I missed the broadcast, but if I can find the video on the Internet, I’ll post an update with the link.
While I can only speak to the print version of the story, it is somewhat typical of mainstream media coverage of the hobby – focused on price and value with no mention of the importance of authentication.
The print version of the story appears in it’s entirety at CBSNews.com (LINK):
Want An Oscar Of Your Own? Buy One!
Bill Geist Tours Some Movie Memorabilia Auction Houses To See What’s On The Block
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24, 2008
(CBS) Any Hollywood movie worth its salt deserves a second showing. And the same goes for the paraphernalia that went into it. Bill Geist can tell us all about that:
Oscar night is a veritable all-you-can-ogle smorgasboard for the celebrity gluttons we’ve all become.
But these days fans not only want to see the stars, they want to possess a piece of the magic.
The burgeoning Hollywood memorabilia market ranges from Oscars for sale to famous film cars, sold at places like the Barrett Jackson auction. There’s memorabilia from the sublime (a royal chair from “The Ten Commandments”) to … well, the sublime, at least in fans’ eyes. Hey, it’s Cher’s pillow, we’re talking about here!
Costumes from Johnny Depp’s “Don Juan de Marco” get-up to Halle Berry’s leather Storm costume from “X-Men,” cape and all.
Yes, Halle Berry was in this!
There’s also Michael Keaton’s full head-to-toe costume from the “Batman” movies. Brian Chanes, of Profiles in History, an auction house that sells thousands of these items every year, expects it to fetch $60-80,000.
There you can find treasures from hot new films to the classics. Charles Middelton’s Ming the Merciless costume from the Buster Crabbe “Flash Gordon” – you may recognize it with the collar flipped up – is $40,000 to $60,000.
Then there’s the original “King Kong” poster, one of three known to exist. “And this one is in by far the best condition,” said Chanes. “We expect it to sell between $200,000 and $250,000.”
The Cowardly Lion costume from “The Wizard of Oz” sold here for $805,000.
Fans also want the props. A phaser from “Star Trek III” that William Shatner actually held can be yours.
There’s a puppet of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor, used in “Terminator 3.”
Fans want all creatures great and … greater, like this life-size dinosaur from “Jurrasic Park 3.”
But what do they do with such things? They’re hard to blend into your home décor.
I asked Chanes why do people want this stuff?
“They want it ’cause it reminds them of the way they felt when they saw the film for the first time. They remember their childhood and the happy feelings. It takes them to a happy place. Not to sound corny, but I think that’s what it is.”
Jerilyn Brown manages the Star Wares store in Agoura Hills, Calif., carrying celebrity memorabilia (Hollywood and otherwise).
She has on sale a pair of Britney Spears’ sunglasses. “We’re asking $1,500,” she said.
I asked how much the Tom Cruise sunglasses were.
“We’re asking $400 for those,” Brown said. “I’m sorry – $4,000.”
You can grab a hold of Farah Fawcett’s jeans, Carmen Electra’s underwear, and a Wonder Woman outfit worn by Cher. (The store is very Cher-oriented.)
“We’re getting into our Cher section here,” Brown said during our tour. “These are all clothes that come directly from Cher’s home, they’re from her personal wardrobe. And residing all above is Barbra Stresiand’s things, the whole way.
“These women know how to shop!” she said.
There’s a topcoat worn by Austin Powers … probably for days you’re out of the office.
You’ll find Elton John’s band hat, a terra cotta urn from the Beverly Hills house of Elvis, and a series of cards that belonged to Liberace. “His Gemco card, which was the predecessor to Costco.”
Liberace shopped at Costco?
There’s even a “Baywatch” lifeguard rescue station autographed by David Hasselhoff.
At the opposite end of the celebrity memorabilia spectrum, how about a prestigious award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? They do actually auction these babies off, at least the very old ones.
The very first Irving Thalberg award presented to producer Daryl Zanuck in 1937 is available at $150,000 and up.
Dave Weisman, executive director of the Dax Foundation announced last year that they would be selling the Academy Award won by Orson Welles for writing “Citizen Kane,” which had come to them from the Welles Estate.
“We announced in October that the Dax Foundation was going to be selling it and immediately thereafter our office was inundated with good and bad e-mails. Some people loved the idea. Some people hated the idea. Some people thought it was rank commercialism.”
The Academy has had a very longstanding tradition of opposing the sales of Academy Awards primarily because they don’t view it as an item of commercial property.
Welles’ “Citizen Kane” Oscar was valued at about a million dollars.
But Oscars won after 1950 cannot legally be sold until they are offered back first to the Academy – for a dollar.
I asked if there was a black market for more recent Academy Awards. “In fact I was approached about a year ago,” Weisman said. “Someone wanted to sell me one from a movie that happened to win Best Picture in 1962.”
Gee, I was hoping to take home the ultimate souvenir – but alas all I could afford were these “Forrest Gump” socks. Thirty bucks.
Jason De Bord