Movie prop and memorabilia auction house PropStore (opens in new tab) saves some of its best items for its live auctions, and there's a big one (opens in new tab) happening Wednesday and Thursday this week. Aside from a couple Warcraft movie props (yes, you could own King Llane's flashback battle armor (opens in new tab)), there's nothing directly videogame related, but there are some fascinating, tangentially-related items for sale.
The star of the auction is Lot 19: The 11-foot Nostromo principal filming model (opens in new tab) from Alien. The restored model is the largest of three Nostromo models made for the Ridley Scott film, and is seen in all of the close-up shots of the ship. If this is the kind of thing you like to gawk at, you might also enjoy reading our detailed breakdown (opens in new tab) of how similar 2014's Alien Isolation was to the set design of the Nostromo.
As you might expect, the Nostromo isn't going to go cheap. The current absentee bid (opens in new tab) is $275,000. Also note that there's a 25 percent fee on the winning bid, and shipping the model will cost another small fortune.
But imagine having the damn Nostromo in your foyer (I assume you have a foyer, and a large one, if you can afford the Nostromo). Tested (opens in new tab)'s Norman Chan gets a good look at the model, and some of PropStore's other models, in the video below:
Two of the other best lots are Jurassic Park "Dinosaur Input Devices" (opens in new tab) (DIDs), which were dinosaur armatures that could be posed for stop-motion animation. Rather than being photographed themselves, however, the DIDs sent position data to the 1993 movie's groundbreaking CG models.
The T-Rex and Raptor rigs up for auction embody the transition between stop motion and CG animation—they were literally built so that the stop-motion animators at Tippett Studio could work with the CG animators at ILM. (For more, Ian Failes tells the full story of the DIDs and Jurassic Park's switch from stop-motion to CG on VFXBlog (opens in new tab).)
Even though they technically didn't appear on screen like the Nostromo (although you could argue that their position data did), such important movie history objects are going to be pricey. The opening bids for both DIDs are set at $12,500.
I don't actually collect movie memorabilia, because I don't have thousands of dollars to blow on dinosaur rigs, but I am fascinated by prop auctions. Unlike the Nostromo and dinos, many of the items are essentially garbage, such as a bunch of suits covered with fake blood and dirt (opens in new tab). It's only because Keanu Reeves wore those suits in John Wick that they're worth a few grand to a collector. Likewise, the way screen time on Ben Affleck's sweaty head magically produces value for an otherwise unremarkable Reebok hat (current bid $800 (opens in new tab)) gives our reality a more unsettling aura to me. I'm reminded of Control's Objects of Power, except, of course, these objects don't do anything except require a lot of explanation when someone comes over. ("No, no, this isn't just a bar of soap that says Fight Club on it, this is the Fight Club soap from the movie poster (opens in new tab)!")
Prop value theory aside (I'd argue that there's a direct correlation between how much explaining a prop needs and the size of the winning bid), there's a ton of other cool stuff in the catalog (opens in new tab). What I enjoy most about movie prop auctions is finding the really stupid items, though. Here, in my estimation, are the worst lots in PropStore's live auction: