How to buy fantasy and movie prop swords
A guide on buying fantasy swords and movie swords
The Last Samurai sword, Lord of the Rings swords, and Star Wars light sabers—all of these swords have been largely popularized by pop culture. Movies, films, interactive video games, and online role-playing games are shaping our taste on sword collecting.
They are also teaching us history lessons in a fun, exciting ways. Anyone can know the American Civil War or Greek Peloponnesian War or Medieval Crusade without going through exams or leafing pages of a novel. People can also imagine the world of dwarfs and elves, of monsters and witches, and follow their awesome journey.
Indeed fantasy swords and movie props are taking the world, and its imagination, by storm.
Fantasy sword collecting
Many fantasy sword collectors today have been avid fans of a popular video, online role-playing games, or anime movies.
The superb Final Fantasy sword of Sephiroth has took hold in the imagination of children and adults alike. Swords, blades, and knives in World of WarCraft and Age of Empires are also traded onto the real world. High fantasy epics like the The Lord of the Rings and personal fiction Conan the Barbarian have attracted loyal fans through all ages.
Movie props and movie swords Collecting
Movies are the greatest sources of collectible fantasy swords. The rights to produce and sell movie props like swords and blades are now tagged and priced.
Today, there are many companies selling the props and other memorabilia. They provide the big market for children and those kids-at-heart acting out their favorite heroes and main casts.
Buying Fantasy swords and movie props
Buying collectible fantasy swords and movie props nowadays is simple. If you are hooked online, you can participate in any live auctions. You can buy online too, fill up the order slip, and wait for the delivery to your doorsteps.
However, one has to avoid buying counterfeits and dealing with fraudulent suppliers. Below is the list of fantasy swords split into five types: the actual movie props, the licensed edition, the limited edition, the standard edition, and the counterfeits.
Actual movie props and movie swords
These are collectible movie swords, blades, and knives that have been used in actual shooting of the film. The cheapest among them are those used by background cast, stunts people, and extras. The priciest among them are those that are carried, worn, and used by the main cast; have long exposure in the film; are crucial to the central plot; and are in excellent condition when purchased.
Collectible swords you see on movies may have copies during the actual shooting. For instance, the Excalibur sword buried into the stone may not be exactly the same Excalibur when drawn out. Remember that different scenes in the movie call out for a different prop. This is important because the price of the memorabilia depends upon their number or availability.
So check out the production first before buying anything. Also, do not forget to demand for a certificate of authenticity upon purchase.
Licensed edition swords refer to movie props or fantasy swords that are authorized by the film outfit or production companies. These may include replicas of a real sword from the movies or the forging of a fictitious sword (such as fantasy swords taken from video games and anime movies).
Usually, a second-party contractor asks for the rights to produce and sell the replicas. Here the price depends on many factors, including the popularity of the sword being copied, the popularity of the movie or fiction, the quality of the product, etc. The license is important as it protects the sword from being reproduced without explicit permission.
Licensed duplicates come with a steep price. Double check the license and the rights of the distributor, because this is where the most of the value of the sword comes from. Check if the collectible fantasy sword has a certificate of licensing and certificate of authenticity.
All licensed edition swords are limited edition, in the sense that contractors want to control the number of produced fantasy swords to jack prices up. Often they have a serial number for production control. Limited edition is not the same with licensed edition. Licensing comes first before limiting of the production, not the other way around.
Always demand for a license, and then ask for the number of fantasy swords to be produced. If you come across a collectible movie prop that does not have a license but is on limited edition, do not pay for it on the same price as you would pay for a licensed sword. Its real number in the market may not actually be “limited”. It is not protected, making it allowable for other companies to produce the same product.
The standard edition is different, as it only aims to produce swords that resemble or have the same characteristics to a movie sword or a fantasy sword. If a standard edition sword is not licensed and not limited, they are less expensive and your first choice if you only want to play around or among your reenactment groups.
Do not pay any standard edition swords like they are licensed and limited edition. Standard edition is sold to keep the demand for replicas from the movie, but their value in the future is not expected to spike.
Counterfeits are fakes confused with the real. They can be a false movie prop with a fictitious provenance or a sword with a forged license and bogus serial number. They can also be an antique fantasy sword made only recently. Counterfeits are thriving for the reason that they make a lot of money without the pain and the work to create something new.
Counterfeits are dead ends. They are priced more highly than their real worth. So avoid, at all times, any purchases that are dubious.
Final word on fantasy sword collecting
Be aware that most of the time, the price tag of a sword increases with the release of a film or graphic novel although it is simply coincidental. The hype of an imminent release of a movie can drive fantasy sword market to demand more of a sword, so the rise in prices is naturally expected.
If you are a serious movie prop sword collector, the safest way is to buy from reputable distributors who have been granted the right to sell actual movie props. On the other hand, if you are a serious collector of movie sword replicas, always look all three qualifications: licensed, limited, and standard.
You can opt for another safe way in acquiring fantasy sword. You can create your own interpretation or design and let it be forged by a professional smith. There have been many collectors who have done the same thing, with the sole satisfaction of having a fantasy sword made real. In this way you can exercise your creativity and inventiveness.