Rick Baker’s Men in Black Puppets and Animatronics

Some of effects legend Rick Baker’s most memorable work was in the Men in Black series, where his studio designed and created the fantastic alien creatures featured in the films. We chat with Rick about the practical fabrication of the memorable worm aliens, and a giant bug animatronic that never made it to screen–all going on auction. So many wonderful stories! (For a chance to win a prop from this collection, just post in the comments what from the auction you’d love to have!)

Shot and edited by Joey Fameli
Music by Jinglepunks

Comments (42)

42 thoughts on “Rick Baker’s Men in Black Puppets and Animatronics

  1. I would like to pick up those Mechanical Gorilla Gloves because they won’t be too creepy to display and it’s really cool to see the way they’re built.

  2. Just looked through the catalog and there’s some great stuff in there. I wonder if Adam will be gunning for any of the Hellboy stuff?

  3. Above all i think i love the Men in Black Maquettes, they show a great stepping stone and story to how the film was made, plus they would make for easy to/cool display items. They’re all pretty badass,

  4. Thats actually an alright scene, gives the film a bit of originality but i understand why they have cut it.

  5. For me, it would be the Hell-boy right hand mock-up, and I would also go for one of the director chairs 🙂

  6. I would love to have item 40, Harrys head, hands, feet, and muscle suit from Harry and the Hendersons. When I was a kid I had a VHS copy recorded from TV, and must have watched it 100 times. I wonder where that tape is…

  7. I would go with #136 animatronic gorilla head. Rick started out with a love of this creature, and the goal of replicating it to it’s truest realism. The best Gorilla man in the biz…

  8. I love all the ape-related stuff from the catalog, but if i had to pick one to have it would probably be number 221, it’s a beautiful maquette.

  9. Anything and everything from this auction. but if I had to choose one it would probably be lot 1.

  10. I would love to have almost anything from this catalog but since the majority of items would thoroughly creep out my daughters, I’ll be restrained and select lot 196 (the MIB gun cutouts) as my item of choice. However, please don’t let the creep out factor prevent you from awarding me the prop giveaway if I’m lucky enough to be selected – they’ll just have to deal with it then! 🙂

  11. For me it would have to be something I could use… say like the First Contact Alien mask and gloves for MIB 2. A bright flash of light and odd sound at night from one of the alleys here just as some people are nearing it, followed by the emergence if… an Alien. All filmed of course with hidden cameras.

  12. I’m a fan of most of the MIB aliens, #208 Painted Mikey maybe #82 Spike Gremlin Maquette. I may try to bid on a few items but budget will probably leave me to make due with a catalog.

  13. So many to choose from, but the Hellboy stuff is very appealing, “392. Hellboy’s Stunt Face Appliance and Horn Stubs” in particular.

  14. I am officially jealous. That was awesome. Rick seems like an incredibly nice guy and it must have been amazing to chat with him about his work. I love hearing the behind the scenes stories that the practical effects guys tell- especially the problem solving they have to go through. I could spend hours looking at his work, taking notes (and photos) as to how things are constructed.

  15. This was really easy for me. I would want that giant bat. I would dress him up for each season, and he would be in my living room year around.

  16. “Snowy Cones” or “Frosty” would be amazing, they are so well done and realistic .. if someone could be insta frozen 😉 But realistically General Thrade’s Helmet (from planet of the Apes) as long as all of you promise not to bid 🙂

  17. I would love to get Lot 84 : mechanical Gremlin Puppet.

    It’s so beautiful. Always loved the Gremlins.

  18. Fantastic collection. I will have a go at bidding for the Ron Perlman right hand of doom from Hellboy. I shoot a lot of cosplay photography and this would be a great prop 🙂

  19. For me, you absolutely hit the nail on the head with the first video – I would love to own any of the gremlins items. I grew up obsessed with the entire franchise and had the vhs’ rented from my local blockbuster video back to back for what must have been a good couple of hundred viewings. Along with little shop of horrors… I’m seeing a practical effects theme looking back at this now!

    By far, the two stand out items from the auction for me would be 84, the mechanical gremlin puppet and 89 the servo operated George puppet. But the entire catalogue of items is a goldmine of movie history!

  20. I would not be my wife’s favorite person if i bought any of this but i really like the Gremlins stuff. The animatronics stuff especially.

  21. Any of the worm guy puppets from Men In Black 2. Really got me hankering to watch Men in Black 1 and 2 again, just for Rick Baker’s incredible work on them.

  22. the Back To The Future part 2 Plate, I’d even be like steve jobs and take the tickets just to have it on my car.

    the old Gygax Chair they used to have was AMAZING i wonder if they sold it or took it down.

  23. 256 – Grince Stole Christmas Grinch and Who Maquette – Sure the bigger puppets and busts are really great and would love them but this one is a bit smaller and simpler and I think is a nice little piece on its own and clearly captures the spirit of the Grinch himself.

  24. I agree with Jetlag the flying monkey statues would probably be the most “practical” but oh the gremlin stuff is just too cool. I wonder if they would tell you how to hookup some of the rc elements

  25. Oh man, the demonic faces from The Devil’s Advocate used to scare the living crap out of me when I was a kid. I’d buy those in a jiffy!

  26. I love the Mikey Macquettes from MIB, I have always found him to be a very identifiable character and iconic to the film.

  27. Hi Norm, I’m a big fan of Tested, also a HUGE fan of Rick since I know myself!! Below are the top 3 items I would like to own:

    #1 GORILLAS IN THE MIST – Lot:45 animatronic gorilla head
    – Rick have created so many amazing gorilla suits throughout his vast career (he also have played some of them), all of them amazingly life like, but I find Gorillas in the mist the most brilliant gorilla suit ever created in Hollywood

    #2 HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS – Lot:43 Harry insert head with controls
    – Ever since I saw Harry in the screen, I fell in love with this character. He looked he was a real bigfoot that the producers have found in the bushes and brought to be a film star!! It was magical to see him interacting with the other actors, and just left me wishing to one day meet Harry in person! Later I learnt that Harry was one of Rick’s revolutions, The animatronic technology by that time, used to be controlled by cables, which limited the scenes they would be able to use it. However, Rick innovated the technology, to the form it could be controlled by Radio waves instead of cables! So Harry movement mask could be used for many if not all the scenes!

    #3 MEN IN BLACK MIKEY – Lot:202 Mikey animatronic insert head; Lot:209 Costume display
    – When I watched the first Men in black movie I was just a little kid, but even though, Mike impacted me in his very few minutes he appeared in the film. He was just the coolest thing/alien “child friendly” creature! He looked goofy but still very, very real!!! Mike is still my favourite MIB alien from all of the movies!!

    Since the only thing I’m able to afford from the auction is just the catalog (which I have already bought),
    I hope I can win the Rick Baker Wolfman mask, as it would be an enormous honor for me to own one of Rick’s amazing creations, as I have always followed his career since I’m a little kid, and consider myself Rick biggest fan and enthusiast!!

    Thanks for this opportunity!!!!!!

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