2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s classic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey. To commemorate the occasion, Master Replicas Group has opened preorders for its replica of the film’s iconic computer HAL-9000.
The company announced earlier this year that it would produce the replica, which would also double as a speaker. At the time, Master Replicas Group CEO Steve Dymszo told The Verge that the prop would use Amazon’s Echo technology to turn it into a functional virtual assistant, and the company would begin taking preorders in April, with shipping occurring this fall. That timeline seems to have slipped: Master Replicas Group says that it redesigned the entire device several months ago. With preorders starting now, the company says it estimates a January 2019 shipping date for the speaker and a March 2019 for the limited command console edition.
The company is offering a couple of things here. The first is what it’s calling the HAL 9000 Bluetooth Speaker Edition, a standalone speaker and base that can be paired with another Bluetooth device. It’s designed to look like one of the consoles mounted to the film’s spaceship, Discovery One.
The other product is the HAL 9000 with Command Console, which is a limited edition offering. The company will only produce an appropriately numbered 2,001 units, and they will only be available through the Indiegogo campaign. This model has a much larger base that incorporates one of the Bluetooth speakers (which can be removed), with a 10.1-inch HD display that replicates the displays seen in the film, along with 10 buttons that you can use to interact with HAL. It’ll also connect to the internet to receive updates, and it will come with “Amazon Alexa pre-installed.”
These devices won’t come cheap, however, and a bunch of the early-bird tiers have sold out. There are a handful of the Command Console units still available, which cost a hefty $1,200, while the standard unit runs at $600. Those tiers appear to be limited, but Master Replicas Group says that it will run a number of special prices as the campaign continues, and it will continually refresh the tiers with new pricing and perks. The campaign will run through the end of August, after which, the speaker will be available on the company’s website for $600.