Ghost in the Shell Geisha mask update

Our original story

I received an update from an employee at Weta this week congratulating me on the piece and pretty much backing up all my statements on the item.

It’s also come to light that this piece was also used for promotional purposes at the Ghost in the Shell display at the arclight in LA.

And in a group shot with the hero costume and opening head


Ghost in the shell movie Weta Geisha mask

Here is a fantastic piece and an interesting story about how I came to own it.

The propstore auction in April turned out to be too expensive for most (I can’t blame them it’s you bidders doing that)and there was a lack of robot pieces. In the end this complete background piece sold for $25,000!

I decided to bypass that and try and find other pieces that may be out in the wild. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything. Literally nothing.

I did some checking on twitter and apparently when the movie was released last April a couple of very expensive what were termed “replica” pieces were sweepstaked (I prefer the English term raffled) by the studio. These pieces have disappeared off the planet too.

So with more luck on my side than I can possibly say I found one of the charity/display pieces in Las Vegas of all places and spun the wheel.

It turned out that these were made at the same time as the production Geisha pieces from the same materials by the same crew but just never shot on film at a cost of about $4000-5000 each for the display at various events and eventual promotional use, in this case a charity sale donated by Sony. So not replica at all but production made by Weta FX.

Given that most times we buy props we never know if they are actually used this seemed like a nice alternative of being production made but without the damage of the used ones or the simple fact no main Geishas were being offered at all anyway

So unlike profiles day 2 2018 auction today I had literally no competition and won it at opening bid. Then the agonizing 2 week wait as at this point apart from a grainy small pic I had literally no idea what I had just bought. That’s when I started piecing together information on the web (which wasn’t much)

The original sweepstakes info was interesting.

The $3500 price was a good sign since “the Martian” replica charity/promo helmets had an approximate retail value or ARV (contest prizes for tax purposes need these values) of $900 meaning the Geisha was made much nicer I surmised. Sometimes the prize was named as “Weta replica” and also “created by Weta” which was a good sign.

I armed myself with good photos of the original helmets on tested with Adam Savage.

There were plenty of awesome shots. The one above shows the wearable helmet with pull ties to close inside.

Using these photos I was able to do a side by side with the prize item, the prop store example and the Weta screencaps.

With this I was able to check the paint colors, the molding and various details like the intersecting lines with a single screw head that I knew from “tested” was originally 3D printed then fiberglassed but because the helmets were so finely detailed the screw-heads were added after the casting.

This was useful in ascertaining the “replica” was made by Weta and not by an outside company which in nearly every case these “copies” typically are.

Small screw heads were added later as the fiberglass detail often didn’t cast them correctly. The screenused is on the left

So armed with all this information I was able to open the box a couple of weeks after winning the Paramount donated prize.

I had James with the HSPPA here at the time and it was a lot of fun to tick off the boxes that meant I was right in many of my assumptions.

Fiberglass…black painted interior…heavy metal stand with New Zealand style bolt in base (I knew this with all the time didn’t tracking down Weta bolts for my EXO suit from Elysium), beautiful paint job, see-thru plastic bow in the hair with interior detailing, metal custom jewelry in the hair, and I flipped it over and whooped out “look at the Weta sticker inside!” pretty much deafening poor James. Pretty vindicating.

It’s a shame that it didn’t split in two but the fact it didn’t shows it was made as a display piece but exactly as per the screenused pieces. It even had the pushpin screws used to detail the fiberglass lines per the tested video.

Here are a few more beauty shots of this beautiful piece of Weta art.

The paintwork on the hair is particularly stunning. As is the detail inside the see thru blue bow.

I hope you have enjoyed another article which hopefully inspires you to go out there and find hidden gems not always thru the auction channels. I promise you they are out there. Above is proof of that I think.

Profiles in history Icons & Legends of Hollywood Day 1 review

Day 1 of what must be the best auction of the year so far.

So there is just no way any article I can write can include every great item so I’ve tried hard to whittle it down but it’s almost impossible. These may not even be my favorite items (who knows I might be bidding!) but they do include some truly beautiful pieces from my past.

In many cases these lots have crossed my path thru auction over the last 30 years either for me to pass as being out of my league or interest but always to be respected as wonderful examples of memorabilia . In some cases I was just plain outbid.

First up lot 380 Charlton Heston’s Ben Hur chariot. Starting at $120,000 this is a piece that I can quote Indiana Jones on. “It belongs in a museum” I’m sure the academy museum will be purchasing this probably at the opening bid.

This is pure American history below. Clayton Moore’s Famous wardrobe from “The Lone Ranger”. I wasn’t born when the show first hit but late in reruns and with the Marx toy action figures in the 70’s I knew the show very well.

This is a beautiful piece if you are of the era.

Benny Hill was a similarly revered cultural figure in the UK but in the realm of comedy. I’m not sure if this suit was from the Thames tv show or am earlier film. It’s a shame the label inside isn’t shown in closeup which I know collectors like me always appreciate since we can’t always make it to the viewing.

Ok here is a piece of Doctor Who history. All the way back in the early 90’s I read Mat Irvine’s bbc visual FX book constantly and here is a piece referenced in that book. This “warriors Gate” pistol was part of a batch made for the episode accidentally out of solid metal. It was too heavy for the actors to use and only featured in a couple of shots but it’s 100% authentic. This is a great example where the piece could have been better researched. But hopefully if your intersted in this then you read this.

I attended the auction in London personally where this piece sold for 900 uk pounds and was put into sale with a separate bbc “day of the triffids” puppet that I always assumed was from someone who worked at auntie Beeb. I think $3000 is pretty expensive opening bid but it’s very rare. I like it very much.

“Land of the lost” isn’t my thing but this is a character and makeup all in one and it’s presented so well I had to include it as just a classic piece of USA tv history.

In the 70’s I vividly remember “The Thief of Baghdad” as one of the first films I ever watched. Starring Roddy MacDowall, a truly wonderful actor this 1978 TV movie actually premiered in the UK in movie theaters which is where I saw this and Battlestar Galactica the same year. This is Roddy’s worn as Hassan, magician and thief.

Buck Rodgers as long time readers may know is a guilty pleasure. This is a stunning example with something I always see missing….the belt!

Yvonne Craig batgirl mask from “Batman” tv series. I know nothing about lot 532 as presented. All I know is that’s it’s beautiful. Makes me wish I knew more about Batman wardrobe history but it’s little too late to do the work.

We hope you have enjoyed our jaunt thru day 1. Let us know on Facebook if you would like us to cover day 2.

We wish all the bidders next week the best of luck and hope you find your personal grail out there. Certainly if you can’t find something here to bid on your not really trying.

Profiles website

Robert Kurtzman auction

This weekend Chris Hanlin and his auction company will be selling of some of the collection of one of the most prolific FX makeup makers of the last 30 years.

Robert Kurtzman has worked to curate items from his prolific history with Hanlins auction services. Included in the collection are the following gems I’ve pulled from the pile for special notice.

First up Jason Mewes original makeup design from the film Yoga Hosers. Although not used in the film this is a brilliant and amusing design that was then used on the version played by Kevin Smith as the Nazi sausage Bratzi.

Next up is a beautiful piece of original hand drawn art by the artist John Bisson and signed by him and Robert from Wishmaster.

From Army of Darkness here is a foam casting of the Witches Head from the production.

This is Vern Troyer’s suit from Wishmaster and I remember this very vividly from the film. Very neat piece.

Here is amongst the largest item at six and a half feet long. The study model of the walrus from Tusk. Imagine that in your front room!

Lastly Hisss is a Pretty amazing FX picture out of India that Robert’s company worked on. Check this film out or the clips on you tube. This is an amazing display bust starting at $200!

There are lots of great deals like this in the sale so check it out today.

Link to auction

Warcraft the movie Propstore auction results

So with the sale ended Friday and this being memorial weekend several people asked me to review the auction and look at some of the statistics behind the sale.

Lots of fascinating results to be had with a little analysis of the final tally’s.

First up the auction has 565 lots sold. Only two lots were pulled beforehand.

There were over 3000 bidders if bidder number assigned to the auction are to be believed. Compared to a typical premiere-props Friday auction that may have less than 100.

On an average the cheapest items to sell were the mokap FX weapons. The most expensive was Llanes suit of armor, sword and Lothars sword and armor.

For the first time in my long history of bidding the first 30 lots were on the whole vastly cheaper than those later on in the sale. Typically stuff at the beginning is amongst the most expensive but then dips in the middle and climbs at the end as panic bidding sets in. What may have changed this result in the same is one or two bidders (more on that later)

A statistically important fact came to bear in this sale. If a potential buyer of the armors I this sale lost they were statistically more likely to bid and win the very next suit of armor. This was about a 1/3 possibility.

Another statistic was if an item had been bid up over the average during the week before the sale these items invariably had the most interest and created the biggest prices at the auctions end. This is presumably as people had more time to plan and “fall in love” with the idea of owning it. It is also a bidding tactic used and cultivated by some buyers you can “scare away” the competition. This rarely works in my opinion.

The cheapest knight was $6500 (female with 3D shield) and the most expensive was the poleaxe knight for $18,000. An $11,500 difference. The cheapest poleaxes by themselves were $1800 and $3250. Or you could have bought one poleaxe, plus halberd, shield and five swords for $3750 or $4500. I already know dear reader what your thinking.

The cheapest soldier was lot 16 a battle-damage version with spear at $4000 followed closely by lot 12 which had all three weapons (sword/shield/cannon) and no damage for $4250. If you price those props out of it at average the buyer basically got the armor for free compared to other later buys. The most expensive soldier (lot 459) also had a spear and sold for $16,000. Without doing the math the average soldier price was $7000. Not good when I figured it would be $4000 few days before. None of these figures include buyers premium at 23% or tax in California or shipping.

Now let’s look at those high priced premium items spread thru out the auction.

First up lot 553 Lothars armor. Selling price was $41,000 (bidder 59) and was a mixture of partial and stunt. It also came with the less desirable foam sword. The hero sword went to bidder 126 for 21,000 with a sheath. The stunt Lothar sold for $6000 (bidder 1605) even though it had almost the same amount of content as the hero but like all early items in the same the placement seemed to have a result in the price as did the fact it was a stunt.

Secondly let’s take a look at Llanes hero sword hitting an otherworldly $51,000. These items that sold high pretty much were because two bidders got into a fight and didn’t back down. In nearly every case nobody else got involved in the scuffle if the prices were over $8,000-10,000 on these main pieces.

In this case bidder 126 won the metal hero. Remember that number.

Now onto those gold/silver Llane shields. Earlier in the day they sat around $1500. The first 552 closed at $31,000. Hi bidder 126 and lower 1032. The second of the identical pieces lot 555 sold for $25,000 to 1032 and lower bidder was 126. This is a result of both pieces over lapping each other and when the most expensive one locked at $31k the second guy got a $6,000 lower priced shield.

Does this explain the best deal of the auction. Not really.

That was early on (like all the good deals like half the world was asleep) in the form of King Llanes mostly complete armor and shield which sold for $4750 to bidder 3268. Yes including the type of shield that sold for over 25k later in the sale. I knew this was a good deal since the gold shield was at $1700 then but little did I realize what it would do later as we discussed earlier.

The hero Llane costume sold for $60,000 and was bid on by bidder 1032 and bidder 59 in a battle of wills. The interesting thing is the final bids for both were $60,000. Since this happened the final bid matched each other but could have been broken by a single $1.00.

But let’s go back to auction bidder 126 and his final tally. Responsible for the following items final prices:

22 guard aluminum sword $6000

104 book $6000

126 hero Llane sword $51,000

247 garonas dagger $5500

261 large alliance shield $5,500

348 poleaxe knight $18,000

446 alliance metal sword $4750

459 foot soldier all weapons $16,000

552 hero Llane shield $31,000

564 Lothar hero sword $21,000

And bidder 1032

566 hero Llane w/shield $60,000

555 Llane shield 25,000

141 knight with pole 15,000

212 soldier no weapon 5500

380 soldier all weapons 11,000

453 foot soldier no weapon 5500

465 foot soldier no weapon 7000

484 foot soldier no weapon 6500

561 foot soldier with weapons 10,000

When combined before fees spent without even adding every single smaller item they bought $164,000 and $145,000 worth of items.

So I know what your asking. What does this mean. Well when Peter Jackson shows off one of the above items you know what else he bought.

It also shows two people can vastly change an auction landscape. I know almost no collectors who won anything apart from shields and one soldier.

Were the winners China gold mafia? Blizzard? Peter Jackson? Michael Jackson?

More news as we find out I guess.

Legends memorabilia of Vancouver Canada spotlight

I just want to share my insight into a great company that doesn’t always get the spotlight of some of its competitors but amongst buyers in the prop community is consistently well spoken of and that’s Legends of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Presenting over the last few years smaller auctions including Hell on Wheels most recently and mini sales like Stargate and The Outer Limits tv series with great pictures, accurate descriptions and awesome customer service they have gone from strength to strength and have some great properties coming very soon to their site.

Legends always takes great pictures for their auctions like this one from Hell on Wheels

In the meantime if you have interest in the Netflix original Okja, Outer Limits or any of the above on the banner above contact owners Bill and Julie as they have a lot of great stuff from those productions still available.

Legends can be found on Facebook Facebook or at their website

Watch out for more info on their next show they are selling very soon.

Propstore has a “Mute” auction which some people didn’t hear

Yeah yeah ridiculous pun I know. If you look at Rotten Tomatoes this film ranks a 15% so most people would react they didn’t just not hear it they ignored it.

That’s a shame as anyone watching this film twice would, I think, like me have an almost 180 degree opinion of it.

In the same way that Cloud Atlas blossomed for me over a period of rewatches this film felt much more sure footed and welcoming on the repeat. It is in fact far better than 15% because the first time you watch it it’s almost so audacious with unlikeable characters, a manipulative script and a story where the main character seems superfluous with events happening around him rather than too him.

On second view I realized Duncan Jones the Director was trying to show me a story that was complex, interlinked and human, but the first time you watch you are steeped in some ugly stuff thrown at you and thus angry for watching what are not easy subject matters and it buried the film for me. Without that second attempt and a chance to realize that he dares to make you feel when you watch his film, I think i would have dismissed it like others perhaps unfairly.

If you haven’t seen the film Paul Rudd plays an odious dad who the film makes you want to like and hate at the same time. It’s actually amazing in the performance and writing. His friend is a surgeon who also liked underage girls. That is where this film loses most people. It’s a horrible touchy subject but it is integral to the plot to an extent. In the end Rudd’s daughter is put in horrible danger and it’s this that imperils her, and also the last vision that her dad sees before he passes. It’s truly awful. It makes you react. But it’s also what puts everyone off.

But again it makes you feel something. A lot of films today don’t and i think we all forget what that’s like. It makes you happy that she finds a new father in the hero, content the villains got their just rewards, excited for the future but at a terrible price as it deepsixes the film in depravity and a need to shower after your first viewing because add this with the rest of the visuals and depressing nature of the film it seems that the movie has no hope.

So yes I did revisit the film and I really liked it on round 2. It still has all the same “problems” but now I see the purpose for it. That instantly helped me understand we are meant to not root for the villains…the boring, not flashy hero is meant to win and his journey be that of an Everyman who is special and wins not by being Superman but persistent and with heart and using his brains. He is also much more the master of his own destiny when you watch it again.

Paul Rudd here is brilliant. So yes I wanted his costume but round here currently I’m trying not to buy the farm so I settled on his knife with the all important holster and I’m so happy to have won it. It’s going in a deviant display ASAP

There were a number of knives for sale, a half knife for the impalement scene, a metal hero which I tend to leave as the stunts are used far more widely with the amazing chrome effect that can be achieved on props in last five years and only the two with a leather sheath.

So I’m super happy about today’s buy and look forward to getting it in the mail soon.

Give the film another look if you didn’t like it. If not there’s always the latest cookie cutter blockbuster to watch and turn off your mind too….although I’ll say “Tomb Raider” actually transcends this popcorn fixation of grand scale movies. Go watch that too.

It’s not mute. The film has a voice after all.