2001 / 2010 Helmet Kit Story

This story begins in 1984 when I was visiting Greg Jean at his Glenco shop; They were working on
‘2010: The Year we Make Contact’ (2010 YMC), Greg and team had just finished reproducing the space suit from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (2001: ASO), Greg had a Moon Suit and backpack at the time but no helmet. MGM sent Greg an original casting from the 1968 production. Remember this was back in the day before the internet or even VCR copies. They only had a few film clips and lobby cards to go on. Here’s a picture from 1984.

You’ll notice the black backpacks on the back of the helmet change in size so they mirror the faceplate. This is not how they appear in 2001: ASO.

No fault of Greg’s team this is how the casting from MGM was made. For explanation as to why we have to go back to 1967 and the original production; the English prop makers made the original helmet master and mold made the helmet as the art director had drawn it with the nice lines and varying sized backpacks. When Stanley Kubrick saw these helmets he rejected them stating that the packs on the back must all be the same size. He envisioned these were memory modules that would be interchangeable depending on the mission the astronaut was on. Even though this was never shown on screen this is the kind of detail Stanley Kubrick insisted on. The on-set prop people changed each helmet to the new version with all matching packs. So, when MGM pulled the old leftover part they did not know about the changes. And Greg did not know either.

Now fast forward to 2010, the year not the movie. The casting that had been sent to Greg came up on e-bay and a friend of mine won it.

We made a mold and made a run of 10 kits. These kit included parts for the conversion to 2001: ASO.

These kits are sold out, but that's the story behind the 2010 helmet changes.