The importance of displaying your collection…and some good guys to help you do that.

This is a very cool topic for me since recently I started understanding the value of a nice case, and a properly posed mannequin. I will use some examples here.

First up here is a 7 of 9 costume that I purchased from Its a wrap. Here is the original auction picture from the auction. As you can see the pose is basic, and although the background is cool (having used the original starfield curtain from “The Next Generation” the simple fact is that without a nice mannequin the piece is not easy on the eye.

Here is a piece I made later.

As you can see the pose and the correct fit makes a massive difference. It evokes the original wearer and makes the costume come alive.

I am constantly asked where can I buy a mannequin. Of course you can get them on eBay…but simply going around stores that are closing, have old stock or broken pieces like this one can be obtained for next to nothing.

The difference is clear though. I also think that not having your collection out means you tend to forget it. Thus the “Rules according to Tim Lawes” were formed. Tim is an old friend who works at “The Propstore of London“. They have a great framing service and indeed sell many of their items in display cases. I do believe though that although he has violated the rules a few times, that his idea of a collection was less is better…and only collect what YOU like are some of the best truisms spoke in my years of being in the hobby. He who dies with the most….not so sure.

Here is another example from Wesley Cannon at the Movie prop forum. This piece is a mix of screenused and replica but it makes a wonderful complete display.

As you can see the use of a base, a skull and the positioning makes this piece shine. Without it it loses most of its impact.

My good friend Jim Williams from “The Star Trek forum” does a wonderful job displaying his collection. From Breen, to Klingon, Federation to Ferengi Jims collection knows no bounds. He really is a modest but talented individual. Check out his collection at

and tell him we sent you.

Commander Worf costume from "Deep Space Nine"

So mannequins are fairly easy to display…you just need the room, but what does a partial costume or prop need to show it off. Well this is where the display case comes in. For years we gawked at the ones at “Planet Hollywood” filled with their treasures but now one can get buy cases easily of the same quality if not better and fill them with their own pieces of “Hollywood Treasures”.” offers an excellent display case service, and having seen some of their work up close I feel probably one of the best in the business. Check out there site for plenty of examples of there work.

Of course you can find cheaper alternatives at local art stores and sports helmet cases make great prop display boxes too. Even Ikea sells shadow cases etc.


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