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Skeleton of King Kong sells at auction for $200,000

November 25, 2009|By times wire reports

London — The tiny King Kong figurine that helped launch the career of one of cinema's biggest monsters sold for about $200,000 at a London auction Tuesday.

Auctioneer Christie's said the 22-inch skeleton was the one used in the climactic scene of the 1933 movie in which the giant ape climbs New York's Empire State Building.

Other such figurines were used elsewhere in the movie, which wowed contemporary audiences with its groundbreaking special effects.

The figurine's metal skeleton was once covered in cotton, rubber, liquid latex and rabbit's fur. But the monster's fleshy covering has since rotted away.

The figurine was sold as part of the auctioneer's popular culture sale.

"We didn't realize it existed until four months ago," Neil Roberts, head of Christie's popular culture department, said.

The Kong armature was sold by a U.S.-based collector, Christie's said. It comes with photographs showing how Willis O'Brien, chief technician at RKO studios, brought Kong to life.

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