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How To Start A Collection Of Vintage Movie Props

Looking at vintage movie props for sale may have you feeling excited about starting a collection. You might wonder, though, where to even start. Follow these 5 tips to get going as a collector.

Start Small

Especially if you're looking at an open and undecorated space to house the collection, you might be tempted to start big. A collection should be curated, and that means filling space is rarely a winning play.

Try to pick up one or two items every few weeks. You'll find that taking some extra time between buys will give you greater focus. Each buy will become an adventure, allowing you to do research and learn more. Likewise, you'll place more value on the individual props because you'll be aware of the time you invested in them.

Buy What You Love

Yes, there is an investment-grade market for movie props. However, it's hard for most people to be purely mercantile in their collecting habits.

Focus on what you love. If you're a fan of 1980s teen slasher films, for example, try to buy props that set the right tone for your collection. This is especially the case if you're using the props to decorate a movie-viewing space, such as a home theater room.


Collections can become stale over time, even if you feel like you just started collecting. Don't be afraid to rotate some items in or out of storage. If you have a couple of props you haven't really found a way to display, sell them and buy fresh ones that inspire you.


There's nothing wrong with a bohemian aesthetic for a collection, but there's a lot to be said for limiting what you display at any one time. A well-curated collection will help visitors focus on particular items. It will also be easier for people to spot what you bought the next time you acquire new movie props.

By forcing decisions, you'll get a better sense of which items you really want to show off, too. Likewise, a friend might ask what happened to a prop that went out of rotation, letting you know which ones interest others.

Watch Films for Research

If you're wondering which movie props for sale are worth buying, it's often a good idea to just watch the films again for research. You'll spot things in the background that often set the mood for a scene. These same items that make a scene feel lived-in will also be great additions to a collection.