‘Breaking Bad’ Fans Bid Nearly $1 Mil for Props, Costumes in Online Auction

'Breaking Bad' Auction: Fans Bid Nearly

Startup ScreenBid.com sells 337 items from show on behalf of Sony Pictures Television

A “Breaking Bad” buff is paying $9,900 for a pair of Walter White’s used underwear.

All told, fans of the show pledged close to $1 million at ScreenBid.com for 337 props, costumes and vehicles used in “Breaking Bad,” which ended its run on AMC Sept. 29.

Startup ScreenBid struck a deal with Sony Pictures Television, which produced the skein, to auction off items used in the series. The auction went live after the finale, aiming to capitalize on the mania surrounding the Emmy-winning TV show, and bidding for the last lots closed Wednesday.

ScreenBid had previously suggested the auction could bring in more than $2 million, but co-founder Jeffrey Dash said it’s thrilled with the results. “We’ve been floored by some of these prices,” he said.

The highest winning bid: $65,500 for the inscribed copy of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” crux of a pivotal plot point late in the series. It sold to someone with the user name “bbadfan101.”

Other items drawing five-figure final bids were Hector “Tio” Salamanca’s bell ($26,750); the pink teddy bear that plunged from an exploding airliner ($23,250); the eyeless version of the teddy bear ($20,250); Tuco’s grill ($20,250); and Walter’s Cadillac ($19,750). Walt’s red car remote, which played a crucial role in the finale, went for $8,400.

SEE ALSO: Katzenberg Offered to Pay $75 million for Three Extra ‘Breaking Bad’ Episodes

In addition to the “Breaking Bad” memorabilia, ScreenBid completed the auction of 66 items from Sony’s “This Is the End.”

About 5,800 people registered at ScreenBid for the auctions, and about 2,000 entered the bidding. The site adds a 24% “buyer’s premium” on top of the final bids.

Now, ScreenBid must collect the coin from the winning bidders. To participate in the auctions, users had to enter a valid credit card. But Dash acknowledged that’s not an absolute guarantee they will pay what they bid: “There’s risk in any business.”

Dash formed ScreenBid with Bill Block, CEO of indie film studio QED Intl., as a way for production companies to generate incremental revenue for props that they otherwise would have discarded or given away.

“We’ve found a way to monetize these assets for studios,” said Dash, who also is CFO of ArtMix Creative, an agency based in Culver City, Calif., that reps photographers and directors.

ScreenBid’s deals with studios vary — and Dash declined to specify its arrangement with Sony — but in general the company is seeking 80-20 deals, where the studio keeps 80% of the haul.

Not up for bid was the “Breaking Bad” RV that served as Walt and Jesse Pinkman’s mobile meth lab, which Sony plans to use for studio tours, as well as the hat worn by Heisenberg (the nom-de-meth of Walter White’s crystal-cooking alter ego). The studio handled warehousing for the items in the auction.

For the record, the $9,900 tighty-whities — the pair Bryan Cranston wore in the pilot episode — are currently on display at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, N.Y., as part of its “Breaking Bad” exhibition. According to ScreenBid, the underpants will ship to the winning bidder after the exhibit ends Oct. 27.

Somewhere, Walter White is chuckling in disbelief.

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  1. Adam says:

    Screenbid is a con!! Please can a journalist get in touch with me and all the other winners and expose this scam. A lot of the items were made out to be unique but weren’t. The leaves of grass book was shown with a picture of the book being used in the show and on very careful examination you can see 3 slight differences in the handwritten part…so the poor winner has bid $65,000 on a backup prop that wasn’t used!!

    I bid on a watch described as “The watch worn by Jesse in Seasons 1-3”. I won it then double checked it was indeed THE watch and not one of many. The screenbid guy on the phone who was ‘so delighted’ with my great win eventually told me it was one of many and then started to to make out it was 1 of 2 that he knew of, then at the end of the conversation he said “yeah, so you’re ok with that, it’s 1 of 2 watches…..on our site, ok bye then”, so i had to stop him and clarify i didn’t want to know it was 1 of 2 watches they’re selling (they were selling a season 4 watch too) but wanted to know if it was 1 watch of lots used throughout the seasons. He then waffled on how they have multiples of everything and an actor will blah blah….it was 1 watch of lots of watches.

    I asked why they didn’t word it as “One of the watches worn..” but instead opted to describe it as “The watch worn by…in seasons 1-3”. Yes you could argue that the wording isn’t exactly a lie, they haven’t said “The only watch…” but without doubt they’ve worded it to be misleading to get maximum value out of the watch. It’s ambiguous on purpose. In legal contracts there is the contra proferentum Rule. Under this rule, the ambiguous contract term (i.e. two or more meanings) may be interpreted by the Courts against the profferer (the person who drafted / tendered the document to the other contracting party), applying an interpretation of the contract term which is most favourable to the other party (Me), so wording a description so that it’s misleading is wrong, and a cheap trick used by con sites. The only reply I got from Screenbid was to invalidate my bid. No explanation about their description or follow up to my comments how I felt cheated as I was unable to bid on anything else as my money was tied up in this watch. If it was clearly described as 1 of many i wouldn’t have bid, nor would most people who did, and I would have bid and won something better…though that will have been 1 of many too.

    I then went through seasons 1-4 quickly and only saw Jesse wearing a watch in one scene (every other time he has jackets covering his arms, and when his wrists are out or he’s topless, he wears no watch!). Anyway, the watch appears in season 2 …and wasn’t the watch! lol. It was the one that screenbid were selling as Season 4 watch!! So a) only once is a watch seen in season 1 – 4, b) it’s not the one they were selling as season 1 – 3 …so people were bidding thousands of dollars on a watch that was “the watch worn by jesse in seasons 1 – 3” but is never ever seen in any episode, lol.

    The bell that went for $26,000…they would no way have only one as if it had broken in a scene they couldn’t wait to get a new one, so they’d have 3 or 4 of them, even more (some to be used as damaged ones for the explosion scene)…the people who bid on that bell will be looking at it in scenes and thinking, that’s my bell i’ve just won….no it isn’t, it’s possible it may be the bell in one of the scenes, but it’s also very possible it was always on the shelf as a back up.

    Screenbid is an absolute con where they phone you all the time so things aren’t written down. I had to push them to stick to emails and from then on i got 1 short email followed by complete silence…compared to phone calls every 10 minutes when I first one it and they were getting the sell. They have no idea what they’re selling, whether it was used or backup…completely amateurish. I’d feel more confident buying a watch from some fat in a pub who promised me “it’s the watch that jfk had on his wrist when he was shot, the exact one…mine for $120”

    • Steve says:

      Adam, I bid on Jesse’s watch(es) also. Initially, I was excited, thinking it was the only one up for bid, but screenbid had 3 of his watches listed. I felt none of them could be authenticated as being worn by Jesse, on-screen, and during the season(s) screenbid had stated. Better proof and authenticity was needed in order to confirm these were actual items used by the actors on-screen.

  2. Reynaldo Martinez says:

    I was going to bid, but then I learned about a previous enterprise of Dash’s that would up in fraud litigation:

    I hope all that stuff is really what they say it is.

    • adam says:

      They were phoning me up every ten minutes when I won the bid and saying how happy they were for me. When I pointed out their descriptions are written on purpose to make out the item is unique they turned around and offered to invalidate my bid. I pointed that I missed out on bidding for other items as my money was tied up in the false watch, but the much bigger picture was whether people realised about the more expensive items.

      The guy that bought the book for $65,000 most likely thinks it’s the only one and the one used in the famous scene. Screenbid showed a close up of the handwritten section of the book and a close up of the handwritten bit shown in the scene. They looked pretty much identical…except for 3 very tiny details, one being the loops on one of the W’s. On screen the left loop is larger than the right, whereas screenbid’s one had a larger loop on the right. Only a tiny detail, but enough to show it’s a double. I’m new to this but now realise they have doubles/extras of everything. If someone spilt water on the leaves of grass book during shooting they couldn’t exactly stop shooting and wait a few days while someone went out, got another ‘Leaves of grass’ book and wrote the handwritten bit to match what had been shown in an earlier episode…so obviously they have more (another post on here suggests they heard it was 3). So, it’s beyond me how it’s anywhere legal for Screenbid to put one of the copies up for auction and not make it absolutely clear it’s one of 3 copies, and are allowed to use phrases like “THE book that Hank found” and use photos of the episode to clearly make the bidders believe it’s THE actual book used in the scenes. I would put big money on the person who bid the $65,000 believed it to be the one and only.

      All this along with the Jeffrey Dash having lots of internet space talking about him being involved in conning millions in investment fraud (I’ve not read it all so don’t know if that’s all fact or here say) but it all makes this whole thing seem completely dodgy and not something I think the people associated with ‘Breaking Bad’ have realised they’ve got involved in. I think there are a lot of BB fans out there who have spent a lot of hard earned money on items they believe to be a) unique, b) the items they actually see in the episodes, whereas all they’ve done is bought a replica backup and lined the pockets of some con artists.

      Journalists, the story is there. Follow who bought the items. What did they believe it to be. Ask the people involved in Breaking Bad what they supplied to Screenbid. It’s all there for you.

  3. Steve says:

    I registered and took part in the BB auction. I was mostly interested in some of the cars and bid on some of Jesse Pinkman’s items. I’m not sure why “Leaves of Grass” went for so much. I believe there was 3 copies used on the show. One item that didn’t sell was Hector Salamanca’s wheelchair… or what was LEFT of his wheelchair (Gus Fring pipe bomb). It never received a bid ($5000). Some stuff went cheap.. like Badger’s car, an ’86 Pontiac Fiero ($500). Hopefully some of these props will come up again due to non paying winners.

    • adam says:

      …I was meant to say they were phoning me every 10 minutes when I won the watch. Every email I sent they’d phone me back as it was “better to talk over the phone” …now I realise that they phone you rather than email you because otherwise you’d have evidence written down. When he answered about the watches he said after loads of confused waffle “so to clarify it’s one of only 2 watches….on our site, ok bye then” so I had to say “hang on, i don;t care about how many watches are on your site, I mean how many watches like this were used. He said he didn’t know but it would be many. Rather than write an email saying that, he phoned and tried to use ‘Screenbid’ waffle to confuse you and hopefully get you to hear what they want you to hear and secure the purchase.

      After I point out the descriptions and questioned the uniqueness of the more expensive items they ignored every email from then on. No more phone calls, no more emails. We’d gone from a phone call reply within 10mins to every email, to completely ignoring me when I questioned the higher priced items….now what does that tell you?

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