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E.T. wax figure unveiled at Madame Tussauds

posted 22 Oct 2012, 06:27 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 22 Oct 2012, 06:28 ]

E.T., the popular children's character from Steven Spielberg's film of the same name, gets a wax-over by Madame Tussauds.

(UNIVERSAL PICTURES) -  It was in 1982 when director Steven Spielberg's "E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial" won over the hearts of children young and old the world over.

To celebrate thirty years since the film's first release Madame Tussauds has unveiled a wax look-alike of the friendly alien on Monday (October 22).

London is one of five locations where the popular children's character will now be sharing the spotlight alongside other silver-screen icons.

Other locations include Madame Tussauds museums in Los Angeles, Sydney,Amsterdam and Berlin.

In London the wax figurine is placed on a bike against a backdrop recreating the famous movie scene, that saw Elliott and E.T. taking off on a BMX towards the sky.

Spielberg's "E.T." became the highest grossing film of its time, a record it held until 1998 when it was superseded by James Cameron's epic "Titanic".

Despite its age, "E.T." is still popular among youngsters today as it was for those growing up in the Eighties.

"I don't mind [the film being quite old] because it's kind of, it's good in the way it's filmed and -- how it fits together. It's really good. I like watching it", 12-year-old Jacob told Reuters Television.

"I like the way E.T. looks, his big eyes," another young boy, Tommy, said.

Another one added: "I like how most of the movies on aliens are like killing them and shooting them, but he's a nice alien, who wants to go home (gets interrupted by Izaah)."

The wax figure was created by the museum's in-house sculpting team. The project took around two months to complete and cost about 50,000GBP (80,000USD) to make.

Senior sculptor Daniel Woodley, who re-created E.T.'s wax look-alike mainly using movie stills, said determining E.T.'s correct size proved to be one of the big challenges. The figure now stands at approximately 3.7 feet (1.12 metres).

"The size was something that was quite difficult to work out at first. I originally started sculpting him for about a week and I realized he was just looking too small. We got some new reference and very fortunately we got a picture of one of the animatronics from the movie and it had a kind of a ruler in the background so I was able to use that photo to resize him and he kind of ended up being about a third larger than I had originally realized," Woodley said.

Visitors can pose alongside E.T. from Monday. A new version of the film has also been released on Blu-ray.