“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” model from 1982 Spielberg classic sells for $2.5m at auction

The original mechanical model from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial has snagged a staggering $2,560,000 at auction.

According to a People magazine report, the auction house said the highly sought-after cinematic object sold for a final offer of $2,560,000 during the recent Julien’s Auctions and TCM Presents: Icons and Idols Hollywood auction.

The no. 1 “hero” used with the actors, the aluminum alloy skeletal model of E.T. was originally estimated by the auction house to fetch between $2 million and $4 million. Bidding opened at $500,000. The winner was not identified.

Created by Italian special effects master Carlo Rambaldi, the filming model was operated by 12 professional animators, with movements including: facial expressions, nose, eyes, mouth, lids movement, neck movement, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, chest and abdomen rotations, all via 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 lot description reads.

The June 1982 Steven Spielberg-helmed film (starring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore) about an alien who befriends a boy while stuck on Earth, received critical acclaim and was the top box office movie of that year.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date