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We Rank the Most Important Props in Sci-fi and Fantasy History

We Rank the Most Important Props in Sci-fi and Fantasy History

By Tim Butcher

Any true die-hard geek knows exactly which iconic movie prop they’d love to put on display in their bedroom. What’s that? You don’t? Well Jeez! Here are a few ideas. This is our rundown of the most important props in sci-fi and fantasy history.

10. The Harry Potter Movies – Harry’s Wand

Admittedly, we’d be surprised if there was only one version of the wand used by Daniel Radcliffe knocking around—but all the more reason to covet getting your own! Plus, how much fun would it be to prance around the house pretending to stun your pets with a genuine piece of Hollywood memorabilia?

9. The Matrix – The Red Pill

Has such a tiny object ever symbolized such huge ideas in any movie before or since? What’s also great about this prop is that it would be pretty much impossible to prove it’s genuinely the one they used. “Honest, it is! Now pay me $300 for it.”

8. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial — Elliot’s BMX

We were torn between this and ET himself who, being a puppet, is technically a prop himself (and is arguably pretty darn important). But we had to go with the bike–nothing sums up the movie’s feel of suburban innocence and eighties nostalgia better. Fun fact: according to this article, the bike actually has been bought—and ridden—by the lead singer of rock band Kasabian.

7. Terminator – the T-800 Arm

It’s the scariest looking prop on this list–but also arguably the most bad-ass. The T-800 arm marks the moment that mainstream movie sci-fi went truly gory in the mid eighties–paving the way for blood-stained blockbusters ever since!

6. Back to the Future — The Delorean

The Delorean is a reminder that great sci-fi can be big budget and exciting while retaining a grounded sense of humour about itself. After all, who would be crazy enough to make a time machine out of such a garish eighties monstrosity other than the inimitable Doc Brown? “If you’re going to time travel, why not do it in style?!” Sure, sure.

5. Star Trek — The Phaser

The Phaser sums up the ethos of the Star Trek universe perfectly–it’s sleek, stylish and understated, but it’s also humane–designed primarily to stun rather than kill. What’s more ,an original is worth worth hella dolla. One from the 1960s series went for $231,000 just last year.

4. Star Wars — Luke's Lightsaber

The lightsaber–the Arthurian broadsword for the seventies generation. Star Wars is a series that (at least in its original incarnation) was pitched somewhere between sci-fi epic and medieval folktale. Two strains that meet with this little gadget. And, like the phaser, a copy from the set will fetch a pretty penny. Luke’s own sword went for almost $250,000 at an auction in 2008.

3. Doctor Who — The TARDIS

It says something about how iconic a prop is when it’s more recognizable as something from a TV show than for what it’s actually designed to resemble–in this case, a 1960s London Police box. Travelling back in time and walking around the city in that decade would be an exciting–and highly confusing–experience for any Whovian, that’s for sure.

2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy — The One Ring

Does any other single prop so effectively sum up an entire film franchise as The One Ring? We think not! Although a number of different versions of the prop were created (some of which reportedly ended up with the actors), the master prototype is valued at over $50,000.

1. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century — Buck Roger’s Ray Gun

That’s right, we’ve gone ultra historical for the last entry. But we’re not trying to be difficult. Before Buck Rogers–his first movie appearance was in 1933–there were no Ray Guns. This is the prop that inspired multiple generations of high-tech-sci-fi pistolry and lazer-themed weapons in general. Truly, a piece of nerd history.

Did we miss any?

Tags: harry potter, movies, star wars, star trek, movie props

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