"There's magic here. There's no question," says Catherine Elkies of Christie's in New York, which will be auctioning off a galaxy of "Star Trek" props next week. Some 4,000 items from the Paramount warehouses will be put on the block.
"There's never been a collection like this that's come to market," Elkies says.
It includes dozens of spaceship models, including an eight-foot "Enterprise," as well as hundreds of costumes ... even Captain Kirk's epaulets.
From the back, most of the props are just plastic and compressed wood. But with a little bit of imagination, you can be on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. That's right, you can buy the whole set, bring it home, and set it up in your recreation room. But Christie's estimates it will sell for an upwards of $20,000.
George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu in the original series and in six films, says the cast never actually set foot in the models, but adds, "that's the illusion we created."
For legions of Trekkies, these props are almost priceless. Four years ago, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, paid more than $300,000 for Captain Kirk's chair. Now, even the evil Klingons' furniture is up for sale.
It was 40 years ago this month that "Star Trek" first went on the air.
"We have lived much longer than we expected and prospered in so many wonderful ways," Takei says, laughing.
Paramount will prosper again when these props are sold. A "Star Trek" communicator is estimated at about $500, but with it, you can go anywhere.
Beam me up, Scotty.