On September 8, 1996, the world saw the debut of one of TV’s best-loved shows and one of the most successful science fiction entertainment franchises. Viewers have come face to face with the Final Frontier since the first regular episode of Star Trek was broadcast, spawning a franchise of spin-offs and films.
Created by Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek has been in six television series: The Original Series, The Next Generation, The Animated Series, Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Voyager, and Enterprise. Star Trek also has eleven feature films, dozens of games, thousands of collectibles, and memorabilia. The franchise has become a cult phenomenon.
Trekkies, devoted Star Trek fans, attend most Star Trek conventions and events and dress up in costumes related to the main characters. Trekkies are also avid collectors of anything related to Star Trek. Some fans spend thousands of dollars just to own a personal item or prop used in TV series and films.
Here are some of the most expensive Star Trek memorabilia bought by devoted Trekkies:
Original Tri-corder prop – $45,000
The most expensive hand-held prop was the original 1966 Tricorder used in the first season of the original series. In 2001, it was sold at a Profiles in History sale for the price of $45,000, smashing its estimated price of $12,000 – $15,000.
Picard’s Ressikan flute – $48,000
A prop flute, the non-playing brass musical instrument with a white string tassel, and a textured plastic case were used by Patrick Stewart’s Picard in Star Trek. It was sold for $48,000 after an estimated price of only $800-$1200.
Scripts and archive collection from the original series – $55,000
The collection of script researcher Joan Pearce, who worked on the entire franchise, the most comprehensive archive of the Star Trek Original Series scripts and research material to appear at an auction. The TOS archive consisted of over 240 vintage scripts covering every one of the 79 episodes produced and alternative versions. It also comes with comprehensive research notes, feasibility reports, shooting schedules, and information relating to the storyline and detail of the original series. This impressive collection was sold at a Profiles in History sale in 2006 for a price of $55,000.
Original annotated “The Making of Star Trek” typescript – $55,200
The Making of Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry and Stephen E. Whitfield remains one of the essential reference books for fans of the franchise. Written in 1968, it details the production and creation of the original series in detail. During a Christie’s sale in New York in 1994, the original annotated typescript copy of the book was sold at a then-record price of $55,200. It featured hand-written revisions, alternate versions of chapters, research materials that include letters, photographs, interviews, and even the original publishing contract for the book.
Hero Phaser pistol – $57,500
Want a more action-oriented tidbit? Captain Kirk’s Hero Phaser pistol from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was sold for $57,500 in 2001.
Enterprise-E captain’s chair – $62,400
The captain’s chair at the center of the bridge symbolizes the commanding officer’s authority. This padded aircraft-style armchair covered with burgundy-dyed imitation leather sold for a huge sum of $62,400 in 2006. The chair’s armrests have simulated control panels designed to accept a small LCD screen.
Production script from the original series – $70,400
The three seasons of the original Star Trek series comprised 79 episodes. An archive of the original scripts and story was sold at Julien’s auctions for $70,400. The lot included approximately 193 script drafts from 73 episodes, 94 story outlines from 53 of the episodes, and a large selection of original memos and additional material that fills five file boxes.
Klingon Battle Cruiser – $74,750
A model of the Klingon Battle Cruiser designed for the original series sold for $74,750 in 2006.
Phaser – $78,000
In 2011, a phaser prop from the original series sold for $78,000 in 2011, topping the phaser from Wrath of Khan by a few grand.
Balok’s puppet head – $80,500
A lucky fan was able to go home with a prosthetic alien head called Balok’s puppet head from the original series “The Corbomite Maneuver” for the high price of $80,500 in 2010. Just don’t let it startle you when you walk inside the room!
Command module of the USS Enterprise – $92,000
One fan paid top dollar for a piece of the original USS Enterprise, specifically the command module from the original series. The prop was bought for $92,000.
Spock’s tunic – $123,250
Mr. Spock’s season 3 tunic, a powder blue Starfleet First Officer’s uniform, was sold during a Profiles in History auction in 2003 for a record price of $123,250.
Dr. Mccoy’s spacesuit – $144,000
Dr. McCoy’s spacesuit from The Tholian Web was the most expensive costume ever sold from the original series. It was made from a silver lame with a fabric helmet and a screen mesh visor. It may not have been protective in space, but it was attractive enough for the lot to smash its estimate. Originally valued at around $6,000 – $8,000, the suit sold at $144,000 in 2006.
Captain Kirk’s Phaser rifle – $231,000
Captain James T. Kirk was always a formidable figure as a commander of the starship USS Enterprise. Having powerful toys like the Phaser rifle also helped. While the Phaser rifle appeared only in the second pilot episode for the Star Trek series, it’s been an iconic sidekick to Captain Kirk all the way through. No wonder the rifle that the actor William Shatner hauled around while filming sold at an incredibly high price of $231,000 in 2013 at Julien’s Auctions.
Kirk’s Enterprise Command Chair – $265,000
The original series set in the original Star Trek TV show was scrapped in 1969 by Paramount, but several parts were rescued by a lucky fan. That fan managed to get his hands on the command chair used by William Shatner’s signature character Captain Kirk. The prop was the centerpiece of the Enterprise set for the entire series. In 2002, it appeared as part of the Profiles in History sale of the Bob Justman Collection in Los Angeles and was sold for the record price of $265,000.
Star Trek Original command chair and platform – $304,750
In 2002, the original captain’s command chair and platform sold at an auction for an astounding $304,750.
Starship Enterprise-D – $576,000
Some people loved Star Trek so much that they didn’t settle for a tricorder, a captain’s chair, or a spacesuit, which is why they had to bring home a magnificent miniature of the Starship Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. A model of the Starship Enterprise used in the title sequences and pilot of Next Generation sold for $576,000 at an auction.