Entertainment

Original Star Trek Phaser Fetches $231,000 at Auction

| by Dabney Bailey
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Set your phasers to overspend.

A phaser gun from the Star Trek franchise recently fetched a hefty $231,000 at Julien’s Auction in Los Angeles, California.

The folks at Julien’s Auction grossly underestimated the value of the phaser, giving it an initial estimate of $50,000. Or perhaps it’s not the gun that they underestimated, but the dedication of diehard Trekkie fans eager to get their hands on authentic sci-fi memorabilia. After all, the new movie Star Trek Into Darkness is only a month away.

This massive phaser may not ring any bells for casual Star Trek viewers who are more accustomed to the pocket-sized phasers that Kirk, Picard, and other space farers use to take down aliens. Gene Roddenberry, the series’ creator, asked toymaker Reuben Klamer to design the gun for the pilot episode in order to drive home the idea that Star Trek was an action-packed drama.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

Roddenberry called for a “really big gun,” and Klamer delivered. Klamer explained that “It took a lot of hard work and three men – at least three men on it at all times, day and night.”

Evidently, the weapon did its job. Star Trek went on to become a major hit and behind it all, “This rifle was instrumental in selling Star Trek as a series,” Klamer said.

The rifle was eventually phased out (so to speak), in favor of compact phasers. The weapon returned to Klamer, who auctioned off the weapon along with a customized case and provenance to verify its authenticity, including a signed letter of correspondence from Gene Roddenberry.

The only question that remains is what the new owner will do with this piece of science-fiction history. Will it stay within a locked glass display atop some mantelpiece, or will we see it again on May 17th during the release of Star Trek Into Darkness? With this phaser in hand, that proud owner may very well be the most authentically dressed Trekkie on Earth.

Source: Entertainment Wise