For Sale: ’90 model monster, runs good - East Valley Tribune: News

For Sale: ’90 model monster, runs good

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Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:57 pm | Updated: 6:34 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Anyone who has ever dreamed of owning a real Transformer now can — if the price is right.

Robosaurus, a monster truck that turns into a fire-breathing mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex, will be auctioned during the 37th annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event at Scottsdale WestWorld Jan. 12-20.

Standing 40 feet and weighing about 58,000 pounds, the infamous monstrosity featured in the film “Waking Up in Reno” and in monster-truck rallies will have a new home, providing the new owners can find a place for it.

Robosaurus can transform into a trailer when it’s not in dinosaur form, enabling it to carry passengers to and from their destinations.

Barrett-Jackson representatives have high expectations for the Robosaurus auction.

“It’s been a great draw at every event it’s been to,” said Ritchie Fliegler, vice president of marketing. “People can look forward to coming out and seeing something new. I know I want to touch it.”

It took Robosaurus’ inventor, Doug Malewicki, and his Monster Robot Inc. crew $2.2 million and 18 months to build it. Its first show was in January 1990, and it has since traveled around the world, entertaining millions.

Malewicki plans to be present during the bidding. “I’m happy it’s out there and it’s cool for the public,” he said.

Mark Hays, president of Monster Robot, said the main reason for the auction is to help fund side projects the company is working on. The payout they expect will support those.

“We’re hoping it will sell for around $5 million,” Hays said. “That’s about how much it would take for someone to rebuild it today.”

Although Robosaurus’ typical appetite is for cars and airplanes, bidders need not worry about their exotic automobiles being devoured.

An operator controls the monster’s “nostrils,” which can shoot 20-foot-long flames, and also its “teeth,” foot-long stainless steel choppers capable of crushing 20,000 pounds of material.

Barrett-Jackson representatives are not concerned about acts of destruction, such as the Robosaurus destroying buildings and injuring people as in its film career.

“The winning bidder will be someone famous, so I wouldn’t be concerned about that,” Fliegler said.

Hays said Robosaurus can only move at 5 mph, another reason why residents shouldn’t be concerned.

The addition of the Robosaurus is a continuing trend of unique collectibles at Barrett-Jackson’s event that in the past included stagecoaches and Russian rescue vehicles.

Barrett-Jackson executives declined to speculate on what the winning bid for Robosaurus might be.

Robosaurus will be featured during one of the show’s prime-time auction slots, although the exact time and day have yet to be decided, Fliegler said.

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