Offbeat

By Hayley Pugh


A seven-foot-tall robot from the science fiction classic, Forbidden Planet, has become the most valuable movie prop ever sold at auction after being bought for a whopping $5.3 million.

Robby the Robot went for a huge $5,375,000 at Bonhams auction of classic movie memorabilia in New York.

The sale means that Robby, star of the 1956 film, has knocked the previous world record holder, The Maltese Falcon, off its perch.

Pic by Caters News

The falcon statuette, from the cinema noir classic, of the same name previously sold for $4 million at auction in 2013.

Dr Catherine Williamson, 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.”

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

Pic by Caters News

“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.”

Robby is a fully-functional prop which breaks 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.

One of the most iconic sci-fi figures to appear on the silver screen, seven-foot tall Robby the Robot captured the imagination of audiences everywhere in Forbidden Planet as the devoted servant to Professor Morbius, one of the few inhabitants of the distant planet Altair IV.

The extraordinary sale has also blown away the price 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.