The Top 10 Sci-Fi collectibles that every Fanboy wants to own
Here's the ultimate shopping list, bought by collectors who made their sci-fi fan-tasies come true...
If one quality marks out the true Fanboy, then it is undying loyalty. Whether it's maintaining an encyclopaedic knowledge of your chose film/TV series/comic book, or daring do dress up as a Wookie in public.
But what about the guys who go even further - who devote time, effort and cash to keeping these dreams alive? We're talking about collectors. The guys who tireless pack out auction houses around the world, devoting themselves to preserving the world's most treasured sci-fi artefacts.
Mr Spock is today one of the most
To celebrate these unique people, we've compiled a Top Ten of most iconic Fanboy items to cross the world's auction blocks in recent years. You will recognise all (or at least most) or them. And, deep down, you'll probably wish that you could own one or two...
#10 Mr Spock's iconic pointy ears (bought for $3,000)
You'll see as you read on that collectibles can bring massive prices at auction. What's more, they tend to continue gaining value as they get older. But you don't need to spend mega bucks to be a true Fanboy. Take a look at this "entry-level sci-fi investment" for example...
Earlier this year, collectors had a chance to go boldly where no collectors have gone before at Propworx/CBS's online auction of props from the original Star Trek series.
Highlights included a prop "computer screen" from the bridge of the original 1960s Enterprise. Bringing in bids from around the world, it eventually sold for $14,000. (You can see the screen in the original series episode, Errand of Mercy.)
And, of course, no Star Trek auction would be complete without an appearance from Mr Spock - or rather, his most recognisable attributes. An original pair of the Vulcan science officer's pointy ears, worn by Leonard Nimoy himself, sold for $3,000. Ben Stiller also owns a pair, apparently.
#9 HG Wells' original Time Machine (priced at $6,000)
Do you want to buy a piece of memorabilia attached to the real genius behind Hot Tub Time Machine? Then look no further than this original 1895 First Edition, First Issue of HG Wells' The Time Machine - one of the founding works of modern science fiction.
Wells' masterpiece actually began life as the Chronic Argonauts, an early version published in the Science Schools Journal in 1888. While critics gave the story a lukewarm response, likening it to a lesser Edgar Allen Poe, Wells persevered thanks to the encouragement of fellow author, WE Henley.
The story later re-emerged as a series of newspaper articles. Finally, in 1895, Wells's haunting tale The Time Machine appeared in book form. "It's my trump card," wrote Wells to a friend. "If it does not come off very much I shall know my place for the rest of my career."
It was a heck of a trump card. The book not only introduced the term "Time Machine" into popular usage, it also cemented Wells' reputation as The Father of Science Fiction. This London First Edition is the definitive article - and is currently for sale at Manhattan's Rare Book Company for $6,000.
#8 The iconic TARDIS from Doctor Who (bought for $16,642)
If enyone's enjoyed a career resurgence to rival Mickey Rourke's in recent years, then it's the Doctor. After Doctor Who was cancelled by the BBC in 1989, it appeared that everyone's favourite Timelord had departed to another galaxy, never to return.
That is, until 2004, when a brand new Doctor blasted onto the small screen, this time played by respected Thesp' Christopher Eccleston. The show once again became essential prime time viewing - and it wasn't long until the big auction sales followed.
Among them was the auctioning of the Doctor's most famous gadget (alongside his Sonic Screwdriver): the TARDIS. Otherwise known as Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, the ship used by Eccleston's Ninth Doctor to travel through time and space appeared at Bonhams earlier this year.
Famously bigger on the inside than it is the outside the TARDIS eventually sold for £10,800 ($16,642) - although it isn't known if the buyer used it to get home afterwards. Also auctioned were two Daleks, the Doctor's arch nemesis, from 1960s episodes for £4,800 ($7,368) each.
#7 Rare French comic art from The Nikopol Trilogy (bought for $32,210)
Paris auction house, Artcurial, described it as a "unique event" when these pages went under the hammer. The revered Nikopol Trilogy was the brainchild of Yugoslavia-born Enki Bilal and took the cartoonist, writer and filmmaker more than a decade to complete.
The Trilogy follows the story of Alcide Nikopol. She returns to France after a 30 year cryogenic exile to find it under Fascist rule following two nuclear wars. The comic appeared only a few years after director Ridley Scott's groundbreaking use of a female hero in 1979's Alien.
Today, the epic work has a very special place in the hearts of lovers of French comic art. Crowds of fans, collectors and investors clamoured for the opportunity to own 32 outstanding works by Bilal at Artcurial earlier this year.
Highlights in the Paris sale included a striking 1980 artwork drawn for the Trilogy by Edwin Charles Tubb. It sold for €25,000 ($32,210) above its €17,000 ($21,671) pre-sale estimate. Another Bilal artwork, from 1994's Blue Blood, sold for an incredible €177,000 ($225,631) - a World Record price for the artist.
#6 The DHARMA Initiative van driven by Hurley in Lost (bought for $47,500)
No Fanboy ever gets over the end of their favourite show. But special sympathy has to go out to Lost fans.
After six seasons of devout Fanboydom, it looks like some of those questions will never be answered - like 'What did those mysterious hieroglyphics mean?', 'Who built the four-toed statue?' and 'Who dropped the food supplies for the plane crash survivors?'
They could probably only feel any worse if they'd been dumped by Evangeline Lily. Nevertheless, the show's fans were given an opportunity for once last hurrah at a two-day Santa Monica auction of Lost memorabilia last August.
An original 1927 Metropolis poster,
Everything from the show was auctioned, with vehicles, props and manuscripts helping to net $1.8 million in total sales. Highlights from the 1,200 items included the Dharma Initiative van driven by Hurley (sold for $47,500) and the impressively detailed diary of scientist Daniel Faraday ($27,500).
Especially lucky was the bidder who won Sawyer's costume from the pilot episode for a "bargain basement price." Whether Lost will be remembered in future years like The Twilight Zone is today remains to be seen, but that costume could turn out to be a great investment.
#5 Original poster for Fritz Lang's 1927 epic, Metropolis (bought for $47,800)
Who'd have guessed that Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is a big sci-fi fan? In March of this year, Hammett was 'outed' when a treasured gem from his collection, an extremely rare movie poster for Fritz Lang's groundbreaking sci-fi classic Metropolis, was auction in Dallas.
It's unbelievable to think now, but Lang's masterpiece wasn't well-liked by American audiences upon its original release in 1927. After confusing US theatre crowds, massive edits were made to the film - essentially cutting its heart out.
But, fast-forward some 90 years and Metropolis's legacy as the standard-setter for all epic science fiction movies is well-established. Original release posters for the film are among the rarest of the rare, and are especially treasured by collectors.
Fortunately, Hammett's need to clear some wall space gave bidders a once-in-a-lifetime chance to own a piece of sci-fi history. An original poster sold for $47,800. Also among the guitar god's treasures was a Swedish poster from 1933's King Kong which realised $28,680.
Then and now: Balok's effigy as it appeared in the closing credits
#4 "Balok" puppet head from Star Trek: The Original Series (bought for $70,000)
It's most recognised as the creepy bug-eyed alien which appeared in the closing credits of Star Trek: The Original Series' each week. But this "Balok" puppet head first appeared in the classic first season episode, The Corbomite Maneuvre, terrifying the crew of the Enterprise.
The 16-inches-tall polyurethane foam head was designed by legendary sculptor/artist Wah Ming Chang. His other Star Trek creations included the crew's iconic communicators, whose designs later inspired modern flip-type cell phones.
Three electrical wires protrude from the alien's neck, presumably to control its eye movements, with a cable to move its mouth. The head had seen better days when it auctioned in California, last June, but still offered bidding Fanboys a perfect opportunity to scare their friends.
Estimated at $20,000-30,000, the head remains one of Star Trek's most popular symbols. It did much to popularise the way people imagine aliens with its small chip and almond-shaped eyes, and was even honoured with its own brief parody in The Simpsons.
The "Balok" puppet sold for a final price of $70,000.
#3 Your own Knight Rider 'KITT' Pontiac car (bought for $100,000)
When KITT (or Knight Industries Two Thousand) first burst onto television screens in 1982, "his" fictional value was estimated at a whopping $11.5 million. Fortunately, in 2010, you won't need that much money to own the 1982 Pontiac Firebird driven by the leather-jacketed David Hasselhoff.
A number of KITTs were actually used in the shows product, with some smashed-up in stunts. But various surviving models have appeared at auction in recent years - with one selling for $100,000 in 2006. The very first KITT, meanwhile, can be viewed at Universal Studios.
But would a true Fanboy settle for just a 'normal' KITT? Heck no. Especially when the "Super Pursuit Mode" version appears on the market. Introduced in the show's 1984 third season, the "Super Pursuit" version of KITT was 40% speedier, with retractable airfoils and jet boosters.
A "Super Pursuit Mode" version of KITT sold for a relative bargain price on eBay, in 2007, with bids creeping up to $30,000. And, although the car doesn't talk and isn't bullet proof, it still has all those futuristic shiny dashboard buttons to play with.
#2 Rick Deckard's Blade Runner blaster gun (bought for $225,000)
According to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, it's only another nine years until Los Angeles is overrun with murderous rogue robots, called Replicants. But at least one Fanboy will be preparing after winning the actual blaster gun used by Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) at a 2009 auction.
While a few rubber stunt guns have surfaced on the market, this particular "Hero blaster" was thought to have been lost for decades. That is, until it emerged after 25 years from the collection of Jeff Walker, a Hollywood marketing specialist who'd bought it from the film's production company.
The prop was originally built by melding together two firearms: a Steyr-Mannlicher Model .222 SL receiver and a Carter Arms .44 police bulldog double-action revolver. Futuristic illuminating red and green LEDs were then added as a final touch.
Deckard's blaster appeared in Profiles in History's Hollywood auction with its fair share of hype, billed as "one of the single most important weapons in Science Fiction history" and estimated at $100,000-500,000. In the end, the gun blasted to $225,000.
Piloted by highly-trained experts: a Galactic Empire TIE Fighter
#1 The TIE Fighter that really upset Darth Vader (bought for $350,000)
If there's one Galactic Empire pilot in the Star Wars universe who doesn't get enough credit, it's the guy who accidentally bumps his TIE Fighter into Darth Vader's in Episode VI. In doing so, he knocks Vader out of the trench and allows Luke Skywalker to destroy the Death Star.
Grant McCune, head of the film's model shop, built just four TIE Fighter models for the production of Star Wars: A New Hope. Little did he know that this model, built from resin around a aluminium frame, would one day become one of the most famous fighter ships in cinema history.
Sold at a Hollywood auction in 2008 from the collection of Academy Award-winning Visual Effects wizard, Richard Edlund, this TIE Fighter appears in various scenes of the film - both in its 'pristine' original state, and later with its damaged wing after colliding with Vader.
Fanboys scrambled for the opportunity to own this model when it auctioned estimated at a $150,000-$200,000, sold with camera shoot reports from 1976 detailing its scenes. Not surprisingly, this singular piece of Star Wars history tops our list after shooting all the way to $350,000.
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