Sunday, January 11, 2015


How does The Wizard of Oz put it? "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" Apparently that's what Alec Peters, president of Propworx, is hoping his consignors do. Though, "pay no attention to that bankruptcy in my past!" is more like it.

Mr. Peters' former company, Propworx, a movie prop and costume reseller, went bankrupt under his leadership back in 2012, leaving behind a debt in excess of $400,000. Many of his detractors (like me) said "good riddance". His creditors had their own words for him, I'm sure. On a side note, along with Propworx, Mr. Peters also brought us The Prop Blog, written by his pal and former employee Dan Benton. Fong Sam, head of Blacksparrow Auctions, called The Prop Blog "the most antagonistic, divisive and disingenuous prop blog extant" when it shut down. Fong's headline for that event was "Good Riddance".

Are you sensing a theme?

So with Propworx securely and rightfully snug in its well-deserved grave, imagine my surprise when I heard rumors of a new Propworx auction coming down the pike. Was Propworx being re-born as a new company? Or was the name simply being used by Mr. Peters as a DBA ("Doing Business As")? Beats the hell out of me. Whatever the details, Mr. Peters has recently announced a new Propworx Star Trek auction with a catalog and everything.

Which begs the question: who would consign their valuable props and costumes to a company that went bankrupt just two years ago? After all, the last time someone trusted Propworx (like MGM with their Stargate materials) they got burned. Really bad. Like hundreds of thousands of dollars bad. Keep in mind that, when things went south, Mr. Peters could have tried to keep things going and attempt to pay back his creditors by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy – what is commonly called "restructuring". But instead, he went directly for Chapter 7 – liquidation. Nobody got paid. No one, that is, except for Mr. Peters, of course. Apparently, bankruptcy's not as bad as it's made out to be as long as you're on the right side of said bankruptcy.

Again, why would anyone put their property in the hands of someone who ran his company into the crapper? I have to assume that those involved are either not well-versed in Mr. Peters' past, or, if they are, they don't care. But given the $400,000+ debt that Mr. Peters walked away from in 2012, who wouldn't care? It boggles the mind. The headline says it all.

So, will Mr. Peters be afflicted with bankruptcy yet again, to the chagrin of his consignors? Or will he find a way to more responsibly manage the funds at his disposal than he has in the past? Is he suddenly a better business man? For the sake of his consignors, I certainly hope so.

Only time will tell.