Wolverine’s Claws … SOLD to the Highest Bidder!
That's right, one lucky collector (with deep pockets) added one hell of a super-badass item to their collection last week when Hugh Jackman's screen-worn Wolverine claws from X2: X-Men United were sold at auction for $40,250.00.
Take another look at that picture. I mean, really, how cool is that? And what an utterly ingenious design solution, curving the back end of the hard plastic/resin blades (what, you thought that for a measly forty G's, they'd be adamantium? Get real!) so they fit between the wearer's knuckles, tapering them to appear as if they're protruding directly from the skin and elegantly mounting the rig on a molded handgrip. I kinda figured that the claws in the movies were CGI, so I must admit that seeing this makes my little fanboy heart beat a little faster.
According to the auction catalog, this was the only paired set of claws released by the studio, and they came with impeccable provenance, including a signed letter of authenticity on company letterhead from producer Lauren Shuler Donner stating, "[t]hese claws were made for and used by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X2."
Wolvie's claws weren't the only high-profile comic book-related items on the auction block at Profiles in History's 27th Hollywood memorabilia auction held April 5 in Calabasas Hills, CA (and online via eBay Live Auctions). As has regularly been the case in the over twenty-year history of this venerable auction house specializing in ultra-rare pop culture artifacts, there was an eye-popping selection of items offered in this most recent auction -- ranging from movie props, original artwork, rare posters and screen worn costumes to special effects miniatures and an Academy Award statuette.
For example, Christopher Reeve's complete screen-worn Superman costume from Superman: The Movie could've been yours ... if you'd had enough cash lying around to trump the winning bid of $115,000.00, that is. Speaking of that price tag --especially given that it's from the first and most iconic of the modern feature films-- is it just me, or does that seem like a surprisingly low price? Given that the auction catalog calls it "without question, the finest original Christopher Reeve Superman costume we have ever encountered," something tells me that the winning bidder is sitting on a sweet investment with this sucker.
Also among the impressive array of Superman items available in the auction, many of which came from the collection of Superman movie series producer, Ilya Salkind, were: a chunk of screen-used Kryptonite from Superman III (that'd make a fine paperweight, huh?), costume and set design sketches, figures of a flying Superman used for special effects shots, and bound transcripts of the original script conferences which included both Godfather author Mario Puzo and legendary DC Comics artist and staffer, Carmine Infantino .
What's that? You say you're more into Batman than Superman? Well then, perhaps you'd have been interested in adding Val Kilmer's screen-worn Batsuit from Batman Forever to your personal wardrobe? All you'd have had to do is top the winning bid of $63,250.00, and it could've been yours! Of course, then you'd be stuck with a Batsuit from the second-worst movie of the Bat-franchise ... but then again, according to the auction catalog, this is "the best surviving complete Batman costume from any of the Tim Burton films." (Psst! Someone alert the copyeditors over at Profiles in History that Tim Burton only directed the good movies in the pre-reboot franchise. Joel Schumacher is to blame for Batman Forever.)
If you're more of an indie comics fan, how does this beauty strike you? The complete screen-worn costume from Disney's movie version of The Rocketeer (yes, Virginia, including both the iconic helmet and rocket pack) based on the late, great –and oh, so beautifully drawn– Dave Stevens comic book of the same name. And hey, the Rocketeer costume was the relative bargain of the bunch at a mere $23,000.00! By the way, am I the only one who fondly remembers The Rocketeer, and thinks that the faithful movie adaptation is woefully underappreciated by most comics fans?
At the Profiles in History website, you can sign up for e-mail updates of upcoming auctions, download a .pdf of their catalogs from past auctions (including the one we're talking about), and check out prices realized on other auction items. Just remember when looking at these catalogs, unless you're packing a Bruce Wayne-sized bank account, it's pretty much all about the (virtual) window shopping.