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, October 21, 2009

"What are Little Girls Made of?" Costume on eBay

There is a supposedly screen used Star Trek TOS costume on eBay from "What are Little Girls Made of?". You can see it here. There was some question about the costume.

First of all, this is what was posted on October 19th by a Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum regular:

"The "WALGMO" costume (as shown in the e-Bay posting photos) does not match the one seen on Dr. Brown on-screen. Hi-Dev screen caps on Trek Core clearly show that Dr. Brown's costume had front thigh pockets on both sides. Granted, they could have been removed after production. But why? Screen caps do show what appears to be a match for those large adjustment buckles seen on the back of the costume, but the caps are dark and the details few.


As the seller IS NOT accepting returns, I would be very careful with this costume. Several questions I'd have; Does the costume show any evidence of ever having front thigh pockets? Could that costume be a repro made by Paramount for one of their many traveling Star Trek exhibits, or possibly for ST: The Experience?

Another thought; Ken Caslis did get some items from the Bill Theiss estate. Perhaps this costume was made for, but not used in "WALGMO". Theiss kept costumes from Star Trek, so it's possible that this was one of them."

In response to these exact questions, the seller posted a revision to his ad on eBay today, October 21st, to include this:

"Update: There apparently were front pockets on this outfit when it was filmed for the episode. These front pockets were subsequently removed from the costume. I can see faint stitching lines on the front of the outfit on both sides indicating where the pockets used to be sewn onto. Thanks guys for pointing this out!"

I do think the seller overstates Ken Casslis' credentials. As far as I know he sells through Profiles, and does not authenticate for them. Ken was one of the two guys who got all the Star Trek props from Paramount and sold them in Profiles for years. I do not have any information about Ken's expertise, but I would suggest James Cawley, of Star Trek: Phase II (formerly New Voyages) is a better choice as an expert. James actually worked for Bill Theiss.

This seller has two other interesting lots on eBay and I will review those tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Star Trek props and collectibles at auction

I received an email about an auction happening this month of Star Trek props and collectibles that belonged to a former driver for Paramount Studios. Supposedly he worked on every Star Trek movie, and certainly has a lot of signs that are issued to crew parking on location. You can find the items here. An auction house called Ready Auction House is using a system called Proxy Bid. All of there auctions are here.

There are some interesting lots, though most are collectibles. I suggest you look at all the lots starting with lot # 109. However, there is no order to these lots and the Star Trek items are littered throughout the auction. Really disappointing, and it doesn't speak well for the auction house's desire to create a compelling auction.

The most interesting lots are:

Lot #109
Star Trek Deep Space Nine Original Script “Profit and Lace” Final Draft, March 9, 1998 and set diagram”

Lot #112
Star Trek IX Insurrection Production Crew Badge, Sign, and Photos

Lot #115 Star Trek Enterprise Season One Production Signs (3), Transportation Sign, Enterprise Crew Sticker

Lot #158 Star Trek Nemesis Production Photocopies of the USS Enterprise E, Model

(The little model is interesting, but origin is unknown)

Lot #159 Star Trek Nemesis Film Sign, Paramount Pictures Corporation

Lot #160 Star Trek Nemesis Production Crew Jacket, Size Large

Lot #177 Star Trek DS9, Voyager, TNG Communicator Badge, Screen Used

Lot #181 Star Trek: Nemesis Script, Original

Lot #183 Star Trek DS9, Voyager, TNG Damaged Communicator Prop

(What is believed to be a crew gift, not an actual prop)

Lot #185 11 Star Trek Nemesis Production Papers and Set Photos

Lot #186 Star Trek Nemesis Film Sign (laminated) and Transportation Sign

Lot #187 Star Trek Klingon Plaque, Screen Used

Lot #190 Star Trek First Contact Production Crew Jacket, Size Medium

Lot #191 Star Trek First Contact Screen Used Gold Model of the U.S.S. Enterprise D from the Briefing Room/Office

Lot #192 Star Trek First Contact Production Lot

Lot #193 Star Trek Insurrection Production Crew Jacket, Size Large

Lot #194 Star Trek Nemesis and other Studio Mock up set parts

Lot #195 Star Trek Nemesis Studio Set Mockup, Scimitar Corridor and Intersection

Lot #215 Star Trek Screen Used Gold Model of the USS Enterprise D from the Enterprise E Briefing Room

Lot #217 Star Trek Screen Used Klingon Plaque

Lot #223 Star Trek Nemesis Card Holder, Screen Used

Good hunting!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cardassian Computer on Screen Used

Screen Used props has a Cardassian Desktop Computer on its site for $ 3,999. It is a nice piece, though saw little screen use. It was first used as a Trill computer before being retasked for Sloan's office, where it is seen on his desk.

The world famous Jörg, Star Trek's greatest living prop identifier had this to say about it:

"As far as I know, the prop first apppeared as a Trill desktop monitor in "Rejoined". It was then modified and later was seen in Sloan's mind in "Extreme measures" just the way it looks today. You can see that it still has the same grey/blue colour on the underside that it had as a Trill monitor in "Rejoined". It might have been reused between Seasons 4 and 7 which would explain the colour change and modification (there's no Cardassian symbol or written language on the monitor, so it is not necessarily Cardassian), I can't imagine them changing the colour just for the brief scene in Sloan's mind. I'll let you know when I find out more, for the moment I can just say it was once Trill and then was seen in Sloan's mind. Everything I know, I posted at EAS: "

Now, I think it is a beautiful piece, but way overpriced. This is a $ 2,000 - $ 2,500 piece. Why? Well, I have bought three Star Trek monitors, Picard's from First Contact, Picard's from Insurrection and Martok's Klingon computer. I paid $ 2,000 - $ 3,000 each and they were all much more important pieces and used more than this one. So this seller (much of what is on Screen Used is on consignment), needs to come to grip with reality.

Also, I would like to see some provenance on this piece. While I have no doubt it is real, we have no idea how this got out. Another Star Trek back door piece one must assume. It sold at the Profiles in History sale and as I have said before, that is not provenance. You can see that item page on the Star Trek Archive here.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Profiles in History Preview - October, 2009

With the Profiles in History auction coming up this weekend, I thought it would be worthwhile to preview the Star Trek items in their auction.

There has been a lot of controversy around the Profiles auction due to the catalog cover item, a supposedly rare Dracula movie poster, was found by the collecting community to be a fake, despite Profiles owner Joe Madalena's assurances that it was real. In fact the authenticator that Joe Madelena used was 100% wrong and Profiles has since removed the item from the auction. You can see the video here where Joe swears the item is real and talks about the authentication.

With this being the SECOND time that Profiles has put an item on the cover of their catalog that has turned out to be fake (the other being the Planet of the Apes Statue of Liberty head that was not what Profiles advertised), one has to question what processes are being used by Profiles to ensure an item is real. How can we trust anything in a Profiles auction is real if the items on their cover aren't even properly authenticated? This is very relevant to Star Trek collecting as there have been problems with Star Trek items in Profiles auctions before.

Now many of you will remember my reviews of the December 2007 Profiles auction where Brett from Federation Surplus and I went to Profiles to preview the Star Trek items. I published my review, as Brett and I came to the conclusion that many of the props, all from one consignor who allegedly used to work for HMS, the prop maker for much of TNG, DS9 and Voyager, looked fake. As Mike Moore, the well known owner of HMS, is the person who authenticates Star Trek items for Profiles in History, there is an inherent conflict of interest. Now I am not saying Mike Moore intentionally mislead anyone. I do not know Mike well, and have only spoken to him on the phone. He seems like a nice guy, and certainly knows his Star Trek props since he made a ton of them! But anyone can see the conflict in Mike authenticating props from one of his employees, especially considering the well known proclivity of HMS and its employees to cast extra copies of props for themselves and sell versions to anyone who walked in to their shop. Who is to say what was made for the production and what was just from the original molds? The waters are incredibly muddy here.

In the 2007 auction, Brett and I had pretty solid evidence to suggest that many of the one consignors items were not either production made or screen used. And in fact, some of those did not sell. Profiles refuses to disclose who a consignor is, and so provenance is never established. In the most fraud-ridden hobby out there, where provenance is everything, not disclosing this leaves to many questions when a prop's authenticity is questioned.

With the current crop of Star Trek items, for the most part, there is little problem though with authentication I think. The problem is mis-identification. The exception would be the T'Pol costume, which has serious questions around it.

Many of these items are from the It's a Wrap auctions, though not listed this way. Why not? Why avoid clear provenance? I think this is the biggest problem with profiles auctions, is their disregard for provenance sometimes, which is the cornerstone of Prop collecting. I rarely buy any Star Trek props that weren't from Christie's or IAW. There are too many Star Trek fakes out there.

Well, here is a brief review:

Set of six Star Trek: TOS crew gift cocktail glasses from Christmas 1966

Ok, this is cool. And I think this goes over $ 1,000. I mean, get together
with your friends and split it up! These are an actual crew gift and feature the Enterprise. A true piece of Star Trek history.

602 Original Matt Jefferies USS Enterprise bridge concept art for Star Trek

Anything Matt Jeffries is cool, and this is a nice piece. The estimate is strong, but it is a concept piece for TOS so I will not be surprised if this sells either at the opening bid or a bit higher. And while I think Mattt Jeffries is brilliant, I would wonder how his drawings will hold there value over time as appreciation for this pioneer is generally limited to those who are old enough to have watched TOS when it first aired.

603 Original Ozite Carpeting from Bridge of USS Enterprise

I guess there are people who would collect this, and I can easily see Rittenhouse Archives buying this and cutting it up for their cards (YIKES!!).

The largest privately held photographic archive of Star Trek images

Many know Richard Arnold, who works for Creation at some of their bigger conventions, was Gene Roddenberry's assistant while TNG was filming. Here he has offered his personal collection of Star Trek photographs, numbering some 10,000 pieces. This is quite an impressive collection and it would be wonderful if whoever won this shared it with the rest of us. Just what we see in the photographs is quite impressive and the TOS color photography is quite amazing.

605 Original Tribble from Star Trek: The Original Series episode “The Trouble with Tribbles”

An original Tribble is hard to document. There were of course hundreds of them, as there were from the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribbleations". Tribbles from that later episode go around $ 500 all the time (I bought one at that price recently from the photographer who did the Entertainment Weekly photo shoot). The provenance on this seems solid, and this is reasonable at $ 1,500 or so I think.

William Shatner “Captain James T. Kirk” Starfleet pants from Star Trek: The Original Series

Well, here is your chance to get into Captain Kirk's pants! An original pair of pants from TOS, this should fetch well over the $3,000 - 5,000 estimate. I know at Christie's, a buddy of mine went after Sulu's pants to match his Sulu tunic. It is always nice to work towards completing a costume.

William Shatner’s Romulan uniform pants from “The Enterprise Incident”

Kirk's Romulan Pants are even cooler, and if you are the guy who owns the top to this, then this is a must have. Otherwise, it isn't quite that interesting. I mean, how do you display this?

609 Star Trek: Original Series 2nd Season Starfleet Sciences Dress from “Wolf in the Fold”

There were some questions raised about this piece when it was offered on eBay two years ago. I suggest serious screen matching to match up the cuts. It was priced too high at the time, but did sell in a private sale to the consignor of many of the items in this Profiles auction.

Spock’s screen-used miniature thruster unit for the V’Ger spacewalk from Star Trek: TMP

One of the cooler pieces in the auction, an actual filming miniature. With the Kirk Space Suit model going to be offered in this Spring's Propworx Star Trek Auction, this piece would be a good companion piece and some forward thinking collector may want to snatch this up!. I think this might go to Stephen Lane from Prop Store of London, who won the actual full size Spock Space Suit, which he acquired from IAW.

612 William Shatner “Admiral Kirk” Starfleet Class A Uniform from Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I hated this style of uniform, and it seems people share my view as the Class A style always went the cheapest of any screen used version. Face it, they are just ugly! This was sold just under two years ago for $ 2,550 by IAW. Yet the reserve here is $ 5,000. The owner has tried to sell this for astronomical prices before on eBay and no one bit. Maybe Profiles's customers will pony up the big bucks he wants. Because of its lack of eye appeal and its lack of boots and frays edges, I don't think this is worth much more than its opening bid.

From the original IAW eBay ad:

A costume featured in Star Trek I: The Motion Picture for wear by William Shatner in his portrayal of “Admiral Kirk”. The costume is a Class-A Starfleet uniform composed of trousers and a top with an unattached plastic bio-monitor. The interior of the top appears to have been altered and exhibits frayed lining, the hem of the trouser cuffs are frayed. The top features a sewn in Western Costume Co. tag reading ‘William Shatner’ while the trousers are nameless. Both garments appear to have been dyed. Sale Price $ 2,550

Nichelle Nichols “Lt. Cmdr. Uhura” Starfleet Class B uniform from Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Well this originally sold atr IAW for a very cheap $ 639. You can view it at the Star Trek Archive here. Note that the rank are not original and were added by the collector after he bought it. Still, he got a great deal and this is fair around $ 3,000.

621 Hero illuminating Klingon translator device from Star Trek: The Unidiscovered Country

The Hero Klingon translator has a high opening bid. The other one of these, sold through IAW for only $ 1,924. It allegedly was Kirk's. This one is already more than that price.

Hero illuminating Reman rifle from Star Trek: Nemesis

A lot of these were sold through IAW and hero versions were bought by myself and others for around $ 1,500. The opening bid already puts this above that when you figure in the Buyer's Premium. This is neither rare nor from a particularly memorable scene or even movie. Frankly, the background versions of this rifle display as well as the heroes as I have owned both.

Screen-used hero illuminating Mark TR-580 Tricorder VII from Star Trek: The Next Generation

Probably one of the most interesting items in the auction is this working Tricorder. An older TNG era Mark VII, these run in the $ 4,000 range generally, so the $ 6,000 opening bid is way high. I would love one of these, but won't bid at this price.

Alice Krige “Borg Queen” screen-used arm from Star Trek: Voyager series finale episode “Endgame”

A very cool prop is the Borg Queen arm from "First Contact". However, I think the estimates are way high. A $ 6,000 opening bid? Certainly it is a cool and interesting prop. But this is a $ 3,000 item based on current Star Trek market pricing. Not to say some rich person won't pony up for this, but not worth the price in my book.

Star Trek: The Next Generation 3rd Season working hero phaser

Well, a little research would have explained a lot. This is not a Screen Used Hero Phaser. It was the prototype, developed by Ed Miarecki for Rick Sternbach. I spoke to Rick on the phone and he said that this phaser is in pristine condition. It was never Screen Used and was the prototype Ed developed based on Rick's drawings. This is the type of research Profiles should be doing and which it often just takes a consignor's word on. I just picked up my cell phone and called Rick for this info. (Rick is an awesome guy who loves talking Trek) and then spoke to Ed Miarecki. It is also larger than the screen used versions.

Jeri Ryan’s “Seven of Nine” brown catsuit from Star Trek: Voyager

These used to command $ 10,000 a pop, so it will be interesting to see where the market is now. This one has neither the built in shoes nor the corset. But I think $ 5-6,000 is reasonable and would not be surprised if it goes more. These are tough to display and you do need a real mannequin to keep the form.

Klingon Distruptor and holster from Star Trek: Enterprise

These are pretty common, but still cool (as are all things Klingon). The estimate is reasonable and I think anything under $ 1,000 is fair.

639 Tom Morga Klingon costume from Star Trek: Voyager

At Christie's these were going for $ 10,000. The market came down with IAW sales and I picked mine up for $ 2,500. Now last time, Profiles sold one for the $ 10,000 opening bid which shows you Profiles has customers who don't care about the market, they just want it! So I won't be surprised if this sells. These are iconic, and this has the rarer movie tunic, noted by the shoulders and quilting.

Jolene Blalock’s “T’Pol” white desert jumpsuit from Star Trek: Enterprise


This was sold by IAW as a stunt costume. They did not see any "Jolene Blalock" written in the tag as Profiles notes here. Did they miss something, or did the buyer alter the costume tag? No way to know, but the IAW listing said nothing about a Jolene Blalock name. Profiles claims" This costume was originally screen-worn by Blalock for the filming of multiple episodes, and then relegated to stunt usage when it became frayed/damaged." How do they know this? As I have said many times, altering names in a costume is the primary way fraud is committed in costumes. I am not saying that is what happened here, but it raises questions that need to be answered.

See the listing here in the Star Trek archive.

From the IAW listing:


A costume worn by stunt performer Boni Yanagisawa in her portrayal of “T'Pol”. Off white and form fitting, the sides of the costume as well as the outside of the sleeves are ribbed and the shoulder feature a cream and a teal colored stripe (possibly a division strip), while the left shoulder features a sewn on ‘Enterprise NX-01’ assignment patch. The costume is distressed to appear damaged with minor stains evident on the front and significant green ‘Vulcan bloodstains’ down the right leg below the knee corresponding to a series of puncture holes. This excellent costume appears to have been featured in the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes “The Forge”, “Awakening”, and “Kir Shara”. The Enterprise tag sewn in reads ‘Boniee Yanagisawa’.

I would make sure I inspected this costume before I bid on this. I just don't trust the change. in status, or Profiles description.

Please join the discussion on the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum where this auction is being discussed.