Yet another fake Original Series Star Trek prop has showed up on Ebay. This time it's a Tricorder. You can find it here:
Fake Tricorder on Ebay
The description is clear :
"Up for auction is an original Star Trek Tricorder from the private collection of Scott Giarrocco. Scott was a big comic book dealer who passed away years ago. Scott was friends with the cast of the original Star Trek TV show from 1966 to 1969. This is not a reproduction prop. It's the real thing and very valuable. Don't miss out on a rare opportunity to own a piece of Star Trek and TV history. More original items to come!"
Who the heck "Scott Giarrocco" is, I have no idea. But he either got scammed or did some scamming. Either way, this piece isn't real, IMO. Here's why:
First up is a comparison of the auction piece to a frame taken directly from a Trek episode. Notice the subtle differences (click on photos for larger versions):
The detail on the colored buttons is all wrong. The originals used fluted watch crowns while the auction piece clearly does not. The speaker mesh is obviously different as well.
Next is the interior. There was only one version made with an interior and that was removed later in the production to satisfy the needs of a particular episode. No trace of that interior has been seen since. But that doesn't matter as the auction piece's interior doesn't match the originals anyway.
The "disks" in the original had a gap between the 7th and 8th discs because that last disc was the only one that was detailed and removable. This has been confirmed by no less than the prop master who worked on the original production who complained that the removable disk was a hassle to deal with because it would slip out and roll around the set.
While I can't say for sure, the auction version doesn't look like it has that feature. And it clearly does not have the gap. The bar beneath the disks is also clearly different. It is much thicker and higher on the auction version.
Only two "hero" Tricorders (highly-detailed versions used for close-ups) were known to have been created for original Star Trek. While some details vary – like the color of the control buttons, for instance – the construction details were consistent from one to the other. Blu-Ray screen captures have revealed previously-hidden details that prove the point.
How do I know all of this? Because I was part of an exhaustive examination of the original Tricorder props by a group of Star Trek Prop enthusiasts/fanatics at the Trek Prop Zone (click HERE for more), an on-line community of voracious eaters of all information related to Star Trek props. So the information presented here is not one guys' opinion but rather is the culmination of dozens of people all hell-bent to know everything knowable about Star Trek props and the original Tricorder in particular.
An interesting caveat regarding this is that I was recently contacted about this specific piece (and several others). I gave the same verdict then that I present here. Apparently, the seller didn't like my opinion.
Also, keep this in mind as well: if this were a true, authentic piece, it would be worth waaaaay more than the seller's asking price. Tens of thousands more! So it is my opinion that he's trying to hook an unsuspecting fish – a fan who is hungry for a piece of original Star Trek who has more money that insight. In short, they're looking for a sucker.
Don't let it be you!