Four years into the American recession, “the economy” is blamed for many financial woes. Why did he lose his job? The economy, of course. Why are you putting off buying that new car? Well, you know, the economy’s not great. “You’re lucky to have a job in this economy,” I often overhear people say.
During tight times, shoppers tend to turn to low-price, big-box retailers like Walmart and Target, which offer affordable groceries, clothing and entertainment options that the whole family can enjoy. While Walmart is better known for its deep discounts (and unique clientele), Target is still a place where you can buy theater box candy for $1 and clothe yourself for $25. That’s why it’s so staggering that the retailer has entered the high-end movie memorabilia business, offering customers a $999 gold replica of the Mockingjay pin made famous by 2012 box-office hit The Hunger Games.
I think our economy is officially back to normal.
As CinemaBlend points out, you can keep up with your car and house payments by purchasing a Mockingjay (worn by protagonist Katniss as a good luck charm) replica through Amazon, where the pins are just $7. However, Target’s limited-edition offering is made of 14-karat gold. If your wallet still feels too heavy after dropping a grand on a miniature pin, you can also purchase a lithograph signed by the main cast of The Hunger Games for $699 or a replica of Katniss’ leather hunting jacket for $349.
The extravagantly-priced collectibles are being released as a tie-in to the August 21 arrival of The Hunger Games on DVD and Blu-ray.
Now, don’t get get wrong, because I believe a free market. A store should have just as much freedom to charge whatever it wants for a given product as the consumer does to choose not to purchase it. That said, did anybody at Target (or the film’s studio, Lionsgate, for that matter) even watch the record-breaking movie? One of its central themes is wealth disparity and how it ran rampant through the fictional nation of Panem.
In other positive economics/Hollywood memorabilia news, an authentic Chewbacca headpiece used in the original Star Wars trilogy sold for the out-of-this-world price of $172,000 at a recent auction in California. The costume was worn by Peter Mayhew in all three 1970s Star Wars movies and even features casts of the actor’s eyes.
“It’s a good day for the Wookiee people on Kashyyyk,” Profiles in History auctioneer Joe Maddalena jokingly told the New York Daily News. “But seriously, iconic Hollywood props and costumes are finding their deserved places among pop culture collectors around the world.”
At the same sale, a Superman costume worn by Christopher Reeve in 1978’s Superman fetched $79,950 and the chest armor Russell Crowe sported in Gladiator went for $58,425, further suggesting there’s plenty of money going around these days.
That is, unless Elizabeth Banks’ Hunger Games character and the rest of her rich friends were the buyers.