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Rocketeer props from 1991 MGM studios

Discussion in 'Production Made Costumes and Props' started by JayPHX, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    If I had a Delorean this is the first place I'd go! I took these on a trip to MGM back in 1991. Sorry about the picture quality, I was only 10 and I promise you the camera I was using was worth less than the film in it. There was a museum set up totally separate from the backlot tour in what I think is now a restaurant.


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    Notice the "comic" version of the rocket on the upper left as well as another concept version beneath it. In the lower middle is the rocket case that the vacuum was switched into in the hangar. I remeber that at least on of these packs was made of foam.


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    2 of the puppets facing the other way are Lucky Lindy and Malcom. In the background you can see 2 of the Autogyros as well as the giant Spruce Goose. (and 2 pansies in rain ponchos)


    IMG_0005.jpg
    I know it's blurry but on the ground is the rig they attached to a helicopter to film the Gee Bee pilot scenes.

    IMG_0009.jpg

    It makes me sad seeing these two old friends knowing what would eventually happen to them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  2. Edward H

    Edward H Well-Known Member

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    Cool pics.. thanks for sharing them...
     
  3. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    Hi, Jay! Welcome and nice pics! Thanks for sharing them! I've seen some other pics of that display room from when they were promoting the movie. It was stunning. Pretty much any significant item from the movie was there.

    They had a display case with 5 helmets in it including a couple of stunt helmets, a hero helmet and a prototype helmet that I have now. I'd like to take a trip in a time machine to visit that as well...

    I'm curious what happened to some of the stuff. I know the full size GeeBee mockup sat out in the weather rotting. If it even still exists now, it's probably in some trash heap.

    A lot of items were auctioned by Disney 10 years ago. I know a couple of the rocketpacks were sold and I know they've still got the full-size Lucky Lindy used in the movie along with a few other items visible in that MGM backlot tour. And of course, none of the stuff they kept was taken care of... :(
     
  4. TomSpinaDesigns

    TomSpinaDesigns Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The "museum" you mention was in the brick building across from the Muppetvision 3D theater and is now Buzz Lightyear's Pizza Planet.

    I remember seeing two different displays in that building in the early 90's. The first was one of the first times I recall seeing original film props. There were items from Indiana Jones, Star Wars, ROTJ, Rocketeer and others... I only wish I had a digital camera back then!

    The second time I remember being less impressed (as there was a giant sneaker as you walked in, from Honey I Blew Up the Baby which had recently shot scenes at the studios) but no doubt there was some very cool stuff then too.

    I keep hoping someone went to these exhibits and photographed the heck out of them... if anyone's got pics, please post them up!

    Tom
     
  5. whoever

    whoever Well-Known Member

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    Evil Rocketeer probably has leads on those items. I really like the looks of that prototype.
     
  6. Finhead

    Finhead Sr Member

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    Very cool pics, it's a shame most of this stuff has been kept the way it has. :sick Still nice to see it the way it was. :thumbsup
     
  7. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    No problem! I couldn't believe it when I was digging through a box and found these. I actually hope Disney sold most of this stuff at the auction because like you said, the stuff they held on to has been seriously neglected. Such as the full size Gee Bee and Autogyro seen below.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_0948 by Hidden Peanuts, on Flickr

    Luckliy, the Gee Bee used in the movie that could actually fly was sold or donated to a museum and can now be seen in Seattle at the Museum of Flight, still in perfect condition.
    Granville Brothers Gee Bee Z "City of Springfield" | The Museum of Flight
     
  8. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    I remeber the "Honey I blew up the Baby" stuff! Actually, if you look in the background of the pics you can see a giant set of suspenders that I think are from that movie.
     
  9. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    Just found this on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Rocketeer 1 by Hydra5, on Flickr

    It looks like an evil version the bad guys would wear.
     
  10. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    I know for certain at least one of the prototype rocketpacks is in a particular private collection. I'd have to double check but I think they are both actually in the same collection. I've got what's left of the original prototype helmet which isn't seen in those pics (it's just the body of the helmet now - the fin and eye lenses are missing.)

    I believe the helmet seen in that one display case might be a particular stunt helmet that is in another private collection. At least one of those scale figures is in a private collection as well.

    Some of the items were auctioned but some items are unaccounted for as far as I'm aware so far. ER and I tend to stay in touch and I know of a few other private collectors that have some significant items, some of which are from those displays.

    I have no idea what happened to the scale autogyro, the Spruce Goose or the zeppelin unfortunately. Many of the smaller items probably got trashed in the warehouse where lots of stuff was stored for two decades. Nothing that went into the warehouse came back out in one piece judging by the pictures I've seen - including the prototype helmet, the two prototype rocketpacks I know of or, of course, the full size GeeBee mockup...

    I know of a couple of items apparently still on the backlot tour in the prop warehouse. That's where the full scale Lucky Lindy statue is (damaged of course) and a few other lesser items.

    I'll see if I can dig up a few tidbits to share regarding this...
     
  11. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    It's a beauty, isn't it? I think I'd be willing to sell a non-vital organ to get my hands on both of those prototype rocketpacks... I'll also dig up some photos of the prototype helmet again. I've posted them in the past but I think only the hardcore Rocketeer fans really even care so I don't post them often :lol

    And lemme just say it's really nice to see some new Rocketeer threads again. Seems with the influx of new members we've been getting some decent threads going at least every few weeks :p
     
  12. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    And let me just say it's nice to hear someone other than myself talk about the Rocketeer for once.

    I'd be interested in any pictures you've willing to share. I've been digging through the old posts but a lot of the links are now dead. I don't remeber every seeing a prototype helmet.
    Thanks!
     
  13. whoever

    whoever Well-Known Member

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    Obviously the Cirrus X-4 combat version.
     
  14. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing.

    Al
     
  15. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    I doubt the scale down autogyro still exist..I was able to get into contact with the person that made the scale geebee, autogyro, zepplin, etc etc...he didnt have them, and disney had them..most likely they ended up in the garbage or walked off set...I know there were several crew members that took momentos...It could be in some-one's garage or thrown out over the 20 years...And like dualedge said, disney had a big giant lawn sale and sold off a lot of rocketeer items through ebay etc etc...

    Also, some items could have possibly be used in other films and their origin was left unknown or undocumented properly.

    I know dualedge and I go gagaga for this stuff, so we keep in contact as much as we can (I been soo darn busy lately that I been lousy with it)

    I think disney still owns that particular helmet in the display. I believe it is the same helmet used at Peevys Lemonade stand....

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    Yeah, the prototype helmet is even less well known about even moreso than the prototype rocketpacks. It looks sort of like the Rocketeer's hillbilly cousin. I've been wanting to do a little restoration work on it but as with all of my "projects", I never seem to find the time to get anything done.

    I'll get some pics from my computer at home tonight and write up some info about it.
     
  17. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the great pictures. Although it's a bummer to see the "lemonade stand" helmet has clearly been squashed and the helmet in the warehouse has the side torn off. Still, I count 6 rocket packs in these pictures alone - all things considered I'm surprised they still have so many.
     
  18. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    I am surprised the rocketpack hold up pretty well at the lemonade stand..You figure that hott and humid weather got to the helmet pretty easy the past couple years, but the pack looks to be in good shape...

    I think the helmet in the wharehouse is a part of the ripaway helmets
     
  19. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Man, just looking at those pics makes me feel like I'm right back there again. I guess the sad thing is that the last time I was there (last december) I recall I was tall enough and easily capable of grabbing some of the rocketeer gear, after a brief climb of course :lol
     
  20. whoever

    whoever Well-Known Member

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    I can't get over how cool this thing looks. Somebody must do a sculpt of it.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    [​IMG]

    This is the original prototype helmet. It was created by a fellow at the prop shop that built the final helmets. When it was presented, as I understand it, Dave and/or whoever else weren't happy with it. That's when Dave went to his friend and Disney sculptor Kent Melton who sculpted the shape of the hero helmet as we know it today. This is strictly a one-of-a-kind piece. To my knowledge, no other prototypes or copies of the prototype were made. That's likely the case with the prototype rocketpacks as well. This helmet and the bullet shaped prototype were the first two items made I believe so I'd love to get my hands on that particular rocketpack.

    This was one of the helmets on display in the same Disney/MGM 'museum' when they were promoting the film. After that, it was stuck on a shelf in Disney's warehouse for about 15 years where it was under the not-so-tender mercies of their care. I think they're concept of taking care of something is simply not whacking it with a baseball bat every day. When I got it, the eye lenses and fin were gone and there was the crack along the bridge between the eyes.

    Eventually I'm hoping to replace the eye lenses... assuming I can figure out how to shape the eye lenses so that they fit flush like it was originally. I'm hoping to eyeball the shape of the fin... it's just a huge flat boat rudder shape so it shouldn't be too hard, relatively speaking.

    I'll post more in a bit...
     
  22. zsherman

    zsherman Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Fantastic photos!
     
  23. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    Rob, I totally love that Prototype helmet..Makes me wanna come over and steal it haha

    Kinda looks like a prepakura helmet ;) haha jk..I am sure one day it will get mistaken for one
     
  24. Starfighter29

    Starfighter29 Member

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    I don't mean to stray too off of the Rocketeer topic of this thread, but since Tom mentioned hoping to see some other pics of this exhibit, here's one pic I took as a kid in June of 1993. At that time they were heavily promoting Super Mario Bros. but still had items from Honey I Blew Up the Kid, What About Bob, and Star Wars. Don't recall seeing any of the Rocketeer items, except for what's on display in the Backlot Tour today.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the big sneaker Tom mentioned as it sits today:

    [​IMG]
     
  25. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    It does kind of resemble the pepakura helmet now that you mention it! It's sort of like an ugly baby in a way... I know it's not beautiful but I love it anyway :lol I just wish it had received better treatment in the warehouse. That last picture by the way is the prototype sitting next to the screen-used hero helmet I used to own. It'll give you some idea of the size of it. It's going to be huge if I ever get a replica fin added to it.

    I've got a few more things to post... just need to get it organized...
     
  26. Finhead

    Finhead Sr Member

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    That helmet is great looks like the bobblehead version. ;) I actually like the fact that the proto had used rivets on the vents and around the sides as well makes it look more mech to me and something that was actually made for the radio it was supposed be built from. Very cool item to have for sure, thanks for sharing. :thumbsup
     
  27. Talisen

    Talisen Sr Member

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    Does anyone have better pics of the Comic styled prototype?? I was thinking of doing that one up for a costume since it's smaller in size (the MIM rocketpack looks ridiculous on my smaller frame)
     
  28. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    What a cool piece to have - I've definately never seen that before. I guess the concept Rocketeer and I were both blessed with massive foreheads. Thanks for posting the pics.

    I've had some experience bending acrylic plexiglass, let me know if you're interested in giving it a try.
     
  29. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    From the Topps magazine - not sure if it's the same one from the display but it's the same idea.
     
  30. Prop Archives

    Prop Archives Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  31. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  32. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Man, this is really making me miss MGM now :'( Can't wait to get back home for my disney vaction
     
  33. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    way to rub it in....jerk haha
     
  34. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey hey, you still have Disney....Land.....



    :lol:lol:lol:lol

    I'll send you a post card of me posing next to the Rocketeer gear you see above :lol
     
  35. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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  36. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yea yea, I'll still be on the backlot tour ride, plus going to downtown Disney that same night. Lol ill take a pic of me hugging the statue. Beat that
     
  37. Prop Archives

    Prop Archives Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks like about the same time. 2007?

    [​IMG]
     
  38. my3es

    my3es Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Im going to mgm in the next couple of weeks, I will take some recent pics of whats there and post.
     
  39. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    The helmet hanging facing down is a different stunt helmet than the one you saw with the sides coming apart. It's a somewhat unique stunt helmet that is now in a private collection... I can't say much about it unless the owner wants to identify himself but I identified it and got to examine it very thoroughly before sending it on to it's owner.

    That photo is older from before they did some updating on the tour and you can see my prototype helmet peeking out below it in the same pic you're referring to.

    [​IMG]
     
  40. JayPHX

    JayPHX Active Member

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    Here's some shots I had from the backlot tour.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see the seam down the middle of the Bulldog cafe.


    [​IMG]

    This was back when they cared...I remember all these cars were spotless. I wonder what the plywood Rocketeer in the background was for?
     
  41. Prop Archives

    Prop Archives Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    looks like the "Coyote" from Hardcastle and McCormick (red one)
     
  42. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    Yeah, I figured it out earlier today. I was looking through some pictures I have on my computer and forgot there was another helmet there before they updated the tour. The pictures I have has the same helmet turned the opposite direction and shows off the insides


    Back then in 1991 I believe, disney had two photo display stands where people could stand on them and take pictures pretending they were in the scene..I saw several pictures online, but never saved them...Wish I did now..
     
  43. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Man I just watched that video from 92? ALOT of that changed significantly. That whole area between the warehouse and catastrophe canyon is the stunt car show now. I vaguely remember seeing the BullDog Cafe now, after seeing the vid. Brought back some memories.
     
  44. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    statue? what statue?

    you suck either way...
     
  45. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You know, the one they use to chain the jetpack when they fire it up

    You need to get back on Reach man!
     
  46. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    Oh yeah, Lucky Lindy. Sometimes my mind doesnt work at night.

    I will be back on Reach later this week. I have a test thursday, so I been cramming for that. I will probably be on late thursday night after work. It just been a busy the past two weeks.
     
  47. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Bah!

    Until then, I shall reminisce about my past experiences at MGM, or so it's called "Hollywood studios"

    How about the half-cart type thing they used in "who framed rodger rabbit"? It's at the Backlot Resturant across from Star Tours. Its the thing that what's his face sat on when they filmd him driving the toon car.

    Or how about the swan statues from the club scene in Rocketeer? rofl
     
  48. EvilRocketeer

    EvilRocketeer Sr Member

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    Since you know disney world pretty well, is there a rocketeer pack on display in a restaurant? Some-one told me there was a rocketpack displayed in a restaurant along with Jenny's photo from the gee bee...
     
  49. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There may have been one along time ago, but I've never seen one since I've been going. It's something that I wouldn't be able to miss, but heck they have alot of random stuff packed in there. The have some of the filming planes hanging from the ceiling and a ton of pictures. One part of the resturant, the furthest side from star tours is where you'll find all the random pics and planes (looks more of a real warehouse type setting, always reminds me of "who framed Rodger rabbit") and the side closest to star tours has more of a "prop building studio" thing going with various plaster statues and lockers full of paint props. No rocketpack that I've seen. I've been at that resturant waaaaay too many times during SWW


    Oh yea, I'm gonna be getting an acme helmet, lol once I get a response from him
     
  50. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    It's been a long time since I was at Disney World. I did go to Planet Hollywood and they had a Rocketeer costume on a mannequin hanging from the ceiling... You had to go to the second floor to even see it and even then it was too high to see much detail. It was certainly too high to get any kind of decent pictures with the camera I had at the time. I don't remember if I even got any of it at all. I remember it had the wrong kind of gloves on but not much beyond that off the top of my head.
     

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