Well beam me up, Scotty! Sci-fi auction is out of this world
Fans in auction battle with online collectors as intergalactic memorabilia goes stellar...
In a galaxy not that far away... an auction was transformed into a treasure trove of fantasy and fiction.
It was a collector's dream world with rows and rows of mint condition, never-out-of-their-box figurines, games and costumes.
More than 100 people gathered to experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans of all things sci-fi. And they were welcomed at the door by none other than Darth Vader himself, along with a feared Imperial Stormtrooper.
Among the coveted items in the unusual lot were actual costumes used in the Star Trek films, including Scotty's jacket, a replica Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, and remote-control Daleks from Dr Who.
Bidders' eyes lit up as they walked in to the room and saw everything you could imagine from Luke Skywalker to Jabba the Hutt.
But while bidders had fun perusing the items, when the sale at Wilsons Auctions in Mallusk began it became clear that the bidders meant business – as offers ranged from £20 to more than £3,000
Not only did they have to battle with each other in the hall, there was also a contingent of bidders online from as far away as Canada and the US.
Among the most valuable items of the night was the set of Star Trek costumes.
Scotty's uniform jacket with the label inside inscribed 'J Doohan' and worn by him in Star Trek VI went for a huge £3,100 from an online bidder from California.
Whoopi Goldberg's purple Guinan outfit went for £850, while the Star Trek Geordi La Forge's Starfleet uniform worn in Star Trek Next Generation went for £1,250.
Other items included memorabilia from Thunderbirds, with original items from film sets. Among the most expensive models auctioned was the Star Trek Master Replicas USS Enterprise Studio Scale Pilot Version, which went for £600.
And the well-known Millennium Falcon went for £160. But not everything was in sky-high figures as a large remote-control talking Dalek went for just £20.
One bidder, Brendan O'Connor (34) from Belfast, said he was there because he loved Star Wars.
"I have £500 in my pocket but I'm bidding on the bigger models, so I might need more," he said.
Auctioneer Peter Johnston said: "This was a bit different. It was a bit of fun.
"To have such a big collection in the one room makes it very interesting."
Aidan Larkin, assets recovery manager at Wilsons, said the auction presented a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity for sci-fi fans.
"It's rare for such a large, significant collection of these items to become available," he said.