Original Phaser Rifle Prop Found!

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Near Manhattan ··· in an alternate reality
    I see what you're saying... in this case, the prop is uniquely preserved and even comes in it's own case, complete with documentation. None of the other props were preserved or documented as well. I appreciate that elevating the value. I guess the rest of it comes down to how much one appreciates the prop itself. It doesn't come across nearly as well liked as the type II phaser. But, there are people who practically adore the phaser rifle... all you need is two people who feel the same way with an abundance of cash and you've got a bid war.


    The prop is nicely detailed too, with aspects you'd never notice during the filming. Like how the 3 pre-fire chambers (ribbed tubes) have color coded retaining rings and that there are matching color indicators on a side panel to suggest either status indicators or controls for each (perhaps 3 levels, depending upon how many of the pre-fire chambers you engage). Also, the rotating handle is an interesting idea, serving dual duty as carry handle and shoulder stock. The only glaring thing is the lack of a trigger guard or obvious safety switch.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^It looks to me like the three chambers can be rotated, so I assume that's how you set the power level: whichever chamber is in line with the rifle barrel is the one that's generating the beam. I'm guessing green is stun, amber is kill, and red is disrupt/disintegrate.
     
  3. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Thanks. That was very interesting. Klamer must be a little guy, because the rifle looks much bigger in his arms than it does in the shots w/ Shatner holding it.
     
  4. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    Kirk does rotate the chambers--counter-clockwise. He does it just as he delivers the line: "If you have not received a signal from me within twelve hours, you'll proceed at maximum warp to the nearest Earth base with my recommendation that this entire planet be subjected to a lethal concentration of neutron radiation. No protest on this, Mark. That's an order."
     
  5. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    The Sunshine State
    Oh man!!

    Greg beat me to it!! :)
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I thought so, but I wasn't sure enough of my memory to say so. Thanks for pinning it down.

    I wonder, is there any visible change in the lights on the front right portion of the rifle when he switches barrels?
     
  7. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    If the whole thing is made of wood, I'm doubtful there was any wiring to make things light up.

    Also, the three colors of the tubes are red, orange, and yellow--the same colors that are on the little rectangular buttons on one side and as the circles on the other side.

    Interestingly, the tube that's "in line" with the barrel/emitter is at the apex of the equilateral triangle formed by the three tubes. Yet, when Shatner shoots the rock leading to Mitchell's demise, it looks like the tubes aren't in their locked position: it appears the apex of the triangle is actually down at the bottom. (I suppose there's a different name for "an apex that's at the bottom.")

    Ed: It looks like it's antapex.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  8. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Obviously, in-universe, the phaser rifle was made by a different weapons manufacturer -- probably the same one that supplied Starfleet with the old-style hand lasers.

    [​IMG]


    The laser gun from Fantastic Voyage looks even pulpier.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    In the close-up photos, the material looks more like the kind of metal that a lot of '50s and '60s appliances were made of.


    Right, I couldn't see them clearly in the embedded video's freeze frame that I was referring to. You're right about the colors, but the point is that the lights on the front match the color coding of the tubes and the rear buttons, so presumably they're meant as indicator lights to represent the three settings.


    Now that you mention it, I noticed that too, that the barrels were out of alignment. I guess that was a mistake they didn't catch.

    I'm not so sure. That's the opposite of the solar apex, the point in the sky that the Solar System is moving toward, but it doesn't seem to work as the opposite of a geometric apex. Then again, there's no other accepted word for it that I can find, so maybe antapex will do in a pinch.
     
  10. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Or perhaps "B-pex"?
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    Maybe it's simply the sight adjustment.
     
  12. HarryM

    HarryM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Location:
    Old Earth
    I always Kirk was setting it to max/kill setting when he rotated the chambers.

    The old laser pistol also seems to have 3 output but with multiple emitters on front, sort of like a Pepperbox, versus the Phaser Rifle "Revolver".
     
  13. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    A Phaser Rifle from the William Shatner-starring second pilot for Star Trek (Desilu Productions, Norway Corporation, 1966-1969). This one-of-a-kind weapon was created by toy inventor Reuben Klamer at the behest of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. When the original pilot presented to NBC was asked to be retooled for a more action-packed adventure, Roddenberry asked for a really big gun. Klamer designed and created the weapon at no charge to the production in exchange for potential licensing rights to the weapon. When production was wrapped, the piece was returned to Klamer and replaced with the now familiar pistol design used throughout the remaining three seasons of the original series. While this weapon was never seen again in the series, it was used in a number of studio-commissioned publicity photos and even represented on an early lunch box for the series. The weapon is constructed out of wood and finished with a blue/green metallic paint. There is additional detailing, including the hand-tooled aluminum barrel and spring-loaded trigger, a sliding switch to adjust the force setting, three plastic non-functional domed indicator lights and inset plastic panels as well as a telescoping antenna mounted to the top. Moveable pieces on the weapon include three acrylic “Turret Tubes” cylinders with what appears to be copper painted metal conduit with ends painted to match the three force settings. The entire turret unit turns on a center axis. The black shoulder butt also rotates to be used as a handle or shoulder stock. The weapon comes in the original custom-made case made to deliver the rifle to the studio.

    Also included in the lot are copies of Inter-Department Communications from Roddenberry to Bob Justman, Bernie Weitzman and Ed Perlstein regarding the weapon as well as an original, signed letter from Roddenberry to Klamer, dated March 16, 1966. The letter informs Klamer that the series was picked up and they would continue discussions regarding Klamer’s possible involvement in creating more props for the show. Seven black and white Polaroid photographs accompany the lot showing the finished weapon from various angles with a letter to Klamer from employee AB Kander, discussing Roddenberry’s visit to the shop to inspect the rifle and approving the final product. Finally, the design plan for the rifle, signed by Roddenberry for approval on June 28, 1965. There is an additional pen sketch on the plan with some minor revisions to the weapon.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Okay, then. It's a good paint job, and a good job shaping the wood to make it look like shaped metal.

    I bet a modeler today could create a replica with working lights, though. Might make a nice collector's item.
     
  15. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    I know Roddenberry.com sold one years ago, always like this prop for its place in Trek lore.
     
  16. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
  17. Search4

    Search4 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    I was at the auction and had lunch with the inventor. A fabulous, beautiful, and important piece.
     
  18. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Location:
    CommishSleer
    I'm tempted to buy a replica one and get Shatner to sign it for me. (Do the stars sign things like replica props?)
    I could then tell my husband one just like it is worth more than a quarter of a million.
    He'd have a fit though if I told him it cost me $700 though :lol:

    I wonder how much prop used on set TOS phasers go for.