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Movie Memorabilia: Lights! Camera! Auction!

By Jeffrey Pearson ISA 


Why do I collect movie memorabilia and what is it? Well if it's an item associated with a popular movie, to me it's collectible.  When I say popular, I am referring to something that is popular to me. My favorite contemporary movies like Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, and Star Trek offer action figures and other novelty items available in retail outlets for less ambitious collectors, including children. However, there's a little extra boost that comes with garage sales and flea market hopping, and that is searching for a few vintage items featuring your favorite stars and movies of the glorious past.

My Star Wars' collection was huge!  I remember finding my favorite action figure and recreating some of the most intense theatrical experiences I used to see on screen. The movie theater was a place I could escape to and forget all the trials of youth even if only for a couple hours.  Now, children who sit in dark theaters eating popcorn and drinking soda seek out all the collectibles associated with their favorite movies just like children did 50 years ago. The force is strong with my world of movie collectibles and it may just be strong with you as well. 

Some movies peak such an interest that entire collections are built around them.  The films have hordes of fans eagerly seeking something new and exciting to add to a collection which includes vintage and more modern finds: The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars are wonderful examples of an overabundance of memorabilia available on the auction block, retail shops and internet markets today. 

Many movie stars themselves garner attention from enthusiastic collectors and at times not from the movies they were in. Take a pop culture icon like Elvis, for example, most anything vintage that bears his likeness will bring in a few extra bucks for the seller, especially originals from the 1950s and early 1960s. Everything from a movie magazine featuring a favorite star to a hair from his/her head can hold significant value. And these items don't necessarily have to feature such big name stars either.  As a fan of Boris Karloff, I would relish finding an old movie still of Frankenstein just as much as the Elvis collector would enjoy finding one of Blue Hawaii, only Elvis may not cost quite so much because of the overflow on the market.

 Be selective when looking for movie memorabilia to add to your own collection for it can be rather expensive. Try to focus on what you really like because no one can predict what will be of value in the future. Buy items you'll enjoy owning and displaying in your home because the most important role in movie memorabilia collecting is to always go for quality rather than quantity. Look for items in pristine condition, since they'll hold their value. 

You may not be buying for resale at the present, but the next time you and your children go to catch a matinee together, you'll realize that you invested in quality collectible merchandise as well as quality collectible time with loved ones.

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