This is an endeavor that was considered for some years but was held off for one reason or another. As the years since this hobby had begun, it seemed to take on more importance in the opinions of some, necessity. As a collector of TOS prop replicas since 1978, it was thought that after all this time as the hobby grew, that there needed to be one source with which collectors of these replicas can go for reference. Since no one had attempted it thus far, now there is.
This is a NON PROFIT COLLECTOR CREATED project. The majority of the units pictured here are from the author's personal collection and are NOT for sale. Of the items I do not own, I have used pictures where I have found them such as on the Internet, which was public domain so as to aid fellow collectors for identification and reference. If I am showcasing a picture that you may believe is yours of your replica or replicas, please feel free to contact me, and I would be happy to either credit you for the pic, or remove it if you so desire. But again, be aware the use of these pictures is to AID all TOS replica collectors. Not me. This is not an ego driven venture.
This is an attempt to put together a reference guide for the collector, and owner of Classic Star Trek unlicensed prop replicas that were made by various mail order companies since the early 1970’s, through the early 2000’s. And of course the reason they were unlicensed is at that time, Paramount had no licensing requirements for such small mail order companies, and made that clear whenever any of these companies would inquire for a license, up to approximately 1994. The purpose of this guide is for the collector to have a better knowledge of what company or individual manufactured whatever replica they may have purchased. This is not a “price value guide”. This is only for identification and reference purposes.
When possible, mail order catalogs will be showcased, and of course as many pictures as possible will be included of each replica highlighted. "One hit wonders”, meaning only one item made by one individual, and not produced with any regularity will not be referenced. Nor will there be any prop replicas from any of the Star Trek movies. It is the hope that later on, a separate guide for that category will be established, but at present this is a TOS guide only. Lastly, for those who would be viewing this guide, it is well known in regards to the history of how the original props came to be, and who made them. Therefore, that history will also not be covered here.
Cases of rarity will be noted, and this guide will be in chronological order, to the best of the author’s knowledge. Hopefully, this will help the collector and/or owner of these items. These manufacturers are among the pioneers and most visible at the time periods highlighted in this reference guide.
It is also important to note, that this is also a tribute to these pioneering craftsmen that made these early TOS replicas. They didn't have "the easy way out" such as 3D printers that are available today. They weren't able to simply push a few buttons, and have parts spit out of a machine, and simply assemble and paint. They worked harder, and charged less. Nowadays, some replica makers certainly work less as hard with this new technology, yet charge more than the pioneers did. This guide is also a recognition of their skills, from a time when there was pride in hand craftsmanship no matter what versions or accuracy issues anyone may have with the company's products showcased here. Identities of manufacturers were revealed based on common knowledge. Of the others that were not named, was due to being unable to reach them to obtain their approval.
Lastly, Star Trek is a registered trademark of CBS Licensing, and NO copyright infringement is intended nor meant to be inferred. This again, is a NON PROFIT resource and meant ONLY for collector reference.
Thanks to Al Hartman for pictures of Starfleet Fabrications replicas at their convention table and Steve Tessier for Starfleet Fabrications Catalogs.
Questions?? Comments?? Pictorial contributions on the copycats highlighted here? Think you have information to add WITHOUT an ego or attitude? Or for those that would just like to say "Thank You" for putting this guide together when no one else ever attempted it? All correspondence can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org