10 movie props every child of the 80s wants to own
10 of the most iconic props from classic 80s films
The 1980s may seem like a strange and distant land - a land ruled benignly by Molly Ringwald and Howard the Duck - but for kids raised in the 80s it feels like only yesterday that we'd happily pay money to see a Judd Nelson movie.
Now a grown-up generation of memorabilia collectors are willing to pay top dollar to ruthlessly cling on to their childhoods - but when the items are this cool, you can hardly blame them. So join us, as we count down the 10 greatest movie props that anyone who grew up in the 80s would want to own.
10) Johnny Five
In the list of the most 80s things ever, Short Circuit sits between Casio digital watches and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
It’s amazing that only one film made during the decade featured Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy and a talking robot, but we’re glad that it did because it gave us both the brilliant Johnny Five and the insult ‘Your mamma was a snowblower.”
For just $120,000, you could have owned the actual Johnny Five robot that starred in ‘Short Circuit’ (yay!), ‘Short Circuit 2’(yay?) and the 1990 educational film about stolen vehicles ‘Hot Cars, Cold Facts’ (um, what?).
9) Zoltar fortune telling machine
The 1988 Oscar-nominated ‘Big’ featured the dream of every 12-year-old boy: to suddenly become Tom Hanks and jump on a gigantic piano.
The incredibly creepy Zoltar fortune-telling machine that grants Josh Baskin’s wish is one of the most famous props from 80s cinema and it now stands in the Falcon Theatre in California, owned by the brother of the film’s director Penny Marshall.
The spot where it stood in the film, at the Rye Playland amusement park in New York, is now occupied by a Pepsi machine – which will not grant your wish, unless your wish is to eventually get diabetes.
8) A Gremlin
The 1984 movie Gremlins made every kid want two things: a pet Mogwai, and the chance to blow something up in a microwave. This rare Gremlins puppet is one of the very few to survive intact from the original 1984 movie.
Once filming had finished, the latex puppets were stored in a warehouse and simply rooted away over the years, meaning new puppets had to be made from the original casts for the 1990 sequel. It brought $5,175 at a Christie’s auction in 1998.
7) Indiana Jones’ bullwhip
At many schools in the 1980s, the Indiana Jones movies were mainly responsible for kids chanting “Kali Ma” whilst trying to pull each other’s hearts out, and flicking each other in the eyes with home-made whips.
The original, iconic whip used by Harrison Ford in all three of the original trilogy of films sold at Profiles in History in July 2013 for $95,000. Its absence from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull means it will, thankfully, retain its value for years to come.
6) Ferris Bueller's Ferrari
Ferris was right: life DOES move pretty fast. You want proof? He said it 26 years ago. The Ferrari 250GT Spyder California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of the most iconic movie cars of the 80s, even if it is just a replica built for the film by Modena Design.
This screen-used version, which appeared in the majority of the film’s driving scenes, sold at Bonhams in 2010 for £79,600. In the words of the great man himself, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."
5) Batman's suit
For kids who had grown up on re-runs of the 60s Batman TV show, Tim Burton’s 1989 movie totally reinvented the character from slightly creepy uncle to total badass.
Michael Keaton may not have been the obvious choice to play the Caped Crusader, but he brought an edgy intensity which matched Jack Nicholson’s awesome scenery chewing. “You wanna get nuts? Come on! Let’s get nuts.”
Keaton’s screen-worn Batman suit, the first not to feature a pair of ridiculous tights, sold at Profiles in History in 2006 for $80,000.
4) Han Solo’s blaster
Han Solo is one of the coolest characters in the Star Wars universe (just behind Lando and Admiral Akbar, obviously).
He had an awesome spaceship, his best friend was a 7ft dog and he ALWAYS shot first. He had no time for hokey religions and ancient weapons, as he was too busy blasting things and getting frozen in carbonite.
Harrison Ford’s screen-used blaster from both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi sold at Profiles in History in 2013 for $200,000 – making it the same price as Luke’s prop lightsabre, but slightly less whiney.
3) A hoverboard
In 1989, Back to the Future II offered the promise of hoverboards to a generation of kids. Twenty-five years later we’re still waiting for inventors to get their act together.
The closest you can get are the original screen-used boards from the film, all of which have sold at auction to collectors in recent years. The hoverboard used by Michael J. Fox brought the biggest price, selling for $55,000 at Profiles in History in 2008. The rest of us will just have to wait for October 21, 2015...
2) The Goonies' treasure map
In 1985, kids ransacked their attics in search of hidden treasure maps and ruined their trainers trying to make their own pair of ‘slick shoes’.
The Goonies remains one of the best-loved movies of the decade, featuring important 80s staples such as a Cyndi Lauper song on the soundtrack and Corey Feldman. Sadly, Goonies fans hoping to one day get their hands on One-Eyed Willy’s original map are out of luck.
According to legend, actor Sean Austin kept the map as a memento after filming – until years later, when his mother tidied his bedroom and accidentally threw it out with the trash.
1) A Ghostbusters proton pack
The proton pack from Ghostbusters is without doubt the ultimate movie prop for kids of the 80s, even if it was capable of causing total protonic reversal.
Bill Murray still occasionally wears one, and if Bill Murray thinks something is cool it becomes a scientific fact. The only-known hero pack from the original 1984 film to appear at auction (worn by the late, great Harold Ramis) brought $130,000 at Profiles in History in 2012.