Tag Archives: Dracula

Top 10 Most Valuable Movie Monster Props

Top 10 Most Valuable Monster Movie Props & Costumes Ever Sold at Auction
Ghostbusters Terror Dog Movie Prop

We love our movie monsters and we love collecting them in al their forms.  From creatures from outer space to beasts from the ocean depths, movie makers have spent decades creating monsters to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Here we take a look at ten of the most fearsome – and valuable – screen monsters to ever cross the auction block.

10) Brain Gremlin Puppet

Brain Gremlin Puppet

Joe Dante followed his hit 1984 horror comedy Gremlins with an anarchistic sequel featuring numerous parodies, slapstick, Chuck Jones animation and fourth-wall breaking humour. A screen-used animatronic puppet for the ‘Brain’ gremlin – given intelligence by a super-potion and voiced by Tony Randall – sold at Profiles in History in 2008 for $13,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

Related: Most Valuable Monster Movie Puppets

9) Ghostbusters Terror Dog

Ghostbusters Terror Dog Movie Prop

Despite featuring a host of less-than-scary spooks such as Slimer and the Marshmallow Man, Ghostbusters does feature two truly memorable monsters – the terror dogs. A stop-motion puppet, used as the demon alter-ego for Sigourney Weaver (“The nice lady who paid us in advance before she became a dog”) sold at profiles in History in 2008 for $13,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

8) Bruce the Shark Jaws 

Bruce the Shark from Jaws

Despite its status as a cinema classic, Jaws almost never made it to the screen. During production the mechanical sharks failed to work, or looked ridiculous, hugely delaying the shoot to the point the studio almost pulled the plug. Spielberg was forced to show the shark – nicknamed Bruce by the crew – as little as possible, which actually improved the film. An original 4ft prop shark used for close-up scenes sold for £16,675 at Christie’s in 1996. (Image: Christie’s)

 Related: Collecting Jaws Memorabilia

7) Bat-Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bram Stoker's Dracula Bat Movie Prop

Despite featuring some of the worst English accents in cinema history, Bram Stoker’s Dracula also provides one of the most intense performances as Gary Oldman inhabits the Count in Oscar-winning effects make-up. One of the most terrifying scenes features Dracula transformed into a gigantic bat, and the original suit and mask worn during the scene brought $30,000 at Profiles in History in 2011. (Image: Profiles in History)

 Related: Collecting Dracula

6) Creature from the Black Lagoon Mask

Creature from the Black Lagoon Mask

Man-in-a-suit monsters don’t come much more famous than the Creature from the Black Lagoon, who first appeared on the silver screen in 1954. He resurfaced again in 1955, in Revenge of the Creature, in which he fell in love with Lori Nelson, although their relationship ended in a hail of bullets. The original screen-worn mask from the film sold for $70,000 at Profiles in History in 2009. (Image: Profiles in History)

Related: Creature from the Black Lagoon Collectibles

5) Predator Suit 

Predator Suit

Stan Winston created the now-iconic design for the Predator whilst on a plane ride with director James Cameron, after Cameron commented he’d like to see a creature with mandibles. The 1986 film went on to spawn a franchise, starting with Predator II in 1990, and a full screen-worn mask and suit from the sequel brought $80,000 at Profiles in History in 2010.(Image: Profiles in History)

4) Starship Troopers Warrior Bug Puppet

Starship Troopers Bug Puppet

Paul Verhoeven’s satirical sci-fi classic features a wide range of monsters in the shape of gigantic alien bugs. Created using a mix of CGI and practical effects, the film earned an effects Oscar nomination in 1998 but was defeated by the all-conquering Titanic. A 72” tall screen-used warrior bug puppet sold at Profiles in History in 2012 for $85,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

 

3) Jurassic Park T-Rex Head

Jurassic Park T Rex Prop

Spielberg’s Jurassic Park may have featured some of the greatest CGI ever seen on film, but it also included practical dinosaurs made by effects maestro Stan Winston – for which he won an Oscar in 1994. An enormous, life-sized animatronic T-Rex head from the film sold for $110,000 at Profiles in History in 2007. (Image: Profiles in History)

 

2) Xenomorph Alien Suit

Xenomorph Alien Suit

One of the most famous movie monsters in cinema history, the creature from Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic was created by Swiss artist H.R Giger who also helped design the look of the film. Giger won an Oscar for his work, and the Xenomorph went on to become a true icon of horror. The original screen-worn suit from the film sold at Profiles in History in 2007 for $110,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

 

1) King Kong Armature

King Kong 1933 Armature

The most famous movie monster of them all, King Kong captured the imagination of movie goers when he roared to life in 1933. The film featured state-of-the-art stop-motion effects by Willis O’Brien, with three Kong models built from mechanical frames, foam and rabbit fur. One of the original 22” armature skeletons – used during the climactic scene on top of the Empire State Building – sold at Christie’s in 2009 for a record £121,500. (Image: Christie’s)  Another  armature skeleton resides in the monstrous collection of Bob Burns

This article is provided courtesy of Picollecta.com – read the original article on their site
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Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

Classic Movie Posters Gallery

Dracula Has Risen From the Grave 1968 One-Sheet

 

Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (Hammer; 1968) 27″x 41″ One-Sheet

This week’s entry in our Classic Movie Posters Gallery, we pay tribute to Christopher Lee in one of his many iconic roles, Count Dracula.  I admit, my original intent was to feature a classic movie poster with Mr. Lee actually on it but I was, shall we say, attracted to this unique poster from the 1968 Hammer Film.

The combination of cheeky humor and magnetic sexuality is perfectly aligned with where Hammer‘s films were at this time.  The black and white photograph with the bright pink band aids and the word (Obviously) beneath the film title aren’t consistent with how dark this horror movie is, but fit right into a cynical period in our culture.

When you look at other posters of the period, this one truly stands out…and not just for the obvious reasons.  It’s singular image differentiates it at a time when posters were still usually montage of characters and scenes from the movie.  And, yes, its use of skin was also quite unique for its time.  I can picture it on a theater marquee causing quite a stir alongside the other more traditionally style posters of the time.

Christopher Lee added an animalistic sensuality to his performance of Dracula and Hammer certainly pushed boundaries in their movies, combining horror and sex in a way not seen in mainstream movies before.

Collector Value

This poster is highly collectible but not terribly expensive.  A F/VF 7.0 unrestored copy sold last year on Heritage Auctions for $143. Current listings on eBay start at $249 for VF copy.  Not sure I could convince my wife to let me hang this one in our family room, though. At least, not until our son has gotten through puberty…

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FUNKO REACTION UNIVERSAL MONSTERS – RONDO AWARDS 2015 BEST TOY NOMINEE

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 10

Funko ReAction Universal Monsters Collection

This is the final installment in my review of the 2014 nominees for the Best Toy, Model, Collectible category of the Rondo Hatton Horror Awards and we finish with the most classic of all monsters –the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters.Funko ReAction Universal Monsters

In 2013,  Funko and  Super 7 partnered to bring Kenner’s unreleased 1979 Alien prototypes to market.  It wasn’t long afterwards that Funko announced a full “ReAction” line of retro 3 ¾” action figures based on characters from 1980’s cult, sci-fi and horror cinema: Escape From New YorkBack to the FutureTerminator, a Rocketeer figure, iconic horror villains as well as the Universal Monsters.  These news collections were designed as an homage to classic Kenner Star Wars action figures of the 1970s and early 80s.

Controversy

The retro style has been a bit controversial as these figures have been panned by some for the lack of detailed likeness to the actors/character.  Funko even extended that feeling of “vintage-ness” through the packaging, which is the same size as the original Kenner packaging from the late ’70s /early ’80s. This has also met with some push-back by collectors who find the side-panel style packaging a challenge to display.

Reis O’Brien, Funko’s head designer of the ReAction line, explained the design inspiration for these figures in this quote from the FunkoFanatic Reaction Forum:

We did originally look towards the first run of Kenner Star Wars figures for inspiration, especially when we first got started, so that’s why you’ll see that our Terminator and Snake Plissken sort or mimic that “softness”, but as we went on, things got a little more detailed, a little closer to ROTJ figures, which you’ll see in the Universal Monsters and Horror lines. Basically, we think there’s a sweet spot somewhere in there that we keep trying to hit. But Kenner remains our main inspiration as opposed to, say, Remco or Mego. But they have their charm, too.

I buy that logic fully and think that they nailed the retro styling of the characters.  I particularly like the packaging, though finding them in pristine condition on store pegs has also been a frustration for collectors.

Funko ReAction-Universal Monsters Packaging Back of Card

There are a lot of great reviews on these figures already published and, frankly, from folks with greater expertise then me.  For your reading please, here’s a great review from one of my go-to resources for collectible toys,  Brian Heller at Plaid Stallions.

Here’s the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters collection, in order of theatrical appearance:

Funko ReAction Phantom of the Opera

Funky ReAction Phantom of the Opera

from The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Funko ReAction Dracula

Funko ReAction Dracula

from Dracula (1931)

Funko ReAction Frankenstein's MonsterFunko ReAction Frankenstein’s Monster

from Frankenstein (1931)

Funko ReAction The Mummy

Funko ReAction The Mummy

from The Mummy (1932)

Funko ReAction The Invisible Man

Funko ReAction Invisible Man

from The Invisible Man (1933)

Funko ReAction Bride of Frankenstein

Funko ReAction Bride of Frankenstein

from The Bride of Frankenstein (1932)

Funko ReAction Wolf Man Funko ReAction Wolf Man

from The Wolf Man (1941)

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

from The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Product Details

  • 3 ¾” action figures
  • Five points of articulation
  • bubble photo card
  • MSRP: $9.99 each

Chase Variants

Like all variants, forced scarcity is either the bane or the blessing of the completist collector.  The glow variants  were limited to one figure per every six cases and the clear Invisible Man was an Entertainment Earth exclusive.

Funko ReAction Glow VariantFunky ReAction Mummy Glow in the Dark

Funko Reaction Invisible Man Transparent

Funko ReAction  Invisible Man Transparent Variant

Available on Amazon

 

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

Creature from the Black Lagoon Glow Variant

available on Amazon

Reaction Universal Monsters SDCC 2017 Glow Set

 

Universal Monsters 2017 SDCC Glow Set

available on Amazon


Where to Buy Funko ReAction Universal Monsters Collection

These figures are available near and far, so the real goal is finding them at the best price.  They have been in the market long enough that they are widely available on secondary resale sites like eBay, but prices have increase because they are still available at retail prices in most stores.  This makes it a buyers market for these figures.

EntertainmentEarth

Amazon offers a full set of figures:

  •  8 figure set includes Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Phantom of the Opera, Bride of Frankenstein, and the Invisible Man
  • Numerous sellers competing on price, with lowest being $75.48 shipping included ($9.44 per figure) See all Amazon listings here.

EBay

Good availability of the Mummy Glow-in-the-Dark Variant starting at $14.99

Best Price I’ve found on the Clear Invisible Man Variant — listed at $9.99 with 7 in stock

Lots of Glow Creature variant figures as well, starting at $19.99

Summary

While I appreciate that modern toy collectors have gotten used to incredible like-like sculpts, the fact that this line is inspired by 1970’s and 80’s toys is central to the design style.  My Han Solo figure from Kenner didn’t really look like Harrison Ford in 1978 and I didn’t care; I loved it completely and totally.

I think the ReACTION line would have missed the mark if the figures were too realistic.  They certainly wouldn’t have been as retro, so I’m fine with the less-then-realistic sculpts.  In short, I think Funko nailed these figures.

My favorites are pretty much in line with my favorite monsters; The Creature and The Wolf Man were the two “must-own” figures for me.  I was surprised by how much I liked the Invisible Man too.  So far, those are the only three I’ve purchased, but this review has me re-considering the variants, at lease for the Gillman and Invisible Man.

These are priced really well.  So well, in fact, that I got my kids a couple of the figures to open and —gasp– actually play with!

As a child of the 1970’s, who owned the original Kenner Star Wars figures, these bring back waves and waves of nostalgia.  As an adult  vintage monster toy collector, I love how these figures fit right into my collection.  I don’t tend to buy many modern monster toys or collectibles, simply because I focus my limited collecting budget on high-grade vintage pieces.

So thumbs up on the figures from me all the way around–design, price, packaging — Funko nailed it.  And with the recent announcement of the ReAction Jaws and ReAction Gremlins series, looks like we’ve got lots to look forward to from Funko ReAction.

Let me know your thoughts– do you like the retro style of the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters line or do you prefer the more sophisticated style of modern collectibles?

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Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Dracula’s Daughter

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Welcome to my new series focused on collecting vintage movie posters. Film posters are one of the most interesting collectible category to me personally as they are truly works of pop art and, in many cases, better than the films themselves!

Every week, I’ll feature a classic movie poster from a vintage horror, retro science fiction or classic fantasy movie. You’ll see the most iconic posters as well as the forgotten and bizarre from throughout the history of movies.


 

So without further ado, I give you Dracula’s Daughter (click to image enlarge)

Dracula's Daughter RealArt One Sheet 1949
Dracula’s Daughter (Realart, R-1949). One Sheet (27″ X 41″).

Gloria Holden “Gives you that weird feeling,” as she peers out hungrily from behind the blood and bat laden title on this fabulous one sheet.  This is the one sheet for the 1949 re-release of this classic picture and it has an over-the-top pop art sensibility that appeals to the comic book fan in me.  Plus, what’s not to love about the tag line, “She gives you that Weird Feeling.”  I can just imagine the 13 year boys in 1949 seeing this poster and having all kind of weird feelings, which is pretty much the only kind of feelings 13 year olds have.

Dracula’s Daughter was released this week in 1936 and is a direct sequel to Browning’s Dracula.  The success of Bride of Frankenstein led Universal to green light this sequel and, while not as well known as other classic monster equals, is a favorite of mine.


I Found a framed giclee print  for $9.95 @ Etsy

 

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Collecting Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bram Stoker Dracula Stamps Ireland

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:

Signed First Edition of Dracula by Bram Stoker offered by London Auction House in 2014
Signed First Edition of Dracula by Bram Stoker offered by London Auction House in 2014

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:

I quick search for Antique Vintage 19th Century Bram Stoker’s Dracula on Amazon turned up a range of antique editions of Dracula ranging in price from $89.99 to $300.

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!

 

Movie Poster for Universal Studios 1931 Dracula
Movie Poster for Universal Studios 1931 Dracula

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Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Classic Monsters

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.

Related:

 

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