Well, the Julien's Star Trek auction, announced last November, finally happened yesterday, and was a success for collectors because of reasonable prices and a wide range of low priced items from the Shatner and Roddenberry auctions. The JJ movie items finished the auction and we were all shocked at how reasonable the prices were.
Julien's has taken down their online catalog, but you can see the Flash catalog here and the lot by lot descriptions here.
As predicted the items in the Shatner and Roddenberry portions of the sale all went at very reasonable prices. I actually won the insignia lot, which had two Maroon jacket insignias and a maroon belt.buckle. The lot, which I was willing to go to $ 1,500 on ($ 500 for each of these items I figured) went for only $ 475. Part of the reason is that the lot was so poorly described. No authentication and no description of if any of the items were real or not. Certainly no one at Julien's has that kind of expertise, and they didn't bother to access any experts. The two TNG badges here were both repros and I inspected the lot in person or else I wouldn't have bid on it. I am sure that had to do with the low hammer price.
The Nemesis Turbolift Panel went for a strong $ 1,700.
The Class D and Class B costumes went for $ 500 each.
The Lwaxana Troi costumes did fairly well, and all went under $ 2,000 as I predicted. Still, these are good prices in an auction that was way under market.
Lot # 1564.....$ 1,300
Lot # 1565.....$ 1,400
Lot # 1566.....$ 1,900
Lot # 1567.....$1,100
Lot # 1568.....$1,700
THE JJ ITEMS
Right after these 5 costumes from the Roddenberry Estate came the items donated by JJ Abrahms. Now this started with 8 Enterprise models made by QMX that were then worked on by a series or artists making them pieces of Star Trek art. Now frankly, some of these were down right awful. One or two were interesting, but unless these are done by Alexander Calder or Andy Warhol, I don't see the interest. And neither did anyone else as the models all sold at only $ 500, half of the opening bid!
I had predicted that prices on the 17 JJ movie items would be out of control, but this was not the case. In fact, the last 17 items all went at very reasonable prices! Here is the rundown:
Lot # 1577 Kelvin Crew Member Costume $ 2,750
Lot # 1578 Kelvin Phaser $ 7,000
Lot # 1579 Hero Kelvin Bridge Chair $ 1,500
Lot # 1580 Klingon Rifle $ 1,100
Lot # 1581 Romulan Pistol $ 1,750
Lot # 1582 Romulan Rifle $ 2,250
Lot # 1583 Romulan Crew Member Costume $ 2,000
Lot # 1584 Starfleet Female Cadet Costume $ 1,700
Lot # 1585 Enterprise Insignia Badges $ 1,700
Lot # 1586 Starfleet Male Cadet Costume $ 2,000
Lot # 1587 Starfleet Council Chair $ 500
Lot # 1588 Enterprise Data Tablet $ 1,100
Lot # 1589 Medical Tricorder $ 2,250
Lot # 1590 Enterprise Crew Member Costume $ 2,000
Lot # 1591 Enterprise Communicator $ 6,000
Lot # 1592 Spock Torch $ 750
Lot # 1593 Spock Parka $ 7,000
So why the reasonable prices? Well..
1) Ridiculous Buyer's Premiums - I already wrote about this and I think this was the big reason. 25-28% is out of control. No excuse for this.
2) Buyer fatigue - I heard from lots of collectors that not only had they spent a ton at Profiles. but they were waiting for the Propworx auction. This auction only had 41 props & costumes and people weren't prioritizing this.
3) There is lots more - This is the tip of the iceberg. Be patient and there will be tons of JJ movie items when the inevitable Star Trek movie auction happens.
Overall, I think Julien's does a nice set up, but there lack of experience with Star Trek was very evident. Poor descriptions and lack of understanding of what collectors expect in this regard hurt them. Their crazy buyer's premium and high shipping costs mean they should stick to very high end items where people have so much money they don't care. I really think that big auction companies can't do the fan and small collector market's well. The ROI isn't there and thus they don't invest the time in developing the markets and doing what the fans and collectors need.
Anyway, a good little auction for buyers who got some good deals.