Valuing the Batmobile: Investing in memorabilia

Despite a tough economy, collectors at this week's Comic Con are hoping this is the golden age for collecting movie memorabilia. Here's something for everyone, from Trekkers to Lost fanatics.

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Invest in celluloid
Invest in celluloid

This week, as the entertainment world teleports to San Diego for Comic-Con International, memorabilia collectors from around the galaxy are ready to swoop in on some great deals. In the coming months, some once-in-a-lifetime collectibles will come to market, including a compendium of objects from ABC's Lost, one of the largest Star Trek auctions to date, and even a second chance to purchase a piece from the first Terminator film.

While it's impossible to gauge the ROI on film props (since their true values are decided at auction) it's clear that this is an opportune time to get into the movie memorabilia trade. In the down economy, items that were previously unavailable have a tendency to come up for sale.

In addition, the authorized reproduction trade, which also helps hungry collectors fill their shelves, is booming. "It's a great business to be in, and each year Comic-Con brings us more new collectors," says Bryan Ono, president of Burbank, Calif.-based eFX, which has been licensed by companies like Lucasfilm and Disney to replicate film props.

But is the Batmobile truly a sound investment vehicle? Consider this: eFX's replica Star Wars lightsabers and Star Trek tricorders have increased in value by as much as 400%. For more ways to stretch your box-office budget, heed these memorabilia pointers.

NEXT: Sometimes fake is better than real
Last updated July 22 2010: 11:03 AM ET
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