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If you're a die-hard fan of SpongeBob SquarePants and have some extra cash laying around, you may want to consider bidding on an absolutely terrifying David Hasselhoff prop from the first movie. The news was confirmed on Twitter by Hasselhoff himself, who provided a link to the auction site. Right now, the screen-used 'Hoff prop is going for a whopping $100,000. No one has bid yet (the auction doesn't begin until Jan. 23), but the item is estimated to bring in between $750,000 - $1,500,000.
The lifeless puppet — one that could give Bruce the Shark a run for his money — was used for the live-action/animated hybrid sequence near the end in which the former Baywatch star gives SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) and Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke) a ride back to Bikini Bottom after the duo retrieve King Neptune's crown from Shell City. Hasselhoff takes off like a speedboat, allowing the duo to ride on his back before launching them to the sea floor with pressurized pecs of steel. It's super weird, but iconic all the same.
Released in November of 2004, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie yielded favorable reviews and brought in over $140 million at the global box office against a production budget of $30 million. Director Stephen Hillenburg (also the show's creator) intended for the film to serve as the series finale, but the property was just too popular and lucrative to let go, so Nickelodeon renewed the show beyond the first three seasons. SpongeBob continues to run to this day, with two spinoffs (one a prequel, the other one centered around Patrick) and a third movie (titled Sponge on the Run) on the way.
Hillenburg sadly passed away in 2018 at the age of 57 from complications relating to ALS. Speaking with SYFY WIRE last summer, Tom Kenny did reveal that the creator was involved with the third film prior to his death. Originally scheduled to hit theaters last year, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paramount decided to provide the feature with an exclusive rollout on CBS All Access in early 2021.
"[He] was able to be involved in the planning of the movie and the writing of the movie," Kenny said. "It's gonna be interesting to see [the characters] in 3D. I've actually seen some of it, obviously, because we're doing ADR and stuff like that, and it looks really cool, really great. It's a really nice blend of that old-school squash-and-stretch flat animation; Looney Tunes meets current CG look. So we're really excited about it. I think fans will really dig it."