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Animatronic model of E.T.’s head expected to fetch up to $1 million at auction

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — An animatronic head of E.T., the beloved alien left behind on Earth in Steven Spielberg’s classic movie, is expected to sell for as much as $1 million at an auction held on December 14-17 in Beverly Hills, California and online.

The animatronic model from “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” is part of a sale organized by Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies, which, like CNN, is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. More than 1,000 props and memorabilia from some of the best-known sci-fi, fantasy, action and superhero movies and TV series will be available at the auction.

Designed by the late Carlo Rambaldi, the model has some incredibly expressive moves. Its nostrils open and close, and its veins pulsate, while cables also allow for the movement of its eyes, lips, eyebrows, forehead and tongue.

This model comes from Rambaldi’s own collection, as did the animatronic figure of E.T. sold by Julien’s Auctions last November for $2.56 million.

His daughter, Daniela Rambaldi, recalls her father finding inspiration for E.T.’s expressive blue eyes from their family cat “Kikka,” the auction house said.

The story of the homesick E.T. and his bond with Elliott, the boy who finds him, Spielberg’s 1982 movie won near-universal acclaim and was nominated for nine Oscars, of which it won four.

Other artifacts from movie history are also up for sale, including a full Batman costume worn by Michael Keaton in “Batman Returns,” which has an estimate of up to $70,000, and a model of The Robot from the 1960s sci-fi series “Lost in Space.”

This model is “one of the rarest artifacts from the era ever offered at auction which also is still functional,” the auction house said, since only two full-scale models of The Robot were made during the show’s run. It is expected to be sold for up to $500,000.

Several items of Harry Potter memorabilia are for sale, too, including robes and the half-moon glasses worn by Richard Harris playing Albus Dumbledore in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” The robes – screen-matched for authenticity – and glasses are anticipated to reach up to $70,000 and $20,000, respectively.

And for Marvel fans, props such as Captain America’s shield, complete with battle scars, from “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and a helmet worn by Robert Downey Jr. playing Iron Man in “Captain America: Civil War” are expected to sell for up to $70,000 and up to $40,000, respectively.

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