About the Gremlins Museum
One of the largest collections of Gremlins movie props in the world
Here are a few commonly asked questions about the gremlins museum and our prop collection.
How did Gremlins become important enough in your life to want to create a museum?
Somehow the stars aligned for Gremlins to have many odd little bullet points in my life. One of my first memories as a child involved visiting an old 1985 electronics store, my dad buying a Betamax player (whoops), and I guess the owner of the store felt I should own the Gremlins Rub n' Play transfer set. Maybe I had just come from seeing Gremlins at a drive-in theater and just talked his ear off about Gizmo, but I remember owning that set vividly.
Somewhere around this point I was clearly having significant nightmares centered on Gremlins hiding under my bed. I remember a moment where I had a rather terrifying nightmare the evening before swim class and when I was lining up with the other kids at the diving board, someone pointed out that I had a giant slash mark across the chest. Stripe and the Gremlins were real!
Fast forward a half a decade and Gremlins 2 mania was making the rounds. I was very into the Nintendo game at the time and thought the image of Mohawk being surrounded by red and gray smoke was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I don't know how many times I just stared at that box just mesmerized- there's a surprising amount going on with the Mohawk design, so there's still really no getting bored looking at it.
At some point around then there was a TV commercial for the video game which aired literally once and I couldn't believe how cool it was. Mohawk emerging from a larger than life video game box and dancing around with the game in hand was unbelievable. In a time before Youtube, I was glued to the commercials for weeks to hopefully see it again, but alas it was a one time deal. Now it can be found online and I still go watch it from time to time.
The last major Gremlin bullet point from my childhood came around this same period and was probably the most defining in terms of where we are now. I was riding my bicycle around my rural town, crossing paths with the local barnyard type animals and I'm sure the latest Nintendo Power with the G2 feature was on my mind. I remember brainstorming "how could I go about getting my own Gremlin puppet". This was before the internet, so you were really relying on the little print material that happened to intersect with you or your friend group. Somehow that memory stuck with me, despite it being a bit of a fleeting moment in time. Fast forward to now and being surrounded by many of these puppets I adored at the time and couldn't be happier.
What is the story of the first Gremlins prop that found its way into your collection?
I'm convinced certain things happen for a reason to push you down a path and Gremlins Museum was...an odd one. In the decades leading up to finding our first puppet I had been studying the restoration work of Tom Spina Designs so I had a rough idea of the many props out there as well as the condition they were often found in. Even before that I was eagerly following the updates from one of the few early Gremlins resources on the web at 's Gremlins Online. JohnPaul's website was one of the few places at the time where you could see photos of these incredible puppets, it was mind blowing to me.
Around 2020 I was pretty engaged in finding interesting and rare Gremlins merch and seeing what I could track down on eBay. Randomly one afternoon I had just woken from a nap and groggily proceeded to check eBay to see what was new. That's when I saw these crude photos of a Gremlin that looked kind of like a Trick or Treat replica (which had released a few years prior), but something wasn't right. The eyes looked different, almost glass like and he was beheaded, much like I had seen in years prior on Tom Spina's site. It was rough, but I had a good idea what this little relic was when he was posted no less than 4 minutes prior.
I reached out to the owner to see what he wanted for it. He currently had it set up for bidding, but every once in awhile you can convince someone to just sell it outright. His description included knowing it was in the movie and it was in really bad shape. It sounded like he just wanted to get rid of the thing. He quickly replied to my inquiry stating his price and I responded...send an invoice over...please.
So after that I walked downstairs to which my wife and daughter could tell something wasn't quite right. I was shaking. "(Adult phrase), I just bought a (expletive) 84 Gremlin, I think". Of course they didn't really quite get the significance of the moment, but I did my best to explain with my somewhat limited knowledge at the time. Winning the lottery was really the best analogy I could come up with.
The following week was spent in suspended animation as I awaited to see if this thing was actually going to show up. Predictably the Fedex box was dropped off at my neighbors house instead of mine but sure enough, there he was in the box. Flaking forty year old foam and actually not in that bad shape to be honest. We've put together a little writeup on the 84 Gremlin restoration story on our Props page if you'd like more.
From that moment on, it set my family off on a whirlwind adventure in learning as much as possible about these props, finding out where they were hiding, how to ship fragile foam monsters and restoring them back to their original glory. As many of us "prop collectors" have come to realize, there's no recreating that first rush of your initial prop and just the sheer mind explosion of emotions flowing. Knowing what I know now about how incredibly rare and difficult it is finding original '84 Gremlin props, it still blows my mind about how one more or less fell into my lap. Probably less than 10 left intact the world, that's it.
Do you have a favorite prop?
It's a tough call because I tend to gravitate towards actual Gremlins vs Mogwai, but for the last year my favorite prop has been the hero Mohawk mogwai. He's been well taken care of and looks like he jumped right off the movie lot. I also tend to like puppets where it's obvious it had an important job to do on the set, and the giant rig he's situated on really shows how much work went into creating the animatronic. Clearly it took real skill to operate him.
Where are you located? Can I visit?
Gremlins Museum is a private collection located in greater Seattle, Washington area - part of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Currently we're a private museum, but have released exclusive photos and research here so everyone can enjoy the incredible history of these one of a kind movie props.
Are there any plans on making your museum a public place?
Not currently, though things could change in the next few years. The MoPop museum here in Seattle could be an interesting opportunity if something should arise.
I want to own a Gremlin prop! Are you selling anything from your collection?
Gremlins (and foam latex movie props in general) are generally very large, fragile, and often expensive things to have around. Often times these props weren't designed to last longer than the productions they were designed for. Now that we're 40 years post '84 Gremlins, restoration becomes more of a necessity to slow time down than ever before. With all that said, we have a responsibility as caretakers of these relics to invest in keeping them protected, sealed from UV exposure, extreme temperatures, and prying hands.
We're not currently selling anything from the collection as considerable (and I mean considerable) time went into research, acquiring the prop, having it professionally shipped from around the world, being restored, and then finally displayed under acrylic for protection. If you ever have any questions about specific props please feel free to contact us and we'll do our best to help.