Saturday, April 20, 2013

Star Trek Phaser Rifle

A unique piece of Star Trek memorabilia went under the hammer at auction recently for a cool $231,000. Top Toy designer Reuben Klamer, created trek's iconic Phaser-Rifle with only a two week deadline. Klamer built the wood-aluminium gun for free which apparently gave Star Trek a fighting chance to survive. The move got him licensing rights for toys of the weapon too. Its fascinating to think a "toy" used only once, saved the entire show by relaunching Captain Kirk as the shows heroic action character.

Kirk uses the phaser rifle to kill his friend Gary Mitchel, causing a rocky landslide to fall on top of him. The story goes NBC wanted this action packed "wagon train to the stars" to get high TV ratings. No-one could have predicted how popular Trek was to become especially after the network rejected Star Trek's first pilot.

The shows creator, Gene Roddenberry seized the moment when NBC gave him the nod for "Where No Man Has Gone Before." It also helped having William Shatner to replace Jeffrey Hunter in the second pilot. The studio sets were redressed for the newer Enterprise crew, keeping the "guy with the ears" and reinventing "frosty No1" as Dr McCoy's blonde assistant in sickbay.

Auction House Juliens Hollywood Legends stated recently that Roddenberry wanted "a really big Gun" which took everyone by storm all over again, 47 years later! The prop was sold to a rich private American collector who has one of the biggest collections of original Star Trek costumes in the world. This prop will join the collection and will not end up being displayed at museums. Star Trek fans really owe a huge debt of thanks to Reuben Klamer, the shows creative mastermind behind the gun, whose invention along with the Big Bird of the Galaxy and Walter Matt Jeffries saved Star Trek from the scrap heap. Thank you Reuben for designing a really wicked phaser rifle with totally amazing wow factor. Reuben's Phaser Rifle has a sweet sound to it.

Fire long and Prosper, trekkies and trekkers.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That the creator made it for free was a big boon. Shame the world will never see it again. Maybe the collector's kids will open a museum once he's gone.

Tony Laplume said...

They need to feature a Jeffries Tube in the new movies. And make a big deal about it.

Banker Chick said...

I am always interested in how props were created for TOS.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

Mark Means said...

I always thought they had the coolest gadgets on the original Star Trek.

Especially considering what they had to work with.

Anonymous said...

I rather liked the design of the phaser rifles from 'Next Generation.' I think I still have a copy of the technical manual around somewhere, mentioning the type 1 phasers, the ones that are only a little bigger than an ipod nano, but don't go up to the higher settings, and the type 2, the larger handheld ones. If I remember correctly, the phasers don't have higher intensity than a type 2 phaser, they just can keep going for longer continuous fire or more single bursts.

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