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Friday, 27 September 2013

Jurassic Park Dinosaur Models! From hatchlings to full size!

It's a rare treat to find model dinosaurs that look exactly like the ones seen in Jurassic Park.  I have always longed for some sideshow quality busts of the Raptors and T Rex.  Which is why when I saw the work of Roostercat online I instantly contacted him for a commission.

Galileo of geenemodels.com was more than helpful.  He had built an astonishing five foot long T-Rex model, and offered this to me, but I had neither the room nor the funds for the piece.  So I compromised and asked if I could commission a bust at the same scale.  This would be the first of many commissions from this talented artist.

A couple of months passed, and a parcel arrived at my office.  I opened it at my desk, and my colleagues crowded round.  It was truly a remarkable model.

 


Next up - I had always wanted a replica puppet of the Velociraptor hatchling in Jurassic Park.  I had a lucky encounter with Gavin of myjurassicpark.com, where he had obtained a casting of the original hatchling sculpt, and suddenly it struck me that a replica may be feasible.  I contacted Galileo to ask him if he'd be interested.  The response was affirmative, so I sent the casting over to him for construction and paint.  When this piece arrived there was a repair job to be done, but soon enough I had the beautiful hatchling in a grassy nest and on display.  Another wonderful addition to the collection.



With two great pieces assembled and on display, I got thinking about a new commission, a full size Raptor bust.  At the time I had insufficient funds so I left this idea alone for a bit.  It would require Galileo constructing the entire piece from scratch.  Little did I know this was already something he had planned for the future!

So the next commission was a Compsognathus 1:1 replica, matching the one we see in Jurassic Park : The Lost World.  Galileo had already constucted a Compy of his own, and it impressed me so much when I saw it, that I had to commision him to paint one up for me.  A large box arrived at my family home, and my father helped me lift the piece out of it's packaging.  We were both staggered by the detail and artistry of this piece, and it is still on display at my family home as a result.



After a long break of no commissions, I returned to the idea of the Raptor bust.  I always wanted a replica of the Raptor from Jurassic Park, with the distinctive flat block head.  Galileo had in the meantime constructed a model of the Raptor we see in Jurassic Park 3, which was stunning.  He explained that he could easily modify that base sculpt to create a replica closer to what I imagined.  We went ahead with the commission and lo and behold, the giant parcel landed three months later.  There are some minor repairs to be made due to the poor handling en route from Mexico, but this is not a big issue.  I look forward to completing these repairs soon.


Monday, 16 September 2013

'Jurassic World' - What does Jurassic Park 4's new title reveal?


Last week it was confirmed by Universal that the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise will be called 'Jurassic World', to be released June 12, 2015.  Whilst the title may confuse many, and may sound unoriginal and bizarre as far as titles go, let's not forget the name of a popular space adventure penned by the now retired George Lucas some years ago.  'Star Wars' doesn't sound so odd following it's resounding success.

So looking at the title - what can we deduce about the story?  We take a look at some potential clues.

Gone Global

Jurassic Park was always described in the novel and in the film as an ambitious theme park.  The nearest modern day point of reference would be Disneyland, or the larger Disneyworld.  So in a similar upgrade, maybe we have gone from a theme park, to a worldwide attraction?

The author of Jurassic Park, the late Michael Crichton, even described John Hammond, the owner of the park in novel, as the dark side of Walt Disney.  So we're building up connections to a corporate franchise that has possibly gone global since the last film.

Corporate Greed

Could it be that rich investors ignored the warnings of the incidents of Jurassic Park, and rebranded the franchise 'Jurassic World' to get away from any bad associations with the incidents on Isla Nublar?  Carefully these greedy men prevailed over bad press, and a theme park was created regardless of the threat to human life.  We see these kinds of decisions being made everyday in the real world.

Greedy men were a prevalent theme in Jurassic Park, from John Hammond discussing a 'Coupon Day' with his snide Lawyer to the villain Dennis Nedry (an anagram of 'Nerdy Sinned') taking a bag chock full of dollar bills to steal the park's precious research.

Literal World

The word 'park' refers to a land-based resort.  Could it be that Jurassic World encompasses all types of prehistoric Fauna and Flora, including the rumored sea life that appeared in an early treatment of the film?  The new logo embraces a cool blue backdrop, maybe this suggests the new boss in town is a sea creature?

We're really looking forward to the fourth film here at Jurassic Collectables, so leave your thoughts and comments about the new title below, aswell as any speculations you may have about the plot.




Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Natural History Museum Dinosaur Collection by Invicta Plastics London



This is something of a nostalgic piece for me personally.  Growing up pre-Jurassic Park in the UK for a child-dinosaur-nerd was like hunting for oil.  No electronic toys, no realistic rubber skin, not even painted colour schemes.

So apart from making your own dinosaur out of wire and paper mache (I did this a lot, but the necks of the Brachiosaurus were always uniform thickness due to utilizing a loo roll tube), there were only a handful of toys available to a child of the 1990s living in the UK.

Dino-Riders had it's hiatus in the 1980s, but the toys were quite scarce in the UK, they would turn up in charity shops sans armour with beady glass eyes.  These were a rare and treasured find.  The nearest thing to a Dinosaur toy were the museum-sold figurines.  This made trips to the Museum even more exciting.

So, on the rare occasion we visited London (twice in my childhood) I would acquire more Dinosaur figurines.  And these Invicta Plastic Dinosaurs were the only ones to be found.

Usually they were compartmentalized into wooden tabletop boxes, with each Dinosaur species clearly labelled.  They were quite expensive too - four or five pounds on average (which was equivalent to a Kenner action figure back then).

So I was delighted as a child to find a special offer at the Natural History Museum in London.  Ten pounds for a plethora of Dinosaur figurines!!!  I nearly exploded.

My parents - being the kind and generous and thoughtful people they are, obliged and lent me a little extra money to pay for the set.

So there I was, sat on the train home, opening up a fresh plastic odoured box, and going through each species individually, palming their scales and claws!  It was a fantastic journey home and I will never forget it.

This is the exact set I purchased as a child - each species comes in bold retro block colours, no paintjob, but their sculpt is still incredible.  I still associate the maroon colour with Tyrannosaurus as a result.  They are quite scarce now too - I think their price has soared to ten times what I paid back in the 1990s.

Monday, 10 June 2013

What's Changed in Jurassic Park 3D?

When George Lucas made several changes to the original Star Wars trilogy back in 1997, we witnessed for the first time a Director going back and making changes to a classic film years after it's release.  I, for one, was very excited to see what had been added to the original trilogy.  Other fans turned over their desks and kicked over their water coolers.

So now we come to Jurassic Park in 3D, a lush remaster of the 1993 hit.  So have any changes been made?  The answer is yes.  Will fans be kicking over their water coolers?  Probably not - as the changes are tastefully and respectfully done.  Don't expect any Jawas hanging from misshapen camels this time!

Here's a list (that's constantly growing) of the minor changes spotted so far.

1. Universal Logo has been updated with the new 100th Anniversary logo
2. Titles have been completely remastered - they no longer wobble or swim as they used to
3. End credits have had an overhaul, the glow that was present in the lettering has gone
4. Rain has been added to the T-Rex main road attack to give it more depth
5. Debris added to the shot where the T-Rex bursts through the tree on the road chase, again for depth
6. When the T-Rex flips over the explorer in the main road attack, the safety cable, plant pot and set dressing have been digitally removed from that shot (Originally bloopers)
7. The Spitter (Dilophosaurus) used to have a wire that pulled out it's frill, this has been digitally removed
8. A lightning flash over Genarro's head has been added just after the sick triceratops scene
9. On the main road attack, Grant's hat now blows off in a more logical direction, with the jet of air from the Rex's mouth corrected too.
10. As the helicopter flies into the sunset, cobwebs that glowed in the right hand top corner of the screen have been painted out so they are less noticible
11. As Muldoon is ambushed by the Raptor, a foot has been added that creeps up the screen just before we cut to them on the ground.



Sunday, 5 May 2013

Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus Rex Production Used Claw


Measuring over six inches long, this weighty resin cast T-Rex claw was created specifically as a paint test for Director approval at Stan Winston Studios.  It's screen used counterpart can be seen in the main road attack on the back toe of the animatronic T-Rex.

Both the sculpt and paint job are staggering - it truly looks like a natural history museum piece, with natural layers of erosion on the claw, and washes of earth and dust encrusted in every striation.

This was acquired through the screenUsed.com's spring auction, which included many other fantastic production used pieces.


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Jurassic Park Electronic Tyrannosaurus Rex


Immortalized in skin-like rubber, these giant dinosaur toys looked and felt so impressive on the shelves of toy stores in 1993.  This particular Tyrannosaurus model was the supreme choice if you were around for the hype of Jurassic Park.

This toy was quite special in that it was cast from the production-used maquette by Stan Winston Studios - a fact not many kids knew when they got these for Christmas.  By squeezing the chest, an electronic roar could be activated that simultaneously opened it's jaws.  By slamming the feet of the toy onto a hard surface, you could recreate the earth trembling rumble noise that put the heebie jeebies into Jeff Goldblum.

Although the sounds were not film accurate, these electronic features made the toy instantly impressive for the early 1990s - when compared with die cast plastic museum figurines, the only other Dinosaur toys available at that time.  It's sheer size made it too big for it's own box,  giving every Rex a distinctive kink in the tail (TIP:  if you still own one of these and want to remove the kink, try running the tail under luke warm water and massaging the bend, it should eventually relax back to it's original form).

This sheer scale combined with it's tactile skin made this toy a joy to play with.  With quite a steep price tag, this was not a common toy.  For me, it was mainly played with at the kid with wealthy parents' house, but this scarceness made it all the more appealing.

Comment below if you owned/played with this toy, and as always check out the video review demonstrating all the features mentioned above.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Jurassic Park Embryo Cryocan Replica (Rylo)



Made by a talented member of the EFX group, Rylo, this Embryo cryocan is a screen accurate replica of the prop used by the villain Dennis Nedry in the film Jurassic Park (1993).

The inner spring loaded parts are lovingly machined from aluminum, giving the can a striking heaviness and authenticity.  The central rack can be released by twisting the base, and reseated by pushing the rack down and re-twisting the base to secure it.  The Embryo vials are all labelled to match the dinosaur codes seen in the film, and can be removed/replaced from the rack.

Unfortunately this replica does not spray foam!  But it is speculated the original was swapped for a working can during filming, as the removable aluminum section would prevent the pressurized foam from physically working.

If you're searching for one of these, Ebay is a good place, but the accuracy varies as this piece has been replicated by many.  Expect to pay $200-400 for an accurate replica.

Look for the screen accurate brown band (not black) and flat base with a screw head to identify one of Rylo's replicas.  Also available is a concave base variation, made by prop maker with the online alias NicksDad, and created in a steel finish.  This is a rarer piece to find but some collectors prefer the concave base version.

Rylo's Embryo Cryocan is however favoured by many for it's appearance on the Jurassic Park Special Features of the 2011 Blu Ray, where it was presented and held by it's designer, a talented concept artist called John Bell.