The world of movie memorabilia is quirky. Not only is there a very wide range of possible collectibles, how each one is regarded is determined on varying properties. Original Star Wars movie posters, for example, are rarer and generally worth more than reprints while some memorabilia that is not original is worth as much as the original if it is in original packaging. Here's a general rundown on movie posters and why originals are better than reprints.
Originality Equals AuthenticityReprints often have words that define them as reprints. Those words include “reprint,” “reproduction,” and “commercial.” In some cases, the company reprinting movie poster art will use vague wording like "features the original art,” or "original studio issued movie poster." Another tip-off is that reprints will often have the licensing company name somewhere on the poster and many will include a web address to the reprint web site.
Original movie posters will not have that vague wording and will often have other signifying characteristics that will qualify them as original. They will also usually have a copyright indicator and will have printed on the bottom “PRINTED IN THE USA.” Additionally, many older originals will have a white border around the poster art.
In almost every case, an original is worth more than a reprint, even if the reprint or non-studio-produced poster is better than the original.
Size MattersIt's an overused phrase, but in this case, it really does. Original movie posters will measure at 27x40 or 27x41 inches. Reprints will vary in size and come in almost any size. Usually, they will be at least 11x17 inches.
Clarity of TextLike any reprint, the quality of the text will suffer, even if the printing presses used are state-of-the-art. This is because virtually nothing is as crisp or clear as an original, whether it's a painting, picture, or poster. This is because very few reprints have the original artwork and most often are pictures of the original poster.
The credits and small print will usually be less clear and can even looked smudged. They will also appear faded or grainy. On original movie posters, the artwork, lettering and text will be crisp, clear, and precise. The same will be the case with logos and copyright symbols.
Telling the difference between original Star Wars movie posters and reprints requires careful review and a magnifying glass. Insisting on originals, though, will ensure that your collectibles will be valuable for decades to come. The same cannot be said for reprints.