There was nearly a mutiny on the Starship Enterprise last week.
On Friday—the third day of an auction of a large assortment of Hollywood memorabilia from Profiles in History, a Calabasas, Calif.-based auctioneer of Hollywood memorabilia—investors got into an all out bidding war over a few "Star Trek" collectibles.
One of the biggest draws was the uniform worn by actor Walter Koenig, who played Ensign Pavel Chekov. Originally expected to sell for between $12,000 and $15,000, it ultimately was won for $42,500. Nichelle Nichols' iconic Lt. Nyota Uhuru uniform went for the same amount, as did the Nurse Christine Chappel uniform once worn by Majel Barrett.
However, the pandemonium moderated somewhat after the tunics of Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock went up for bid. Both eventually sold – with a single bid – for $60,000 apiece. Higher, perhaps, than the less senior crew members, but at the lowest range of expectations.
Movie and television memorabilia collectors, especially in the high end market, are nothing if unpredictable. All told, the three-day auction yielded some high bids for some items, but other items that were expected to collect top dollar fell short.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's outfit from "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," for instance, failed to garner a single bid—perhaps because of it's opening bid price of $120,000. But an X-Wing miniature model from the original "Star Wars" movie was snatched up for $160,000.
Other big ticket items included the "Witch Remover" prop Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion attempted to use in "The Wizard of Oz," which sold for $90,000. The golden headpiece Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones put atop a staff to locate the Ark of the Covenant in "Raiders of the Lost Arc" commanded a top bid of $70,000.
However, it was the Star Trek merchandise that many had their eyes on. The sale was the largest ever of merchandise from the original series, and coincided with the series' 50th anniversary, which occurs later this year on Sept. 8.
There were 98 items up for bids in all. Below is a sample of some of the more noteworthy items, and how the performed with bidders:
A prop of a Vulcan weapon from the "Amok Time" episode of the show, where Spock and Kirk fought, was sold for $42,500;
A Tribble prop went for $5,000;
Scotty's "Sonic Wrench" went for $3,750;
A communicator from the film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn" captured $14,500;
"Naiskos" game board and pieces from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" sold for a whopping $47,500;
The scripts of Patrick Stewart (who played Captain Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation)—which consisted of more than 320 scripts—went for $25,000;
Yet even collectors with deep pockets have their limits: 20 of the nearly 100 Star Trek items up for bids failed to get a single bid.