How do you afford this hobby?


New Member
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?

Alan Castillo

Master Member
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


Sr Member
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.


Sr Member
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


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

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.


Master Member
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.


Well-Known Member
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!


Sr Member
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 ;)



Master Member

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.


Active Member
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.


Master Member
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.


Sr Member
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.
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