TV Treasures: Classic 90s TV Memorabilia
If the 80s were all about cop shows and soap operas, the 90s were a golden age for teen programming.
Here’s 10 of the biggest pieces of memorabilia around.
10. Twin Peaks
Who killed Laura Palmer?
We sort of found out at the end of Twin Peaks, but in typical Lynchian fashion nothing was quite as it seemed (or made much sense at all).
Twin Peaks is pretty much the apex of cult TV. It’s an utterly bizarre story that managed to garner a hugely loyal fan base.
It’s also (finally) back on our screens this year.
Will things be resolved neatly? Probably not.
This set of sock monkey dolls from the show sold for $1,600 at Heritage Auctions earlier this year.
9. Beverly Hills 90210
Beverly Hills 90210, debuting in 1990, set the template for the teen dramas that would follow.
The trope of privileged, white people in upscale enclaves having arguments also went on to inform the manufactured reality TV of the early and late 2000s.
In other words, the creators have a lot to answer for (not least the Kardashians).
This crew jacket is signed by star Alyssa Milano and sold for $100 at Premiere Props in 2012.
8. The X-Files
This is Agent Mulder’s (David Duchovny) actual screen-used FBI credentials.
The lot appeared regularly on the show, with Mulder whipping it out anytime something weird started happening.
It sold for $7,500 at Profiles in History.
Seinfeld was a pioneering sitcom that introduced the world to such weighty concepts as Festivus and double-dipping.
What made it so ground-breaking was how it totally did away with character development and pathos – or as writer and co-creator Larry David famously put it: “no hugging, no learning”.
It ran for nine seasons, becoming arguably the most influential sitcom of all time.
This chair, made from a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, sat in Cosmo Kramer’s apartment and is seen in a number of episodes. It made $8,500 at Profiles in History in 2014.
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
While women were becoming much more visible on TV in the 1980s, they were still usually relegated to the role of girlfriend or mother.
That all changed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Josh Whedon’s extraordinary creation exploded onto our screens in 1997. It flipped the standard horror script on its head, empowering its female lead to battle her way through a nightmarish rogues gallery of demons, ghosts and vampires.
This wooden stake (actually made from rubber) was used on season 5 of the show.
It made $2,500 at Profiles in History in 2011.
5. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Will Smith was already a household name prior to starring in wildly popular sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
But the show served to launch him into the stratosphere.
Despite being incredibly corny at times, the show’s genuine warmth made it a slow-burning hit. It was also one of the first mainstream shows to address African-American politics.
Smith’s personal crew jacket is currently on sale on eBay with an asking price of $6,500.
A spin-off from the equally popular Cheers, Frasier follows psychiatrist Dr Frasier Crane’s departure from Boston to his home town of Seattle.
It was one of the biggest shows of the 1990s, but was also critically acclaimed. Over the course of its 11 years on air it was awarded a jaw dropping 37 Prime Time Emmys.
This script, signed by the whole cast, realised $300 at Profiles in History in 2014.
3. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
The occult was weirdly popular in the 1990s, with teenage girls everywhere dabbling in wicca.
Part of the catalyst for that was the huge success of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
This crew jacket signed by Melissa Joan Hart made $99 on eBay.
Friends was one of the defining shows of the 90s.
However, if you take the dodgy clothes and haircuts out of the equation it seems to exist out of time.
It was a sitcom about a group of excruciatingly dull, inexplicably well-off people who never seem to go to work and yet have huge amounts of disposable income.
And in stark contrast to Seinfeld, there was plenty of hugging and learning.
In 2011, the sofa from Central Perk (the coffee shop were the friends spent most of their time) was offered with an estimate of $6,000 but failed to sell.
1. The Simpsons
The Simpsons has been on for the past 29 years, making it the longest running animated TV show in history.
However, its glory days were without doubt during the 1990s.
This set of drawings from 1988 reveal the early development of some of its biggest characters, including Mr Burns, Dr Hibbert and “Bleeding Gums” Murphy.
It made $10,000 in a sale of memorabilia from the collection of co-creator Sam Simon in 2015.
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