Propstop Review: The Propstore of London October 2017 auction catalog


So I’m going to Seperate this review into two pieces. First up to review the work Donne on cataloging, creating and producing this latest in a series of beautifully made auction books.

Second up, a few thoughts about  our current market and although my own they encompass a huge degree of comments made to me these last few years that cannot be ignored. Indeed if your thinking it then chances are that your fellow collectors may well be doing that too.
So it’s just awesome again. Beautiful paper, clear closeup pictures taken from just the right angle, great descriptives and amazing website exclusives like the videos that take you deeper into the item. I even feel more comfortable with many of the estimates for once.

I think apart from the actual content (i.e. You may or may not like a particular film or item) this book is about as good as you could reasonably ever expect. It’s just a beautiful keepsake. Which is good because sadly most of us are never going to own the things we are being guided to buy.

It’s not Propstores fault. Problem is as sellers we all seek the best selling price. It’s typically what makes selling something you like easier. They are a business and one cannot fault a business for that much as faulting an individual for it is bloody stupid too.

The worst feeling is seeing your item that you sold for a pittance end up in an auction three months later as you were told “it’s my Grail”. Ask yourself how many times you have seen that happen. Worse…when your $500 sale ends up going for $10,000 because you were trusting to be nice. That just hardens us all as sellers.

The trouble as I see it is auctions are becoming too much about the fees. Take nearly any current auction as an example. You have you $1000 item, then your fees that now include taxes, premium, shipping and before you know it your paying $1400 or more importing something from England. Add on credit card fees or money change fees well it’s getting to the point that when you come to resell the items it’s painfully obvious that a lot of people are overpaying in their initial rush to be first to market.

The rush by companies recently to take the good stuff and hold it for their main auctions has become all to obvious. Rember waking up for screenused.coms daily listings that included top tier items. Me too. Even propstores daily items have suffered. Just open the latest catalogue and those daily items are dwarfed by it.

So as usual I’m stuck in the middle between the Rock and hard place. As a buyer and seller I hit these conflicts all the time. The conversation that may be initiated by the above comments should be open and directed at dealers but as buyers we are responsible for our actions too. When dealers do the wrong thing we should be able to call it out or discuss it, but wether we want to admit it or not there will always be a divide in this hobby between those who have money and those who don’t.

It’s not attractive to be jealous that you or I can’t afford the batpod but it’s ok to feel that way. Your only human after all.

I want all those people who can’t though to remember that all dealers obtain these items from similar places that we do. Each other, crew members, studio sales, etc. so if you want to own something great find something to trade…there are ways to your ultimate goal that do not mean spending every penny you have…just a bit of it. I do realise a batpod trade is a bit of a stretch but we all have our rosebud sled.

The market is very sludgy right now. There are a lot of buyers but a lot of them have payment plans and bigger eyes than wallets so remember this. I especially implore those who wish to jump into the market in a more “dealer” like way. It’s not easy. It’s not simple. It is in fact incredibly hard to run a business so unless you want to be like the owner of all those eBay graveyards of ex VIP/premiereprops lots that will never sell, think again. Too many speculators have been put out to dry thinking they know it all after reading a few blogs and thinking they know it all.

Thank you to Steven and Brandon for providing our review copy of the catalog.

Hunger games second Profiles in history auction 


In a move that should surprise no one a huge cache of hunger games repeats and extras is being offered. 

Sadly I think this will just serve to devalue those pieces purchased a few months ago as there was already a huge amount released to the market. Here is the press release:

Profiles in History presents The World of the Hunger Games Auction – Part II

Offering over 200 lots, including iconic, instantly recognizable screen used props, costumes and set pieces from all four films from the blockbuster “The Hunger Games” franchise! Highlights include:

“Katniss Everdeen” Victory Tour ensemble from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

 “Katniss Everdeen” and other character’s combat wetsuits from the arena sequences in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Spile prop and “Drink Up” notecard from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
“Peeta Mellark’s” interview suit from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
“Katniss Everdeen” Mockingjay stunt ensemble from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

Signature costumes from “Effie Trinket,” “President Snow,” “Finnick Odair,” “Johanna Mason,” and “President Coin.”

“Katniss Everdeen” combat ensemble with disguise cloak from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
A host of Peacekeeper uniforms and prop weapons.
 And much, much more!
The auction will be October 17th 2016

The 6th Day Hero Foosh gun used by Arnold Schwarzenegger 

  
Here is a beautiful hero prop made for the movie “The 6th Day”. 

  
Here is a very well written write up by minieffects on the replica prop forum.

Here is the why, where and how the foosh guns were made
  

Why: the basic priciple behind the foosh gun was that it was a chemical laser and the flame was the waste material from the chemical reaction being expelled.
  
Where: the now defunct Applied Effects LLC. (www.appliedfx.com)
They were also responsable for the guns in Van Helsing and props for minority report as well as firefly. and yes it is the same riffle in firefly because the same company provided the props. I wouldnt bother contacting them because they are no longer in business and even if they were they do not sell props or copies of props due to there leagal obligation to the studios. 

 

original unused Ron Cobb design

 
How: Both guns were designed in Solidworks and grown on a 3d wax printer. The wax castings were then sent to a foundry and investment cast from aluminum and bronze. 

 

final blueprint design by Ron Cobb

 
Once the parts were returned to the shop they were cleaned up and hand assembled. As far as the foosh effect, its the same basic principle of the sandman guns from logans run. 

 

gas chamber wth screw cap

 
Sealed chamber with a small amount of calcium carbide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_carbide) and water. the reaction creates acetylene gas. 

 

toggle switch

 
The toggle switch near the trigger activates the ignighter (like a small spark plug) and pulling the trigger releases the gas. You had between 1-3 shots per load depending on how long you held the trigger. It was really fun to fire.

  
Word of caution. These weapons were fabricated by someone with 25 years of special effects expierence and who is also a gun specialist. Do not attempt to replicate these items unless you know what you are doing. If you have any dought DONT DO IT. Im olny saying this because I have been in the film industry for 19 years and I have seen many people hurt because they dont know what they are doing. In addition, If you own or intend to own any of the orginal working guns, please dont try to use them. You dont know what condition they are in. You dont know what the proper load capacity is, nor how to mantain them. Just put them in a nice case and enjoy them.
 

battery compartment

 
As far as the stunt copies the same basic process was done, grown, molded, and then cast, only out of flexible or rigid urethane. In addition the orginal guns went to vancover without slides and they had a working light in the small viewing screen. A sort of digital scope. The rifle was the same 

There were only 2 rifles made I believe so those are extremely rare. There were alot more pistols, stunt and hero. If the pistols has foss harvester on one side and serial # on the other they are originals. 

 

serial number 1

 
You can tell because they were grown in the part and not engraved after, there are no milling marks. They did present Arnold with a working pistol at the end of the show. He was apparently thrilled and yes he did light a cigar with it.

 

firing effect in the film


There’s a small amount of damage on the piece and the top slide (made in resin and added when it was sent to Canada) was damaged on set when dropped by Arnold but it’s rare to have so much background information on a prop and also to know where a majority of those props are. 

One is owned by Arnold, one working example is owned in the UK and is on yourprops and one is decommissioned and this one apparently is missing parts to make it function and was  also sold to the UK. This is the most recent one, owned by a high up crew member who kindly sold it to me.

 
The slide thing is interesting. Right now my gun resembles the gun before it as sent to Canada. The Cobb design was made this was way specifically to resemble a non gun and more of a tool. It was in Canada the design was changed and holes drilled in the aluminum to affix the resin slide.

  
Hope you enjoyed the write up of this rare piece 

Always the bridesmaid never the bride: a tale of another lost auction 

Whilst the below story might come off as a bit of sour grapes it’s merely to catalog this incredible prop from “Lord of the Rings” that represents an exciting item that went under every bodies nose Friday. Ok…maybe a little sour grapes.

Thursday night I was checking an eBay auction and under the “items you may be interested in” this knife popped up.

 
Many prop collectors are aware of the relative rarity of good LOTR items. Most of the armor and weapons are retained by Weta who seem to jealously guard them. An auction a few years ago of items including four from the LOTR sweepstakes in 2002 was where the main hero pieces showed up, as well as made for production (ie could have been used on screen but we don’t guarantee it) items came from the troika Brodsky collection who in turn purchased them from a replica weapons company that went out of business and were given them by weta to reverse engineer.

The 8 weapons from the below sweepstakes are show in the press rease below:

New Line Cinema and Hasbro Present Sweepstakes Event

Dates: Now Through February 9, 2004

This holiday season, Hasbro is offering consumers the rare chance to win authentic stunt props used during the filming of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Game pieces can be found inside specially marked “The Lord of the Rings” versions of Monopoly, Risk and Trivial Pursuit. Each game piece comes with a unique code that can be entered on line for entry into the sweepstakes.

Eight grand prizes will be awarded beginning December 22. Each week, a different prize will be awarded until the final prize drawing on February 9, 2004.

The grand prizes are: The Sword of Aragorn, “Strider Sword”; The Sword of Gandalf, “Glamdring”; The Axe of Gimli; The Bow of Legolas; The Sword of Frodo, “Sting”; The Sword of Eowyn; The Sword of Theoden; and The Sword of Faramir.

So you can see I was a little confused as this knife was not listed in the prizes and yet it had a coa?

  
The case matched the competition prizes. What was it?

After another few hours of searching I came across a single solitary write up that I’ll post below. 

 
  
So are you can see it was a sweepstakes WITH a sweepstakes and the prize this beautiful dagger which was the irrefutable proof of the link in the ownership chain.

  
After getting that next day I started getting screen caps and found the very best were from the uncut extended addition footage not in the original release. Here Grima sticks the knife in Saurumans back who tumbles off the tower with it in his back.

   

The knife was also featured in several beautiful promo shots. 

 

So…have no idea if the buyer did the research I did or even cared. But here it is because sadly I was the single underbidder.

Always the bridesmaid. 

“The Shrine” hero mask 

  
A few weeks back I had enjoyed “Stranger Things” on Netflix which if you haven’t watched it is a miniseries hardening back to the 80’s movies of my youth. Truly fantastic storytelling and beautifully made. 

After the show I decided to trawl Netflix for some more horror and buried in the back of the section I came across this little gem. 
To speak of it too much is to spoil it (and that wouldn’t be fair) but needless to say this 1.5 million movie played like a 5-10 million film and I loved it for what it was. 

I wrote almost immediately to one of the crew and he told me he still had one of the masks used in key scenes and on the poster which I had to have. I was absolutely awestruck when he said as a fan he would send it to me….free. 

I know….I was as gobsmacked as you probably are reading that. Who does that kind of thing anymore???? 

Well now it’s arrived from Canada and I love this piece of movie history. It’s exactly what it is…a B movie relic made to A list standing. 

Here are a few stills from the movie 

  
So no I’m not telling what and why …just rent it or watch it. 

  
Thank you so much D for making my day and passing on this fantastic item. Now I’m starting to watch more of your work and frankly what you do in these smaller budgets is fantastic. I’m a bit of a fan!

So go watch the The Shrine. It’s great.

Firefox original screenused prop missile 

  
Growing up the very first adult rated movie I ever saw was at a movie theater in my home town in England called Firefox. The poster above dragged my attention like a ragged claw. Eastwood in black…a mysterious fighter plane…I begged my mother to see it. 

I’ve kept my eyes open for items from the film it apart from a few model pieces very little has surfaced. 

A few months back items from Hunter Gratzner effects were sold by Premiere Props and this missile was one of those lots having been sold by Grant McCune before his death in 2010. 

 
First made for Firefox the missile was later painted black for use in Executive Decision. One purchased an extensive renovation was done to remove the top coat, restore the white and red underneath and retain the Russian lettering on the original model.

 

 Thanks to Dan at Pittsburghprops for all his hard work with this project 

The best of the Screenused.com summer icollector sale (part 1)

Unusually many of the top items on Screenuseds auction this summer already have high bids on them so I thought I would look through all the items that didn’t and pull out the items that are great deals or just aren’t as flashy for various reasons as the expensive pieces although deserving of attention.

  
First up this Spirit costume from the film of the same name is a very fair $1500. I’ve seen hats sell for $500 and this is a complete costume with the uber rare mask which there are very few in private hands. The movie has aged well…check it out.

  
Next up from the Bruce Willis scifi film “Looper” this is a near complete Old Joe costume with leather jacket, shirt and trousers. 

  
These have rarely come to market and the film has cemented itself as one of the best scifi films of recent years. A fantastic piece.

Next up we have some always propose “Lost” TV show props. These lots include one if the original golf clubs purchased from profiles in history in 2010, a chair back with the show logo, some of Charlie’s drug baggies and the best item one of Season fives original Ajira airline tickets that was used by Hurley to get back to the island.

  
From the 1980 movie Flash Gordon we have a very rare hawkwoman headress that  is only the second to come to auction ever. One of the dresses alone sold this year for $2000 so this is a great deal at the price.

  

This very rare gambling chip from Casino Royale already has a bid of $750 but it’s such a nice and rare prop I have to mention it. The 60’s movie has had very little stuff available so bid on this if Bond is your thing. 

  
From the movie series “The smurfs” comes a couple of stunt wands used by Gargamel. 

  
One lights up and one is a rubber stunt piece. This is a great hero prop as the wands were heavily used in the film.

  
There are a bunch of really cool xfiles costumes for Mulder. A full suit and various shirts etc. 

  

  
Lastly from “Blade Runner” a true piece of propart this is the original brass cast gun missing for many years having been in the collection of one of the films propmasters. This was used to make the holsters from the film and one if only 10 guns made for the film, the other being rubber stunt pistols and the sole working hero gun sold for $250,000 a few years ago. 

Part 2 with more lots tomorrow