Film Props: The Ultimate Collectible

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 24th August 2010.

Are you the ultimate movie fan? Is there one film that floats your boat the most? The problem is, how do you show your true devotion? Buying the DVD or blu-ray disc is an obvious choice, but anyone can do that. You can tell the world online, but who cares what a bunch of nerds think? You might buy the poster and frame it on your wall, but between your local cinema and the video store, posters are a dime a dozen.

For the hardcore movie devotee there is a new level of fandom, owning a genuine prop from the production. Why worship a poster of that Predator when you can actually buy a genuine life size Predator costume?

Classically, film studios warehoused and archived their costumes and props to be reused. In recent times, modern manufacturing techniques combined with the sheer cost of storing and maintaining all of these items have resulted in film studios beginning to offload these props and costumes to collectors.

Fox Studios currently operate an ebay store called VIP Fan Auctions. Collectibles from such films as G.I. Joe, Up in the Air and Shutter Island have been up for auction recently. I would think that the most highly prized collectible from Shutter Island would be the script. If I owned that, I might have a chance to work out what exactly happened in that brain boggling flick. The script for G.I. Joe would also be valuable and rare, especially since I’m not entirely sure that the movie was made with one.

By the time you read this column, auctions will be closing on a bunch of items from recently axed Fox shows Ugly Betty and 24. Fancy owning Betty Suarez’ rabbit fur scarf or Jack Bauer’s long-sleeve thermal shirt? Bid now, but be warned. The latter is currently sitting at US$630.

The best source of film props and costumes I have found so far is The Prop Store. Based in London and Los Angeles, they will ship your collectible to anywhere in the world, for a price. Their website is a film geek’s paradise, but be prepared to pay top dollar. Rest assured though, they do offer an interest free payment plan. With fixed prices, there’s no chance of that annoying last second ebay gazumping.

Perhaps you’re a fan of the Batman movies? For just US$12000 you can own Val Kilmer’s cowl and chest armour, complete with those controversial nipples. Lovingly mounted on a custom build frame, you’ll be pleased to know that your bat ears have been stuffed to keep them “looking pointy and ready for business.”

Gremlins 2: The New Batch was a fun sequel which took Gizmo and pals to the Big Apple. With a price tag of US$4995, you can take home a real Gremlin, which featured in the background of the film. Constructed of foam latex, this trouble making critter has animatronic arms and moving clawed fingers.

At the more affordable end of the scale are smaller prop items which were usually mass produced for the production. A bus schedule from Speed will only set you back US$145. A chocolate bar label from Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a bargain at US$59. Three balloons featuring the face of Orlando Bloom (or Orloondo Bland as I like to call him, sorry Miranda) used in the film The Calcium Kid can be yours for only US$12.

So in these uncertain financial times, why risk your future on gold or stocks? The only sound investment nowadays is in Alien egg sacs and Back to the Future hoverboards.

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 13:08  Leave a Comment  
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