Are Trekkies gullible cash cows? by Lee Hutchison

shopWhat can you spend £40 on?

A return train ticket to London and see some of the great museums in the world. A night out In Edinburgh and on booze to get yourself so drunk you’ve got the courage to tell a girl you fancy them before being rejected and going home with only a pie from the all night bakery. You could get a last minute flight to somewhere in Europe, you could take a loved one and enjoy a sunny beach. Or you could spend it on a photo with William Shatner and spend 3 seconds next to someone who doesn’t acknowledge you are there and you get a photo of this brief moment.

I don’t get it personally, I can see the appeal in meeting your heroes and Icons in the flesh and spending time that is ultimately shorter than the ‘Lost’ opening credits sequence in their company. Is this really value for money? Obviously £40 is the extreme end of all of this, it does start at £15 for a quick snap. But seriously, £15 for a photo with some person who was in the series for half an episode like Patrick Stewart’s son. Is this sort of price justified during a recession?

My point is a waste of time really, why question it because I saw it first hand at Star Trek London how much money was being thrown at photos, autographs in the flash of a credit card. The demand is there, people will pay for it but are they being ripped off? Are these prices frankly a joke? It’s amazing to have a memento of meeting a hero but is the cost taking advantage of wide eye fans like me who stumped up silly money because we are wide eyed fans and viewed as a cash cow for the stars and the companies pricing these events.

I only thought about this because when ‘Star Trek – the next Generation’ season 3 blu-ray first went online, it was priced as £75 on amazon and this caused a wee stir among some at this more expensive price than previous sets. I said to those I discussed it with that I’d pay that price without much hesitation. Once again, a sci-fi fan and their cash is there for the taking for companies because of blind devotion to their product. Thankfully it was a pricing error and it went down by £20. But it made me think, would I have bought it at such a stupid price that I could’ve spent the money on something better like a a flight, a weekend away or a steak the size of my head.

What do you think? Are we being ripped off because of our blind devotion and companies and people think us and our cash are there for the taking? Or is it really value for money?

Sina Alvarado

Author: Sina Alvarado

I live in Houston, Texas, and while I don’t own or ride a horse, I do occasionally say “Y’all” and even “All Y’all.” I am married and have one daughter. I started watching Trek regularly with TNG and got absolutely hooked after watching “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” Trek has been a big part of my life ever since then and I am happy to share my love for it with all y’all.

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1 Comment

  1. I think most devoted fans of anything are ripped off, I’m also a football fan and it can cost thousands every season to watch your team and buy the replica shirt etc. I personally wouldn’t mind spending £40 on a photo of me stood with Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew or any of them to be honest. I’d gladly miss one night out to have an experience that I’d never forget, and have a picture of it on my wall.
    Having said that I heard of a con in America where Shatner charged $100 an autograph, which is outrageous, but that’s Shatner for you.

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