Tag Archives: auction

Reviewing the Profiles in History Lost Auction

Source: ThePropBlog.com, Blogged by Dan Benton

The Profiles in History Lost Auction has finally come and gone, and to say the reviews were mixed would be an understatement.

Putting aside the obvious issues discussed here and at the Movie Prop Forum in recent weeks, collectors and fans still had high hopes that Joe Maddalena & Co. would somehow come through with an event that would shake the foundation of the movie memorabilia world.

They didn’t.

Prior to the first piece going live, I received several calls and e-mailing noting that the $500 Good Faith deposit (see: Flip-Flopping Profiles in History Removes ‘Good Faith’ Deposit) still appeared when users tried to log in using the Live Auctioneers software. Although collectors weren’t actually forced to pay said fee, it still caused for a brief moment of anxiety…a moment of anxiety that shouldn’t have happened because PiH had previously said they would remove all traces of that little speed bump.

Not everything was negative, however. If you’re a glass half full kind of person you can take solace in knowing that the prop collection world gained countless new members and had a huge influx of funds.

Other Positives:

  • The auction brought a lot of top-notch media attention to the hobby.
  • Some of the costume lots immediately got broken up and placed on eBay. This gave some of the other collectors who didn’t have a ton of money to spend a second opportunity on certain pieces.

Other Negatives:

  • Starting the auction at 1:00 Pacific Time really put a hurting on those out East. With day one ending around midnight and day two ending early this morning, it was really too much for certain fans to take. Many collectors missed out on the opportunity to bid simply because they had to get up for work the next morning.
  • At one point the auction had to be stopped so that collectors and fans could move their cars in order for others to leave.
  • Many of the props and costumes being auctioned off weren’t on display or even on the premises.
  • No sound. No video. For those watching live online, it was like torture. PiH should have set up a UStream account and broadcast the auction live similar to the way Propworx had done it for the Iron Man auction.
  • Several additional catalog inconsistencies were discovered during the auction.
  • What was billed as a “huge ABC special event” turned out to be nothing more than a sparkler. Of the many Lost cast members involved in filming over six seasons, the most notable to appear at this auction were Sterling Beaumon, who played Young Ben in five episodes, and Daniel Roebuck, who played Leslie Arzt in seven episodes.

Another negative, which was not Profile’s fault at all, was the new collectors’ misunderstanding of the estimates. Many new faces figured the estimates would be in their price range and had no idea how much over a high estimate certain pieces could go. Several fans who made their way to Santa Monica walked away extremely upset and empty handed because they just didn’t have the disposable income to compete.

Things that make you go “Whaaaaa?”

  • The 13 Oceanic Airlines bottles of water sold for $1,400. Outside the auction area, 24 bottles of sealed Oceanic Airlines water were selling $36.
  • Prior to the auction, a video was shown of Evangeline Lilly claiming to have stolen the original Sawyer Letter, only to have it lost in a house fire. Ironically, later in the auction “Sawyer’s Letter” sold for nearly $10,000. To top it off, it turned out the letter wasn’t hand written…it was all computer type.
  • John Lock’e suicide note to Jack Sheppard was another big ticket item. Unfortunately, once fans got a look at the piece, they realized Jack’s last name, Sheppard, was spelled incorrectly on the envelope. It was spelled “Shepard.”
  • One of the Spanish “Flash” comic books sold for $1,400; the other sold for close to $3,500. They were the exact same thing.

At one point late last night/early this morning, the internet at the Barker Hangar went down and fans were forced to continue their bidding by phone. It wasn’t the first time this has happened at an auction, as the internet also went down at the Propworx Iron Man Auction (see: Iron Man Auction Short Circuited at Lot 163) back in April.

Either way, if you’re Profiles in History and the fan experience means little to you, then you’ve got to be happy. The amount of money they pulled in from this auction in comparison to the estimates was astronomical. The rich have gotten richer and the powerful have gotten more powerful.

Unfortunately, that does little for the fans and collectors who were feeling “ripped off” as one put it. Others felt disrespected and competitors in the industry felt ashamed to be associated in any way with Profiles. Many felt it was a sloppy job from top to bottom, and that it’s done more harm to the industry than good. And while I understand those sentiments, as a member of the media going on seven years now, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that any publicity is good publicity.

Still, I’d like to see Profiles make a much better effort next time. I’d also like to see them do more for the fan experience as this auction fell far short of its expectations.

In the end, if Profiles was a student, the auction was their project and I was the teacher in charge of grading them, they’d be going to summer school.

Pro-Prop Blog Notes:

  • The Prop Blog received a healthy amount of attention over the last two weeks because of the continuous Lost Auction coverage. Not only was my work and research mentioned Luxist and Wired, I also received a little notoriety from the New York Times last night.

The ‘Lost’ auction: A list of notable purchases

The ‘Lost’ auction: A list of notable purchases

Yes, someone did pay $25,000 for this. (Profiles in History)


We may be living in challenging economic times. But that didn’t stop some “Lost” fans from spending $5,000 on a 12-pack of Dharma Initiative beer — or $16,000 for the door to the Swan station — during this weekend’s “Lost” auction.

Bidding got frenzied and expensive during the two-day sale of props, costumes and other assorted gems from the “Lost” production closets. Held in Santa Monica, Calif., but open to bidders who participated in person, via phone and online, the Profiles in History auction netted $900,000 on Saturday, according to the New York Times, with Sunday totals projected to go well over $1 million.

One Celebritology reader told me she was lucky enough to snag Sawyer’s outfit from the pilot episode for the bargain basement price — in “Lost” auction terms, anyway — of $650. But the majority of items tended to go for upwards of $1,000, making bidding from one’s home laptop an often disheartening affair. (What? I can’t even get some Apollo candy bars without dropping 2K?)

Here’s the rundown on some of the more notable gets from the weekend, based on my research, data compiled by The ODI and information from the New York Times.

Dharma Volkswagen van: $47,500

Daniel Faraday’s journal with Jughead notes and reminder about Desmond Hume being his Constant: $27,500

The Frozen Donkey Wheel: $25,000

Hurley’s Camaro: $24,000

A copy of the pilot script, signed by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof: $15,000

The fail-safe key turned by Desmond Hume: $11,000

The controversial squirrel baby could have been yours’ for a mere $2,750. (Profiles in History)

Jack’s bloody outfit from the final scene: $10,000

Large piece of the fuselage: $9,000

Charlie Pace’s Drive Shaft ring: $9,000

John Locke’s suicide letter to Jack: $9,000

Kate’s toy airplane: $6,500

Benjamin Linus’s fake money and passports: $5,000

Hurley’s notebook with his rewrite of the “Empire Strikes Back”: $4,250

Sawyer’s copy of “Watership Down”: $3,300

Claire’s Squirrel Baby: $2,750 (perhaps it didn’t go for more due to the Squirrel Baby controversy?)

Rousseau’s music box: $1,800

The fact that you now can’t afford your monthly mortgage payments because you spent so much money on “Lost” auction stuff?: Priceless.

By Jen Chaney
The Washington Post
August 23, 2010; 11:05 AM ET

LOST Auction Items from Season 6

More LOST Auction Items

LOST Auction later this month

The LOST prop auction is August 21-22 at 1:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time)  in Santa Monica, California. Dan and I are thinking of doing a road trip to go down to the auction and have a look-see. I have about a 1/2 dozen items I am interested in, but I think 2 of them everyone else will be too.

The address of the auction is:

Barker Hangar
3021 Airport Ave.
Santa Monica, CA  90405

Here are some photos of some items that are going to be up for sale. I’ll try to show some photos each day until the auction.

Batman Comic Book Beats Superman at Auction, Sets Record

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporterFebruary 26, 2010: 2:55 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The Dark Knight may be Superman’s next greatest nemesis, after Lex Luthor.

Just three days after auction site ComicConnect.com claimed to break world records when it sold an original Superman comic for $1 million, Batman stole his thunder.

A rare, high-quality copy of Detective Comics #27, which marked the first appearance of Batman in 1939, sold for $1,075,500 on Thursday. Heritage Auctions of Dallas sold the comic book to an unnamed bidder on behalf of an anonymous collector.

Seven bidders from three countries participated in the combination live and online auction, taking about eight minutes to decide on a final price — an “eternity” in auction time, said Heritage Auctions president Greg Rohan.

On Monday, ComicConnect claimed to sell a rare copy of Action Comics #1 to an anonymous collector for $1 million.

Action Comics #1, which debuted in 1938, marked the first appearance of Superman. A lesser-quality copy set the previous comic book record, racking up $317,000 at auction last year.

Vincent Zurzolo, who co-owns ComicConnect.com with founder Stephen Fishler, said while his Superman sale only held the record for three days, he was very happy to see two comic books selling for more than $1 million.

“Records are meant to be broken,” and this week will forever go down in comic book history, he said.

Both Detective Comics #27 and Action Comics #1 were originally published by National Allied Publications, a company that later became Detective Comics and then DC Comics. DC Comics and CNNMoney.com are Time Warner subsidiaries.

With several comic book films set to release in 2011, Zurzolo said he expects prices to escalate on rare copies featuring popular characters. Green Lantern, The First Avenger: Captain America and Spider-Man 4 are tentatively scheduled to open in theaters next year.

Rohan said he’s seen prices for incredibly rare items, like original comic books, shoot up between 15% and 25% during the recession, while auction prices for more common collectibles have decreased.

Last month, Heritage Auctions sold a 1913 nickel, one of only 5 in the world, for $3.7 million. 

Preview: The LOST Prop Auction

Profiles in History is hosting the LOST prop auction this summer. Below is one of the items from the auction; Kate’s cherished toy airplane from Season 1 Episode 12.

Watch for more preview information in the coming months.

LOST Auction in 2010 – Good ol’ DHARMA Food

props-lostdharmaproductsEven though the LOST prop auction is not until next year, you can start saving now to purchase your own stash of Dharma food products. Sawyer says the Dharma beer is better than microbrew. The Profiles in History auction will take place in 2010.

More LOST Auction Items


Even though the LOST auction is not until next year, you can start saving your pennies now for your own Darma jumpsuit. You will be the darling of the office in these fashionable outerwares from the LOST television show prop department. The Profiles in History auction will take place in 2010.

LOST Auction – More items from the 2010 auction

Lost Hurley's Lottery Ticket

Maybe you will have better luck than Hurley with his lottery ticket. These numbers were also stamped into the hatch door. The Profiles in History auction will be next year in 2010.