Tag Archives: Jurassic World

A Football-Field Sized Load of News

 

Important notice: from today onwards, every Jurassic World 2 news-centered post that I write will most likely contain at least one spoiler, or speculation that could be considered spoilers. If avoiding spoilers for this movie is a concern for you, go no further.

Boy, have I been neglecting Jurassic World 2 news. Part of it is that it’s been coming in small bits that wouldn’t warrant entire posts, and part of it is that college is doing its absolute best to kill me with work. In any case, here’s one big update on what we know about JW2 so far.

As you may have seen from last night’s post and/or my participation on Twitter in what I’ve come to call the Blumpocalypse, the casting that I’m most excited for is that Jeff Goldblum will be returning to the movie to reprise his role as Ian Malcolm! I’ll get to that in a little bit. Some others who have been cast in the movie are Daniella Pineda from The Detour, Ted Levine from Silence of the Lambs, Rafe Spall from Prometheus, Toby Jones from the Captain America series and Geraldine Chaplin from Nashville; I sincerely hope Geraldine isn’t there to play Ian’s love interest or wife (especially since she’s a very capable actress and deserves a better role than that) but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Another casting is James Cromwell, who will be playing “Benjamin Lockwood”, who apparently was Hammond’s business partner and helped him develop the dinosaur-cloning technology. That’s pretty intriguing and shows us that, despite the production team’s insistence that this movie will go in a different direction and won’t be like the rest of the movies, not taking place on an island etc. (which isn’t entirely true– despite the overall tone of the movie, filming is taking place in Hawaii and Rexy will definitely make another appearance, so I think it’s safe to say we’ll see Nublar at some point) they’re really looking to connect this movie with the first JP by bringing back an original-trilogy character and someone connected to another original-trilogy character. Whether that’s because the theme of this movie has a lot to do with that of the first movie or if it’s just because of the movie’s goal of “reintroducing the franchise to a new generation” as well as drawing in audiences with nostalgia, it’ll be a delicate thing to pull off. Hopefully it’ll come across as a “ties to the original trilogy without exploiting it” type of thing, like The Force Awakens, instead of just blatant cashing in on nostalgia. Trevorrow and Spielberg pulled that off wonderfully in the first movie, so I definitely trust them to do it with this one.

And speaking of the movie’s theme, here’s a very interesting quote from Trevorrow:

“The dinosaurs will be a parable of the treatment animals receive today: the abuse, medical experimentation, pets, having wild animals in zoos like prisons, the use the military has made of them, animals as weapons. The second part will be a very different, more complex movie that will explore new paths. For that reason, it was clear that it needed to be Bayona who would direct it, in order to have it grow and evolve with his very personal vision.”

So we’ll definitely have a plot centering around dinosaurs on the mainland, at least for the first half of the movie! I have to say, I really wish they would focus more on world-building, showing what a society with dinosaurs in it would look like and how it would be different from the world today– showing its dark sides, of course, but also adding a touch of the magic and excitement that came with the part of Jurassic World where Zach and Grey explored the park and showed what it was generally like there. I’m sure the part of the movie being discussed here won’t just be a PETA (PETD? Ethical treatment of dinosaurs?) montage of dinosaurs suffering, it’ll be much more nuanced than that. And animal abuse and exploitation are most definitely issues that movies should address, and that a huge movie like this has the power to spur some real change with. It’s a noble goal and I have no doubt that Trevorrow, Bayona and his team will create a thoughtful movie that addresses the often-overlooked side effects of the idea of cloning dinosaurs (something particularly relevant now that de-extincting animals is being seriously looked into). I just personally don’t want to see my beloved dinosaurs being hurt and exploited, that’s all. I’m sure they’ll eat some people and get their revenge.

Now let’s take a look at some pictures of the film’s sets! The one we’ve seen the most of has been what I previously thought was a museum, but which Jurassic Outpost refers to as a mansion, most likely Benjamin Lockwood’s. We saw it already in this photo:

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Cromwell refers to it as “a football field sized set with real recreations of dinosaurs”, and obviously a lot of work has gone into it. Lockwood obviously cares a lot about dinosaurs (has he just been sitting there for 24 years, collecting dinosaurs and pondering the philosophy of the various dinosaur-related incidents? Considering most if not all of what happened was Hammond’s fault, I sure hope he isn’t too guilty about helping develop that cloning technology) and it seems likely that he’ll help do something about the rampant dino exploitation and abuse that’s probably happening all over the world. I think the photo above is from a scene where Lucy goes to draw Lockwood out of seclusion and get him to help with whatever dinosaur-rights cause she’s involved in, or whatever new disaster has just unfolded. In any case, we’ll be seeing a lot of this expensive-looking mansion set. Here’s another couple of peeks at it:

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Jurassic Outpost speculates that the dinosaur in the first image is a Metriacanthosaurus. At first glance I thought it was just a life-sized statue that was a part of Lockwood’s collection, but it’s also entirely possible that it’s our first look at the movie’s animatronics! It seems really unlikely to me that they’d painstakingly construct such a beautiful set and then not have at least one big dinosaur rampage through it, so maybe we’ll see Metriacanthosaurus and possibly a friend or two run around the mansion and knock down Lockwood’s precious collectibles. That or he keeps a giant carnivorous dinosaur as a pet, which honestly wouldn’t surprise me– every single person reading this would absolutely do the same thing if they were rich and lived in this universe. The second picture, captioned “Background tease” on Twitter, is also intriguing and could depict either life-sized statues or a couple of dinosaurs throwing hands (claws?) in the mansion. If it’s a storyboard involving a scene with animatronics, this is a major spoiler and likely shows an Indominus vs. Spinosaurus battle which, in my opinion, is kind of a cheesy thing to do unless it’s the climax of the movie and a lot of good context has led up to it. With all the talk of how different this sequel will be from the rest of the movies, I think it deserves a better ending than just “here’s two big dinosaurs, let’s watch them fight”, which Jurassic World pulled off with style but which has the potential to turn very B-movie very fast. Again, I trust the production team not to do anything stupid, and I also sincerely doubt they’d just throw up a huge spoiler like that, especially so early in production. I’m sure we’ll see more and more of the mansion set in the coming months, so we’ll see whether the animals in those pictures are “real” dinos or just oversized collectible figures.

Far away from the mansion, another set is being built in Hawaii, in an area that was shown in both the first movie and Jurassic World:

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It’s too early in its construction to tell for sure what the structure is, but my personal guess is that it’ll be used to hold and/or capture Rexy. That’s just my idea, though, and I’m really excited for the Queen of Nublar’s return, so I’m kinda seeing what I want to see. Another interesting set piece is a transport truck outside London with a dino-sized cage on top of it:

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Again, according to my own wishful thinking, this might be a vehicle that carries Rexy to the mainland, or some other dinosaur around for a company or something. There’s not too much else that can be inferred from a transport truck, but I’m sure it’ll be part of an interesting scene.

Last but certainly not least, we have the first footage from the film’s set! Two clips have emerged, both involving a helicopter ride at night. The first one shows the helicopter taking off:

And the second shows the journey’s abrupt and rather unpleasant end, as it hangs precariously from a branch during a thunderstorm:

The first place everyone’s mind went to when they saw this was that Henry Wu’s helicopter ride from the end of Jurassic World didn’t go as planned. It’s also entirely possible that this isn’t the case, because for companies and the military to get a hold of dinosaur cloning technology and the necessary genomes for it, somebody had to have delivered them the materials for it, and the only people who we saw headed off the island with that material was Henry Wu and his team. Also, the helicopter is seen here taking off from a distinctly non-Nublar location, so it might have nothing to do with Wu at all. Although it could be argued that Wu might deserve to get his helicopter crashed and then be picked off by a dinosaur because of his conspiracy with Hoskins and subsequent role in creating the environment that allowed all of that dinosaur abuse to happen, it doesn’t seem to me like that’s what’ll happen to him.

Those two bits of footage, the set photos, and whatever the production team and cast decide to grace us with on social media are all the concrete details we have so far on the movie. Aside from waiting for details to come from the studio bit by bit, the only other way we have to find out more about the movie is fan investigation by people who happen to be near the many filming locations. Of course, Universal Pictures doesn’t want leaks, and we should respect that by not covertly going near sets and taking whatever photos or videos we can. To be clear, I am absolutely not endorsing that Jurassic Park fans near Langley Business Center in Slough, England, Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, Kaui in Hawaii, or Pinewood Studios in England should find their way near sets and wait with a cell phone camera for even a tiny detail that would benefit the fandom greatly. Indeed, it would be a terrible tragedy if someone in one of those places answered a casting call for extras and reported what they saw and heard, especially to me as a scoop for my blog. I sure would hate to go against Universal’s wishes by encouraging people to go out and find out whatever they can about this movie we’re anticipating so much, so don’t do it, guys.

Now that I’ve discussed all the other news, a word about the speculation that’s kept me awake and hyperactive for almost 12 hours now: the return of Ian Malcolm. I and many others have wanted this to happen for a long time, but I never thought it would actually happen. The dream came true last night, though, so it’s time to kick off more than a year of anticipation by making some predictions about Ian’s role in the new movie. I think we can take it as a matter of fact that Ian’s probably opposed to this whole “dinosaurs on the mainland” thing; at the very least I think he’ll be there as one of the people who’s seen plenty of disasters or problems like the one that’ll likely unfold in the movie, and who can provide advice and warnings– again, like Han Solo in Force Awakens. (I will be quite upset if he dies, but hopefully he won’t and it’s too early to worry about that anyway.) It’s also possible that he’ll be a dinosaur rights activist, either having done it ever since the animals started being used in industry or spurred into it by other characters. (I’ve wanted to write a story about him being a DRA for a while now, and maybe this will be my encouragement to do it.) I really hope they don’t just have him there as a grumpy old man who delivers dire warnings to the characters before withdrawing back into whatever mental state he’s in after all that the Jurassic World incident and subsequent stuff put him through. Probably nobody could pay him enough to be involved in whatever part of the plot involves going back to Nublar, so most of what he does will likely involve the mainland and the dinos on it, and hopefully he won’t get attacked by any more dinosaurs while he’s there– the poor guy’s been through enough. Personally, I hope we get to see the details of how he’s doing these days, whether he got his tenure back or retired, and whether he used the cash he’s probably swimming in from book sales and public appearances to buy a mansion. More than anything, I really just want this movie to show Ian having a happy life, even if only at the beginning. I genuinely care about him a lot, and after all he’s been through, he deserves some peace. I’m not saying he’ll necessarily get it, but I hope he does.

I sincerely think that at least part of the reason that this movie is bringing Ian back is because he’s related to one of the new characters, most likely as one of their fathers. I’ve said before that Justice Smith looks a lot like a young Ian, and Daniela Pineda looks about the right age to have been a child in 1993. Having an old-trilogy character’s kid be a protagonist in the sequel is a pretty kid-movie thing to do, but it would certainly fit in with the theme of tying this movie to the first one with characters, as well as in reviving Jurassic Park for a new generation. It would also fill the classic Jurassic Park requirement of having some kind of dysfunctional family dynamic in the movie if Ian and one of his estranged kids were on an adventure together (again). The idea is just speculation at this point, but it seems pretty likely to me. A lot of people in the fandom think that Lowery is Ian’s kid because of his echoing of Ian’s philosophy and his similar looks, but since Jake Johnson has been confirmed not to be in this movie, that probably won’t be confirmed aside from a passing mention if it’s true at all. It’s also possible that Lucy is his daughter or granddaughter, but I’m starting to wonder if she has some kind of relation to Hammond or Lockwood. In casting calls for the part, her exact age was very important, so I’m thinking that she was born at a very certain time on the movies’ timeline, possibly meaning she has to do with another important character. I kind of doubt that Ian would let any kid of his have anything to do with Lockwood or dinosaurs, though, so unless she’s as rebellious and curious as Kelly, I think she probably isn’t a Malcolm.

As you may be able to tell, I’m really, really hyped for JW2 and the return of the chaotician I love so dearly. It looks like I’ll be updating more often as news rolls in, so stick around for more news about The Ian Malcolm Movie (And A Couple Dinosaurs Too)!

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A Real Jurassic Park

A lot of cool attractions have come about based on Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, from the amazing different Universal parks with their robotic baby triceratops and pterodactyl coasters, to the recent Jurassic World The Exhibition, which still has yet to come near me no matter how many sacrifices and prayer circles I’ve made. Now, not affiliated with Universal but still promising to be amazing, there’s a new Jurassic World-based attraction coming to the UK and it’s… well, unique. Soon, people will get the chance to actually be eaten by one of the dinosaurs we love so much.

Starting June 24th, a new theme park will open (if you can even call it a theme park) called Dinosaurs in the Wild, which promises to make you feel just like the prey of the dinosaurs you’ve grown to love in the Jurassic World movies, plus a few others. Filled with giant state-of-the-art animatronics in an enormous indoor environment that was engineered to look as much like a Cretaceous forest as possible, it’s a really cool-sounding attraction with a really weird twist. Visitors get in off-road vehicles and get a tour around the area, just like if they were on a safari after being transported back in time. And I’m fine with that part, but immediately afterwards, they dump you to fend for yourself in the middle of a large clearing. And you have the choice to run for the woods or stay where you are and let your fate decide itself, but eventually, one of the robotic dinosaurs will hunt you down and proceed to eat you. The attraction’s website assures us that the experience of being chowed down will be “strange but not painful”– apparently instead of being chewed, you’ll just be swallowed and pass through the animatronic’s gullet, followed by being deposited straight into the gift shop. Definitely not my cup of tea, and frankly if getting swallowed by a giant robot of any kind is the sort of thing that you’d be interested in taking a trip to the UK and forking over money for, I’m pretty worried about you.

The rest of the place seems amazing, though. These people have a serious dedication to accuracy– well, mostly. Here’s one of the featured dinosaurs that you have the chance to be an entree for:

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Even the kids in the first JP movie know that sauropods don’t eat people, guys. (Plus, with that long neck, won’t it take hours to go through the thing’s body?) Other than that glaring oversight, I’m in awe. Look at the feathers! Look at the detailed scales! Here’s another one of their attractions:

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I would scream in both joy and terror if I got to see one of those walking around. The accurate feather placement! The fact that it isn’t shrink-wrapped! The colors! I mean, I wouldn’t want it eating me or anything, but I do appreciate it in an aesthetic way.

So why exactly would so much work go into such a weird attraction with a strange target audience? Jill Bryant, Dinosaurs in the Wild’s producer, explains it all on the website. “Universal basically has a lock on recreating the magical environment of the Jurassic Park movies, and we wanted to create something that couldn’t be experienced anywhere else in the world,” she says. “Initially, we were going to create a dinosaur theme park which drew inspiration from the movies, but which focused more on education and current paleontological theory. But whenever we discussed the idea with anyone other than the production team, their first response was to joke about, “oh, when will the dinos break out and eat everybody?” And at first that was tiring, but then it gave me an idea.

“The other Jurassic Park-based attractions in the world just focus on one aspect of the classic film series, which is the part about the awe and wonder of it all. With Dinosaurs In The Wild, we wanted to give people an experience that replicated the more thrilling parts of the movies they loved, the action sequences that got their heart racing. Everyone remembers sitting on the edge of their seat the first time they watched Jurassic Park and saw Alan Grant staring a T. rex in the face, and Ellie Sattler being stalked by Velociraptors. Now people of all ages– although we don’t recommend this attraction for children under ten– will get the chance to be hunted by the greatest predators to ever walk the earth. You could hide in the forest and be thrillingly hunted down by a pack of raptors, or Deinonychus as they are in this attraction. You could climb a tree and see how long it takes the roving alamosaurs to find you. Or you could just stay in the field, exploring the painstakingly recreated Cretaceous scenery, and wait until a scientifically accurate tyrannosaur tracks you down. There’s a million ways to experience Dinosaurs In The Wild, and I’m very excited to share them with you this June.”

Well, that makes some sense, I will admit. I haven’t been to Jurassic World: The Exhibition, but I bet everyone there wonders when the giant Rexy robot will duck down and grab someone in its chompers, and I bet a lot of guests are genuinely curious about what would happen if it did. And, other than the getting-eaten part, it really does seem like a genuinely cool place to visit. If the eating part weren’t mandatory– and the website assures me that it is– I’d go just for the chance to walk around a prehistoric forest and hang out with big feathery T. rexes. No, scratch that, I would go for the chance to join a raptor pack for as long as they’d let me. I would run around with a gang of Deinonychus just as I’ve dreamed of for so long, and people and animatronics alike would shiver at the mention of my pack. Maybe I could help my raptor friends track down some fellow guests, and afterwards I’d pet their heads and tell them they’re good dinosaurs, and we’d hang out in their nest area and do whatever it is raptors do in their down time. Yeah, honestly now that I think about it, I might not mind getting eaten as long as I get to do that.

Dinosaurs in the Wild will have two three-month runs, at Birmingham and then Manchester, from June to August and then October to January. The website is unclear about how much it will cost; it only says “you’ll give an arm and a leg– literally”. I would definitely go if I got the chance– is anyone with me?

Author’s note: if you’d like to learn more about becoming a dino’s meal at Dinosaurs in the Wild, I should probably inform you that you just got April Fooled! The attraction is real and sounds really awesome, but fortunately it’s more like a real Jurassic World and doesn’t involve getting eaten by anything. (Hopefully.) Here’s the attraction’s website, and if you happen to live near where it’ll take place or plan to take a trip there, please consider taking me with you. Please. Please.

Caring For Your Ingen Pygmy Triceratops™

Well, the hype has officially begun– filming for Jurassic World 2 has begun in England, in the Langley Business Centre:

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Considering the story of the movie will likely take place mostly on the mainland, this set could be used for way more scenarios than just someone’s house before they leave for Isla Nublar, so we don’t really have a definite answer for what exactly the Business Centre will have to do with the plot; it looks too small to be a dino-cloning facility or anything, but who knows? That’s the only real JW news we’ve gotten this week (besides more casting and a couple of character names) except of course for this:

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That was posted by Colin Trevorrow on Twitter with the caption “Walking in giant footsteps. #JW2” and I’d venture to guess that the little girl pictured is Lucy (although, since she hasn’t even been cast yet as far as we know, it’s probably just a Lucy stand-in). Whether this scene actually appears in the movie or not (remember that photo of the East Dock sign that he tweeted early in JW’s filming?) it’s a gorgeous photo and got me very, very excited for what’s to come.

Since that’s about all the news there is to report on, I thought I’d do something fun this time, so here’s an informative blog post from a different Raptor Dash in a slightly different time in a different universe– one that has a lot more dinosaurs in it.

Hello everyone, and welcome to the exciting and adorable world of InGen Pygmy Triceratops ownership! Whether you’re only considering adopting one of these little Cretaceous cuties or you’re already a proud owner who’s looking for some tips, I’m glad you’ve decided to look to me for advice (instead of an unapproved third-party source). Although my blog may receive a small amount of funding from the InGen Corporation, you can count on me to impartially show you the ins and outs of how to properly care for the unique pet that’s now a part of your life.

The InGen Corporation is devoted to satisfying all of the companies and people that benefit from its services, and after the regrettable Jurassic World Incident, it made a concentrated effort to use its amazing genetic technology to improve the world around us. In addition to the giant ceratopsians that plow the fields that grow your food, the docile stegosaurs you see in zoos, the velociraptors that serve as the next step in the United States’ military technologies and more, InGen also developed something much more domestic and certainly much cuter– a line of pet miniature dinosaurs that never get big, can never be dangerous and never stop being precious! Pygmy Iguanadons, Pygmy Ankylosaurs, Pygmy Stegoceratops and Pygmy Paralophosaurs are available for purchase at any pet store near you, but my favorites of the line are the Pygmy Triceratops; I love them so much that I adopted three, and today they’re happy to help me show you how to take proper care of your new little trike! Let’s meet the gang!

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On the far left is Jasper, a sweet little girl with a shy side who loves to cuddle and take long naps. Then there’s Sahara– as you can tell, she’s the playful one! Finally there’s Orion, who’s the strong and silent type but still gets excited enough to chase a butterfly every once in a while! It’s highly advisable to adopt at least two at a time, as Triceratops have always been herding animals and will get lonely if they’re left alone at home for too long; two isn’t small enough to form your own cute little herd, though, so the more the merrier. These three are all babies, so they’re tiny and cute as buttons, but I won’t have to worry about them taking up too much space in my dorm room when they get older: the full size of a Pygmy Triceratops™ is about a foot and a half tall (0.5 m) and less than three feet long (1 m). They’ll always have plenty of room to run and play!

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It’s very important to only feed your Pygmy Triceratops™ with certified InGen Health Blend Baby Triceratops Chow. This special food was engineered specifically for the genetically-engineered bodies of little Pygmy Triceratops and provides them with all the nutrients they need in their diet. Look how eager Orion is for dinner time! You can choose to feed them separate meals like you would a cat or dog, but Triceratops were grazing herbivores back in Cretaceous times, and their modern reincarnations still have traces of that instinct. Therefore it might make your little pets happy if you purchased a small trough or spread the food out among several paper plates throughout the house, allowing your Pygmy Triceratops™ to munch whenever they please. Remember to feed them about half to three-quarters of a cup of food per day– you don’t want them getting too chubby!

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If your trike’s been good and deserves a special treat, give them some Ingen Pygmy Triceratops YumYum Pellets! Made from sweet-tasting fruit, your little ones will love them! Just make sure you give them out equally– you can see how eager my babies are to get at them.

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The only thing Pygmy Triceratops™ love more than treat time is playtime! They’re not the most active animals– pick up a Pygmy Paralophosaur™ if you want a dino that’ll run and play with you every day– but they certainly love to hug and bat around their stuffed animals. Jasper and Orion love their stuffed penguin because of how soft (and easy to chew) it is, and Sahara is enamored with the stuffed triceratops that my friend Alex bought me when she visited Jurassic World a few years ago. As you can see, their favorite place to play is on the carpet, probably because its texture reminds them of grass; I would recommend putting down rugs or carpets throughout your home, or keeping your trikes in a carpeted “safe room”if you’re worried about them wandering around and causing trouble when you’re not home.

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Since this is only the first generation of InGen Pygmy Dinosaurs, there are still a few teeny little “bugs” that need to be worked out. In the Pygmy Triceratops’ case, it’s that their herding instinct may be just a bit too strong. As you can see, Sahara is very attached to this stuffed trike and refuses to let it go when play time is over. Judging by the way she clings to it, she probably thinks it’s another member of her herd, or perhaps even her mother. The next iteration of Pygmy Dinosaurs™ most likely won’t have issues like this, but until then, consider giving your pets toys that don’t resemble Triceratops.

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Instead, give them toys that were specifically made to be safe and fun, as well as teaching your Pygmy Triceratops’ growing brains! InGen now makes Pygmy Dinosaur SafeToys, which are fun for your little angels to chew on and are made to look like other herbivorous dinosaurs from the ancient times of the original Triceratops. This brown one is brand new; Orion is sniffing at it with interest, deciding if he likes it more than the red one that he’ll contentedly chew on for hours if I let him. Of course, these are far from the only toys from InGen that your little dino will love to play with. Just look how happy my babies were to see the brand-new Stegoceratops toy from the Hybrids line, designed to teach dinosaurs and owners alike about the marvelous new species developed in InGen’s labs:

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Playing with toys is far from the only way to entertain your Pygmy Triceratops. They love to be carried outside for walks and romps in the grass! Here’s Jasper admiring (and trying to munch on) some pansies:

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It’s important to be careful when taking your Pygmy Triceratops™ outdoors. If they eat anything but InGen’s special food, they’ll get sick, but they don’t know that, so be sure to keep a close eye on your trikes and keep them away from any plants that they might try to snack on.

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Another important thing to note about all Pygmy Dinosaurs™ is that they have a strong aversion to cold weather and vastly prefer warm environments, just like their ancestors; this is why they should spend most of their time in a temperature-regulated indoor environment. Jasper and I came across some snow on our walk, and she refused to go anywhere near it. For those of you who live in cold areas but still want a prehistoric pet of your own, head to your local pet store this fall and adopt an InGen Pygmy Woolly Mammoth!

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After your little ones are all tuckered out from their outdoor adventure, or if you just need to keep them entertained for half an hour, they’ll love watching television, especially cheery children’s shows. Mine always show a lot of interest when I put Dinosaur Train on for them, but that’s probably more because of the bright colors and funny noises than the fact that it’s about dinosaurs.

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At the end of their fun day, give your Pygmy Triceratops™ a nice warm bed to sleep in and a couple of soft toys for them to cuddle with. Because of their nesting instincts, mine love it when I make them a soft, cushy place for them to sink into, usually out of a bathrobe or soft towel. When it’s time to go to sleep, tuck them into their special little sleeping place…

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…and don’t be surprised when they come to your bed anyway, impatiently mooing until you let them go to sleep cuddled up next to you. You are their beloved owner after all, and since you take such good care of your Pygmy Triceratops, they want to give you all their love and affection to say thanks.

Thank you for reading, and I hope my guide helps you to have an amazing time with your wonderful new pet! Join me next week for an inside look at the Oviraptors that are being genetically engineered to be a tastier and more ethical substitute for poultry, and the week after that, when I look at and debunk the most popular Jurassic World conspiracy theories!

Fanfic: The Care and Keeping of Stegoceratops

It’s been forever since I’ve written any fanfics, but here’s my latest offering! This was written as part of the Jeff July event on social media– a month-long celebration of Jeff Goldblum and all his characters. The character of Alice is Fourth Mrs. Malcolm‘s OC; I don’t own any of the other characters. Enjoy!

“Dr. Malcolm?” Bang bang bang. “Hey, I have a package here for Dr. Ian Malcolm, is he home?”

Sighing and leaning on his cane, Ian extricated himself from his armchair, walked through his apartment kitchenette, unlatched the door, and stepped out to see what the postman wanted. Looking at the ground, he raised his eyebrows in surprise; he’d expected the UPS guy to be there, but not the enormous crate on the ground next to him. “Just sign for it here and here, sir,” the postman said, handing him a clipboard with a few complex-looking forms attached to it. Ian looked through the papers– one of them said at the top, very prominently, BIOHAZARD INSPECTION– then at the shaking crate, then back at his guest.

“I’m not signing for this,” he said. “It’s– it’s not my order.”

“Forms say it is,” the guy said, taking the clipboard from Ian and consulting it. “Yep, Dr. Ian Malcolm, apartment 308. If you’ll just sign–”

Ian was more interested in the package, which was bumping from size to side and emitting some kind of muffled– was that a mooing noise? “I never ordered any animals. I’m sorry, but you, uh, have the wrong person. You’re gonna have to take this back.”

“We can’t take it back, Dr. Malcolm,” said the guy in the brown suit. He glanced at the crate and then at Ian, and made an amused snorting sound. “Trust me, I’m sure you’ll appreciate it.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

The guy was already backing up, heading to the elevator. “Look, I have another urgent delivery in the truck. You can call if you have any concerns, our number’s on, uh– on the UPS website. Don’t hesitate to let us know.”

“You can’t just drop this off and hold me responsible for–” The guy had already disappeared into the elevator, and by the time Ian started after him, the button had already dinged and the doors were already shutting. Ian sighed, ran his hand over his face, and then turned his attention to the crate that was now apparently under his care. He put his hands on either side of the bottom and strained to lift it, which greatly distressed whatever was inside; he immediately heard a loud and high-pitched yelping noise come from within. “All right, all right.” Instead of trying to lift the thing again, he settled for kneeling down and shoving the wooden box through his open door. The crate against the cement floor made an even less pleasant sound than the animal’s screech, but it only took three good shoves before his package was inside and he could finally shut the door.

Loudly exhaling, Ian got on his knees again and peered into the crate from one of the slits on the top. He didn’t see very much, but what he got a glimpse of was enough to make him lean back, massage his eyes with two fingers, and exhaustedly groan. He debated whether he should even bother opening it, but leaving the obviously easily distressed animal in its cage all night might have been noisier than it was worth. He found the three latches on the side of the crate’s door, undid them one by one, and then quickly moved back and out of the way. If this was what he thought it was, he didn’t want very much to do with it at all.

The crate door creaked open, and with another of those odd snuffling sounds, its inhabitant slowly emerged. First came its two forward-facing, prong-like horns, and then its oblong, beaked little face. Ian’s first thought was what did Levine call these bull-horned things? Nasutoceratops, and then I hate that I know that. And then: Wait, I thought it was a stegosaur? There were plates, I know there were plates.

After the little dinosaur, whatever it was, had poked its head out of its crate for long enough to glance around and determine whether Ian’s apartment was suitable, it took a few timid steps onto the carpet. Ian stared, too confused to even be angry. Why was this thing a combination of two different herbivores? This couldn’t have been a recently-discovered species, could it? Maybe he could call Richard Levine; if anyone had kept up with new dinosaur discoveries, it was him. But why was he concerned with identifying its species when the real concern was that there was a greyhound-sized dinosaur stomping around in his living room?

The answer, he suddenly realized, was the same one that usually came with all of his problems: InGen. He leaned into the crate– the animal, more confused than anything, paid him no mind– and rummaged around, trying to ignore the implications of digging around in the hay that lined the bottom of the box. Finally, attached to the back, his hand found a paper booklet stapled to the wood. He tore it free, sat outside the somewhat foul-smelling crate, and read the cover: Care and Keeping of Your Pygmy Stegoceratops. It showed a photo of a little girl, smiling and hugging a dinosaur that looked just like the tiny one that was currently poking at his coffee table with its steer horns.

Ian stood up and aggravatedly grumbled under his breath. For years he’d put all that effort into keeping InGen out of his life as much as possible, and now he apparently owned one of their little designer pets. Of course he knew about the enormous corporate empire that InGen had built with their blood money– how could he not, everyone did, they aired their cheery commercials for genetic abominations during every TV show imaginable. Despite InGen being incredibly prominent in the world and somehow still growing even more popular, Ian had managed to ward off its presence as much as he could. Apparently, though, he hadn’t earned complete peace from them quite yet.

He opened the first page of the booklet, and nestled between the headings “Congratulations on your ownership of a licensed InGen pygmy dinosaur pal!” and “How to get started” was a tiny envelope. An idea, and then a bolt of rage, struck Ian– were those InGen bastards bribing him? Had they sent him this– this monster for free and expected something out of it, like a free advertisement, or paparazzi photos of him walking the thing like a puppy? He tossed the booklet onto the coffee table and tore open the envelope. There was a brief, hand-written note inside, and to his slight relief, it didn’t have any genetic company logos stamped on it. It read:

Ian,

Thought you’d enjoy this. She’s just the right size for your place, right? Have fun with her, and don’t worry about buying any special food– she’ll eat just about any vegetable you feed her. I’ll drop by in a few days to see how you two are doing.

That was it– no signature, nothing. He threw it down on the table and was about to start reading the pamphlet when something bumped up against his bad leg. He started, and then looked down to see his little guest staring up at him with pleading, almost pitiful amber-colored eyes. He got back down onto his knees, wincing a little in pain, and took a closer look. It was definitely one of the genetically-engineered, smaller-than-life dinosaurs that were just one of the products of InGen’s new hybrid-based business model. He’d seen these pygmies before, mostly at pet stores and being walked around Austin by kids and families, but the others that he’s come across had all looked like miniaturized versions of existing dinosaurs. This one was a new species entirely– a Stegoceratops, the booklet had called it.

It looked almost like something a kid would design. Its body was forest green, and all the parts of its face had sandy-brown accents, as did the plates along its back. It definitely had the various horns that a Nasutoceratops would have, except when Ian ran his palm over their tips, none of them pricked him at all. Well, at least they’d safety-engineered it for kids, he could at least give InGen that. When the Stegoceratops creature felt his touch, it slowly blinked and then closed its eyes and held still, almost like a dog being petted. He made a disgusted noise in the back of his throat; he didn’t want the stumpy little thing to attack him, of course, but the way it acted so much like an attention-starved puppy just felt wrong.

He removed his hand and reached for the book again– it sure would be a blast to read the justification that had made Wu and his buddies come up with and mass-produce these things– when the dinosaur did something even more surprising: it reached out with its flat foot and batted lightly at his knee. He turned to see that it was staring expectantly at him with its large, cow-like eyes. He furrowed his brow and stroked the pebbled skin of its frill, and sure enough, the animal contentedly closed its eyes again. Huh. At least it was affectionate– that was better treatment than he’d come to expect from animals of its kind.

Absentmindedly petting the thing, he turned his attention to its care booklet and skimmed through the entire thing over the course of ten minutes. From what he could gather, it didn’t require much more special care than the average Pomeranian. All it needed was fresh vegetables to eat, a safe area to stay in, occasional walks, and “a great owner like you!” Well, there weren’t any plant products in the apartment that could be classified as anywhere near fresh, but he could handle the rest for a couple of days. “Don’t get used to the place,” he said sternly to the little Stegoceratops; it only stared back at him, looking more puppy-like by the minute. “You’re not staying here, you hear me?” With great effort, he got back onto his feet again and headed for his kitchenette. If someone thought this was a funny prank to pull on him, they could have their laughs– and their genetic mistake of a pet dinosaur– when they came to see him in a few days.

He opened the narrow refrigerator, leaned down and rummaged through one of the clear plastic drawers. His hand closed around a small apple; he pulled it out and poked it, finding that it was at least somewhat fresh. Closing the fridge door, he tossed it onto the ground, to the Stegoceratops that was standing and watching his every move. “Here, this is all I’ve got. I’ll see if I can stop by the grocery store later, but, uh, this is dinner for now, kiddo.” The weird little dinosaur-thing stared at the offering for a second, stuck its thick little tongue out to take a lick, and then pulled the entire fruit into its mouth and slowly chewed it up whole, little apple shavings falling to the floor from the sides of its beak. Ian shook his head and then made his way to his study. He had three dissertations to read through and no time to watch this weird animal that had finished its snack and was now ambling around his apartment, occasionally whacking the legs of furniture with the tiny thagomizer on the end of its tail. At least, he figured, if it was enough of a hassle to keep around, he had friends in the zoology department who’d be more than happy to take it off his hands.

***

When he’d finished reading through the first dissertation– Complexity Theory and the Behavior of Gallimimus in Captivity, no doubt some grad student’s excuse to go on multiple vacations to Jurassic World before the incident– Ian pulled his cell phone off the desk and dialed Kelly’s number. As always, it rang exactly twice, and then he heard the click and her voice: “Hey, Dad, what’s up?”

“Hi, honey, nothing much. Uh, hey, did you send me a dinosaur? ‘Cause it was nice of you, but–”

“Hold on, what?” The phone crackled as she adjusted it, and he heard her yell into the distance, “Hang on, I’ll be right back!” before turning her attention back to him. “Dad, what’s the matter? Is this a joke?”

“No, I’m serious. Did you send me one of those little—uh—InGen pygmies in the mail? The little pets?”

She paused. “Oh, that kind of dinosaur. Nah, I didn’t. Why, did you get one?”

“Somebody stuck me with one, and I’m—I’m glad to hear it wasn’t you, ‘cause I have a few serious words for whoever it was. Anyway… how’s it going? Doing well in training?”

She exhaled heavily. “You know, it’s going how it’s going. Trials are coming up, so I’m working like a dog.”

“I thought the trials weren’t for a few months?”

“How long have I been training? Two years? A few months is nothing.” She stopped, and he heard muffled shouting. “Gotta go, Dad, break’s over. Careful with the dinosaur, okay? I love you.”

“Love you too, honey,” and he hung up. He called his other two kids after that and received similar answers. Elizabeth was off in Orlando interviewing for a job at some zoo, and she let him know that she wanted absolutely nothing to do with dinosaurs– he couldn’t say he blamed her. Anna, who was in the middle of her first semester away at college, stressed that she couldn’t afford a pet for herself, let alone anything extravagant for her or anyone else. She knew just as well as he did that he was the reason she had no significant financial worries– a large portion of the money made from his book sales and many television interviews had gone towards paying her and Kelly’s tuition– but he still shook his head and wrote her a check for two hundred dollars.

With his three daughters ruled out, who else could the mystery dinosaur donor be? His colleagues at UT knew better than to play dinosaur-related pranks on him, or at least he sincerely hoped he did. His assistant Mike, though he joked around a lot with Ian and never seemed to want for money, probably did too. He only kept up occasional correspondence with Sarah, and this wasn’t the kind of thing Ellie would do. So that ruled out the most likely people to have done this; that meant it must have been one of his friends, someone he’d never suspected.

He’d have to make a few phone calls. First, however, he had to attend to a certain stegoceratops in the next room, which had its horns thoroughly embedded in the side of his couch.

***

The next day, sitting comfortably in a chair in a small office downtown, he asked his therapist, “You wouldn’t happen to have sent me any dinosaurs lately, would you?”

Alice gave him an amused look over her glasses. “What, a toy dinosaur, or a stuffed animal? Why on earth would I do that?”

Of the many counselors that Ian had met with over the years, Alice Sigrund was his particular favorite. A short brunette woman of thirty, she was one of the growing number of “paleo-social workers” who dealt with not only people, but dinosaurs and the connection between the two– a necessity in a world where an increasing number of people shared their jobs with hybrid dinosaurs. Because of her work with predatory dinosaurs like tyrannosaurs, and her knowledge of how time with– and attacks from– them could affect people, she’d been able to understand Ian’s trauma better than many other counselors, and could much better help him work through his many issues regarding them. She’d greatly helped him overcome most of his dinosaur-related fears, and she knew him just as well as any close friend in his life. He found himself looking forward to weekly sessions with her, even just for the chance to chat.

It didn’t hurt, too, that she was very pretty.

“No, like one of those bio-pet things.” He held out his hands to indicate its size. “Real ugly little thing. It’s like, ah, a hybrid– you know, one of those things for kids. Not too cuddly, you’d think they’d go for more of a teddy bear thing.”

“No, Ian, I can honestly say I didn’t buy you a dinosaur.”

“Are you sure? You can tell me. It–it could be like an exposure therapy thing. Letting it hang out with me for a while, letting me get attached to it. Perfect, uh, therapeutic crime.”

She shook her head and scribbled something onto the notepad in her hand. “Nice detective work, but no.”

“You’re writing “paranoid” on that paper there, aren’t you?” He leaned forward, smiling. “C’mon, let’s have a look. I know you’re getting to the dark recesses of my mind here.”

“Nope. Classified information. I have to know you better than you know yourself.” He playfully grabbed out for the little notebook, and she giggled and held it above her head, he sat back and grinned. “Nah, it’s not psychoanalyzing. You can read it if you want.”

“Nah, I’m good. Anyway… yeah, that’s about the extent of my problems this week. No nightmares or anything. Al-although I’m sure having one of the little buggers running around won’t help me keep that streak for long. I’m gonna sell the damn thing as soon as I can.”

Jotting more notes, Alice nodded. “Good. That’s excellent. You’re having a lot fewer nightmares lately.”

“I’ve had a lot fewer people in my face lately. I can’t believe it took ‘em three separate incidents to learn that I’m not interested in being a dinosaur disaster expert, but I’ve only gotten, um, a couple interview offers and everybody else knows better than to ask me about this whole hybrid trend. Maybe I’ll talk to some news networks when a corporate dinosaur finally mauls someone—maybe a book, make a million or so more, uh, pay for Anna’s grad degree.”

“Are you sure it’d be worth it? You’d draw a lot more attention.”

“Yeah, but I’d live. I’m old news. I’ll crank out a few sound bites, people will ask each other why no one listened to me all along, and I’ll laugh my way to the bank.”

She smiled and shook her head. “You’ve got it made, haven’t you?”

“Yeah, well. It’s too predictable, but it’s a living.”

Alice flipped her notebook shut and put it on the floor beside her, and then leaned forward, resting her head in her palms, looking thoughtfully into his eyes. “Well, Ian, I have to say you’ve made a lot of progress.”

He licked his lips. “Why, thank you.”

“You’ve got a great handle on your problems, you’re not worried about the future or your mental health anymore. You’re nowhere as scared as you used to be. You’ve learned a lot about coping in the past few years. I mean, I’m not suggesting anything, but—it’s almost like you don’t need me anymore.”

“Wasn’t that the goal to begin with?”

She raised her eyebrows and said in a low, thoughtful voice, “Yeah, that was the goal, all right.” She exhaled loudly and stood up. “Well, hate to be a clock-watcher, but it looks like our time’s up.”

“If that clock on your wall isn’t lyin’ to me, our time was up fifteen minutes ago. Do your job right, Sigrund.”

She cracked a grin, mirroring his. “Don’t criticize my methods. See you next week?”

“See you next week,” he smiled, and as he opened her office door to leave, she reached out her arm to stop him, catching him before he walked out.

“Call me if anything goes wrong, okay, Ian?” He looked back; her expression was genuine. “If something happens with the dinosaur, if you can’t handle having it around, just call me. I’d be happy to take it off your hands. Or even if you just wanna talk about it—call. Anytime.”

“Absolutely,” he said softly, and noticed when he looked down that Alice had grabbed his hand when she stopped him, and she hadn’t let go. She followed his gaze and immediately pulled her hand back to her chest, looking more than a little embarrassed.

“Uh… see you.” She salvaged another grin, which Ian returned. He took one more good, long look at her before swinging the door open, waving goodbye and disappearing.
***

A flash of lightning outside the window lit up Ian’s apartment for an instant, and then a distant crash of thunder added to the already-unnerving sound of the downpour outside. Ian was never completely comfortable when it was raining outside, especially this hard, but it wasn’t as bad this time—no flashbacks, no need to blast the television so he could put himself anywhere besides that Explorer in front of that paddock. Branches of pain still shot through his leg, though; he had it propped up on the coffee table while he lounged on the couch, making phone calls.

Both of his paleontologist friends denied having sent him the stegoceratops. Richard Levine had scoffed at the idea; Ian should’ve known that he’d never have spent that much money on anyone other than himself anyway. Diego Rodriguez, a paleopathologist who was on a dig in Patagonia at the moment, angrily wondered out loud why the pygmies were created in the first place and advised Ian to get rid of his as soon as possible. Even his archaeologist friend Matt thought that keeping it would be a terrible idea. Ian was dialing Jodran the paleoartist when his phone rang and Alice’s speed dial number popped up on the screen. She almost never called him at home except when there was an emergency—was she okay? He answered immediately. “Hello?”

“Hi, Ian!” He was relieved to hear that she sounded cheerful. “Just wanted to check in and see how everything was going.”

“Uh—everything’s fine. Why do you ask, ‘cause of the storm?”

“No, no, because of the dinosaur. Is everything okay with it? Do you want me to drop by and take it?”

He exhaled heavily. “Believe me, I wouldn’t wish this thing on you. All—all it does is follow me around all day and eat more lettuce than a herd of rabbits. I wish whoever gave it to me would take it back to that godforsaken island already.”

She made a sympathetic sound. “I can take it to a shelter or something.”

“Nah, I’ll deal with it. Should just be for a few days. I wanted to start buying more vegetables anyway.”

“Well, that’s good to hear.” He heard her pause and move around a little, and he could clearly picture how she must have looked, at home in her pajamas with her hair down and around her shoulders instead of in its usual ponytail, sprawled across the loveseat in her apartment. He’d never been to where she lived, but he could imagine it well enough— a place as clean-cut and organized as she was, the furniture in dark colors just like the clothes she always wore to their sessions. Thinking about being there with Alice and chatting or just enjoying each other’s company, instead of being stuck in this place with an irritating leg and an even more irritating animal, helped him relax in spite of the rain sounds outside. “How long do you think you’ll have to keep it?”

“If it’s here more than a week, it’ll be the very first member of Austin’s feral dinosaur population.”

She giggled, and he broke into a grin despite himself. “So have you named it?”

“Yes, I have. It’s called Pest.”

“Oh, come on, give it a real name! You can’t just stand there all week like, “here, dinosaur, dinosaur!””

“All right, if you insist.” He leaned back, head resting on the back of the couch, and caught sight of the white flowers on his neighbor’s terrace through the corner of his eye. “It’s, uh—Lily.”

“Oh, how cute! That’s adorable, Ian, is it really a girl?”

“Probably. Maybe tomorrow I’ll make it a little bow for its horns.”

“That is so adorable.” She paused again. “Well… I should let you go. I was just thinking about you, wanted to make sure everything is okay. Are you sure I can’t help? I could stop by your place if you need someone to play with it for a little bit.”

He would’ve liked nothing more than to invite her over, but stopped himself; that wouldn’t have been professional. “Sweet of you, but no, thanks.”

“All right, I’ll see you on Monday, then.” He said goodbye, and when she hung up, he dialed Jodran and got only a recorded message. He reached for one of the books under his coffee table, mentally replaying Alice’s laugh and the excited tone in her voice, when an enormous crack of thunder came from outside and a panicked moooo came from the kitchen. The little stegoceratops, which had previously been in the kitchen taking a nap next to its food bowl, came running into the living room on its stubby little legs. It came galloping over to the couch and attempted to jump up next to Ian; when it failed, it stood in front of him, looking up at him imploringly and whacking its tail against the carpet.

“Nope,” he told Lily firmly. “You’re not ruining any more of my furniture.” It didn’t get the message. As if to demonstrate its urgency, it ran out into the open area of the living room, butted at the front door with its frill, and then came back to the couch to wordlessly plead him again. He opened his book and tried his best to ignore the big cow eyes staring at him and the somewhat high-pitched lowing sounds. He was almost sure that the annoying thing would leave him alone when he heard another thunderbolt, this one alarmingly close to the building. Lily reacted to it just like it had to the last one, mooing loudly in terror and thumping against the ground with its heavy, spiked tail.

When he looked away from his book and saw the animal on the ground, butting at the couch and shaking with fear, he sighed and picked it up by the stomach. He placed it on the couch next to him and expected that to be the end of the matter— he had no intention of getting cuddly with the thing, but this was better than it freaking out all night—but Lily grunted and clambered across his legs, plopping itself down onto his lap. It seemed content despite his lack of attention, propping its beak up on the armrest and closing its eyes. Ian sat and just stared for a minute or two. There was a smaller thunderbolt from further away, and Lily shivered, her tail thumping in agitation, but settled down quickly enough.

He grudgingly began to run his hand along its side, petting around its plates and making it yawn contentedly. “Yeah, I don’t like storms, either.”

***

Matheus, one of the grad students he’d personally chosen to advise during the year, had obviously given everything he had to impress Ian. Most of the kids in his graduating group had barely even begun their master’s theses yet, but Matheus’ was half-done and incredibly well-researched, with three full pages of diagrams and a bibliography almost as long as the paper itself. He had nothing to worry about, yet he fidgeted in his chair as Ian skimmed over the papers in his hand, looking like he thought the frame-covered walls of Ian’s office were about to close in on him.

“I gotta say,” Ian said as he closed the little packet of papers and slid it across his desk, “this is excellent. I’m—I’m really impressed.”

The thin, dark-haired, much younger man in front of him kept his hands in his lap and his legs close together, as if he was trying to compress himself and vanish, but perked up. “Seriously?”

“Seriously. You’ve got some really great work done so far. Where, uh, are you gonna do your independent research?

“Neurology department at St. David’s. Working closely with the MRI machines.” His thesis paper would be about variations in brain waves after trauma; Ian couldn’t help much with the neurological component, but considering that the topic was being researched and analyzed through the lens of chaos theory, his advising would be quite useful.

“Good, good. Have you, uh, set up appointments with anyone there? Made sure they’ll let you do your thing?”

“Absolutely. Made the calls as soon as I decided on my topic. I’m going in on the twentieth.”

Ian licked his lips and moved his swivel chair closer to the edge of his desk. “Well, keep doin’ what you’re doin’. I’m proud of you, I—I knew you wouldn’t disappoint.”

Matheus still had that deer-in-the-headlights look in his eyes, but he beamed. “Thanks, Dr. Malcolm! Oh God, you don’t know how worried I was.”

“Y’know, I think I got a clue. Don’t worry so much, Matheus, you’re gonna do great. Hell, maybe you’ll have my job someday.”

“Maybe,” he said, sounding not at all convinced, and then, “What’s in your lap?”

“In my lap? Oh, yeah.” He glanced down at Lily, who was curled up into a little ball of dinosaur and contentedly napping on his lap. “Surprised you didn’t notice earlier. C’mon, Lily, time to meet someone.” He rolled his chair out from behind his desk and gently shook the little animal awake; she raised her head, blinked at him with her cow eyes, and swung out her tail. “Go ahead and pet her, she’s never met a stranger.”

Lily’s eyes drifted closed as Matheus rubbed three fingers along her back. “Wow, I’m surprised you got one of these. I thought you hated them.”

“You have no idea how many times I’ve heard that today,” Ian sighed.

The other man went immediately back into high alert. “Oh, I’m sorry!”

“No, no, don’t worry. It’s—it’s a valid question. I didn’t buy her, someone else got her for me. Wouldn’t have been you, would it?”

“Nah, not me.” Lily lay her head back down on Ian’s knee, making that deep, happy sound that seemed to serve the same purpose as a cat’s purr. “I’m surprised they let you take it to the office.”

“Well, she’s not disturbing anybody, and she gets separation anxiety way too easily. I’d rather have her sit with me than tear up my furniture and get me noise complaints with her mooing.”

“I kinda want one for myself, honestly. Even just for the fun of it. Everyone wants their own pet T. rex, right?”

Instead of what had actually sprung to mind, Ian said simply, “I bet you do.”

Matheus smiled, withdrew his hand and stood up. “Well, thanks for meeting with me, Dr. Malcolm. I really appreciate it.”

“No problem at all. You—you want this paper back or can I keep it?”

“You can keep it.”

“Thanks again. I’ll call you to set up another meeting next month.” The young man flashed him a much easier smile.

“All right, take care,” Ian called as Matheus disappeared out the door. He sighed and asked the snoozing dinosaur sitting on him, “I think that went well, how about you?” She snuffled in her sleep, and he rolled his way back behind his desk, pulling his cell phone out from his pocket. The disturbance awoke Lily again, and when she mooed in annoyance, Ian calmed her with a few scratches behind her frill while he tapped Alice’s contact number. The phone rang once, and when he heard the secretary’s greeting, he said, “Can you put me through to Alice, please?”

He heard the tinny ring again, and then Alice’s voice. “Alice Sigrund, may I ask who’s calling?”

Ian leaned back in his chair and exhaled hard, as if that would expel all the jitters from deep in his chest. “Yeah, hi, it’s Ian.”

He could almost hear her jumping to sit up straight. “Oh, Ian, hi! How’s everything going? Is there a problem with Lily?”

“Nope, no problem. She’s here with me, she’s doing fine.”

“Oh, good, that’s great.”

The phone crackled during the long few seconds of silence that followed. Ian cleared his throat. “I, uh, have a request.”

“Okay, shoot.”

“I’d like to withdraw myself as a client, if you don’t mind.”

Another few seconds of heavy quiet. “I… Ian, what? I don’t understand, why so sudden? Is it something I—”

“No, no problem, none at all. The, uh, opposite, actually. Remember what you said a few days ago? About not needing your services, making progress?”

“Yes, but—”

“You were totally right. I completely appreciate what you’ve done for me, Alice. It’s been amazing working with you, but—but you were right. I’ve made enormous progress thanks to you, and counseling just isn’t something that’s essential anymore.”

She paused. “Well—if that’s how you feel. I can’t say I disagree. It’s just, I, um…” He heard her exhale heavily. “All right. I’ll let the office know.”

“Great. Now that that’s settled, and we’re not compelled to be, er, professional anymore. I was wondering—are you available this Saturday?”

Another pause. “Yes, why?”

He tried to keep his voice casual as he asked, “How does dinner at Truluck’s sound? My treat. You can keep psychoanalyzing me, just over salmon this time.”

“Okay!” she answered immediately, her voice noticeably higher. “I mean, yeah, absolutely. Just call me. Call me whenever.” He could clearly picture her, bolting to sit up straight, eyes wide and face flushing like she always got when she was excited, and he smiled.

“All right, it’s a date, then.”

“It’s a date,” she parroted, the disbelief and joy still apparent in her voice. “Talk to you later, I guess.”

“I’ll call you,” he promised, and hung up. “How about that. It actually worked out,” he said to Lily, who had woken up and was nudging at his stomach with her horns. “Ow, ow, c’mon,” he said, petting her right side to placate her. “You better not bug Alice for attention like that. You’re gonna be seeing her a lot, so you better be nice.” She leaned back against his touch, closing her eyes contentedly and making that happy little half-moo, and nudged her spiky little frill against his stomach again. “Spoiled,” he chided, giving her the scratches behind her frill that she was demanding. But he couldn’t force himself to be genuinely annoyed. All afternoon as he worked, he gave in to the little dinosaur’s demands, because all he could think about when he petted Lily now was how happy Alice would be to get to play with her if she came back to his apartment after their date.

***

Alan Grant’s GPS took him on a wild goose chase all around Austin before he finally found Ian’s apartment complex. He’d visited once or twice before, but that was several years ago, and he only had a faint recollection of what the place looked like and how to get around it. He asked the lady at the front desk what Ian’s number was, took the elevator to the third floor, and scanned the rows of identical doors until he found number 322. He rang the doorbell once, twice, three times, and waited patiently before trying the door handle. He knew Ian was there; even after several years, he still remembered the distinctive red convertible that the chaotician was so proud of and that had been out in the parking lot when Alan arrived.

Surprisingly, the door was left unlocked, and he rang the doorbell two more times before slowly and carefully twisting the handle. “Ian?” he called, peeking into the apartment. Memories of his last visit returned to him as he looked around; the place was just as minimalistically elegant and book-stuffed as always. “Ian? Are you home?” He cracked the door just a bit further. When he turned his head all the way to the right and caught sight of the couch, he grinned from ear to ear and quietly shut the door. He’d come back in a little while—he didn’t want to wake Ian up by breaking into his home.

But clearly the man was enjoying Alan’s gift. He was lying across the sofa, his head leaned back in slumber, and curled up on his lap was the little hybrid dinosaur that Alan had sent him. He would drop in later—for now, it was best to just let Ian spend time with Alan’s first surprise, which he quite obviously loved.

Jurassic World Goes to London

You may have heard the rumors about Jurassic World 2 being set in London. As I said on Twitter a few days ago, I assumed that the movie would just be shooting on soundstages that happened to be located in London, not that it would actually take place on the streets of the city. Well, a leak today confirmed that I was wrong. Some dedicated member of the Jurassic World community– we don’t know who it is yet, although I’d like to shake his or her hand when we find out– managed to get their hands on some concept art straight from Trevorrow and his team. It’s only rudimentary, as the script is barely  finished, but what it shows is absolutely incredible. With just a few pieces of concept art, we have absolute confirmation that the rumors were true. The next setting for the JW franchise is, indeed, smack dab in the middle of England.

Please keep in mind that there’s no guarantee that this will definitely be what we’ll see in the final picture– it’s just what the writers and producers have in mind at the moment. Only five pieces of art were leaked, but according to my sources, more may be forthcoming. Grab some tea, put on a BBC show, and let’s dig in.

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In a scene that looks like it’ll translate beautifully to the big screen, Mosasaur does her trademark jump in the lake beside Parliament. Some people have suspected that BioSyn or a similar rival company to InGen will create its own dinosaurs in the JW sequel; from what we’ve gotten today, there’s no way to confirm or deny this. Mosy and the others could’ve gotten to London by being transported from Nublar (hell if I know why) or by being cloned in the city itself; all we know for sure is that dinosaurs are definitely on the mainland and wreaking havoc. I can see two potential scenarios here, and I like both of them– either dinosaurs are cooperating peacefully with humans in the city and have been for a long time (Mosy could be in the lake as a tourist attraction or something) or they’ve just recently broken out of containment at the time in the movie that this concept art takes place. I’m excited to see which one it is, or if it’s neither.

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Next, we see Queen Elizabeth in a bit of a sticky situation with a Dimorphodon. In addition to the fact that this movie will apparently have a lot of celebrity cameos (you’ll see another one in a minute), it looks like the stakes will be even higher this time. In the other movies in the trilogy, the only lives in peril have been those of characters we’ve just been introduced to; we care very much about these characters, of course, but they’re not people we’ve been familiar with for our whole lives. Now, though, we’re looking at the possible deaths of famous people and world leaders. The dinosaurs’ presence has the potential to cause an international crisis.

This continues the concept that began with dinos on the mainland– dinosaurs are now a part of our daily lives (in-universe, of course) and when they attack, it’ll have an impact on much more than just a Costa Rican island. When these animals were taken off the island, they were irreversibly integrated into the world. In other words, this flying reptile about to attack the Queen is representative of a huge shift for the franchise. It shows us that things are changing in a way that they may never be able to come back from. I have to say that I’m not exactly thrilled about this idea– and I’m probably not alone– but after what they did with Jurassic World, especially in contrast with the fan base’s expectations, I trust the production team. If these guys can make an outstanding movie from a premise straight out of the SyFy channel, they can make a good sequel out of anything. This movie could turn out to be totally ridiculous, or it could be exactly the sequel we’ve waited for.

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And it looks like that dimorph wasn’t alone in its mission– there’s an entire flock of them descending on a terrified crowd, right in front of Big Ben. (I guess the filmmakers wanted to be really, really clear about the setting.) Honestly, I’m disappointed in this one. The pteranodon and dimorphodon attack scene in Jurassic World was scary and outstandingly done– the flock approaching the crowd and clouding the sky while a recorded voice calmly reported a “containment anomaly” still gives me chills. I don’t blame Trevorrow and the others at all for wanting to keep the spirit of the scene. But here, it looks like they’re just directly copying themselves.  It looks like exactly the same scene, just on a larger scale. If there’s one thing that I hope is changed between now and production time, it’s this scene. Having another aerial attack on a screaming crowd is nothing short of lazy.

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Now this is a really, really interesting one. There appears to be a T. rex– which looks like the bull rex from Lost World, but it could just have made a suitable stand-in image– eating the British movie star Rowan Atkinson. They didn’t shy away from showing gore, either, so another big change to the franchise could be that the movies are going to be much more graphic. One would think that Mr. Bean being munched on by a carnivore could be a scenario that would lend itself well to comedy if it were done right, but judging by all of that blood, I’m guessing that this isn’t a comic relief scene. Pulling this off is going to take some finesse, since Atkinson is inherently a hilarious actor and it would be very tough to get him not to do anything funny during his death scene. (Try to imagine him making that bulgy-eyed look of his while Rexy picks him up by the legs. See? You’re chuckling.) However it’s done, this looks like it’ll be a very interesting scene. I also like the reference to Eddie Carr’s death in TLW.

The final picture may be the most interesting of all:

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What we have here is a Suchomimus strolling down the street in true British gentleman fashion. As intriguing as this is, the story behind it may be the most interesting part of all. How on earth did a dinosaur get its hands on a bowler hat and cane? Did it eat someone and just happen to enjoy what he was wearing? Is it dressed up as part of a publicity stunt by some company? Was it created with human DNA that’s just beginning to manifest? These are very, very interesting questions indeed. Out of all the scenes depicted, I’m looking forward to seeing this one the most.

That’s all I have to show you today; I hope that more concept art will be leaked soon. Feel free to speculate in the comments, I’m looking forward to discussing this awesome art with you. I should probably also point out– happy April Fool’s!

The Exhibition Is Open

Jurassic World: The Exhibition has finally had its grand opening in Melbourne, Australia! It looks every bit as beautiful and well-put-together as we had dreamed it would be. Since this is the fist day it’s open, not many pictures are available; I’ll add photos as they come in. In the meantime, Thomas Schmitz on Facebook was so kind as to take a few photos of the highlights. Let’s take a look!

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The gate itself looks great, but the mountain scenery behind it looks even better. If I walked through this, I think I’d start crying instantly, but then again that’s true for basically everything in the exhibition.

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This doesn’t look like any specific room from the Hammond Creation Lab in the movie– it appears to be a DNA extraction room crossed with a hatchery area– so it isn’t 100% movie-accurate, but regardless, it looks great. The aesthetic they have going with the wall of amber looks great; it reminds me of the wall of dire wolf skulls at the La Brea Tar Pits. There seems to be some kind of educational video on the amber extraction process playing, as well as something starring Henry Wu or at least some other geneticist in a black turtleneck. If these are exhibit-exclusive and not just reruns of the promotional videos that were released through RaptorPass, it would be great if someone could videotape them. I doubt they’d give too many mind-blowing insights, but they’re still a part of canon.

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And the QR code eggs, which so kindly blessed us with the cover of God Creates Dinosaurs, are there as well! It looks like you can toggle with the settings on the incubator or, more likely, look at the vital signs of the tiny dinosaurs within. I don’t know if it’s possible to take X-rays and thermal scans of the eggs in order to determine their inhabitants (like you can at the Discovery Center in the JP Orlando theme park) but since this is appears to be a video screen, it seems like it could be and I hope it is.

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I’m typing this after a 20-minute break, during which I curled up in the corner, clutched my pillow to my chest and screeched several variations of “LOOK AT THEIR SLEEPY LITTLE FACES! PRECIOUS LITTLE MUFFINS” into it until I could type coherent sentences again. But I’m not the only one who thinks this is the cutest thing ever, right? Look at their chubby little cheeks, and the happy little smiles on their faces, and their teeny-tiny noses… ahem, sorry, got carried away there. I don’t know if these are animatronics; they probably aren’t, and I should probably be glad for that fact because if one of them yawned or started moving around in their sleep, I would instantly drop dead on the spot. If any of you happens to go to the exhibition, if you send me a picture of these little guys, I will love you forever and always.

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This looks more like an informational room than anything else, and it probably doesn’t tell us anything that the website doesn’t already. Regardless, someone should probably photograph the placards on the walls anyway, just in case. (Shoutout to the Jurassic Park Legacy encyclopedia staff, by the way. Those guys really have their documenting cut out for them with this thing.)

But nobody goes to a Jurassic World experience just to read facts about mosasaurs and look at probably-fake dinosaur leg bones. Let’s see some animatronics!

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We’ve seen this Rexy animatronic before, but in her environment and with that creepy red lighting, she looks a million times better. Her face also appears to have been adjusted a bit since she was shown off at the announcement of the exhibit, so now she looks a lot more accurate. The idea of this area is that you’re in the T. Rex Kingdom (as you can see by the backdrop) watching her eat her afternoon meal. From this angle, at least, it really feels like you’re watching an actual T. rex make a kill.

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I haven’t seen enough of it to know for sure, but the I. rex looks almost as good as the T. rex, at least in this picture. I think it’s something about the texture of her face, but she just looks a little more… I don’t know, fake. It’s also a huge missed opportunity that they put her in the middle of a generic jungle (unless they’re recreating the ACU scene, which again, I have no way of knowing) instead of in a recreation of her pen. For what it is, though, this doesn’t look bad at all. Stan Winston and his team obviously put a huge amount of work into this, and it shows. Nothing we’ve seen so far has been shabby; “not so good” here translates to “slightly less than perfect”.

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This pachyrhinosaurus, on the other hand, looks absolutely fantastic. I don’t know what the context for this is (by the mountains in the background, I’m guessing they’re in the Restricted Zone, although it could easily be the Gentle Giants Petting Zoo) but it stands so well on its own that it would look just fine even against a bare wall. The skin texture is gorgeous, the eyes make it look like it’s really alive, I want nothing more in this world than to snuggle the baby (who, by the way, looks like Patchi from Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie Mistake)– I could go on all day about what a good job this is. I absolutely can’t wait to see these two moving. Also, I feel this is relevant:

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I know it’s just the angle of the picture, but the face on this apatosaur looks like a grinning zombie and it’s legitimately scaring me. I’m not kidding, it looks like something from one of those Five Nights at Freddy’s games and I’m uncomfortable looking at it for too long.

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“IT’S ME.”

But disregarding the scary face, the rest of it looks great. The foliage under this guy really makes it feel like you’re in the tree scene from the first movie; if the animatronic sneezes every once in a while, it’ll be perfect. If it ducks its head down to look at visitors on the ground and/or grabs leaves in its mouth, then all the better. If it weren’t for the horrifying expression, this would be downright magical.

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Finally, in presumably the same jungle set as the I. rex, we have a red parasaurolophus who looks downright pissed that we dared to wander onto its turf.

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The skin also looks great on this one, as well as the design; it’s not what we saw in JW, but in a good way, since brown dinosaur after brown dinosaur was bound to get boring after a while. I don’t know if this is just an animatronic head or if the rest of its body is visible as well, but I hope it’s the latter, because this looks amazing.

That’s all we have for now, but more and more people will be visiting the exhibition in the coming days, so I’ll have lots more pictures to show you and screech over. Stay tuned!

Update: Here’s a video of the I. rex animatronic. I was wrong about this one– she looks fantastic! It amazes me how realistic her skin and movements are, and how she has such a full range of motion (it’s incredibly cool how she can rear up like that and swing around; I haven’t seen many animatronics that could do that realistically). If there’s one thing I don’t like about it, I’d say it’s the stiff arms, but given how well-done the rest of her is, it’s not worth complaining over.

An amazing person named Andrew Miller posted a video showing the entirety of the exhibition! You really should watch it, because screenshots can’t do the works of art that are these animatronics justice, and this is something that really needs to be seen as a full experience, even if it’s just secondhand. But I can definitely do my best to capture the highlights.

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You enter after a short video simulating a boat ride to Nublar, which includes an informational video about the park’s dinosaurs and the full JurassicWorld.com experience on the sidebar there. I gotta admit, this is a pretty clever idea; if I had designed the exhibition, I’d probably just have started with the JW gate.

I’m disappointed in the fact that the informational sidebar doesn’t show how big the island is. Like, how many pounds.

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I͔̞ͦ̔͐̒̽̽ͩ̊͑ ̯̣͓͓͎͂ͭ̋̽ͬ̏̒͐H̙͋̇̌͊͗̄Ā̫͍̜̩̗̥̞͈̌ͫ̾D̼͔͋̎͐ͣ͆ ̣̭̻͍̊̉̐̑̽͊A̭̪̭̜ͦ͗ͩ̈͆Ḽ̹͇ͦ̐̓̾̈͆̅̆̀W͍̩̭̱̭̚A̮̤̟̰̔̿ͥ̽̉͋Y̻̼̪̠͙̙ͬ̾S̜̝͈̬̾͋ ̪̻̠͉̎͒̀ͤ́͑̿H͚͓͈̻̝̰̬̺̎ͯ͒̏O͔͕̜̓̋̃͆ͬ̒ͫ̈́ͅP̝̗̪͇̎͌̆É̮̙̹̩̝͎͙͉ͣ̓̓͂̆D͎̮̟̙̤̝̽̇ͭ̊ ̮̯͚̫̦̯͕̿̽̅T̠̦̭̮̬̠̝̻͈ͥ̓͊ͪ̔̎̊H̥̳̬͊͆ͮ̏̀̓ͤ̓E͇͚̰͉̋̏͆ͧ͆̑ ̠͉̒̑̎E̺̯̽̽ͭG͈̱̖̟̍̉G̮̖ͯͣ ͙͍̼͍̺̪̞͔ͨ̾̑ͬͤ̍͗ͭW̦̲̦̟ͬ̂́O̝̯̹̳͚̥ͨ̈̅Ȕ̼͉̩̲͚͓̭̪͓ͮ͒ͧ̈L͈̖͙͚͇̲͎̹͌͐̓D̝̮͉̭̪̊͌ ̬̤̦͇̾̋͊R̭̠͇̹̮̤̊ͭE͇̦̩͒̓͒ͩ͐T̙̲͙̙͖̦̝̖͖̿ͫͭU͓̺̝̖ͮͦ̊̓̚R̺̩̳̻͊͂̋̽͆̐N̥̭̯̮͔̩͖̈́̇̉̽.͇̰̣̘̒ͤ̿

After a few more minutes of video, an attendant opens a door and you’re ushered through the gates of Jurassic World, immediately to see this:

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Awesome! I was hoping it would eat leaves like a real apatosaur! This is just one of the little touches that I like the most about this exhibition– the artists behind it took the time to make us feel like we’re looking at actual animals in their environments, not just monsters standing around waiting to roar at us; the latter is a problem that theme park animatronics (unfortunately, this includes the JP ride) and the other dinosaur animatronic exhibition out right now have. With things like showing the animals eating and ignoring us, it feels like we’re actually among living creatures, and that makes it all the more magical.

So that picture earlier was just a bad angle on a good puppet, right? The apatosaur (which looks much more like a JP mamenchisaur, if you ask me) can’t be that freaky-looking in real– ohhhh boy.

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I’d like to humbly suggest a nickname: “Scary Patty”.

Huh. Who ever thought that, out of a gallery of predatory dinosaurs, the herbivore would be the one that worried me the most. I mean, its movements and construction are great, but that face is terrifying. And that’s not even to mention that there’s no semblance of a body attached to this. It’s a giant neck protruding from the floor.

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Let’s… let’s just move on.

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Next is something genuinely adorable and sweet– the parasaur is close enough to interact with people, blinking its eyes, sniffing curiously at them, and tilting its head like a big scaly pug. (I should note that all the dinosaurs have these abilities and realistic facial expressions– this one just puts them to the best use.) It really looks like you’re standing in front of a gentle, curious animal. No wonder the little kid in this video is so happy.

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Next is the Pachyrhinosaur family, situated in the Gentle Giants Petting Zoo! I’m not entirely sure what that plastic sheet behind them is supposed to be for, but I stand by my assertion that they’d look good next to anything.

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The mother growl-honks, rears her head and generally makes it known that visitors aren’t welcome near her baby–

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–and then leans her head in to nuzzle it. You know what, this is too precious for me to gawk at. You go, little pachyrhinosaur family. Your mother-daughter love is too pure for this world.

After our videographer takes a couple of minutes to watch his friends pose in front of the gates and to capture the ambience of a room full of people on their smartphones, a sign in front of the pachys invites us to “touch the dino dung”…

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Yeah, yeah, go ahead and say it.

…and then we’re on to the Creation Lab!

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There’s a security camera display showing a couple of famous locales from the movie (the jungle trail that the ACU drove down, the gate that the boys drove through in the old Jeep) but those aren’t particularly exciting. Especially not when there’s a real amber extractor!

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It doesn’t appear to do anything, but it’s still pretty awesome to see. Also, I was wrong– the video next to it doesn’t star Wu. It just shows a woman in a blue scarf, who Lord Kristine will probably have an entire backstory and 3-story anthology for by the end of the week.

There’s no part of the hatchery that needs to be shown that we haven’t already seen in previous photos, so there’s really no need to screencap it. All that needs to be said is that there’s still no way to tell exactly what it is that the video screens in front of the incubators do; hopefully someone who visits in the coming weeks will be able to tell us.

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I promise I’m gonna be okay in a little while but the one in the middle lifts up its little head and yawns in its sleep and this is just a really important moment for me and it’s a little hard to take all of this in at once so give me a moment please thank you so much.

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“The Bad OC Creation Station”

We see the entrance to Wu’s lab (the door doesn’t open) and then an area where you can make your own dinosaur. Encouraging people to take perfectly good dinosaur designs and slap Day-Glo colors and patterns on them– there are subtler ways to get people to do your job for you, Hasbro.

After this, you’re crowded into a room where you’re shown an informational video of facts about Tyrannosaurus Rex (starring the same woman in the blue scarf) after which an awesome door folds up and you enter the T. Rex Kingdom. Lightning flashes, and when you causally glance to your side through the fence:

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A very happy, very minor heart attack.

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Regardless of the extremely awesome setting and context, this animatronic isn’t as good as it could have been. I can see how it looks sort of like Rexy, and it’s not a bad tyrannosaur on its own at all, but something happened behind the scenes that made this look way differently than it was probably intended to.

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But then I see it from different angles and begin to think differently. This could be a Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride-style piece of crap, and I’d still be excited to be there to see it, because the surrounding area really feels like you’re right there with the queen of Isla Nublar.

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Next, Rexy does something that I have to say I was 100% not expecting– there’s a car on one end of her pen, and she walks right over to it, as casually and film-accurately as can be. In case you don’t know much about animatronics, ones that can walk on their own are a huge deal and they aren’t easy to make in any capacity. Lucky the Dinosaur, the first-ever free-roaming animatronic, was only built a few years ago and he’s pretty much alone in his field. If the wizards at this exhibition managed to make a free-roaming, enormous T. rex robot, then I’m completely, thoroughly in awe of them. (And also very, very terrified.) If she isn’t free-roaming, then I don’t want to know how she moves because the way she walks over to her visitors adds a dimension of magic that a stationary robot could never provide. If you ask me, this is the best part of the exhibit by far.

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She’s not too happy about the intruder, and I don’t blame her. I can understand that handlers would need to drive jeeps into her pen in order to do routine maintenance and feed her, but if you’re dumb enough to leave your car in a T. rex pen, you deserve all the punctured tires and increased car insurance deductibles you get.

I should note that there was some kind of plot going on with the video that they showed before this scene, so there’s probably a story behind why that car is there. However, I was dumb enough to leave my headphones at home today, so I can’t tell you what that plot is. I’ll update and talk about it later.

For a couple of minutes, Rexy pokes at the car with her snout, roars angrily about it and repeats the process. It would’ve been nice to see her rip the thing apart– it could’ve disassembled and reassembled in a way similar to the special effects at Universal’s Earthquake ride– but that probably couldn’t have been done without damaging the animatronic, so I understand why it couldn’t happen. After letting us know just how pissed she is, she backs up (which is another engineering miracle if she’s free-roaming) and hangs out in her previous spot for a little while. She looks over the railing in a moment that would make me simultaneously pee in fear and squeal in joy:

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And then… she walks forward and basically does exactly the same thing she just did, inspecting the truck and voicing her displeasure once again. If there’s not some kind of plot line going on here, I’m seriously scratching my head as to why they didn’t just have her poke at the truck for twice as long instead of making her walk back and forth like that. Being in captivity for that long must’ve made her really oddly repetitive.

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I shouldn’t make an OCD joke, should I? Yeah, no, I won’t.

I have to admit, though, it is pretty hilarious to watch her try her hardest to menace that truck. She just gives it a teeny little poke with her snout, then rears up, roars loudly and looks around as if to say, “Did you idiots see that?” She’s trying to show us that she’s not to be messed with, but all I see is an old lady trying to assert dominance by spraying the kids who play on her lawn with a pressure hose. I know I’m supposed to be scared, and maybe if I were actually there I would be, but this is just too adorable.

That’s the end of Rexy’s part, and all in all, it’s the best part in my opinion and should’ve been saved for the end. The animatronic was so unbelievably realistic and the setting was so perfect that it could’ve been an attraction at Universal on its own. The only thing I’d have changed would be making her face a bit more movie-accurate, but they’re already 85% of the way there on that, so no complaints from me.

Next we go to the Gyrosphere Valley to meet a stego!

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The gyropshere looks pretty cool (I can’t help but think it’s a missed opportunity not to let visitors take pictures in it) and the stego is pretty nice. Its grazing is very realistic and it looks like a real animal in still shots, don’t get me wrong, but something about it bothers me. Maybe it’s how the body looks unreasonably chubby even by JW’s standards, especially the legs, or how the tail only has a robotic back-and-forth motion and the rest of its body doesn’t appear to move much at all. It’s basically the same quality as a high-end theme park animatronic, which wouldn’t even be worth mentioning– and would even be a good thing– if visitors hadn’t just come from something as spectacular as the Rexy section. In other words, they didn’t drop the ball here, but they didn’t slam dunk it either.

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So the animal just kind of stegos around for a little while, and then a bunch of red alerts go off and our blue-scarf lady shows up on the video monitors to tell us something. The stego starts panicking, but what does she see that we– oh holy crap.

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What a clever reveal and, since I’m the type of person who’d be really freaked out to know that there’s been a giant dinosaur behind me for the entire time I’ve been in a room, a really creepy one too! The thing that strikes me the most is how fast this I. rex animatronic moves. Never in my life have I seen any robot, let alone a gigantic one, that ducks and dodges anywhere near as fast as this one does. It really makes you feel like there’s an actual killing machine dinosaur right in front of you. So what do you do when you see a murderous carnivore? You walk right towards it, of course!

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When you get closer, it’s still really, really cool and scary, but the effect is dampened a little by the fact that I. rex’s arms are stuck out in front of her and stiff as boards. You would think just a little effort could’ve gone into that department, but considering how much work was obviously put into this one– she looks just as accurate as the animatronics used in the movie– I’m going to assume it was for some technical reason that the arms had to stay like that.

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I seriously can’t overstate (and you’ll have to watch the video to see) how astoundingly fast she moves. She whips her head around and roars at a pace that, if I were there, would genuinely make me afraid that she was about to lean down and snap someone up in her jaws, or at the very least brush someone by accident. (At times, if you turn off the sound, it looks like she’s swaying her head to some fast-paced classical music.) Since she’s a hyperintelligent weapon of an animal, this was a really good choice to use that speed-up effect on.

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She basically does the same thing Rexy did– finds a pattern and goes with it. She’ll duck her head down and lower her body, almost as if she’s falling asleep, and then she’ll rear up and go back into her spastic roaring like nothing just happened. This happens a good three or four times.

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Aww, what a sleepy baby.

I should probably also note how close she gets to visitors. Like, this close:

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If you go to the exhibition, touching the animatronics probably isn’t a good thing to be doing in general, since you’ll definitely be close enough to do so. However, you’re reading a blog written by someone who’s ran her fingers over a triceratops skull and brachiosaur tail bones in a museum when no one was looking, just for the experience. So, you know. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Lights flash and our heroine continues roaring and flailing– and that’s the end. I assume she just continues her tantrum for a little bit and then it’s onward to the gift shop. All things considered, I’m frankly blown away by how extraordinary this exhibition looks. The animatronics and set recreations are fantastic, the sets are well-done and immersive, and altogether it looks like the product of tons upon tons of hard work. I don’t know if or when this will go on a world tour, but if it comes anywhere near me, I’ll be the first to buy a ticket. I only have one word to summarize: Wow.

Search Term Safari #3

Every once in a while, I like to go through my WordPress dashboard and take a look at the search terms that lead people to this blog. A lot of the time they’re exactly what I would expect– “Owen Grady”, “Jurassic Park T. rex” and the like. But sometimes they’re questions that haven’t been answered, or that are just plain out-there. Those are what I’m here for. If any of these search terms are what led you here, I hope I can help you find what you were looking for!

jurassic park alan grant hat figures

Of all of the strange things that have been produced in the name of Jurassic Park– including this piece of crap— I don’t think a toy has ever been made of Alan Grant’s hat. However, I do know for a fact that there’s a loose Grant hat floating around the world somewhere, and it may or may not be up for sale separately. If you’d like to buy it, consider contacting this Ebay seller:

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jurassic park seatbelt slow motion

fotos seat belt jurassic park

jurassic park seatbelt

If you didn’t already know this, the seat belt in the helicopter scene in the first movie is very cleverly symbolic. I spent 15 minutes Photoshopping several JP logos over a picture of a car seat belt before I realized that the symbolism was what these people were looking for.

sharktopus vs indominus rex

I would pay actual money for a drawing of this. (For the record, Sharktopus would win. It would go down similarly to JW’s final fight, except quicker, gorier and approximately 1,000 times more awesome.)

is it possible in the next jurassic world owen and claire could get married

Yes, it’s very possible, and I hope it’ll happen! In the meantime, here are some fanfics that should help with that need.

weird pterodactyls in jurassic world

You’re thinking of Dimorphodon.

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“SKRIEEE! I DESERVE A NAME AND A VOICE! SKRIEEEEEEEE!”

 

jurrassic world leago taradactell

Don’t worry, it’s free!

“search term safari”

How very meta.

insistence quotes

There appears to only be one quote in all of the Jurassic Park movies that involves insistence, but I found it. Here, I even made it into inspirational-quote format for you!

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raptor on human beastiality

raptor sex fanfic

raptor transformation fanfiction

raptor mating fanfic

raptors x owen smut fanfics

download

claire dearing awesome.

I love how there was a period here. Whoever searched for this had no doubt that Claire’s awesomeness is an objective fact.

mosasaurus real

Yes, Virginia, mosasaurs were indeed real! They were awesome, murderous terror-beasts of the sea, and they could grow to be up to 50 feet long— the size of an I. rex. It was recently scientifically proven that no member of the Mosasaur genus, at any point in prehistory, ever gave a single f**k. They ate literally anything that swam in front of their mouths or dared to stand on the shores of their homes. Plus they  looked like this:

Mosasaurus

mosasaurus sightings

I have some very, very sad news for you. You’re not likely to see any mosasaurs in the Loch Ness or otherwise, despite what an agriculture blog written in broken English may tell you.

how to crack brawlasaur

Just throw it right on the ground, that should do the trick. Hammers are also useful.

what picture was zach looking at when they saw the mosasaurus

His girlfriend holding a Post-It note with a heart on it, if I remember correctly. If I’m wrong, there are approximately 12 million Nick Robinson-centric Tumblr bloggers who’d be happy to tell you.

lego mr snail in dinosaurs time

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Snurassic (snail Jurassic)

alan grant x rexy fanfic

I’ve got you covered, buddy!

pakistani film wrong no sex

logan lerman umbrella

Unfortunately, that I can’t help you with.

owen grain costume boy

New Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

lunging iguana

This has nothing to do with the blog, and I can’t think of any related dinosaur jokes that don’t involve forced memes or Richard Owen references. But I’m giving whoever searched for this a few pictures of angry iguanas, because iguanas are the best lizards ever.

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images

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claire dearing i love her

Me too, searcher. Me too.

meme claire dearing

No no no no no no no don’t summon the heel memes! Don’t–

Jurassic World high heels meme
I can’t tell you the physical pain this causes me.

The above image should actually be useful for two different reasons, one for that search term and one for the fact that “bryce dallas howard sweat” was searched several times over a 4-month period.

lego claire dearing sexy

Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

mercedes benz ate jurassic world

Well, that’s a little bit dramatic for a metaphor about product placement in the movie, but in a way, it works.

fanfic jurassic park muldoon after the attack travels the island with a baby velociraptor

I googled this as well, and this story hasn’t been written as of yet. Why aren’t we funding this?

indominus rex fnaf

*long, world-weary sigh*

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Ready for Freddy, or whatever.

does jurassic park the video game have bad words

I feel bad knowing that I’m carrying the burden of knowledge for whichever innocent little child searched for this. No, sweetie, it doesn’t, and it’s very fun too. I hope you got it for Christmas.

claire and owen fanfiction archieves of owen explaining his love to claire

“No, Claire, listen. Okay, I’m gonna try this a little slower. I love you. Love is a feeling. It means I like having you around and I think you’re a really great person. I love you. Do you understand, honey?”

“DOES NOT COMPUTE.”

how long would it take zara to die after swallowed whole by mosasaurus

However long it takes for people to stop drawing disturbingly detailed pictures of the Zara-eating scene on Deviantart.

the drastic park backpack that reads enter at your own risk

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jurassic fanfic nick van sarah pairing

I ship it! I even drew a diagram as to why.

New Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

where do i get carrot for baby triceratops

I’m not going to be the one to break the news. You can get carrots at Publix, my sweet innocent searcher. I’m sure the baby trikes will be so happy when you feed them.

lover nenu aaaaa hhhhhh ahahah

I was about to ask why this term was followed up by the searcher typing in the sounds of their own laughter, but then I started laughing.

simon masrani quote dont need anyone else

Simon is a strong, independent billionaire who don’t need anyone else.

how to write a jurassic park fanfiction

Write Owen and Claire doing the kissy-kissy, and T. rex doing the roary-stompy.

pics of velociraptors with make up and weave

Clever_87ee8b_1559581

jurassic world trex reader fanfiction

I searched all over for this, and unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any Rexy/reader self-insert shipping fanfics anywhere on the Internet. (Although there’s a frankly terrifying number of stories in which Owen falls in love with the reader, who is a dinosaur.) Until now!

It’s the end of your fifth date with Rexy, and you’re finally beginning to grow comfortable around her. You’ve heard all kinds of stories about how she’ll either break or eat her partners’ hearts when their relationships don’t work out, but now that you’re getting to know her, you see what she’s actually like on the inside. She’s much more reserved and gentle than people paint her as, and although she has a tough exterior, when you look into her eyes you can see the loving, sensitive girl within. Even the rumors about her eating habits aren’t true– her goat killings aren’t nearly as bloody as people say, and she always offers you a piece of lawyer before she takes a bite for herself.

The two of you are leisurely walking down the sidewalk after a long dinner date at the local Olive Garden, enjoying the sunset and each other’s company. The world feels like so much of a happier place now that you’re in love– the colors of the sky seem more vibrant, the air feels like it’s filled with hope and possibilities, and the couples and children walking in the street beside you look like they’d be so, so tasty. When Rexy looks down and smiles when she thinks you aren’t looking, you can tell she feels that special energy too. Casually, you try your best to reach up and hold her hand. You quickly find that this is nowhere near possible, but she sees what you were trying and flicks her eyes to the sidewalk, looking a little embarrassed but secretly thrilled. You settle for resting your hand on her gigantic, scaly tail as you continue walking along.

After your peaceful stroll, you arrive at your house, and Rexy walks you up your driveway. You’re suddenly filled with the desire for this perfect day never to end, and for this goodbye to be unnecessary. But you haven’t introduced Rexy to your parents yet– and you’re well aware that your mother would probably scream hysterically and kick both of you out if you tried, if she even survived the encounter– so that isn’t an option. With your back to your door, you turn to face your date, hands clasped and trying your hardest to find just the right words to let her know the giddy joy that her presence brings you.

“I had a really great time with you today, (y/n),” Rexy begins. She’s obviously trying to keep her voice even, but you can see that she’s nervously shifting her weight from one foot to another. She’s uprooting some grass and quite a few hyacinths in the process.

“Me too,” you smile up at her. “We really need to do this more often. I’m pretty busy until next weekend, but the fair is in town soon. Maybe we could check it out together?”

“I’d love to!” she blurts out. Immediately, her eyes widen and she looks at the ground. “I mean, if– if you want. It’s okay if you don’t want to, um…” she swallows,  “…you know. Be seen in a public place like that. With me.”

“Oh, Rexy. Come on, I’m not embarrassed. I don’t care what people think. Of course I want to go with you! When we’re together, I can’t tell you how amazing I feel. I don’t care how many skeletons you destroy, or zoo animals you eat, or security alerts you cause. All I want to do is be with you.”

She looks genuinely touched, and her eyes begin to water as a smile crosses her face. “Thank you, (y/n). I– nobody’s ever said anything like that to me before.”

“You deserve it, Rexy,” you say. “I wish you knew what a special girl you are.” There’s a long, meaningful pause as you stare lovingly into each other’s eyes, saying more than words ever could.

“Well, I guess this is goodbye,” she says finally. “I’ll see you next week?”

“See you next week,” you agree, and there’s another pause as she watches you for a moment. Slowly, she begins to lean forward towards you, her eyes fluttering closed. You follow her cue, closing your eyes and leaning up to meet her. You can’t help but wonder if this is her first kiss,and the thought makes you smile to yourself. You really do love her, and you’re going to try your best to make this moment special.

Before your lips meet, Rexy slowly opens her jaws, and with one swift motion she chomps down on your torso and holds you firmly between her teeth as she lifts your flailing body into the air. As she vigorously shakes her head back and forth, her jagged teeth quickly rip your flesh to shreds and you feel your intestines begin to spill out of your body. As you mercifully begin to lose consciousness, you think to yourself that at least you got the chance to have five happy dates with Rexy before she turned you into a meal. She quickly and neatly swallows your mutilated body and stomps off down the street; from the middle of her esophagus, you can feel her heart thumping with joy and her stomach rumbling with contentment.

For T. rex, there is no love. There is only prey.

Jurassic World’s Hybrids

The upcoming Jurassic World Hybrids children’s book has finally seen the light of day, and thanks to XenoCobra on JPLegacy, we’ve gotten a look at what Henry Wu’s genetic experiments look like! Well, I should say we’ve gotten another look.

I’ve never played the Ludia Jurassic World game, so I couldn’t tell you for absolute certain that every single one of these dinosaurs has already been seen before, but the majority of the designs are either lifted straight from the game or slightly modified from it. On some level, I can appreciate the level of canon continuity between the game, the toys and the strange offshoot from movie canon that is this whole Hybrids idea. But it’s also extremely lazy just to use exactly the same designs and images from the game to create a supposedly original plot line. There’s some sort of colorful hybrid-related merchandise line (which doesn’t integrate with movie canon but still becomes a canon of its own) after every JP movie, and this had the potential for toy designers (let’s be real, this is based 100% on selling toys) to go all out with it and give us fun, colorful hybrids that had never been seen before. Instead, they just recycled mobile game graphics (the animals look very, very digital) and called it a day. I’m disappointed, but not necessarily surprised.

The basic plot here is that Wu made a whole bunch of dinosaur hybrids in his secret laboratory, and now his creations have come to light. (This strongly suggests that investigators are being dispatched to Nublar to take the place apart and find out all of the park’s dirty little secrets, but that’s a matter for another post.) Here are some bits of what I assume to be the covers and early pages:

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It’s unclear exactly what’s being done with the animals that we see in the book– in this new movie-ish canon, I doubt they’d be made to enter a dinosaur Hunger Games like they do in the game– so for now, we don’t know if or how the new creatures will be used in the new movie’s plot line or in the one that’s being created. All we know is that this is a catalogue of Wu’s experiments that was made sometime after the park closed, and that there may be more animals living out in the jungle somewhere. So for now, the most we can do is discuss how they look. So let’s see ’em!

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First is Spinosaurus and a modified raptor. I have to say that that spino/dromaeosaurid (I don’t know who they think they’re kidding with that “unknown”, it’s very clearly mixed with a Sornaensis raptor) greatly unsettles me. Maybe it’s the scheming fish eyes, or the snout that looks like a penguin grew teeth, or just the innate human instinct that allows me to tell when Mother Nature is being gravely insulted. Besides Carnoraptor, this is the only fictional animal that I’ve ever looked at and instantly wanted to mercy-kill.

As for the raptor, I’ve seen it in screenshots of the Ludia game, so I’m not exactly surprised. I guess if they had to hybridize the raptors, far worse things could’ve been done to them. Besides that spike mohawk that makes it look like an edgy anime protagonist, the spikes along the back are pretty cool, and its skin pattern looks– hey, wait! Green with brown stripes? Charlie, no! Charlie, what have they done to you?!

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I’ll get to Carnoraptor in a moment; first I’ll discuss the dilophosaur. Its beautiful color scheme from the first movie has been kept intact, and apparently a bit of its scientific street cred has been restored– this is the first time that it’s been noted in official canon that its poison spitting ability was an addition by Dr. Wu all along. There seem to only have been three noticeable changes made when it was mixed with Dromaeosaurus: its frill is twice as tall (don’t ask me how the hell they got that from a raptor-like animal), it’s a bit chubbier and its arms look a lot skinnier and less useful. If you ask me, those signs point way more towards T. rex, and since every single unknown genetic addition is assumed to be Dromaeosaurus in this book, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility. (Which begs the question of why they’d even involve dromaeosaurs, since they’d be almost exactly the same things as raptors in this universe.) If we needed any more confirmation that Dilophosaurus is alive, well and roaming around destroying things on Nublar, here we go. I genuinely wonder if this is a scheme to have another dilophosaur-related scene in the new movie; if it were, then technically the animal we saw wouldn’t be a dilo, and therefore it wouldn’t tarnish the iconic dilo scene from the first film.

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Here’s Carnoraptor, which looks to me like the only dinosaur in here that doesn’t look like it’s purely made of CGI. This design looks much better than the toy does, and it’s 100% identical to the mobile game. I like the idea of it being an early, abandoned hybrid, like Stegoceratops was supposed to have been in JW; with the agonized look on its face and uncomfortable-looking posture, it makes even more sense that it’s a genetic freak. Just look at the poor thing’s face– it looks like a clay model of a raptor head from 1960. I don’t want to watch dinosaurs suffer, but if there was to be some kind of ethics plot about what happens when genetic experiments go too far– and/or a scene for exposition of the horrible things Wu has done and how he might not be such a good guy anymore– this would be the ideal candidate to showcase the dark reality behind dinosaur genetic experiments. As much as I hate its toys, I want to see more of Carnoraptor.

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And now our star predators make an appearance! We’ve already seen what I. rex 2.0 looks like, so let’s just see what’s up with T. rex. There appears to have been a disagreement between the toy designers and whoever wrote this book– either that or Hasbro chickened out at the last minute– resulting in a huge discrepancy between the hybrid T. rex toy and the canon hybrid T. rex. This one is much, much tamer, and it doesn’t look bad at all, but I think I prefer the toy version. If you’re going to make T. rex even more awesome, you may as well take the ball and run with it, instead of just tacking on a few tiger stripes and calling it a day. In fact, this is so half-done and devoid of effort that I feel a moral obligation to campaign for Rexy to fight it in the next movie. The animal itself didn’t do anything wrong, but I still want the original rex to bite it where it counts.

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Here we have our new Stegoceratops,  which we’ve seen before and which I still love, and a new, modified Triceratops. Stego appears to have beetle DNA added; if I don’t see it rolling its droppings into a ball, or hordes of it infesting someone’s house, I will be sorely disappointed. (Jokes aside, I would be interested to see if the beetle DNA added is from a scarab.) Trike’s new DNA is unknown– although with the added horns, I’m thinking Styracosaurus– and it will f*** you up. That thing has horns that look like they’re itching to gore someone, and with that look on its face, it’s headed on a rampage that won’t end until it’s skewered at least twenty people like the unicorn in Cabin in the Woods.  It’s an angry, pissed murder machine with pretty stained-glass skin patterns, and it’s possibly the coolest fictional animal ever invented. I wish they’d made a toy of this instead of 2 different puke-stained I. rexes. If it put its horn through my stomach, I’d use my last breaths to thank it for the privilege.

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Here’s our new Pteranodon, and regardless of its Lisa Frank wing patterns, I’m pretty fond of it. Judging by the colors and the title, I don’t think this is the Pteraminus that we were promised in the Hybrids toy list leak. Its added genes are also unknown, but from the enlarged crest, my wager is on Tapejara. The main reason I like this is because it bears a striking resemblance to the rainbow pteros from the new Jurassic Park arcade game. I’m not a huge fan of the tiger stripes, but I love the color palette, especially on the crest. I also like the look on its face.

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“Enjoy that face while you still have it on, buddy.”

 

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Finally, here’s a size chart comparing them all. Everybody seems to have retained somewhere near their original shape. Is this comparison made in anticipation of an all-out dinosaur melee? Only time will tell.

I didn’t make this joke in the last post, so I’d like to take the opportunity now.

good life 2
It’s– it’s real good that you done this, Henry. Real good.
Henry it's  GOOD LIFE
Don’t send the dinosaurs to the cornfield!

Unrelatedly, everyone’s favorite wacky fanfiction author Lord Kristine has recently lost one of her largest publishing platforms. So, for a while, I’ll be linking her new work at the bottom of my posts so as many people can enjoy them as possible.

Lily’s First Date
Claire Goes To Canada
The Adventures of Alejandro The Chef
Po Wars
TSJWFEW (finally finished)

Best

Young Owen

The Last Stegoceratops

Stegoceracensored

New Hybrid Toys!

The New York Toy Fair has begun, and at last we’ve gotten a look at what the majority of the Jurassic World Hybrids toy line will look like! We’ve really only gotten close-ups of a few toys– excluding the Hybrid Rex and Indominus– but what we’ve seen of the rest of them is sufficient. The first and most noteworthy one is one that you’ve most likely seen already on social media. And it’s a popular photo for a reason, because we’re getting human figures at last!

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I really, really like this figure. It appears not to be very poseable– it looks like only the arms and hip joint can move– but I’m in love with the face and the detail on the gun. I seriously hope that it’s somewhere near the size of the Kenner figures, because it looks to be on or near their level of detail and quality– and this is just a prototype. I really hope that Hasbro makes a Claire figure now, because if they do it like they did this one, then we have no reason to worry that they’d screw it up.

Now that we’ve seen the good, it’s time for a glimpse of the bad and the ugly. Treading in familiar territory, here’s what the Indominus Rex with battle armor looks like:

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That’s just weak. If they were going to put a killer dinosaur in awesome combat gear– which they’ve already done with the Basher-Biter Blue– they could have at least made it look like actual armor, instead of taking the same colors of plastic that they used to make the toy and just making a couple of crappy little caps with it. I like the concept going on with the back spikes, and if that kind of thing were extended over the whole body and colored differently, then this could be a much better toy. But it most definitely isn’t, so we’re left with an I. rex that, I just realized, looks like it killed its sibling and is mockingly wearing its skin as a costume. I’m really disappointed in what Hasbro did here.

However, there might be one upside to this– if the red Indominus that I discussed yesterday is indeed being used as a weapon in a Jurassic War scenario, this is the ideal armor to cover up its new modifications and solve the camouflage dilemma. If the animal went into combat wearing armor that just looked like skin (come to think of it, isn’t her skin bulletproof already?) it would be rather clever and possibly negate the stupidity of the added red streaks.

According to the product list we got not too long ago, the Owen is supposed to come with a Hybrid Raptor figure (also visible under the dilo and in the next picture). Here we see him with it and a dilophosaur of some sort:

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Not a lot of the dilophosaur is visible in the picture, so I can’t really judge it (although if it’s like the Wave 2 one, I have a feeling I won’t end up liking it very much). I am, however, a huge fan of the hybrid raptor. It looks more like Charlie than a hybrid to me (which makes me begin to wonder if they cloned Charlie and tampered with her DNA somehow) but it looks like a really good Charlie. It reminds me of the custom Raptor Squad repaints that a lot of talented fans did when the Growler Raptor Squad came out. The detail on her skin looks exquisite, and she’s a huge step up from the other Growler raptors as well as being way more movie-accurate. In fact, I think if I buy just one dinosaur from this line, it’ll be this one.

Now that we’re completely in hybrid territory, saddle up, because it’s about to get weird. Behold Carnoraptor:

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Even if the paint job weren’t lazy, even if it weren’t the blindbag-toy blazing red that so many people despise, even if it weren’t a blatant Growler Raptor repaint with a different head grafted on, I still wouldn’t like this toy. It looks very much like what would happen if a group of scientists genetically fused a carnotaur and a raptor, which means that it looks exactly like a freak of nature that lives in constant pain. The poor thing doesn’t look like it’s even sure how to hold itself upright, and just look at that face. I know I make a lot of “it looks like it’s begging for death” jokes, but that right there is a grimace of agony. Age 4 is a little early to be teaching children about the horrific results of animal experimentation, don’t you think?

Supposedly this is based off of the Carnoraptor from Jurassic World: The Game , which looks like this:

Carnoraptor

If the toy had come out looking more like that, with the intricate colors, plausible anatomy and frankly adorable face, I would have been much happier with it. But Hasbro has gone the lazy route, and instead they made a cheap toy that’s just made for the discount shelf at Family Dollar. (It does look a lot like the carnotaur in Disney’s Dinosaur ride, though, so fans of the ride might like it as a keepsake.)

Finally, here’s a spread of the rest of the new dinos that we have pictures of thus far:

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Going from right to left: I can’t see what exactly is up with that Indominus repaint at the far right– although it’s more than likely a variation of the red-streaked one, as is the I. rex in the back– so I can’t tell you my exact opinion on it, although I do see some blue streaks on its sides that I approve of. If they’re going to cover I. rex with colors Holi-style, they may as well go all out with it instead of just putting a few little red paint streaks on her back. I like red, white and blue Indy (very patriotic, Hasbro) much better than I like her white and sorta red.I think the same thing about the I. rex in the back– a lot of red all over her body is better than just a little, and I like the way they did the colors to look sort of like a network of veins.

I don’t see any distinct differences between this Allosaurus and the one that was already released; once we get a closer look, we’ll be able to tell for sure. The next item is the much-anticipated Dilophosaurus Rex, which appears just to be a Basher-Biter Rex with a little brown frill glued to its face. I cannot possibly tell you how little this surprises me. I am thoroughly, completely, fully unsurprised that the D. rex sucks. I am simply overwhelmed by how right I was that Hasbro would take an awesome idea and turn it into a lazy cash grab. I may collapse. Fetch me the smelling salts.

On a happier note, I really do like the new Stegoceratops and Spinosaurus.These toys are also based on the JW mobile game, and as you can see, they’re very accurate to it:

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I like the funky-colored version of Stegoceratops (and Owen probably will too). The extra horns are a nice touch, too, and make me wonder if some Styracosaurus DNA has been added to Stego’s genetic code; if it has, then it’s now a hybrid of Stegosaurus and the scientifically-verifiable coolest ceratopsid to ever exist. I also like the purple-and-red Spino–purple really is her color– and I’m going to like it even better if it’s not just a repaint of the notorious Zombie Spino from the first Basher-Biter line.

Finally, the designers appear to have done the same thing to Ankylosaurus as they did to Indominus– they gave it armor that’s really just a tacked-on extension of what it’s already got on its body. I really don’t see the point of doing that in-universe, although I am willing to forgive if there’s a shot in the movie where a warrior anky impales someone on its back-spike armor. Even without the inherent impracticality of putting armor on a dinosaur that already has an armored body, this toy is thoroughly meh.

That’s all we have for today; I plan to add to this post as the Toy Fair continues and more pictures come in. (As a side note, if you or someone you know took or uploaded the pictures I’ve used here, please let me know so I can give proper credit.) What we have is a mixed bag of great, terrible and just all right. The theme for this line seems to be “Chaos Effect 2.0” and if I had heard that before I got a look at the toys, I would’ve been much more cynical about the line. However, some great things are going to come out of this Hybrids development. If the future of JP toys is detailed, colorful and mostly high-quality, then sign me up.

Update: Two more pictures came in! The first one is confusing! Look on the far left:

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That looks to me like it’s just a version of the Wave 1 Indominus toy with a slightly darker back. What’s the purpose? Why is her back darker, is she camouflaging into the night? Is there anyone out there who will actually buy another of the same toy simply because there’s a little bit more grey paint on its back? The world may never know.

We also got another picture of the Owen figure. No, not the face or anything. It’s of dat butt:

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Thanks to Scified for the new pictures.

Update: From the extremely angry thread on 4chan’s /toy/ on the subject, here’s another angle on the slow-motion disaster known as Carnoraptor:

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It has a yellow belly, which echoes the dinosaur from the mobile game that it’s designed after and which, I suppose, possibly makes it about 5% better. Also, it’s not a Basher-Biter, it’s a Growler. Hasbro will sell these things for a minimum of 15 dollars. We live in the apocalypse.

Update: From 16bit.com, we have a plethora of new photos. They’re all new angles on the toys we’ve seen before, but to me, the first three of them are the most important. In the photo above of the 7 or 8 Basher-Biters, I assumed the Carnoraptor on the left was just the Growler we see above, but it turns out that this particular hybrid is getting both a Basher-Biter and a Growler:

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Even though its joints are visible and its plastic is shinier, even though it has a giant screw hole in its neck and appears to be doing the Nae Nae, I still like this better than the Growler version. Its colors are more varied and faithful to the mobile game, its anatomy is better and more balanced, and it looks a lot more poseable. I still don’t consider it good enough to buy unless Hasbro makes some improvements on the prototype, but while this isn’t a great toy, at least it isn’t as terrible as its counterpart.

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Now that we can see enough of the dilophosaur toy to judge it, I think it’s a serious improvement on the Wave 2 dilo. While the questionable sculpt doesn’t seem to have been improved, the colors definitely have; not only are they more nuanced, they’re also far more movie-accurate, especially the frill and face. It could just be the lighting, but the green color could stand to be a bit darker. Other than that, though, Hasbro’s made significant enough changes to the toy that it’s actually worth the $15 this time.

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OK, well, I officially retract my previous statement about this being a good-looking toy. From above, it looked like an I. rex with red streaks and an undercurrent of blue– not the absolute most attractive thing in the world, but worse color schemes could have been chosen. Now, though, this is undebatably an I. rex that has just waded through a waist-high pool of its own feces. I have absolutely no idea what possessed the toy designer to  add that color to its lower half out of all the colors in the world, but it could seriously be argued that the awful vomit-brown even ruins the toy. I’m not even going to dignify this with a “walked through one big pile of s**t” joke.

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Diliphosaurus Rex is still a huge cop-out, and I still see no noticeable difference in the Allosaur. Also, the red I. rex seems to have puce smeared on its hands and feet as well, although from this angle, it looks more like gold; I don’t find that to be much of a good design choice either, but it’s way better than baby-barf brown. Moving on.

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Originally I had thought that the new Anky armor was brown with green spikes, but it appears to be made entirely of a shiny, metallic green. My opinion on it still stands– this is really only worth buying if you didn’t get the Wave 1 toy to begin with. (Or if you find a box in the discount aisle at Kmart, where someone stole the dinosaur but left the armor. I’ve seen that happen with My Little Pony toys, and it’s the reason why I own so many little purple dogs and suitcases.)

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This one isn’t red and purple as I said it was yesterday– it’s red and blue, and therefore more faithful to JW:TG. I’m OK with that particular change, but I don’t understand the need for gold to be smeared all over the toys’ appendages (will the next movie involve dinosaur attacking Vegas?). I’m also disappointed that the sculpt hasn’t changed, even though the colors make it look slightly less zombie-ish than the Wave 1 Spino. Oh well– at least it was made better in some capacity.

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Finally, we have Margaritaville-Colored Stegoceratops, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. This is the second-best Stegoceratops after the Wave 1 version, in my opinion. Plus, look at that self-confident little smirk on its face. Our new god is safe and sound.

Happy Valentine’s! Here’s an abomination

We’ve gotten another look at the Hybrids toy line, everyone! Yes, gather round, gather round! It’s another glimpse into the ever-widening abyss! Take a gander at what the Jurassic World toy line has come to, via JPToys:

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By the looks of that, it’s some sort of repaint of the Bad Boy, or perhaps a recast of it on a similar scale to the new Hybrid T. Rex; I don’t really see this as a Basher-Biter toy, although I could be wrong. Either way, it sure is a damn ugly thing, isn’t it?

I’m not talking about the construction of the toy itself, don’t get me wrong. Its face seems exceptionally well-sculpted compared to the other toys from the line, and the detail on its skin– especially on and around its limbs– is unexpectedly high-quality. I might end up buying one for my own, simply for how good it looks and what a good collector’s piece it will end up being. If it has sound and/or light effects, even better! How cool would it be if the red parts glowed in the dark, or lit up?

What I’m not a fan of is the idea of the toy. Specifically, why? Why would anyone think it would be a good idea to add even more characteristics to a hybrid that already contains DNA from at least 3 different animal phylums, and what purpose would some spikes tacked onto its back serve? Wouldn’t red streaks all over its back make it really visible, thus making its camouflage abilities totally moot? (Unless it’s in the middle of camouflaging, which is a bit of a stretch but would be pretty cool.) What are those new pointy structures on the top of its head, and what purpose could they possibly serve? As a cash grab by Hasbro, I could see why they’d do it– they’re trying to make an awesome dinosaur even awesomer, in the same way that they did recently with T.rex– and although it’s lazy, I can’t say I don’t understand the motivation behind it.

But in-universe? With the whole idea of companies making their own hybrids and everything, there are a lot of different plot lines that toys like this could fit into, but I’m having a hard time justifying the use of this animal, either in the military or by a company. Assuming the military could still use the species design after the inevitable public outcry against it and the fact that it caused a lot of deaths in Jurassic World, my point about the red streaks stands: there’s no point in owning a radar-avoiding, thermal-changing, head-chomping dinosaur to fight someone if that someone can see your weapon coming from a mile away. And not only would companies have an even harder time than the military in being allowed to breed I. rexes– there would probably be a ton of regulations passed specifically to keep corporations from making killing machines like Indominus– but if they were to do it anyway, the animal would be useless to them, because it couldn’t be used as a zoo exhibit and it has a very limited skill set that doesn’t involve murder.

If this new I. rex shows up in Jurassic World 2 and isn’t just a one-time toy (oh lord, is this thing going to be the new Stegoceratops?) I’d be very interested to see what justification that the writers and in-universe people have for making it. My suspicion that we’ll be seeing it on the big screen is heightened by the fact that this very I. rex appears on the cover of a Hybrids-themed picture book that will be coming out this summer. If it’ll only be a part of the Hybrids toy line, then we can all have a blast setting up dinosaur battles between this guy and Hybrid Rex. (Spoiler: Rexy will win.  Rexy always wins.)

Anyway, I’m not just here to complain. It’s almost Valentine’s! Here are some very special cards that I made just for you.

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