“You’re not buying just that jacket, you’re buying a piece of a dream. You’re buying a piece of childhood. This means something far beyond just the plastic here.”
– Michael Okuda, on Christie’s Star Trek auction, “ABC News: Star Trek: The Auction”
The six-foot model of the USS Enterprise-D was just sold for half a million US dollars at Christie’s 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection. The Borg ship was assimilated for $96,000; the Enterprise-E was pushed off at $132,000. And so there is a price to childhood memories…
But perhaps I’m being a bit too sentimental. After all, Paramount doesn’t need them, even if they decide to make a new series one day – props can be rebuilt from photos and the starships are safely berthed as computer models – but I still can’t help contrast this with the festivities that accompanied Star Trek’s 25th anniversary. Leonard Nimoy made a cameo on Star Trek: TNG. Star Trek-themed videogames and action figures and Franklin Mint 3D chess sets flooded the market.
Now, there are no more Trek series on the telly. There is no more creating – just disassembling. Celebrating Star Trek’s 40th with a sale seems so…final.
Nevertheless, I’m finding it fun to watch the proceedings via the History Channel live video stream. It’s amazing how the Internet has progressed where not only can I watch this auction in realtime, others can bid alongside local and telephone bidders. The atmosphere is quite light. A few folks including the auction assistants are dressed in Starfleet uniforms, but so far no extreme geekism has been witnessed. The auctioneer once quipped to a man who had just bought a sizeable amount of rubber-and-pleather Klingon chairs for a sizeable sum, “You will be back next week for some Monets and Picassos?”