30 December, 2011

The Poor Memorabilia Collector

For the longest of time movie props have been the ultimate memorabilia item for any self confessed geek. The thought of having a prop from one of the classics, showcased in a room in your house, for all those who visit to see, but not touch, probably gives you the same tingly feeling that I am getting writing about it. But, in this age of economic hardship that dream bubble takes only a few minutes to burst. And, if you have a spouse who is not a "geek", that's just extra work convincing him/her.

So, in a world where your geek-standards are measured by the volume of your collection, be it comics, movies, or memorabilia, it's not always necessary to go for the most exclusive and more expensive options. There are other cheaper memorabilia curios, which might not get you as much credit as say the official replica of the light saber, but nevertheless they help you have a more rounded and diverse collection.

Here’s my list of a few cheaper memorabilia options;

Postcards – They can mostly be found in movie theaters for free, but even if you have to buy them, they are rather cheap. Group them up together and frame them if you like, or just have a collection. Easy!

Posters – The bigger versions of a postcard, posters are once again easy to find. Spend some time on Twitter following movie production companies and you just might get lucky in getting one for free. A lot of independent cinemas give them out at the end of the year or have sales. Even if you have to buy a poster, they don't cost that much. Especially with the new trend of classic/retro/arty posters, they make for some great wall art and a topic of conversation.

Stamps – You’d be surprised by the number of stamps that are based on Film and TV. I believe most movie producing countries have cinema based stamps and they are a simple and easy way to get some movie memorabilia.

Bobble-heads – Who doesn’t like bobbleheads? They are small, cute, and bobbly (yeah I’m at the stage where I can start making words up). Normally I would have loved to have a huge collection of bobbleheads, but for the longest time I’ve just had the solitary Marvin the Martian one. Place it on the subwoofer when you are watching Transformers or Fast and the Furious and it’s fun to see them bobble every time there is an action scene. 

Fast Food Toys – Most big-budget movies now involve fast food joints as part of their extensive marketing campaigns. As a result, small toys become a part of their kids menu (usually). Now, in my case it helps, because my daughter is as excited as I am about the toys, and because she is just 4 she gets bored of them after a day, or they mysteriously disappear, only to be found much later in a corner of my home theater. Wonder who does that?

Novelty Items – Since films are such a popular medium of entertainment, everything that is even remotely linked to them (chocolates, popcorns, drinks) somehow get inspired and as a result novelty items like the two M&Ms watching a 3D film dispenser are made available in the market. They really make for a fun addition to your TV room/home theater etc.

Figurines/Models – Be it Tron or Phineus and Ferb, figurines are believe it or not big business. My advice is to wait a bit till after the whole buzz of the movie has died down before you go buy these figurines because most often than not by that time they are on sale.      

Mega Packs – It’s common knowledge that one of the reasons movies come out in Mega Packs (sets of 2 or more dvds) is because production companies can get rid of their stock that is not really popular by linking it with a blockbuster movie. What is really nice about these packs is that they generally include something else along with the DVDs. I’ve seen plush toys and in the case of the photo a special edition Monopoly.

Art and Film – Similar to the new trend of fan made posters it’s interesting to see how companies from different fields come together to cash in on the success of a film. I’ll be the first one to admit that I was jumping with joy when I came across the photographed Moleskine Star Wars Notebook. Simply brilliant, now if only I can get myself to actually use it.

Comic Books – Again it’s nothing very expensive, but collecting comic books or special editions is a good way of starting your memorabilia collection. I personally am not a comic book collector but when I came across the Batman Vs Ragman comic book I had to buy it simply because I was nicknamed “Ragman” by a few friends in school.

Film Magazines – Total Film and Empire, two of the most popular movie magazines, have special covers and special editions from time to time that make for a great collection. Add to that my present favourite Little White Lies which is in itself highly collectable due to limited printing and a rather unusual look and feel for a film magazine. Display them together or just collect them for reference later, they are an amazingly cheap way to connect with the movies you love.   


Do you have a collection? What is your most prized piece of memorabilia? Do tell… 


30 comments:

  1. Nice personal post Raghav.

    I am not really very good at Film Memorabilia. In that I find myself having panic attacks and getting freaked out by Geekness.

    That is not to say I am not a geek. I am a massive geek. But I just don't like showing the world. LOL

    When it comes to tech though, I love showing it off. My most recent addition is a fully working Super 8 Projector. It looks ace in the FRC.

    Great write up my friend

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  2. I have some memorabilia, although I don't have a whole lot of them. One you could add is movie frames. There are lots of people selling it and therefore not very expensive. With everything going digital though it is probably something which will disappear.

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  3. Scott - That's pretty awesome. I just saw Super 8, so I must say its kinda cool and retro to have one of those.

    Nostra - you are so right. I saw this trend more in UK with the framed frames. I think you are right about investing in them now as with digital they are eventually heading towards extinction.

    Thanks

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  4. As Nostra states above I am one of those who has a thing for movie frames. I actually have some original cells from each Star Wars movie which I think is pretty cool, although as the Mrs isnt as much as a fan as I am, I am only aloud to display them on the toilet wall! :-)!!!

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  5. Mark... Star Wars in the toilet... Holy Crap!! ;-)

    Hope to catch you during #MTOS this Sunday

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  6. I have an extensive collection of DVDs, a few of which have gotten autographed during a few trips to the San Diego Comic-con, as well as other places. I also have some printed inserts that came with some laser-discs (yes, I'm one of the people that did LD!!!) that also got autographed. I also have countless cards from various sets that I have gotten autographed. If you can buy something, you can just about get it autographed by someone. You just need to go where they will be. John Carpenter signed my "Escape from New York" soundtrack CD less than 24 hours after I purchased it at the San Diego comic-con back in... 2002? Sounds right. Of course, with employers gypping employees out of reasonable pay today because they can blame it on "the economy", I'm not collecting much of anything. Just holding onto what I have. CKB

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  7. Some cool items there!I like the magazine coffee table, too! =D

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  8. Hi CKB, thanks for the comment. You are right that by just having a sign on a photograph also works as a great memorabilia item. Your collection sounds great and I wish I can make it to Comin-con some day.

    TLPS - Thanks... I especially got the table for my theater so I could display stuff in it.

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  9. Nice list!

    To add one to the list I'd say older Movie Soundtrack LP. At yard sales it's easy to get plenty of them for a buck or less and framed they just real great.

    The cover are like big postcard, and of course with a turntable they also sound pretty great. The Ben-Hur LP come with a splendid hardcover art book and can be found pretty cheap on E-Bay, just to name this one.

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    1. That is such a great idea. Unfortunately we don't have hard sales in India and finding LPs can be real hard, but it's still an awesome idea. Thanks

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  10. Congrats on being featured on the IMDB Hit List.

    There's some things to collect that are just too big as well. I dislike some of those huge DVD cases like Planet of the Apes or the Alien head (FOX). I'm a fan of collecting movie posters, but even those can be expensive.

    Stamps sound like a great idea. I have a set of Star Wars stamps put away some where.

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    1. Thank you and yes the special DVD cases are pretty awesome. Posters can be expensive, especially the foreign ones and hand made ones.

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  11. You have a Problem with the "ALIEN" Head DVD Collectors Set!?!, that's a grail piece to most collectors...some people...hmmmph...

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  12. Campaign ads are are awesome. I just got the lenticular ad from TIME magazine pushing for an Oscar nomination for Andy Serkis' Rise of the Planet of the Apes performance.

    Also, screeners, be they for awards consideration, theatrical use or just previews are cool and always up on eBay.

    Eiga chirashi (or Japanese movie flyers) often have different artwork than other countries, and can get pretty cheap in eBay as well. I've got my chirashi for The Hurt Locker framed.

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    1. I love foreign art work posters. Polish ones are pretty awesome as well.

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  13. Fun post, Raghav!

    If I have all the money in the world, I'd love to collect Gregory Peck memorabilia, but I'll be broke if I even dare to buy one on eBay as I probably can't stop!

    I did buy the US Commemorative Forever Stamps featuring one of his iconic characters Atticus Finch. I couldn't help myself, but fortunately it's only $8 bucks a sheet :)

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    1. Thanks Ruth. Stamps are pretty cool. I love collecting special editions.

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  14. Hi. I love movie memorabilia as well. I love replica props. They're my favourite. I have a replica TwoFace coin from The Dark Knight as well as a replica Gotham Newspaper. I have Harry Potter's wand & He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's wand which are also ballpoint pens. Plus I have a replica golden snitch, a time turner, and a House Ravenclaw scarf. When I bought the Inception Blu-Ray it came in a little briefcase along with Cobb's totem, a bunch of postcards, a mini graphic novel, and instructions on how the machine in the movie works! Man, I love to spin that totem. I also have a bunch of movie & anime action figures, including a 12 inch tall, talking Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko <3

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    1. Holy moly... You have quite a collection. I am officially jealous

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  15. I collect pictures from my favorite movies and tv shows and pictures of actors/actresses I like. I have gotten a lot of them from ebay, but also collector shows, etc. I have pictures of Lucille Ball, John Ritter, Kathy Baker, Love American Style, Tales from the Crypt and others. It's a fun hobby.

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    1. Yeah I think it's a great idea and they always be framed, plus I think they are not too expensive. Thanks

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  16. This is an awesome post, I've got quite a bit of those for various movies/tv myself!

    Specifically though, I'm a HUGE fan of Pirates of the Caribbean and most of my collection is made up of that memorabilia. I've got everything from posters, to figurines, collector's editions of the dvds, two copies each of the soundtracks (I had bought each individually, but then I saw this set of them that had a bonus cd &dvd, so I bought that too), a book with the concept art, and a "Making Of"-type book, news/magazine articles, the LEGO sets, the video games, clothing and accessories, all of my ticket stubs, "office/school" supplies, etc., the list goes on and on... You get the picture... Basically, Pirates is like my personal Star Wars. Haha

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    1. Wow Briana you really are a huge fan. Unfortunately I didn't like the ones after the second one, but I can understand how you feel about collecting stuff. Thanks

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  17. My living room is filled with action figurines from Die Hard, Boondock Saints, Kick-Ass, 24 and alot from the Matrix movies and much more. Also got 2 models of the Delorean from Back to the Future. I think I need more space lol

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    1. That's a great collection... I wish I could convince my family members to let me buy what they would call "dolls"... I'm stuck with Barbie for now thanks to my daughter :-) Thank you

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  18. Oh geez, good post!

    My boyfriend and I have action figures from LOST, a complete vintage Cobra Commando action figure box set from the '80s, a couple of comic-themed Mr. Potato Heads (Spiderman, Transformers) and a whole whackload of Indiana Jones memorabilia - check out the blog: http://designbycassandra.blogspot.com/2011/11/happy-halloween-indy-fans.html#more

    I recently bought a teddy bear dressed as The Bride from Kill Bill complete with blood splatter and katana for my boyfriend for Christmas. :)

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  19. Even after posting this, I had found more things around my home! It's amazing what big geeks we are when we don't pay attention ... :) Someone had made a post about soundtrack LPs being great items to collect, and I agree. They can be easily framed and hung on the wall, especially in groups. I have a collection of movie and stage musical posters and LPs that I'd like to frame and hang. I've also got comics, posters, more action figures, and a few illustrated guide/coffee table books from some of our favourite movies. They'd probably look great displayed in your coffee table, Raghav!

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  20. Those are some really cool things you have. As for the LPs you are right, they would look awesome. As for coffee table books for some reason I've never liked film books much, but yeah I'd probably put them in a more social environment (sitting room) because most of the time the lights are off in my theater (where the display table is).
    Thank you for such a nice comment.

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  21. Hey hi...
    Thats a real cool collection you have.
    I have an aunt who collects match box covers and another who collects cig. lighters. There is another friend of mine who collects knives (military, swiss, traditional and so on and so forth). Personally I search, discover and treasure antiques... mostly hand-made and classy. Will post a few in my blog soon.


    VST

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    1. Thanks for the comment. Although I was only aiming at film Memoribilia but I know it's great to collect things. Even I used to know someone who collected matchboxes.

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