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Spaceballs Dark Helmet Prop Display

Custom display of a screen used Spaceballs Dark Helmet pith helmet

One of the most common questions we get is “Do we still get excited by the props and costumes that come into the studio?” and the answer is, absolutely! One of the best part of working with our private clients, is that they’re more than just collectors. They have deep emotional connections to the movies and their props.  As do our artists, so when these pieces of Hollywood history, like this Mel Brooks Spaceballs Dark Helmet pith helmet come into our studio, we feel that same joy and excitement that our clients do.

The dreaded dark lord in Spaceballs, Dark Helmet had a memorable wardrobe change in the movie. This giant pith helmet from that scene arrived in the studio it was missing the tiny door on the front which revealed Rick Moranis’ face during their infamous combing of the desert. Our client hoped that we could come up with a way to replace it to so the helmet would feel more complete on display.

Since we didn’t want to modify the actual helmet, Patrick Louie (one of our movie prop restoration artists) created a replacement piece which fit snuggly into the opening. This way nothing was permenantly attached to the original material and could be easily removed by our client, if he ever wanted to. He then gave the piece a matching texture to the original helmet. The piece was then given to Melissa who gave it a careful and layered paint treatment to match the rest of the helmet.

While they worked on the helmet, Rich began creating the base. A sand dune seemed like the obvious choice for this display but as he was sculpting the foam base, Rich came up with the idea of adding the hair pick. Everyone loved it but because we are crazy people we couldn’t just add any hair comb. We wanted to match the look of the film as closely as possible, so we hunted down a comb that was closest to the original as possible. We then tweaked the shape, painted it black to match the film and even added the vintage style ACE logo seen on the original comb. The client loved the display and you can read his thoughts on it below!

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A few words from our client…

The helmet and display arrived safely and I’m over the moon! This display elevates the piece totally. No hyperbole, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I knew this piece had the potential (its truly a one-off prop from an incredibly memorable scene) but I was certain it needed a screen accurate replica face flap to properly display… and when I originally reached out, that was all was expecting. I’ve been so excited ever since I realized you were making a dedicated display. This piece needed you and I’m certain the work you did tremendously increased the value of this piece – both in terms of simple enjoyment but also literally in terms of what this piece would sell for if offered (although I have no intention of selling any time soon!). Anyway, I’ll stop gushing. Thank you so much!

Troika, Original Movie Prop Collector

18
May
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