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Adopt a Gremlin: Special-effects wiz auctioning off movie treasures

The legendary Rick Baker is selling work including animatronics and puppets from "Gremlins 2" and "Men in Black." Find out what Mogwai monsters and alien gems await.

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This Gremlin by Rick Baker could be yours. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Now you can own your own Gremlin without having to worry about getting it wet or feeding it after midnight. Movie effects and makeup artist Rick Baker is selling many of the monster masks, creative animatronics and Gremlin puppets from his archives in an auction on Propstore set to take place online May 29.

Baker has gained a loyal following thanks to his impressive creature make-up and prosthetics on "An American Werewolf in London," Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video, "Harry and the Hendersons," "Star Wars," "Gremlins 2," "Men in Black," "Planet of the Apes," "Hellboy" and "Maleficent," just to name a few.

At first, Baker turned down "Gremlins 2" because he didn't just want to just duplicate Chris Walas' original designs, the artist said in a video interview with Tested. "But it kept coming back to me, and I finally said if you let me redesign them and make them individuals, I would be much more interested. We have Matt, Steve... and Mohawk. So it was very fun to come up with these, and also made so much more work for us."

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These Gremlins -- nicknamed George and Lenny -- were based on the Warner Bros. cartoon "Of Mice and Men," according to Baker. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Baker and his co-workers ended up making around 300 different Gremlin puppets and animatronics for "Gremlins 2."

"I saw the movie again recently, and I forgot we did a bunch of melting Gremlins too," he said in the video interview. "We had ones made out of gelatin that we pumped steam through and actually melted, and ones we deflated."

For "Men in Black" and "Men in Black 2," Baker and team designed and constructed a vast array of aliens, including an animatronic worm creature that's so large it's run by more than one puppeteer. "The mouth does more, and the eyes blink and work," Baker said in a video interview.

There's also the Big Edgar Bug, which never made it into the "Men in Black" movies.

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This "Men in Black" worm alien is worthy of its own movie. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

"It was a design hell thing with everyone's input, because it talked in the movie as well," Baker said in the video. "But the bug shouldn't talk. It's not going to be scary if it talks."

So even after all the work and back-and-forth discussion between Baker and the director, the bug was cut from production.

See which movie props from Baker's studio await in the Propstore auction.

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