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Current location: News | Memorabilia


Our Top Five... Pieces of collectible Sci-Fi memorabilia

From blasted Star Wars fighters to a Blade Runner blaster gun, here are some of our favourites...

The TARDIS used by Christopher Eccleston's Doctor Who

#5 The iconic TARDIS from Doctor Who (bought for $16,642)

If anyone'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.


Fritz Lang's Metropolis

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 traverse 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 sold were two Daleks - the Doctor's arch nemesis - from the 1960s episodes, for £4,800 ($7,368) each.

#4 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.

#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" on-screen 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.


Deckard's gun from Blade Runner

But then why would a collector settle for just a normal KITT? 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 on eBay, in 2007, with bids creeping to a relatively bargain price of $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 collector will be prepared 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.


Fly carefully: 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.

Collectors 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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Last updated: 8 September 2010