Theme Park connection starts to clean up its Hunger Games auctions

Well Im very pleased to announce that due to the volume of emails and phone calls Theme Park Connection has had
it looks like they have started pulling items and relisting them.

Paul Wintner, a trust member of the prop community relayed to me he had been in contact with Brian and that things had started to be
altered from there end as of today. Looking at the auctions and my own personal records it seems the Katniss reaping costume has been
ended early

I also wrote up a piece for the movie prop forum about this piece. Here is a copy of that information.

reaping costume

Firstly it looks like the reaping dress was pulled and retitled

1: first listed as

HUNGER GAMES Jennifer Lawrence Worn KATNISS Reaping Dress Original Movie Costume

I’ve highlighted worn as that has been removed

2: Second listed as

HUNGER GAMES Jennifer Lawrence KATNISS Reaping Dress Original Movie Costume

Both titles used a different subheading

1: 100% AUTHENTIC ORIGINAL SCREEN WORN MOVIE COSTUME

2: 100% AUTHENTIC ORIGINAL PRODUCTION USED MOVIE

The main body of the text still says in the listing

1:This costume was worn by actor Jennifer Lawrence in her role as heroic District 12 Tribute in the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen!◾This blue reaping dress was worn during the iconic scene where Katniss volunteered as tribute to take her sister’s place in The Hunger Games

2: This costume was worn by actor Jennifer Lawrence in her role as heroic District 12 Tribute in the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen!◾Katniss wore her blue reaping dress during the iconic scene where she volunteered as tribute to take her sister’s place in The Hunger Games

◾So fine…I see some changes made buts its still confusing and misleading. In other words its a get out of jail clause.


Sill says this further down:

One of the key characters in The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is the District 12 female Tribute in the 74th Hunger Games◾As played in the film by Jennifer Lawrence, the story centers around Katniss as she takes her sister’s place in the annual Hunger Games competition

◾This costume is featured prominently in the film in key scenes including Katniss volunteering as tribute


I highlighted this again to show that the wording is just atrocious. So we have basically gone from a hero piece to a production used piece…..to a “prominently used piece”……

So yes changes have been made but I think its only gone to muddle the original intent and now the listing really makes no sense.

Now this Arena shirt was listed yesterday and they did a great job.

katniss shirt

Correct heading, stunt shirt, everything. Perfect.

The same goes with a lot of items going up including production made but unused examples of various costumes. This is how to present the stuff. Much better.

We will keep you updated including prices as the items finish this week. Just remember if you are bidding on this auction they have over 1000 pieces so there are many multiples, check the listings carefully and if in doubt ask. There is NOTHING ever wrong with wanting to know what your spending your hard earned money on.

Theme Park connection eBay “Hunger games” auction raises a number of issues

“Id like our company to stand for honesty and excellence”.

Fong Sam, Blacksparrow auctions video

I first made contact with Fong at Profiles back in the day when he still worked there. His face and voice more than any other were the voice of reason at that company. When things went off course his quick responses, friendly attitude and as direct as possible answers were refreshing to me. That’s why I always went back to him.

I’m not the only one of course. Fong built a reputation there that when he opened up Blacksparrow auctions in 2012 it was a big surprise to all of us at first, but quickly has gained traction ending with one of the best auctions of 2013, “The Hunger Games” sale in November. It was run incredibly smoothly, made a load of money and more importantly brought alot of new collectors and respect to the hobby. When I did a brief interview at C2E2 with him it was made very clear that all the costumes would come with full wardrobe tags, with pictures of the actor, thoroughly inventoried and with a COA. This is how the items had been shipped to him from the production company and I have spoken to a number of collectors that have confirmed that all the lots arrived quickly, impeccably packed and with all the supporting documentation.

So bringing that focus on the quote from Fong Sam on Saturday on the Propstop’s Facebook page it really does throw a light onto some serious issues that may have crept up with a new player on the movie prop circuit “Theme Park Connection” in Florida. Whilst I haven’t done any business with them as of yet certainly many of you reading this will have seen their recent auction of a “Jurassic Park” raptor cage that went viral all over the internet back in late January this year. That story can be seen here.

A number of weeks ago word spread that a large number of “Hunger Games” pieces were about to hit eBay and with a little digging around of course it was discovered that “Theme Park Connection” had purchased the remaining inventory from Fong. In his words “I just didn’t want to spend the next year selling stunts and doubles of costumes, that we had already spent a year selling.”

When the first few days of lots hit a majority of it was background character wardrobe from the Capitol and then I saw the first lot of “Hero” costumes hit the middle of last week. Fong’s enthusiasm and the fact the items may go a little cheaper this time around was a big part of my decision to bid this time around but being a creature of habit I spent a lot of time into the wee small hours of the night looking at all the costume pieces over this weekend and discovered that many of them didn’t seem to have wardrobe tags, and remembering what Fong said to me all those months ago I decided to ask him. The response was :

“After selling all the hero and main costumes in the November auction, I sold all the backups, backgrounds and extras to Theme Park Connection. This is what you are seeing now on eBay. I have nothing left over from the Hunger Games auction.”
and after a further follow up asking about 95% of the tags being missing from the eBay auctions:
“I took a quick look through the descriptions they are putting up and see that they are saying these costumes were worn by the main actors. That is not correct at all.”
“All the costumes that I sold in November had tags and corresponding continuity photos. You can check with anyone who bought in that sale and they will tell you that tags and photos were sent to them along with their costumes.”

“All the costumes that TPC has now have tags that say stunt, double, or not used.  I sold this collection to TPC with clear indication of what these costumes are.”
At this point I think it fair that I want to present the information here as was presented to me by both parties as fairly as possible. So rather than get all mad, because lets face it the reason for my initial phone call was to buy some of these items, and had in fact already bid on some of them, I decided to call “Theme Park Connection” and get their side of the story.
I spoke to a very nice gentleman called Brian who was in charge of the sale and he told me that Lions Gate actually had representatives in the building that day to go through the items that hadn’t already been listed and make sure they were as being presented on eBay. He even offered to get them to talk to me which I thought was very nice and when I asked about the tags he said that indeed some of the items had them, but that the pictures of the actors would have to be removed because of contractual reasons. He did say that the original tags would go with the items.
Now at this point some questions have to be asked.
If the items on eBay, for instance this reaping costume worn by Katniss, are not the Hero costume which of course was sold at the November sale for $29,000 here, 
then what is this piece? Is it a stunt, a double or an extra used or unused piece. The information on the auction states:

Reaping dress on ebay as of today at $1800

  • This blue reaping dress was worn during the iconic scene where Katniss volunteered as tribute to take her sister’s place in The Hunger Games
  • Theme Park Connection is providing a Certificate of Authorization stating the costume item is from the production of The Hunger Games, signed by a representative of Lions Gate Entertainment
  • Inventory Number: HG-1059
Further down it also states that Jennifer Lawrence wore it in both the title of the auction and also in the body of the auction.
When I asked Fong what this could be he said:
“The Reaping dress does not screen match, most likely a prototype or early version that they eventually decided not to use”
When I asked about the leather jacket below he said:
“The leather jacket is oversize, too big for Jenny Lawrence”.
I personally think this can be seen in the pictures below. Certainly the waist seems to have been cinched in the one in the first auction.

                               Hunger Games Blacksparrow Hero jacket

                                           Theme Park connection Katniss jacket

When I mentioned this other signature piece, the jacket with pin:
“The arena costume was most likely used in stunt sequences. If it’s labeled “harness,” then it was used in the tree sequence. That is probably the most significant piece that TPC has.”
It should be noted that the tag does not specifically name the actress, only the character. Typically in film production this can denote that the piece was used by a stunt or double actor.

                                        Ebay Katniss jacket with pin

Now I do understand that Theme Park Connection may not understand that collectors value the difference in stunt and hero pieces but it cannot be mislabeled in an auction. Over the past 20 years of collecting it has become very apparent that even though two pieces might look the same the value of the two can be separated by anywhere between 20 and 80% of the hero piece. If Fong has confirmed that every piece was sold with relevant tag information that should be with those costumes. There is no need for them to be re-certified by anyone else. History does not need to be rewritten….
With this information I hope the odds are very much more “In your favor”.

Screenused.com Spring 2014 movie prop & wardrobe auction

Coming on Saturday 15th March at 10am Pacific time Screenused is holding its next auction of items from film and television.

As usual they are attempting to bring us a wide range of items in different price tiers, and I think overall they hav succeeded but obviously the interest in the prop market has moved towards the higher value pieces.

Here are the top three items that have been viewed 5 days before the sale goes live.

“Charlie and the chocolate factory” cane

So far the most viewed item on Icollector.com. Described thusly,

This walking cane is one of only a few canes commissioned by set designer Peter Young for use by Johnny Depp as “Willy Wonka”. It measures 39.25″ long and features a tapered, hollow spiral shaft filled with real edible sprinkles, a pointed black resin tip with aluminum trim rings, and spiral black and white acrylic ball head with aluminum and resin collar. This cane was acquired directly from a family member of Peter Young.”

This piece is expected to go for around $8,000. Jeff and Desi use a system not of estimates but the starting price as requested by the seller so it will be interesting to see if this (a) gets a bid and (b) what it sells for. Not my favorite film by any stretch so hard for me to fall in love with this undeniably cool piece.

“Back to the future” guitar.

One of my favorite pieces comes in second. Beautiful piece of movie and music history. Its expensive…but I have doubt that this will get a bid.

“This is the guitar used for studio recording of the opening scene where Marty blows Doc’s amplifier and speakers, as well as when Marty plays Johnny B. Goode at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.

The guitar is a custom-made late 1979 Valley Arts Custom Stratocaster built by Mike McGuire in Studio City, California. It was made specifically for Tim May, and is serial number 25″

The fact that it was used on Blondie’s “Call me” blows my mind….and the classic “All Night Long”.

Lastly of the top three most viewed items Biff Tannen’s jacket from “Back to the Future”.

A beautiful wardrobe piece, and since 2015 is next year the fever pitch for BTTF stuff is only just starting.

So far though none of these have a bid on. So what are the highest three bids so far?

At $12,500 these X-2 claws worn by Logan/Wolverine are right in line with previous prices, although Profiles in History did sell some years ago for alot more.

Screenused sold some bone claws last year for $10,000 as pictured below.

These below sold in the Drier Profiles auction for $25,000 in July 2012

My own feeling with the Wolverine claws is that the market has been flooded with them, especially recently by the original maker Jimmy Claws on ebay. Unless they have a letter saying there were used in a specific place or from Fox I would be very dilligent in your examination of them personally. The Screenused.com pair come with a COA from the associate producer. Thats gold in my opinion.

Second up at $3250 is the Lt Valeris costume from Star Trek 6. Whilst the jacket is non attributed and should be noted by any buyers as these jackets at Its a wrap sale were famously joined with primary actor trousers and shirts even when the tags were missing from the piece.

I think this is the first of this character to come to market. It should go in the 4-6k range even missing various pieces. Interestingly enough the trouser stripe should be red….its grey but these stripes were changed out for use in “Voyager” and other productions.

Thirdly the highest bid item so far is the Walter White “Breaking Bad” hazmat suit.

Again not my cup o’ tea but I think its a fair price. The iconic image of the yellow costume is very fresh in peoples minds. It will be interesting in 10 years if the value of this piece were still to hold. Alot of tv from the last 10 years seems to be crashing recently, so the buyer may want to consider that.

Ok. So thats 6 items of 333. I often get asked what are my favorite items, but also what are my least favorite. Well to be honest the posters don’t do much for me. I think its easier to say what I don’t think will sell because of the opening bid. Number 1, the “Predators” Royce knife at $5000 seems way to much. I’m guessing its because of the bidding war last time on his body armor. Also the “Superman Flyby” stuff whilst very cool to look at is very expensive for not being used. Same as the Judge Dredd helmet which seems alot for a background item.

My favorite items?

Pretty much all the Last Action Hero items that have come seemingly from a locked time capsule. Amazing stuff.

Well that’s a wrap for this one. As usual you can trust Jeff and Desi to run a tight, no nonsense event with fair shipping and payment, if your a consignor quicker than perhaps any other auctioneer I know in the business currently.

Happy bidding!

 

 

 

 

Propdomain.com upcoming Icollector auction on February 15th 2014 preview

The Beasts hands from X3

After a quiet start to the year the first interesting sale of 2014 has hit with Propdomains collection of items from weird and wonderful Hollywood. With most of the items coming from a singular source the full auction reaches over 400 items and is certainly the best showing they have ever put forth.

Long time readers will know I don’t have much time for putting the same items up over and over if they don’t sell the first time, so Im very pleased to say that near 3/4 of the auction is new to the market items from various hollywood blockbusters.

First up there are a slew of items from “Hellboy” and its sequel. Most of the items are marked as used or hero which should help you in your bidding choices. Some of the standouts include a full “Hellboy” face and chest and various creature appliances and teeth. The items below are are pair of hero teeth.

For the more budget concious there are lots like the following….a pile of Hellboy fingers!

There are so many variations of stunt and hero items that anyone bidding should be able to get something very reasonably priced so I recomend picking up something here, and with a nice picture of the actor making a very cool display.

“Land of the lost” is not a good movie. BUT….the costumes and creatures are….so depending on your mood I think these creature suits and heads for the Sleestak characters are excellent additions to the collection. The ones below is unfinished but a really nice example of the genre. There are complete costumes too and other small pieces of suit available.

Complete Sleestak.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace original pistol

Chucky prop figure “Seed of Chucky”

Fans of the movie VHS can get various zombie parts like the one below.

From the Xmen series here are a pair of the beasts teeth. Worn by Kelsey Grammer this is a neat item to be framed!

Also from the Xmen here are a pair of arms worn by Daniel Cudmore as Collosus

Other Xmen pieces include an Angel wing, Beasts teeth and hands and other items from the franchise.

The last and best items are from “Fantastic 4″ and include pieces of the Thing and Dr Doom!

….and a Thing hand!

The link to the event can be found here and the premium is 20%. Certain items can also be previewed before the sale so contact the owner David via the the link.

Here is a link to Horrordomain.com for even more info about the seller and the event.

Ill have a full review of the event a few days after the sale.

Unveiling of Max’s Exo-Hulc suit from “Elysium”

Been a quiet month with most of my time focused on some of the items obtained in the last three months of last year from VIP auctions. Here are the fruits of my labor.

Well its been a long road and big thank you to Dan at Pittsburghprops for all his help in making this incredible journey with me. Without his expertise in finding the right screws, nuts, and casting a few small key pieces I wouldn’t have been able to complete this project. Whilst not 100% complete, its to the point where I can stop working on it and just sit back and enjoy the full costume.

As I have said on a number of posts on the facebook page this piece had to be purchased across 25 different auctions, each as nailbiting as the next in an attempt to get enough pieces to finish it. Several times in fact one and only one piece was available, and not winning it would have resulted in basically not being able to put the suit together. It really was a rollercoaster.

Here is an example of one of the lots purchased back in September/October.

exo hulc parts 2If you look at the picture above it looks like a bunch of bits. I know….I was right there with you. Gradually using the artbook, screencaps, the trailer and multiple viewings of the film we were able to work out which pieces were which…..a herculean task. For instance the item in the top left is actually a chestplate from the Max Exo suit….and its sister right next to it. Right of that is a piece of Kruger Exo skeleton back..at the bottom left is a Max footplate from his boot. Some where used, some casts, some finished and some unfinished. It was…in short, a complete and total mess.

Using these pieces we were able to source the nuts and bolts that were already attached and mix and match where necessary. Below is a great example from the artbook of pictures we could use to stitch things together.

20130827_184705

 

pistons extra 2Taking into account that the above black and ivory pieces that go into each piston where $4.00 each, and small nuts like those around it 50c each….you get an idea that this wasn’t cheap either.

The full list of pieces to finish this costume don’t just include the Exo-armour. A pair of shoes were needed, forearm computer pads, trousers, shirt, undershirt, exo-armor mounting shirt and pants, the headpiece……its one of the hardest and most complete things I have personally ever tried to do.

So….what are we left with. Well, I’m very proud to unveil the completed costume. Max’s Exo-suit, complete with his hero clothing, hero Chem-rail, and his moon necklace placed in his right hand.

maxmannequinKeep an eye on the facebook page where I will be posting more pics throughout the week.

The best props and wardrobe of 2013

The best props and wardrobe awards of 2013 are decided by a council of some of the best, and most talented insiders…..ok ok…..Im busted. Its me. Im choosing my favourite props and wardrobe from Websites, auctions and private sales that I know of and thus its my opinions and based solely on my taste. BUT…..since I have a good one….let it roll!

1O: TOTAL RECALL POLICE OUTFIT (Courtesy of Screenused.com)

Well I had been waiting for these to come up and although Im still not sure of the source, it looks like Sony dumped them onto the market and a few of you scooped them up. Whilst in person not as impressive due to the cheap plastic used, the pictures that can be taken are awesome. Terrible movie. Crappy in almost everyway. Costumes……from Melina’s leather jacket to these police outfits…..awesome.

9: “Aliens” Vazquez headset (courtesy of Propstore)

One of the truly great movies of history, and one of those rare props you don’t expect to see come up. Its also something that was part of my collection for a time in the early 1990’s before passing on to its former owner before the sale for some 19 years or so. People say all the time that the Maltese Falcon, Yul Brynner’s wig and the dress from Tara are the holy grail of movie items. In years to come when those people fall away it will be stuff like this that causes people to mmmm….and ahhhhh……. Congratualtions on the new owner. Also Propstore took some gorgeous photos of this. Kudos!

8: Iron Man 3 gauntlet (eBay)

We always talk about the one that got away. Me more than most. This was up on ebay a few months back and was a foam “blow up” glove that was made when Tony Stark’s house is destroyed. I thought “no body could have seen those auctions”. Wrong.

Oh well. Plenty of more blown up stuff down the road.

$T2eC16R,!wsE9suwydzfBS(IuBOo2Q~~60_577: He Man costume (Juliens)

Your dead inside if you didn’t love this piece of 80’s cheese. Looking almost complete and selling for $10,000 this awesome piece almost made me bid. Its amazing how little of the items that have come up from this film, and yet almost the whole thing seems to have escaped destruction. I reckon if all the collectors who have squirreled them away came out of the closet we could remake it…..and make it good. Probably….

6: Judge Dredd stunt/hero costume (Propstore)

This of course was the year of the Dredd auction…but Im sure most of you have aready forgotten that. For two straight weeks grown men crumbled and were destroyed at the knees as eBay prices rocketed into the stratosphere, probably never to be repeated. That’s a shame because couple that with a whole group of replica costume makers that pretty much got it 85% correct it would seem that the fire has burned out on these pieces which is a shame because I doubt you will seem many of the suits come up ever again once they are locked into “big boys” collections, and they truly are incredible costumes. Hmmm…85%. Probably lower come to think of it. Again, Propstore knocked it out of the park with pictures and some great customer service. Thanks guys!

5: Back to the Future Hoverboard (eBay)

Still have no idea if its real. Sold for a hair over $8,000 this will probably show up in Profiles one day for $50k. No one would beat an eyebrow….but us Ebay savvy investors like to be sure.

clients_isolditca001_photo_sets_21896_DSCF0140_Edit_14: Han Solo gun (Profiles in history)

Totally not for me but you would all complain if I didn’t include it. How a hunk of resin got $200,000 just blows my mind. Much more feasable is my pre-2000 auction estimate of $50,000 but that proves the power of profiles….and that just one person has to bid and suddenly thats the going price. Until of course he tries to sell it and can’t get a bid on it…but mores the power to you laddo.

3: Man of Steel command key (Slyprops)

Continually achieving the impossible Paul continues to get amazing props from some of LA’s best movies. This command key is the best prop in the film, and coupled with his amazing eye at displays I am comfortable saying that this is just a small item in a mountain of great pieces from this talented collector.

2: Shawn the Sheep (Hollywood History)

Come on. No words required. From one of the modern era’s best pieces of animation, and beautifully displayed too this is Wesley Cannon’s Shawn the Sheep. Just classic.In at Number 2!

1: Elysium Hero Max Exo suit/Kruger Exo suit

Its a tie for number one. Why? Because the hero suits are a little bit of a mess and the Kruger suits were pieced together from more parts than an Ikea set of bookshelves of mid 18th century chinese dragon era with lots of fiddley bits. In otherwords its a miracle that either set of these came to auction as cool, working, expensive stuff like this doesn’t tend to, especially if cursed by the holy stamp of Weta who if Lord of the Rings is your thing you might be paying $400,000 for a bow. Take into account that “District 9″ seems to not have let ANYTHING out and you have some amazing pieces. My props of the year. If you ever get to see one in person up close…you will understand why.

exosuit1exosuit2So thats it for the year. Of course there were millions of other items….Heck I could have put Elysium in every category, but then it wouldn’t be any fun. We will also have our look at the best dealers of 2013 coming up in next few days so stay tuned!