Gremlins theme park props from “Gremlins Invasion” ride
A category of “movie memorabilia” attracting an increased number of fans during the last few decades is the “theme park prop”. Historic growth in the theme park industry (pre covid-19), suggests that interest will continue.
As theme parks open, close and change their attractions, sadly, they discard many props. Here’s a look at a few iconic pieces previously thought to have been lost.
Pictured are some Gremlins from Warner Bros Movie World’s Gremlin Invasion attraction. Check out this excellent video of the ride’s history put together by Expedition Theme Park. Fifty-six Gremlins were featured in the attraction and it’s unknown how many have survived, but here are three remaining Gremlins, plus some assorted body parts.
The ride opened in 1991 and closed in 2001 to make way for the “Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster” ride to tie-in with the 2002 film.
Okay, it’s a tenuous link at best, but I guess these are “screen used” props! After all, they appeared in many commercials at the time. Besides, it’s likely the closest I will get to a production used Gremlin!
Why theme park props?
For the collector, what do theme park props offer above their film used counterparts? Their resilience! These were made to last longer than just a few “takes”! This is illustrated in how robust they are. They are heavy! Both the static (fibreglass) and the animatronic pair. Showing their age now – after all, it has been almost thirty years, and these were not particularly well looked after over the last two decades.
The animatronic characters had latex covering, sometimes a perspex body form velcroed onto the frame (where clothing would cover it). Head and hands are foam latex.
The full fibreglass figure is static and has 35mm film stock “fused” into his shoulder. If you check out this YouTube video, he appears in the “film archives” section of the ride at the 1.30 time stamp. He is unfortunately missing a few digits on his hands (claws).
De-constructing for delivery
Being full size, these little monsters take up a surprising amount of space (those darned outstretched arms) and I’ve consequently passed some pieces onto other collectors. Shipping was problematic due to both the size and weight of these guys. So be warned, much easier to ship these before that midnight feed!
Check out the pic detailing the de-construction prior to the shipping of a gremlin. There’s an awful lot of steel there!
At the time of writing, I have a set of fibreglass Gremlin legs (from this lot) available in my ebay store.
If you enjoyed seeing these Gremlins theme park props, please check out my yourprops page to see some other pieces of my collection of motion picture and television production used memorabilia.
I’ve also put together some guides (with more to follow) packed with hints and tips for collectors. Please have a look and leave a comment.