Steven Spielberg’s original ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ model auctioned for

The original animatronic model used in ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ to bring big-eyed alien E.T. to life has snagged a staggering sum at the recent Julien’s Auctions and TCM Presents: Icons and Idols Hollywood auction. According to the auction house, the mechanical model was sold for a whopping $2.5 million. And, bidding for the iconic creation of Italian special effects master Carlo Rambaldi had opened at $500,000.

The item, which was sold as part of a two-day mega-sale that included over 1,300 props ranging from Chris Hemsworth’s Thor hammer to Robert DeNiro’s Raging Bull boxing gloves, is regarded as an engineering masterpiece.

The filming model was operated by 12 professional animators and its movements, including facial expressions, nose, eyes, mouth, lids movement, neck movement, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, chest and abdomen rotations, were controlled by a combination of cables connected to electronic apparatus and mechanical elements.

“Pre-dating modern CGI technology and effects, this one-of-a-kind cinematographic relic (constructed in 1981) features 85 points of movement and is regarded as an engineering masterpiece,” the description of the model reads.

The 1982 Steven Spielberg-helmed film starred Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore. The film was about an alien who befriends a boy while being stuck on Earth. It received critical acclaim and was the top box office film of that year.

A maquette of E.T. was also sold at the auction for $125,000. Meanwhile, one of the bikes used in the film’s climatic getaway scene was sold for $115,000.

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