This story is going to have its ups and downs, but we're not going to string you along. Our latest visit to the Star Trek Vault finds us in Las Vegas, in the dealers' room during Creation Entertainment's Official Star Trek Convention last month. We've got in our hot hands a semi-rare piece of Trek memorabilia: a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Yo-Yo bearing the face of Quark. We're about to show it to Armin Shimerman, the man behind Quark's mug for seven seasons, but he's busy chatting with a fan. So, instead, we show it Shimerman's lovely wife, Kitty Swink.
"Oh, my God," Swink enthuses. "I've never seen that. I thought I'd seen all of the Star Trek products. We have tons of them, but I've never seen that."
Swink checks out the packaging.
"'Do Tricks & Stunts! Collect Them All!'" she says aloud. Then she turns the package around to read from the back. "It's from Spectra Star. And they also had yo-yo's of Kira, Sisko and the space station. This is new to me. Armin..."
Swink leans over toward her husband, politely interrupting him. Shimerman smiles upon seeing the Quark yo-yo, takes hold of it and then charmingly loops the fan he's been talking to into the conversation.
"Actually, I think I have this at home," Shimerman says. "I don't think I ever opened it. Back when the show debuted in 1993, Paramount sent us big care boxes with the products that had our likenesses. The yo-yo was one of them. They had Deep Space Nine and Quark on things you'd never imagine they'd put you on, but they did, and the yo-yo was one of them. It's kind of fun. And it's a long time ago."
Shimerman laughs again.
"What's it selling for?" he asks, very Quark-like.
Six bucks, he's told.
"Not bad for a 20-year-old yo-yo," he said. "Not bad at all."
Just today, on eBay and Amazon.com, the yo-yo can be found priced at anywhere from $1.25 to $9.99. The one that's selling for $9.99 has the original Toys R Us price tag on it. It's cost back in the day? $2.49.
Shimerman then asks if he can share with StarTrek.com and our readers some news about the theater company, Antaeus, for which he and Swink serve as members of the board of directors. Of course, he can. The group, which also features several Trek veterans, is based in North Hollywood, California, and currently has plans to construct two new theaters in Glendale.
"Anyone who is interested can donate directly to the Antaeus capital campaign," he added. "Go to the Antaeus.org website and click the Play On! button. It's on the first page and it is our capital campaign title. It's tax deductible. In addition, if they use my name and contribute more than $100, I will send them a signed copy of one of our scripts."
The next production at Antaeus will be Uncle Vayna, set to run October 8 to December 6. Among the Trek veterans who'll be part of the ensemble cast are Linda Park, Lawrence Pressman, Jeffrey Nordling and Harry Groener. Visit www.anteaus.com for additional details and to purchase tickets.