Now that we have completed almost 7 months of auctions, with at least 5 more coming, many of us have had to look at our collections and our collecting strategy and re-evaluate it. Early on we didn’t have a good grasp of what was going to be offered. We were just coming down from the Christie’s high, we didn’t know what was left for IAW to auction, and we didn’t even know what would strike our fancy.

So when that first week of auctions happened, we were really flying blind. We didn’t think of how many of a particular costume there might be, or how patient we should be. Would there only be 6 months of auctions as IAW originally advertised? Would Christie’s prices be the norm, or would prices decline significantly over time?

Plus, for new collectors such as myself (I won 2 items at Christie’s, and wound up with 3 more from other bidders selling me their winnings) a collecting strategy wasn’t something we necessarily thought of. If you saw something you liked, you bid on it!

Well now, many of us have bought a bunch of items and we like some stuff more than others. We have seen a tremendous selection from IAW and we know what to expect. We are planning on at least another 5 months, and many of us (myself not included!) have wives questioning our sanity and at the very least, where we are going to put stuff!

So I think there are a few good questions you should ask yourself as you continue to build your collection.

What is your theme or themes?

Do you have one? Do you just buy random stuff you like, or do you have specific collecting interests?

For me, I collect both costumes and props. Some people may collect one or the other. I like the costume much more as they are so recognizable and people just gawk at them. For my costumes I have a few themes I am collecting.

1. The Captains

This was my most important (and expensive!) theme. I am collecting one uniform from each Captain. I now have four (Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway) and I need an Archer. I really like unique costumes too. So the Janeway is her Admiral Uniform from “Nemesis”, Picard’s is the one he wore on Veridian III in “Generations” while fighting Soran with Kirk (he only used this style in this part of the movie and never again, so it is very rare), the Sisko is the Black and Gray, which is my favorite uniform for him, and the Kirk, well, hell, I was lucky to GET a Kirk! It’s his jumpsuit he wears at the end of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, so it is pretty unique too. For Archer I really want a Mirror Universe. So, each costume has some special meaning to me

2. DS9

I love Deep Space Nine. Sisko is my favorite Captain, Garak my all-time favorite Star Trek character and DS9 is my favorite show. So I collect costumes from this show. I have not only Sisko’s, but a Breen uniform, a Klingon uniform, Garak’s Cardassian Armor (eliminating my need to buy Cardassian armor separately) and 3 Nog uniforms (a cadet, ensign and a dress uniform). I need a regular Garak costume and a Weyoun. After I collect one of each alien (I need a DS9 Romulan) I will start on one of each main character, most likely their black and grays.

3. Phaser Rifles

While I want to collect all Star Trek Weapons, I am focusing now on Phaser rifles. I have a Mark III, Type 2, a Type 3 (rubber stunt) and a Compression Phaser from Voyager. I need a Mark III, Type 1 (EVA) and a resin Type 3. I also need the TNG/DS9 style Phaser Rifle, which are hard to find. IAW has none and Christie’s only had one resin one. I am also going to have Brett at Federation Surplus build one of the TOS Phaser Rifle replicas for me.

4. The Romulans

This really happened by a very fortuitous accident. I happened to see IAW at the Burbank Star Trek Convention and saw a Romulan Officer’s Uniform and bought it along with a Reman Uniform. I loved the Officer’s uniform and had wanted the Commander Donatra that my good friend Jim got at Christie’s, so this was a must have. The Reman I wanted ever since I saw at IAW when they had a display in their store. So I bought these two. Then, one of the IAW employees was wearing a Romulan Senator’s robes and they were BEAUTIFUL and so I bought them before I left. I now have the three on display in a row at my house and they look awesome together. I have always loved the Romulans but HATED the Next Gen uniforms. Nemesis changed all that.

Since then I have expanded my collection with props, having won a Romulan Pistol, Valdore’s communicator (From Enterprise), and a Reman Rifle.

So, with those as my major themes, I also have some costumes that don’t fit, and a few more themes are developing. I am after select original cast movie costumes and Enterprise costumes (mostly Mirror Universe). Will those be just nice additions or start of a theme? I don’t know. Only time will tell.

Now you don’t need a theme, but I can tell you that a collection is always more impressive if it tells a story. If it is more than a random collection of stuff you like it will be more impressive on display. You will find you enjoy it more and guests are way more impressed as well. There is nothing wrong either with your theme being “My favorite characters”. Or “Props I thought were cool”, themes that mean something to you alone. If you follow this practice, write out your lists of these, you will find yourself not buying things you don’t really love.

Tomorrow’s question: What is your collecting philosophy?


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