$5.3M ‘Robby the Robot’ is world’s most expensive movie memorabilia

$5.3M ‘Robby the Robot’ is world’s most expensive movie memorabilia

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Added by November 23, 2017

Robby the Robot on a poster for “Forbidden Planet.”


Robby the Robot from the sci-fi film “Forbidden Planet” has become the world’s most expensive piece of classic movie memorabilia after selling for $5.3 million.

The seven-foot-tall robot was a star of the 1956 film and one of the most memorable creations in science fiction.

He is the servant of Dr. Morbius on Altair IV — known as the “Forbidden Planet” — and has metal claws, a domed head and speaks 188 languages.

The robot was auctioned by Bonhams New York for a world record price of $5,375,000 in the “TCM Presents… Out of This World!” auction.

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Robby the RobotSWNS

It smashed the $4 million paid in 2013 for the Maltese Falcon statuette from the cinema noir classic of the same name to become the most valuable film prop sold at auction.

The robot also beat the prices paid for the white dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in “The Seven-Year Itch,” which made $4.6 million in 2011, and the original 1966 Batmobile, that sold for $4.6 million in 2013.

Dr. Catherine Williamson, the director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams, said: “This is an out-of-this-world result for one of the most loved items in movie history.”

“Robby the Robot is one of those symbols of American culture that is embedded in our DNA.”

“We are thrilled for the consignor, William Malone, who has cared for Robby for so many years and we are delighted that so many of Robby’s fans took the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see him at Bonhams.”

“Forbidden Planet” is based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and is set in 2257.

It follows a space crew, led by “Naked Gun” star Leslie Nielsen, who investigate the silence from a planet inhabited by scientists. They find all but two, Dr. Morbius and his daughter Altaira, have been killed by a monster which roams the planet.

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Robby’s Jeep was included in the auction lot.SWNS

Robby the Robot, which is Dr. Morbius’s servant, is programmed to obey the “Three Laws of Robotics” — to not injure a human, obey orders from humans and protect its own existence as long as it doesn’t conflict with the first three laws.

The fully-functional prop is broken down into three pieces: the head, the torso, and the legs.

In addition to Robby himself, the lot also included the Jeep he drives on Altair IV, the auxiliary control panel, and his original MGM packing crates.

Robby the Robot cost studio MGM a fortune to make and when filming was concluded he wasn’t confined to the prop room.

Instead, he went on tour – appearing in “The Twilight Zone,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and “Mork and Mindy.”

Robby’s previous owner, filmmaker and collector, William Malone, said: “I’m astounded by the result, but also sad to part with him.”

“However, it’s time Robby finds a place where he can be displayed, and with someone who can look after him. Of course, he will leave an empty spot in my house – and in my heart.”

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