Artist proof debate

Dark Shadow

Sr Member
Do any of you think an artist proof of any given item has more value or is more desirable than one that is in the limited numbers run? Reply with your thoughts!


Sr Member
Great question! As a collector it has never mattered much to me — from my POV, I collect the "story" or the "item," not the "number." Having said that, I know plenty of people motivated by a low number of a limited run. That is just not my jam.

Mr Mold Maker

Master Member
I do a lot of work for “high-end collectors” and they love their plaques. I have never made or sold an artist proof, yet there are probably about two dozen plaques, made by various clients, with my name and “artist proof” on it. At this point, where collectors can make their own plaques and stick whatever they want on it, those words mean absolutely nothing to me.
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Master Member
Artist proof collectibles are 99% of the time identical with the other numbered ones. Only a couple niche companies make truly AP's that are different. On the other hand, Master Replicas, EFX Collectibles, Sideshow, Gentle Giant, etc. AP's are identical to the regular ones. In prop replica realm, it's just a simple plaque that was added later.

Some people consider paying more for an AP or a lower number. Personally I prefer a numbered plaque (harder to fake) to any AP, and also don't care about the number on the plaque. The collectibles we own are not really an investment, if you want to invest your money, there are better options out there.

Here is a message from Bryan from EFX Collectibles explaining how the plaques are randomly allotted:

EFX edition number plaque allocation.jpg


Well-Known Member
In the art world, Artist's Proofs are generally worth more then the regular editions. With engravings, each successive pressing or print degrades the plate slightly, so the earliest prints are the closest to the artists intent. With lithographs and now digital prints, the Proofs are supposed to be inspected by the artists, and personally approved by them as "the definitive" version of that work.

Outside the art world, and especially in the collectibles world, AP seems to have little meaning. They are usually no different than any other piece made in the factory run, and may or may not have been inspected by the "artist" at all.

Like JKNO says, some collectors like APs or lower numbers, but at the end of the day, they are usually no different. On top of that, there is no guarantee that the entire edition run was ever produced. That can happen with larger items or complicated items. Than there is the whole numbering issue... where sometimes numbers are accidentally duplicated.

At the end of the day, in my opinion, edition numbers are more or less meaningless for factory produced items, save as a reference to a COA. While there is some value in them for some collectors, there is likely no functional difference.


Sr Member
Only if the item itself is marked AP,if on a plaque/paper then no.
I have an artist proof with a plaque. However , it is also accompanied with paperwork / personalized letter and the prop itself is unique from all others.. that’s the only reason the plaque ( in my case ) has any merit..


Master Member
AP in art is pretty well sought after and can really bump up the piece's value. People go nuts for a signature be it from a well-known or lesser-known artist. A name certifies the item.

In collectibles, not so much. Rather, not as broadly or all-encompassing as in the "traditional" art world. AP's in collecting aren't exactly meaningless or worthless, but it all depends on the niche it fulfills: whose name is it, and who was this person to the item? Brian Muir is a good example, he's not exactly well-known to the public but something that carries his signature, particularly on an item he made, in a circle like the RPF will command a price. Maybe not as comparatively high on something by Joe Johnston or Ralph McQuarrie, but different niches determine different outcomes.

Small builders like me, it's utterly meaningless to ascribe my name to something other than sentimental value. I've only made one plaque and signed it and it was to commemorate a lightsaber hilt to another member (who I hoped also signed it). It has no value to anyone else other than us, the people that cooperated on the thing.


Sr Member
I have recently bought a couple of AP movie posters.I already own a few more but i bought them because i liked the poster not to make money from them. If i had to sell them i think they would be worth more because they are artist proofs ,numbered and signed.
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