This page is intended for new readers of the blog, with a summary of key articles and resources.
The following can be used as reference in framing the content of the blog with a recommended sequence for reading.
As seen at the top of each page, here are the basics:
About (The Original Prop Blog) – This is an overview about the objectives of the Original Prop Blog and Terms of Service and Notices for the site. Also included is information about the Original Prop Community, the Original Prop Directory, and more.
Contact – How to get in touch with me by e-mail or phone.
Lexicon – This is a listing of terms and definitions specific to the Original Prop Hobby.
Blog – This is a linear presentation of all articles, all categories, newest at top, akin to the “1.0” version of the site.
Directory – The “white pages” listing service for participants in the hobby.
Archive – A top-level presentation of all articles by page, month, category, or post.
Links – This is a comprehensive listing of original prop related websites. Please note that inclusion on the list is not an endorsement of the site, the content, their products, and/or their services. As a for instance, there are retailers included that I, personally, would never transact with, for a variety of reasons.
Movie Guns – This is a pictorial showcase of many pieces in my current personal collection (not assets of Original Prop Blog, LLC).
Press – A listing of mainstream media reports in which the Original Prop Blog is part of the story or was used as a source.
Editorials & Feature Articles – These contributions are entirely subjective. The articles are intended to provide opinion, share information, and in some cases, provoke action. Many are philosophical in nature, about issues and topics related to the hobby. Also included are Feature Articles, such as interviews with people who have an impact on the hobby and insights into their own opinions and views.
News & Events: Past, Current, Future – Comments and/or notifications and reports about past, current, and future events and newsworthy anecdotes related to the hobby.
Hobby Care & Resources – Articles and information provided with the explicit intent of serving as a resource for ideas about display, care, preservation, and other considerations.
Market Watch – Questions and observations about current offerings in the marketplace. Intended to open a dialogue about current public prop offerings in the marketplace to better determine authenticity as well examine trends and other issues.
Reviews: Books, Websites, etc. – An ongoing series of hobby-related reviews that might be of interest to original prop collectors. This includes websites, books, and other resources.
Special Interest – This category includes a variety of sub-categories for easy reference, by film/television production, prop type, etc.
Recommended Articles List & Overview
The following are the key foundational articles on the OPB, listed in intended reading sequence:
The Hobby Without a Name – An article about the lack of consistency in what collectors even call the hobby, which is also reflective of the fact that it is a young hobby with much growth ahead – growth that we can all help to shape in our own ways.
What is “Original”? – A short article with the specific parameters and tests which determine what props are “original”.
Original Prop Provenance and Authenticity, Part I – An overview and summary of those elements to speak to authenticity.
Trend: “I Want to Believe” – An opinion piece about the unfortunate trend, widespread in the hobby, which manifests itself via some collectors and dealers inherent desire to “want to believe” in authenticity rather than vet the prop appropriately and with the tools and information at our disposal.
Fraud, Misrepresentation, Puffing – An overview of the difference and distinctions between these terms that are very relevant to the original prop marketplace.
Trend: The “Wigitization” of the Hobby – An opinion piece and analysis of the trend in which “studio resellers” move large quantities of product on behalf of studios, as well as a look at some of the implications and consequences of these business practices.
The Dirty Little Secret of the Hobby – A look into the practice and potential future consequences of post production pieces that are passed off as original.
The Red Flags of Authenticity – An examination of a variety of techniques and tactics used by the sellers of purportedly “original” items in order to bolster authenticity, supplant it, or manufacture it wholesale.
Buyer Precautions & Considerations, Part I: The Mechanics of the Deal – A discussion about simple precautions and safety measures that buyers can take to protect themselves in the process of acquiring original props.
Challenging the Hobby: The COA & The Guarantee – A comprehensive analysis of COAs and guarantees, including a dealer-by-dealer review of such policies as outlined on every major prop dealer’s website. Also, a discussion of issues raised by such policies and practices.
“Made for Production” Props – An analysis of issues and trends related to “made for production” props.
The Original Prop Purchase Checklist & Questionnaire – An extensive list of questions buyers can use when exploring the acquisition of a new original prop or wardrobe piece.
Authenticity & Burden of Proof – An opinion piece about differing perspectives and approaches in regards to which party it is incumbent upon to concretely establish authenticity of a prop – or to debunk it.
Instruments of Authenticity and Chain of Provenance – This article is a follow-up to other articles on the subject, summarizes some of the limitations of COAs, considers what kinds of documents can be drafted in support of the authenticity of a prop or costume, and outlines the notion of a “Chain of Provenance” leading back to the production.
Trends: Original Prop Pricing & Values, Selling Options – An opinion piece discussing the value of props, how pricing is determined, selling venues, and overall related trends in the hobby.
Auction House Buying Considerations, Part I: Overview – The first in a series of articles looking into specific terms and conditions of auction houses – followed by Part II, Part III.
eBay’s “Entertainment Memorabilia Buying Guide” & Original Prop Authentication – A look into eBay’s “Research Entertainment Memorabilia” guide and commentary about inherent the conflict of interest in many COAs in the marketplace – the predominant authentication device in the hobby.
Authenticity & Burden of Proof, Part II: Inauthentic Props – An opinion piece discussing my views that claims of inauthenticity should be proven just as is the case with authentic pieces; that props and wardrobe should be considered inconclusive until demonstrated to be one or the other.
The “Other” Dealer Issue: Communication & Good Will – An opinion piece about communication and good will, and how it relates to the dealer-collector relationships and transactions.
Anonymity, Transparency, & The “Real World” – A discussion about transparency and anonymity as it relates to the hobby and the online community.
Original Prop Marketplace Oversight – An opinion piece on the status of “oversight” in the hobby.
Trend: The “Hype Premium” – An article discussing how the status of a film in terms of popularity often has a significant impact on market value.
“Off The Shelf” and “Found” Props & Wardrobe – A discussion of what these props and costumes are and special considerations with regard to provenance and authenticity.
“Original Prop Purchase Agreement” Template – A template agreement for use between buyer and seller which addresses a number of considerations that often are not discussed prior to a transaction.
As this site is regularly updated with the objective of making this resource accessible to new readers and hobbyists.
Jason De Bord