Antiques Roadshow is probably best known to Americans as a PBS program, but it actually dates back to the ’70s in Britain. Still, as long as the show’s been running, the Brits occasionally get surprised by something out of their element. Especially if a puckish Star Wars fan is involved.
Let me say right up front that I think Stephen Lane, a props collector, probably knew exactly what his TIE fighter pilot helmet was actually worth and decided to have some fun at Antiques Roadshow‘s expense. Lane’s a well-known props expert and probably suspected the helmet was worth a lot of money, and also knew that the show’s appraisers would not take a plastic helmet at all well. And, indeed, it was referred to as a “bit of plastic.” But, of course, as the Independent notes, Star Wars stuff is valued quite highly.
[Presenter Fiona] Bruce explains that their antiques experts valued the helmet at between £40-50,000. Shocked by the valuation, she casually taps the cherished find and exclaims “for this bit of plastic”…Ms Bruce, 50, added: “I think to anyone that’s not in your world [its value is] astonishing… but it’s a great bit of kit.”
So, in case you were wondering, a prop that was featured in a beloved movie for maybe a minute of total screen time is worth more than your car. Meanwhile, my watermelon from Buckaroo Banzai is still worth nothing. Damn the capricious memorabilia market!