The new Star Trek movie added a whole new dimension to the hobby of collecting Star Trek screen-used props and costumes. There was now a whole new world of props and costumes to collect -- but none of it was publicly available. With two more movies to go on J.J. Abrams’ contract (as a producer), the word was none of the items would be sold until after the third movie at best.
But all that changed when J.J. donated 17 items that were auctioned off for two charities, the Children’s Defense Fund (childrensdefense.org) and Student Veterans of America (studentveterans.org), last June. This was a great opportunity for Star Trek collectors to get a piece of the new movie. Overall, the prices got pretty reasonable prices (considering this isn’t a hobby for those with thin wallets!) and a lot of collectors were very happy with what they got. The most notable pieces were the Spock Parka, which snared a healthy $7,000, and the Enterprise Communicator, which hit $ 6,000.
Going into this auction, the Star Trek collecting community didn’t know what to make of the prices that these items might bring. There is always a habit in the collecting world of over-pricing the newest and brightest items because they are on the top of your mind. Most of the time, people will overpay and then they can’t get back what they paid for an item initially. So that was a concern here. Plus, of course, the economy is bad and that was bound to depress prices. But ultimately, the auction prices were pretty fair and, as I say, people were generally happy.
The Kelvin Phaser was the highlight of the auction for me, personally, and the one piece I wanted very badly. I wish this had been the phaser that they chose for Kirk and the boys, because it is obviously TOS, but different and interesting enough to be distinctive. It has caught the attention of the prop replica community as well, and CBS licensee QMX has even said they are going to make a replica of it. If you like the TOS Phaser, chances are you loved this one.
Well, in the end, I broke the bank and won the Kelvin Phaser for a whopping $7,000, a decision I have not once regretted. I have a pretty sizable collection of Star Trek props and costumes from across the entire franchise, and the Kelvin Phaser from Star Trek (2009) is one of my top 5 pieces among over 100.
So what else was of interest? Well, there were a total of six costumes. The Romulan crew member costume was the least interesting of the batch, as it was a background piece, but still commanded a healthy $2,000. In between that and the Spock Parka, there was a beautiful Kelvin crewmember costume, which went for $2,750 and a blue Enterprise classic style uniform which went for a surprisingly reasonable $ 2,000. There were also both male and female cadet costumes, which went for $2,000 and $1,700, respectively. The female cadet especially was a great deal because of how detailed the costume was and the fact that it came with boots. This is something you rarely see with costumes.
On the prop side, the set of four Enterprise uniform badges went for $1,700. Now, these are different and unique in that they were resin attachments and not sewn-on patches like in The Original Series. I think over time these will be pretty sought after, as they are easy to display. But with more movies on the way I think there will be no shortage of these as time goes on.
The biggest problem with this auction was that there were not enough items! There are thousands of Star Trek prop and costume collectors and there were only 17 items in the auction. But then again, that is how an auction works! Hopefully, after the final J.J. Abrams movie, whenever that occurs, Paramount and CBS will sell everything from these movies and we will see another Christie’s style auction. And, of course, hopefully Propworx will do it!
A complete list of auctioned items from Star Trek 2009:
-Kelvin Crew Member Costume $ 2,750
-Kelvin Phaser $ 7,000
-Hero Kelvin Bridge Chair $ 1,500
-Klingon Rifle $ 1,100
-Romulan Pistol $ 1,750
-Romulan Rifle $ 2,250
-Romulan Crew Member Costume $ 2,000
-Starfleet Female Cadet Costume $ 1,700
-Enterprise Insignia Badges $ 1,700
-Starfleet Male Cadet Costume $ 2,000
-Starfleet Council Chair $ 500
-Enterprise Data Tablet $ 1,100
-Medical Tricorder $ 2,250
-Enterprise Crew Member Costume $ 2,000
-Enterprise Communicator $ 6,000
-Spock Torch $ 750
-Spock Parka $ 7,000
Alec Peters has been a Star Trek fan since he first watched TOS on TV in the 60's. He started collecting screen-used Star Trek props and costumes at the big Christie's auction in 2006 and then turned his passion into a business, becoming CEO of Propworx, an auction house for Hollywood studios. For additional information about Propworx and their upcoming Star Trek auction, visit www.propworx.com.