Prop Store
Prop Store

10 Iconic Sci-Fi Movie Props You Can Own

Prop Store
Prop Store

If it weren’t for a man named Kent Warner digging through MGM’s trash, there may never have been much of a movie memorabilia market. Warner, a costumer by trade and collector by night, managed to salvage a number of classic film props from several studios, fetching discarded ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, the trench coat from Casablanca, and hundreds of costumes that he funneled into private hands.

That was back in 1970. Today, movie memorabilia is a multimillion dollar business, with auctions offering fans a chance to own screen-used or screen-worn apparel and props. One of the largest of the year is set for September 26, when London’s Prop Store will be auctioning off high-profile lots featuring items from Aliens, Star Wars, and other classic sci-fi and fantasy films. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store, along with the estimated final sale prices once the gavel comes down. (Film history doesn’t come cheap.)

1. C-3PO’S HEAD // THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980)

A prop C-3PO head used in 'The Empire Strikes Back'

The suffocating mask sported by actor Anthony Daniels through months of filming 1977’s Star Wars—in excruciating desert heat, no less—led Daniels to beg the special effects staff to make a more comfortable costume for the sequel. Instead of fiberglass, propmakers used injection-molded plastic. The problem? The plastic quickly shrunk, making the heads unusable. The prop department kept them around as extras in case they needed spare parts. Effects masks from the trilogy are highly sought-after, with Chewbacca's fetching $172,000 back in 2008.

Estimated: $77,000-$103,000

2. THE JOKER’S SUIT // BATMAN (1989)

Jack Nicholson's Joker costume seen in the 1989 film 'Batman'

Now you can dance with the devil in the pale moonlight—whatever that was supposed to mean—in style. This vivid purple suit worn by Jack Nicholson in director Tim Burton’s gothic take on the Dark Knight comes complete with shirt, tie, gloves, and purple leather Oxford shoes. (Jack wore a 10.5, in case you were wondering.)

Estimated: $26,000-$38,000

3. STAR LORD’S HELMET // GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)

Star-Lord's helmet from 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) sported this space helmet for galactic combat in only the second movie to co-star a taking raccoon. (Doctor Dolittle did it first.) Pratt’s movie star head was kept comfortable with interior foam and leather; LED lighting allows the eye sockets to glow red.

Estimated: $38,000-$64,000

4. INDIANA JONES’S WHIP // INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989)

The whip used by Harrison Ford in 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'

Harrison Ford’s third excursion as the superhero archaeologist demanded a deep reservoir of bullwhips. This one was used for scenes where Indiana Jones attempts a rescue of his father Henry (Sean Connery), among others. It’s made of kangaroo hide and measures 10 feet long. Presumably, the auction house is not responsible for whatever injury you may inflict upon yourself trying to use it.

Estimated: $64,000-$90,000

5. ALIEN CREATURE COSTUME // ALIENS (1986)

An alien costume used in the1986 film 'Aliens'

It’s game over for anyone trying to top your Halloween set-up if you can get your hands on this “alien warrior” costume worn by stunt workers for James Cameron’s Aliens. The complete polyfoam suit was designed by Stan Winston and based on H.G. Giger’s original concept.

Estimated: $26,000-$38,000

6. MARTY MCFLY’S SNEAKERS // BACK TO THE FUTURE II (1989)

Marty McFly's shoes as seen in 'Back to the Future II'

It took Nike decades to engineer a mass-produced pair of the sneakers worn by Michael J. Fox in the 2015 sequences of Back to the Future II. These screen-worn shoes were for shots of Fox walking around and feature a light-up Nike logo on the front.

Estimated: $32,000-$45,000

7. PETER VENKMAN’S SUIT // GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)

Bill Murray's jumpsuit from 'Ghostbusters'

Be assured Bill Murray busted ghosts in supreme comfort during filming of the 1984 comedy classic. The zippered one-piece jumpsuit is made of cotton and features the iconic Ghostbusters logo on the right arm.

Estimated: $7700-$10,000

8. GRAYS SPORTS ALMANAC // BACK TO THE FUTURE II (1989)

The sports almanac seen in 'Back to the Future II'

The perfect guide for the betting time-traveler, this Grays sports records paperback popped up frequently onscreen as Marty McFly tried to wrest it from the grip of adversary Biff Tannen. This is just the cover, though: no actual win/loss records are inside.

Estimated: $1300-$1900

9. SPIDER GREMLIN // GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH (1990)

The spider Gremlin prop from 'Gremlins II'

A true work of macabre art, effects legend Rick Baker designed this spider Gremlin as part of the mutated creature troop for director Joe Dante’s 1990 sequel. It’s undergone some slight restoration work.

Estimated: $13,000-$19,000

10. DOCTOR DOOM’S ARMOR // THE FANTASTIC FOUR (1994)

The Doctor Doom costume from 1994's 'Fantastic Four'

“Iconic” might be too strong a label for producer Roger Corman’s low-budget Fantastic Four film, which was reputedly made quickly so Corman could retain the film rights to the comic. This impressively-designed plastic suit of armor is probably the best thing to come out of it.

Estimated: $3900-$6400

All images courtesy of Prop Store.

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Zach Hyman, HBO
10 Bizarre Sesame Street Fan Theories
Zach Hyman, HBO
Zach Hyman, HBO

Sesame Street has been on the air for almost 50 years, but there’s still so much we don’t know about this beloved children’s show. What kind of bird is Big Bird? What’s the deal with Mr. Noodle? And how do you actually get to Sesame Street? Fans have filled in these gaps with frequently amusing—and sometimes bizarre—theories about how the cheerful neighborhood ticks. Read them at your own risk, because they’ll probably ruin the Count for you.

1. THE THEME SONG CONTAINS SECRET INSTRUCTIONS.

According to a Reddit theory, the Sesame Street theme song isn’t just catchy—it’s code. The lyrics spell out how to get to Sesame Street quite literally, giving listeners clues on how to access this fantasy land. It must be a sunny day (as the repeated line goes), you must bring a broom (“sweeping the clouds away”), and you have to give Oscar the Grouch the password (“everything’s a-ok”) to gain entrance. Make sure to memorize all the steps before you attempt.

2. SESAME STREET IS A REHAB CENTER FOR MONSTERS.

Sesame Street is populated with the stuff of nightmares. There’s a gigantic bird, a mean green guy who hides in the trash, and an actual vampire. These things should be scary, and some fans contend that they used to be. But then the creatures moved to Sesame Street, a rehabilitation area for formerly frightening monsters. In this community, monsters can’t roam outside the perimeters (“neighborhood”) as they recover. They must learn to educate children instead of eating them—and find a more harmless snack to fuel their hunger. Hence Cookie Monster’s fixation with baked goods.

3. BIG BIRD IS AN EXTINCT MOA.

Big Bird is a rare breed. He’s eight feet tall and while he can’t really fly, he can rollerskate. So what kind of bird is he? Big Bird’s species has been a matter of contention since Sesame Street began: Big Bird insists he’s a lark, while Oscar thinks he’s more of a homing pigeon. But there’s convincing evidence that Big Bird is an extinct moa. The moa were 10 species of flightless birds who lived in New Zealand. They had long necks and stout torsos, and reached up to 12 feet in height. Scientists claim they died off hundreds of years ago, but could one be living on Sesame Street? It makes sense, especially considering his best friend looks a lot like a woolly mammoth.

4. OSCAR’S TRASH CAN IS A TARDIS.

Oscar’s home doesn’t seem very big. But as The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland revealed, his trash can holds much more than moldy banana peels. The Grouch has chandeliers and even an interdimensional portal down there! There’s only one logical explanation for this outrageously spacious trash can: It’s a Doctor Who-style TARDIS.

5. IT’S ALL A RIFF ON PLATO.

Dust off your copy of The Republic, because this is about to get philosophical. Plato has a famous allegory about a cave, one that explains enlightenment through actual sunlight. He describes a prisoner who steps out of the cave and into the sun, realizing his entire understanding of the world is wrong. When he returns to the cave to educate his fellow prisoners, they don’t believe him, because the information is too overwhelming and contradictory to what they know. The lesson is that education is a gradual learning process, one where pupils must move through the cave themselves, putting pieces together along the way. And what better guide is there than a merry kids’ show?

According to one Reddit theory, Sesame Street builds on Plato’s teachings by presenting a utopia where all kinds of creatures live together in harmony. There’s no racism or suffocating gender roles, just another sunny (see what they did there?) day in the neighborhood. Sesame Street shows the audience what an enlightened society looks like through simple songs and silly jokes, spoon-feeding Plato’s “cave dwellers” knowledge at an early age.

6. MR. NOODLE IS IN HELL.

Can a grown man really enjoy taking orders from a squeaky red puppet? And why does Mr. Noodle live outside a window in Elmo’s house anyway? According to this hilariously bleak theory, no, Mr. Noodle does not like dancing for Elmo, but he has to, because he’s in hell. Think about it: He’s seemingly trapped in a surreal place where he can’t talk, but he has to do whatever a fuzzy monster named Elmo says. Definitely sounds like hell.

7. ELMO IS ANIMAL’S SON.

Okay, so remember when Animal chases a shrieking woman out of the college auditorium in The Muppets Take Manhattan? (If you don't, see above.) One fan thinks Animal had a fling with this lady, which produced Elmo. While the two might have similar coloring, this theory completely ignores Elmo’s dad Louie, who appears in many Sesame Street episodes. But maybe Animal is a distant cousin.

8. COOKIE MONSTER HAS AN EATING DISORDER.

Cookie Monster loves to cram chocolate chip treats into his mouth. But as eagle-eyed viewers have observed, he doesn’t really eat the cookies so much as chew them into messy crumbs that fly in every direction. This could indicate Cookie Monster has a chewing and spitting eating disorder, meaning he doesn’t actually consume food—he just chews and spits it out. There’s a more detailed (and dark) diagnosis of Cookie Monster’s symptoms here.

9. THE COUNT EATS CHILDREN.

Can a vampire really get his kicks from counting to five? One of the craziest Sesame Street fan theories posits that the Count lures kids to their death with his number games. That’s why the cast of children on Sesame Street changes so frequently—the Count eats them all after teaching them to add. The adult cast, meanwhile, stays pretty much the same, implying the grown-ups are either under a vampiric spell or looking the other way as the Count does his thing.

10. THE COUNT IS ALSO A PIMP.

Alright, this is just a Dave Chappelle joke. But the Count does have a cape.

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HighSpeedInternet.com
The Most Popular Netflix Show in Every Country
HighSpeedInternet.com
HighSpeedInternet.com
most popular Netflix show in each country map
HighSpeedInternet.com
most popular Netflix show in each country map key
HighSpeedInternet.com

If you're bored with everything in your Netflix queue, why not look to the top shows around the world for a recommendation?

HighSpeedInternet.com recently used Google Trends data to create a map of the most popular show streaming on Netflix in every country in 2018. The best-loved show in the world is the dystopian thriller 3%, claiming the number one spot in eight nations. The show is the first Netflix original made in Portuguese, so it's no surprise that Portugal and Brazil are among the eight countries that helped put it at the top of the list.

Coming in second place is South Korea's My Love from the Star, which seven countries deemed their favorite show. The romantic drama revolves around an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a mortal. The English-language show with the most clout is 13 Reasons Why, coming in at number three around the world—which might be proof that getting addicted to soapy teen dramas is a universal experience.

Pot comedy Disjointed is Canada's favorite show, which probably isn't all that surprising given the nation's recent ruling to legalize marijuana. Perhaps coming as even less of a shock is the phenomenon of Stranger Things taking the top spot in the U.S. Favorites like Black Mirror, Sherlock, and The Walking Dead also secured the love of at least one country.

Out of the hundreds of shows on the streaming platform, only 47 are a favorite in at least one country in 2018. So no hard feelings, Gypsy.

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