Profiles in History Auction Preview Part 1

Yesterday I got the chance to visit Profiles in History to examine some of the Star Trek props myself and others have expressed an interest in. I had arranged this with Brian Chanes, Joe Madalena’s right hand man, but sadly, Brian’s father passed away on Monday and our prayers are with Brian and his family. In Brian’s absence, Ryan Dohm and Fong Sam greeted my friends and I and showed us the goods. Joe himself came out and answered questions as well. So we were very well treated and got to see everything we wanted to see.

This is the biggest Star Trek live auction since Christies in 2006 and there is a huge selection of hand props. A lot of people on the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum have been asking me where all these props came from, especially since much of this should have been in either the Christie’s or It’s a Wrap auctions. Well, there are multiple consignors, but the majority of the hand props are from a well known LA prop collector. He bought most of this from someone who worked at the Paramount warehouses and sold them out the back door to him over a period of years.

Because of this, a lot of collectors have been worried about buying these items. So I spoke to the people in charge at both Paramount and CBS to make sure there would be no repercussions if people won these items, and both basically said the same thing: that it happened a while ago and they have no intention of doing anything about it. So you need not worry about Paramount or CBS coming for their property!

Of course a lot of people don’t want to talk about this, but it is the dirty little secret of the Hollywood memorabilia hobby: much of it walked out the back door! And the studios usually haven’t worried about it, since previously they never really valued these items much. But now things are different. Because of the Christie’s Star Trek auction or the Propworx BSG auction, studios now realize they have a real asset on their hands. The head of asset management at Paramount has made it very clear that if anything from the new movie gets out, they will go to whatever lengths to recover it (the items in Julien’s auction were cleared for auction for charity by JJ himself). So this situation won’t be happening with Star Trek again.

So back to Profiles. I examined over 50 lots and none failed to meet my expectations. This really is a good selection of items. There are so many great props that I think everyone will find something they like. Over the next two weeks I will be highlighting some of these items.

Let’s start with the Tricorders! I mean there are TWELVE of them! You wonder why Christies or IAW had none? Well, here they are.

What I did was make a spreadsheet of them all.

So if you want a Tricorder, this is your best chance. There are so many that the prices are bound to be lower. Last Profiles auction a medical Tricorder went for a hefty $ 10,000. I think that is way too high. There have been two working Tricorder sales in the last year for $ 5,000 each, and I think $ 5-8,000 is about right depending on the version.

So keep checking back, and I will be posting more thoughts on all three Star Trek auctions.


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