How the 'Hollywood Effect' can significantly increase memorabilia prices

Do you remember the film Brewster's Millions?

Richard Pryor played a minor league baseball player who has to spend $30m in 30 days without acquiring anything of material value. If he succeeds he stands to inherit $300m.

His final purchase is a rare postage stamp. The famous Inverted Jenny. He puts it on an envelope and posts it to the lawyers accounting for his receipts to prove he's spent the $30m.

The fact is the Inverted Jenny wasn't that famous prior to the film.

Sure, it was well known to serious philatelists, but ask Joe Public and they wouldn't have known what it was.

The film changed all that. Millions of movie goers were now interested in the stamp.

Movies tend to have that effect with collectibles...

Here's another example...

Eightbottles of whisky retrieved from a ship wreck off the coast of Eriskay in Scotland sold for £4,000 at an auction in 1987.

Another bottle from the same ship wreck is now heading to auction with an estimate of £1,800.

The reason the bottles are valued so highly?

They're from the famous 'Whisky Galore' ship, the SS Politician that sunk in 1941.

In 1947 the Scottish author, Compton MacKenzie wrote a novel, Whisky Galore, based on the incident which, two years later, was turned into a successful comedy film.

The film Zulu was the same...

Zulu is a 1964 historical war film depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879.

One hundred and thirty-nine British soldiers successfully defended their garrison against an intense assault by three to four thousand Zulu warriors.

Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders, along with a number of other decorations and honours. The most ever received in a single action by one regiment

The film has helped the Victoria Crosses awarded at Rorke's Drift to become the most sought after medals.

National Treasure, a 2004 Hollywood blockbuster starring Nicolas Cage, focused heavily on the secrets written on the reverse of the Declaration of Independence held at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

The prices of the existing copies of the Declaration of Independence increased at auction following the release of the film.

Likewise Titanic memorabilia was in the news following the success of the 1997 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.  

Prices have risen constantly since.

I guess Hollywood films reawaken people's feelings and emotions and make them realise the importance of the memorabilia relating to these historic events.

And when film fans delve into the memorabilia that is available they are often amazed at what they can find, and quite often they are incredulous that these items aren't already locked away in a Museum somewhere. I was the same, the first time I handled a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

That's when the collecting bug kicks in, and the market really starts to move.

How this can work for you...

So our advice is to look to Hollywood if you want to collect items that are all but guaranteed to increase in value.

There's a Hollywood film in the making about Margaret Thatcher - Meryl Streep is set to star as the iron lady.

The recent film Amelia, a look at the life of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, has led to increased interest in her aviation memorabilia.

There are also two Harry Potter films due to be released in the next 12 months. Author JK Rowling's signature is already up 204% in the last 10 years.

Collectibles relating to Hollywood movies have a habit of rising in value so it's worth considering investing now.




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