Star Trek Next Generation Collectibles & Memorabilia
Star Trek Next Generation Collectibles & Memorabilia are items relating to the television sci-fi series Star Trek: The Next Generation.
A History of The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation (often abbreviated to TNG) was a televised American science fiction series created by Gene Roddenberry, which originally aired on 28/09/1987. The show was a highly anticipated sequel series to the hit Star Trek, which aired between September 1966 and June 1969.
Initially, Star Trek was to be followed by a series entitled Star Trek: Phase II, featuring the majority of the original cast on a new series of adventures. Despite entering pre-production, the show never made it off the ground and the pilot was instead adapted into 1979s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Despite the franchise moving in a new direction on the silver screen, the original series remained one of the most watched programmes in syndication. As a result of this, Paramount commissioned a bold new programme featuring a new ship, a new crew and even a new timeframe; almost 100 years on from the original.
When the pilot episode ‘Encounter at Farpoint’ aired in 1987 it was watched by 27 million viewers in the USA alone. The series aired for seven seasons in total; although the main cast had been contracted for eight, Paramount decided that it wanted to take the series in a new direction following the seventh. Following this decision, the TNG setting formed the basis for the seventh – tenth movies in the Star Trek franchise.
A Guide to Memorabilia
There has been a selection of notable auctions of TNG memorabilia since the show finished its seven year run in 1994. In 2010, auction house Julien’s Auctions held a number of sales of memorabilia from the show. All auctions from this site closed on 27/06/2010.
There were a number of sales of general collected memorabilia; for example a Star Trek: The Next Generation poker set, containing branded chips and two unopened decks of TNG playing cards. The set originally came from the estate of Gene and Majel Roddenberry and sold for $448. Also of note was a painting of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, numbered 45 out of 100, that was signed by a selection of Star Trek cast and crew, which sold for $7,680.
The sales also included two pieces that had belonged to series creator Gene Roddenberry. These were an annotated script for the third season episode ‘The Survivors’ (titled on the script as ‘The Veiled Planet’), which sold for $1,536, and Roddenberry’s director’s chair, which sold for $4,375.
The sale also included a selection of original costumes from the series’ seven year run. Included within this were a female Klingon costume, which sold for $320 and a leotard worn by Gates McFadden (portraying Dr. Beverley Crusher) in the third season episode ‘The Price’. This item was bought for $832.
Of particular note within the costume selection were a range of outfits worn at various points throughout the series by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry in her portrayal of Lwaxana Troi. Each item included a label which read ‘Majel Roddenberry’. The final prices of these costumes ranged from $1,408 to $2,375.
Another notable auction house that has hosted sales of TNG memorabilia is Heritage Auctions. Some items have been known to sell for relatively low prices, which make them ideal for starting collectors. Some examples are a high grade issue of Star Trek: The Next Generation #8 (a comic book published by DC Comics in 1990), which sold on 07/10/2007 for $25, and a selection of four scripts from the first season, which sold on 14/04/2006 for $95.60
Signed cast photos are also a lower-end collectible that may appeal to a stating collector. On 30/05/2001, HA sold a cast photo autographed by five of the series’ main stars for $126. On 06/10/2008, a selection of three autographed cast photos (of Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes and Gates McFadden) sold for $149.38.
Original artwork is something that can be very popular, selling at a range of prices. For example, original pages from the DC Comics TNG comic book have sold for a very wide price range on HA. The cheapest item to sell on this site was an original copy of page 7 from issue 73 (1995), which sold for $21 on 16/09/2007. The most expensive piece of original art sold by HA is the front cover of issue 1 (1989), which on 21/11/2003 sold for $1,610.
Items that are always popular are original props that have featured in the show. On 09/10/2003, HA sold a control panel from the set of a Shuttle Craft for $681, whilst on 07/10/2006 a phaser used in the eighth movie First Contact was sold for $836.50. Just beating this to the most expensive prop sold is a female Klingon costume used in the show, which sold for $896.25 on 17/07/2010.
Guide for Collectors
Whilst there are no official organisations for collectors of Star Trek memorabilia, there are a number of fan clubs and websites across the globe. The vast majority of these are localised, which enables members to meet and discuss Star Trek and collecting.
Fans and collectors alike who are interested in larger organisations could visit Starfleet – The International Star Trek Fan Assosiation, Inc, The Federation – International Star Trek Fan Club and the forums at the official Star Trek website.
There are a number of websites specialising in the private sale of TNG memorabilia and collectable items. Uncle Jim’s Star Trek Collection sells a range of items, including model ships (ranging from $7 to $160), registered ship collections of several pieces (from $85 to $480), back-issues of the Star Trek Communicator magazine (issues range from $6.50 to $16.50) and cast models, ranging from $6 to $30.
Star Trek Toys specialises primarily in action figures of various sizes. The site sells a range of 5” figures that largely range from $5 to $50. Of note in the 5” range are figures of Beverley Crusher in the DS9 uniform from the seventh movie Generations ($90), Lt. Barclay ($100), Natasha Yar ($200) and Picard in the burgundy uniform, seen in the second – seventh movies, from the season 6 episode ‘Tapestries’ ($350).
The range of 9” action figures ranges from $10 to $60, with the highest priced item being Data dressed as Sherlock Holmes, whilst the 12” range has prices from $20 to $50, with the highest price being Picard in the First Contact uniform. Star Trek Toys also sells ship models, which range from $50 to $100, the most expensive being the U.S.S. Enterprise-D.
Collectors would also be advised to regularly check eBay, as a range of TNG memorabilia and collectables appears on here on a fairly regular basis, usually with Buy It Now options. In November 2011, auctions of note included unopened packs of TNG trading cards ($1.49), film cells ($2.50), collectable plates ($12) and a die-cast chess set ($695). For an extremely wide range of collectables from action figures to novels, fans may also want to visit Star Trek Memorabilia.
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