This week TrekMovie has been celebrating the 80th birthdays of Star Trek stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. In that spirit, today we take a collector’s look at the pair, exploring the world of "Shatlectibles" and . “Lemorabilia”, or all the cool collectibles dealing with the real Shatner and Nimoy (and not the characters they play).
Shatlectibles & Lemorabilia
Any popular culture aficionado is aware that Star Trek has produced more than a quarter million individual collectible items during its 45 years. However, there have also been many William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy items worthy of being called Shatlectibles and Lemorabelia.
SHATLECTIBLE TRADING CARDS:
Beginning with their 2007 Americana trading card set, Donruss (now called Panini America) has featured William Shatner on many of their cards. During the 1980s and 1990s, Starline produced a set of trading cards called “Hollywood” which also featured Shatner.
SHATLECTIBLE COMIC BOOKS:
Shatner has a long connection to comic books. As a boy in Canada, Shatner thrilled to the adventures of Superman, role playing the first and most famous superhero. His Star Trek character of James T. Kirk has been featured in more than 500 comics from publishers such as DC and Marvel. Shatner himself has written comics books, including those based on his Tek War novels. However, there have also been comics about the real William Shatner. Personality Comics (1991), Celebrity Books (1992), and Pop Comics (1995) have all premiered comic book version of the biography of William Shatner.
William Shatner’s characters have been a Star Trek, Boston Legal, and Twilight Zone bobbleheads. However, during the 1990s, before the creation of The Negotiator character, William Shatner appeared as himself for many Priceline.com commercials. His famous (or infamous) singing commercials resulted in Priceline.com offering a bobblehead of William Shatner himself which could be obtained by utilizing their web resources.
SHATLECTIBLE ART BOOK:
William Shatner has written two biographies (Where No Man, Up Until Now) and many Star Trek memoirs. Yet, the most Shatlectible of all is the art book The Shatner Show featuring an amazing, and sometimes disturbing, array of 76 Shatner inspired art from the 2007 Canadian gallery Uppercase.
Allposters.com has a William Shatner poster with the man himself posed in all his “Rocket Man”/Rat Pack goodness.
Choose between the Comedy Central DVD of the William Shatner Roast (which is raunchy, so beware) and the documentary How William Shatner Changed the World (hosted by the Shat himself). As an added bonus, the Williamshatner.com store has a collection of 1960s television vignettes based on The Psalms for sale, which includes William Shatner both in front of and behind the scenes (and the cameraman on some of the episodes was none other than film student George Lucas (yes, that George Lucas!).
There is no William Shatner musical CD better than the 2007 CD Has Been, a diverse collection of songs written from the heart by William Shatner and featuring producer Ben Folds, Henry Rollins, Joe Jackson, and Brad Paisley. From heartbreak to hope, the album received praise from many who were expecting The Transformed Man II.
THE ULTIMATE SHATLECTIBLE:
While each of the products allows William Shatner fans to symbolically enjoy a metaphorical piece of William Shatner, the Golden Palace Casino owns a real piece of the Shatner. In 2006, William Shatner auctioned his kidney stone that was removed for charity. $25,000 went to Habitat for Humanity and Golden Palace enjoyed the ultimate Shatlectible.
LEMORABILIA: COMIC BOOKS
Like Shatner, Leonard Nimoy has both presented his own comic books and been featured in biographical edition. In 1991, Personality Comics and in 1992, Celebrity Comics, both had Leonard Nimoy biography editions. Nimoy’s own 1995 Primortals comic included ideas and premises by Isaac Asimov.
LEMORABILA: TRADING CARDS
Nimoy, too, has Donruss trading cards. However, the most collectible of all non Spock trading cards is the 2009 exclusive card available to VIPs at the FX convention. The edition was limited to about 50 and includes a great picture of Leonard Nimoy and his signature.
Shatner and Nimoy are the most prolific authors of the original crew. While Shatner has conquered the world of fiction writing and memoirs, Leonard Nimoy’s books, I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock not included, have been primarily photographic or poetic in nature, interestingly showing the diversity between the two friends. While there are many Nimoy books to choose from, a good compendium of his poetry is available in 1983’s Warmed by Love, an inspired and emotional text.
LEMORABILIA MEETS SHATLECTIBLES: Spaced Out
Another difference between Shatner and Nimoy is that while Bill is the master of spoken word musical styles, Nimoy actually sings in a traditional style on his albums. An incredibly collection of their shared musical offerings is available on the Spaced Out CD. While many genre fans think of “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” when musing about Nimoy’s music, a really fun song is “Highly Illogical” both of which are available on this best of compilation.
On a recent episode of Raw Nerve, LeVar Burton spoke emotionally to William Shatner about how William Shatner is a role model to many. I and my family feel the same way about both he and Mr. Nimoy, as do millions who they have entertained during their 80 years. Thanks, Bill and Leonard, and Happy Birthday.