The Collector's Corner

Welcome, and thank you for visiting HeroComm.  We'll be direct... one of our primary goals here is to help locate all surviving original Wah Chang communicator props used in TOS Star Trek.  We know with absolute certainty the existence of four (see the Master Tracking List), leaving six still unaccounted for.  So, are any of these yours?

Star Trek TOS original "Beta" hero communicator prop details - Star Trek TOS original "Gamma" dummy communicator prop details - Star Trek TOS original "Eta" dummy communicator prop details - Star Trek TOS original "Theta" dummy communicator prop details - Star Trek TOS original "Iota" dummy communicator prop details - Star Trek TOS original "Kappa" dummy communicator prop details -
Click on the above pictures for an enlargement of what our best information suggests each might look like today.  This includes the moiré pattern,
jewels, mic grill cut-out, the position of knobs and other internal components, plus the side exposure of - and glue stains on - the midplate.

For our objective to advance, we need your assistance in telling us what you have.  And why should you help, you may ask?  Because we can help you in return.  This page is written specifically for those individuals who own, might possibly own, or are considering buying a comm prop purported to be an original.  As such, you undoubtedly are going to be focused on primarily three things:


1)  The authenticity of your prop.
2)  The value of your acquisition.
3)  Your privacy being maintained.

And we can assist in all these areas.  Here's how:


It would be nice if everyone who thought they owned an original screen-used communicator actually did.  But let's be frank... only ten existed yet countless many people thought (or still think) theirs is one of them.  Wah Chang said that of the many comms he had been shown after the show, not one was his.*  So unless you personally plucked your prop out of Property Master Irving Feinberg's boxes in 1969 (yes, perhaps a few lucky people did), we regret being the bearer of bad news but it is statistically likely that yours too is a fake, despite whatever official provenance or compelling story accompanies your comm.

Many a clever replica have been built and sold with the expressed purpose of deceiving you - the enthusiastic collector.  This practice has been ongoing since the 1980s, originating back when barely anybody knew what an authentic comm prop looked like.

The most prominent name in this illicit business is Mark (or Marc) English, known (both he and his forgeries) as ME.  Fortunately for us, all MEs and other fakes carry distinct features ("tells") that allow them to be readily identified.  Below is a link to a page that will help you quickly spot a typical forgery...


> > > The Details - HOW TO SPOT A FORGERY  < < < <


So deep is the permeation of MEs that some have been shown in "authentic" prop books and websites, displayed in Smithsonian exhibits and even sold as real through prominent auction houses.

It can be gladly said, though, that the content on this site has ended all that.

In the past, collectors had little or no guide to assess claims of authenticity.  The con men were better informed than the victims.  That's no longer the case.  You now have HeroComm, and with it two options; to view the following pages and judge for yourself, or better still ask us for assistance.  We have members and contributors who have spent decades (and decades) studying the topic and have had hands-on time with true authentics and crafty fakes.  Simply put, we know exactly what to look for.  We offer this service to you for free.  As corny as it may sound, the joy of finding an original is reward enough for prop geeks like us.  This service has already rendered very successful results.  The owner of the Alpha hero sought our assistance in 2006, and all parties involved have been the happier for it.


> > > The Details - SENDING US YOUR PHOTOS  < < < <


By sending us your photos, you are granting us permission to review those photos among only our top staff and to contact you privately with our thoughts.  If we think it to be genuine, we would naturally like to publish a few (or more) of your pictures on our site to announce the good news, and we will dialog with you further for your consent and other details.  We will also act as your public advocate, defending our opinion (and your prop) on this site and on boards against those who for reasons silly or sound dispute our call.  However, if we sadly find that we cannot add yours to our Master Tracking List, neither your name nor prop pictures will ever be posted.  You are thus free to obtain unfettered opinions elsewhere.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Legal Disclaimer in plain English:  be advised that our counsel carries no official legal weight.  Firstly, we may initially be rendering an opinion based on pictures rather than an actual physical inspection of the item in question.  Secondly, HeroComm, as a loose federation of knowledgeable researchers and hobbyists, is not a licensed business entity, and as such cannot be registered, bonded, or insured.  Thus our opinions are to be used and weighed at your own discretion and risk.  Please read our legal page for more formal wording.

* from board posting:  EzBoard/Dewback Wing ASAP/Communicator/TOS - too "fat" comm shells?/  -  9/3/05 by "Lemnoc"


Supply and demand dictates the price of any object or commodity.  Now that collectors know for sure only ten authentic communicators existed, the perceived supply has shrunk.  And since so many collectors who believed theirs to be genuine will learn otherwise, a whole new population of well-financed individuals will be seeking to rectify that earlier mistake.  Demand will go up.  You do the math.

Now while HeroComm has techically no legal status, we are the only public entity accurately tracking these props.  As such, and given our unique 100% track record of identifying genuine vs. fake communicators, this site has over time become the trusted "Catalogue Raisonné" of Wah-built comms.  Auction houses have even pulled forgeries from the sales block from our say-so.  So if you actually own an original but it's not listed with us, it will likely not be as widely accepted and thus not accrue in value as it should.

This may not benefit you if you have no intention of ever selling, but it will certainly assist your heirs.


When we locate another original comm prop, part of our satisfaction comes from sharing the awesome news with the world.  But you, the owner, get to remain an anonymous collector if you wish.  Thus is the power of the Internet - the ability to openly reveal information while remaining utterly private.  Heck, even we don't have to know who or where you are.  Though as stated in our Mission Statement, we found that creating this website is more than merely building a database; it is also about building and maintaining friendships, which we look forward to nurturing indefinitely.


To conclude, we ask that you consider the greater fraternity of fellow Star Trek enthusiasts who share your love of props and would so greatly enjoy and appreciate seeing your prized treasure.  So go ahead - make us suffer with envy.  We can take it!

If this makes sense to you, then we urge you to reach us through postings on Trek prop chat boards.

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