'Forbidden Planet' robot sets price record for movie prop sold at auction

Reuters November 21. 2017 10:54PM

“Robby the Robot,” the prop robot used in the 1956 science fiction movie “Forbidden Planet,” is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on Tuesday. (Bonhams/Handout via REUTERS)

“Robby the Robot,” the seven-foot tall creature featured in the 1956 science fiction film “Forbidden Planet,” sold at auction for $5.375 million, a record for a movie prop, a New York auction house said on Tuesday.

Bonhams, which conducted the auction, said the price beat the previous prop record of $4 million for the 12-inch falcon statue in the Humphrey Bogart classic “The Maltese Falcon” and topped the $4.6 million for the white dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in “The Seven Year Itch.”

“Robby the Robot is one of those symbols of American culture that is embedded in our DNA,” Catherine Williamson, director of entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams, said in a statement.

Robby, with a glass dome head and functioning limbs that included legs that look like stacked bowling balls, is a devoted servant to Professor Morbius. The robot stole scenes in the movie “Forbidden Planet” with his dry sense of humor and body parts that light up when he speaks.

The three-piece prop was built at a cost of about $100,000, which, adjusted for inflation, would be nearly $1 million today.

The name of the buyer was not released.


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