“Captain America” A hero or stunt….you decide?

A few weeks back I sent an email  for a condition report on lot 154, the hero Captain America costume to Profiles and Fong replied with the following:

On Mar 13, 2012, at 9:18 AM, Fong Sam <fong@profilesinhistory.com> wrote:

> Hi, Mark. All the costumes have the actors’ respective names written
> on the inside labels. The final hero Captain America costume, for
> example, has Chris Evans written on the inside. The Schmidt costume
> has “Hugo” written inside. Furthermore, Marvel’s costume tags are
> included. These costumes will be in Chicago, so you could see them in
> person. See you there.

Now it seems there may be more to this.  Alec over at Propworx is going to be a potential bidder at this auction so he of course as an advocate of “transparency” in the hobby wanted to get more information. I of course applaud this….if I had $50,000 to plunk down on a costume well I would want the same. The problem comes when you really look at how items are sold today.

Of course every retailer wants to show off the items to the best of their ability but like I pointed out in this mornings articles all companies are guilty occasionally of putting something in its best light. In the case of the above Captain America hero costume…even though I’m hearing rumors of $30-50k being spent on it the same level of transparency should be on this as a $100 item. Sadly as it seems with this item, and the catalog being out there and on the internet it isn’t as represented.

Here is the catalog description. I’ll break in in small type with my questions that a reasonable bidder should ask.

Captain America complete hero suit.

Okay…hero for the character…hero for superhero….or Chris Evans (universally accepted way of saying hero in the business of auctions/movies) suit?

This is the complete hero Steve Rogers costume worn in his ultimate incarnation as Captain America. It is a three-piece custom suit made of ballistic nylon with rubberized backing. The three individual costume pieces consist of long pants with elastic boot stirrups, a short, elastic bottomed midriff-length undershirt and distinctive red, white and blue sculpted upper body armor with built-in bracers, shoulder pads and patriotic star insignia on the chest.

Are there names in the costume…..is makers name there….is name of Chris, CE, EVANS, or even stunt performer there?

Includes brown leather gloves, ammo belt, holster (with rubber Colt .45 pistol), high brown boots and comes paired with the appropriate form-fitted, leather mask-helmet stenciled with the letter “A” on the front and abstract wings on both sides. The costume exhibits discrete battle distress, and is accompanied by an iconic round Vibranium shield. This hero suit is the culmination of all other evolving versions seen on screen and is the hero suit seen in all scenes from the “invasion montage” onward. The suit is also used in most graphic advertising and promotional materials for the film. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Okay….was this used in advertising…or stunt…or is it the one that as reported previously was the favorite suit of Chris Evans and worn for most of the production by him.

So according to my original email from Profiles it said “Chris Evans”

So now we come to this email sent to Alec, from Profiles he forwarded  to me:

I am hearing a rumor that the Captain America Hero Costume is NOT in fact all hero components. It has some stunt pieces.  I know for a fact that Evans name was in all three costumes he used. However, Evans mainly used ONE costume that was perfectly fit for him, which I have to assume that Marvel is keeping. There were also 4 stunt costumes that of course did not have his name in them.

Someone should inspect the costume at Chicago as the info would be helpful to the few who are actually bidding on this costume.

I had already offered various people at Chicago if they needed more information, pictures, video etc that I would provide it to them. In a follow up I received this from Alec.

Well, I emailed Fong, who as always is on top of things. Here was his speedy reply:

The suit and pants have Chris’s name. The accessories do not. The helmet says stunt.

For what it’s worth, Marvel put this ensemble together for us. It’s my understanding that the accessories where all thrown into a giant crate and were only later sift through to match the ensemble. The main part of the costumes were at least filed and stored away properly.

With the shield, it’s still a nice costume, especially with the main parts of the costume clearly hero.

So we are left with a hero costume top and trousers, and then a stunt set of accessories of boots, gloves, belts etc and a stunt helmet.

Say what you like about Alec, he’s now in the position of a buyer….not the seller as Propworx had hoped to be. In short he’s now one of us and as a buyer I think he is absolutely right to feel this way…and its no different to how I feel to. Now is the above long winded…is it not good news…of course. The internet doesn’t want to run with “This is Captain Americas partial hero costume with stunt bits”….but at the end of the day if your reading the catalog or viewing online….this is what your really getting.

Remember…..this is just one item. As Profiles reminds you before you bid know what your bidding on….ask questions….and get a condition report.

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Hmm….I know what your asking. Is the stunt costume really that different value wise to a hero? Just look back at previous auctions to answer that question, or take the Its a Wrap “Star Trek” sale for instance where a Worf stunt might sell for $800-1,000 and the hero $2500-3,000. Its what people want…and yes….time and time again the stunt just isn’t good enough. We will discuss that in a future article…but unequivocally stunt costumes price under half the value at auctions and sometimes more thru the history of myself watching auctions.

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