A model of Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic E.T. sold at auction for $2.6 million

A model of Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic E.T. sold at auction for $2.6 million
Courtesy of Julien's Auctions

For the lot, which included a DVD of the classic film and an exclusive NFT, 13 bids were placed.

There is a good chance that E.T. might be phoning a new address soon. 

From Steven Spielberg's 1982 sci-fi classic E.T., recently sold at auction for $2.56 million. The iconic piece of memorabilia was estimated to fetch between $2 million and $4 million at Julien's Auctions' "Icons and Idols: Hollywood" auction. There were 13 bids placed for the lot, which included a DVD of the film and a one-off NFT. 

Today, E.T.'s mechatronic figure is considered an engineering masterpiece because it has 85 points of movement, including its nose, eyes, mouth, neck, arms, and fingers. Only the face has 32 points of articulation, while the arms and hands have 26 points. The figure's motion points are connected by a flexible cable that runs from its lower torso and is attached to a proportional servo motor 60 feet away. 

Courtesy of Julien’s Auctions
Courtesy of Julien’s Auctions

The design of E.T. was brought to life by 12 professional operators, dubbed the 12 Souls of E.T. as envisioned by Spielberg. Carlo Rambaldi, an Italian special-effects artist, created the lifelike figure. For the animatronic figure that young kids around the world became friends with through their TV screens, the designer won his third Academy Award in visual effects in 1983. In an interview, Rambaldi said that the artistic part cannot be separated from the mechanical part. "Movement is the soul of a mechanical creature."

In addition, there was a certain area of motion that was crucial to get right. The auctioneer says Spielberg, Rambaldi, and his producers believed that E.T's eyes were vital to engaging the audience's emotions. For the project, Kathleen Kennedy examined real and glass eyes at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute for the first time. Rambaldi then hired Beverly Hoffman to create E.T.'s oversized eyes. Julien's Auctions claims the figure's extendable neck was influenced by one of Rambaldi's paintings depicting women from his hometown in Ferrara, Italy, with similarly long vertebrae. Apparently, the artist applied this detail to make E.T. interact with his co-stars with more empathy.

Courtesy of CNN

“I think he's the eighth wonder of the movie world for me, in my experience,” Spielberg told the auctioneer, citing his view of the character as a living breathing organism. 

With more than 1,300 Hollywood artifacts to choose from, the Icons and Idols: Hollywood auction was held in partnership with Turner Classic Movies. During pre-production, Rambaldi sent Spielberg a maquette model of E.T. for a more complete look at the character. The maquette model sold for $125,000. The sale included Daniel Radcliffe's Nimbus 2000 broom from Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Christopher Evan's shield from Captain America: The First Avenger, and the double-sided lightsaber of Darth Maul, one of Star Wars' terrifying crime lords. 

Welcome to the New Rich. Rich Report is a Global Media Company, Focusing on Business, Investing, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Luxury Lifestyle, and Education.