Movie memorabilia is a huge business, and there are plenty of wealthy fans out there willing to spend millions to get their hands on a one-of-a-kind prop. Of course, anyone would be able to pick up a B-class film prop or two with a few hundred dollars and an eBay account, but as for silver screen classics and their props, typically only the wealthiest and most passionate collectors are able to nab them. Here are some of the world’s most valuable (and expensive) movie props of all time!
#1: James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5
Appearing in iconic films like Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965), James Bond’s Aston Martin has had many generations of viewers wishing that they could take a spin in 007’s legendary spy car. The British sports car manufacturer produced just two prototypes of the DB5 that Sean Connery drove in some of the best Bond films of all time, and sadly, one of them was stolen from its Floridian owner in 1997 and was never recovered.
The second vehicle, however, was sold at auction in 2010 for a whopping $4.6 million, and came complete with all of its film-customized Q-Branch gadgets. The only feature not included was the classic ejector seat!
#2: Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber Sword
The iconic lightsaber has become one of the many trademarks of the Star Wars franchise, but none were more sought-after than Luke Skywalker’s own lightsaber which appeared in Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The original saber waved around by Mark Hamill himself were made from 1930s Graflex camera flash handles that set designer Roger Christian discovered in an old photography shop and repurposed for use in the films.
Two of these props ended up in Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz’s special collection, and were later sold in 2008 and 2017 for $240,000 and $450,000 respectively. The latter prop appeared only in The Empire Strikes Back, and was eventually purchased by the chain of museums belonging to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand.
#3: Robby the Robot
Appearing in sci-fi classics like Forbidden Planet (1956) and The Invisible Boy (1957), Robby the Robot has become an icon in his own right for his quick wit and powerful fictional computing skills. The skilfully-made prop was eventually sold to an anonymous buyer at a Bonhams auction in 2017 for an incredible $5.3 million, and came complete with the robot’s Jeep vehicle from Forbidden Planet. If only Robby was capable of formulating horse racing tips online as well!
#4: Marilyn Monroe’s White Dress
Marilyn Monroe needs no introduction, and neither does her white subway dress as seen in The Seven Year Itch (1955). This dress is the most expensive movie costume ever sold by far, fetching a jaw-dropping $4.6 million at an auction in 2011.
The dress’ seller was the late Hollywood actress Debbie Reynolds, who at the time was selling off the most valuable personal movie memorabilia collection ever assembled!
#5: Aragorn’s Sword
Appearing in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Aragorn’s trusty sword “Andúril” fetched an epic price of $437,000 in a Bonhams auction in 2014. However, Viggo Mortensen’s blade was not the only one to have raked in a significant sum from a passionate movie fan; Frodo’s sword Sting sold for $161,000 in 2013, and Gandalf’s wizard staff sold a year later for a hefty $325,000.