Selling Off a ‘Grimm’ Corpse

Me in Hank's stunt double's shirt and Monroe's Sweater holding a prop sign
Hank’s stunt double’s shirt, Monroe’s Sweater, and a prop sign.

I’d never been to a TV show’s estate sale before, but that’s apparently how it’s done. Grimm shot their final episode, and now everything had to go, even before the final episode of the series airs. (You can still catch up on Amazon Prime.)

They filled their former production headquarters in Portland with boxes and boxes of props and production items and started selling it all off one rainy Saturday in March. They’re still selling it off as I write, and they plan on running the sale until this weekend. It was that huge. They also had a few fire marshal restrictions on the place, so they could only let 250 people in at a time. Once in, you could take as long as you wanted to shop, which meant that if you started in line before it opened, you’d still be in line six hours later. Ask me how I know. But, hey, I came with friends, and Portlanders know how to stand in a long line in the rain. That’s how we get brunch. 

Crowd waits in rain
Photo by Marziah Karch

The Grimm estate sale did not allow photography inside the warehouse, so I’ll just have to describe what I saw. The “good” stuff was probably never in this estate sale. The gnarly spell books and most interesting props were either archived, donated, or claimed elsewhere. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a ton of stuff.  I was aiming for signs (they don’t take a lot of space to store in my home) and I found as many as I could carry. I could carry more than you’d think since they were made out of heavy cardboard instead of metal. I don’t even know what episode that “Cosmic” sign I’m holding is from. Maybe it hasn’t aired yet. Maybe somebody reading this knows and can leave a comment.

Most of the furniture looked like it was purchased at a thrift store, which makes sense. If you want to make a home look lived in, get your furniture used. There were pieces from all the permanent sets, but most of the tagged prop boxes were from Season 6. Lots of mirrors. Lots of jars. Lots of clocks. (Monroe’s clocks are mostly made in China.)

There was a ton of clothing, and most of it was for men. Most of it was beige. It looks like most main characters had about four copies of each main clothing item. For a show set in a city that sees constant rain nine months a year, they really didn’t have a lot of waterproof outerwear. I found a couple of pieces that fit me, and the prices were below thrift store ($4 for that sweater and $3 for that maroon shirt I’m wearing). Interestingly, the zipper on Monroe’s beige sweater was on the women’s side.

Monroe's Sweater

They had boxes of cheap plastic skulls and fake rats. There was a box of fake livers. Tons of lamps. So many lamps, but no way to tell if any of them worked. Fake beer taps. Coffee pots that may or may not have worked. It was weird looking through all the items and going from the idea of geeking out to just bargain shopping, but at some point, I crossed that threshold. I got badminton rackets because one child wanted to learn how to play. I got a $6 pair of Addidas because my teen needed new gym shoes. I passed on a chair because I wasn’t sure it would fit with my decor. No cameras. No documentation. No provenance.  There’s nothing but my memory to tell you that a prop is anything but the thrift store find it appears to be.

In the end, it really was just an estate sale. For a show that died. Alas, poor Grimm, I’ll think of you when I wear this warm sweater.

Get the GeekDad Books!

   

Marziah Karch lives in Portland, Oregon and is the author of multiple books and magazine articles. She also writes for Lifewire and GlitterSquid. She's currently a doctoral candidate researching the information behavior of independent game designers.