Thursday, May 4, 2017

BS ALERT: FAKE TOS TRICORDER OFFERED ON EBAY AS "AUTHENTIC". GUESS WHAT? IT'S NOT.

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!

LLAP

Don

10 comments:

  1. Hi everyone. I was the bad guy trying to sell the Tricorder. I de-listed it as soon as I found out it was no good. I got it from a deceased persons mother and described it as such. Nobody was hurt and I just wouldve liked to have been notified first before reported to ebay and vilified. I run www.mullerrarecoins.com and wouldve delisted right away. I run a business based on reputation and would never have done it on purpose. Looks like someone has way too much time on their hands to make this whole write up rather than just tell me so I couldve de-listed. Maybe that person should get a job. lol. Im just kidding actually. No harm done! Have a great day.
    Aaron Muller

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    1. Readers should know that "Aaron" here called me an asshole (so much for "no harm done") for having the nerve to report his bogus auction to Ebay. I did this report only AFTER he had been informed weeks ago as to the true nature of this fake. He ignored that info and proceeded to Ebay, trying to make a buck on some poor slob. FWIW, this Blog is about the very subject of the auction, so I'll gladly take the time to expose this type of thing.

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  2. Jesus. I only bought it 2 days ago. Why are you making this up? Show me please where weeks ago you informed me when I didnt even own it.....cmon man. Please show me any communication you had with me before today. You cant. You reported me before you even let me know. That makes you and asshole. lol Youre not being truthful. I cant believe I have to waste my time on this.

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    1. I was contacted by the owner of this (and other Trek props) through an intermediary last week. I have the e-mails and photos to prove it. I informed that owner (who I assumed was you) in very specific terms about the problems with this and ALL of the props he had. So if that wasn't you, then whoever sold you these pieces KNEW they were fakes and sold them to you anyway. Either way, you made claims that were untrue. Your piece is a very nice copy, but it's ONLY a copy. So, armed with only a lame-ass story and ZERO to back it up, you proceeded to Ebay to try to make money off of some fools claiming you had real fifty-year-old props. I wish you did as that would be amazingly cool and I would have gladly have paid your price. But you have fakes and you are calling this one, at least, real. And you have no proof whatsoever. Naturally, because it's not real.

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  3. Ok ok we get it. But it wasn't me. This could've been avoided by just telling me and waiting for me to delish it. Find something better to do dude.

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    1. I ALWAYS have time to write about fakes. It's one of the purposes of this Blog, after all, so there's NEVER anything better to do!

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  4. Well, I for one am very happy that Don did the right thing and protected true ST collectors from this bogus listing. I have been burned many times. I continue to wonder why scammers prey upon ST collectors around the world to take our money on bogus "originals." Thank God for people like Don and for various boards that alert us to these fakes.

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  5. I appreciate the kind words, Jeff. Thanks for reading!

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  6. Great work, Don! The entire collecting community values your insight and dedication. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks for the nice comments, Nathan, and most of all, thanks for reading!

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