When once productions were throwing away their props and costumes the movie prop collecting market is now a thriving space and prices are soaring for movie prop collectibles pricing many people out of a once thriving and wonderful hobby.
Owning a piece of movie history is something every film fan dreams to have. Whether it’s a costume or prop from your favourite film or even a production backup used on set, it’s a special keepsake for any collector. Sadly, auctions have driven prices for these items soaring to ridiculous numbers making them unobtainable for the normal collector, so we ask the question, is movie prop collecting dead?
Not a month goes by without a press release from a reputable prop company stating that they’ve hit yet another 7-figure sum in their auctions as props and costumes go under the hammer. Bidders battler against one another and that once affordable item estimate is now a very distant memory.
The elite battle against each other for rare items as wealthy individuals and museums go head to head to scoop up the latest movie treasure to add to their collection or public display yet the majority of fans go away empty handed.
I’m currently in the process of opening up a Horror Museum in Stoke (as a third wheel with two incredible partners) and there’s a big difference between the independent ones (us) and the big multi-million dollar companies out there to scoop the next marketing ticket to bring people to their attraction.
I’m a fan at the end of the day just like many who see these items available to bid on but they always lose out to the big wealthy individuals with no item selling for anything even close to what many would call affordable (I’m talking £100 here).
The big companies all claim that props can be sold for affordable amounts and anyone can win an item and start their collection off. This pipe dream is short lived the second you see the auction final sale prices. If for one second you think that a £1000 item is affordable to most ‘normal’ collectors you’re clearly living in a different world than the rest of us.
I wish that these auction companies would hold auctions for items that have a max bidding price so it doesn’t go into crazy money territory. A bidding system that has a boundary or is kept within a certain limit of affordability or better still, sell those items for what they’re worth rather than have an item worth £100 sell for £1000+.
Sadly, it doesn’t look as though anything will change in that department. These companies are making money hand over fist and I can’t fault them for that but please do not preach affordability to us, it just doesn’t work when it comes to auctions. Whilst I’ll always love those companies for selling such iconic treasures to the public it’s always just out of reach for us mere financially stunted mortals. A mere illusion of owning a piece of movie history rather than a realistic objective.
Thankfully other companies, especially here in the UK offer buy it now prices on props so you can start collecting pieces of movie history for as little as £5 (now we’re talking). Don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to be getting something rare and epic for this price but it’s a starting point for any collector of any age and it feels inclusive and that’s what this hobby was all about before greed and big companies got involved in this battle of ego and dick measuring to win the latest 6 figure item.
The Movie Prop Warehouse offer a fantastic array of props for all budgets with the most expensive item on their website being priced at £2499 and the cheapest being £5. A much better range than the £10,000 – £250,000 range these auctions on average are finding their price ranges within.
But there’s another website that came up on my radar recently offering a broader range of items than what The Movie Prop Warehouse are offering currently and they definitely deserve a mention. Both this website and the Movie Prop Warehouse upload new items weekly so keep your eyes peeled for some real movie magic!
I was on the hunt for horror props this time around for display within our new museum in Stoke and whilst The Movie Prop Warehouse have a few items they don’t seem to do their yearly Halloween prop month where during October only horror props were uploaded to the site.
There have been some absolutely golden ticket items sold on Movie Prop Warehouse but this one other website has a whole section dedicated to horror props all year round!
Props in Motion Online
Introducing Props In Motion Online owned by Adam G Cooke who started the website in April 2019. Adam has been collecting props since 2004 and decided to start selling pieces off from his collection.
A life of living and breathing props, wardrobe and production pieces every hour of every day led him to setting up the website along with a little push from friends who work in the industry.
With a good reputation with industry insiders and studios Adam opened up Props in Motion as a one-man-band business.
To be able to bring authentic pieces of film and television productions to fans and Collectors is a feeling that can’t be beaten!
When I stumbled across Adam’s site it was an absolute game changer. Instead of just little affordable bank notes and bits and bobs there’s a real range of items on offer from well known shows and productions that I felt stood out head and shoulders above their competitors.
From The Haunting of Hill House to Child’s Play there was a great horror range right from the offset but if horror isn’t your thing there are Disney props, yes Disney props, for sale at less than £1000!
That to me was absolutely mind-blowing as you know full well these items in auction would fly up to 4 figures immediately. Take for example these Mighty Joe Young hands from the 1998 classic (see above). Pop them into an auction and they’ll fly up to unobtainable levels and here they are sitting at a VERY good price of £895.
Now you may be thinking Sean has just been talking to me about affordability and then has gone and listed an item as an example for just less than a grand but think about this. These items are insanely rare and if this is such a good price imagine what else is on the site for an equally good price. I kept diving into the items on offer.
Now instead of props from independent films that no one has heard of there are items on Props in Motion from shows such as Once Upon A Time and American Gods for as little as £5 which is insane to me.
Props from the Joe Thomas comedy The Festival an be picked up for as little as £20 and a premiere ticket from Quantum of Solace was priced at the same amount.
There’s a whole load of movie props and costumes to choose from on the website and currently the most expensive item on the site is Karl Malden’s jacket from the 1961 movie One-Eyed Jacks priced at £2995.
Props for all budgets (actual budgets) from both Movie Prop Warehouse and Props in Motion Online are available and right here at your fingertips!
Whilst for me, movie prop collecting is dead when it comes to auctions these independent sites keep the hobby alive.
Websites for the fans, making movie and show history accessible to all!
Visit Prop in Motion Online here – https://www.propsinmotiononline.com/