The main driving force behind what makes something collectible is that it creates a feeling of happiness within the collector. It brings an owner back to their childhood, or simply just back to a point in time that is extremely memorable. For a large majority of people, media is that driving force. When you think about it cinema and television can be extremely impactful on your life. Whether you think back on it as your after-school routine or the film that influenced your life career, it is around us all the time. This is why in today’s auction world prop collecting is one of the biggest fields with record numbers consistently being achieved. For example, in 2015 the apron and shirt costume worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in Wizard of Oz sold for 1.56 million dollars at auction. How incredible is that! In the same auction Steve McQueen’s race suit from Le Mans sold for $425,000.00. Now these are examples of the top echelon of costume and prop collecting, but the point is this can be a big money game. Also do not think that it is only older films and series, being in 2021 even contemporary props from the past 20 years can bring record numbers. Especially when it is a hot brand like Star Wars,Transformers, Harry Potter, or a cult classic like American Pie or Top Gun. If it was a popular franchise, then the props, costumes, and set pieces used to create the magic are hotter than ever before.
On July 10th at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers as part of our Comic, Trading Card, and Toy Auction we will be featuring the collection of Eric Baker. Eric was the creative lead behind the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Florida and at the recently completed Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World, Florida and Disney Land, California.
In the 1990’s he was a prop master for Nickelodeon working on numerous shows including Clarissa Explains It All, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, and Legends of the Hidden Temple. From a collector’s standpoint, you could not ask for any better level of provenance, which is extremely important in the prop collecting world. In my opinion one of the standouts of Eric’s collection among many will be a pair of prototype Shrunken Heads from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Nearly identical representations to the ones seen in the films, these were cast for the park then rejected during set design. Another standout due to all the 1990’s rage in the market is the Upside-Down Compass of Henry Hudson from Legends of the Hidden Temple. A screen used prop from the 90th episode of the popular contestant-based show. These are only two of several props and costumes featured from his collection. Eric’s collection is going to be a true test of the 1990’s kid’s television prop market. It is from an age where the viewers are now turned collectors with expendable income, and nothing has really been seen on the market before. It is going to be a very interesting auction to follow with a record or two being set along the way. Stay tuned!
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