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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More on Ed Miarecki and eBay

In talking with Ed Miarecki this past weekend, we discussed that he puts items up for sale on eBay from time to time. This week he has two interesting items.

One is a shuttlecraft casting from "The Osiris Chronicles" which was a production to be made by Star Trek veteran Joe Dante and Paramount. We have seen some of these items in the IAW sales as the items were stored with all the Star Trek assets.
You can read about this item and "The Osiris Chronicles" on John Eaves web site here.

The other items is what Ed calls a miniature "master" though I would speak to Ed if you are interested. I don't think Masters were made from foam, but I could be wrong. Ed sells a lot of good stuff, and he knows of what he speaks, but just check with him on this one. You can see it here. A few weeks ago Ed had a casting of the Ferengi filiming miniature that went pretty high.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Star Trek 5/6 Assault Phaser - Part 3 Ed Miarecki's Phasers

The Master inspects the Assault Phaser from the Doug Drexler collection, which he made.

Ed Miarecki, the long time prop creator for Star Trek, was hired by Greg Jein to make resin versions of the Star Trek 5 Assault Phaser for Star Trek VI. These versions were painted exactly like the STV versions, but were resin, whereas the Greg Jein had made fiberglass heroes and rubber stunts for ST V. Those all had metal baseplates. The ST VI version Ed supplied had metal baseplates added to his by Greg.

According to Ed, he made 12 of them initially, and within days they requested he make 12 more as those had disappeared from the set!
So there are a good number of these around. However, this post deals with the subsequent castings Ed has done.

Ed still can make you a ST VI Assault Phaser out of the original molds if you like. They are beautiful pieces. But Ed doesn't paint versions that were not made for the production like the ones he delivered to the set. First of all, that paint is
a pain in the butt and includes a printers ink which is a carcinogen. That is what gave the production versions that metallic look to the black paint. For all subsequent versions Ed made, including ones he gave to the Star Trek and ILM staffs he was friends with, Ed paints in a two tone Metallic grey/black. The difference is obvious and can be seen here.

While not as desirable as a production made version, this is as close as you will get to one. While the Master Replicas and Roddenberry versions are both awesome, they are not 100% accurate because of what they were cast from.

Thanks to Ed for spending a lot of time telling me about his time on Star Trek. He is a great guy and a true hero to us prop collectors.

The Assault Phaser that Ed gave as a gift to Star Trek and ILM crew members

Production Version

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Star Trek 5/6 Assault Phaser - Part 2

After Star Trek V, the Assault Phaser played an even bigger role in Star Trek VI. For this production, Ed Miarecki was hired by Greg Jein to make resin Assault Phasers to supplement the Fiberglass heroes and rubber stunt versions.

Here are photos of one Ed recently sold to Josef from Austria, a long time Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum member, and the photographer and layout designer of the Battlestar Galactica Auction catalogs.

The COA from Ed states:

"This document certifies that the Star Trek Assault Phaser Prop pictured above was fabricated by me for the film "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country". It was returned to me after the production was finished, and has been my personal collection."

Josef says the Phaser is made out of resin (Confirmed by Ed) and has 3 metal parts; the tip, the rear fins and the knob on the side. It is in very good condition with only minor scratches from production use. It did not come with a base plate attached, something Ed had allready mentionend in the eBay description. When he asked Ed if he could make him a replica, he told Josef that he never made the plates in the first place, they were fabricated and applied by someone else (Greg Jein). Also, the plates on his Phasers were simple stickers, not metal plates as found on the hero versions.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Star Trek 5/6 Assault Phaser - Part 1

After receiving a Star Trek 5 Assault Phaser from a member of the Star Trek Prop Forum, I set out to authenticate the item. Now the problem with the Phaser is not that I didn't trust the person I got it from, I did. It was that her story needed to be verified. You can't just take someone's word on where a prop came from.

So the first step was to look on the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum, where one member had posted photos of one of the Fiberglass hero Phasers. Per Greg Jein, who made the Phasers, there were fiberglass heros and rubber stunts made. All had metal base plates with different serial numbers down there.

Here are some photos of the hero Forum member Don had of the Hero he had:

Friday, August 14, 2009

One Collectors experience at the Vegas Star Trek Convention

The best thing about my hobby, besides the fact that I got to turn it into a business, is that I have met so many great friends who really enrich my life. Since meeting Dana Hammontree in the line outside Christie's for the 2006 Star Trek Auction, I have made a ton of freinds through this blog, the Forum and even Propworx. This is the experience of a lot of collectors, and what makes the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum unique among prop sites I think. We are all big fans and we love sharing and hanging out on a regular basis, especially at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.

Here is the story of Francis Scofield, as told in his words.....

Where do I start...

My version of the convention was filled with acts of kindness, starting with Katie and Steve. I was staying at my brothers' house in Vegas, but they let me change clothes and costumes in their room more times than I could count. Katie even got me a third key. Thanks guys. It really helped.

Next, Susie and I met up and got in line to get our Weekend Pass wristbands. A total stranger walks up to us and says he has extra Captain's Chair passes and if we would like them for free. You bet! This enabled us to give ours away to Lyn and Susie's sister. Thanks to whomever you are.

Many of us had dinner together that night, and Donna paid for everyone. It couldn't have been cheap. You are a kind and generous woman Donna, thank you.

When we went into the auditorium to see the various panels, Renee (Scooby) did her best to put our group of four up front in the empty seats, and watch out for us to not get caught. Very kind. Thanks Renee!

I paid for a photo op with Armin Shimmerman, but got my days crossed and I missed it. Blind Susie and I (in full Quark gear) were walking through the vendor's area when I bumped into Rene Auberjonois. We shook hands and spoke for maybe 10 seconds when he told me to turn around. Guess whom?!

These guys were on their way to the stage, and Rene told Armin "we gotta go", but Armin told him to go on ahead so he could spend a few moments with me. We talked for about 30 seconds and then he had to go. Other people tried to stop him for a photo op, but he kindly refused and continued on toward the stage door. Armin, thanks for my 'Sybok' moment with you. You stopped for me and you didn't have to. Very generous.

Susie and I, armed with our new 'Captain's Chair' passes, went to the Stratosphere party. We saw and spoke with many Trek cast members. Connor Trinneer was being mobbed by people, so it was difficult to get any time in. Not his fault he is so popular!

I had about 20 min of 1 on 1 time with John Billingsley and I gotta say he is every bit the kind man you think he is. I asked him for the inside answers on why 'Enterprise' was cancelled, and he methodically explained every angle. I feel that I finally got the 'true' story. John, you are a class act, and now I know why you are my favorite Enterprise character.

The next day was full of non stop photos and flashes to the point where I was seeing spots for a while. But here comes Katie chasing me down and says that someone wants to meet me. Me? Guess whom?! Max Groedenchik!

He came out from behind his booth and spent a considerable amount of time talking with me, and posing for photos. He is really a thinking kind of guy, and very professional. He was concerned about proper lighting and poses for the best pic possible with me. We spoke about my cane, and he said it 'felt right'. Katie, you know Max better than I, and you pulled this together without me even knowing. Thanks again to Katie and Max for making that a cool moment for me.

Susie knows I am her good luck charm, and she mine. No suprise the costume contest churned out the same results as last year. Susie totally won, and I told her she would before the contest began...just like last year. Seeing as only half of my costume was screen used, i didn't feel bad about entering the contest. I couldn't compete with a cool Borg or Susie shakin' it, but I did tie for third! After wearing that very tight mask for 10 hours that day, I think I earned it. Our board should be proud that 50% of the winners were our guys.

My last night in Vegas was mixed at times, but things ended on a very good note.

....and the only person whom knows what I am talking about likely won't kiss and tell. :wub:


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Star Trek Prop Forum Conquers Vegas!

While this year the Star Trek Prop Forum did not have a booth (more on that later), Forum members once again dominated the costume contest, with both Screen Used and home made costumes.

The Forum Group Shot (Damaris and I overslept!)

Susie, Damaris, Katie and Steve

Katie and Steve

Susie, Katie, Francis

Francis and Susie
Susie Vance once again took the gold, tying for first this year with her AMAZING new movie drop suit (she tied for first with a Borg...ho hum). Francis' screen used Grand Nagus contest got him into the top six, as did Steve Prewitt's screen used Sybok costume (and his uncanny resemblance to Lawrence Luckinbill!). Steve's wife Katie had what was clearly one of the top two costumes with her entirely hand made T'Pau costume from "Amok Time". But sadly the audience would rather see another Borg than a true work of art finish tied with the amazing Susie. So all in all, Star Trek Prop & Costume Forum members finished with 4 of the top 6 spots in the costume contest!

All the Forum Vegas regulars were there again, and it was great to see everyone. We truly have an awesome group of friends.

A stellar showing for our group, and congrats to Susie for her stellar effort in her second consecutive win (She got screwed two years ago out of first with her Ilyia costume which was equally amazing!).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Star Trek set pieces from IAW

As promised, here are photos of the set pieces IAW has from the new movie.

As you can see, there are not any really great pieces. IAW also had a series of photos playing on a plasma TV and the ONLY item of interest was a nacelle from one of the shuttle craft.
I think those collectors who are still willing to do business with IAW, and there are a lot of collectors who are now boycotting IAW, will be somewhat disappointed in what is for sale.

Moreover, with the departure of Colin Warde, IAW has no one with any serious Star Trek expertise to identify the items. Combine this with the fact that the movie isn't on DVD yet and thus there is no reference for current IAW employees to use, and you will find the descriptions will probably be lacking. Those that were at the Vegas con didn't seem to know what it was they had.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Paramount gives IAW new STAR TREK movie background assets

IAW has surfaced again, this time with background assets of the new Star Trek movie. I knew a month ago that Paramount was interested in selling these assets, which consist mostly of Narada, Kelvin and Starfleet Academy set pieces. Items that would not be reused in the next Star Trek movie. Supposedly Paramount was going to meet with all the auction houses and have a competitive situation for who would dispose of these and other Paramount assets. Sadly, on the first day at the San Diego Comic Con, I found out that Paramount had given them to IAW without any such competitive situation.

What makes this especially disappointing is that IAW had so badly mangled the sale of the Star Trek assets in the first place, that they are now being rewarded for this bad behavior. And while higher ups at CBS are clearly not happy with the shoddy way IAW disposed of the Star Trek assets, it seems that Paramount has no such misgivings.

From bad customer service, to the inability to get anyone with decision making power to return a call or email, to not delivering on items purchased on eBay, most every top Star Trek collector has a beef with IAW and yet we are now all once again subjected to having to deal with them.

I will be posting photos tomorrow of some of the items as IAW is at the Las Vegas Con and selling some of these assets. The only good news here, is that there aren't a lot of good pieces and nothing of what IAW brought is of any interest to the collectors who have so far seen them.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Doug Drexler Collection Update

As many of you know, I have been working with Doug Drexler on selling his 200+ items that he collected over 17 years working on Star Trek. While the BSG auctions greatly reduced the time I had to spend on this, we have picked up the action on Dougs collection and made some big moves. First and foremost, Doug's collection will be the centerpiece of a Star Trek auction we are working on for Q1 2010. We have been talking to a bunch of other Star Trek luminaries as well, and the auction is shaping up to big a blockbuster! I have even had preliminary discussions with CBS about being involved and we think the auction, while not having the amazing quality of items the Christie's auction did, will be way more fun!

The Star Trek Auction weekend will be what you have come to expect from Propworx. It won't just be an auction, but an event, with a full series of "behind the scenes" panels with the people who actually created the shows! I think we are all a bit tired of the soulless, tedious Star Trek conventions where we see the same stars and same dealers. We want to have an event with the people who created the props, costumes, art and sets we love so much. We want to hear their stories and help fill in the blanks about how these treasures were created.

We will also have a full museum quality display of not only the items in the sale, but all Star Trek props & costumes (with some items from the new movie I hope if we can get Paramount to participate). And lots of fun things to do all weekend. The idea is to have another fantastic auction experience like the BSG auctions.

We are beginning a full cataloging of Doug's collection and collecting other items this month and next after we finish the BSG auctions next week. Expect to see a preview of Doug's items as we lead up to the auction with articles on many of the items in the catalog. And the catalog will be up to the usual Propworx standards. We hope to make it almost a companion to "The Art of Star Trek" with interviews and details about the people who created our favorite show.

So keep reading and we will keep you posted on what is happening.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Star Trek Movie Police Bike at Comic-Con

Just one of the great props on display this year at Comic-Con. The Police Bike from the new Star Trek movie.

Thanks to Steve Radler and Lee Malone for some of the pics since I accidentally deleted most of mine from my iPhone!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Final IAW Report Card

Well, like many of you, I was so disappointed by not only the poor way It's a Wrap treated the Star Trek property, but the lousy way they treated us customers as well. Customer Service is not in the IAW vocabulary.

I was also totally shocked that they just sold everything to Martin Netter at the end, without even taking competitive bids. Something that is just plain bad business. Moreover, they gave Martin Netter items that were PAID eBay items and then refunded people their money. That is a violation of the eBay sales contract.

Well, because of these issues, it is no surprise that IAW gets almost a failing grade on their final report card.
Let's face it, the only reason they didn't get an "F" was because Colin Warde, who single handedly saved their butts by being not only the only guy who knew anything about Star Trek, but by being the only guy who would return a phone call or email.

So let's rate their performance.

1) Customer Support

2) Technology

3) Quality of Descriptions

4) Shipping

5) Web Site

6) Respect for the Property

So here goes.....

1) Customer Support

Yeah, we all know the stories. Almost all of us have them! After having to deal with Dom for over two years, we all have stories of unreturned emails, inability to reach Dom on the phone, and general unresponsiveness. Colin, the only person who would actually answer the phone or call you back was the only person who seemed to care, and even he couldn't get anything done because Dom refused to give him any authority to execute! So we not only had a management team who didn't give a crap, but the one guy who did had no power to do anything!

This was absolutely unacceptable, and numerous calls to Tiara went unanswered and nothing was done. We all know, and dozens of collectors will attest, that this was the worst run customer support operation we ever had to deal with. Tiara has no clue and doesn't care that Dom can't execute.


2) Technology

How about a lack of technology?
They had no technology. As the guy who worked with eBay for 5 years developing technology solutions for big eBay businesses, I can tell you that you can't effectively run your business without an auction management tool. And IAW had none. I even offered them Marketworks (what Propworx uses to manage our auctions) for FREE and Dom wouldn't adopt it. They relied on eBay and PayPal alone, which is a recipe for disaster and totally inefficient. Not only did they waste hundreds of man hours, but they couldn't get orders right often.

They also had a web site that offered no useful information, nor any customer service technology system, which would have automated customer service issues.


3) Quality of Descriptions

The descriptions were adequate and often well researched. This was because Colin was involved and responsible. Often, there was too much time spent telling us about the details of an episode which we didn't need to know however, but this we got used to. What we want to know is the condition of the item, and whose names are in all the tags in the piece. Colin did a very good job researching each costume and noting what episode it comes from and even what scene, but more attention to condition and tagging could have helped.


4) Shipping

The effort put into packaging was very good. Everything typically arrived safely and well packed.

Unfortunately the amount of time it takes to get an item can vary from days to weeks. However, IAW is very clear that shipping takes 3-6 weeks. If you are patient, the items get to you.

Again, this is lack of a technology system to manage the process, which IAW overly complicated. It isn't that tough with the right tools. If they had used a technology solution it would have made everyone's lives easier.


5) Web Site

What web site? The Star Trek portion of the IAW website was almost worthless. No updated information, a static and usually outdated list of items for sale, and no attention ever paid to it.

Talking to the IAW crew, they even said they hated their web site. But no one would take responsibility to do anything.

The benefits of a dynamic, updated web site, with a constant flow of information, are obvious. You can't do business these days without it.


6) Respect for the Property

The only reason IAW doesn't get an "F" here is Colin Warde. Yeah, he keeps saving IAW's butt and was the only person there I could say was a winner. IAW constantly showed their total disregard for respecting the property and the assets. Colin did because he was a Star Trek fan. But the fact that Dom would sell everything at the end to Martin, taking eBay winnings out of the hands of those winners and selling it to Martin, shows you that doing what was right was not the important thing to Dom and IAW.

The simple fact that IAW was interested in getting rid of the assets and not continuing the sale, shows they weren't committed to the process. They were tired of Star Trek and wanted it over.



Also, IAW still owes me $ 350 fo an item they never delivered and a COA they never sent me. This is typical and there are many people owed items by IAW.

IAW is a used clothing store, and that is what they should stick to. They have no business doing auctions, when they won't even use 21st century technology to do them. Moreover, they have no respect for the properties they are dealing with and have people not interested in servicing customers handling the process of selling. With Colin Warde gone, there are is even less of a reason for IAW to be involved with any significant property. Please just stick to selling used clothes in your stores, because real collectors don't want to have to deal with you guys again!

And congratulations to Colin Warde, who is now back in Oklahoma and is the proud father of a newborn 8lb, 6 ounce baby boy named Luca!