Forbidden Planet robot sets price record for auctioned film prop
“Robby the Robot”, the seven-foot tall creature featured in the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet, sold at auction for US$5.375 million, a record for a film prop, a New York auction house said on Tuesday.
Bonhams, which held the auction, said the price beat the previous prop record of US$4 million for the 12-inch falcon statue in the Humphrey Bogart classic The Maltese Falcon.
It also topped the US$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 film Forbidden Planet with his dry sense of humour and body parts that light up when he speaks.
The three-piece prop was built at a cost of about US$100,000, which, adjusted for inflation, would be nearly US$1 million today.
The name of the buyer was not released.