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The Princess Bride A Timeless Tale of Love and Adventure and Princess Bride Collectibles

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When the first edition of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride was published in 1973, few could have predicted the lasting impact this enchanting fantasy story would have on readers and viewers alike. Blending romance, adventure, and wit, Goldman created a world rich with unforgettable characters and captivating storytelling that has transcended generations. We take a look at the First Edition of the book and some of The Princess Bride collectibles and memorabilia that have been released.

The Princess Bride British Quad film poster 1987
The Princess Bride British Quad film poster from 1987. Sold for £360 at Ewbanks, January 2023.

The novel is framed as an abridged version of “S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure,” a conceit that adds a layer of metafictional humor to the story. In actuality, “Morgenstern” is a fictional author invented by Goldman, who cheekily presents himself as the book’s editor. This playful narrative device, combined with Goldman’s unmistakable wit, makes for an immersive and delightful reading experience.

The Princess Bride First Edition
The Princess Bride First Edition. There is a massive variation in price of first editions of the book. Prices of up to $6,000 can be seen on ebay and dealers which include author signed editions. Editions with dustjackets can be seen being sold from $700 – $1500.

The story follows Buttercup, a beautiful young woman from the country of Florin, and her one true love, the dashing Westley. When Westley is presumed dead at the hands of the Dread Pirate Roberts, Buttercup is forced into a marriage with the evil Prince Humperdinck. Along the way, we meet a colorful cast of characters, including the vengeful Inigo Montoya, the gentle giant Fezzik, and the cunning Vizzini. Their intertwining stories create a thrilling tale of love, loyalty, and adventure that has captured the hearts of readers for decades.

The 2 Week Edition

In 1974, a unique edition of The Princess Bride was published, garnering attention not for its content, but for the controversy surrounding its cover art. This edition featured a strikingly provocative illustration, a stark departure from the whimsical and charming nature of the story within. The daring cover choice sparked heated debates among fans and critics alike, with some arguing that it misrepresented the essence of Goldman’s beloved tale, while others defended it as an example of artistic expression.

1974 2 week edition of The Princess Bride by William Goldman
1974 edition of The Princess Bride by William Goldman, published by Ballantine Books. Became known as as the 2 Week Edition as it was only available for about 2 weeks before being pulled by the publisher, due to the controversial cover. Estimate of book with nice dustjacket $150-$300

The edition has become known as the 2 Week Edition as it was only available for about 2 weeks before being pulled by the publisher. It is thought about 1,000 were sold. This dispute ultimately generated a surge of interest in the book, prompting new readers to explore the enchanting world of Florin and discover the magic of Goldman’s storytelling for themselves.

The The Princess Bride Film

In 1987, the story took on new life with the release of the film adaptation, directed by Rob Reiner and featuring a screenplay written by Goldman himself. With its all-star cast, including Cary Elwes as Westley, Robin Wright as Buttercup, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, André the Giant as Fezzik, and Wallace Shawn as Vizzini, the film quickly became a beloved classic. The performances, combined with the memorable dialogue and enchanting score by Mark Knopfler, ensured that the film would endure as a touchstone of popular culture.

The Princess Bride A Wooden Clapperboard Used In Production
The Princess Bride A Wooden Clapperboard Used In Production, Buttercup Films Ltd, 1988,
marked with the slate number 113 and the take rubbed out, in white chalk, the date ‘2nd Dec 1986, INT. Night’ in black marker to white tape and with the Director [Rob Reiner] and Camera Man [Adrian Biddle] names in white lettering. Sold for £8,500 at Bonhams, November 2022.
The Princess Bride has become more than just a book or a film; it’s an enduring testament to the power of storytelling. The tale’s heartfelt themes of true love, friendship, and courage have resonated with generations of fans, inspiring countless adaptations, merchandise, and even a Broadway musical. With its blend of humor, romance, and adventure, The Princess Bride has established itself as a timeless classic, a testament to the brilliance of William Goldman’s imagination.

The Princess Bride US One Sheet film poster
The Princess Bride US One Sheet film poster. Sold for £55 at Ewbank’s, April 2022.

Original Princess Bride Props and Costumes (and replicas)

On rare occasions original props and costumes from the film appear at auction. Propstore has sold a number of items including Buttercup’s Fire Swamp dress, a number of tabards worn by the Florin Royal Guard, and Count Rugen’s boot knife and tunic.

Buttercup Fire Swamp dress from The Princess Bride film
Buttercup’s (Robin Wright) dress from Rob Reiner’s fairy-tale adventure The Princess Bride. Buttercup wore her red dress when she was kidnapped by Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Inigo (Mandy Patinkin) and Fezzik (André the Giant), during her reunion with her true love Westley (Cary Elwes), and while traversing the deadly Fire Swamp, where she survived its three terrors – the flame spurts, lightning sand and (Rodents of Unusual Size). This full-length dress is made from red cotton with a herringbone weave. Sold for £11,250 at PropstoreAuction, December 2020.

The Princess Bride Collectibles

Over the years, The Princess Bride has inspired a wide array of collectibles and memorabilia that pay homage to its iconic characters and unforgettable moments. From action figures and apparel to board games and home décor, fans have countless ways to bring the magic of Florin into their daily lives.

Action figures and collectible statues featuring the beloved characters of Westley, Buttercup, Inigo Montoya, Fezzik, and Vizzini have become highly sought-after items for fans and collectors alike. These intricately crafted figures allow enthusiasts to recreate their favorite scenes or simply display them proudly on their shelves as a tribute to the timeless story. Funko have produced models of a number of characters including Westley with mask and without, Buttercup, Inigo and Fezzik. There has also been some special editions including the Fezzik model released in 2020 at the Sani Diego and New York Comic Coventions.

2020 NYCC Exclusive Funko Pop Movies The Princess Bride Fezzik 1023
2020 NYCC Exclusive Funko Pop Movies The Princess Bride Fezzik 1023. Estimate $100-$200.

Apparel is another popular medium for celebrating The Princess Bride, with t-shirts, hoodies, and even socks emblazoned with iconic quotes and images from the book and film. “As you wish,” “Inconceivable!” and my favourite “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” are just a few of the memorable lines that have found their way onto clothing, allowing fans to wear their love for the story on their sleeves. There are a lot of people creating Princess Bride apparel but look for official merchandise stockists.

The Princess Bride T-Shirts with iconic quotes and images from the book and film
A selection of the many The Princess Bride T-Shirts with iconic quotes and images from the book and film. Who doesn’t want a T-Shirt saying Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Board games and puzzles inspired by The Princess Bride provide fans with a more interactive way to engage with the story. Games such as “The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game” and “The Princess Bride: A Battle of Wits” enable players to step into the roles of their favorite characters and immerse themselves in the world of Florin, while puzzles featuring scenes from the film offer a more leisurely way to revisit the story.

Home décor items such as posters, art prints, and even a Dread Pirate Roberts-themed wine stopper have been created to delight fans of The Princess Bride. These items allow enthusiasts to incorporate the enchanting world of the story into their living spaces, adding a touch of Florinese charm to their homes.

The enduring popularity of The Princess Bride has also led to the creation of limited-edition collectibles, including signed and numbered prints, commemorative coins, and even a Criterion Collection Blu-ray release with exclusive features and artwork. These items are highly coveted by collectors and serve as a testament to the lasting impact of Goldman’s tale on popular culture.

The vast array of collectibles and memorabilia inspired by The Princess Bride reflects the deep affection fans have for the story and its characters. From action figures and clothing to games and home décor, these items allow enthusiasts to celebrate and cherish the timeless magic of The Princess Bride in their own unique ways.

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