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Sometimes fake is better than real
Sometimes fake is better than real
Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet
Date of Origin: 2008
Original Price: $399
Estimated Value: $1,000-$1,500

When it comes to buying high-end movie memorabilia, there are primarily two options: props that were used on set, and authentic reproductions made after the cameras stopped rolling. According to eFX's Ono, authorized reproductions are sometimes the only feasible way for fans to purchase items that would otherwise be unavailable.

For example, since George Lucas financed The Empire Strikes Back himself, helmet props from Star Wars: A New Hope are in short supply. Looking to save money where he could, Lucas re-used the helmets from the first film in the sequel, meaning there were fewer props for collectors. Replicas are often made in limited editions, which is one reason the pieces -- despite not being on-camera objects -- can appreciate over time.

In addition, movie props are often the worse for wear. Authorized reproductions can be displayed and handled without as much fear of breaking the piece.

Also, unlike props, which are made for filming and not for resale, replicas have an original price, which makes it possible to track their value from their inception. eFX's Stormtrooper helmets are estimated to have increased in value by more than 200% since they were introduced in 2008. Next up: In July, eFX will ship limited edition reproductions of Clone Trooper helmets from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Darth Vader concept helmets from the Ralph MacQuarrie Collection (which has already sold out).

NEXT: Landmark films and television shows sell big

Last updated July 22 2010: 11:03 AM ET
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