The Collective: Autographed Edition

Collecting autographs is not a hobby unique to Star Trek. Fans of everything from sports to first-edition books have been fascinated by obtaining the signatures of those they admire. Today TrekMovie provides a guide to obtaining autographs from the world of Trek, plus we have a fun contest sponsored by Autograph Magazine and news about Rittenhouse Ltd.’s Star Trek 2009 feature film trading card set signers.


Where and How to Get Star Trek Autographs:

Convention Autographs
There are many ways to obtain a Star Trek actor or artist’s signature. The best way is to attend a Star Trek convention because these experiences are often rewarding personally and fans could be assured of the signature’s authenticity as they witness the signing.

Rittenhouse Card Autographs
Another great source is Rittenhouse Ltd whose autographed trading cards are licensed and authentic. For the Star Trek movie card set (available May 8th), Rittenhouse has a great list of signers from the new feature film. When fans purchase a box of cards, there will be either two autograph cards included, or two costume cards (featuring film worn materials), or one costume card and one autographed card guaranteed. The list of signers for the set includes:  Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), J.J. Abrams (Director/Producer), Karl Urban (McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), John Cho (Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike), Eric Bana (Nero), Jacob Kogan (Young Spock), and more to be announced shortly. You can order a box of cards from Rittenhouse at

Sampling of cards from the December 2008 Rittenhouse Movies in Motion Cards set

Through the Mail (A How To Guide)
When our son was younger, we were looking for a hobby that as husband and wife we could enjoy that wouldn’t break the bank account. We thought of writing fan letters and what started out as a few letters has turned into a fun family adventure each time we get mail because often celebrities reciprocate with signed pictures. Getting an autograph in the mail is much better than bills (unless its Bills Shatner signature!).

Many Star Trek celebrities and artists are good through-the-mail signers. We have been lucky to get the authentic and personalized signatures of genre stars such as Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Zachary Quinto, and Simon Pegg all through the mail. Here are suggestions for fans who might want to start this fun, inexpensive hobby.

  1. Each letter should include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE): 9×12 or larger return envelope with 2 stamps and your return address
  2. Each letter should be genuine and hand written. Typed letters are too impersonal. Only write people you genuinely like because your letter should let them know why you are a fan, talking about their performances or their artistry.
  3. Utilize stickers to decorate your envelopes. Let your letter show the person you took time out to write them with a nice looking letter.
  4. Don’t ever send letters to celebrity homes (only to agents or publicists) and show respect. A good source of celebrity addresses is Autograph Magazine which is discussed below.
  5. Write non actors, such as writers and special effects artists if you enjoy their work. They usually do not get fan mail and they are often very generous with their replies. We enjoyed the set designs and special effects of Star Trek Enterprise. The artists from this show not only sent us their signatures, which we appreciated very much, they sent us storyboards, pictures, their art work, and sometimes entire crew photos signed for us! When we wrote Herman Zimmerman for example, he sent not only sent us his signature, but had Scott Bakula personalize a photo to our family. What a surprise! Science advisor and writer Andre Bormanis sent us a great picture of him on the set of the USS Defiant from the Mirror Universe episode of Enterprise.
  6. Send something the celebrity could sign. Sometimes the actors do not have pictures or it is too expensive for them to send. About 90% of those from the Screen Actors Guild do not earn more than $40,000 a year as actors. Therefore, if possible, send something like a trading card, article, website photo, or a simple index card for signing.
  7. Be sure to include your letter, SASE, and item for signing in the envelope you send to the celebrity. We suggest using a 9X12 envelope for the SASE to accommodate their signed picture, and this could be folded and sent in a smaller envelope. Two stamps are required on your envelope addressed to the celebrity and two stamps on your SASE.

Caveat: You will occasionally receive what are either "secretarial" signatures (the publicist or someone else signs the photo), or an autopen or preprint autograph (autopens are machines that duplicate the signature of a person or preprints are signatures where an authentic autograph is printed into the picture itself). Autograph Magazine often features "authentification" how-to articles. Most of the time, though, you get authentic and personalized pictures through the mail, all for the cost of a few stamps and envelopes.

Autographs of Eric Bana and Simon Pegg received through the mail

Autograph Magazine
For years, one of the best resources for those interested in the hobby of signature collecting has been Autograph Magazine ( Each issue usually features a three or four page article on science fiction, often with a Trek theme. For example, the April 2009 issue had a nice tribute to Majel Barrett and an article about the contributions of Forrest Ackerman. The May 2009 issue will feature an article my wife and I have written about ST09 autographs. One of the great features of Autograph is that each month they provide nearly 300 addresses so fans could write celebrities. The May 2009 issue will have 50 addresses from Star Trek actors and additional addresses for the stars of Heroes. Other articles in the May issue include the history of Metellica told though their autographs and the signatures of Baseball’s Negro League.

Fans can sample the December 2007 issue, which features the best and worst signer’s list, free online. Autograph is available either by subscription or it could be purchased as single issues online. The May issue with the Star Trek article and addresses is available at

Autograph May issue – featuring article on Star Trek movie autographs from John and Mary Jo Tenuto

Want to win a free subscription to a year of Autograph Magazine? TrekMovie has 10 subscriptions to give away in our "Trek Signature Contest." Email to [john at trekmovie dot com] with the subject ‘Autograph Contest’ with a scan or picture of your favorite Star Trek autographed item (it could a picture of anything signed, from posters to pictures, toys to plates). The best 10 autographs will be selected by the TrekMovie staff and the winners will receive a free year’s subscription supplied by Autograph Magazine. Only one entry per person please and the photos must be emailed in .jpg or .bmp format by May 1, 2009 at 4 PM.

The winning entries will be judged on both the uniqueness of the item signed and the signature or signatures themselves. Decisions by the TrekMovie staff are final and by entering the contest, you are also granting TrekMovie permission to post your emailed picture and list your name in an article announcing the winners. Winners will be contacted by email before May 8, 2009 and announced in an article here at TrekMovie. Good luck!


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Would you believe that I honestly never realized you could get autographs that way? Thanks for the info; looks like I’m going to be buying some stamps soon.

I’ll never forget when I went to a horror convention in San Jose, and overall the day had been pretty ho hum. I was looking at some books at a booth and I turn around… and there was Robert Picardo. I didn’t know he was going to be there and it was a blast to meet him and get a picture with him, and autograph, he was the nicest celebrity that I met at that convention. Class act!

There was a big Trek thing in Toronto for Trek’s 25th anniversary. I was working at a TV station and had the press passes. I got to interview George Takei (this was just after his guest starring role in Voyager). He was nice enough to sign a baseball card for me. We must have talked for about 1/2 and hour. Five years early, I met DeForest Kelley at an event in Toronto as well.. He signed an 8 x 10 photo for me.

I just did the Emerald CIty Comic Con in Seattle; no one Trek , but three members of the BSG cast were there. I paid $75 to get a professional picture with the three of them, then wanted to get it signed (the website said “get your picture signed!). However, the Con organizers wanted an additional $25 per star for the autograph. So, to get a nice 8X10 of me and three stars and get it signed, it was going to cost $150. I refused, told the Con people I thought they were advertising falsely. The Stars were great, and I think they would have been happy to offer at least a discount for the people who bought the pic, but the Con people wouldn’t let you near them unless you paid, or lied about wanting a signature and then asked for one. Now, I could afford $150 for this, but I know a lot of fans who could not, and I don’t think fandom should be charged that much by conventions. I happily paid $20 to Noel Neill for hers- this is how she makes ANY money. The big stars however should be cheap or free I think. They are well off because of the fans, I think they can give a signature as thanks, and I don’t appreciate the Convention People taking advantage of fans in the stars’ names.

It probably wouldn’t be a big deal if as a younger man I hadn’t been to so many cons where the stars’ autographs were part of admission. George Takei, James Doohan, Marina Sirtis, Nana Visitor, even Patrick Stewart; free. Part of being at the con. I am a big autograph fan, and it is a shame that we as fans are kind of letting the fandom industry do this to us- SDCC, Creation, ECCC and the like. I love collecting autographs, but there’s something so disingenuous about paying to get in, paying to get a picture, paying to get a chance to tell someone I appreciate their work, and get a signature. Grr.

OK- end of rant. This is a really neat little article and I’m going to try to use these tips to expand my autograph collection- I will scan my favorite and get it in too! Thanks for the info and rant space!

My first Trek autograph was George Takei – what a nice guy! He roared with laughter when I told him I used his book on audio tape adaptations to get to sleep at night.

Interesting article!

Reminds me of two plaques I purchased in the early or mid 90’s. One is the entire original cast on the TOS bridge, all signed and nicely framed and matted. And the other is a plaque with William Shatner and Patrick Stewart called the Captains. Both signed.

Both items are from Catch a Star Collectables. Nicely done, hopefully authentic. I heard about them from a Trek Convention and got the info there. I think I bought the original cast one there. What’s nice was the entire cast signed it. Whether it’s authentic, well, I trust that it is and based on images I’ve seen of the signatures, I believe them to be.

In the late 70’s at the height of fandom, before Star Trek TMP, I did get Doohan, Takei, Bruce Hyde and a few others to sign a cast poster I have. Pretty cool. And they did it live, in front of me. I have a later one of Doohan and a photo with him too from the late 90’s and in 2000 when he visited the company that I worked at. What a trip, James Doohan sitting at my desk, signing! That was a great day, didn’t expect that much time with him and he was extremely gracious to everyone. Too bad I only have a polaroid, but it’s better then nothing as evidence! That was probably one of my coolest experiences!

I nearly knocked Bill Shatner over on Broadway and 66th Street on January 20, 1992 as I walked and read my NY Times. Now, my “Bill Clinton Inaugurated as 42nd President” issue has the Shat’s scrawl on it. Thanks, Bill!

John: Terrific article.

hmm well i just scored a free full size poster for the movie from my local theater. ( the American version) i hope the new actors start going to the conventions so i have a chance to get it autographed. my plan is to get everybody to sign it

Never understood the appeal of an autograph.

To each their own.

My autograph collection doesnt have too many trek stars in it.
I have Rene Auberjenois and Tim Russ. I also have Mariana Sirtis (which my dad got for me. Funyy story, my dad chatted her up by saying he felt I was of dubious parantage, to which she replied she may be as well HA!), and Johnathin Frakes. but on top of that I have Alice Cooper, Paul Rodgers (Both of whome I met), Robert Llewellin and Howard Goodall (the former is Kryten from Red Dwarf and the latter wrote the theme tune to it and many other BBC shows), David Prowse (who was the green cross code man here but also the REAL Darth Vader, the guy in the suit), Normon Lovett, again red dwarf fame, Richard O’Brian who wrote and starred in Rocky Horror Show and the Crystal Maze, I think thats it for now lol…can’t remember any more yet. Paul Rodgers was fun though, I got to meet the man and the rest of Queen after a concert and sit in the hotel and chat. He’s a GREAT guy.

who cares about all this other crap.

where is our movie review with spoilers.


“who cares about all this other crap.”

i personally do not collect any autographs but to some, autograph collecting is a fun hobby or a great way to connect with the actors or crew that have inspired their lives. show some respect.

why post that comment here when the title of the thread is obvious

I’ll never ever forget the first convention I went to, it was the late eighties, and the first and only convention that had come to our little town. The headliner was George Takei, and while I liked him on TOS I never really thought of him as a big deal. I went for the news on the upcoming TNG season, stayed for the vendor booths, then I saw a huge line for Takei’s autograph. I got in it, I was the last one.

I stood in line for 2.5hrs, I kept thinking he was gonna leave, but he stayed and stayed and stayed, the convention venue personnel also left, turned off the lights, he moved his table to where the sunlight filtered in. He sat at that table the entire time, chatting, hugging fans, signing. When I finally got there he was just as pleasant and just as chatty. That guy is a class act.

Actors are professional liars for a living. Yes they are people, but “worshiping” them and following them around to get them to sign a piece of paper is a total waste of time.

Every individual is entitled to waste their time as they see fit, but Anthony said we’d get a review on the movie and instead we get “how to get an autograph” and “how to smell like sh!t”

I’m am autogragh hound. I’ve gotten many autographs from the conventions including Mrs. Roddenberry’s. I have several non-Trek too Mostly country music artists. Also, getting a picture or photo autographed for me is much cooler tahn getting just a signature on a piece of paper.

Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays!

20 or years ago I had autographs from Grace Lee Whitney ( Janice Rand), great lady! and Walter Koenig total dick! Sorry but he was…

Alas I lost those but I do have a hardbound copy of Memnoch The Devil autographed by the author Anne Rice.


@14 – Wow Navy, didn’t your parents ever teach you that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything? You want to complain to Anthony about not posting his review, then send him an e-mail. No need to spew venom in a forum where people are interested in the subject matter. If autographs aren’t your cup of tea, then kindly keep your trap shut.

As for “actors being professional liars” – they are craftsmen, who entertain. Getting an autograph from them is no different than getting an autograph from a sports star, politician, famous scientist or whatever. It’s fine to want to have a memento of sharing a moment with someone who’s work you admire.

…and not to gloat, but I think I have one of the coolest autographed pieces of memorabilia ever.

When I was working on a project at Sci-Fi Channel, I had an opportunity to meet and work with the entire original cast, and over thirty guest stars and behind-the scenes folks that worked on TOS. All of them signed a GIANT (3’x4′) picture than now hangs in my “home theater” room.

I think it’s probably one of a kind, and now that Majel, De and Jimmy are no longer with us, irreplaceable.

One of my most prized possessions!

Ooooooohhhh, the rare “Before she was a whale” autography of Kirstie Alley!!


It’s too bad we live in a world where parents no longer teach their children the truth of life. Instead we spend our time chasing after the person who pretends to be the character we love. If you don’t like what I have to say, don’t read it, or contribute to the downfall of our society and censor me.

I love star trek, total nut. Doesn’t mean I can’t see reality in front of me. Actors are liars and a good portion of them are two faced as well. A good example is how many of them are more than fine to use firearms in their films but do not support the lawful ownership of firearms.

Getting their signatures and treating them like royalty only feeds their egos.

I have a few autographs, my favorite is from DeForest Kelly. My oddest was from Patrick Stewart, who gave it to me in an elevator in Vancouver.

And desperately waiting for a review of their movie doesn’t?

14: Navy, I agree with you. We were promised Anthony’s review yesterday.

Yesterday was also his birthday, and today is Easter, so I’d give him a “pass” and hope his review is all the better for the wait.

My autograph nightmare is a deli napkin handed to me by my mom about 33 years ago. She asked “Do you know who Bob Kane is? He tried to pick me up at the deli.” She handed me a blue Bic-pen drawing of Batman and Robin with Kane’s distinctive autograph on a frigging napkin. I lost it.


I can respect the outcome of their hard work, because the story is for us, the paying public.

Doesn’t mean I have to like the people pretending to be my heroes.

23: John:

Do we have to get the mag for the addresses, or would be a source for them? Otherwise, are there standard Internet resources to find these out?

John Tenuto,

I didn’t even look at who wrote the article to tell you the truth, I just don’t support the whole autograph thing.

Anthony is struggling with finishing the review. He wants to be impartial, but he liked it too damn much.


I enjoy the con experience, and the accidental meeting. But your approach may be a good one to try.

Autograph-wise, I had Nimoy in 1975 in NYC, Jim Doohan several times in the ’80s (one con, one video store. What a great guy.), Shat on the street, Koenig and Meaney at a convention in 1993, and De Kelley, who signed a piece of office stationary for me via a friend who worked at “Good Morning America.”

Your approach is more methodical, and I think I may consider it!

I for one, hope that Anthony is either too hungover from his birthday party, or had too much lovemaking on his birthday. Happy belated birthday Anthony!

I attended the 2007 Las Vegas Convention and scored a few autographs , Shatner , Nimoy , both of which i had to shell out some bucks for , but I ran into Vaughn Armstrong , and happened to have an MU Captain Maxwell Forrest card and he was nice enough to sign it for free . Just a tip , carry a sharpie with you to the convention , not all the celebs carry them . I had to run around and find someone who had one I could borrow before Vaughn would sign . Great guy !



His site is called How impartial can he be?

Which reminds me …..


Hows it coming on the review for the movie toys? I’ve been dying to find out about the Enterprise toy .

I’ll offer a different perspective than Navy’s….

I was at a Quantum Leap convention two weeks ago and got Scott Bakula’s autograph on a QL short-story manuscript I’d written for the convention’s fiction contest (I was one of the winners). Scott was kind, energetic and engaging, making a personal connection with each individual — despite the fact that he’d been doing autographs and photos for a couple of hours by the time I got to him. In fact, he congratulated me on the story and urged me to get it published. There was no ego involved. He’s a class act.

Thanks for the heads up John! :D

My, my. Some people are impatient. I, too, am looking forward to Anthony’s review, but at least I’m not being demanding! Some people forget how lucky they are to have someone like Anthony to run this site and post articles on a day to day basis. It was his birthday yesterday, and today’s Easter. I am sure we will get his review at some point today.

And to John Tenuto, I am sorry not everyone appreciates your articles. Jeez, you’d think if they weren’t interested, they wouldn’t read the damn things. Oh well, obviously there are many who do enjoy your articles, including me. Hope to see many more in the future! :)

Interesting! Very good tips!

Thanks John, for a great article.

Autograph collecting is great fun. I especially enjoy some of my older signatures of actors who are no longer with us. My “prizes” are of that nature, things like Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, or The Three Stooges. Lost in Space’s wonderful Johnathon Harris is a fav as is Charleton Heston, Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowell. And of course, the great DeForrest Kelley and Jimmy Doohan. Their signatures are a great connection to their wonderful ride on this planet and the countless hours of entertainment they’ve given me over the years. I’m happy to have them.

I’ve got Jimmy Doohan on a TWOK script, John deLancie, Wil Wheaton, George Takei (who was such a wonderful man to meet. He rushed no one in the line and made a point to talk to each person who came up for an autograph), a Gates McFadden. I don’t think the McFadden one is authentic, though. Bought it pre-plaqued at a con when I was much younger and stupider.

I’ve got my den nicely kitted out with Deforest, Doohan, Nimoy ( plus Clint and Alec Guiness ) but pride of place goes to Khan in the office :) :)

::shakes head::

Tenuto’s at it again. Peddling his wares like some two-bit flea market huckster…

Tsk! Tsk!


I have none.

A have a friend in the music industry who knows Dennis McCarthy. Anyone want my autograph?

I think it’s really cool how you mentioned to not forget about the crew of the movies and series and stuff. Because without them, all we’d have are a bunch of actors! xD

Some really cool advice. Thanks, Mr. Tenuto. :3

(Maybe I’ll have to write in for an autograph, since I”m an enormous fan of all the series but I can NEVER get to any conventions!!!!! Stinks not being old enough to drive.)

#42 :: You are so lucky! I was hardly out of my childhood years when Doohan and De Kelley were still alive. But, wow, that is really, really cool. Make sure you scan those and stuff in case anything should happen! ;3

(My mom taught me that when I got the autograph of a Heisman Trophy winner…)

I’ve got a ton of Trek autographs already. Met each and every one of them…except one.

Anybody want MY autograph?


I look forward to Tenuto’s next worthless “news story”…





Why don’t you go out and get the magazine? John’s experiences sound like loads of fun.

I’m willing to bet that the stars and crew behind this new film will be legendary. Grab ’em now!

Ink on a paper. Sure, many would assume that autographs have very little meaning if looked at face value, but can someone say that about the signatures in the Constitution of the United States or the receipts from a simple shopper?

Signatures for me represent a ‘tangible’ item that offers many different purposes than just “He/She signed this!” or, god forbid, ‘ebay’ value. I for one think of it as a convenient way to show people who I have met and what they were like and whatever I signed is something I can show for it. For instance, I met sound designer Matthew Wood who did the voice for General Grievous in Star Wars Episode III and asked him to write “Doooooku!” above his name. He was a little confused by the request since it wasn’t one of his catchier lines from the film. I explained that, with all due respect, the way he overly pronounced “Dooku” in the film was the only memorable thing we ever got out of his character. Not the four lightsabers, not the good animation, but him saying that one name.

Oh, Ridley Scott hates giving autographs, but doesn’t mind giving the highest paying person (Which happened ONLY on chance) not one, but TWO signatures. Ya, he was a douche.