If you’ve ever thought about starting a Star Trek memorabilia collection — it can be intimidating. Because of the many years Trek has been around, there are literally hundreds of thousands of items you can buy. Where to begin? To help guide you through Trek collecting, we spoke with Mike Bovia and Jamie Rogers, two friends who recently started a new show called “The Divine Treasury: A Star Trek Collectibles Podcast.”
Mike and Jamie are huge Trek fans and each have an impressive collection of photos, autographs, ships, figures, cards and more. These guys hail from Rhode Island and before COVID, could be found at Trek conventions, meeting other fans and working on their vast collections.
In real life, Mike is a Construction Safety and Training Manager, while Jamie is a Metro Business Manager at UPS. They are both married with children and have made sure to get their kids into Star Trek at a young age too.
TREK REPORT: Tell me how each of you got started as a Trek collector
MIKE: I don’t know that either of us are “experts” so much as we’re both collectors. One of the great things about our format is that we’ll be talking to people about their collections no matter the size. But Jamie definitely has the bigger collection of the two of us.
JAMIE: I started out with Star Trek at a very young age, like five or six. The first thing I ever saw was The Motion Picture and I used to watch original series episodes on VHS tapes that my mother would borrow from the library. This evolved into watching Start Trek: The Next Generation on my local FOX television station. I really fell in love with TNG and being the active kid that I am, I wanted to play these scenes out in my bedroom. This is really where my collecting started.
I wanted every single Playmates TNG action figure! This love of collecting branched off into everything that I bought or became interested in from books and movies to cards and autographs. As I became older and started to have a family, my Star Trek collecting got some new life as I began to share collecting experiences with my son, Blake.
TREK REPORT: Will your podcast talk about the value of any of the collectables?
MIKE: There is a section of the show where we have the guest assign awards to pieces in their collection. One of them is the collectible with the greatest monetary value but the other deals with what has the most sentimental value. As a rule, we won’t be assigning values as experts. It is our intent to interview actual experts when we can — authenticators, condition graders, etc.
TREK REPORT: What is so special about Trek collecting? What is different about from other franchises?
JAMIE: Trek collecting is very unique because I have discovered that Trek fans can be very intense in their love of Star Trek Collectables and often times will pay any amount to get the items they want. Just look at the Christy’s Auctions that took place several years ago with items from the Paramount warehouse. People paid prices that far exceeded anyone’s initial expectations.
TREK REPORT: Jamie, Mike teased it earlier. Tell us about your collection.
JAMIE: My collection encompasses many things so here is my attempt to encapsulate it. I have approximately:
- 1000 DVDs and Blu-Rays
- 400 Books
- 500 Magazines
- 150 Ships — mostly Star Trek ships from EagleMoss
- 150 Pins — mostly Star Trek from Fansets
- 300 Figurines — which includes bobbleheads and Funko Pops
- 30 3D puzzles of City Skyscrapers
- 3 Drumsets
I have a total of 894 autographs on items in my collection. 127 of those are on Star Trek photos. 602 are on Star Trek cards. Among the Star Trek photo autographs, I have autographed photo ops from five Captains — William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Anson Mount — and all the principle TNG Cast Members.
I have complete cast autograph pieces from the cast from The Original Series, two from TNG, and one containing the five original captains. I have 8×10 photo autographs from every principle cast member of the first six Star Trek series and many of the secondary characters. I have met virtually all of them except for a select few — DeForest Kelly, Leonard Nimoy, Jimmy Doohan, Avery Brooks, Jennifer Lien, and Jolene Blalock.
TREK REPORT: Tell us about the time your son met Patrick Stewart
JAMIE: In 2012, during the TNG 25th Anniversary year, I learned that Patrick Stewart was making one convention appearance that year at a Wizard World Convention in New York City. Patrick Stewart is my all-time favorite captain and actor, so naturally I decided to buy a VIP Patrick Stewart ticket package, which included an autograph, a photo op, and preferred seat during his panel.
What I failed to properly think through was my plan to bring my 2 1/2-year son along. I thought it was a good idea to wake him up early on a Saturday morning and drive him over three hours to New York to attend an all-day convention. Boy, was I wrong.
The day started out very promising and he hung in there like a trooper for the ride there and the first three hours of the convention, however around Noon things took a turn very quickly. My son had a complete meltdown and was completely inconsolable. No matter what I offered to give or do for him, he would not stop screaming or crying. The only problem was, we were standing in the middle of the Patrick Stewart photo op line.
Panic began to come over me as I was trying to figure out how to get my most sought-after photo op in the midst of the worst meltdown I had ever experienced from my child. The closer we got, the worse the situation got. As we approached, I happened to notice that the photographer was keeping the camera on a stand in one position and Mr. Stewart was standing up to take all the pictures.
This made me even more anxious as I wondered how I would possibly be able to successfully pick up and hold my son for a photo while he is crying, screaming, and fighting with me uncontrollably. Our turn was coming up and I asked one of the handlers if there would be a way to take the picture in a different position.
“Absolutely not,” she replied. “The only way we will do this picture is with you standing up holding your son.”
It was our turn next and as we walked up to Mr. Stewart I began to pick up my son. At that moment, my worst fear became a reality, as my son took his meltdown to the next level. He fought me as hard as he possibly could as he screamed and cried uncontrollably. I was unable to pick him up because of how hard he was resisting me. My heart sunk and I stood there in disbelief as the handlers began to visibly show their frustration for me.
“Sir, if you cannot get your son under control, we are going to need you to leave the photo op,” said one of the staff members.
At that moment, Patrick Stewart said in a loud and commanding voice, “Stop everything!”
My first thought at that moment was ‘Patrick Stewart is going to kick me out of his photo op!’
But that is not what happened. On that day, Patrick Stewart would show me how classy of an individual he was. He proceeded to point at the cameraman and instructed him to take the camera off of the stand. The cameraman began to argue with some of the other handlers and finally someone stepped in and said, “If Patrick Stewart tells you to take the camera off the stand, then you take the camera off the stand!”
While they were completely dismantling the stand and reconfiguring the shot, Stewart proceeded to get down on his knees and turned his attention completely to my son. For a solid five minutes he sat there on his knees and talked to my son who was still crying.
He introduced himself as Captain Picard and began to tell him stories as if he was a grandfather consoling his grandchild. Slowly but surely, he singlehandedly got my son to calm down.
He said to him, “Blake, you know what would mean the world to me? It would mean the world to me if you took a picture with me and your father. Can you do that?”
My son finally reluctantly agreed and Stewart assured him that no one would pick him up and that both me and him would get on our knees so that he could stand up in the picture. We posed, my son smiled, and my favorite picture came to be. As soon as I saw the picture, I immediately wanted to bring it back to Mr. Stewart so he could autograph it.
As we approached his table, he looked up and saw my son and despite the fact that photo taken was several hours earlier, he called out to my son, “Hey Blake, remember me? We took a picture together!”
My son smiled the biggest smile I think I have ever seen. Stewart remembered my son’s name! When I placed the picture on the table, I asked Mr. Stewart to autograph the picture to me. He looked right at my son and said, “Jamie, I can’t autograph this to you. I want to autograph this to you and Blake. Can I put his name on it too?”
Not much I could say to that!
So, my photo was autographed: To Jamie and Blake, Patrick Stewart. On that day, I didn’t see an actor who had some big ego, but I saw an actor who genuinely cared about his fans and decided he would take the time to make a lasting memory for a 2 1/2-year kid.
I watched that same man, get up on stage a couple hours later when he was probably tired after a long convention and humbly answer every fan’s question. His time even ran out and the moderator told the audience to leave because the time was up on Mr. Stewart’s panel.
Sir Patrick Stewart turned to the moderator and said, “There are still seven people in line. Those seven people came to ask me a question and I’m not getting off this stage until I answer all their questions.” He didn’t leave until he answered every question. That is class. That is a man who appreciates his fans.
That is why Patrick Stewart is my Captain!
TREK REPORT: If your listeners have a question about an item, can they contact you directly?
MIKE: Absolutely people can contact us! We’re not experts on things, but we do have some knowledge of value based on our own collecting. The tagline for our show is “Connecting Through Collecting,” so we really want to talk to fans about their collecting and why they love to do it.
TREK REPORT: How often will your show come out?
MIKE: We’ll be releasing every two weeks on Tuesdays.
TREK REPORT: If there was one thing you’d like to get but it’s just so rare that you probably won’t ever be able to… what would that be?
JAMIE: I am currently searching for a particular Gene Roddenberry Signature Cut Autograph Card. There are only 30 in existence, so it may take me a while to find one, but I will keep searching for it.
Another item that will probably forever elude me is an autographed photo with my son and Avery Brooks. Avery has made it abundantly clear that he will never be at a Star Trek convention ever again, so I think that might be an item that will never see fulfillment.
TREK REPORT: Mike, tell me about the other podcasts that you’re involved with.
MIKE: In addition to this podcast, I have a podcast with my 11-year-old daughter, Legacy Trek. We’ve been doing that for two years now. It started out as going thru some of her first run on Star Trek, but it’s evolved into a more conventional Star Trek podcast with interviews, reviews, and special events. It didn’t take long for her to begin forming opinions on episodes, characters, etc… so we changed the format a bit. But make no mistake, she’s the star, I just pay the bills!
TREK REPORT: Jamie, why did you decide to get involved in a Trek podcast?
JAMIE: Ever since my brother exposed me to podcasts on a long trip together to northern Maine about five years ago, I have had a strong desire to get involved. Obviously, I love Star Trek, so I was immediately attracted to Star Trek podcasts in particular, such as Mission Log and Trek Geeks.
I enjoyed listening to Trek podcasts so much, that to me, it was a natural extension to get involved in my own Star Trek podcast. As soon as I discovered that my close friend Mike had a similar desire, it only seemed natural that we should try to do something together. I did have some limited involvement in some of the initial stages of Mike’s other podcast, but in the end I really wanted to come up with an idea for a sustainable podcast that we could ultimately do together.
TREK REPORT: Tell us how people can listen to your show:
MIKE: On Twitter, we can be found @divine_treasury, on Instagram, the same @divine_treasury. Mostly we’ll be posting on Twitter, but we’ll try to get pictures of things out to Instagram fairly regularly. Whenever we have a new episode, we’ll be posting a link to the podcast, but we can be found on most of the regular locations to find podcasts by searching for “The Divine Treasury.”
We’re part of the Trek Geeks Podcast Network, so as far as a website, you can go to trekgeeks.com/thedivinetreasury; but be sure to check out all the awesome content on the network as well! We’ll be releasing video of guest’s collections and additions to our own collections on YouTube through the Trek Geeks channel under the playlist “The Divine Treasury.”