn’t look brand new. The fact that so many pieces are weathered is a real problem in Brett’s and my opinion. Remember: you have to make up your own mind based on ALL the available information. What I write here is one piece of that.

OK, so there are 3 pieces that are suspect. That doesn't mean they are fake, it just means we have issues with them. It should be noted that two of these props Michael Moore didn't authenticate.

Lot 1219 Starfleet Phaser Rifles from First Contact

Well, first of all, according to Michael Moore, he did not authenticate this prop (Nor did he authenticate the DS9 Phaser Rifle). Now, in the props favor are that it has a retractable strap and a working scope. Both those things are tough to do.

However, there are a number of things that bothered Brett and I about this piece. Most notably the weathering we saw on this piece. The weathering on this gun had drip marks running from the top of the gun to the bottom. Michael says this makes sense, for if it was done on set, as was often done, it was given to a tech on the set, who would generally use a brush to paint things as aerosols were forbidden if there was a fire marshal present (because of flammability). Again, our problem is that we haven’t seen this before in any Phaser rifles and there are so many props so weathered in this auction.

The rifle also had a trigger that we have never seen before. According to Mike Moore, that trigger was only used on a couple of rifles (Mike stated that three different triggers were used when they did use triggers, which was the exception rather than the rule) and it is the same trigger on the Alien Phaser (Lot 1230). So a trigger that was the rarely used, and in this case was very sloppily applied, happens to be on two props in this guy’s collection.

The scope also has a plastic graphic that is NOT like any other we have seen. It is not one we have seen on any of the rifles from IAW or that Brett has worked on. That doesn’t mean it is fake, just another thing that is different. It also has a small triangle marking the front of the trigger guard that we haven’t seen before. Again, that is not proof in and of itself, but it is something to note.

So, overall I am not thrilled with this rifle. I need one of these for my collection, and I wouldn’t bid on this. Plus the starting bid is way too high. Phaser rifles like this have been going on the $1,500-2,300 range. This one starts at $ 3,000 when you figure in the Buyer's Premium. Way too high.

Lot 1234 Starfleet Phaser Rifles with illuminating scope

Again, according to Michael Moore, he did not authenticate this prop. We discussed it at length. These rifles were first made by and then Propr Effects for TNG and then HMS for DS9. So there are bound to be variations.

Brett and I have a bunch of issues with this prop, not the least of which is that it was clearly NOT used in “Change of Heart”. In that episode the Phaser rifles that Worf and Jadzia used had attached straps throughout the episode. That the consignor (who according to Profiles wrote the description) incorrectly stated this rifle was from that particular episode, is the first red flag.

In addition, none of the colors match what we have seen in the past. The rifle is way too bright. Rather than the typical Plasticoat 7173 with 7179 highlights, this rifle is a bright silver with black highlights in the rear and no highlights on the front section. Furthermore, the button pattern on the top looks wrong.

Now, in its favor, it has as rubber scope up front, which is unusual. Knock offs are rarely made in rubber. Usually they are resin. Mike Moore also pointed out the melted plastic reflective bulb housing, which he jokingly said is typical in their props because the guy who handles the lighting always uses cheap reflectors.

Now I need one of these for my collection, but I simply am not interested in this one. Too many questions, and way too high a starting price. $ 3,600 with buyer's premium is way too high.

Lot 1227 Jem’Hadar Pistol from DS9

OK, this one is a mess. When I first saw the catalog, this was the highest item on my list. Then we examined it at the Preview and it looked awful. Now, I will say that Michael Moore authenticated this piece. I went over our concerns with Michael and he explained a bunch of them. However, it is the piece I most disagreed with Michael on. Now remember, I am no expert, and while Brett knows more about these props than anyone I had met before Michael, Mike is the acknowledged expert here. So you have to make your own decisions when reading my reviews.

OK, so the first thing we noticed was the extremely crappy paint job. It was painted flat black, which is really unusual for these props, though Michael said they were made by both Propr Effects and HMS. (Mike took the master with him from Propr, so they should be the same). If you look on the HMS web site, which is a remarkable resource, you will see some good Jem’Hadar pistols.

Besides the flat black paint, this pistol was weathered the way the First Contact Rifle and some other items were. Again, a lot of items from this one collector being weathered. Also, the finish was really crappy. This is certainly not an HMS piece, for as Mike said, they have pretty high standards for what they deliver to Star Trek, which Mike said, has higher standards than any other show in the first place.

Now, most bothersome, was the concave surfaces on the handle and the body. This is very unusual for a resin piece. Not so rare for a rubber piece, where it will happen from shrinkage. In this case, it almost looks like someone recast a rubber piece that had spooned out and so the master they made had the same problem. Just doesn’t make much sense. Now Mike did say that molds will often absorb some of the polyurethane from the resin and that over time this will cause the mold to spoon like this. Is that the case here? Hard to say.

Well, there you go. I think I have tried to give you a balanced view of these pieces. When bidding on these items, three other things you should keep in mind:

1) Bad descriptions – The TR-116, the Starfleet DS9 Phaser Rifle, the Trill Phaser….all wrong. If you want the correct facts, check out the thread on the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum where Jorg shows the correct descriptions and actual screencaps of each piece.

2) High opening bids – With the advent of the IAW auctions, we now know what the actual prices on many of these items should be. Do your own research by using Bp’s Star Trek Auction Archive. My feeling is that the Phaser Rifles and Jem’Hadar pistol are overpriced considering potential issues, and the Phaser rifles would be even if they were 100% authenticated.

3) Provenance – This is the single most important factor when collecting props and costumes. Where did the items come from? What is the story of how they were acquired? What was the chain of ownership?

Thanks a ton to Michael Moore for spending 3 hours on the phone with me. He really went above and beyond for the hobby!

Feel free to ask me questions on the forum!


Profiles in History Auction Part 2

One thing everyone should know about this Profiles in history auction is that the consignor of most of these items used to work at Propr Effects, one of the prop houses who did work for TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Now, that both supports the originality of these pieces and also opens up the chance that some of these props were NOT production made. Some of these may have been made from the original molds after the production wrapped, making them much less desireable in the eyes of most prop collectors. Hard to say, but I will cover this much more in Part 3.

On to more props. There are a bunch of props that are more common that what I talked about in my last post, but are still sharp.

Lot 1214: The Klingon Tricorder This is from DS9 and rare, but a bit over priced in my book. This might be worth $ 3,500, but for the bidding to start there is crazy. With everything coming out from IAW and Christie's, there is too much supply and people are getting wise. I doubt this sells as with Buyer's premium, it is $ 4,200 at the opening bid!!!

Lot 1221: Romulan Disruptor from TNG and Lot 1237: Romulan Disruptor from DS9

Both of these are good examples of the Romulan Disruptor. They are in different colors, because of the different shows, but both look good. I like the darker one better. Both are resin and should go in the $ 1,000 range. FYI, I paid $ 1,.200 for mine from the winner of a lot at Christie's.

Lot 1235: Hero Romulan Disruptor Rifle from DS9

This is a brand spanking new version of this gun. It is in mint condition, which would lend one to think it was never used. It also has a different paint job than every single one we have seen from IAW. IThough definitely out of the original molds, the paint job and the condition, lead one to question if this was production made. The Profiles example is shown in the top photo. The bottom photo is what every example from IAW has looked like. IAW has sold ab out 6 of these. The difference is mostly the brown color on the part that goes from handle to the front, around the Gold inset. Also the details on the Gold inset are black in the Profiles version and the same brown as the body in the IAW versions.

Lot 1226 Stunt Boomerang Phaser from TNG

It's rubber, so expect cracking and deterioration over time. Though it appears in good shape, I think it is an overpriced starting bid. I mean $ 720 with buyer's premium to start? This is an $ 800 prop considering Michael Moore from HMS says there were probably over 150 made. I got a resin one for under a grand.

1232: Static Starfleet PADD

Not thrilled with this one. There are much nicer versions from IAW. It didn't have great eye appeal. Michael Moore said there were probably over 1,000 PADDs made since TNG.

1213 Space Dock Miniature

A nice model that you don't see often. Simple, but cool. Already 4 bidders, so I am sure this will see some action.
Lot 1223 The Angosian Ship Miniature

I like that it has been mounted. The detailing looks cool and I think this is pretty sharp. But the price is already at $ 6,000 with buyer's premium, and I am not convinced it is worth any more.

Lot 1241 The Doctor's Mobile Emitter

This doesn't match any screencaps I have seen, nor does it match the one in Adrian from the UK's collection, which has solid provenance. The color is too light and the circuit board is wrong compared to Adrian's. Michael Moore says that HMS started making these after the 3rd season and this isn't one of those. So this has to be from Propr Effects, making it harder to prove its authenticity.
(edit: My bad, the color in the photo is correct, but in person, it is about 6 shades darker than this, which is wrong.)

OK, well, that is enough for now. I am in new York for the day and off to another meeting! I will finish this off with Part 3 late tonight on the items that I think have issues.


Profiles in History Auction Part 1

Well, if you are a part of the Star Trek prop collecting community, you probably know about the Profiles in History auction this Thursday/Friday. There are 33 lots in this auction, including a Uhura costume from TOS and 29 props from various shows and movies.

I visited the Profiles in History offices in Calabasas, CA last Thursday with Brett Jones, the man behind Federation Surplus and an authority on Star Trek Props. Brett is well regarded as the # 1 maker of Replica Star Trek props around the prop collecting community. All he does is Star Trek props and he has handled hundreds of originals over the years.

When we visited Profiles, we were greeted by Brian Chanes, who manages the Star Trek pieces in each Profiles auction (amongst other things). He took the time to show us each prop and chatted about the process. Now remember, these guys have almost 1,300 items in their auction! As you know by reading my blog, I was bothered by the misleading description on the TR-116 (lot 1225).

I am also displeased that the DS9 Phaser Rifle was listed as being used in "Change of Heart" as it clearly was not. Those rifles had attached straps that this one does not (among other things that are not correct).

In addition, the metal Bat'Leth is attributed to Worf, with no proof of that whatsoever.

Well, it turns out that Profiles basically lets the consignor write the description, according to Brian, and they don't do much fact checking. I have offered Brian the services of the Forum group (especially Jorg) for the future, offering to provide him with accurate descriptions and screencaps if he gives us the photos in advance. Let's hope he is more interested in accuracy that IAW, who has been offered the same service many times and turned us down.

Now, after reviewing all the items, Brett and I had issue with a bunch. So I contacted Michael Moore, of HMS Studios, the prop house that worked on much of TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise (year one) and the movies from Generations Forward. Michael has worked at many different prop houses, including ISS and Propr Effects and worked on Star Trek for 16 years. He is quite the authority on the props over this time span. He is primarily responsible for authenticating Star Trek items for Profiles.

I spent 3 hours on the phone with Michael last night and learned a ton, including the fact that he rejected a number items from the auction.

This whole process has been very enlightening for me. Brett has been teaching me a ton about Star Trek props. And after spending 3 hours on the phone with Michael Moore, I got a real in depth understanding of how much variation there is in these items. A few things that it is important to understand:

1) Five different prop houses made props for the various Star Trek TV series starting with TNG; ISS, Propr Effects, Make Up Effects Lab, HMS and one other. In addition, the shop at Paramount would make items from time to time.

2) Multiple shops were working on different shows at any given time.

3) The same props were often made by different prop houses and each had different molds (though sometimes off the same master).

4) How props were finished depends on who was finishing them. Sometimes different shop workers finished the same prop at different times, resulting in different finishes.

So Mike explained a lot of the things that we saw that gave us pause. He simply has a broader population of props that he has seen and knows a lot of the variations between shops. (Did you know that there were SIX different Cardassian Phaser molds?). He also still has a lot of the original props in his shop.

So let's review the types of props you see in these auctions:

SCREEN USED This prop was made for the production and used on screen. You have to either have rock solid provenance (Christie's and IAW are not good for this) or preferably it matches up perfectly with screen caps. This is a VERY high standard and hard to meet on 95% of all props don't meet it.

PRODUCTION MADE Where most props fall.
This simply means the prop was made by the prop house for use in a production and shipped to the set. Many props here were in fact screen used, but you can't prove it.

OUT OF THE ORIGINAL MOLDS So, the prop shop still has the molds and pours you a casting. Maybe they even paint it. Maybe a guy who worked in the shop took the molds with him and does the same. Not made for the production, so it falls here. Still cool, but not made for the production.

OK, so that being said, let's start with some great props that are in this auction and which are pretty solid provenance wise:

Lot 1218: The Geordi Visor This was made by Bear Burge and Michael Moore and HMS and is pretty sharp. It is a stunt piece and yet in good shape. No questions on this one, it would be awesome in any collection!

Lot 1224: The Klingon Bat'Leth This appears original as well. Michael says it has the correct leather wrapping and it is the correct color, which he says is hard to match. A nice piece, they didn't make a ton of metal ones, because they didn't want to injure the actors and used rubber ones often. HOWEVER, there is no proof this was ever used by Worf, and so I think one needs to be very careful here. Buy it because it is a metal Bat 'Leth and thus rare, not because you think it belonged to Worf.

Lot 1219: Cricket Phaser There is a rare Next Gen Cricket Phaser. You don't see these often, and this is a nice one. Some are painted lighter, but Michael says the dark paint is correct.

Lot 1228: Engineering Diagnostic Tool. According to Jorg, this is the flux coupler that Garak killed Amaro with in the DS9 episode"Empok Nor". This is made of rubber as it was meant to stab someone! Mike Moore made teh original himself.

Lot 1238: The Cardassian Tricorder. A beautiful piece with working lights. Mike says that this was one of the later ones made later in DS9. Probably explains the perfect condition.

Another blog in the AM.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's a Wrap eBay auctions - Week 50 Results

Week 50 Results

Wow, 50 is an important number. And if what I hear is correct, we probably have another 6 months of this! Well, anyway, on to the auctions.....

The Hoshi Starfleet Uniform lot for $ 2,983 went to a new bidder. That was a pretty strong price, but mostly due to the jacket which was part of this lot. It also came with a pair of boots, though not Linda Park's.

The Spock Class A TMP Uniform went for $ 2,950 which was very strong considering that the to did not belong to Nimoy. This was a relist, and had previously been won by Maharnidiva, the # 1 winner of IAW auctions for $ 13,100. Now what is interesting is that Maharanidiva has not paid for a number of auctions, some of which have potentially questionable bidders as the under bidder.

I have warned her in the past not to bid early, as she is a prime target for shill bidding. She should not be telegraphing what she is bidding on and should be using a snipe program.

The fact that this sold for $ 2,950 this time, over $ 10,000 less, shows that there probably was a shill bidder last time. I hope this means Maharanidiva is wising up to how she has been manipulated.

The Admiral Kirk Class A was a bit of a mess in my book, with unfinished cuffs and only a bio-buckle. No rank or Starfleet badge. And the pants may not even be Shatner's. At $ 2,550 I am not crazy about this one.

The Chakotay Starfleet Uniform at $ 1,545 was a good deal and came with a Maquis rank pip. If you can get a main character at this price, you are doing well. This also points to the downturn in prices.

At $ 1,482 the Klingon Warrior Costume lot went pretty reasonably. My buddy Willie Bath won it and I think he got a good deal. It doesn't have boots, but spats, but still pretty cool. I especially like the baldric.

The Data Distressed Starfleet Jacket at $ 1,280. This was an interesting piece and from the TNG episode "The Most Toys".

The TNG Admiral and Mrs. Jameson lot at $ 1,225 was good in that the Admiral costume was complete. Of course, it hurts just thinking of this episode, early TNG was so bad. But I like this costume none the less.

The T'Pol Sleepwear at $ 1,225 baffles me. I mean, they are pajamas!

I like the Lt. Reed Desert Uniform at $ 1,184. This was a great deal. A beautiful costume and complete with rank pips and shoes. And it will display well, though it will need a mannequin, not a costumer like so many of us use.

The Environmental Engineer's Orange Radiological suit at $ 1,075 was about right. IAW found the boots that go with these costumes, and will be offering those separately. So any that get auctioned will have the boots. We have seen these prices plummet. I won the first of these for $ 2,100 in the first weeks of the auction, and we saw one go as low as $ 600. It honestly amazes me how many Orange suits there have been.

As far as props go:

The Starfleet EVA Phaser Rifle was a decent deal at $ 1,613. It was rubber, but these are made of a good quality rubber and have held up well. I think this was a good deal and the coolest prop of the week for sure.
The Nemesis Phaser Rifle at $ 1,525 went a bit high in that it had a broken sight. Now, gtive this to Brett Jones at Federation Surplus and he will fix it right up, but I still think the price is high for a damaged one.

The DS9 Station Photon Torpedo Upgrades from "The Way of the Warrior" were very cool. At $ 1,375 a good buy as there are two pieces!

The Klingon D'K Tahg and Sheath is always a neat piece and this was a nice one.

The Exclesior LCARS Panel was a good deal considering where these have gone in the past.

I won the Klingon Mek'Leth at $ 907 and was pretty fired up about that. Pretty iconic, as Worf loved these. And IAW noting that is the best remaining example sealed the deal for me.

I like the John Eaves concept art from the DS9 episode "The Visitor" at $ 789. Jason Stevens and I were outbid for this. And I think we will see more of this type of lot. Mounted, these will look awesome.

The 24th Century Away Team holsters went strong at $ 890. I won a Phaser holster by itself for $ 219, so I think this was a bit high, though still an interesting lot that will go well if you have a Phaser or Tricorder.


Best Costume of the Week: Enterprise Hoshi Starfleet Uniform lot at $ 2,983

Best Prop of the Week: Star Trek: First Contact Starfleet EVA Phaser Rifle at $ 1,613

Best Buy of the week:
The Jem 'Hadar with Kar'takin at $ 515 was a steal!

Worst Buy of the week: No bad deals this week!

Sleeper of the Week: The DS9 Bajoran Tricorder at $ 460 was a great deal.


Star Trek: Enterprise Hoshi Starfleet Uniform lot at $ 2,983

Star Trek: TMP Spock Class A TMP Uniform at $ 2,950

Star Trek: TMP Admiral Kirk Class A at $ 2,550

Star Trek: First Contact Starfleet EVA Phaser Rifle at $ 1,613.

Star Trek: Voyager Chakotay Starfleet Uniform at $ 1,545

Join the live chat on the Star Trek Prop, Costume and Auction Forum during the auctions each week.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Miniature Radiation Suit

My good buddy Anthony bought a miniature version of the Radiaological suit from the feature films while we were in Vegas so he and his son could have matched costumes. Now this suit was used in the background of some of the engineering scenes, because the long axis of the engineering hull was built in forced perspective and so they used kids in tiny radiological suits in the background. You can see one between Scotty and Decker here:

Well, Anthony's son Michael is having a blast in the suit and will probably be quite an actor. Here he is hamming it up for the camera in his suit!

The serious actor shot

In action!

The agony!

Michael and his dad in front of an Enterprise Air Lock

I finally figured out a good reason to get married and have kids! So you can dress up with them and play Star Trek!


Saturday, December 1, 2007

My collection grows...

Here are some latest photos of my collection. I just got two of those Ikea Detolf showcases for my props. They look great and are really good for displaying and protecting props. I will be buying another as Brett Jones has about half of my props and I am getting most of them back next week.

The case on the left has my Klingon and Romulan props and the one on the right, my Starfleet props (with my Breen pistol). My Terran Empire costume in between. The Terran Empire costume has Captain's shoulder boards, award medals and the black leather belt/harness.
Here is my Garak costume, Relativity costume and my table with my Phaser Rifles on it. I am going to build a cabinet for them, but for now they are all on my table. (Well, darrell has volunteered to build the cabinet and he does great work - His DS9 cabinet that he brought to Vegas was AMAZING).

The Romulan Corner

And my Captains: My basement is being redone, so the Klingon, Breen, Jem'Hadar and others are waiting for that to be done before going up. The Nog collection is up now. Photos of all that when I get that all done.

BTW, I just traveled through 40 minutes of a snowstorm in Seattle to visit Aaron Carlson, who has an AMAZING collection. He has Maroons of McCoy, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov, Kirks bomber jacket, plus the definitive Star Trek V collection all in a basement we would all kill for. It is a great display and I hope he posts some photos to the forum soon!


It's a Wrap eBay auctions - Week 49 Results

Week 49 Results

You know, I could forgive IAW for their faulty descriptions, but considering the greatest authority on Star Trek props & costumes, the famous German Star Trek savant Jorg, has volunteered to help for free, this is just one more example of IAW turning down free help from more knowledgeable people that would make their auctions better.

Now, Colin and his team work hard (it is just Colin and Brian now) but still, Jorg, in about 30 minutes, identifies every mistake that IAW makes and posts photos showing its REAL use.HIRE JORG!

Star Trek: V Spock Camping Outfit at $ 4,225 was the best costume this week, but probably a bit high. We have seen a bunch of these and though this is the only one to have the Vulcan iconography on the shirt underneath, it is still a lot for a civilian costume. But a very cool jacket and very recognizable.

Star Trek:
V Kirk Climbing Outfit at $ 1,875 was about right. I mean HOW MANY of these do they have? Geez, we seem to see one every other week!

The Voyager Nevala Romulan Uniform $ 1,475 was a bit strong since the uniform has the wrong undershirt. It should have a black undershirt as seen in the episode. I love Romulan uniforms though, so cool none the less.

I really hate that IAW sells a stunt costume, but doesn't put the word "STUNT" in the title. This gives certain less scrupulous collectors the opening to try and sell the item as a hero costume. And we know this happens. This is how fraud happens with costumes. The Data Starfleet Uniform at $ 1,427 suffers from this problem.

The DS9 Sciences Blue Uniform is a First Contact style that went for $ 1,275. These still go strong because they are beautiful and display well. Everyone should try and get one.

The two piece TNG Operations Gold Uniform also went for $ 1,275 and these seem to be holding their price. These are just kind of iconic, especially for all those legions of TNG fans.

The Chief Petty Officer Starfleet Uniform at $ 1,226 was pretty reasonable as this one was rather complete, even coming with boots.

The Starfleet cadet uniform lot was a steal at $ 1,091 was the best deal of the week as it had 3 uniforms! This came out to about $ 350 a costume, which was INSANE.

The Feature Film White Radiological Suit at $ 1,072 was about right, though the price on these is coming down and this one didn't have boots.

The Tuvok Starfleet Uniform at $ 921 was an AWESOME deal. How did this get buy everyone? Wlel, maybe because of the crappy IAW description. "
Sewn in tags in virtually every garment denote wear by Tim Russ. "? VIRTUALLY? There are only two pieces in this lot! What the hell is teh problem here IAW? Trying to pull a fast one, or you just don't have a good command of the English language? ARRRGGGHHH!!!! I hate this crap! I can just see getting this uniform and the jumpsuit NOT having Russ tags and you try and return it and IAW giving you crap. No need for this to happen. I will assume both pieces do have tags and give this my Sleeper of the Week.

At $ 899, the Enterprise Command Gold Uniform was also a great deal. Now, female costumes go less than males, but these are pretty cool and so a great deal I think.

As far as props go:

The Enterprise Dr. Phlox Hand Scanners and case at $ 1,825 was the best prop this week. A relist, I have the hyposprays that are the companion piece to this and I have to say they make impressive displays.

The TNG Transporter LCARS Panel at $ 1,792 was in fact not from TNG, but from DS9 and the transporter console for the Defiant. A cool piece, but damaged.

I actually had this Romulan Disruptor Rifle in my possession after i won one from IAW, but returned it because it wasn't the one in the auction I won. IAW promptly exchanged that for me and it wound up in the auction this week. There was nothing wrong with it, and so at $ 943, I think this was about right and where these have been going.

The TR-116 was a rubber stunt version and so not as nice as the resin one previously offered. At $ 911 though a very good deal and another example of the falling prices we see in the auction.

Finally, the Enterprise Starfleet Command Flag at $ 899 was a pretty good deal. very cool and these make great displays with your Starfleet uniforms.


Best Costume of the Week: Star Trek: V Spock Camping Outfit at $ 4,225

Best Prop of the Week: Enterprise Dr. Phlox Hand Scanners and case at $ 1,825

Best Buy of the week: The Starfleet cadet uniform lot was a steal at $ 1,091!

Worst Buy of the week: No bad deals this week!

Sleeper of the Week: The Tuvok Starfleet Uniform at $ 921 (assuming both pieces have Tim Russ tags)


Star Trek:
V Spock Camping Outfit at $ 4,225

Star Trek:
V Kirk Climbing Outfit at $ 1,875

Star Trek:
Enterprise Dr. Phlox Hand Scanners and case at $ 1,825

Star Trek:
TNG Transporter LCARS Panel at $ 1,792

Star Trek:
Voyager Nevala Romulan Uniform $ 1,475

oin the live chat on the Star Trek Prop, Costume and Auction Forum during the auctions each week.