10 Famous Robots That Could Have Been Yours!

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10 Famous Robots That Could Have Been Yours!

10 Famous Robots That Could Have Been Yours

Robots have been a staple of science fiction movies and TV shows for decades, and the screen-used props and costumes are highly popular with collectors today.

The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation calls them “Your Plastic Pal Who’s Fun to Be With”. Writer Isaac Asimoc created three laws to govern them. And Rocky gave his brother Paulie one for his birthday.

When it comes to movie and TV robots, there are a few different types. There are cute robots (R2-D2); even cuter robots (Wall-E); annoyingly wacky robots (Johnny Five); creepily sexual robots (Gigolo Joe); existentially tormented robots (Roy Batty); and robots that just want to crush your skull because they enjoy the sound it makes (T-800).

So here are ten famous movie and TV robots that fetched huge price at auction – ranging from the terrifying to the truly terrible.

ABC Warrior (Judge Dredd, 1995)

(Image: Profiles in History)

(Image: Profiles in History)

For fans of Judge Dredd and 2000 A.D, the 1995 movie starring Sylvester Stallone got almost everything wrong. Helmet removed? Check. Judges kissing each other? Check. Rob Schneider? Check. Being pretty rubbish? Check, check, check.

The film did, however, have a few bright spots. The production design for Mega-City 1 was superb, the inbred Angel family and their brother Mean Machine looked great, and best of all was the appearance of Hammerstein from the ABC Warriors.

Although depicted as an obsolete military robot repurposed to act as Judge Rico’s muscle, fans were generally delighted with the way he appeared on screen. Hammerstein was brought to life using practical effects, and looked every inch the imposing, battle-hardened bot that would happily smash you into small wet pieces.

The screen-used ABC Warrior robot head from the film sold at Profiles in History in 2008 for $10,000.

Muffit the Daggit (Battlestar Galactica, 1978-1979)

(Image: Propworx)

(Image: Propworx)

In the original 1970s version of ‘Battlestar Galactica’, producers wisely realized that all successful sci-fi shows need an unconvincing robot dog. So they created Muffit, a robot ‘daggit’ (apparently a futuristic space term for ‘dog’) as a replacement companion Boxey, a boy whose real pet was mercilessly killed by an alien invasion.

The creepy thing about Muffit was the way it moved. Although the small robot costume resembles a cross between a gas mask, washing machine parts and a deep-pile carpet, it moves with a weird lifelike manner that suggests there’s something living inside it.

And there was – a chimpanzee. Evie the chimp was stuck inside the suit, and was known to regularly run off, make loud farting noises or even occasionally hit the child actor playing Boxey in the face.

In 2011 one of the screen-used Daggit costumes appeared for auction at Propworx, after remaining unseen in a private collection since production on the show ended in 1979. Presumably, it smelled quite heavily of chimp, but that didn’t put off the winning bidder who paid $20,000 for it.

Cyberman (Doctor Who, 1983/1988)

(Image: Bonhams)

(Image: Bonhams)

The Cybermen are a race of former humanoids whose almost religious obsession with technology led them to alter their bodies and become emotionless cyborgs. Or as we know them, Apple fans.

Although relatively indestructible by conventional means, Cybermen are apparently vulnerable to gold. This weakness was responsible for the creation of the ‘glittergun’, which fires gold dust at your enemies, making it the single most fabulous weapon ever used in the Time Wars (and number one on Kanye West’s list of “Things to Pretend I Invented”).

The Cybermen are amongst the most famous of all Doctor Who villains, appearing numerous times throughout the show’s 51-year history.

This particular Cymberman costume featured components used on-screen in both ‘The Five Doctors’ in 1983, and ‘Silver Nemesis’ in 1988, and sold at Bonhams in 2010 for £9,600

Twiki (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, 1979-1981)

10 Famous Robots That Could Have Been Yours

It’s difficult to say which of the robots on our list is the most annoying, but it’s far easier to say which one has the most unfortunately-shaped head. It’s Twiki.

In the show, NASA pilot Buck Rogers is accidentally frozen whilst on a mission in 1987 and returns to Earth 500 years later – to discover that robot technology appears to have gotten worse, and disco was the only music to survive a nuclear war.

Rogers is assisted by Twiki, a small robot with a stutter and a smart mouth, whose primary functions appears to be repeating catchphrases and occasionally talking to Gary Coleman.

Twiki also wear a large round pendant around his neck, like a tiny robotic Flavor Flav. However, instead of a clock this pendant contains a sentient robot known as Dr. Theopolis who acts as a scientific leader on Earth and offers advice to Rogers.

You may wonder why Dr Theo hasn’t been placed into a robot body, instead of being carried around by a metal idiot. But we’re pretty sure the Doc took one look at Twiki’s head and said “I’m alright in the clock actually.”

This robot suit was worn onscreen throughout the show’s two seasons by actor Felix Silla, who also played Cousin It in The Addams Family, and sold at Sotheby’s in 1998 for $17,250.

Sentinel (The Matrix)

(Image: Profiles in History)

(Image: Profiles in History)

The Matrix is one of the most influential movies of the past two decades, featuring the perfect combination of kung-fu, massive guns, cool outfits and pseudo-spiritual nonsense.

It also introduced the world to ‘bullet time’, allowed a generation of cosplayers to believe that leather trousers were perfectly acceptable, and inspired a series of really crap Samsung phones.

Heavily influenced by the work of cyberpunk authors like William Gibson, the film essentially took the idea of virtual reality and combined it with the plot of The Terminator to create a new movie mythology: the world has been taken over by intelligent computers, who keep humans unconscious in a virtual world whilst harvesting their bioelectricity like living batteries.

So reality isn’t really reality, it’s just, like, what they want you to think, man.

Although the undoubtedly cool villain of the film is Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith, in the ‘real’ world outside the Matrix are an army of ‘Sentinel’ robots with enough arms and pincers to make Doctor Octopus feel inadequate.

This life-size Sentinel model, standing 8 feet tall, was created by the film’s production team as a basis for the stunning CGI effects which appeared on screen. Hand-painted by studio artists, it sold at Profiles in History in 2013 for $110,000.

Johnny Five (Short Circuit, 1986)

(Image: Profiles in History)

(Image: Profiles in History)

No less annoying than Twiki, but far less accidentally-phallic, is Short Circuit star Johnny Five. Johnny is a military robot designed to be the ultimate killing machine, until a bolt of lightning makes him self-aware and he starts acting like an annoying kid who asks ‘Why? after everything you say.

After escaping from the NOVA laboratory where he was built, Johnny hangs out with vet Ally Sheedy, watches a bunch of movies and accidentally crushes a grasshopper, teaching him the fragility of life (and grasshoppers).

He also meets his creator Steve Guttenberg, and doesn’t try to kill him with his military lasers, which proves that ‘Three Men and a Little Lady’ wasn’t one of the movie he watched.

Although around 15 versions of the robot were built for the film, most were mock-ups, half-robots and other non-animatronic piece. Just one fully-working model survived the film, and was subsequently used in the sequel in 1988. It sold at Profiles in History in 2007 for $120,000.

Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still, 1951)

(Image: Profiles in History)

(Image: Profiles in History)

Robert Wise’s 1951’s science fiction film ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ remains a classic more than 60 years later, and features one of the most famous robots in Hollywood history.

Standing at an impressive 8ft tall, Gort is a  silent, featureless metal giant tasked with keeping the peace across the galaxy. And if that involves him vaporizing a planet or two in the process, then so be it.

“There’s no limit to what Gort could do. He could destroy the Earth,” states the alien Klaatu, who accompanies Gort to Earth to deliver a simple message: play nicely, or we’ll reduce your planet to a burned out cinder.

Unfortunately for Klaatu he’s landed in the U.S.A, and he quickly discovers that the American version of ‘playing nicely’ involves being repeatedly shot. With his master dead, the only words which can stop Gort unleashing hell with his all-powerful energy ray are “Klaatu barada nikto” (also the words you need to stop an Army of Darkness).

In the film, Gort was played by the 7 ft., 7 in.-tall actor Lock Martin wearing a thick foam-rubber suit and a giant fibreglass helmet. In 2012, this helmet – regarded as one of the world’s most important pieces of sci-fi movie memorabilia – sold at Profiles in History for $150,000.

RoboCop (RoboCop, 1987)

(Image: Profiles in History)

(Image: Profiles in History)

Being literally shot to pieces by a gang in a car park can certainly put a crimp in your day. Waking up as a cyborg with no memory of your family isn’t much better, but being bullet-proof and having the ability to bend gun barrels with your hands makes up for it a little bit.

If you’re a law abiding citizen (or a scumbag OCP employee) you’re fairly safe from RoboCop due to his main directives: Serve the public trust, Protect the Innocent, and Uphold the Law.

But if you’re a criminal, a malfunctioning robot, or a criminal inside the body of an malfunctioning robot, RoboCop is programmed to kick your ass. Dead or alive, you’re going with him.

The first RoboCop film was as much a black comedy as an action movie, a violent satire of politics and the media which happened to include cool robots.

After going ultra-violent in the 1990 sequel, the third film was a low-budget family-friendly mess before the character was relegated to a children’s cartoon and (shudder) a Canadian TV show.

This full Robocop suit was worn on-screen by Peter Weller in the original 1987 film, in which RoboCop looked like an actual robot; rather than the 2014 remake in which the character resembles a Gimp suit crossed with an iMac. It sold at Profiles in History in 2011 for $32,500.

C-3PO (Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, 1983)

(Image: Profiles in History)

(Image: Profiles in History)

C-3PO, along with his tin-can companion R2-D2, is one of just two characters to appear in every Star Wars film to date. This makes him one of the most irritating characters to appear in seven different movies (along with the Leprechaun and Larvell Jones from Police Academy).

C-3PO, a protocol droid capable of being prissy and irritating in over six million forms of communication, inhabits the Star Wars universe like a robotic Niles Crane.

However his C.V is impressive, having worked for members of royalty, Jedis and a Hutt, and he is also worshipped as a golden god on Endor by the Ewoks, because the Ewoks are idiots.

This original screen-used helmet was worn by actor Anthony Daniels in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. One of the very few original C-3PO items to ever appear on the market, it sold at Profiles in History in 2008 for $100,000.

T-800 robot (Terminator II: Judgement Day)

(Image: Profiles in History)

(Image: Profiles in History)

When it comes to modern sci-fi, there are few more iconic movie moments that the first sight of the T-800 robots patrolling the futuristic wastelands of Terminator II: Judgement Day.

The image of a robotic foot crushing a child’s skull provides the perfect introduction to a future which is supposedly only a few years away (we’re pretty sure Siri is actually Skynet).

Although the more advanced, liquid metal T-1000 is the star of the film, there’s something about the grinning metal skull and glowing red eyes of the T-800 that makes it the terrifying, defining image of the robot apocalypse.

This screen-used robot was described as “probably the most instantly-identifiable visual effects character of the last 30 years of film history”, and sold at Profiles in History in 2007 for an amazing $425,000.


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