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September 29, 2012
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Shatner's world is for sale
By LINDA MASSARELLA, QMI Agency


William Shatner (QMI file photo)

LOS ANGELES -- We're used to actor William Shatner beaming in when we least expect it.

Turn on the tube, and he's in a Star Trek or Boston Legal re-run; turn the channel and he's doing a news show on the likes of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski; turn once more and he's hamming it up on a commercial for a vacation website.

So when I opened an email from williamshatner.com, I wasn't very surprised to find him direct-selling Star Trek memorabilia and a whole bunch of other items.

Although I'm not one of the 1.2 million people who follow the famous Canadian actor on Twitter, I did recently sign up for his newsletter, which is sent via email.

I opened this month's newsletter to find about a dozen links crammed onto the page.

The first link takes you to the official website, which features a photo of Shatner circa 1975 in costume in his most famous role, Captain Kirk. It is dense with links to Shatner's books, films and newest projects, and even fun out-takes from his priceline.com commercials.

The second link is to the William Shatner Store.

Wow!

For sale are thousands of original Star Trek props and costumes, scripts, action figures, gift certificates, and all kinds of autographed merchandise.

And since Shatner is considered one of the coolest cats alive over 80 (he's 81), he's charging a lot for this stuff.

An autographed copy of his recent book, Shatner's Rules, is $94.95; a Hallmark Star Trek Christmas tree ornament is $129.00, and a Boston Legal prop of a case file used in Season 2 is going for $69.95.

Even an autographed sign of the Tonight Show, given to him by Conan O'Brien, is for sale. It's yours, if you want it, for $794.95.

Shatner's direct marketing is, like most things he does, quite brilliant.

For one thing, there seems to be no shortage of Trekkies who want to buy this stuff, so why split the cost of with an eBay type of site or pay for advertising?

Secondly, who better to sell William Shatner memorabilia than William Shatner himself?

Look at what his sales pitches have done for priceline.com. The company has been one of the best performing Internet stocks on the planet (the shares now trade for over $600 apiece) since the Canadian first agreed to be the spokesman in 1998.

"It's Shatner's world, we just live in it!"

That's Shatner's motto and the quote is on top of yet another link about another of his latest ventures, a planned live tour. An accompanying photo to promote the tour shows the thespian looking fit and handsome as he embraces a large globe.

The two-time Emmy winner says he has plans to take the live tour to Broadway. But first he's honing it on a three-month, 20-city tour that begins Nov. 8.

What's next after that?

Who knows.

But it's William Shatner we're talking about, so it could be anything.

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