Saturday 22nd March saw me take another trip to Memorabilia at the NEC in Birmingham - the show has really exploded into a place for all things Comic/TV/Movie related in the last few years and now has grown so big visitors from all over come to check it out.
My trip to the event last year was more of a browsing session as I was pretty sure trying to pick up Django Unchained figures would prove just a difficult a task as it sounded.
This year I attended with a purpose - to pick up any Preacher comics I could find along with a Jimmy Hart WWF LJN figure (MIB) for him to sign at next months Wales Comic Con. I also had my normal Back to the Future purchasing eye out!
Background Info on my search points -
Preacher is a comic book series created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon and ran from 1995-2000 and it would seem as if it is all set to become the latest TV series hit from AMC (who also make The Walking Dead). I've recently been purchasing the Preacher comic books in online auctions and thought I'd see what I could find at the show.
Jimmy Hart is the former WWF (WWE) Manager of numerous Tag Teams and Single Wrestlers - working with greats such as The Honkytonk Man and Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine, not forgetting the Immortal Hulk Hogan and Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake.
Back to the Future - Is and will always be my favourite film - no introduction needed there!
Upon arrival I started browsing with no sign of Preacher or Jimmy Hart's - I did find a couple of the Walter White Vamonos Pest Control Breaking Bad figures but at £35 a piece I knew I could get them cheaper away from the show.
Walking round I did see a lot of great things - A Back to the Future 2 poster magazine - which again at £20 seemed way too high. Planet of the Apes figures from the initial revamp of the series at £5 each (I was going to offer £10 for 3 if I found nothing else) but then as I was heading back towards the exit I thought I'd chance my luck and walk round one more time.
I found a seller who specialised in old movie posters - I had a look to see if there were and BTTF 2 one sheets - but no good. They then had their 'bargain boxes' so I browsed through - and was in luck......
First Out came these Jurassic Park : The Lost World Lobby Cards -
I've always enjoyed the Jurassic Park Series and knowing previously lobby card sets holding value in later years picked them up.
Next out of the bargain box came this Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull German Poster -
Not my favourite of the Indy films but something worth having - it may well be this gets framed and put onto the wall of my planned 'Man Cave' at some point.
Last up was something I was delighted to have found - initially I was convinced that they were Back to the Future 2 Lobby Cards from Germany - however the CIC Video sign suggested perhaps they should have been included with some kind of video promotion..... it wasn't until I got home that night I realised they weren't lobby cards as such......
The above photo isn't the best quality buy what it actually turned out to be was a poster size sheet of scenes from the film. Very unique and very cool - especially if your a BTTF fan like me!
These purchases lead to me walking round a bit longer - chatting to sellers and gaining new contacts.
Then on was pretty much my last stop of the day I found a seller who had Preacher comics I numbers! My aim of the day was done!
I purchased a number of the Preacher comics he had - I can't explain how happy I was to get them, those I picked up are in the picture below -
My day was a success - I went with an aim and was able to complete it!
The Jimmy Hart mission continues but for my Preacher task I am now only 20 issues short of a full 66 comic set!
I toyed with the idea of attending a second day but with Wales Comic Con just a month away the pennies will be saved for that!
I'm certainly looking forward to the next Memorabilia later in the year - this looks set to be my new thing to do every six months now!
Back at the tail end of September 2013 Premiere Props held one of their regular auctions through ICollector - and included within this sat some Back to the Future lots, which, needless to say caught my attention.
Back to the Future props always demand top dollar - screen matched items can sell for massive figures and as much as I would love to sink every penny I have into owning items from the film it simply can't happen!
I was fortunate enough to win some Cafe 80's slides a few years back - and also own a couple of Biff Co items too however unless I win the lottery the big pieces aren't going to be coming my way.
So it was with a careless bid on the off chance I may win something I went after the above item - 'A Ford Sign' - I put in a bottom bid - and somehow won it!
Sure I know its not screen matched (although part of the fun will be rewatching the movie in the hope it fleetingly appears)
My plans for it? Simple - frame the COA - and hang the item in my man cave - it makes for cool viewing and is a great conversation piece.
There is something genuinely cool about owning something from your favorite film - big or small - and for now its small things like this that will keep me entertained.
Of course if any eagle eyed BTTF fan out there can spot if this does show in the film at all let me know.
Its another Back to the Future piece for my collection.
2015 looks set to be a bumper year for BTTF fans with the 30th Anniversary, The Musical and Self Tying Laces set to make it a year to remember.
Who knows - maybe we will get a working hoverboard by then too........
Those who are regular readers of this blog, along with those who know me personally are fully aware of my often obscure purchases - some items are just ones that I have to own.
It goes without saying my latest purchase is without a doubt the best I have made this year.
Last year (2012) LAIKA an animation feature film company released the wonderful movie Paranorman - set in the town of Blithe Hollow its story is set around a boy by the name of Norman Babcock who can speak to the dead. As ghoulish as this sounds the movie really is well worth a watch - at 32 years old I really enjoyed it and there is enough to keep both old and young hooked throughout!
Anyway - during my regular scouting missions for collectibles on various sites I came across someone selling Paranorman items I had never seen before. I often search for items from this movie as I have a selection of figures that were made by Huckleberry Toys and am missing just one from a complete set.
Having been heavily involved in unearthing rare WWF Hasbro wrestling figure prototypes a couple of years back I was quick to realise these resin type items were some kind of pre production item used at some point of the movie process (more than likely either planning on how they would look like or dressing of the stop motion puppets)
For my blog I will focus on the figure of.....
Judge Hopkins is the leader of the zombies on the film - and is instantly recognisable.
Judge Hopkins Photo © LAIKA-Focus Features
Opening up the box he came in I was quick to notice that -
A) He was very heavy
B) He was very delicate
C) He would need to be worked on
Regardless I was delighted with my purchase.
On the left is how the Judge figure looks at present - on closer inspection you will notice that his hand needs fixing along with a bit of a tidy up but other than that he isn't in bad shape.
What is clear for me now is I have my latest project - but for this item rather than try and do it myself I had to speak to the experts. So - I made contact with the Prop Store of London - in particular Tim Lawes.
Those of you who have always wanted to own a part of your favorite film would be well advised to check out www.propstore.com as they have thousands of items from all kind of films for sale.
As a regular visitor to their site I remembered they had stocked items of a similar nature from other movies and hoped that they would be able to assist in the restoration of this item.
Tim was able to put me in touch with someone who does restorations - and now the process has started as I aim to get him fixed and repaired - then placed on a stand so that I can enjoy him on show.
I really want to thank Tim @ The Prop Store of London for his help on this - every experience I have had with the team there has been outstandingly positive!
The process of getting this figure fixed will cost money so as and when he is restored I will update on here - so keep checking back.
As Christmas approaches fast I will continue to keep and eye out for similar items - Back to the Future still remains my main area - however I am still awaiting parts from this to arrive - watch this space on those!!
I know that there are other Paranorman items like this out there so I would love to see more of them if people have them and want to share photos.
Below are a couple of photos of Judge - I can't wait to get him fixed and set for show - perhaps even in time for Memorabilia 2014!
23rd November 2013 - NEC Birmingham, England - the setting for Winter Memorabilia. I'd visited this event numerous times in the past but this was my first time there in 3 years.
It had certainly grown since my last visit - what had previously been a fairly low key spacious affair has now turned into a mass of comics,movies, TV and collectibles - with hundreds of people crammed into the rows of stalls, exhibits and cosplayers.
Needless to say I'm glad I payed it a visit!
My targets for the day were -
Breaking Bad Figures
Django Unchained Figures
However I failed to find suitable items on all 3.
Breaking Bad figures remain in demand given how popular the TV show was - however the only option to purchase one at the entire event was for a Heisenberg Figure - at £35 I decided to pass - I have one of these I picked up for £20 off the shelf a few months back.
WWF Hasbro figures were also somewhat scarce - just a few battered Rockers and Legion of Dooms scattered about.
As for Django - well - they are way to hard to find. I have got some from other sources - but more on those in the coming weeks.
Anyway - whilst browsing one stall I couldn't help but notice a 'Hollywood Heroes' T-Shirt. It was busy with a camera crew and knowing the shirt I immediately clicked it would be something to do with the show Toy Hunter. I walked back past the stall 10 minutes later and the shows host Jordan Hembrough was on there.
It turns out he was in the UK filming for his next season.
I had a chance to speak to Jordan about Wrestling Figures and a few other bits and pieces - then got a photo with him.....
It was nice to meet him - and lets face it - he does have a job many of us who are in the collecting world would love!
I'd like to say I brought loads of items at the show - however such is the way these shows are many of the items are just that bit higher than I want to spend.
I did make one purchase - some 1986 Remco Karate Kid figures - nothing too flashy - but a nice little addition!
I'm sure I will visit the show come spring next year - if anything its a day out - and you never know who or what you may see.
I have a few items I am awaiting to arrive - those of you who like Back to the Future and also Paranorman may want to keep your eyes on these pages in the coming weeks!
Finally - can I just put a quick congratulations out to Brian Adams who runs coolandcollected.com.
If you like pop culture check his site out.
Anyway - he ran a kickstarter campaign to get the cool and collected magazine made - and hit his target!
Be sure to grab a copy once it comes out!!
Regular readers of this website will know that normally I follow a standard pattern of describing items I write about - however tonight I thought I'd mix things up a bit and literally just blog.
I recently took a trip over to the USA and one of the destinations I visited was New York - and when in New York where do you head?! Times Square.
Whats in Times Square?!
Only a massive Toys R Us - any toy collectors heaven.
Anyway - I visited the store with the sole purpose of obtaining a few WWE figures I'd been looking for (mission accomplished on that - however that story is for another time).
Those that have visited the Toys R Us Time Square location will know next to the WWE figures sits a massive selection of LEGO. And that's exactly where this article is heading.
I generally like to consider myself clued up on the world of collectibles - however it seems I have missed the boat entirely when it comes to the LEGO Minifigures range.
Now in its 10th Series these pocket size toys are ridiculously collectible - and the secondary market value on some figures in the line is huge.
After my visit to Toys R Us a stroll around the various shops the city has to offer took place - including a visit to the LEGO store that sits at the Rockefeller Center. Inside here I decided to pick up two packs of the Series 10 minifigures - obtaining a Sad Clown and a Skydiver.
Research when back home showed these sell for the same price I paid for them - however it was the cost of early series figures that blew me away.
So - once back home in England I started snapping up numerous figures on eBay.
You'll note from the picture below that my wrestling rarities and prototypes cupboard is slowly being taken over by these little guys (and girls) as I add to my collection.
What I find fascinating about the minifigure line is the diverse range of items that have been released - from sports stars (see Olympic London 2012 figures) to movies (Harry Potter, Marvel, Star Wars to name a few) everything is covered in the LEGO world.
I'm picking up old series figures as and when I see fit - but currently in most good toy shops and newsagents near you the Series 10 line is available for you to purchase.
The rare ones from this series seem to be -
If you pick up a pack and get one of these then you'll already up on your initial purchase price (this is of course if you want to sell it)
I was lucky enough to get Medusa - and haven't found another since.
That being said - the really rare find is limited to just 5000 worldwide - and this figure comes in the shape of Mr Gold!
Come across this rarity and your in the money - secondary market sales have ranged from £300 - £500 - again of course if you want to sell him that is!
Needless to say the popularity for LEGO is ever growing - and with the LEGO movie scheduled to arrive later in the year the line could get even bigger before the fascination dies down (if it ever does).
As I obtain more Minifigures I am sure more posts will follow - and as soon at the Back to the Future Lego hits my collection expect tweets showing Marty and Doc - LEGO style!!
As per all my articles I'd love to hear from other MiniFigures collectors. Perhaps you got in on the act early with these - or perhaps like me you've just discovered the line. Regardless post any comments on LEGO below. Do you own a Mr Gold?!
Well - its been a whole year since the site was launched - so I guess you could say this is a 'Happy 1st Birthday' post.
Here's some news for our regular readers that you may be glad to hear - the site has been extended for another 2 years - so the adventures in collecting are set to continue.
My plan for the next 12 months is to get the twitter account more popular - and from that grow the site to include things such as message boards thus making it more interactive for the readers and a hub for collectors to meet.
Anyway - as its a special occasion I thought I would post a special item - and today's really is special.
Its a 1/100 print by one of my favorite artists - Eric Tan - titled -
'Hill Valley - 1985'
Any Story Behind it?
Incase you hadn't noticed Back to the Future is a massive part of my collecting focus - and this Eric Tan piece had to be mine the second I saw it.
The work of Eric Tan was first brought to my attention by the magazine 'Shortlist' a few years ago when they featured another print he had produced entitled -
'In George We Trust'
based on George McFly (Marty's dad)
Needless to say ever since I saw this article I have been keeping regular tabs on his work.
It would seem I am not alone - his popularity has gone from strength to strength so much so that now his work is very much in demand on the secondary market.
A couple of weeks back I thought I hadn't paid his site a visit for a short while so logged on to check it out - and low and behold a whole range of new work inspired by places he has visited was up and being sold by Gallery 1988 (http://nineteeneightyeight.com).
Within this latest selection, locations of the world were featured - and how to get there? Tanner Airlines.
Sat in the middle of this fine collection of cities (including Paris, London, New York) was a Back to the Future inspired item - Hill Valley.
I had missed out on his last BTTF piece so there was no chance I was going to lose this one
A few clicks later it was mine.......
What exactly is it?
Its a limited edition print (1 of 100) by Eric Tan of Hill Valley, California - based on the alternate 1985 in BTTF 2.
Is it rare?
This print is now sold out - so the answer to that would be yes. With only 100 for sale to start these have gone super quick!
Will it be back?
Once its gone - its gone -and these have vanished! Don't fret though - more details are below.....
Where can I get one now?
Sadly our good friend eBay seems to be your best bet given this is sold out - however the other destinations featured in the series can be purchased from Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight (web address above) so if you just want an Eric Tan and not a Hill Valley one head over there. I have intentions of picking up a Paris one this weekend.
Limited to just 100 this is another great BTTF piece by Eric Tan.
I was super impressed with the Gallery 1988 service so look forward to ordering from them again.
Eric Tan is a massive BTTF fan so anyone who loves the movies should keep a tab on his blog - (erictanart.blogspot.com) - as you never know what he is going to design next!
Any story behind this?
I really like to pick items up that have a connection to my favourite films - and the 1998 Joe Dante 'toys coming to life' movie Small Soldiers falls into this category.
In an ideal world I really want to own one of the toys from the movie - but my budget for props is somewhat limited at the moment due to a massive USA trip scheduled for next month - anyway....
Whilst browsing The Prop Store of London's vast array of items that they sell I came across this item at a reasonable price - not one to pass up on the chance to own something like this a purchase was made and it now sits in my collection of movie memorabilia.
Leaving my aim of owning something from this vastly underated film complete!
What exactly is it?
A vest from 'Giant Toy World' in which a scene is shot about 74 minutes into the movie. The vests can clearly be seen as the toys are collected to be sent back after being recalled......
Is it Rare?
To my knowledge this is the only one that has been sold in the last few years - there aren't any others kicking around so to answer the question is it rare? Without a doubt yes!
15 years on and items from this movie are tricky to find - I am convinced there is a 'Small Soldiers' collectors network out there. (If there is get in touch)
Will it be back?
Sadly not - the film wasn't really a massive success and also a one off - although books and video games - along with - of course - action figures were created alongside it.
Where can I get one now?
You won't get one of these vests unless one comes up for sale from a private collection - movie props from the film can be found on The Prop Store of London (www.propstore.com)
I was delighted to secure this item. I do have the plan to buy more items from this movie - if you haven't seen it yet check it out - if you like Gremlins or even Toy Story its worth a watch!
Be sure to keep an eye out for the vest in the movie!
NB - Movie Images are from Amblin Entertainment / Dreamworks Pictures / Universal Pictures and are used for the purpose of showing said item in its movie form only
Any story behind them?
Lets be honest - if I had to name favourite things from my childhood right at the top of the list would be - Wrestling, Back to the Future, Football - and well - the latest topic in my Adventures in Collecting - Thundercats! It was without a doubt one of the most thrilling cartoon series you could watch as a kid - and the theme music literally sticks in your head like you wouldn’t believe.
Now - it goes without saying the younger me had all the action figures from the series -however unlike most of the items I own these ones sadly made their way to the car boot before I even got the chance to hold onto them.
Skip forward a number of years to the present day and me stood in a discount store in utter disbelief that the latest offering from Bandai was sat - available - for just 99p a figure - my girlfriend knew exactly what was coming next - the words ‘grab another basket……….’
What exactly are they?
The latest Thundercats action figures - I picked up £30 worth of figures to keep - and I think I managed to get one of each (unless someone can tell me who I am missing)
Are they Rare?
Currently not - however give them time and they will be. I have no issues holding onto these - 99p per figure is a gamble well worth taking as values could soar in the coming years - and if not 99p isn’t the end of the world - and they are cool to look at!
Will they be back?
They are still current now following a new cartoon revamp in 2011 - however Thundercats fans are waiting to see if a second series of the new updated cartoon will be commissioned. The figures are still available in stores to purchase.
Where can I get one now?
Check local comic shops, well known auction sites and even discount stores - literally anywhere that may sell action figures!
I have paid a visit to various branches of the discount shop since I picked up the original figures this article was based upon - and except for a few Lion-O’s I haven’t seen them at such a cheap price since……..
Any story behind it?
Last year I was fortunate to be at the opening day of ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ at The Warner Bros Studios - never one to miss the chance to snap up a collectable I was keen to purchase something limited but fairly inexpensive - the outcome was this fantastic piece of artwork on a limited print run with COA.
However that’s not all - as it was the opening day members of the cast were walking the red carpet - and I was lucky enough to get Rupert ‘Ron Weasley’ Grint and Tom ‘Draco Malfoy’ Felton to sign it for me.
What exactly is it?
A mentioned above it’s a limited edition piece of artwork commissioned to be sold at ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ The picture itself depicts Gringotts Bank - a key location in some of the films. The piece is numbered #101 / 1000.
Is it Rare?
1/1000 - for sure! I haven’t been able to visit the studios since the opening day however as an item to keep I would imagine Harry Potter fans will have snapped these up.
Will it be back?
I would doubt it - sure there will be other ones but the 1/1000 tag should be all that is needed on this particular piece. I haven’t seen another one since.
Where can I get one now?
I’ve scanned well known auction sites and googled to find another but so far nothing - so short of a trip to the Warner Bros studios I don’t know if this particular piece can be purchased anymore?
Both Rupert Grint and Tom Felton stated how much they liked the item - the main problem I have now is actually what to do with it!! The signatures are actually on the plastic which is tragic as I wish now I has opened it for them to sign instead!!
I would be very keen to hear if anyone else has purchased any of the Making of Harry Potter artwork - comment below if you have!
Firstly can I just say thank you to all those who contacted me asking when my blog was going to be back - I actually didn’t realise that people read this stuff so I will happily continue to write about my ‘Adventures in Collecting’.
Tonight’s blog is all about a collecting line that is very close to my heart -
WWF Hasbro wrestling figures
But in particular one figure - the one that started my passion for collecting this wonderful line
Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake
Some of you will know that I run the website www.thewrestlingcollector.com - it had a major overhaul last summer and I am currently in the process of updating it as all the old information was sadly wiped when the revamp took place.
The article tonight is centred not around one of the various 2-ups, prototypes or test shots I have uncovered - infact its quite the opposite.
It all about the regular release Series 1 Brutus The Barber Beefcake figure.
Any story behind it?
As it turns out yes. Turn the clock back to 1990 - and a 9 year old version of myself - a massive fan of WWF Wrestling (now WWE) - gets given a present…… what is it? Only a WWF Hasbro action figure - all the way from America.
Now - as it turns out this would be the first of many I got - the line actually hit the shelves in the UK shortly after I was given my Brutus figure - but still - for a short while I was the envy of the playground - once others got figures we’d have Royal Rumbles and matches in a homemade ring (until one of us got the Official Hasbro one) hence the battered appearance of this figure.
What is it?
Its as simple as it sounds - its just a regular Series 1 WWF Hasbro Brutus the Barber Beefcake figure.
Is it rare?
Brutus is anything but rare - he was mass produced however its worth noting that some Hasbro figures are more in demand than others (Such as the Green Card Series) so prices can be high on those as they are harder to find.
The prototypes, 2ups and test shots from the Hasbro line command huge prices in the secondary market.
Brutus can be found now for a couple of pounds and this particular one given his condition wouldn’t even get that much!
Will this figure be back?
Sadly not! The Hasbro / WWF contract ended in 1994 so no more WWF Hasbro figures will be made.
Where can I get him now?
Internet auction sites and car boots are probably your best bet for all your Hasbro related needs.
And another thing
The WWF Hasbro line is arguably the most collectable wrestling figure line ever produced. 20 years on the figures still sell and prove massively collectable with fans of all ages.
Its hard to see the demand for this line falling in the foreseeable future - if anything we encourage people to get involved in collecting this legendary line.
I have plans to do a big article on the WWF Hasbro line so watch this space. For now you'll have to make do with photos of my first ever WWF Hasbro figure - the legendary Brutus Beefcake.
Collecting from an early age - now publishing adventures in collecting.