Owners of wax figures of the original series Star Trek cast have sent them off on a new mission: to save The Hollywood Science Fiction Museum.
The life-size wax figures include all of the seven main characters from the iconic TV series, including Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and Lieutenant Uhura.
The wax figure replicas have been in storage for a decade, and will be cleaned and repaired for display.
The figures were originally made for the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, but around a decade ago, the now-closed tourist attraction auctioned them off with the rest of its contents.
Hollywood Science Fiction museum founder Huston Huddleston said:
“This is kind of a holy grail of Trek fandom, “As far as anyone knew, it was lost,” Huddleston said Wednesday of the Trek tableau. “It was either in a rich person’s house and never seen again, or it was destroyed…nobody knew.”
The bold team of the Starship Enterprise had been purchased by Steve and Lori Greenthal, who paid $40,000 for the privilege. They didn’t want to see the team of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Dr. McCoy, Mister Scott, Sulu, and Chekov broken up. Lori Greenthal told the Orange County Register:
“We took them home and put them in our dining room.”
Unfortunately, Steve Greenthal found them disconcerting, particularly their staring, life-like eyes, saying:
“We put paper bags over their heads.”
The couple then decided to try to make their $40K back by devising a plan with a friend. Steve and Chris Liebl, put together a 20 by 30 foot replica of the bridge of the Enterprise, with Liebl kicking in another $40K for the set construction. The set even included sound effects from the show.
They took their replica set to Las Vegas for a Star Trek anniversary convention and sold photos of con-goers posing with the figures on the Enterprise ridge. According to The Seattle Times, even George Takei (Sulu) and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) showed up to pose with the wax crew.
Their plan didn’t make as much as they’d hoped and was difficult to transport and set up. Greenthal told The OC Register that it took about 100 hours just to dismantle the set and move it and set it up again, something they couldn’t fit into full-time work schedules. The whole set and crew only appeared in public on two occasions: at the Vegas 40th anniversary celebration and once in Anaheim, California.
The display was taken apart and the wax figure heads and hand were place in cold storage. The bridge of the Enterprise was stored in a nearby airport hanger.
The owners finally decided to donate the whole kit and caboodle to the Hollywood Science Fiction Museum. Lori Greenthal said:
“I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. I’m happy they’re going to be together and on display. It brings such joy to so many people.”
The museum held a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the cost of restoring the figures. The cost was about $14,000, and the crowd-funding campaign was a success.
Museum founder Huddleston said:
“Most of them are great shape. The only damage is their hair was messed up over the years and also 30 years of really harsh light on them had made their paint fade off.”
Mister Spock has already been restored to his former glory, including replacing the hair, which originally was made from individual strands carefully punched into the wax head. Huddleston said that someone had stuck a “terrible, tacky wig” on Mister Spock at some point.
The Hollywood Science Fiction Museum has no permanent home, so is planning to take the figures on five-year mission, to boldly go throughout North America, starting in Los Angeles later this year. The tour intends to raise the money needed to find the museum a permanent home.
For right now, Spock and McCoy will be attending the Wondercon convention in Anaheim, opening March 31.
“I’m living a nerd’s dream.”
He is, indeed; watch Huddleston talk about acquiring the TOS crew in the video below:
Featured image via screenshot.