Mr. Spock Rises To The Top  by Rosemary McKittrick

Photo courtesy of Julien's Auctions.

He was the green-blooded, pointy-eared, extraterrestrial millions tuned into watch on the Star Trek TV series every week.  Even though Mr. Spock never actually saved humanity from evil doers, got beamed up to a civilization more evolved than our own or less fit for habitation, no one really cared.

I’ve said before if it hadn’t been for Bill Shatner’s dynamic portrayal of Kirk, the character of Spock could never have worked well.  It’s the synergy, the chemistry between the two that helped make Star Trek magical.
— Leonard Nimoy

He was Spock—the clear-headed, rational and no monkey-business type of guy you wanted around when you were in a jam.  His unshakable composure was hard to come by--even on television.    

“If someone came up to me and said, “You can’t be Leonard Nimoy anymore.  But you can be anyone else you want I wouldn’t hesitate a beat with my answer.  I’d want to be Spock.  I like and respect and admire him,” the actor said about his TV character Spock.

Right on. 

The Star Trek series created by Gene Roddenberry was America’s take on science fiction entertainment.  And it worked. The series debuted in 1966 and ran for three seasons.  It lived on and sprouted wings in syndication.    

Some of the best episodes in my mind offered the audience a way to see what would happen when someone disturbed the natural course a planet was already on.  Watching the Federation’s Starfleet attempt to help some planet achieve its destiny was always jam-packed with intrigue, sub-plots and moral warnings about minding their own business. 

Five more Star Trek TV series were eventually made for a total of six, based in the same universe but with other characters.  Eleven films have also been produced.

And then there was Captain Kirk the kingpin of the starship Enterprise. 

“I’ve said before if it hadn’t been for Bill Shatner’s dynamic portrayal of Kirk, the character of Spock could never have worked well.  It’s the synergy, the chemistry between the two that helped make Star Trek magical,” Nimoy (Spock) said.

One of the things Roddenberry did was consult science fiction wizard Isaac Asimov about the type of relationship the two characters should have.  Asimov advised him to make the two officers loyal, inseparable friends so that when the audience thought of one he thought about the other. 

All those intergalactic problems were way too much for one officer to handle anyway.  Other popular crew members included Scottish engineer Montgomery Scott, and the ship's surgeon Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy.

The first Star Trek convention was held at a New York hotel in 1972 and thousands of fans showed up in human and alien attire.  The convention has taken place every year since in cities around the world.

And then there’s the whole merchandising end of Star Trek.  Everything from comic books to action figures flooded the market. 

The most desirable collectibles are going to be items directly related to the characters and the making of the series and films.  Costumes, props like phasers, rifles, badges, tricoders, communicators, all these items are hot. 

It’s a numbers game too.  How many are left to buy?

On June 2, Julien’s Auctions featured a Star Trek auction at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.  

Star Trek

Poster; 25th Anniversary; signed by actors who played them; shows Captain Kirk and Captain Picard; 30 ¾ inches by 20 ¾ inches;  $832.

U.S.S. Enterprise; Insignia Badges; four silver tone plastic created for Star Trek Paramount Pictures, 2009; 2 inches by 1 ¼ inches;  $2,176. 

Director’s Chair; for Gene Roddenberry; navy canvas with Roddenberry’s name on it;  on the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation;  $4,375.

Crew Member Communicator; metal and black plastic; created for Star Trek Paramount Pictures, 2009; 3 ¾ inches by 2 inches;  $7,680.

Spock Costume; prime parka; gray leather with gloves when he’s marooned on Delta Vega in  Star Trek Paramount Pictures, 2009;   $8,960.           

Rosemary McKittrick is a storyteller.  For 26 years she has brought the world of collecting to life in her column.  Her website is a mother lode of information about art, antiques and collectibles.  Rosemary received her education in the trenches working as a professional appraiser.

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