The Most Expensive Movie Collectibles

     March 24, 2019

indiana-jones-hat

Want Han Solo’s jacket? Or Luke’s lightsaber? They can be yours… for a price.  The closest fans can get to their favorite movies is by owning a piece of them — if they can afford it.  From Marty McFly’s hoverboard to Superman’s suit, here are the most expensive (and popular) movie memorabilia.

Indy’s Hat – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

With four Indiana Jones movies under his belt, Harrison Ford and his iconic adventurer have survived many a scrape — often reaching for and snatching the character’s signature fedora out of harm’s way just in time. Given how important Dr. Jones is to movie fans, it is no surprise that his hat is to them what the Ark is to the archaeologist.

indiana-jones-hat

Image via LucasFilm

One of Ford’s hats from his first Indiana Jones adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, recently sold in 2018 at auction for $424,000. Other popular props from Indy’s ensemble obviously include his whip, gun holster, leather jacket, and Sankara stones from Temple of Doom.

White Dress – The Seven Year Itch (1955)

That shot of Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch standing above a subway grate is *chef’s kiss. One of the most iconic images in cinema history, with one of Hollywood’s biggest stars sporting one of its most unforgettable costumes.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

That very white dress, with a very deep V-neck cut, also has the distinguishment of being the most expensive costume from a movie ever sold at auction. Previously owned by actress Debbie Reynolds (Singing In the Rain), Monroe’s dress sold in 2011 for more than a million bucks.

Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger (1964)

Marilyn Monroe holds the record for most expensive costume ever auctioned off, but when it comes to the most expensive piece of movie memorabilia? That belongs to (shocker) Bond. James Bond. And of 007’s many spy gadgets, his most coveted was his Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger (1964).

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Image via United Artists

Sean Connery drove the car in his best Bond movie, and two DB5s were used in the making of Goldfinger. The “Effects Car” was the one rigged with the machine gun tail lights and revolving license plates. The “Road Car” was used for regular driving. One sold in 2010 for $4.6 million.

Racing Suit – Le Mans (1971)

When movie fans think of Steve McQueen, they likely picture him either rocking his black turtleneck and Mustang from Bullitt or his famous race-car driving suit from 1971’s Le Mans. For fan Timothy Davies in the UK, the latter was his favorite and a highly-priced collectible.

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Image via National General Pictures

Only three suits survived the making of Le Mans, with one finding its way into Davies’ hands when he won it at age 12 via a competition in the local newspaper. While we’d be hard-pressed to part with movie history like this, the $984,000 it went for at a 2011 election would soften the blow.

Velociraptor – Jurassic Park (1993)

You can’t think of dinosaurs without simultaneously thinking of Jurassic Park. Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster adaptation of Michael Crichton’s sci-fi bestseller came out as CG was in its early days, so the production had to create its fare share of physical dino props to have on set.

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Image via Universal Pictures

One of its most popular creations out of Stan Winston’s special effects shop was the Velociraptor. One of the dinos clever enough to open doors and outsmart the electronic fences around its paddock scored an impressive $77,000 at a 2009 auction.

Robby the Robot – Forbidden Planet (1956)

The Tempest in space, Forbidden Planet is a dated but solid 1950s sci-fi outing starring Leslie Nielsen opposite one of cinema’s most instantly recognizable robots ever: Robby. The original seven-foot tall creation, pre-CGI obviously, is catnip for movie collectors.

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Image via MGM

It sold for — are you sitting down? — $5.3 million at Bonhams New York in 2017. Whomever the buyer was (their name was never disclosed), they sure hit paydirt with their winning bid. The lot Robby was in also included the jeep he drives and his original MGM packing crates.

Charlie Chaplin’s Cane – Modern Times (1936)

For audiences, silent cinema star and silver screen legend Charlie Chaplin was inseparable from his on-screen persona dubbed “The Tramp.” His signature top hat and cane helped forged a look whose silhouette alone is instantly recognizable.

modern-times-charlie-chaplin

Image via United Artists

That kind of notoriety is priceless, but the cane Chaplin used in his 1936 classic Modern Times came with a price tag. The iconic actor’s iconic prp went up for auction in 2013 and one lucky buyer was able to add it to their collection for $350,000.

Han Solo Carbonite – Return of the Jedi(1983)

Sideshow Collectibles have been making fans drool and lament their bank accounts’ low balances ever since they launched their line of high-end movie collectibles. One of their most coveted — and costly — pieces is a life-sized Han Solo frozen in carbonite figure. It will really tie your Hutt-esque lair together.

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Image via LucasFilms

Star Wars fans know how Han got turned into a frozen, scruffy-looking nerfherder (thanks, Lando!). And they wish they had the almost $7500 to afford owning this replica. Maybe if they pull a Lando and make a deal with Vader they can swing a few extra bucks.

Black Dress – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

If you haven’t seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s yet, you’re living life wrong. The iconic film, starring Audrey Hepburn, features one of the most iconic dresses to ever appear on the silver screen. It’s Hepburn’s legendary black dress that she wore while window shopping at Tiffany’s in 1961. It’s as unforgettable as Hepburn’s performance.

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Image via Paramount Pictures

It hit auction in London, expecting to fetch at least $138,000 from prospective bidders. But auctioneers and attendees’ jaws figuratively hit the floor when the dress managed to sell for over $800,000 in 2006.

Lead Falcon – Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Maltese Falcon is amongst the most must-have of movie collectibles. It first appeared in the classic 1941 movie of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart as intrepid detective Sam Spade, on the trail of this coveted object.

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Image via Warner Bros.

A number of plaster variants of the prop were used in the movie and have emerged among collectors who think it was the hero prop used in the movie. But a lead falcon — clocking in at 45 pounds — sold at auction in 2013 for (clutch the pearls!) $4.1 million. After almost 80 years, fans may never know which falcon is the OG one.

Purple Coat – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Gene Wilder’s portrayal of the eccentric maker of chocolate and keeper of Oompa Loompas is permanently etched into our collective brains. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was essential childhood viewing; the only thing more iconic than Wilder’s performance is his character’s signature costume.

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Wonka’s purple suit coat and frilled shirt belong in the Hollywood memorabilia equivalent of the Louvre. But in 2012, one lucky fan managed to snag it like it was one of the coveted Golden Tickets and add it to their personal collection. The entire outfit sold for $73,800.

Everlasting Gobstopper – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Speaking of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, props from Warner Bros. children’s movie are highly coveted by movie collectors — especially Wonka’s most popular invention. No, not his candy bars — though five of those sold for $17,000 recently. No, we’re talking about the Everlasting Gobstopper.

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Only two of the multi-colored candy props are known to exist. The first fetched $42,500 at auction in May 2011, enough to make spoiled brat Veruca Salt blush. The second, kept by the actress who played Veruca, sold from the Dreier Collection in July 2012 for $40,000.

Lightsaber – Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Last scene being split in half after Rey and Kylo Ren’s tug-of-war in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber has been around ever since Mark Hamill first wielded it in 1977’s Star Wars. The hero prop was made from an old camera tube, and a wooden pole was used for a blade during filming. But the prop sold for more than its parts.

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Image via LucasFilms

In 2008, Luke’s laser sword — given to him by Obi-Wan — ended up in the hands of one lucky fan for $450,000. Lightsaber hilts are big deals for Star Wars collectors, even those from lesser movies. Qui-Gon Jinn’s (Liam Neeson) lightsaber from 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was auctioned off for $66,710.

Cowardly Lion Costume – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Wizard of Oz is an undisputed Hollywood classic. Its Technicolor trip to and through Oz gave birth to many iconic moments and scenes whose props and costumes are high on collectors’ must-have lists. Case in point: The cowardly lion costume worn by Bert Lahr in the 1939 MGM film.

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Image via MGM

Oz’s costume designers spared no expense in bringing the popular character to life; it was made out real lion hides — which lead to it weighing almost 60 pounds and being crazy hot to wear under the soundstage lights. It sold at a New York auction for (gulp) $3 million.

Red Ruby Slippers – The Wizard of Oz

Audiences fell in love with Judy Garland’s Dorothy, especially when she whisked herself back to Kansas by clicking the heels of her red ruby slippers together. The shoes worn by Garland in the movie are one of the most valuable props in movie history.

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Image via MGM

Only four pairs are known to have survived the film’s production. The last pair known to be auctioned off sold for a surprisingly low $666,000 in 2005. One pair is safely on display at the Smithsonian, and another was stolen in 2005 from The Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota.

Dorothy’s Dress – The Wizard of Oz

$480,000 could buy you a house or a very Ivy League college education. It can also net you another costume from one of Hollywood’s most popular and beloved films — The Wizard of Oz. Props and costumes from this 1939 classic tend to favor the high-end side of collectible memorabilia, and Dorothy’s blue-and-white dress is no exception.

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Image via MGM

Judy Garland’s costume is instantly recognizable, along with her ruby slippers. While the latter is more “must-have,” and therefore more costly, the dress is no slouch. It earned the aforementioned $480k at an auction in 2012, according to Reuters. The buyer was never identified, but we assume they’re someone very happy with their purchase.

‘Do-Re-Mi’ Costumes – The Sound of Music (1965)

The Sound of Music fans can easily remember one of the film’s signature numbers, when Julie Andrews sang “Do-Re-Mi” to the Von Trapp children. They can also likely recall the brown dress Andrews wore and the clothes made from drapery worn by the children in her charge.

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Image via Twentieth Century-Fox Film

Andrews’ dress, and the outfits belonging to the Von Trapp brood, managed to earn an impressive seven-figures at auction house Profiles in History in July of 2013. Both Andrews’ costume and those belonging to the children went to one anonymous winning bidder to the tune of $1.3 million.

Lotus Submarine Car – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

James Bond has made a career out of having some of the most famous cars in all of movie history. After his vintage Aston Martin DB5, is other signature vehicle from Q Branch has to be his white Lotus from Roger Moore’s 1977 hit, The Spy Who Loved Me.

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Image via United Artists

The MI6 super spy used the car’s submarine capabilities while underwater on a mission to stop a bad guy from stealing nuclear subs. So who bought the car prop at a London auction for $989,000? Someone who could be a Bond villain himself: Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Flying Car – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

From the Batmobile to Bond’s Aston Martin, Hollywood has an impressive garage of movie vehicles that have left their tread on pop culture. One of the most historic, and recognizable, has to be the flying car from the 1968 classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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Image via United Artists Pictures Inc.

The only working car from the movie, loosely based on Ian Fleming’s 1964 novel, sold for $805,000 at auction in 2011, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Now, you might be thinking “isn’t $800k a little high for that ride?” Not when you consider that, originally, the pre-sale estimates were between $1 and $2 million.

Piano – Casablanca (1942)

“Play it again, Sam.” As cool as it would be to own the Maltese Falcon, the one prop from a Humphrey Bogart movie we wish we had would be this piano from his 1942 classic, Casablanca. There were two pianos used in the film, but this one is the instrument on which Sam (Dooley Wilson) played “As Time Goes By.”

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Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

One hell of a conversation starter at parties, the piano locked down an impressive $3.4 million at a 2014 New York auction. Oh, and that second piano used in the movie? That sold two years prior at Sotheby’s New York to the tune (pun so intended) of $602,500.

White Suit – Saturday Night Fever (1977)

If movie critic Gene Siskel were still alive, he would probably wish her had the cash to purchase this fixture from his favorite movie. (It really was his favorite; look it up!).

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Image via Paramount Pictures

In Paramount Pictures’ smash hit Saturday Night Fever, struggling dancer-turned-disco king Tony (John Travolta) famously strutted in a white suit to the Bee Gees in the film’s most memorable and iconic scene. He did so atop this colorful, light-up dance floor, which sold in 2017 for $1.2 million.

Superman Suit – Superman: The Movie (1978)

For over 40 years, fans have seen three different iterations of the Man of Steel and his iconic blue suit on the big screen. Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, and Henry Cavill have all put on the red cape to play the DC hero — but the most famous Superman suit among collectors is Reeve’s original.

superman-supersuit

Image via Warner Bros.

First seen in Richard Donnor’s classic 1978 blockbuster, Superman: The Movie, one of the late actor’s costumes sold in 2007 — one year after the release of Routh’s Superman Returns — to unknown buyer for the price of $115,000. The powers of flight and heat vision not included. (Or the fatal allergy to kryptonite.)

 Hat and Dress – My Fair Lady (1964)

In the ‘60s, Audrey Hepburn was both a Hollywood and fashion icon. She would first make a name for herself with the stylish black dress she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and then later capitalize on that attire with one equally iconic: Her ascot dress and hat she wore in My Fair Lady.

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Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

The 1964 classic proved as big a hit with audiences as Tiffany’s, if not more so. That may account for why the dress and hat sold in 2011 for an eye-popping sum of $3.7 million. Lady’s legendary costume designer, Cecil Beaton, made such an impression with the lacey dress that he won an Oscar for his work.

Space Suit – Alien (1979)

Like we mentioned before, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the sh**. Thanks to Ridley Scott’s Alien, she is the greatest female heroine in science fiction. While she has had some very epic battles with the alien over the years, we prefer her basic standoff with the creature from the 1979 original — just her, her space suit, and an airlock.

aliens-suit

Image via 20th Century Fox

Ripley’s very puffy, very white, space suit from the first Alien movie sold for a hefty sum at a recent auction. The hero costume, designed by John Mollo, went for an impressive $204,800. Now if only we can get our hands on that original chestburster…

Hypersleep Chamber – Aliens (1986)

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is one of the movies’ most famous and popular heroines. Ripley’s battle against the acid-bleeding xenomorph hit a high point with James Cameron’s Aliens that no other movie in the Alien franchise has yet to match or surpass.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

One of the 1986 movie’s most recognizable sci-fi props is the sleek hypersleep chamber Ripley puts herself and young girl Newt in after they survive their encounter with the Alien Queen. A stage prop used in the production of the film sold at auction in 2012 for $65,000.

DeLorean DMC 12 – Back to the Future (1985)

Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future features the most iconic time travel machine in the history of movies: The DeLorean DMC 12. Six of the cars — and one made out of fiberglass — were used for the film. And one lucky fan got to take one home.

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Image via Universal

While the original “A” hero car was carefully restored and put on display at Universal Studios Hollywood, the third vehicle sold at auction in 2011 for $541,000. Even cooler? Some of the proceeds when to actor Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Brainwave Analyzer – Back to the Future (1985)

Christopher Lloyd’s zany and eccentric inventor of the Flux Capacitor is arguably the movies’ first DIY scientist. He “made a time machine out of a DeLorean” (because reasons) and thought he had invented a helmet capable of reading minds out of whatever he had laying around his 1955 house.

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back-to-future-hoverboard

While the Doc was unable to read Marty’s mind, he did manage to at least create one of the more unique items of movie memorabilia to garner fierce bidding from collectors. The brain-wave analyzer scored an impressive $70,000 in 2012. More than enough cash to save the clock tower.

Hoverboard – Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Look, as much as we love the original Back to the Future, we have lots of care space for its first sequel. Blame the cool clothes and props from the movie’s 2015 future, like Marty’s self-lacing Nikes and the Hoverboard he steals from two girls while trying to outrun an enhanced Biff.

back-to-future-hoverboard

Image via Universal

Made by Mattel, the Back to the Future Part II piece de resistance — the Hoverboard Michael J. Fox used on set — sold in 2018 for $28,800. All we would need to afford that would be Biff’s sports almanac and Doc Brown’s time machine so we can place some bets on the Cubbies (reference!)

Darth Vader’s Lightsaber – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Force is strong with whomever was able to afford picking up the Sith Lord’s slightly-modified helmet, mask, and shoulder armor from the fan-favorite sequel to A New Hope. Darth Vader wore his signature (and shiny) outfit throughout The Empire Strikes Back and every other Star Wars movie he appeared in.

star-wars-vader

Image via LucasFIlms

But one of his particular costume pieces from Empire netted just over $83,000 at a 2003 auction. Again, Star Wars props are a big deal; they attract bounties that would make Boba Fett blush. Take Vader’s lightsaber hilt from Empire — it became a fan’s prized possession for $118,000 in 2005.

Han Solo’s Flight Vest – The Empire Strikes Back

Another must-have piece from the wardrobe of an iconic character played by Harrison Ford, Han Solo’s blue flight vest was arguably one of the coolest pieces of clothing ever to an ‘80s kid. (Especially if they were a Star Wars fan).

star-wars-vest

Image via LucasFilm

The Rebel’s jacket was recently sold via live-stream action in the UK and, in a big surprise to auctioneers, it failed to fetch its original asking price. It was expected to earn just shy of $650,000. But when the bidding only got as high as $596,109, the costume was passed over.

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