Avengers: Infinity War
Blade Runner 2049
Hacksaw Ridge
Star Trek: Into The Darkness
The Revenant
Guardians Of The Galaxy
The Hateful Eight
X-Men: Days OF Future Past
The Hobbit: Battle Of the Five Armies
The Hobbit: The Desolation OF Smaug
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kong: Skull Island
Mirror Mirror
War For the Planet of the Apes
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
TRON: Legacy
Brokeback Mountain
The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
Legends of the Fall
The Assassination Of Jesse James
I Robot
Days of Heaven
The Clan Of The Cave Bear
Game of Thrones
The Good Doctor
DC Legends of Tomorrow
Van Helsing
The Walking Dead
Parks & Recreation
Chicago Fire
Hart to Hart
Chicago PD

140 Riverside Drive W North Vancouver, BC

Thomas FX Local Time

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Thomas FX Serves 
Established Industry 

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Why Are Your Props So Expensive?

Tommy Gun Prop

People often want to purchase the realistic props currently advertised on our website, not realizing perhaps that they are advertised as "Daily Rentals" and not as merchandise that can be purchased. Under special circumstances, and to only a handful of special organizations, we may agree to sell a prop at our cost, but so far nobody has ever followed through on this opportunity because our props are VERY expensive.

NOTE: We ONLY rent our props to established film companies, film and entertainment professionals, designers, and corporations that are known to us.

We get so many enquiries from people wanting to purchase our props that I felt it would be useful to answer the question that most people eventually ask . . . . "Why are your props so expensive?"

First, these are real movie props, made for and used in hundreds of feature films and hit television series. Every prop that we RENT was hand made by Master PropMaker Betty Thomas, Master PropMaker Ty Shultz, Master PropMaker Marsha Neiman, or Breakaway Glass Master Ed Deeth. Combined, these four master craftspeople have racked up more than 125 years of experience producing the finest quality props, and breakaway glass, currently available in the film industry . . . . anywhere on the planet! We know this to be true because we have been looking for better props for years and have never been able to find any that surpass our realism and quality.

So, having invested several millions of dollars in equipment, molds, and infrastructure during the past 40+ years, and having attracted a team of talented propmakers with more than 100 years of combined experience, let's look at how props are made. First, we start with an authentic original . . . very expensive when dealing with authentic period pieces such as weapons or antique crystal. If an original  is not available, then an artist must be commissioned to develop a sketch for the client's approval, then a sculptor must be commissioned to make a life size model of the item which would then be re-presented for approval to ensure our client will be completely satisfied with the finished product.

A silicon, or other material, mold of the original is made . . .  Silicon is also VERY expensive. Next the silicon mold is encased in plaster or some other appropriate substance . . . very labour intensive, and we pay well for the best craftspeople in the industry. Finally, after perhaps three or four days of intense work, a copy of the original can be produced through a variety of proprietary hot or cold chemical processes, each of which takes place under very stringent climate controlled environments, each at a predetermined temperature, and each of which has taken decades to perfect.

Often the mold must be "broken in" before we get copies that meet our standards for quality. This means that usually the first few copies from the mold are discarded. Remember that making copies is a very labour intensive procedure that involves the use of very expensive chemicals.

Lifecast Octopus Prop
Once we have produced a copy that meets our standards, itt then will be painted by hand to achieve the appropriate degree of authenticity. At the risk of stating the obvious, period pieces, antique weapons, or life castings of fish, vegetables or animals, must each exhibit a certain degree of natural aging and the general appearance of wear and tear that would be present on an authentic original of that period, item, species, food, or genre.

WW-II Nazi Dagger
So the bottom line is that something like a military knife would cost roughly $1,000+ to produce the first usable copy. A handgun would cost about $1,500+  . . . and so the pricing goes . . . the bigger the item, or the harder it is to find, or the more difficult it is to work with ( like a real octopus for example ) the more it is going to cost us to make, and the more it is going to cost you to buy.

For example, we were recently asked to quote on making a 24" acrylic ice cube with a vodka bottle suspended in the middle . . . our quote was $20,000 . . . decidedly a non-starter. Believe it or not, there was not a lot of margin on that project for us because the labour and materials would have been so expensive.  People are nearly always surprised at what it actually costs to realize their visions. On the other hand, props made from existing molds are quite affordable, such as the unbreakable icicle props that we recently sent to New Zealand for the filming of The Hobbit, and to New York for use in Coca Cola's latest advertising promotion.

Red Kryptonite Prop
 We are very active in the custom mold making business and produce the world's finest movie props. We are happy to take on any challenge, such as the red kryptonite we made recently for Smallville, provided that expectations are realistic and the project is appropriately funded. Making molds, and making props that are good enough to be used in the film industry is a labour of love, but it is also our business. We do not undertake any project unless we can recover our costs and make a fair profit. Having taken on a project however, our clients NEVER worry about quality, or about delivery of the finished prop within the timeline or budget promised.

We make thousands of different styles of custom breakaway glass items designed to break (safely) on demand, and have an inventory of thousands of realistic creative props available for rental to movie companies. Contact us if you don't find what you are looking for, or if your project requires something unique and special. We can do just about anything!

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