Movie Theater ephemera are the most valuable and desired components of a King Kong 1933 collection. While original King Kong movie posters are some of the most expensive and valuable of all vintage movie posters, other memorabilia from this film are readily available on eBay and other auction sites are more reasonable prices.
Here are some of the more interesting auctions currently on eBay for King Kong 1933 Movie Memorabilia. I’ll keep this page updated with current auctions as well as report what ended auctions sold for. Hope it is useful and please let me know if you win any auctions!
Of all collectible categories, vintage movie posters have proven to be consistently the most valuable, or expensive, depending on your point of view. The scarcity of high-grade posters, which were made to be used for a brief period and then disposed of, combined with often spectacular artwork make vintage movie posters one of the most sought-after collectible categories. The horror genre is well represented in any “most valuable movie posters” list and King Kong posters are some of the most highly sought after.
Movie Posters come in a wide-variety of sizes and formats and were used to promote movies in theaters. The bigger the movie, the bigger the promotional effort and the more styles of posters produced. King Kong was as big as a movie got in 1933 and, as a result, we have a plethora of movie posters to collect.
I’ll use this blog to compile a complete list of 1933 original movie release poster styles as well as price guide values and recent auction prices. I plan to add more detailed information about collecting vintage movie posters – different poster styles and formats, storage and display of vintage movie posters and more. In the meantime, I’ve included some useful books in our Amazon store here for you to check out.
My First Monster Movie Begins A Lifelong Love Affair
It was the summer of 1970. Or maybe it was 1971. I was 4, maybe 5, years old. My little brother had just been born and my mom, like all parents of newborns with school-age siblings, was looking for anything and everything to get me out of the house and out of her hair. Enter summer movies at the public library and my first exposure to monster movies. Not just any monster movie, mind you. That was the summer I first saw King Kong.
My Origin Story
Now for a pre-schooler with a mad love for dinosaurs, this movie had me hooked from the start — adventure on a lost island full of prehistoric beasts. Throw a giant ape into the mix and have him fight the dinos and I was a goner! I can’t recall the other movies I saw that summer, which leads me to believe they were not monster movies. I’m sure I enjoyed them, but King Kong sticks in my memory like it was last week. It was exciting, full of adventure- and dinosaurs. It was a bit scary at times but it was also sad. Like every other kid, I felt bad for Kong and knew from the start he wasn’t really the bad guy. he was scared and probably home-sick. The bad guys were the men who captured him and exploited him to get rich. As a kid, adults control your world–parent, teachers, babysitters…and you can relate to getting in trouble because you’re out of your comfort zone, for not fitting in, for being scared and feeling alone.
For me, Kong was personal. I understood the plight of the monster. It was the first, but certainly not the last, time that I found myself rooting for the ‘monster’ and being sad when he, inevitably, would lose.
From Dinosaurs to Classic Monsters
I don’t know if that was the same day I discovered that they wrote books about movie monsters, but it wasn’t long after seeing Kong on the tiny library television that I was scouring the library for any and everything I could find about the monsters of the movies. And the 1970s were a time when kids books about classic movie monsters were plentiful.
Meeting the Classic Monsters
By the time school started that fall, I was well versed in the classics of Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Godzilla and the Wolf Man. In some cases, seeing these movies was still years away, but I checked those books out over and over again that summer–reading and re-reading the movie synopsis and memorizing every frightful picture. That was the summer I became a Monster Kid.
I’m sure my story isn’t unique for kids of the early ’70s or for generations before me. My wife remembers seeing King Kong at her local library as well. It must have been pretty common fare in those pre-Star Wars days of the early 1970s. For most kids it is a fond childhood memory. For monster kids, it changed everything and started us down the path of a lifelong love for fantastic creatures and worlds of the imagination. The public library was the gateway, but King Kong was the drug.
What is your Monster Kid origin story? How did King Kong effect you and when did you first see this iconic film?
Dracula is clearly one of the Big 5 famous monsters and considered the first of Universal Studio’s classic monster movies. Any classic monster collector has his or her share of Count Dracula merchandise and the Bela Lugosi vs Christopher Lee conversation never gets old.
But since today is St Patrick’s Day and I’m of Irish descent, we’re continuing the conversation of Dracula as an Irish export since his modern Count Dracula was created by Irish write, Bram Stoker. While many Dracula collectors focus on the vampire himself or the actors who have played the role over the years, what about collecting Bram Stoker? Turns out, this is not an inexpensive option, but fascinating in it’s own right. Dracula is one of the most famous books ever published, and it’s almost 120 years old. Collecting antique books has never been the most affordable of hobbies and is really more like investing than collecting. Stanley Gibbons, a London collectibles company, offered up a very rare First Edition of Dracula by Bram Stoker for a mere $184,000 in late 2014. Yep, you read that right.
Turns out this First Edition was high-grade, but more-importantly, it was signed by the author:
Pretty cool, but not going to be in my collection anytime soon.
I searched eBay in the Books: Antiquarian and Collectible category and turned up these current auctions of various first editions of Dracula these current auctions of various first editions of Dracula in the — variety of conditions and a wide spectrum of publishers to choose from, but all in all more affordable than the signed edition:
Of course, book collecting isn’t the most obvious category for collectors of classic monster merchandise — if you haven’t read Dracula by Bram Stoker, you owe it to yourself to do so — Dracula is beloved by Monster Kids of every age and the character continues to reverberate through pop culture. Just follow this link to download Bram Stoker’s Dracula to your Kindle and and settle in for a classic monster read by a great Irishman – sounds like a good St Paddy’s Day to this Irishman!
St Patrick’s Day Isn’t the Most Obvious Classic Monster Holiday
1906 Portrait of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula,
While Ireland and Halloween go hand-in-hand with the modern holiday’s roots tracing back to the ancient Celts harvest festival, Samhain, the connections to the patron saint of Ireland are more tenuous. Enter Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker; Irishman and author of Dracula, one of the most famous books ever published and, arguably, the most famous of all monsters.
Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847 and it is said that he grew up on a steady diet of his Mother’s stories of the supernatural. Ireland has a long history of fantastical and mystical creatures from leprechauns and banshees to it’s own vampire, the DeargDue. The Celts, whose traditions never disappeared from Irish culture, had hundreds of gods and an equal number of demons and monsters. Stoker grew up hearing these stories and they undoubtedly influenced his fascination for the macabre.
Dracula was published in May 1897 and, although it was critically well-received, it was not a bestseller. In fact, it wasn’t until after Stoker’s death in 1912 that his book would achieve commercial success. Stoker wrote a total of 18 books, including Lair of the White Worm, but it is his haunting tale of the vampire that has given him lasting fame.
For more about Bram Stoker, watch this video from Biography Channel (click to watch full screen)):
It’s fair to say that fans of classic monsters owe a debt of gratitude to Bram Stoker. So, while tipping a pint at the pub today in celebration of all things Irish, raise a pint to Bram Stoker and that famous monster of his, Count Dracula.
In the summer of 2014, my family visited the Minnesota History Center in St Paul. The museum has just kicked off an exhibit that I couldn’t wait to see called Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. As we worked our way through the excellent exhibit, we arrived at the 1970s room and there– right in the center of it all — was my childhood on display. An entire section dedicated to monsters and superheroes. Aurora model kits, Mego action figures and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. I was immediately transported back in time; transfixed and flooded with memories that I hadn’t consciously recalled for decades.
My family was patient — and I finally continued through the rest of the exhibit, only to find myself drifting back through the crowd to the monster display. I’d be inclined to blame it on a mid-life crisis given my age, but I’ve been an active comic book collector for most of my adult life, so my passion for childish things wasn’t new– my wife was more than aware of it when she married me. No, it was the monsters. As much as I love superheroes and comics, I had forgotten the monsters. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved monsters.
When I got home that afternoon, I tracked down the collector whose toys were featured in this exhibit, and it turns out they belong to fellow Minnesotan, Dave Barnhill. According to his bio on his website SuperMonsterCity.com, “David’s collection now includes more than 200,000 items, making this Minnesota-based collection one of the largest private toy collections in America. Containing rare and highly sought after items representing toy-makers and monster creators from across the US and several foreign countries, David co-founded SuperMonster市 City! because he is eager to share his joy in toys, monsters, superheroes and villains with the world. I highly encourage checking out his site, specifically his Monster Toy Gallery.
And that’s all it took– George the Monster Kid had risen from the grave and my love of classic monsters was alive, ALIVE!
The Digital Clubhouse for Monster Kids & Collectors of Classic Monster, Retro Science Fiction and Vintage Fantasy Memorabilia