Monday, October 28, 2013


One of my very first Blog stories here on WOD was an article about a TOS Klingon Disruptor that I had bought a number of years ago. I told how I set out to figure out once and for all whether or not it was a real, production-made TOS prop or just a prop replica (that story is HERE).

Much to my delight, a few weeks after I posted that story, I was contacted by an Italian collector named Paolo who had some interesting news for me. He told me that while reading my article he recognized my prop due to a very basic reason – he had one just like it! And I don't mean "kind of" or "sort of" like it. After Paolo was kind enough to send me some pictures I came to realize exactly what he meant: our props were twins! Or more accurately, part of a set of triplets, since his and mine also matched the details of one of the other specimens I had used in my original analysis, the "Azarian" version. I had also unknowingly used Paolo's version in my comparison, as Paolo came to inform me that he believed his version was the one I showed as having been sold by Profiles in History in 1997 and which I had observed in my story as having similar details to mine and the Azarian piece.

Paolo recently shared some additional photos with me and gave me permission to use them here. I wanted to share my findings with other Star Trek TOS prop fanatics (I know you're out there), so here's some shots with my version and Paolo's in side-by-side comparison:

Since the two versions were shot at slightly different angles under different lighting, it's not possible to get perfect alignment or good coloring. But suffice to say that I'm able to identify exactly the same construction with similar mold flaws and consistent aluminum machining. The most significant "tell" (a detail in the machining) is present on both and has been removed from these photos by me so that forgers cannot copy it. It is my opinion that these two came from the same construction source (and the Azarian version as well, I believe, though I am unable to confirm that).

Paolo has been collecting Star Trek since the 90's and originally bought the Disruptor in 1997 from a place called "Movies Galore" in Scottsdale Arizona. Earlier that year, Profiles in History had auctioned off a Klingon Disruptor and Paolo believed that "Movies Galore" had acquired that piece and then resold it to him. I have a photo of that PIH auction piece in my original story and the styles definitely match.

So how does Paolo's Disruptor fit into the scheme of things? Quite well, actually. My supposition has always been that my version (and by default, others that resemble it) was created as a background piece as opposed to the higher-detailed "hero" pieces that were used by main characters in close-ups. Having at least three known "background" versions out there is consistent with this hypothesis since there's always multiple background versions made for a piece like the Disruptor (as my earlier story mentioned, eight Disruptors were seen in one scene alone).

I'm grateful to Paolo for his willingness to share his Disruptor with me (and all of you). It was enlightening to me to see another version of my piece in such specific detail. Many thanks, Paolo!



Tuesday, October 15, 2013


The new Screenused Auction Catalog is out and it features some very nice Star Trek pieces, including great stuff from friend of the Blog Doug Shannon. Doug's pieces include:

Voyager: Tricorder

Nemesis: Shinzon’s Ship Back-lit Panel

Enterprise: "First Flight" NX-Beta Light Up Busy Box

Star Trek V: Scotty Flashlight

Deep Space Nine: Rom's pajamas

All of Doug's entries start at very reasonable prices so check them out – you just might get a great piece at a real bargain!

Doug also has a number of excellent pieces on Ebay right now including a beautiful full-color Klingon panel from "Star Trek: Generations". Find all the listings HERE.

Best of luck to Doug!



Sunday, October 13, 2013


Trek collector Kent Karemaker
Kent Karemaker isn't your average Star Trek: The Next Generation fan. After all, average fans don't own more than 60 different screen-used costumes used in various Next Gen episodes, including pieces worn by stars Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brett Spiner and others. And they don't share their passion by building an on-line presence to present their collection to the world.

And that's exactly what Kent recently did when he brought his new collection site on-line at Along with his site, Kent shared some of his insights in collecting with me.

WOD: So Kent, what's the draw of NextGen for you?

KK: I grew up in a small town on Vancouver Island, on the West Coast of British Columbia where even finding a Star Trek comic or magazine was rare. I watched TNG for years growing up and even role played my own ship and crew with my friends every day at lunch hour in elementary school.

Kent's collection features some rather recognizable pieces.
One day I went to Vancouver and found some TNG magazines in a used bookstore. They featured mail away advertisements for autographed photos of the TNG crew that came mounted on plaques. To me, this was the coolest thing and something I dreamed of owning even if they were well outside my 11-year-old budget.

Since TNG has always been special to me, having the chance to actually own the very costumes  from my childhood memories was a dream come true. Instead of dreaming about those autographed photos of my heroes, I now own pieces worn by them.

The collection has dozens of costumes worn by the main cast and guest stars.
WOD: What are the types of things you'd like to add to your collection?

KK: I really want a few more guest star costumes, and I'm not picky on which of them it would be. I love one-episode character costumes as they are easy to pinpoint to a specific memory and brings me back to when that episode premiered and where I would have been in my young life at the time. Of course, I also love crew costumes and would love to add a Picard duty uniform to the collection or a crew member Starfleet uniform I may not have already. I've been fortunate to have managed to acquire many of the obscure pieces I searched for. I thank my news reporter background for being able to research and sniff them out!

WOD: What would be your ultimate holy grail for your collection?

Hmm, tough question – this has changed over the years since I have already managed to add a few of my grails to the collection.

That said, I would love to have the Picard Borg costume as Locutus. Sadly, I don't think it exists in complete form anywhere and even if it did it may suffer the same breakdown of foam latex and materials as all Borg costumes from that era seem to.

If I were to have a second choice, it would be a two costume set. My fondest memories are of the 3rd season episode The Survivors and would be the costumes of husband and wife Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge. I know her costume is out there somewhere (I don't know where) but sadly his is MIA.

WOD: I think you're right about poor Locutus. I'm afraid his pieces have been scattered to the wind. But good luck finding him and thanks for sharing your collection with the world through your great site.

See Kent's complete collection at



Wednesday, October 9, 2013


One of the absolute holy grails of Star Trek collecting is being offered in Julien's upcoming auction (Icons and Idols 2013: Hollywood): an original Captain James Kirk tunic from 1969. I haven't done any actual research on the piece as yet, but at a glance everything looks right.

Except for the signature scrawled right across the shirt's chest.

That's right – this awesome piece of Star Trek history has an autograph of William Shatner written right across the front in huge black marker. Now if you think that's kind of cool, good for you. But I guarantee that most collectors are going to be like me. They'll take one look at this piece, recoil in horror and scream out "WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING???!!!!???"

Just about anyone who is interested in such an amazing piece is going to want it in original condition. Some wear and tear and perhaps a bit of fading would be expected. But in this writer's opinion, this piece has been RUINED by the autograph. While it's certainly not worthless, I can't see how it will bring the kind of money the last specimen brought ($100,000). Not with that silly signature jotted across it.

Had the owner asked Shatner to sign it just about ANYWHERE else, it wouldn't be such a travesty. Obviously the owner has the right to have the autograph put anywhere they choose, but if they were at all concerned about resale value, they could not have put it in a worse place. Even on the back wouldn't have been such a deal-killer. But right smack dab in the center of the chest is just stupid, in my opinion.

To give a real-world example of this type of folly, a screen-used uniform worn by The Doctor as played by Robert Picardo on Voyager has been on Ebay for years. Literally years. Now The Doctor is one of the most popular characters from Voyager, and the uniform is certainly one of the more desirable versions (his red Command uniform when he became the "Emergency Command Hologram" or ECH). But it has the same problem as the Kirk shirt – the owner thought it would be a great idea to have Picardo autograph it right across the front. The seller has tried a variety of discounts with no takers. What a waste.

Maybe there's some rich collector out there that thinks the signature actually adds value to the piece (or at least doesn't detract). If so, good for them. But there have times in the past when a Shatner piece came up for auction and I put my life on a standstill trying to figure out how (or if) I could pursue it. This time, I certainly don't have that worry.

There's darn few pieces of this caliber still around from the original Star Trek. It pains me greatly that this one was treated so cavalierly. So if you ever want to get an autograph from your favorite Trek actor, please, PLEASE leave the one-of-a-kind "super-piece" at home!