20 Pieces of Iconic Pop Culture Memorabilia You Can Own Right Now
Collecting props and memorabilia from television shows and films is the ultimate way to let your geek flag fly, while also doing your part to preserve pop culture history. Whether it's Princess Leia's metal bikini from Return of the Jedi (1983) or Orson Welles's scripts from Citizen Kane (1941), rare props from beloved films and television series are often treated like fine art when they hit the auction block. On September 29, Profiles in History—the world's largest auctioneer of Hollywood memorabilia—will kick off its three-day live Hollywood Auction 74, where bidders will find some truly coveted pieces of pop culture history, like the 20 iconic items that are up for bid below.
1. MARY ANN'S DRESS FROM GILLIGAN'S ISLAND
Long before teens were forced to choose between sparkly vampires or brooding werewolves, there was only one pop culture feud that mattered: Team Ginger or Team Mary Ann. Devoted fans of Gilligan’s Island can own a screen-worn costume straight out of actress Dawn Wells’s personal collection.
2. FONZIE'S JACKET FROM HAPPY DAYS
Everything about the Fonz was cool, from his hairstyle to his mythical jukebox powers, but it’s the wardrobe that made the character iconic. Anyone can own a brown leather jacket, but there are not many screen-worn Fonzie jackets floating around. According to the listing, this piece is believed to have been used in stunt scenes and has a tear on the inside of one arm and a missing zipper, which makes it even cooler.
3. "GENERAL LEE" 1969 DODGE CHARGER FROM THE DUKES OF HAZZARD
Shortly after the Confederate flag was removed from stores like Target and Amazon, reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard were canceled from television, but that doesn’t take away from how great the car looked on screen. There were a few hundred of the cars made for the show, but most were destroyed in stunt scenes. The buyer of this classic American muscle car should probably avoid jumping ravines and sliding across the hood if they want to keep it in pristine condition.
4. JESSE PINKMAN'S HAZMAT SUIT FROM BREAKING BAD
Substance abuse and incessant profanity aside, Jesse Pinkman was a damn good chemist’s assistant, and his yellow hazmat suit was one of the most memorable costumes in the entire series. With Jesse’s name written on the inside and some fake blood on the sleeve and chest, this item would make for a pretty cool Halloween costume, yo!
5. JOFFREY BARATHEON'S CROWN FROM GAME OF THRONES
“Liking” Joffrey Baratheon is not a thing that anyone should do, but owning the crown that the (spoiler alert!) former King of the Andals and the First Men wore in Game of Thrones is perfectly acceptable. Just don’t drink any wine while you're wearing it unless you have someone to take a sip of it first.
6. JAMES DEAN'S SWITCHBLADE FROM REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
This knife is not nearly as iconic as Dean's red jacket from the film, but it does have a cool backstory: The actors were given real blades to use in the fight scene at the Observatory and had to wear chainmail under their shirts in case of any off-target swipes. Dean’s switchblade is engraved with a studio production number and comes with a letter of provenance that says it came from the film’s prop master.
7. JULIE ANDREWS'S ACOUSTIC GUITAR FROM THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
It’s probably the case that everything Dame Julie Andrews has ever touched has been imbued with her magic, and her guitar from The Sound of Music is among the most iconic props she has ever wielded, second only to the carpet bag from Mary Poppins (1964). The vintage Goya 6-string acoustic sold for $168,000 back in 2008, so the modest starting bid and estimate are a steal.
8. ORIGINAL GOLDEN TICKET FROM WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971)
It’s probably safe to assume that there were more than six golden tickets made for the film (the five legit tickets and the fake), but this is still a pretty rare find for those who fell in love with the world of pure imagination. Only three of the originals have gone to auction in the past four and a half decades, so the hunt for another one would be just as difficult as it was in the story.
9. QUINT'S HARPOON RIFLE FROM JAWS (1975)
What else would you use to tether a yellow barrel (also available in the auction) to a giant shark? The rifle was modified with stainless steel components for the film so that it would not corrode in the salt water, but given the starting bid, the future owner should not plan to ever get this prop wet again.
10. SWAN'S VEST FROM THE WARRIORS (1979)
Swan’s vest is one of the few in existence nearly 40 years after the classic action film about rival gangs fighting their way around New York City. The vest is made of synthetic leather and features polyester piping and big embroidered patches on the back that are immediately recognizable. Can you dig it?
11. RON HOWARD'S 1958 CHEVROLET IMPALA FROM AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
One of the more expensive lots in the Profiles in History auction, Ron Howard’s 1958 Chevy Impala made Edmunds's list of "The 100 Greatest Movie and TV Cars of All Time." There was only one made for the film, and the listing says that this is the first time in 42 years that it has been featured for sale in an auction, so gearheads should act fast.
12. BLOCKADE RUNNER MINIATURE FROM STAR WARS: EPISODE IV — A NEW HOPE (1977)
When most people think of Star Wars vehicles, they picture the Death Star, the Millennium Falcon, one of the fighter planes, or maybe Anakin’s podracer, but the Rebel Blockade Runner is the first ship seen in the entire franchise, so it’s pretty important. It was also used by Princess Leia to enter Ralltiir and steal the plans that led to the destruction of the Death Star, so having the actual filming miniature should be a dream for any fan of the epic space opera.
13. INDIANA JONES'S BULLWHIP
Most props that sell at auction have letters of authenticity from the studios or propmasters that handled them, but this bullwhip comes with a signed LOA from Indy himself, Harrison Ford. The craftsman who supplied the hand-woven kangaroo hide whips for the film says that there were only about 30 made for the first three films.
14. RIPLEY'S TANK TOP AND AXE FROM ALIEN (1979)
The outfit that Ripley wore for a few minutes in the final scene of Alien has become famous for obvious reasons. Fighting a persistent alien must be even harder to do when you’re relaxing alone in your skivvies and don’t expect it.
15. MARTY MCFLY'S NIKE "MAGS" FROM BACK TO THE FUTURE II (1989)
You can’t have a major prop auction in 2015 without having a pair of the most iconic shoes in film history. In Back to the Future II, Marty travels through time to 2015 and is power-laced with a pair of cool sneakers, a hoverboard, and other inventions that made the future sound amazing to audiences in 1989. The shoes were not really self-lacing, but they did have working lights and a futuristic design. Nike has since released a charity version of the shoes (also without auto-lacing), but the rumor is that they have the technology and may have a treat for sneakerheads and Back to the Future fans before the new year begins.
16. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER'S JACKET FROM TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991)
Technically, this jacket belongs to one of the bikers in that bar, but the T-800 wore it best. Arnold donated it to a charity raffle for The Children’s Eye Care Clinic of the Children’s Hospital in 2014, and now some lucky fan has another chance to own the screen-used piece of sci-fi action movie history (which is signed by the Terminator himself).
17. ROBIN WILLIAMS'S PETER PAN COSTUME FROM HOOK (1991)
18. TYRANNOSAURUS REX TOOTH FROM JURASSIC PARK (1993)
The auction includes a ton of Jurassic Park props and memorabilia, from screen-used license plates to unopened toys and a few claws, but the T. rex tooth is perfect for advertising your fandom. It comes mounted with the film’s logo and “Tyrannosaurus Rex Tooth” engraved on a black resin display stand, so there will be no explanation needed when your friends come over.
19. MICHAEL JORDAN'S UNIFORM FROM SPACE JAM (1996)
This jersey and these shorts (and the man who wore them) helped save the world from a team of basketball playing Monstars, so some respect is due. People dress up as members of the Tune Squad every Halloween, but this costume was actually worn by the true King of the court.
20. FRANK THE BUNNY MASK FROM DONNIE DARKO (2001)
Pandora Films tells Profiles in History that only two masks were made for Donnie Darko because the filmmakers were working with such a small budget. Frank’s creepy character design made him a memorable part of pop culture history, even for people who have never seen the cult classic film.