When Phil Tippett first saw the computer-animated T-rex stomping towards him in an Amblin screening room in 1991, he knew he was finished. Conjured on the sly by the team at ILM in their San Rafael facility, the fearsome creature moved with a lifelike smoothness that Tippett could only dream of achieving using the stop-motion animation techniques he’d honed over decades.
He turned to director Steven Spielberg, who’d hired him to create and animate the dinosaur miniatures for Jurassic Park, and said, “I think I’ve just become extinct.”
The headpiece of the Staff of Ra is central to what is, without doubt, one of the most powerful and majestic scenes in modern cinema: the Map Room scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. As John Williams’ magnificent score swells and soars to roof-lifting, operatic heights, a sunbeam catches the headpiece’s central, amber bird’s eye and transforms into an ancient laser-beam, directing Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) to the resting place of the titular relic.
This year, in Prop Store’s first Los Angeles-based Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction, we have a distinguished piece of movie-making history going up on the auction block, in the form of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vista Vision Motion Picture Camera. This camera, used not only on the production of Hitchcock’s Vertigo, but also by filmmaking legend Cecil B DeMille when filming The Ten Commandments, was a marvel of technology in its day, and helped the Master of Suspense produce an enduring Noir classic.
Summer is shaping up to be an exciting one for Prop Store customers! We just completed our Outlander Charity Script auction and Marvel’s “The Defenders” auction… both bringing in great fan engagement and yielding strong hammer prices. Also, we’re thrilled to have launched our first Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction out of Los Angeles that will be taking place August 26th and 27th. With that catalog now LIVE, there’s no better time to check it out!
Take a look now at some of what we have in store for the rest of the summer!
The cover piece for our first ever Los Angeles-based Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction is the 11-foot long filming miniature of the Nostromo from Ridley Scott’s horror classic, Alien. This artifact has been a part of Prop Store’s company collection for over a decade, but wasn’t always in the camera-ready shape you see it in now. Read up on this model miniature’s incredible history; from creation, to restoration, to auction.
It’s hard to think of a movie weapon more iconic or impressive than the lightsaber. With its unearthly glow and that mesmerizing hum, it represented the perfect blend of Star Wars’ romantic fantasy and sci-fi elements: a sword, which could have been a samurai blade or King Arthur’s Excalibur, whose blade glowed and crackled like a magically frozen laser blast. To quote Jedi Master Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness), it was “Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”
For our first Los Angeles-based Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction, Prop Store is swinging for the fences with 870 film and television treasures set to go under the hammer on August 26th and 27th.
As anticipation mounts for the auction catalog (coming July 27th!), we thought we would whet some appetites and highlight five standout pieces from the upcoming sale from some undeniably classic titles.
We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in our auctions and sales these past several months. In these changing times, we continue to see strong sales across the board and are so grateful to the collectors who return to Prop Store again and again for film treasures. We are glad to be able to continue to support the collecting community with great deals and one-of-a-kind pieces.
Take a look at this month’s latest Prop Store news….
For their groundbreaking crossover miniseries, Marvel’s The Defenders, the creative team behind Marvel’s street-level heroes pulled together characters, worlds, and story elements from four separate series to craft a team-up event like nothing Marvel Television had ever attempted. But there were many steps behind the scenes, and decades worth of stories in the pages of Marvel Comics, that had to happen before the Defenders could be brought to life on film.
Thank you to all those that bid in our auctions and purchased items online over the last few weeks. Despite what is happening in the world around us, the collectibles market is strong, sales are positive, and collectors are incredibly active buying and selling. We’ve seen similar trends during other troubling times and are happy to provide a little bit of entertainment and service with our commitment to bringing you the best collectible materials on the market.
Here’s a sampling of what’s been happening at Prop Store and what’s to come!
We’ve all heard the tales of a British outlaw who, when faced with an uncaring government, banded together some merry men to steal from the rich and give to the poor. You may have first encountered them in a book, or a film, or even a cartoon. No matter the source, the “Robin Hood” story is as familiar as any classic hero’s story, and is one that has been retold countless times since the earliest days of film.
In this blog series, we’re delving a little deeper into what makes some of our favourite movie characters and actors so iconic. From coloured frocks to over-sized props, each month we’ll take a deep dive and look at 5 movie props that made our chosen actors’ careers and character what they are today.
Just over 20 years ago, Prop Store started out as a one-man band, run by founder Stephen Lane from his home office in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. In 1998, driven by his love of cinema and memorabilia collection, Lane realised there was a huge potential market in movie props: items often seen as waste by film studios, which usually would end up in a skip, but which he saw as valuable artefacts, coveted by collectors like him the world over. His first Prop Store sale was to an American collector (who still shops at Prop Store today, 22 years later), who bought a crew jacket for £393.
The “Lockdown.” It’s here. It’s weird. It’s unsettling. And, it’s starting to get a wee bit boring now. With so much angst, anxiety, fear and panic in the world, now calls for a time to try and distract ourselves as much as possible. There are home workout options aplenty, if that’s your sort of thing, books you’ve been meaning to read for donkey’s years to devour, new languages to learn – Si vous aimez ce genre de chose – and endless Facetiming, Housepartying, and Zooming to catch up with those you love and miss.
However, if you are like the Prop Store crew, then none of these options comes close to losing yourself in an awesome film. Not only are films our jobs, but they are our passion (cheesy but true). They are our favourite topic of conversation at the office – which we so miss being in – and we are constantly recommending them to each other.
In our new blog series, we’re delving a little deeper into what makes some of our favourite movie characters and actors so iconic. From coloured frocks to over-sized props, each month we’ll take a deep dive and look at 5 movie props that made our chosen actors’ careers and character what they are today.
In the summer of 2007, several months before principle photography would begin, production designer Scott Chambliss was hard at work designing what would become JJ Abram’s first of many feature-length adventures into outer space, Star Trek (2009).
This year’s Cinema Poster Live Auction has over 300 posters, including an amazing selection of posters and original artwork from the collections of well-known comic-art artist Jock, Academy Award®-winning special effects cinematographer, Richard Edlund, former Lucasfilm Executive and Assistant Director Howard Kazanjian, and so much more!
So, sit back, relax, and get up-close and personal with some of our featured lots from the auction…
In recent years, it has become more common to find comic books serving as direct sources of inspiration for big budget movies and television. Comic books have also been key to the marketing approach to the launch of certain toy lines – helping to give each character personality and adventures that kids can imagine.
In this blog, we explore some of the back stories of original comic book art in Prop Store’s Toys, Comic Art & Collectibles Live Auction (March 4, 2020) that inspired the movies, television shows, and/or toys that we love!
Ask any toy collector which treasure they’d most like to own, and the chances are they’d all tell you the same thing: a rocket-firing Boba Fett.
The laconic intergalactic bounty hunter is widely regarded as the Star Wars saga’s coolest character, with his Spaghetti Western-style, jetpack armour and that iconic, narrow-slit helmet visor, which suggested a cruelty and merciless precision far beyond the Empire’s clumsy stormtroopers. But this isn’t why he’s so sought after in action-figure form. At least, not entirely.
The Coen brothers are always full of surprises. One moment they’re remaking Ealing comedy classic The Ladykillers, the next they’re adapting Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Over the years, they’ve made a baby-kidnap caper (Raising Arizona), reimagined Homer’s Odyssey as a Depression-era chain-gang musical (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), and delighted in repeatedly casting George Clooney as increasingly stupid men. But their latest movie was arguably their biggest surprise yet. Mainly because everyone initially thought it was going to be a TV series.
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