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New on eBay: 18-foot, flame-fisted 'mech'

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Sci/Tech

With a rumbling gasoline engine and creaking hydraulic joints (not to mention flame spouting from its fists), the red steel monster is limited to taking a young child's few tottering steps. That's not quite enough to sell the military on its worth. But it's a start.

Unfortunately for Owens, who has spent almost $25,000 and two years building this homebrewed "mech"--think giant robot, but controlled by a pilot inside--it's also an end, at least for this version. With little room left to improve it, he's shutting down work and selling it on eBay.

That's right, any takers who want a huge, slightly perambulation-challenged mech are in luck, as long as they have $40,000 and a big backyard. He's not happy about selling off the steel giant that he has spent practically every waking hour with for years, but he says it's the only alternative if he wants to start over from scratch.

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