REVIEW: Rick Baker monster maker for a generation auction catalogue from the Propstore

  

  Rick Baker is a Hero to the makeup effects community and has made some of the best quality creatures and make ups since the late 70’s having worked on Incredible melting man, American werewolf in London, Congo, Men in Black, Harry and the Hendersons and Gremlins 2. Perhaps best known for his gorilla work in Mighty Joe Young and Gorillas in the mist he is the face many ascribe currently to his craft.

So when Propstore announced the U.S. Sale on California of masks and creatures there is quite the body of work to be sold from closing his workshop space.

First up there are some missing pieces. Obviously Rick wouldn’t want to keep some pieces…many from the 70’s and 80’s have deteriorated too much and some stuff was sold or donated to museums, studios and private collectors long ago.

The catalogue is gorgeous and printed on high quality paper. Holding it in your hand is much more satisfying than the online version Mark my words especially for reference purposes. This like certain editions of Cinefex is a keeper reference piece.

So what’s left. Plenty as case may be.  Check out images below for “Gremlins 2″. There are also costumes, unused pieces and full Gremlins for auction.

  

 The “Men in Black” section features Mikey from the first film, and various other masks and full length creatures from the sequel. There are also worm guy items for sale! 
  A couple of points. Some of the pieces has been touched up and stabilized by Tom Spina so if you want to know the full tinkering done contact propstore for your questions. 

  
Shipping may well be a concern too particularly as with the clay prototypes these will not travel well in shipment.
  
All items are to be sold without reserve but don’t expect to win something for $20 either. Rick Bakers fans are far and wide.

Congratulations on the catalogue. It’s as much a work of art as Ricks makeup.

Good luck and the sale begins in Los Angeles on May 29th 2015.

Thanks to Brandon at Propstore for the catalogue to review.

Waddingtons Canada FX Smith auction March 2015 part 1

Thr collection that Billie Jamieson had purchased for some $250,000 Canadian from Gordon Smith  was shown after his death in July 2012 at the TIFF museum in Canada in August 2012.

http://dorkshelf.com/2012/08/16/x-men-master-gordon-smith-at-tiff/

This exhibition really served, like the TV show “Treasure Trader” as a kind of auction catalogue of what was to come. 

The exhibition was beautifully put together and showcased the items on the show, although notable present to his girlfriend in the episide, the Wolverine gloves and claw from the first movie were conspicuous by their absence.

Waddingtons may be a famous auctioneer in Canada but not so well known here in the USA. And I felt they did a poor job publicizing the auction waiting till 3-4 days before the event before it showed up on facebook and  websites. Sadly Smith had been told some of the items would be given to Tiff for long term exhibition which did not happen. This meant his personal help didn’t seem to be given to the catalogue descriptions so much of my brothers research into the auction revealed many hidden gems. 

Here are a few of the highlights from the sale.

  

In some ways the highlight of the sale this  Mystique this was more than likely a test full size painted maquette which sold with fees for $8040. 

Wolverine was represented by 6 claws which were metal protoypes. These would sell for $4260. 

Some artwork prints sold for $3000. Strange as they were only limited editions and some of the original artwork from it had sold for just over $1000 earlier. 

  

Although not completely proven so far it looks like the above piece may be attributed to Mark “crash” Mcreery  of Stan Winston designs fame. More on this if we can get it authenticated.

  

Most of the items from Jacobs ladder were cut from the film or test models. A great shame.

 

The bird puppet, nurse horns and this particular  puppet of Elizabeth Pena was sold for $2340 and features In the film for about 0.5 seconds although a very memorable moment. 

This rather beautiful syringe set though was used in the film in perhaps one of the most disturbing moments of the film

  

 

And these horns in another shocking moment of Jacob hullucinating the nurse in front of him is a demon. 

 

Continued in part 2

The Gordon Smith collection of treasures from the estate of Billy Jamieson Part 1

William Jamieson should need no introduction but you probably don’t know him. I first discovered him and his fiance last year when I was doing research on various collectors all over the world. It was here that probably before anybody else I learned that Gordon Smith had sold him his collection of movie props and makeup.  Gordon was one of Canadas foremost authorities in makeup in the 1990’s and 2000’s.

I watched the video below as I hope you do….and I hope you embrace the energy and love of his passion that we all share.

Part 2 will cover what happened to the collection in the video.

WILLIAM ‘BILLY’
RUSSELL JAMIESON
July 3, 1954 – July 3, 2011

Watch the video below for Billy at his best, negotiating, finding and buying the rare and unique which he was famous for.

https://youtu.be/o50og06aAMk

APRIL FOOLS 2015: Premiereprops announces summer “Face off” TV show auction 

In a surprise press announcement Premiereprops has revealed the contents of the last four seasons of the TV show are to be sold off.

In July 2015 at their location bidders will have the chance to bid on make up, creatures and casts etc from the classic series currently on scifi channel.

Talking to the producer of the show it’s clear that the building was getting very full of old molds and various other items, enough for over 1500 items meaning the sale should last a full 48 hours from beginning to end including rest breaks.

Premiereprops is known for selling off movie props and TV wardrobe. They just sold the spaceship from 2001 a Space Odessey to the Academy of Arts and crafts. Asked about the model Dennis Muren was quoted as saying “Who would want that old thing. I used it as a waste basket once.”

More news when the auction is unveiled on Icollector.  

The Treasures of Rick Baker coming to Propstore in May

EXCLUSIVE NO RESERVE AUCTION FEATURING 400+ TREASURES FROM THE CAREER OF LEGENDARY MAKE-UP EFFECTS ARTIST, RICK BAKER

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A complete Mikey Alien costume display from Men In Black and a number of original Gremlins puppets are set to feature in an exclusive no reserve live auction of original treasures direct from the Rick Baker archive. The auction will be held at the Hilton – Universal City in Los Angeles and on Propstore.com on 29 May 2015.
Prop Store is pleased to present an exclusive auction of 417 original treasures from over 50 productions, spanning Baker’s 30 year career. All items have been acquired direct from Baker’s legendary Cinovation studio, material never before offered to market with a pre-sale estimated total value of $746,100.
Collectors and fans can bid at no reserve for historic material from productions including An American Werewolf in London, Planet of the Apes, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, Hellboy, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Men in Black II and Mighty Joe Young.
Baker is responsible for creating effects for the 1988 Michael Jackson: Moonwalker film and the 1983 Thriller music video and items from both will feature in the live auction.
Items going under the hammer include pieces from Gremlins 2: The New Batch, featuring a number of principal Gremlin and Mogwai puppets including Lenny, Daffy, George and Mohawk. With an estimated value of at least $40,000.00, a Full-Size Alien Edgar Bug Animatronic Character created for the original Men in Black film is one of the highest valued lots in the auction.
Brandon Alinger, Prop Store COO, said: “We are delighted to offer a no reserve live auction of over 400 items direct from Rick Baker’s Cinovation studio to the public. Baker’s career needs no introduction and it’s been an honor to work with him to prepare this sale, which spans his 30+ years in the business. The Rick Baker auction is an exciting opportunity for collectors and fans of the make-up artist to have a chance to take home some of the brilliant creations from their favorite films.”
Items included in the no reserve auction:
 Frosty (Joe Sabatino) Frozen Thug Statue, Batman & Robin
 Animatronic Bat Puppet, Batman Forever
 Simba R/C Head and Remote, Gorillas In The Mist
 Complete Ape Display, Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes
 Harry Head, Hands, Feet and Muscle Suit, Harry and the Hendersons
 Grinch (Jim Carrey) Santa Costume Display, How The Grinch Stole Christmas
 Full-Size Alien Edgar Bug Animatronic Character, Men In Black
 Mikey (John Alexander) Costume Display, Men In Black
 Oversized Worm Guy Animatronic Insert Puppet, Men In Black II
 & Hammerhead Alien Figure, Men In Black II
 Hero Joe (John Alexander) R/C Animatronic Head , Mighty Joe Young

The auction will take place from 11am Pacific Standard Time on 29 May 2015 at the Hilton – Universal City, Los Angeles, USA.

Bid can be made in person, via telephone or online via the Prop Store website at http://www.propstore.com/auction.

Review of the Theme Park Connection auction March 2015

Wow…..Around 3 short weeks from conception to realization. How many of you out their got that?

Now whilst there were a few bumps in the road the sheer fact that an auction was pulled off in such a short amount of time with nearly 200 bidders from Spain, UK, USA, Germany, Ireland and more, some 400 items all authenticated and photographed and with detailed listings. I would think anyone would tip their hat to that.

Having run several conventions for charity in London and the UK in the early 1990’s that took some 6 months of organization so its just really cool that Brian and Paul pulled this off with their teams help.

So….how did things go.

Well surprisingly some big bidders turned out.

The Superman costume sold for $30,800 including premium which pleased the seller.

21756536_1The Abyss helmet sold for $16,500 with premium.

image(5)The Freddy Kruger mask sold for $4,400. Amazing for a stunt mask.

21795839_1My favorite piece the Bane costume sold for $3,300 and the Beaver puppet for $2750. All these prices I believe are around what they would have gotten in Premiereprops or Screenused events.

So what were some of the comments made about the sale by various people. Here are some of them:

“really impressed with what you guys pulled together in such a short time. Amazing”

“The Auction seemed go  really smoothly.. Super Congrats to you guys!”

“Congrats for the auction guys …. as Paulie said, incredible for the short time to push it up.

“I saw no issues with the bidding platform, and unlike other auctions no prices being played with…i.e. no raising up bidders artificially. Awesome.”

“Fun auction guys, I got a cool piece i can’t wait to get”

“The no audio was annoying but everything else went smooth and pretty quick which us always good. The i collector software is cool too in that it shows the bidders location so you get a rough insight into who it could be from on here!”

“Little bit too long…and a lot of unsold items…you need someone talking about the props”

So lets address these.

First up this was the VERY first event done by Theme Park Connection. It was put together very quickly. It was a learning process. I’m sure Brian would agree with that. The plus marks are that its much easier to know next time what people are looking for, and to not carry those items they are not.

The big issue though from my perspective was premiereprops having a sale the same day, pretty much splitting the audience but also this last month has had the following:

VIP Chappie auctions, VIP Hot tub auctions, Enders game 2 week auction event, Juliens spring auction, Screenused,com March auction, Bonhams LA, Blacksparrow scifi auction…and Laika a few weeks before that in February.

I think you will agree that would empty anybodies pocket book. That and its tax time.

So yeah it was too much. Im not surprised that there were more than usual unsolds BUT next time will be hopefully not surrounded by competition from EVERY angle. Talk about the Alamo!

So what else was commented on above. People have asked for a commentator or auctioneer. Its been mentioned 3-4 times so far so I know TPC is looking into that.

Slightly shorter sale. Well that equals 6.5 hours for 388 items which is 1.02 minutes per item. That’s actually very good…but the number of items is probably too many. Either that or an aim of 45 seconds per item.

Too many auctions. See above.

Couldn’t get my consignment in. Well it was very busy over there last week and things may have slipped thru the crack. Try them again and give the benefit of the doubt. Most auction houses won’t take anything 1.5 months before the sale….let alone a week before.

So there you have it. Now once the items are in peoples hands and seller paid this is closed out and on to the next. So. from my perspective so far a complete success.

I want to thank all of you out there who were positive towards the event. Being on the sides and unofficially advertising it thru social media and the forums was the very least I could do after being asked. I’m proud of what was done by everybody and even more pleased that you all pretty much responded positively to the effort.

Thank you so much for keeping the faith and to Brian and Paul for asking me to join the party with my small efforts.

Until next time…..

Why Theme Park Connections auction is a big deal…..

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….and why I’m a little perturbed at a small percentage of the community right now.

So for some time I have been looking for an auction house to look after me.

Why?

Because I have had some REALLY negative experiences. I have to be honest….Im sure you all have. Look im not going to name people here. If you want scandal its not in this area….usually….but today definitely not.

With my first experiences in the 1990’s selling in the UK it was like pulling teeth to get yourself into an auction. When you did invariably nobody showed up to bid. It was so very niche. Only in 1994 did Planet Hollywood send out its buyers and occasionally entire auctions would be bought up with a guy and a clipboard vacuuming up the stuff. Then they disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived. Slowly but surely collecting stumbled and rose from niche into the mainstream as nerds became the new heroes of society….but this was A LONG TIME COMING.

Even today my argument is that their maybe 38,000 customers on propstores facebook page but only 1500-2000 of them maybe anything more than a one time customer or entered for a competition….so invariably your always bidding against the same people. The recent Enders Game auction kind of proved this with 215 people at the beginning of the auction and barely breaking 300 bidding numbers by the end.

So returning to my problem I needed an auction house to sell my stuff. Why? Because eBay sucks. Over the years its gone from a very reliable source of selling to pretty much getting 10-20 hits on an item, if your lucky. The days of seeing 100-200 are long gone for me. Their search algorithms seem to have not worked as well for some time, favoring big companies and totally not getting my items in front of customers. Now is this a problem for big companies like VIP auctions and Premiere props. No. People will always find those sales. For the small guy though buried in 2500 other items. Well….good luck.

But…you could argue..well you just don’t have good stuff….but 95% of everything I have ever wanted to sell has sold eventually…may take 2 weeks….maybe 5 months….and not even on ebay but eventual it does. It boils down to finding the buyer, and then the price he wants to buy at. Seeing that amount is usually within 10% of my original asking…again that’s not the issue.

So my recent experiences have not been great either. One company took 4-6 months to pay on average….and that’s with something I hate to do…chasing them. When I offered to help them more…sadly nothing more came of that…even though I genuinely wanted to improve their standing in the community.

Then RRauction contacted me and although it was a promising start….one I tried to push and promote hard for them after the second sale the momentum withered and died. Im guessing not enough money in it for them.

Then I tried Bonhams. Disappointing because they put all their efforts into selling one item and the rest of the stuff was left to fend for itself.

I have to say I have been very happy with Screenused.com. They have paid quickly, done excellent with most items I have sent, and genuinely care about their customers. I had a couple of items not sell at auction that then went on their site afterwards. I have recommended them to many people BUT I just felt that their was a point where their auctions were diminishing with sell thru, and prices realized. I cannot and do not discount them at all.

I just felt that another voice in the smoke might not be a bad thing so when asked to contribute and help with the latest idea Brian at Theme Park connection had it was impossible to not want to help. His idea, make it cheaper, more convenient and better communication. In an internet connected world….why not?

So TPC’s idea was simple.

1: A flat 15% for sellers….10% for buyers.

2: To present stuff in best way possible. To have clear and not misleading descriptions.

3: To have the reserve as the opening bidding.

4: To price stuff fairly.

So basically based on that they have the cheapest commission, the descriptions are informative, well thought out and try not to overpromise, the reserve out of the box is clear, and there is cheap and more expensive stuff but at the end of the day priced to the market and what the owner wants. After all …its their stuff.

This and a lot of behind the scenes talking with members of the community to make sure that  that only production pieces made it for sale, and it wasn’t just stuff from an antique mall.

So…all this work in a few weeks…just because some people in the community wanted something a little better than what we had. That’s why when I read comments that’ seem a little spurious…well…it makes me upset. Even using comments that I made in the first place. So yes….there are items in the auction from more recently because people had to get lists of items together to sell quickly and at first it was a small seller pool. With a new venture people weren’t going to jump in at first with both feet. Yes it is a little rushed. Yes there was all that stuff with the first “hunger games” auctions going up rushed and misleading that WAS sorted out BUT since then I think they have done a great job of getting things ship shape.

They wouldn’t have been handed some of the biggest auctions yet to be announced this year…if they hadn’t.

So that’s why I am supporting Brian and Paul. Its up to you if you want to as well….but please think before you just spout stuff. Organizing an auction is ALOT of work….and now I have seen it first hand I see just how difficult, and its a worthy cause of keeping an open mind to have a new place to buy and sell stuff that is important to all. Most of the time something goes wrong it is just an accident, rather than thinking “they are out to get us!”. That’s something I have learnt over 5 years of writing “The Propstop”. An open mind and asking a question is always better than a closed one, and only expecting your own thoughts.

Thanks for reading.