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Rare 'Star Trek' Phaser Sold for $231,000 at Auction

The unique prop was used by William Shatner only once in the original series.

Star Trek Phaser Auction - H - 2013
"Star Trek" phaser rifle

A one-of-a-kind phaser rifle used by William Shatner in the second pilot episode made for the original Star Trek series sold for $231,000 at an auction conducted by Julien's. 

The price is the second-highest paid at auction for a prop from the 1960s edition of Star Trek, surpassed only by the $304,750 a collector laid out for the captain's chair in 2008. A miniature special effects model of the enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation sold for $576,000 in 2006. 

STORY: Star Trek: The Next Generation' Cast Headlines Toronto ComiCon

Props and memorabilia from the original series are highly sought by collectors; many original items from the iconic show were lost or destroyed. 
 
Toy designer Reuben Klamer created the prop for Gene Roddenberry to use in the pilot in exchange for licensing rights to produce toys based on the design. The rifle was seen in "Where No Man Has Gone Before," which was filmed as the second pilot (the first, "The Cage," was rejected by NBC) but served as the third episode of the series that originally aired Sept. 22, 1966. 
 
The story revolves around a Lt. Commander who gains telepathic and telekinetic powers that threaten the crew. Captain Kirk (Shatner) kills the officer with the phaser rifle when he threatens the crew. After the pilot was completed, the  rifle was replaced with the now familiar handgun-style phaser.
 
The rifle never appeared in another episode, though it was seen in publicity photos of Shatner as Kirk and on an early lunchbox. The prop is made of wood with an aluminum barrel and is adorned with metallic blue-green paint. 
 
After production, the rifle was returned to Klamer. See a video of the designer talking about its origins and construction below.