2018 a year in review

So every now and then we look at the year in props and wardrobe and this 2018 is no different in that many things happened in 12 short months.

Let’s take a look at the highlights and where applicable the lowlights with some great quotes made by prop luminaries over the past 12 months.

Where applicable I’ve added some comments

“The big auction companies are going to start to fight for their slice of the pie.”

To be honest that’s pretty obvious with Profiles in history already advertising for items for next year…and Propstore already has a ghost in the Shell part 2, an action figure auction, spitting image and much more. I predict the following. An auction nearly every month with about a week between them to give you time to make another payment plan. I’m starting to think this may not be good in some ways for prices going forward but who knows.

“Purely based on weekly sales Vip auctions is currently owning the space.”

Profiles took a hit selling modern era props in December. You can try and argue that with me but don’t bother. Proof is in the pudding with so many unsold lots and opening bid items.

Propstore has great sales with ghost in the Shell getting a $24,000 bid for a geisha costume and high bids on The Major character pieces. The Warcraft auction was also a huge success but a majority of good pieces all sold to one person which was a major bummer to collectors just wanting one piece.

Bottom line with between 250-400 pieces a week Vip auction has continued to get some hot properties like Creed, House if Cards, Tomb Raider, The Librarians And with Ash vs Evil dead getting INSANE prices on chainsaws $5-13,000k, and the $5k-30,000 Necronomicons being massive sellers including the best part that you may complain about shipping prices but you also aren’t paying 15-28% fees in the shape of premiums….well they really are consistently on fellow collectors lips when I talk to them.

“If your at the bottom as a dealer it’s because of the following reasons still: authenticity/shipping/customer service”

No explanation necessary. Insert culprits here.

“How many times do we have to say it….if it looks too good to be true…get a second opinion at least”

Marvel, Star Wars and other Hot properties (insert DC here) Remember that just because you want something does not preclude asking questions, due diligence, and ignoring advice from seasoned veterans telling you better. Almost all the newbies fall for this. I’ll leave you a quote from one of the top guys who used to work in Marvels prop archive department who basically told me “we don’t bother going after the fake stuff…it’s not ours. You better believe if it was missing (not on purpose) we knew it was missing”

This will be the year many people realize they have too much in their huge collections and rapidly find out that they overpaid and can’t get rid of it now without taking a bath”

Im seeing this every now and then and it’s getting worse. Collections are becoming like mini museums across the world and the places to resell are becoming more picky to take stuff (unless it’s guaranteed large price) and eBay is great for buyers but selling unless your one of the big guys is getting tough as stuff gets far too hard to find. Don’t even add the huge amounts of fakes, items not spelt right and crazy prices on items sold the week before by VIP or Premiere.

The proliferation of Facebook prop pages.”

Far too many! Someone falls away from the group opens another page. Then another…another…another…..ad infinity. Then interesting articles get lost by pointless repartition of articles sometimes reposted up to 3 times…facebooks awful system of showing posts and finally the annoyance of posts disappearing either by deletion or some other form of deletion. Facebook sucks.

Let’s all just agree to go the movie prop group and use that. It has 25k plus members and no matter if you think that numbers off it’s more than the splinter groups of 25-500-1200 or 2000 that others have. Just quit the complaining, take some criticism and get along.

Yeah I know. Not gonna happen but I like to dream.

“Buying items from vip auctions one week or premiereprops only to list it the next week for three times more”

eBay is filling up with this stuff and Advertising it on the forums is crazy. We all know what you paid? Go out there and find new stuff just stop bidding the actual people up who actually WANT to own it not for resale. It’s just not cricket.

(Having said that if you want to own a piece of the lot and sell the rest…that’s totally logical to resell the parts you don’t want)

“Please stop complaining About shipping”

Basically we know some places have fees to pack. That’s perfectly ok as long as they show this upfront. In fact it’s really ok if that packing means the stuff isn’t broken by throwing in an old Home Depot box with no packaging. Nuff said.

On subject of overcharging for shipping a few dollars here and there for tape, boxes and time is perfectly fine too. To do a great job sometime I pack for 30 mins to 2 hours.

Also tell us when you got it and liked the packing. It makes us happy.

But yeah don’t overcharge for shipping if your actually making a mint from it. If your a victim of that complain away!

Do not ever pack to allow this.


“Don’t be dim. Realize there are a lot less of us out there than we think

Well it finally happened. Having access to various sites it’s become very apparent that there are less of us out there than we think. Get this about 1,000-1500 regularly buying stuff.

When you take those numbers down to regular daily and weekly buyers it shrinks FAR more.

People spending over $50,000? Same names come up again and again.

After years of tabulating auctions and websites and seeing 10 people bid on premiereprops on a Friday, 150 at a decent internet auction and 500-600 at a big one the fact is this. There aren’t as many of us as we thought. In fact worryingly it proves my theory that basically if we could all play nice we would be paying ALOT less for this stuff.

Is this why props are at critical mass?

Is this when payment plans have reached the top of the hill and stuff is only selling 50% -60% sell thru at auction as an average.

Is this why Propstore and Profiles have moved into Disneyania, posters and action figures? Is it to diverse for more money or because the core business has plateaued.

Certainly we lost Screenused this year a truly respected company and I’m sure nobody saw that coming. Something is definitely affecting the market.

My theory is that there is a limited amount of players and certainly limited above $500. That whole pool that people used to sell too has been sucked up and they are now in payment plans for 4 months on $2500 props that may not net that ever again when they are resold. They are effectively removed from the market whilst on one or two of those plans or their credit cards are paid back.

This has had a knock on effect with auctions because you need two bidders to make an auction take off. The more people on payment plans they are then taken out of the auction.

We have seen that recently with profiles having so much unsold even with three months of solid auctions in front of it there was still money thrown at the opening bid but no further action.

So these are my theories and thoughts. Hope they inspire thoughts and feelings if your own. Whilst I’m not worried about the hobby I do feel this could be a tipping point approaching in way things are done. Certainly perceived. Let’s see how 2019 changes things and I hope for now keeps us able to do what we love to do.

Doesn’t it just feel sometimes your the only one in the room?


Mortal kombat: premiereprops battle royal for Inglorious Basterds prop

Saturday 8th December saw an event many missed as Premiereprops.com sold Col Hans Landa’s briefcase from the opening scene of Inglorious Basterds and THIS happened…..

Auction video

Like the energizer bunny it kept going and going and remember there is a 23% fee on that too.

November 17th 2018 Movie Props Group auction on Liveauctioneers

So over the last three weeks you will have seen me blasting from the airwaves the propblock/Heroprop auction that I was kindly asked to help promote. I’m very pleased to have fulfilled that end of the bargain. If you have seen twitter, Instagram or Facebook it’s been there to pick up on. Even Neil Blomkamp of Elysium and District 9 retweeted stuff he liked!

With some 200 bidders almost, 230 lots of high quality authenticate items with a COA from both companies and a lot of excited people asking questions I’m sitting here the night before and really feeling the excitement.

I’ve been involved over the last few years with quite a few events and this is as cool an auction as I’ve seen. With great items like the vehicles and the props ranging from $100 to ALOT more (but certainly still great value compared to what they have sold for in other auctions) there really is something for everyone and as it’s a tradition here at The Propstop I thought let’s take a look at some of the items getting no love in the sale that you may have missed.

First up

I had misidentified this art at a previous sale and it turns out to be by renowned futurist artist Syd Mead. This is a protoype version of the bit and a beautiful piece of original art. Mead’s art goes for thousands so don’t let this sell for $100. If you love Tron this is for you. There’s also a more expensive piece of art of the solar sailor but certainly nicer in that it shows the ship pretty much as seen on screen. That piece is by Peter Lloyd and well worth the bid.

This incredible Terminator skull is listed as a crew gift from Stan Winston. This is definitely the nicest crew gift I’ve ever seen. It does take batteries and has been checked to see if it lights the eyes. It does!It’s just stunning. If you have wanted a Winston piece but don’t have the $25k for an original screenused piece here’s the next best thing. I should stop looking at it. It’s awesome.

Very cool. Iron man. Nuff said. It’s from the third film when the set was blown up and all Tony’s armor destroyed so I suspect can’t be worn but it’s awesome, no bids. I’m surprised. I bet tomorrow this will be snapped up.

Breaking bad. Classic tv. Want something not in the tv propstore auction that’s iconic and has a coa from screenbid/Sony. It’s right here. Snap it up and put a Walter white head in the mask and thank me later as you are complemented for your excellent prop taste.

Harry Potter robe. This should be top of any HP collectors list. Basically a piece of wardrobe that tells the whole story. I rate this higher than a wand but that’s just me. Stunning.

THIS. If you don’t know what it is why are you reading this page. Probably histories favorite gun prop from Aliens and although stunt solves the problem of not needing a firearm license the truth is stunt rifles were used for most of the film anyway because the real ones were dangerous and they didn’t have that many.

Here is Sigourney with a stunt rifle below.

I know unlike 15 years ago there are a few more in the wild than we thought but it doesn’t matter. This would be the crown of nearly every collection in the world. Nuff said.

The Fly arm from the 1986 Cronenberg film. Totally amazing piece used in production. Only reason this survived is the talented person who made it saved it from the dumpster.

It’s in amazing condition for its age and has real brush bristles from 1985 as the hairs.

From Starkid this is an incredible comic with hand drawn art on the outside and interior pages with hand coloring.

Featured many times in the film this is a very cool piece and took many others to produce.

Resident evil has some cool pieces including a light up trigger bomb device from The Final Chapter and this shotgun trap is an metal CNC and plastic hero prop.

The above is the cgi version but this is the prop used on set and is a superb prop!

Red dwarf is featured in the auction with a Kryten robot head, a can of leopard lager (dated two months before the episode aired underneath) and this knife from the episode Justice.

Used by Lister and the cyborg played by Nicholas Ball this actually still works and the blade disappears inside when you stab yourself. Just don’t actually stab yourself please!

If you are BBV tv fan then these die-line copies of the storyboards from Doctor Who Trial of a Timelord. These were used to make one of the shows most audacious vfx shots of the Timelord space station.

Simply a great piece to frame on the wall.

Anything else? Well there’s just loads of cool stuff. Here are some caps of other items from production in the sale.

Stunt bag from The Dark Tower

Elysium Manuel WETA workshops helmet

Costume worn by Sofia Vergara Hot Pursuit

Resident Evil 5 metal hero Alice weapon

Resident Evil 6 light up bomb remote Wesker

Dave Lister leopard lager Red Dwarf

Baby Driver Subaru car

Tomorrow Saturday 17 November at 10am pacific!

See you then. Liveauctioneers.com


Ewbanks presents The Propmasters 30th anniversary Auction

Well with little over a week to go Propmasters event auction is nearly with us and I thought I’d use this opportunity to look at some of the pieces.

First up from the Benny Hill show, a staple of youth here is one of Mr Hills signature suits priced around 1,000 pounds estimate.

Lot 57 is a Star Wars ceremonial guard outfit priced at an estimate of 2500 pounds. These all ways do well at auction and if you want one here’s a great example.

At 5000-8000 pounds this next prop is on the high side but has been squirreled away in David’s collection for a long time. This “From dusk till dawn” vampire killing weapon is a fantastic piece used by George Clooney and definitely worthy of consideration.

I really like the next lot because it’s so interesting. Here’s the description:

Star Trek (1989) Trek Maroons made for Nichols, Doohan, Takei and Robin Leach for the 1989 Robin Leach Lifestyles TV special filmed on the Enterprise bridge at universal studios. Accompanied by an official press still picturing the characters in uniform.

1000 pounds estimate seems like a deal to me on that lot.

One of the classic dwarf creature characters from Flash Gordon next.

That’s a classic piece from the film and well worth a tinker if your a Flash fan.

Finally from Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie with an estimate of four to six thousand pounds is the tiger jacket worn by Lara Croft.

So my other thoughts. It’s a very varied sale. I think there are a number of marquee pieces but I think overall it needed a few others. The research done is great and pictures are very well done.

Bottom line if there’s something here for you go ahead and bid because those all important facts and figures are solid. Kudos for that.

The catalog also has a load of art, promotional material and more costumes and props with 350 lots total.

The full inventory can be seen below at the Ewbanks main page for the auction.


22.5% buyers premium with VAT in the U.K. items exported outside the country should not have to pay the UK tax but check with the auction house to make sure.

Movie Props Group Facebook Entertainment Memorabilia auction November 17th 2018 preview


We had a chance recently to talk to the organizers of the November 17th auction on Liveauctioneers this week and pin them down on a few questions that have been asked on the forums. Here is our group chat (heavily edited for things like laughter…where did THAT come from reactions and repetition)

Hi guys what is the aim of the November sale?

Basically a fun little event was the idea mainly because so many people had always asked why so many companies concentrate on the high end items and don’t concentrate on the $200-500 customer.
What we have seen is that market for lower end items and reasonably priced pieces is being neglected. Now can bidders make that item go beyond that price, of course, but we still want to start them low and give everyone a chance. Having said that then a lot of cool more expensive items came down the pipe so now it’s a big delicious stew of cheaper and high end items!

It was a case of why not as well. Tiana has a talent for finding rare and hard to get items, Jarrod has experience doing online sales, and we asked Mark to help as he advertises everyone else’s sales and does reports on auctions all the time on the Propstop and between us we saw a gap in the market as several companies left us the past few years or have moved away from having a lot of different items to more of an “event” one single production sale which lets face it is not interesting if that show or movie isn’t for you.

Is it kind of last minute?

Not particularly. It’s been in talks for a long while. Certainly it’s a stress test in a way which is why at this time only a few collectors were asked to contribute with most coming from Heroprop & The Propblock. The plan is once everything is 100% running smoothly and more people know about it to run slightly bigger auctions with more peoples items and be a service for our community to help them sell their midprice items. Too many people are offering items only to have them be turned away as the auction houses only want the “premium” items is what we are hearing.
Also, as much as we respect Profiles, their auction will run before Christmas and I doubt those items will be shipped until January. With our auction the shipping is in-house so if you buy you will have before Christmas. Barring world changing issues of course….


Yes the buyers fee is one of the lowest out there at 20%. Basically add 1/5 of what you spend to get your total. If you spend $1000 the fees included mean you owe $1200 plus the shipping. Obviously there are local taxes in Nevada and if we ship outside the USA you are responsible for those fees like any auction.


In house from The Propblock offices. We are offering all the usual usps, fed ex and UPS. There will be third party shipping offered on large items that need crating. Also If you talk to Jarrod first I’m sure you can pick up at The Propblock offices in Las Vegas. Just confirm with him that first.

What’s in the auction?


Baby Driver Subaru

We have just around 200 items. These include items for the first time buyer and some crazier let’s say vehicle sized items. Well…come to think of it they are vehicles.


Alien head from Amalgamated Dynamics

And the future?


Doctor Who storyboard “Trial of a Timelord”

All depends if people make this a success. We will continue to find great items but their sellers need buyers. It’s the literal circle of life. But yes we hope this is the start of community auctions for everyone to enjoy.


My Favorite Martian Animatronic head

Ash vs Evil dead auction part 4 “This is my boomstick!”

The fourth article in this series deals with the eponymous Ash’s weapon of choice for long distance fighting…his shotgun.

11 was the total of these sold by Vip auctions from late June thru August 2018.

The first sold June 6/29/18 for $6100 and was simply a stunt rubber version.

The next week a far superior plastic version sold for $3750.

Also that date the first of the shotgun holder versions sold. This was a foam material with a metal section that could be moved to make the gun longer and shorter for placement in the holster. In fact it’s been reported the standard size shotguns don’t even fit the holsters.

The week after a plastic went for $4750 and the first purpose built “missing piece” shotgun came up sans the very front.

7/20 another stunt sold for $4000 and another back pack rig came up for $770 pictured below.

Another of this type sold a week later for $1095.

This specialized version below was made to be gripped between teeth by the child actors portraying Rubies dark children.

This one sold for $1282.77

On 8/3 this stunt rubber with a pink end showed up which I believe was made for stunt practice work and did for $3050.

I found a behind the scenes picture with Ash’s stunt actor which I believe is this same item with the pink tip.

The final boomstick was sold 8-17 and was the holster variant again selling for $1025.

It seems plausible that the hero versions which were mostly absent were kept by the producers and Bruce who I heard did keep items from the show.

Looking at pictures there is clearly a break in half version shown below that was completely absent.

I’m also doing research into these that season 1 uses a different shotgun to seasons 2-3. More on that later.

The hero firing versions are presumably with the armorer in New Zealand so it’s doubtful we will see those in the future.

The eBay Vip auctions “Ash vs Evil Dead” sale part 3: “I came…I Sawed….Ash conquered”

Part 3 is all about Ash Williams iconic Chainsaw and the auction had a qty of stunt and hero pieces. This article will go thru them in order to keep these props from disappearing into private collections and never re-appearing once the auction is over. This way the info and photos can live on outside eBay.

6/29 the first saw sold for $12,200. The yellow tags were production used to keep track of the props and this was the only working prop in the sale, at least until later when another showed up marked wrongly.

The same week for $5100 a buyer who I know purchased this rubber version below.

Week two bought this variant with blood tubes to spew red stuff all over the actors. The chain is rubber.

This sold for $8600 and was marked second unit for possible stunt and closeup work.

Week 2 also brought the cheapest saw in this rehearsal piece which may or may not have been used on set. The blade definitely is for stunt rehersal use and the onscreen blade may have been used as Vip told me some pieces were added just to make the pieces more complete. This sold for $4100

This was also the same week.

Again a hodgepodge of pieces that didn’t necessarily go together including the vfx blade used for pushing into a victim. $5376.

The week of 7/13 saw this chainsaw below and the first appearance of the piece I bought today.

The first of two was another vfx piece that sold for $5700 and was a favorite of mine. It came with two blades and blood tube for spitting out the red stuff.

The second was marked main carbon lightweight #2 and was one of two hero chainsaws used in set the most by Bruce. Why? It was light….most of the other saws were heavy due to the vfx equipment or if they were rubber. This one below sold for $9300 but would never be paid for as we will discover later.

The following week saw another vfx saw. This sold for $5700.

This one has tracking markers on the blade. It had another extra blade with it but probably never attached on here.

That was the only version that week but on 7/27 this one sold for $9000.

Described as plastic with metal blade and rubber teeth but was marked second unit.

On 8/3 this one sold too. This was plastic with a hard rubber blade and sold for $5650 and again was described as second unit.

On 8/10 a second full stunt rubber saw came up for $5100.

This second to last chainsaw had two metal blades and came with a giant battery and three distressed chains on 8/17. It sold for $8100.

The final chainsaw we had already discussed above. Selling over a month ago it was never paid for and relisted to end Fri Sept 14th. This is the piece I won today a First unit all important lightweight metal blade with plastic housing.

More news when I get it in hand.