Gremlins 2: Lenny Gremlin Movie Prop
The goofy counterpart to the cranky George in all his glory. This Lenny Gremlin is truly a special puppet.
THE GREMLINS MUSEUM
Hero Lenny Gremlin Movie Prop
screen MATCHED hand puppet prop
It's hard not to like Lenny. His big dimwitted personality really vibes with his short grumpy best friend George, and everywhere they go there is some sort of goofy humor happening. While George might be the brains of the operation, Lenny is the lovable oaf of the two, much like the similarly titled characters George and Lenny in "Of Mice and Men".
The Lenny Gremlin sculpt comes from Cinovation Studios artist, Matt Rose. Despite the actual movie not really showing a good size comparison, Lenny's size is considerably larger than his counterpoint George. He has large ripped muscles and easily stands a good foot larger. Lenny has an incredibly detailed paint pattern, particularly on his back and is easily identified by his two trademark buck teeth.
This half-body "hand puppet" version of Lenny was the main puppet used throughout Lenny's scenes. There were two main Lenny puppets used in Gremlins 2 and are pretty easily identifiable based on unique spots found on his chest.
One hand puppet was used for the entire Microwave Marge scene, as well as the Lenny/George sequence in the toy store. It is not currently known whether this Lenny hand puppet has survived as no photos of it have surfaced since production ended.
Our Lenny was used for all the New York, New York shots as well as the scene where the pair are watching "The Beast From 50,000 Fathoms" and Lenny messing with the Clamp Center air vents. This Lenny also appears in a deleted scene with Grandpa Fred where all the Gremlin characters gather around the TV host. A still from this scene was widely used in promotion for the movie.
The puppet was controlled by multiple puppeteers on set. The main puppeteer would be reaching up inside the belly and manipulating the mouth and head position while a second person would be controlling the arm and hand motions. There were also triggers you could push to show eye position/blinking as well as ear motion.
Much like many of the heavily used puppets in Gremlins 2, this Lenny puppet hasn't aged well and has seen multiple rounds of restoration to keep him from simply falling apart. He was first restored by former Cinovation Studios artist, Brian Penikas, who's team brought this heavily damaged puppet back to life. Much of his neck, jaw and arms were heavily damaged from production and age.
After restoration, Lenny was then sold in 2015 via Propstore and held by a private collector until 2023 when it was acquired by the Gremlins Museum.
Lenny was in decent condition, but in the eight years since his sale, he was exhibiting a few troubling cracks around his neck. For hand puppets, the weakest point is usually the neck as it has to support a large and usually pretty heavy head compared to the rest of the body. With this in mind we decided to have him take a pit stop at Tom Spina's studio in New York on the way from Switzerland to Seattle.
Despite hiring a professional art mover for his trip, his weaknesses showed and some new and significant damage occurred in transit.
Despite the new bumps and bruises, Lenny couldn't have been in a better spot to deal with it. Tom's team was able to shore up this great puppet so he lasts another 30 years. His team sealed up the cracks, and matched the texture and color to create a beautiful seamless transition between old and new.
Tom's team were also able to utilize the original base he arrived on, all while presenting the arms in a bit more stabilized position instead of with the original arm holders. Somehow his team always breathes new personality into these puppets and I'm continually impressed by the great work they're able to do.