A look at the best items in Theme Park Connections first Icollector.com event March 28th 2015

So with a little under the week I thought it would be a great time to go through some of the better items in the TPC auction this Saturday and go into a little more detail about them.

First up what is great about what TPC is trying to do with these sales?

In a world where other auction houses from Bonhams, Premiereprops (23%), Profiles in History (23%) etc are running
escalating amounts for the buyer having a 10% buyers premium has been unheard of for quite some time.

Also instead of taking just any old tat from antique stores and not doing the research TPC has worked with some of the longest running and newest collectors of today, but also heavily involved them with descriptions, picture taking and authentication.

TPC has worked hard on ebay with Disney to build up a sterling reputation, and have consistently met the demands of its bidders there, even though they are sometimes running 600-700 items a week on its memorabilia sales. Since selling items from Lionsgate with the first “Hunger Games” sale TPC has turned out to be a quick shipping, reliable, communicative company who after some baby steps has proven to its buyers and consignors they take props and wardrobe very seriously.

So with some 300 items currently up I asked some of the consignors for some stories, and for some information of some of their favorite pieces in the sale.


First up is this complete Screenused flying rig Superman costume from the Bryan Singer movie. Seeing that one sold here in Profiles in History auction for $59,000 including the premium this is a steal. Due to the system TPC has in place the opening bid is the reserve, $28,000 it can be yours on a beautiful custom base.

Next up is this hero Chakram from “Xena” Warrior princess.


Over the years I have seen these sell for huge amounts at conventions, but one sold at Profiles in History 2011 sale for $3500. At the charity events I remember one selling for $10,000 at the height of Lucy Lawless’s popularity. This is a beautiful one and framed for even greater impact.

For fans of Prop weapons, or Denzel Wahington two of his prop guns from “2 Guns” are available.


This one comes with original propmasters photo from the production and was obtained from a stash of items from the movie found in a storage locker. This is one of the screenused pieces used by Denzel Washington and features the custom Texas grip handle seen in the film.


Tom Hanks fans will not be disappointed with this original screenused jumper from “Castaway”. In the film Hanks (Chuck Nolan) is marooned on a desert island and crashed wearing this jumper in the ocean.


Many props in the auction have an accompanying display or they are mounted. This is a beautiful example from
Tim Burtons “Big Eyes” of how a somewhat boring licence plate can suddenly become a beautiful present or an object to talk about in your office, or living room.


Perhaps one of the most talked about pieces in the sale is this relic from James Cameron’s “The Abyss”, a very rare Deep Sea helmet, backpack and chestpack which has never come to sale before. This amazing piece of art is expected to sell between $15-20k but was recently discovered in a storage vault in Los Angeles, California.


Although missing a few detail pieces it is in amazing condition and this particular piece has been unseen since 1988.

Enders Game Propstore week 1 results, who won what etc.


So now I have the whole spreadsheet you can see the results of week ones Flash suits and gun sales.

Well as usual….Im not sure people thought with their brains. Loads of people got into bidding battles and the spreadsheet pretty much shoes that everyone who got a suit didn’t bid again. As new bidders came in….they pretty much bid up the ones who hadn’t won anything.



so far bidder 238 has won the Salamander Petra stunt outfit for $925 (Lot 132), lot 161 an incomplete flash suit for $270 and then was the underbidder on Lot 94, 142, 152, 159, and 196. Someone give this guy a break so he can stop bidding people up!

Anyway break down the numbers yourself. The pattern is really interesting and shows the golden rule. There is no one who wins bigger at an auction than the auctioneer…especially if two people duke it out instead of being smart and letting it go…and going for the next one.

The Propstore Enders game auction: Current results & how to bid

Hmm…so this is a great auction to be able to talk about qty versus buyers and more importantly not to overpay for something.

First up Propstore has done a great job of taking pictures, making accurate descriptions, and generally laying out the auction in a clean and easy to understand way.

I must admit that I hadn’t really been on the receiving end of the “extendo-auction” as I call it. Now I see it in play its VERY annoying. Every bidder waits until the last 10 seconds and then guesses where to place it, automatically extending it 2 minutes for each bidder. Since the previous bidder will increase his bid that ALSO extends it 2 minutes…meaning four minutes lost of your life.

Now the argument can be made at least you won’t be losing something out of choice, but what I have seen so far is some of the more laughable bidding wars in recent years, especially with 1 or 2 of the suits that just went into cloud cuckoo land. Why? Because there were always more on the way…and lo and behold we got 5 more in one day.

So whats the smart move? Well frankly from this point on anybody spending more than $1000 on a suit isn’t doing themselves any favor. Lets look at the hard numbers.



This is my own specially made up spreadsheet to help me see any bidding patterns and generally compare and contrast items.

Why are some of the areas blank? Well as Brandon at Propstore said they are having troubles with the program so unfortunately unless you bid or wishlist the item you cannot return to get finishing bids or sales amount. If you have that info on anything missing please let me know and I can correct the spreadsheet.

As you can see from Lot 42 the ASA launchie suit all hell broke out between 2 bidders at around the 3k mark and both sat their and “launched” it up to $7100. This was very silly as the current auction still has another similar costume for Ender at lot 152, and a stunt at Lot 256. Do you think the winner of the $7100 will be bidding? Not likely meaning that the second costume could come in the $2000-3000 mark, unless new blood enters the auction. Right now with 269 or so bidders seemingly registered (you can see the bid numbers on the bidding screen representing your name when you bid with a star next to it) and around 50 more suits to go…well you get the picture.

Look its not my business to tell you how to spend your money. The Propstops mission when it was set up was no advertising, and be fair and honest. But it was also set up to educate, and to help people so if this information helps you be a better bidder and get one of these at a fair price….more’s the power to you.

So…what is a fair price. Well quite a few of the suits have stunt rigging in them..some more obvious than others. Some have no helmets. Some are early test suits made and unfinished. Some have guns.

Bernard stunt suit with holes in legs

Bernard stunt suit with holes in legs

If you just want a background costume I think the prices will stabilise around $800-900. This is a fair price.

If you want a stunt main character I would argue that they aren’t worth anymore as they aren’t starworn. A main character piece will be around the $1000-1200 mark but again you have to look inside the costume. The following piece lot 152 is marked as Asa Butterfield on the heading but the actual costume pictures are marked stunt Ender Alicia. Only the helmet and yellow pad pieces are hero. So really its not really a total hero….but its not a zero either.

Since the guns are selling for around $300-400 for stunt and $800-1000 for resin pistols again this may help you decide….but if you don’t need a gun then the best way to go is not to buy a helmet separately but buy the full costume. Today a helmet alone sold for $1150….the cheapest complete costume of the day $725 with the helmet.

Buy smart readers and you will have wonderful customer service from Propstore, and you won’t be mad at spending $1500 when you could have gotten something else for a little over half that.

Your only enemy in this sale is thinking you have to get this suit…when you have plenty more behind it. Worry about overpaying on the final two days of the auction, if you were silly enough to wait that long. The minute you get into a bidding war with someone you are the one at the disadvantage. Remember I very much doubt people will be displaying one of each color in their living room. Once the bidders are out of the equation typically the law of supply and demand kicks in. As we can see today…..it definately has started so why reignite a flame proceeding downwards.

We will update this story as the auction progresses.

For more information on the helmets from the film see here: http://www.robertdraws.com/enders-game-helment

“Live & let die” Shark gun pellet & fin.

Hot on the heels of our shark fin find from Roger Moore’s first film comes this truly beautiful little prop from “live and let die”

Obtained from the shark sequence director of the production it was presented to him by Derek Meddings who both worked on the aborted scene involving an animatronic rubber shark which refused to act and looked in the words of Bill the shark expert on set “awful”. 

The original script as a pre-cursor to the same thing happening to Dr Kananga called for Roger Moore to stuff the shark bullet into the attack sharks mouth and it would swim off and explode. When the scene didn’t work, the expanding shark belly looking more funny than deadly, the “Sofa” explosion was used instead to explain the compressed co2 bullet. 

Kananga’s explosion puppet

When Meddings left the usa he gave the bullet and shark to the now owner who would keep them as momentos and a few years later used the fin on his Shark movie which he directed. 

Derek Meddings on set

Kananga as played by Yaphet Koto plays around with one of these bullets for literally his whole end scene, constantly playing with it in his fingers. It’s rather satisfying that his demise comes at his foolishness at leaving it within magnetic watch range.

This little metal work of art is so beautifully crafted on a lathe I presume. There are a couple of little tells in it which I shall keep to myself but the hole in the top is one of the more obvious ones that can be seen on the screencap.

This hole could have been decorative but I suspect in a seen when the metal bullet is magnetized off the table this is where the fishing wire was attatched IF that is how the Vfx shot was achieved.

I want to thank Ms Geffe for her fast shipping and Mr Geffe for the incredibly detailed and notorized COA which was recieved with these items.

Obviously Bond props have gone silly at the market place in recent years. In 2012 at the Christies sale the Solex from “Golden gun” went for over $90k and the shuttle from Moonraker for over $100k. I truly am very honoured to have been sold this piece considering how rare really good items from the films have been to locate.

“2 Guns” prop bonanza shows that storage auctions can be a gold mine

Not necessarily a movie I set out to see in theaters I thoroughly enjoyed it on my first viewing, after I had already purchased most of the key props from it.

Thanks to my ever vigilant brother he had seen the sale and contacted me so after talking to the seller it appears he had won it at a California storage unit sale. These sales are for storage units that remain unpaid for so the monthly dues are totaled and then the locker sold, the balance going to the owner and the storage location. In this case the entire contents of the locker housed the props from the Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg film. 

Some of my favorite items are personel to Denzel. His earing for instance shown below.

And his gold cross both played in gold.

But of course it’s his rubber gun that is a beautiful prop, and I have his gun from the beginning, middle and end.

First up his pistol from the bank heist

Next the Ruger revolver with Texas star handle.

And lastly the pistol from the end of the film shoot out.

I’ll have more props from this find in the coming weeks. 

Evolution of the Flash suit from “Enders Game”


Ender’s Game costume designer Christine Bieselin Clark Interview: Pt 2

Costume designer Christine Bieselin Clark served as assistant costume designer for Michael Wilkinson on such incredible films as 300 and Watchmen before working as co-costume designer, developing groundbreaking techniques on Tron. This week Ender’s Game, her first major feature film as sole costume designer, is released. I recently had the opportunity to talk with her about the research, technology, and process behind designing Ender’s Game.

(You can read Part 1 of that interview, including more on assistant designing and her early career here.)

Tyranny of Style: With the design of Ender’s Game behind you, you’ve found yourself sort of squarely in this action/sci-fi genre.

Christine Bieselin Clark: “I suppose so. That’s what they tell me.”

T/S: How does that strike you? It’s such a highly conceptual genre. Is it a genre you enjoy, or feel comfortable with?

CBC: “You know it’s awfully funny because I always say I would never go see these movies unless I worked on them. But I have become very endeared to the process and to the genre and to the fan base of the genre. After doing something like 300- I mean I had no clue. I called them comic books. I didn’t even know what a graphic novel was when we did 300. In your journey of what we do as designers, which is always to research and understand and explore, you unveil this genre and this fan base and this really interesting world which I knew nothing about. And from there we went on and did Watchman. So by the time I got to something like Ender’s Game, I feel like I’m embraced by this community. And I feel like it’s this mutual thing. I have a regard for the level of reverence these people have for these characters and these stories. For me, that is what we are, isn’t it? We’re storytellers. I would have never imagined that I would find myself here. And I’m happily in this world. It’s not like I feel ‘oh God, when can I get some petticoats? Let me out of here.’ For me it’s all about story and character. And if the story is brilliant and interesting and the characters are rich, and if they have to wear super-suits, that’s fine. And if they don’t, I’m happy to be in almost any time period as long as I feel some affinity to the story, which I definitely did with Ender’s Game.”

Ender’s Game, Costume Designer Christine Bieselin Clark

T/S: You mention researching the genre, getting to know it. When it comes to the actual rubber meets the road costume design for Ender’s Game, what was some of your research? What was some of your inspiration in the process?

CBC: “Well we had kind of two, almost three different looks we were creating. We had the real world which was Earth, where there are real people who aren’t in uniforms walking around. And then you had a whole military system, and a military schooling where they had uniforms. And then you had these training suits, the Flash Suits. Three separate looks that we really had to nail. For me, the script is always the first place you go. As the designer, how am I trying to visually support the storyline? Who are these people? What are they doing? Where do they come from? And what am I trying to help the audience feel or see about them before they even open their mouths? So that’s the first thing. You end up writing a bunch of adjectives and adverbs on a piece of paper- character names and coming up with feelings and thoughts that you want to convey. And then I always go to the book, or the original source material and look for descriptors that help me understand, particularly when we’re dealing with something like the Flash Suits. What is the suit supposed to be doing? What is it’s function, physically? Tangibly? What’s the purpose of it? And then how do I also want it to feel visually to the viewer? So you’ve come up now with this sort of frame of what you want things to say and then I sort of go to places where I think that I can find inspiration for telling those sentences, making them come to life. God, the Internet! Oh the Internet! That’s where you just start trolling Google images until your eyes pop out of your head. But you’re really just looking for, whether it be a runway collection from ten years ago or motocross inspiration. We wanted to create a military of the future that encompassed the global military. So you start to do a bunch of research on that. I have so many hard drives full of folders of images that have been sourced. Sometimes you go to libraries. Sometimes you go to archives. But the majority of our work is done on the Internet now, I have to say. I have to tell you, I didn’t go to the library once on Ender’s Game. Not once.”

Ender’s Game, Costume Designer Christine Bieselin Clark

T/S: Is there a driving thing to look to, a certain military in history, a runway show, something that really inspired Ender’s Game?

CBC: “You know, I wish I could. I will say that what we did try to do and one of my points of reference as the designer was in trying to create a future that we haven’t seen but yet one that didn’t feel like ‘sci-fi’ in away– that kind of Star Trekky vibe to it. It needed to feel familiar but of a different time. So, my future is an amalgamation of some iconic things from different time periods. Like I have a Peter Pan collar on Valentine and this Mandarin kind of stand collar on things. You take kind of things that our mind’s eye will recognize from other times and you put them all together and you make a new time. That’s sort of what we did aesthetically. And there are other reasons behind those things. You want to create an innocent childlike feeling to Valentine, so that’s why you give her the Peter Pan collar. I don’t really have one thing, because it was such an amalgamation, a mish-mosh of all kinds of different time periods.”

T/S: I have seen some of the early images, and posted some back in July of the Flash Suits and other costumes on display at Comic Con. They look wonderful.

CBC: “I’m pretty excited about the suits, because that was, I have to say- labor of love that I can’t even (laughs). To put suits like that on anyone is challenging. They’re not comfortable. They’re not easy to move in. But then you put them on children, on young actors. Doing stunts was a challenge.”

Ender’s Game, Costume Designer Christine Bieselin Clark

T/S: Looking back on the films you’ve done, you’ve gotten comfortable with putting people in some really uncomfortable things.

CBC: “You know, I just have to suck it up and say ‘it’s part of my job.’ I mean, gosh, if some of the actors on Tron– the stories they could tell you. (laughs) There’s nothing comfortable about any of these things. The million things we do to try to make it as tolerable as possible, but when you go into a foam latex suit that has working lighting in it, that has a whole wiring harness inside of it- it’s just not going to be comfortable. And I remember meeting with some of those actors in the first fittings and saying ‘listen this is the road we’re going to go down and just forgive me ahead of time.’ And they did. I mean, Beau Garrett, who played one of the Sirens on Tron, I mean beautiful, she looks amazing! She looks so gorgeous. Unbelievable torturous, that costume. I cannot even begin, words cannot even express what torture those poor women went through. Still when I see her to this day, she’s like ‘you killed me, but I looked so good!’”

T/S: You guys are inventing technologies, looking to the future. What were some of the things you encountered with Ender’s Game? What were some techniques or technology that you needed to learn, figure out or invent?

CBC: “I have to say, I think we went a little crazy on Tron with some technologies, and that sort of influenced some of my decisions on Ender’s even to pull back a little bit. Because here’s the deal, on Tron those suits that they wear, the majority of the characters, we output those suits. Those are 3D printed in a way. In 3D printing you’re actually growing things, but we used CNC (Computer Numerical Cutting). So normally what you do is, for instance on Watchmen- we digitally scanned an actor and we made a replica of their body out of foam. And then we would sculpt in clay the suit, like the Night Owl’s suit is sculpted in clay. And then we take a mold off of that. And then we can run a foam suit out of that by putting the actor’s body inside the mold and then you fill in the negative space and you have that. So, on Tron we just decided we were going to do the sculpting in the computer, because we were ambitious like that. And then we would cut that digital sculpture out of a block of foam and then make the molds out of that. So we bypassed sculpting in clay by sculpting in the computer.”

T/S: Who was even doing that?

CBC: “We were crazy people! We had so many illustrators. We would draw things in Photoshop. Then we would model make them in ZBrush, and then fine tune the data in like Moto and all these crazy data programs. And then we had a company called Quantum Creation FX in Burbank that worked with some vendors to, you know, make all this happen. Then they worked with these companies that cut out the foam, then we body shopped it and then we made the molds. I mean it was insane. Even the channels where the lighting elements went in were all digitally mapped. It was phenomenal and adventures and it’s a spectacle that’s been unrivaled. And I think it was very warranted for the genre, and for the movie Tron itself to innovate costume technology to that level, but it was inherently flawed in some ways that we never could have anticipated having never done it before. So, there are some nuances that really I wish we had known about and could have worked out better. We could have made some things function a little bit better and fit a little bit better. And so when we went into Ender’s Game I didn’t want to use foam latex. I didn’t want to sculpt anything. I wanted to go the other way. So on Ender’s Game, the suits that we made are actually fabricated with normal pattern making and draping. The materials we used were technologically advanced. And we made materials, but the suits them self are patterned, drafted, cut, and stitched.”

Ender’s Game, Costume Designer Christine Bieselin Clark

T/S: Was that an L.A. shop that did the work or did you bring a team together of your own?

CBC: “We did most of it in our department. The department started in Los Angeles and then we migrated to New Orleans. So we had a lot of in house people doing the pattern making and drafting. And then Quantum, the company I had worked with on Tron, mass-produced the suits for us. So we did a prototype in house and then they did the mass-production. There are some sculptural elements like the body armor pieces on the shoulders and the helmets- they did all of that stuff for me also. The helmets we did do exactly like Tron. We did sculpt them digitally and grow them. It’s easy to do with hard stuff. The hard parts are easier to grow and 3D print than anything else, I have to say.”

T/S: Can you tell me more about making technologically advanced fabrics?

CBC: “The storyline calls for the Flash Suits, this training suit that they wear in the battle room- the silver stuff, it’s interactive. It’s a training device. So it actually participates with them in the room. And so it has to demonstrate an action that is part of the plot. And that sort of informed a lot of the textures that we used in it. It had to look like it could conduct some kind of electricity. So, we designed- actually I had two assistant on Ender’s Game, Dorotka Sapinska and Alexandra Casey. One of them, the lovely Dorotka, she helped me do a lot of the pattern making of any fabric that we printed- you know you have to do a digital file on it first. So I would come up with the ideas, and she would help me draft all of the vector sets, and then we would communicate and work with a company called By Design that does a lot of fabric printing for us. I’ve worked with them a lot over the years and we did a lot of printing and laminating and dying and painting. There’s probably, I would say there are seven different techniques of fabric in the one suit. And each one is a different thing, different screen-printing, and laminating, and fusing. It was wild! That suit was wild.”

Ender’s Game, Costume Designer Christine Bieselin Clark

T/S: And at each stage, are you camera testing it and getting director and producer approval?

CBC: “Yeah, we have to move really expeditiously. So, the first thing that happens is I come up with what I think is a good frame work for colors and an idea of textures. And I meet with the director and production designers and the DP and producers- get everyone’s input to try to streamline my first broad stroke of everything. And then based on all that feedback and what we all think will work we start running samples to do camera tests. We did probably camera tests before all of the components were kind of together.”

T/S: Are you changing major elements each round?

CBC: “No, it’s all kind of an evolution. If you know that this is the texture and you want it to be silver- is it a warm silver? Is it a cool silver? Is it darker? And then you end up testing five different silvers in that texture. OK, now we have that piece. Let’s move onto the next thing, and the next thing. But you have to move at the speed of light, because you’re talking about sixteen weeks of prep from day one until the first day on camera. It’s terrifying! And that’s why you bring in like an army. I mean we had 60 something people working in the department at one point.”

And the end product is phenomenal. Christine did such a wonderful job shedding light on the process and some of the fascinating technology being developed on these types of films. This level of creativity and craftsman is truly remarkable. She was also a complete joy to talk with, animated and very giving of her time. Keep an eye on her- I’m confident we’ll be seeing so much more from her in years to come.

© 2013 Joe Kucharski

Live & let die shark fin prop from the James Bond movie discovered 

I continue to have great luck in my current hunting the intranet for cool pieces that are being sold from film makers personal collections so I was amazed to be offered this spectacular piece recently from the collection of Wiilam Grefe, an elder statesman of 60’s and 70’s cult movies responsible for Mako: the jaws of death, Stanley and Impulse.

Whilst working in Florida Grefe had the good fortune to film the shark sequences for “Live and let die”, Roger Moore’s debut and obtained a couple of props from the productions Propmaster including this fin. 

Later the exact fibreglass fin would be out to good use in the Mako film, a script wrongly attributed to have been ripped off from Jaws but subsequently written prior and greenlit because of its success. 

Here is the fin in all its grey glory!

Now to visit the local pool!