With the launch of the first installment of Peter Jackson’s newest Tolkien trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so to does the emergence of collectors looking to acquire their own hoard of “precious” Hobbit items.
In a recent article from The Wall Street Journal Online’s, Anna Russell, Tolkien collectibles are cashing in on the success of the films and from the zealous fans. Such “fandom” has seen a first edition Hobbit book sell at Christie’s in London for over $26,000.
Other notable franchises that have been witness to a successful merchandise market has been James Bond which has sold many high end items in its history. The Harry Potter franchise has also seen prop wands sell for over $6,000.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Because few props have been released from the Tolkien movie sets, rare and pristine editions of the books make up most of the market for high-end collectibles. Christie’s set the record for a Tolkien work sold at auction when it sold a three-volume set of “Lord of the Rings” inscribed by the author to a son for $152,500 in 2002.“
New Zealand collector, Andrew Taylor, has paid over $1,000 on replica pewter chess sets, and a Helm of Sauron, “It’s “a bit like having your own fantasy museum,” says Taylor.
Many collectors look to the New Zealand based Weta Workshop for their Lord of the Rings and Hobbit collectibles. The Wall Street Journal reports;
“Steve Fitch, a university administrator in Canada who reports for Middle-earth News, paid $99 for a gold-plated replica of the ring from New Zealand jeweler Jens Hansen, bought through Weta and finished with Elvish symbols. His wife, he says, let him replace their wedding band.
“I just love it,” he says. “Unfortunately one of my friends pointed out it’s the symbol of ultimate evil in the films. I got some mixed vibes from my wife after that. Maybe we’ve been married long enough so that she doesn’t really care anyways. It’s too late now.”
You can read the full article on the Wall Street Journal Online here.
Follow Steve “Rifflo” Fitch on TWITTER: @HobbitSteve