The vipfanauctions Winter Entertainment sale is today and tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 Midwest time

Thanks to all the prebidders and ferocious amount of interest in the sale. The sale is about to go live in a few hours. sign up if you haven’t and if there are any questions you can email auctions@vipfanauctions.com

Some terrific pieces in an auction atmosphere dominated by high priced expensive lots there are great bargains to be had here and each item comes with the vip certificate of authenticity. There’s almost too many standout items to list so just take yourself over to https://vipfanauctions.com where you still have a few hours from the time I write this to view items from “Bill and Ted Face the music”, “Into the Badlands”, “Ash vs Evil dead” and nearly 100 total different films and tv represented by props, wardrobe and production items.

My thanks to everyone at vipfanauctions for doing such a great job on my items and I’m sure the other consigners would be just as pleased. We will be doing an article on the other side of the auction but good luck to all you bidders and go buy your grail.

The “Movie Prop Minute” and how it came to be

Long time readers will know that this hobby is more than just a job to me. It’s my “raison detre” outside of my family and part of what makes me tick.

Over the years I’ve been inspired to find a company to work with closer and on many occasions I’ve part-timed with some wonderful businesses like Bonhams of London on their 1990’s BBC wardrobe sales, Backlot props in the late 2000’s where I wrote many of their descriptions on Warner Bros. Products and numerous companies in between 2010-2020 where I tried to find a home to sell my unwanted items thru.

This should have been far easier than I assumed but as a seller I’ve always discovered that the company you work with can look at you as a short term prospect if you forgive the pun. This meant I wound up bouncing from several organizations looking for a home after 1-2 sales because at first I would be treated very well and slowly but surely I would become less important. It’s very sad to have 10-20 great items but only to have 2 selected because they are high profile and the others are just as good but less “showy”. This to me was a source of constant frustration as I would put those items in lesser sales and would do great.

Annoyingly if I brought up items from other clients that were included in the sale that were either not correct descriptively or flat out wrong that wouldn’t always be listened to either which was always very important to me. After all why would you take my word on what I was selling if you wouldn’t take into consideration Items that were effectively my competition in a sale, or could call the suction house into question.

But it was always the want and need to be more included in the company even if it was for just the ability to have my ideas and other collectors needs examined that I have sought and last year amongst several organizations I was asked to visit VIPFANAUCTIONS and talk to them about their and my ideas for future events. As you can imagine I was extremely honored and leapt at the chance. I’ve been a customer of theirs for years and it’s always been my first choice for wanting to give them a collectors viewpoint on the hobby.

Now Vip was already under its leader Mark Kaminky making a slew of brilliant plans of its own and those included the quarterly public auctions and moving to its own platform. They also wanted to be more open to its customers and visual in their presentation and what it offered in its services so amongst those discussions “The movie prop minute” was formed into a clickable watchable segment on each individual item complete with presenter that would be on social media or the suction item page.

It was then with my experience doing convention panels, live auctions and several movie prop related tv shows like “collectors call” that we decided to make the pilot for the show using the throne from “Vikings” and an iPhone and I produced that myself cutting it together in about 30 minutes.

https://vimeo.com/showcase/8039106/video/499806673

The result? I’ve put it above but it was clear that there was a workable idea here and after Vip decided to devote some studio space, a lot of help from dressers to a dedicated behind the scenes specialist and Derek, director of project management bringing the heavy guns to it all the later “minutes” look very professional.

So in the end we made between 20-30 of these videos that will be released between now and next Wednesday for the Winter Entertainment Memorabilia Auction. I hope you enjoy them. It’s a chance to tell a prop story not written in a catalog and visually show off many of these wonderful pieces, some from my own collection.

Is this all that’s coming? Not even one quarter. I really hope this is the start of a new place for people to sell their collections. I think the marketplace needs somewhere that focuses on authenticity, that really wants to sell sub $500 items as much as the $25,000 items. VIP already does have an incredibly solid customer base and is universally hailed as a great company experience with shipping, customer service and more importantly after service if there’s a problem.

That’s the kind of company I am totally happy to be assisting and have chosen to sell the other half of the “Bill and Ted 3” and other film and tv series props and wardrobe to be involved in this first special event . I’d like to thank owner Mark, David and Derek for that opportunity. With their passion for customer service and props and my own as I said I’m very honored to have worked on the project.

More to come.

Profiles in History CEO drops an early morning email on his customers: REACTION

2021 continues its new beginnings with a surprise email from Joe Maddalena, CEO of Profiles in History directed to its customers I will reprint in its entirety below.

“Thirty-five years ago I turned a childhood passion for collecting into one of the world’s most renowned sellers of historical artifacts, from manuscripts to some of Hollywood and popular culture’s most coveted keepsakes. Creating and building Profiles in History has been one of the most rewarding journeys of my life, and not merely because of the world records we have set at auction or the friends I have made along the way. Now, I am very excited to share with you the next step in that amazing journey. On February 1st, I will be joining Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, the world’s third-largest auction house, as Senior Executive Vice President. Heritage Auctions has long been an innovator—bringing the live auction experience directly to clients through HA.com. Their collector-focused auction experience continues to be at the cutting edge, providing a seamless experience for both bidders and consignors that extends beyond the auction itself. With offices across the United States and around the world, it has a truly global audience. Leading specialists in more than forty categories of art, collectibles, and memorabilia make world-class auctions a near daily occurrence. Most importantly, its hands-on management, all collectors themselves, have grown their business by emphasizing the thing that matters most—client experience. I have long been proud to call Heritage Auctions’ co-founders and co-owners Steve Ivy and Jim Halperin good friends. Heritage Auctions was founded in 1976, and what they have accomplished in such a relatively short time has been nothing less than remarkable – and inspiring. Both men are visionaries who understand the importance of popular culture collectibles better than almost anyone in today’s marketplace. Ours will be a true partnership, and I am eager to begin this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – for all of us. My decision to join Heritage Auctions was an easy one, as it will allow me to bring even more history to auction in coming years. In recent years, Profiles in History’s business has grown exponentially, and moving to Heritage, which was hosting online auctions decades ago, will allow me to serve all of our clients far more efficiently and effectively than ever before. It will also allow Heritage to expand several of its already thriving categories, including historical manuscripts, fine art, comic books and comic art, movie posters and, of course, Hollywood and music memorabilia. The collecting landscaping continues to evolve – at a remarkable pace of late, now including everything from video games to Pokémon cards – and I am eager to jump in. Rest assured, I will remain hands-on when working with collectors and consignors. I am not going anywhere – except to Heritage, where I hope you will join me. In the coming days you will receive an email from Heritage Auctions offering you the opportunity to join me and Heritage on this journey. Many of you are likely Heritage Auctions clients already. Those of you who are not will be excited to see what crosses the block at Heritage. If you collect it, there’s a good chance Heritage offers it in one of its more than 40 categories. Everything I’ve done in my life, from collecting baseball cards as a young boy to producing TV shows to building Profiles in History into the world’s largest dealer of Hollywood memorabilia, has been infused with deepfelt enthusiasm, excitement and passion. My move to Heritage Auctions is no different. The time is right, because the people, the place, and the vision are right. I am eager for all of us to continue this journey together for a long, long time.”

Certainly a surprise to many the letter almost gives too many questions unanswered. Among them what happens to the PIH brand going forward, are the quotes from a recent September newspaper accurate about Joe moving to Denver and starting a new business their correct and what happens to current customers of Profiles still waiting for last auction winnings.

Luckily Tiana Armstrong over at the movie props page on Facebook was able to answer a few questions for her group members

“Just chatted with Brian Chanes. He is now the Senior Director of Entertainment for Heritage Auctions at the Beverly Hills office.”

This above pleases me immensely because Brian was always very nice to me. He will be a fine addition to the Heritage in my opinion.

General views on Facebook seemed positive, but surprised as some assumed Joe would retire. Others were concerned about recent auction wins they had not received from the Christmas sale but again Tiana was able to get info from her source to those customers saying that this would all be taken care of as part of normal Profiles business in next few weeks.

Here is the article from the Denverpost last September which I feel may still be relevant to some of Mr Maddelena’s future plans

PHOTOS: Peek inside this renowned Hollywood collector’s customized Denver home

Amongst the quotes:

Joe is “Living part-time, he said, and preparing to open a new Profiles in History retail shop in Cherry Creek next year.”

“we’re looking at a property in Cherry Creek where we’re going to open up a gallery with a showcase of the things we sell in L.A. If it works out, we’ll be open by the first of the year with rare photos, fine art, historical documents and other memorabilia. I’m excited about it because Cherry Creek reminds me of how Beverly Hills was 30 years ago. And none of this would have happened if not for COVID”

So with today’s announcement I’m not sure if this is still happening. I think it’s highly likely that it’s a multi pronged approach as LA for a while has not been very business friendly, and the fires, covid and taxes probably had a reason for leaving.

The bottom line is this. Joe has always been part of the collecting landscape since I was a young man. Much of the reason I have been excited or learnt a lot about this hobby has been as a direct result of this man and his company just like Robert Earl of Planet Hollywood.

I have every single one of the profiles catalogs on my bookcase and they show a remarkable business journey. Many great employees have been fostered like Fong Sam and Joe Moe. There have been some authenticity hiccups over the years but a very very small percentage compared to some amazing wins like the “Captain America”, “Lost”, “Expendables” sales” and of course the twice yearly memorabilia sales that I bet nearly everybody reading this article has participated in.

So in summary things change. But Profiles in History if this is the close of a chapter leaves a complete story of a beginning, a middle and an end with a legacy to be proud of. Many happy customers, a series of long (tongue in cheek as some of those 10-12 hour events were) entertaining auctions and a beautiful set of professional catalogs.

I wish you well in your future endeavors sir. Best of luck.