This Star Trek original isn’t going cheaply, though
The phaser rifle was used in only one episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. In “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” originally the second pilot, both Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk use it in an attempt to stop Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, played by Gary Lockwood, from essentially taking over the galaxy. (Unfortunately, Mitchell had more power and was able to sweep the phaser away with one hand.)
Though the piece was used in publicity stills with William Shatner, it was never seen onscreen again, and for the longest time, according to Yahoo, it was thought to be lost, but it turned up at an auction in 2013 in pristine condition. And now it’s back on the auction block again.
The bidding at Heritage Auction is already underway for the 33.75″ x 14″ x 6″ Phaser Rifle that the manufacturer and designer, Rueben Klamer, created in two weeks from fabrication to finishing. Be warned, though. This isn’t a piece for the idle collector as a home could be purchased for the amount of the opening bid.
The Star Trek Phaser Rifle is priced exorbitantly high for most fans
With a starting bid of $250,000, this original prop is out of most fans’ budget. Though some super fans like Brad O’Neill have amassed over $500,000 in Star Trek collectibles, it’s rare for one fan to spend so much for one item.
As for who determines the price of these items when they go up for auction, we don’t know, and while this 55-year-old prop is definitely something any fan would want to add to their collection, it’s going to be outside the realm of possibility for most of us. More items are included along with the rifle, but I don’t think that’s going to make it any easier to come up with a quarter of a million dollars.
Here is the complete description from Heritage Auction:
"The prop is accompanied by its original custom wooden hinge-lidded case with fitted styrofoam interior. Labeled “Reuben Klamer Assoc,” measuring 37.5″ x 17.5″ x 7.5.” Also includes vintage original 22″ x 14″ schematic drawing of the final, Roddenberry-approved design, (7) pages of inter-department correspondence between Gene Roddenberry, Bob Justman, Bernie Weitzman and Ed Pearlstein discussing the commission and creation of the rifle – including 1-typed letter on Desilu Productions stationery from Roddenberry to Reuben Klamer, signed, “Gene Roddenberry.” Also includes (7) 3″ x 5″ black and white Polaroid photos of the gun and (1) 8″ x 10″ production photo of “Kirk” holding the prop beside “Dr. Dehner” (Kellerman)."
Whoever takes home this piece is going to be the envy of fans who’ve dedicated their lives to collecting Star Trek memorabilia.