Sold..!

DSC_3533DSC_3552DSC_3556DSC_3521-001An unprecedented success with many lots outperforming their estimates by thousands, the Propstore’s Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction made headlines across the prop world while making many a collectors dream come true.

Luckily, SUPERMANIA managed a last-minute pilgrimage to The ODEON BFI IMAX in London to photograph the Superman items on display only hours before they went live.  Below are the highlights of the Super-sales along with the astonishing prices realised –

424.  Contact Sheets – £1,100

425.  Shooting Scripts – £4,750

426.  Autographed Still – £700

427.  Underwater Tunic – £25,000

429.  Large Kryptonian Crystal – £1,700

431.  Promotional Ephemera – £1,600

432.  Autographed Stills – £700

433.  Muscle Tunic – £20,000

436.  IV Script – £350

437.  Pod Prop – £4000

As expected, the well-publicised underwater tunic (second pic) stole the show with the Muscle tunic (third pic) nipping at its shorts at only five grand less.  Less expected were the amounts achieved by some of the smaller lots, with a single autographed still of Christopher Reeve going well above estimate at £700 and a folder full of essentially promotional clippings fetching £1,600 – most of which already present in the SUPERMANIA collection.

While many of these fabulous relics of movie history will take pride of place in private collections, The Starship Pod prop (bottom pic) was bought by Stateside SuperFan and Broadcaster Jay Towers, a prominent figure in Superman collecting and vocal supporter of the classic films.  SUPERMANIA wishes Jay all the best with his his purchase and hope he enjoys it for years to come..!

Going Once…

image-0223image-0227image-0230image-0231image-0232Going under the gavel in in a matter of days and currently on display at the IMAX Odeon in London’s Waterloo, this unprecedented collection of production/screenused treasures from the series of Superman films is presented in catalogue form by Propstore here on SUPERMANIA.

High-end pieces all with estimates set to suit a modest or high budget, this gathering of production ephemera and screenused props represents the finest collection of Superman related material to hit the market since the Ilya Salkind collection was offered by Profiles in History in 2007.

Chief among the lots is the full-size Starship ruin from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, first positively identified and documented on SUPERMANIA here and presumed lost to storage after the closure of the London Film museum in 2013.  ‘Superman’s Pod’ was obtained by Propstore and now offered in exactly the same condition as it was seen on display (then incorrectly listed as originating from Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie) and is a completely unique piece of Super-history.

Other highlights are the Cosmonaut suits (made by costumiers Bermans and Nathans) from the opening scenes of Superman IV and storyboards from Superman III.  Fans of the original movie and its sequel are catered for also by a pair of scripts and photographic contact sheets and even Supergirl is represented by a superb piece of (ultimately unused) concept art by Chris Achillieos.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bid and own these pieces starts at 2PM (GMT+1) on 23rd of September.  SUPERMANIA would like to extend an advance invitation to the lucky new owners to have their purchases showcased here along with their stories…

Wet Muscle…

image-0224image-0225image-0228image-0229Costume month draws to a close on SUPERMANIA with a preview of not one, but two magnificent lots soon coming up for auction from Propstore – the quality, provenance and likes of which that may never be seen again.

With Warner Bros. recent announcement that no further items of wardrobe from the classic Superman movies will released into the collectors market, these two immaculate pieces may well represent the best and last of their archive made available.

And quite the fascinating tales they tell.  Studio labelled throughout and complete with COA from WB, these special-effects purpose tunics offer rare insight into the considerable effort made in 1978 to convince audiences a man could fly.

Custom-made for specific scenes, the differences between what, on screen, represent exactly the same outfit in reality are marked.  Note the colour differentiation between the blues for the tunic made to not darken when soaked through to a tunic (minus shorts) tailored for flying against a front-projection screen.

Commanding appropriate reserves and going under the gavel on Sept. 23rd, these choice examples of film/comic book history form part of the astonishing collection offered in the Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction being held at the BFI IMAX in London’s Waterloo. Besides the beautifully presented catalogue (pages reproduced above), live previews of 250 treasures will be available courtesy of ODEON (dates TBA) in a museum grade exhibition…

UPDATE: Video of the lot here.

“My Attachment…”

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAimageCostume month on SUPERMANIA gains momentum with this fascinating and unique variation of the iconic outfit made especially for Margot Kidder in Richard Donner’s Superman II.

As originally scripted, the scenes between Lois Lane and Kal-El in the Fortress Of Solitude conclude with the very controversial (at the time) consummation of their relationship before the sacrifice his of powers for love.  Later, as Clark/Superman confides in his father that all he craves is the chance to live a ‘normal’ life, Lois appears wearing the Superman tunic as a nightshirt.

This particular tunic (one of three made) was specifically tailored to appear oversized for Margot from the same Bridal weight Spandex as the full costumes and was used to photograph wig tests prior to the filming (top pic).  Asked about the footage only days ago – Margot herself recalls –

“I don’t remember wearing that at all but there was a love scene and Lois wore that the next morning. I don’t think the scene made it into the movie but I’m not sure. my hair was never like that in the Donner version. I had my own hair, not those hideous wigs. Harry (Dick) would never have allowed me to wear such an ill fitting piece of crap on my head..”

This entire sequence would be ultimately be excised and rewritten after both Richard Donner’s departure and Marlon Brando’s salary demands forced the Producers (and replacement director Richard Lester) to reshoot all of Jor-El’s scenes with Susannah York.  In this theatrical version, Superman would first be de-structured before spending the night with Lois as a mortal man.

It would be almost thirty years before the sequence as originally shot would be discovered in UK vaults and restored for inclusion in Superman II; The Richard Donner Cut, where Margot does indeed appear wearing the tunic (without said hairpiece.)

Amazingly, one of the tunics would survive in pristine condition to this day and form part of the significant collection of the UK office of Propstore, where it was mounted in an acrylic case with its label still attached (second pic). The accompanying sign (third pic) eloquently highlights the differences between the structure of this shirt versus the bodysuits (where its appearance suggests Superman’s costume in the movie framework is a top and tights as opposed to leotard) and its provenance from Warner Bros (Read Jason DeBord’s assessment on The Original Prop Blog here).

Propstore would later offer the tunic on the market (read the listing here) and in the hands of a private collector in the UK it was recently photographed being signed by Margot Kidder at a con (bottom pic).

While an owner has the right to do what he pleases with his property, SUPERMANIA nonetheless urges fellow collectors never to interfere with any original costume in such a fashion as it dramatically affects the value of the piece…

Coming soon, the Super-auction to end all auctions…

Oh Boy…

Fullscreen capture 03082015 193741Fullscreen capture 03082015 194015Fullscreen capture 03082015 193922Fullscreen capture 03082015 200057Costume month continues here at SUPERMANIA with this most curious clash of silver and small screen, culminating in the final appearance of a Christopher Reeve worn Super-suit and its eventual fate as restaurant decoration.

After a five-year respite between their last critical and commercial failure of Supergirl in 1984 and having sold the rights to Superman in 1985, Producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind were back in the super-business with a typically ambitious venture to be shot at Disney MGM Studios in Florida – Superboy – The Series.

Importing both trusted resources and crew from the UK (among them effects guru Colin Chilvers), this left-over wardrobe from their groundbreaking Superman movies was one of a number of costume pieces to be adapted for their first foray into television.

Though not strictly canon with the Super-movies, the show would inevitably share many paralells with its big-screen incarnation, from production-values to a young lead with an uncanny resemblance to their original star.  In fact, newcomer John Haymes-Newton would screentest in a complete Christopher Reeve costume (as seen in the first season DVD set) and his own costumes would be made from the same bridal-weight spandex as its predecessor.  The Superboy costumes would also utilize the remaining stock of belts and capes worn in the films, the latter already having been cut shorter for Supergirl.

As the first season broadcast it became evident the one thing it didn’t share with its cinematic counterpart was the quality of its special effects and more importantly, scripts. To that end, having given a competent performance for the first 26 episodes, Newton would be replaced by less expensive/troublesome Gerard Christopher (screentesting in one of Newton’s suits) and the entire production moved to Universal Studios, Orlando.

For the remaining three seasons, Christopher would make the role his own supported by IIan Mitchell-Smith (Best remembered as Wyatt from Weird Science) as quirky comic-relief roomate Andy McCallister.  For the two-parter “Bizarro – The Thing of Steel” and   “The Battle with Bizzaro’ Smith as McCallister shows up for a costume party as Superboy ironically dressed in a screenused Superman suit (top pic)

Although the boots are a recycled pair of Newton’s (second pic) the costume is clearly the same Reeve suit as used in Newton’s screentest and, while faded (it was 11 years old at this point) holds up well to Christopher’s fresher incarnation (bottom pic).

In 1992 after 100 episodes, The Adventures of Superboy would end its run having left a modest mark in super-history.  Many of its props and costumes would find their way into private collections but the Superman costume shown here with its colourful history would go on to enjoy a retirement displayed proudly in the Downtown Disney branch of Planet Hollywood, where, reunited with its matching boots, it would be suspended from the ceiling for years until being relocated to the lobby in an acrylic case for thousands to enjoy…