How do you afford this hobby?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by MovieMaster, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. MovieMaster

    MovieMaster New Member

    Trophy Points:
    So title basically says it all. And im sure this topic has been brought up before, do you all afford to purchase props/costumes? And or make them?

    I know some of you are very talented in creating props/costumes/statues and the like. But for those who dont or even for those who do...How do you afford to purchase these things?

    Me personally, I dont have very much, matter of fact, the only real thing I have at the moment is a Superman script signed by the cast...I am looking at acquiring plenty of more stuff soon my case the wife doesnt like me spending money on "stupid things"

    How about for you guys/gals....Do your wives/husbands negate you from being able to acquire the things you want the most, or do you take a little out of each check and save for something you truly desire?
  2. Alan Castillo

    Alan Castillo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    Brad (jedifyfe) has a whole 'how to' on this topic. Excellent read.

    As for me, it's simply a matter of less meaning more.


    Less kids in the house, more for me :lol
    Wolfie likes this.
  3. R2Dan


    Trophy Points:
    I'm very lucky with my girlfriend. She's quite the nerd herself and doesn't mind me buying all this "crap". But then we don't live together just yet, so this might change ;) Then again, she has a few things herself (most of which I got her :D)

    And here's a shocker: I finance my hobby through work! No kidding :lol

    I'm still a university student, but have three jobs on the side, working at a youth centre, barkeeping on the weekends and freelance translation work for the official Star Wars magazine here in Germany.

    It's all good fun though, and I don't think it's spending money on "stupid things" really.
    Once you have worked in a pub and see what people spend on booze on a weekend, this hobby seems far less wasteful!
    Most of the time it's an "investment" anyway, as you usually can get back what you paid for the item at least, if not more.
  4. Wolfie

    Wolfie Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    hahahaha!! :lol
  5. Yodajammies

    Yodajammies Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    Peanut butter and Ramen noodles!

    (that and no chirrens)
  6. silverskyes402

    silverskyes402 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    I sell massive amounts of crack.
  7. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    Lately, I can't afford this hobby.
  8. Onkelpsycho

    Onkelpsycho Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    I really don't know...

    And I don't know how other afford this hobby... I ony see 'em buying, buying and buying...

    And whoops, it's just there...

    Just picked up the Matty ghost trap and it blows a hole in my wallet for the whole next month...

    One day, I will send this whole prop/movie/costume stuff to hell and see how my life gets better in short time... :lol
  9. EyeofSauron

    EyeofSauron Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    imagine collecting for 10 or more years, and then selling it all. youd have a small fortune after all is gone :)
  10. Finhead

    Finhead Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    I make about 90% of what I want, once I'm done a run of each Item I don't want it any more. :lol
  11. shenphong

    shenphong Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    Heck, I only had been collecting for a couple of years and when I sold off a bulk of my stuff, I made around 4-5k, most of that I sold at the same price I purchased it for or for a bit more.

    But being 25, a full time college'd be hard to imagine I would have amassed such a large collection if it weren't for having 2 full time jobs and a side job. Grinding away behind a desk and welding at all odd times of the night really pays off when you get that special item added to your collection.

    When I meet other young guys from the forum, I have to caution them though, everytime I hear them bring up the subject "If I should pay off my car loan or buy this lightsaber" to just make sure you have your priorities straight. I literally am working an extra job just so I can purchase the tools to make my own props while I rent a storage space to work out of doing woodwork and resin castings/moldings. Its a passion though, one not everyone can understand, but I'd hope a lot of the guys here would.
  12. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

    Trophy Points:
    I buy stuff cheap and make it work or wait for deals. This is actually far less expensive than buying transformers for my figure collection.
    Interceptor6 likes this.
  13. Noeland

    Noeland Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    I save my pennies, and I try to choose very wisely how I spend them on prop related stuff. I don't collect toys or figures, and my prop collection is mostly firearm related. I do have my share of star trek goodies, and star wars goodies, and Aliens, etc. The majority of my non gun related stuff is Blade Runner related though. So, focusing on a certain movie can also help you build a collection. It takes time too. You don't build a collection in a year. :)

    My wife doesn't mind a bit if I buy props, as long as the bills get paid on time.
  14. Hangar18Studios

    Hangar18Studios Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    It helps to make things with a group, you can spread the costs out between the group. As far as collecting screen-used??? If you're middle class, married with kids, FORGET IT!
  15. PhoenixVader

    PhoenixVader Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    You have to be selective. I have chosen three movies/series that I love and just concentrate on those. At first I bought everything and this had two issues, money and space. Now that I am more selective I find that I can get those really nice items for my collection and my wife has agreed not to leave me ;)

  16. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:

    Buy what you can afford, build what you can build and sell what you don't want.

    If you want to be able to afford this hobby without spending your own money on it then obtain some skills, make something that people will buy and sell a lot of it. That way you are learning prop building skills, making money and aquiring props.

    And the biggest piece of advice I can give you is "BE PATIENT". A prop that you want that you may not be able to afford now WILL eventually become abailable again in the future.
  17. Interceptor6

    Interceptor6 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    One piece at a time. Odd jobs & eBay pay for my collection. Nothing comes out of the household account.
  18. LeoFirebrand

    LeoFirebrand Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    Well being able to make your own builds helps alot. Even when building, I use paper and foam for all my builds. For instance the District 9 gun I made below cost me about 40 bucks where the WETA one is about 500.

    For the props I buy it helps that I have no kids and I try to always do kits so I can save money over finished props. I set aside a little each month for my hobbies. I also know I am always getting something prop related for Christmas.

    Having a supportive spouse helps too. I hate when people call something they dont value stupid. Afterall I think new towels, currtains, and bedsheets are stupid if the ones we have are in working order.
  19. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    Personally, I don't think that money is the number 1 factor in this discussion. It really depends on who your partner is.
    If your partner (wife, husband, etc.) hates the hobby and thinks it's silly and pointles and has NO appreciation for movies or props, well, my friend, you are in for a very difficult uphill battle. See, even if you can buy a prop for 10.00 shipped she'll give you hell about it. Now imagine a 50.00 prop, or 100.00. You will never win because at the end of the day they really are toys.
    Now, what if your girl (or guy) appreciates the hobby? Suddenly you have support and now the hobby becomes "ours" instead of "mine". Not only does she not mind that you spend a few bucks on a prop, but now she is looking for ways to help move around some money so that you BOTHN can afford it.
    This will make all the difference.
  20. kursosawa

    kursosawa Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    Overtime....and lots of it. For the most part, I try to build the things i want. i.e. Gandalf staff (guh....hang in there guys im still working on em). I do alot of buying and selling on e-bay to help fun my purchases, namely my custom figures that sell pretty well. Though more than anything, Funky is right. My girlfriend is pretty understanding of this hobby so i dont get any grief from purchasing something like a metal sonic screwdriver.
  21. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    /\ Exactly. I have never spent $1 of my income on props. Matter of fact I deposit $2000-$3000 into my income each year from props bought-made/sold.
  22. Onkelpsycho

    Onkelpsycho Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    Hm, I wonder why I should buy and resell a prop, that I dont want...

    Of course, there could be an interest loss over the years, but i keep the main stuff...

    I think sometime you have to be lucky, sell anything what everyone wants to have, what you dont want to have... Or you know you can make it again, if you make it. Or you know from a top secret source, that a new version will be available...

    I think some props go up in price, if they sold out. Some go down if something new comes out...

    Its not as easy as everyone thinks...

    My problem was: I bought the stuff at the beginning of my collection... My hoverboard was $350, now I can get a better board for less, but my old board is collecting dust, because everyone wants one of the new boards, no-one wants one of the old foam boards...

    Same here with costumes. I really don't think I ver get the price I spend into my Jack sparrow costume, because now there are better parts our for less... Thats the problem...

    A good time to get the stuff, when no-one is interested in the stuff anymore...
  23. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    Spend less on other (less important!) things.
  24. Idaho Jones

    Idaho Jones Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    I make most of my own also, my wife lost her part time job about 6 months ago, so we set up a budget. I got a monthly budget for lunch and I've started to build my projects out of that. That way no money comes out of the household budget, and its not exactly kiling me to cut out fast food lunch's. I've just about built my entire Tusken Raider from my lunch money LOL

    (P.S. After we got our budget going we've been able to bank some savings)
  25. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    I tried to sell blood but they wouldnt take it in a tuppperware container. I usually make what I want. But if someone has already done the hard work and the price is right, I buy. I also will buy scratch and dent stuff. Best of both worlds. Oh, and having a good job doesnt hurt either:lol

    As far as selling goes.....I tend not to sell the stuff I acquire.
  26. Szyntax

    Szyntax Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    This may come off a bit harsh but it is not meant to be. The sad fact is this is an expensive hobby, whether it's buying completed pieces or (even more) acquiring the pieces to build one. You have to pay to play and it's a high buy-in.

    Yes, there are free paper props and the occasional inexpensive item but overall this is not a hobby for low cost. It is sad but we're talking rare collectables and expensive materials to fab your own.

    The good news, though, is that if you're good with any of the CAD programs out there you can at least have a virtual version. It's not much but it's something.

    Again, while this may sound harsh it's not intended. Sadly it's the reality of this hobby.
  27. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    And a good time to sell a prop is when there is lots of interest in it.

    I've noticed that the RPF runs in cycles. We all seem to get the "fever" for the same things around the same times. Who knows what triggers it. It's usually:

    Jurassic Park
    5th Element
    Indiana Jones
    Star Trek
    Star Wars

    and right now...

    Ghostbusters and Back to the Future seem to be "hot" right now so now would be the time to sell your GB or BTTF stuff if you've grown weary of it.
    A lot of what I sell is based on timing. Right now I wouldn't get a good offer on an Indiana Jones whip but I could sell a pair of GB goggles in a second.
  28. robstyle

    robstyle Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    Make the hobby pay you.
  29. Lurksmith

    Lurksmith Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    Still figuring it out, really. I do targeted purchases of things I want to make, because just buying something doesn't make it mean anything to me. That's not a lesson I arrived at cheaply. I try to keep the impulse buys down, and seriously debate the bigger things. Which I also have to be careful is actually a merit-based debate and not just me talking myself into "needing" something. I long ago realized that the idiocy I displayed when collecting action figures was simply not sustainable for an adult who wants to pay off a house before he dies.

    Above all else I have to remember that at the level I can approach this hobby these are luxuries not investments.
  30. Jumpergal

    Jumpergal Member

    Trophy Points:
    Interesting reading the comments about "the wife" and "the girlfriend". Hubby and I have been together since 1976, we met at a con back then and when we married we merged our collections and sold off the duplicates - paid for our honeymoon from the proceeds. We collect only what we really like, we don't buy with an eye to selling - even "limited editions" aren't so limited any more. We make a lot of stuff (both of us know how to mould and cast). We buy toys we like when they're on clearance. We sell when we don't want something anymore. We sell when we run out of room.
    Basically, as others have commented, this can be an expensive hobby and you need to keep "want" and "need" separate.
  31. zombiejedi

    zombiejedi New Member

    Trophy Points:
    I can't any more been to busy with my girlfriend and son. They take precedence right now. Hopefully next year tho.
  32. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    Part of it is patience/persistence, part of it is good luck (being at the right place at the right time when a good deal comes along), part of it is saving money for when you think that dream item might come along, and yes having a supportive significant other makes a huge difference. I think if you are in the hobby for the long term (ie: years), then given time you could save for most any of the cool items that come along except some of the original props. Part of it also is your collecting strategy. Some have these huge collections whereas others are more selective and keep smaller collections. The only way I could afford my collection is by keeping it small and focusing on only the items that I thought were really essential to collect. For example, a really good Vader helmet only comes along every two-three (or more) years so that is plenty of time to save up for the next one. :lol
  33. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

    Trophy Points:
    I am perfectly happy buying items that aren't cast perfectly right and working on them which helps save cash. I wish Resident evil would be popular again so i could unload an item.
  34. ave4uevoli

    ave4uevoli Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    knee pads :lol
  35. skiffy

    skiffy Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    I would say buy what you can afford and try to be shrewd - as others have said. A coupla years ago I bought a Master Replicas CE Stormtrooper helmet for £50 from The same thing is now available on the 'bay at £175. Also, I made my own Star Wars blaster using the PVC plans. You'll find a way to get what you want.

    Bear in mind too that what you see on these boards is the very best of what can be achieved - there's no shame in going 'hand/home made' or slightly inaccurate, until you can afford to do better.

    The passion will carry you along, and when you get that super rare item you've been saving a year for - you'll feel it's all worth it.
  36. STpropguy76

    STpropguy76 Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    I agree with SithLord,
    You have to be in this for the long haul, (Years)
    This is not a try it hobby. It's a life of it's own.
    I've been Collecting for over 20 years.
    You acquire what you can on the budget that you have over a long period of time, Discarding here and there what no longer interest you.
    We all at some point Impulse buy.
    You should learn how to cast and recreate your own props as much as possible.
    After years you'll have a nice collection, As long as you focus on what you like.
    Buy what you enjoy, What interest you as that way you will become an expert on that and know what to buy and what not to.
    Also you will enjoy just looking at your Collection or showing it off.
  37. GBRob

    GBRob Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    My Wife and I take turns working the corner.

    Those heels hurt.
  38. Mercury

    Mercury Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    Personally I narrowed my interests down to one theme, for me, weapons, then restrict myself to predominately resin versions of those. Over the years I've also learned that if you have patience and are willing to wait by passing up items when they 1st appear, not always, but a lot will be resold, traded, etc for a more reasonable price. I say reasonable in the sense of what I have at the time or am willing to spend for a given item. I would love to have the finances to purchase every variation in metal that might become available but since that isn't the case, a well built and painted resin kit looks pretty good in a collection.
  39. Techkman

    Techkman New Member

    Trophy Points:
    I could not agree with you more, I've only been collecting myself for a short period (3 years) but I've devoted a fair chunk of my free time and spare money on it.
    This all because I love collecting and owning props, replicas and what not and because it grants me enormous satisfaction to look at my (currently) small but nice collection of loot.
  40. Jonny B

    Jonny B Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    How do you afford this hobby?

    It's just a matter of choices...some months you pay electric, some you buy food.
  41. Skullsoldier

    Skullsoldier New Member

    Trophy Points:
    I work hard and tend to be very selective about what goes into the museum. I actually set a budget for the year and if it looks as though I'm going to bust it, I sell a few things. My wife is very supportive and allows me to maintain my stuff in the theater room. Due to overcrowding, we both agree that a little garage sale may be necessary.

    The cool thing about this hobby is that you can be involved regardless of your budget because there is simply so much out there. For example, when I was in college, I desperately wanted a Blade Runner blaster. I snagged as resin casting for $50, painted it myself and cherished it for years. Now that I'm a professional, I purchased the Tomenoskue (as well as a Coyle and a Hartford, but that's a different story). The point being - starting small and on a budget is a great way to stay involved. You don't need to own every "tentpole" prop repro made.
  42. Capn_Jack_Savvy

    Capn_Jack_Savvy Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    Make and sell just enough to break even or to buy what you need.

    Just don't let it turn into a business because that is when it no longer stays fun and it now becomes labor intensive work!!!:$
  43. zorg

    zorg Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    i started selling my body for sex, unfortunately i have now filed for bankruptcy as a result.

  44. MustangGTR1

    MustangGTR1 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    Play in a band and no kids also helps with a very, very good wife. Plus watch ebay, not for recasts but for what I really like, mislabled props. Some people dont really know how to list them or what to call them and if you search alot as I, you will find them. I came across a red button Coyle phaser II for 25 a couple of years ago.
    And I swap and build R&R buildings for layouts.
    btw, did I also say I work a full time job and sold a kidney
  45. CaptainTurtles

    CaptainTurtles New Member

    Trophy Points:
    A fiance with a very well paying job and a very low cost of living!
  46. -E-

    -E- Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    Double income, no kids helps a lot!

    I still try to minimize costs down where ever I can. Whenever possible I try to make things in pairs. One for me, one to sell. I like to buy what others may consider beat up props and fix them up myself. I also stick to one genre only ... Trek. And like Mustang said, you can find some killer deals on eBay if you search and search often.
  47. dbalschi

    dbalschi Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    I donate Plasma
  48. markomac

    markomac Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    Ive only just really started collecting.

    But so far, I find living at home with the parents, with next to no living expenses really helps out. I can continually save for a house to put everything in and still make some impulsive decisions when it comes to buying. Im planning to buy a house towards the end of the year though, so from then, I'll have to factor it into a small portion of the budget.
  49. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    The money I make in the hobby stays in the hobby. I do runs of items that I make from time to time, helps to shore up the prop funds. :)
  50. Mr Webber

    Mr Webber Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    Picking the winner of the Melbourne Cup at 8-1 just paid for my Ghost Trap.:D

Share This Page