Star Trek: The Original Series Extre...
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DescriptionStar Trek: The Original Series Extremely Rare Hero Type-2 Phaser Pistol (Paramount, 1966-1969). The Type-2 Phaser Pistol is the most iconic and sought-after hand prop from the original Star Trek series. Designed by Star Trek art director Walter "Matt" Jefferies (designer of the Starship Enterprise), this was the first pragmatic/utilitarian energy weapon in science fiction, marking a stark design departure from the fantasy "ray guns" of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and Forbidden Planet.
This hero Type-2 Phaser was built for close up camera shots and breaks down into three detachable components: 1) The palm-sized Type-1 Hand Phaser – used for diplomatic missions and undercover work due to its discreet size, 2) The Type-2 Pistol Phaser body into which the Type-1 would install to make a more powerful weapon, and 3) The elongated brass handle/power pack (attached by twist-lock) capable of being quickly swapped out and "reloaded" during prolonged engagements. This is one of only two hero Type-2 Phasers known to exist.
Crafted of fiberglass, resin, turned aluminum, brass, steel and acrylic components, the weapon measures 8 in. long x 6 in. tall and features moving parts. The Type-1 has a moving dial on top that raises the "targeting sight" when rotated, as well as extending the acrylic emitter at front. A panel below the Type-1 (attached with flathead screw) removes to reveal the internal metal mechanism and holder for a single AA battery to illuminate a grain of wheat light bulb when activated (bulb and battery are no longer present).
The Type-2 pistol body features a spring-loaded acrylic emitter that moves backward as the Type-1 separates from the Type-2 by depressing the brass side-mounted release button. The front turned aluminum nozzle rotates to "focus the beam" of the weapon, and a turning inset aluminum side dial is installed on the left. A rear-mounted, rotating aluminum "power level" dial is mounted at the top of the weapon with engraved numbers from "1" to "9" with 10 hash marks between each number (9.9 being the maximum setting).
The provenance of this piece is as incredible as the Phaser, itself. The Type-2 pistol body was acquired directly from Star Trek prop designer and builder Wah Ming Chang in the late 1960s (Chang designed and built the Starfleet Communicators and Tricorders for the original series).
The accompanying LOA states the studio had sent the Phaser pistol body to Chang for repair and the show was
cancelled before he was able to return it. The Type-1 Hand Phaser was acquired by a member of the production crew after filming completed on a second season episode in 1967 (a second LOA accompanies the Type-1).
Eventually, the respective owners of the Type-1 and Type-2 Phasers learned about their counterpart, and in a detailed study the two hero components were reassembled and scrutinized in a side-by-side comparison with the only other known Hero Type-2 Phaser Pistol belonging to the highest-profile collector and top authority of original series props and costumes. The collector extensively examined the internal and external components and determined, based upon the comparison, that this Type-2 Phaser Pistol is authentic. In fact, the build tolerances
between both pistols are such that the Type-1 Phasers are interchangeable and fit perfectly in both pistol bodies!
To many science fiction fans around the world, the original series Type-2 Phaser Pistol transcends its association with a groundbreaking science fiction television series – it represents one of the defining indelible images of American pop culture. Exhibits expected paint loss and scuffing, with missing partial strip of Velcro for attachment to costume.
In December 2018, Profiles in History sold a midgrade Type-2 Phaser Pistol (for medium distance shots), one of several known, for $192,000. This Hero Type-2 Phaser Pistol is the first to ever reach public auction. COA from Heritage Auctions.
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