Comic books and movie memorabilia are a big draw for auction houses, with fans willing to pay vast sums to own rare comics, collectibles, and movie props and costumes. Some of the most expensive props ever sold have fetched millions, including the iconic white dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch ($4.6 mil), dresses worn by Audrey Hepburn ($4.5 mil), and costumes worn in The Sound of Music ($1.5 mil) and The Wizard of Oz ($3 mil). For the diehard fan, these priceless pieces of movie history are the ultimate collectible, and of course, the rarer the item, the higher the price tag.
Now, fans with plenty of cash to spare have a chance to add two more iconic movie costumes to their collections, as two of the most recognizable superhero outfits go up for auction this month.
As reported by THR, Nate D Sandler Auctions, specialists in autographs and memorabilia, currently have one of Christopher Reeve's Superman costumes and one of Michael Keaton's Batman costumes available for bids until January 26, 2017. The Superman suit is one that Reeve wore in his first feature-length outing as the hero -- Superman: The Movie. The lot, which has a starting bid at $40,000 is described as follows:
"Very rare Superman 'muscle tunic' worn by Christopher Reeve during filming of Superman: The Movie, the very first film of the beloved Christopher Reeve franchise, released in 1978," according to the auction house description. "Tunic used in the flight scenes features two stitched holes on the sides, used to attach the flying harness. Four snaps at top are for attaching the cape. Signature blue tunic is made complete with Superman's large emblematic gold and red 'S' sewn onto the front."
The Batsuit up for auction was worn by Keaton in Tim Burton's Batman Returns. The starting bid for the Batman suit is $35,000 and is described as:
"Body of batsuit is in formed black rubber segments covered by the textured integral cape and cowl style mask, with long black leather gloves, boots and gold plastic belt and bat symbol," according to the auction house description. "Original parts of the costume worn in the film are the cowl, cape and body; the gloves, belt, insignia and shoes are replicas for the display."
These two costumes will likely fetch a huge price at auction, with the current popularity of superheroes and comic books raising the price, along with the rarity of the items. Both are from successful and popular movies, featuring what are probably the two best-known superheroes in the world. In previous auctions with the same company, a wig worn by Reeve in Superman III fetched $1,250 in 2014, and a pinstripe suit worn by the actor in Superman: The Movie fetched $5,539. In 2014, another Batsuit worn by Keaton, this time in 1989's Batman, went for $37,500.
With nine days to go on these lots, it will be interesting to watch and see how much these two suits eventually go for -- and whether they will end up in a private collection or are bought by a museum for everyone to enjoy. These suits are part of movie history, and unlike the pin-stripe suit or wig that have sold previously, are immediately recognizable, even by the most casual of fans.
However, some may feel that such amazing costumes would be better auctioned off for charity, rather than to benefit a private individual. With a combined minimum price of $75,000, and the potential to bring in much more, this could have been a fantastic opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause. The Superman suit, in particular, would be an ideal way to raise money and awareness for spinal cord injury research, a fitting tribute to the man who wore it.