Revealing our Top Five... Collectible icons of 1980s cinema



"Is Back to the Future 4 about to be made?" queried one website excitedly, 21 years after the popular timetravel movie franchise's last sequel was released.

The internet has been abuzz over the last 24 hours following the appearance of a "mysterious" video starring Back To The Future's Doc Emmett Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) and his legendary DeLorean DMC-12 car time machine.

The video shows the DeLorean materialise behind an attractive Argentinian couple, before it crashes into a Garbarino storefront. The Doc then emerges from the car to exclaim his catchphrase: "Great Scott! What year is this? 2011?!"

It wasn't long before the video was confirmed as being an advert - possibly the first in a series - for Garbarino, an Argentinian electronics retailer. Nevertheless, by then it had already gone viral on the internet.

Simply seeing the Doc and his DeLorean together has been enough to excite most people. After all, despite having not been seen onscreen since 1990, both are among the most enduring icons of 20th century science-fiction.

This got us thinking in the Paul Fraser Collectibles office: which other 1980s film icons are still as popular as ever, despite having not been on screen for years... even decades? And how well are these icons doing in the collectibles markets?

Here are our Top Five...

#5  A screen-used hero aerial Hunter/Killer drone from The Terminator

Today, aerial robotic drones are the stuff of controversial war news stories. But back in 1984, when Orion pictures' The Terminator was released, fearsome machines  like The Hunter Killer or "HK" were very much the stuff of science fiction.

Designed as the simplest and most numerous of the various combat oriented Machines designed by SKYNET to wipe out the human race, this Aerial Hunter/Killer was built by Gene Warren Jr and his crew at Fantasy II Film Effects for the movie's "Future War" sequences.

When audience's flocked to see the abysmal 2009 sequel Terminator: Salvation, it was the memories of those 1984 Future War sequences and this 43 inches long x 27 inches wide steel, aluminum and fiberglass which drove them there - such is the Hunter Killer's strong legacy.

It sold for $55,000 over its $50,000 estimate in California, back in 2009.

#4 Harrison Ford's "Indiana Jones" Bullwhip

A film who's status as an '80s favourite is blurred by its period setting, 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark remains a perennially adored classic by young and old cinema goers alike.

Among its most iconic pieces was this bullwhip, used by Harrison Ford as Indy to whip the adventurer's adversaries into shape. This whip also appeared in sequels Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

Measuring 2.69m long, this hand-made sixteen-plait bull-whip of kangaroo hide was formerly sold at Christie's in September 1999 and later auctioned by Guernsey's in 2008. There, it brought $57,500.

#3 Marty McFly's high-tech 're-sizing' jacket from Back to the Future Part Two

Not long after its cast - including stars Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd - appeared for a reunion and question and answer screening from the 25th anniversary of Back To The Future in Florida, memorabilia from the classic '80s movie was auctioned by Profiles in History.

Among the sale's highlights was this high-tech 're-sizing' jacket worn by McFly in the future, in the film's 1989 first sequel, when the character attempts to pass for a contemporary teenager in the year 2015.

In the film, the jacket 'shrinks' to fit Marty. In reality, Fox was surrounded by a team of special effects experts operating electrical wires (pictured above). In the end, the high-tech suit realised a final price of $88,720.

Meanwhile, another item of 'year 2015 clothing', a pair of self-lacing trainers brought £16,450.

#2 Star Wars Return of the Jedi C-3PO droid helmet

Thanks to their setting in "a galaxy far, far away...", the original Star Wars film trilogy remains timeless and it's strange to think that 'Jedi was first released in 1983.

Among the film's most iconic features was this gold vacuum-metalised fiberglass droid helmet with brass fitments worn by actor Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, the faithful protocol droid in the Star Wars universe.

Consigned by the property supervisor of the first three Star Wars films, Brian Lofthouse, this helmet - replete with a forward-mounted brass antenna on top, brass neck bolts and flexible plastic collar - sold for $100,000 at a Hollywood Profiles in History auction back in 2008.

#1 Rick Deckard's Blade Runner blaster gun

According to Ridley Scott's 1982 classic Blade Runner, we have less than eight 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.

Deckard's blaster appeared in Profiles in History's Hollywood auction billed as "one of the single most important weapons in Science Fiction history." It blasted to $225,000.


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