Jurassic World and Soft-Canon: a Counteractive and Convoluted Conundrum

This article is a guest contribution by Thomas Fishenden.

When it comes to the Jurassic Park franchise, it is safe to say that there has been a lot of world building over the duration of the five installments which Universal Studios have produced. It is certainly safe to say that a lot has been added to the franchise over the years. The films have added new locations and new animals and characters, whilst the secondary materials – such as the viral marketing – have aimed to add in more continuity between the sequel installments. Canon, however, has not always been maintained – and there have always been issues which have plagued the Jurassic franchise and the continuity it shares between its various outings. We have seen Universal and Colin Trevorrow take steps towards addressing these issues in recent years – but unfortunately, a recent announcement during the press for Jurassic World: The Live Tour has us concerned about the future canonical consistencies within the franchise.

In the past, Colin Trevorrow has stated that he is the overseer of the franchise – and would oversee issues, such as Canon, moving forwards to ensure better continuity and cohesion across the property in the future. This had many of us excited, as it seemed to indicate that both Colin and the studio behind him were willing to take meaningful steps towards building a much more coherent cinematic universe. Indeed, it appeared that the Jurassic franchise would take a similar approach to other great franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, building outwards with meaningful connections to the very core pillars which first established the franchise. For a while, this seemed to hold true – with inconsistencies around the geography of the Isla Nublar report in both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom openly addressed by the director, who proceeded to work with the team behind the viral marketing and surrounding canonical materials (Chaos Theorem) to build a meaningful explanation which alleviated the canon-breaking implications that the change in island geography had. Furthermore, the team working behind the scenes had the opportunity to build upon the background of the franchise – adding in new implications for the canon which alleviated some of the strained connections that the narratives of the more recent films had. It is safe to say that the Dinosaur Protection Group website, and other subsequent ventures, did a lot to build upon the canon in meaningful ways – addressing the concerns of long term fans and creating much more of a cinematic ‘universe’ than we had ever seen for the franchise before.

Whilst the Dinosaur Protection Group faded into obscurity after the cinematic debut of Fallen Kingdom, it appeared canon would continue to grow and expand within the franchise. This brings us to Jurassic World: The Live Tour. Press Events for the tour (see Chris’s coverage from an event in April of this year) got fans excited – with a clear focus on developing a story which could fit within the confines of a pre-established Jurassic World narrative. Indeed, whilst some of the live show would build upon the back of the blockbuster film, showcasing the Indominus rampage on Isla Nublar, the clear majority was stated to be a brand-new story exploring a top-secret InGen Facility in Chile. The story follows Doctor Kate Walker, who was working with dinosaurs in a similar behavioral capacity to Owen Grady, and has essentially been pitched as the other half of the IBRIS project which we see on screen within Jurassic World. This, again, is a project which has always been relatively secretive on-screen, so fans were excited to be able to learn even more about this new piece of lore which was sure to build upon the fundamental ideals explored within the first Jurassic World film. Anticipation was high – and this was only exasperated further by the debut of Battle at Big Rock, which explored more new characters within the same universe, after the events of Fallen Kingdom.

Unfortunately, however, it seems that the story continuity will not last.

Fast forward to the start of November, when the Live Tour is kicking off with its worldwide premiere. Colin was interviewed by the Social Media team working on behalf of Feld Entertainment., and in an Instagram story on the official tour account, Colin was asked where the events of the show fit within the timeline of Jurassic World. His response was as follows:

“We have something we call soft canon – which is that it happens, but it also exists within its own space. You know, Feld’s writers and creators made a new and original story which exists within the context of Jurassic World and I think people are really going to love it.”

This statement is great when we consider how passionate Colin is for the franchise, and it is nice to see how excited he is about the live show – but it also poses a very real problem for the franchise moving forwards. That statement of ‘soft-canon’, and the careful phrasing of this show ‘existing within the context of Jurassic World’, has set alarm bells ringing for many fans – suggesting that the show may not be a meaningful fit within the pre-determined canon of the franchise, as was previously implied. Soft-canon itself is an alarming phrase, considering its what ‘Jurassic World Evolution’ is described as — something that is not canon at all, but adheres to the rules of the universal while carving out its alternate reality.

This becomes problematic as a universe which is built without canon in mind can very quickly crumble and implode if not handle with a degree of oversight and brand management. Disney know this all too well – and it is the reason why the Star Wars Expanded Universe is now referred to as ‘Legends’. Here, Disney told too many stories which conflicted with one another and posed potential problems for the canons of the franchise so they had to restart this from the ground up and discount any of their old stories as being non-canon unless reintroduced into modern films or properties. Whilst this soured many Star Wars fans, Disney could get away with this because of the sheer scale and scope of Star Wars and its fan-base, with many more pre-established stories already under the franchise’s belt. Jurassic, in contrast, is a relatively new and expanding franchise with a smaller fan base, and so the movements made to grow the brand really need to be considered and thoughtful to connect with audiences and build a meaningful and consistent fan base. Therefore, the term ‘soft canon’ being thrown out so early in the growth of the franchise has both I and many other Jurassic fans concerned about the future direction of the franchise.

It should also be noted that Star War’s non-canon ‘legends’ media only consists of expanded fiction that came out prior to The Force Awakens. Everything since then has been carefully cultivated to fit within the ever expanding galaxy, working with their brand team, writers, and directors as to not contradict the films, but add to them all while telling their own stories. Why Jurassic cannot do this, especially given their stable creative team, and smaller universe size, is a frustrating mystery.

Whilst I appreciate that it is hard to canonise a Live Tour (other properties like ‘Marvel Universe Live’ opted to tell entirely separate stories), I think straddling the line between canon and ‘soft canon’ is an attempt for Jurassic to have its cake and eat it too. Whilst it’s a humble attempt at developing upon the IP, I feel that it misses the mark and misses what fans have truly been clamoring for – which are stories which will have larger impacts on the overall franchise whilst enabling them to connect with these characters and these stories in much more meaningful ways. The attitude of utilizing ‘soft canon’ poses a worry for fans, as it brings into question upcoming properties like Camp Cretaceous, and where they will stand in terms of both canon and impact on the other properties within the franchise. Whilst there is certainly an argument for these being more children’s tailored properties, it is important to note that even in that regard a canonical middle ground is achievable. Take, for example, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This property found a way to tell stories within a pre-existing universe whilst not damaging canon. In fact, Clone Wars could build upon the pre-established in interesting and meaningful ways – connecting with both older and younger fans alike. This was due not only to the creative vision of Dave Filoni, but also due to the creative oversight and brand consistency which Disney and the Star Wars team had in place – and something which Jurassic seems to be sorely missing at this moment in time.

For the Jurassic World Live Tour, the format itself doesn’t entirely mesh with real world antics – so we understand that the action and context that which the story plays out may not be 1:1 to canon. But there is no reasons the overarching story itself of Dr. Kate Walker, InGens facility in Chile, and the events that subsequently played out cannot be canon. A simple “The story is canon, the action within and execution of it is soft canon” would be far more understandable. It was stated numerous times that Colin Trevorrow was involved from the start to make sure the story is hard canon. So what happened?

Make no mistake – I, and many others, are excited for new stories to be explored within the Jurassic universe. Many of us have clamoured for more from this brand for years, so the fact that we are finally getting this is exciting, and is a true testament to the creative passion of individuals like Colin Trevorrow. But, with that said, oversight is important too – and it’s important that this is built into a brand with solid foundations so that these stories can continue to be told for years to come. With that in mind, an organisation like Chaos Theorem or someone else altogether really need to be empowered to get more involved in the day-to-day canon of this universe, so that we can finally have something which feels cohesive. Continuity has always been a matter of discussion for Jurassic – and in some ways, poor continuity adds to the charm of these films. But, if Jurassic is to ever grow into a franchise with the power to do more than beat back other big names at the box office, then it is crucial that canon is considered, and that the time is taken to build a rich universe for these stories to take place within.

What do you all think? Where do you stand on canon in cinema, and is it important to you that these side projects tie in? Sound of in the comments below!


Uniting the Franchise: How Jurassic World 3 Should Incorporate Dinosaur Designs from ‘Park’ Films

Art by Neemz.

2021 is swiftly approaching. Jurassic World 3 is already shaping up to be an event unlike anything we have seen since the original Jurassic Park. With Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum all returning for major roles in the upcoming film, it is easy to see that we are in store for a movie with some serious callbacks to the film that started it all. With the return of old human characters, Jurassic World 3 is posed in the perfect position to be a film that showcases the original aspects of Jurassic Park side by side with the new ideas put forth in the Jurassic World movies. We can talk about the human characters until the sun goes down, but at the end of the day, the highlight of Jurassic has always been the dinosaurs.

One complaint that we see time and time again is how different some of the dinosaurs look in the newer films. While some fans view these differences as a major drawback, it’s time to take a hard look at how these perceived differences actually present a unique opportunity to showcase exactly what these dinosaurs are: genetically engineered, theme park…creatures. In other words, these dinosaurs are simply lab-created animals melding natural science and science fiction.

So today, let’s take a look at some specific examples of these differences. Let’s start with a classic: the mighty Stegosaurus. We first got a glimpse at the creature on Isla Sorna in The Lost World Jurassic Park. This Jurassic Park era Stego was on the more athletic side. As you can see below, it featured a straight tail and narrow head, which featured a beak of some sort. Its athleticism was put on full display when it sensed a threat in Sarah Harding approaching its infant.

Now, let us compare that to the Jurassic World era Stegosaurus. The new creation featured a heavier retro build, with a drooping tail and a wider head (with lips instead of a beak). Their coloration is slightly different, and their skin texture is entirely different than their park counterparts. We’re first introduced to them roaming Nublar’s Gyrosphere Valley in Jurassic World, presumably engineered under Masrani’s supervision to achieve certain goals.

In a universe where scientists have been cloning and creating new dinosaurs for over twenty five years, these differences can be explained by genetic manipulation. Perhaps the old Stegosauruses were just too agile and destructive with their more athletic build and size. Maybe the Jurassic World scientists realized a beefier build appealed to the parks older demographs who imagine dinosaurs with more outdated views. Questions like these are exactly the kind of lore I believe are ripe for answering in Jurassic World 3. Before we move on to how exactly the movie can present those answers in a natural way, let’s take a look at another dinosaur example.

The Ankylosaurus is well-known for the armor plating all along its back, but the different eras of Jurassic took the animal in otherwise different directions. We first see the Jurassic Park era Anyklosaur in Jurassic Park 3 as it lumbers underneath the tree some of our characters are hiding out in. It touts rougher scale-based armor with a smaller, colorful head. It has a narrow and angular build overall and is not overtly large.

Once again, let’s look at the Jurassic World edition Ankylosaurus that we see duke it out with the Indominous Rex. Not only is the Jurassic World era animal bigger, it has defined armor plating and a larger, uniform-color head. Just like the Stegosaurus, it sports a bulkier, stockier build overall. It’s been theorized that ‘World’s’ Anylosaurs are female counterparts to ‘Park’s’ males.

Ankylosaurs and Stegosaurs are only scratching the surface. Numerous other species have distinct sub-species within the Jurassic films, with 3 different Pteranodon breeds, over 3 different breeds of Velociraptors, plus a variety of sexual dimorphism seen within Parasaurs, Brachiosaurs, and more.

The best step for Jurassic to take is to embrace the differences and use them as a tool to enrich the deep mythology the universe has already given to us. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see the Jurassic Park 3 raptors running around Blue? That sort of variety in appearance is a treasure trove of rich story that has largely only been explored by the DPG marketing campaign for Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. It’s important to not stifle that variety, but embrace it fully, and bring all these elements from various films together.

However, not every difference is a canonical variation – the T. rex of Jurassic World being a prime example. Many fans have complained she looks off from her Jurassic Park appearance – and it’s true – the design has changed in more ways than just aging. This love for Jurassic Park’s iconic designs is another prime reason to bring them back. Not just nostalgia – they’re some of the most iconic creature designs in cinema. Embrace the masterclass work of Stan Winston Studios, Crash McCreery and ILM that laid the foundation for Jurassic World.

We know that Jurassic World 3 director Colin Trevorrow plans to expand the universe even more and deal with these creatures on a much larger scale now that they’re part of our world. One of the best ways to explore this evolution naturally, while keeping it tied to the past films is to simply go back to the older, forgotten dinosaurs. Likewise, we can finally explore how these various subspecies may interact – what would a crossbreed of a Jurassic Park female raptor and JP3 male raptor look like? Or would they never have the chance, fighting for territory instead?

What makes the Jurassic Park novel so great is that it tackles the science aspect of the story head on – the novel version of Wu has candid conversations with Hammond about manipulating the DNA of the dinosaurs to alter their physical characteristics and change the way they behave. If we’re trying to find inspiration, that’s where to start the search. Having a character in the movie, like Wu, explain the differences between all the animals on screen only serves to deepen the canon in a positive way. Not only that, it serves as a natural explanation for why Project IBRIS with the raptors at Jurassic World was (eventually) successful compared to the more aggressive raptors from the previous movies.

What are your thoughts on the dinosaur differences? Is this a purposeful creation from Jurassic Park scientists, or do you think the filmmakers were just looking to switch up the styles? If you believe the science backs it up, would you like to see it explained on screen? Sound off in the comments below and tell us how you would explain the uniqueness of the dinosaurs!

Behind the Scenes Look at Designing Jurassic World Dinosaur Toys with Mattel’s Kristen Sanzari

Since their release in 2018 alongside Fallen Kingdom, Mattel’s Jurassic World line have taken over the toy aisle, and captured the attention of fans and collectors alike. Recently, we spoke to Kristen Sanzari – one of the designers on the Jurassic World toy line – about her work, and how she came to design dinosaurs for this continuously evolving range of action figures.

Kristen provided numerous design sheet images, that document part of the process that designing these toys undergo. In the images you can see reference photos, design change notes, and how things like action features are created.

Read on to learn about Kristen’s work directly from her, and of course, check out the images!

“I have been designing Jurassic World toys at Mattel for almost 3 years now, and people often ask how I got into toy design. So, I will give you a little background. I grew up with a love of drawing animals and my favorite animation characters. I loved my toys and loved animation. When it came time to go to college, I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I studied graphic design and ran on the track team. I loved graphic design but knew I still wanted to study animation, so after graduating from Cal Poly, I moved to San Francisco, where I attended the Academy of Art University to get my master’s in visual development for animation.

After graduating, I got a job as a graphic designer/illustrator at a toy and publishing company called Artistic Studios (now Bendon Publishing). I worked on licensed craft sets and toys and loved it, but I was still mostly doing graphic design and package design, with only a little bit of illustration here and there. Wanting to do more concept art, I began applying to jobs at animation studios and toy companies in LA. I interviewed with Mattel for the Jurassic World product design position with a portfolio full of concept art for animation. Although similar in a lot of ways, I had no toy designs to show. So, after the interview I drew up some toy concepts focused on Jurassic, and luckily my now boss had faith I could design toys and I got the job.

Was I a dinosaur expert or a Jurassic park fanatic prior to getting the job? No, but I liked dinosaurs, I had seen some of the movies, and most of all I loved drawing and learning about animals. So, I made it my mission to learn as much as I could about dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park franchise when I began working on the brand. I watched all the movies a bunch of times, took several paleontology courses online, listened to the Jurassic Outpost Podcast, bought and read multiple dinosaur books and made it a point to learn about and know every dinosaur we designed.

When designing our toys, we begin by brainstorming about what we want that toy to do. Is it a T. Rex that roars and has a massive chomp? Or is it a Pachycephalosaurus that rams its head? There are usually so many great and crazy ideas that come up in brainstorms, but we always do our best to make sure the function of our toys are realistic, on brand, and accentuate what the dinosaur would have done in real life. Something we also focus on is our scale, we do our best to make all our dinosaurs in scale to a 3¾” human action figure, which really allows you to imagine how massive some of these dinosaurs were in real life.

As you can see from many of these design sheets, we start off with an initial drawing of the dinosaur concept and what the feature will be. Sometimes these are based on assets from Universal, for dinosaurs from the films, and sometimes we are able to create the dinosaur designs ourselves. We spend a lot of time creating the patterns and textures, picking the colors of the dinos, and making sure they fit into the look and feel of the dinosaurs in Jurassic World. In the Carnotaurus example you can see that the drawing and the original sculpt are different from the final sculpt and product. This is because we often know what dinosaurs are going to be in the film before knowing exactly what the dinosaurs are going to look like in the film. The toy production timeline is longer than the time it takes to make a film and so often we need to begin our design process before we have all the information. We frequently have to figure out the feature of the toy prior to knowing exactly what the dinosaur will look like, and we just have to be nimble and adjust our designs to fit the look of the movie as soon as we do get the actual assets. Our partners at Universal always do their best to get us the assets and information we need as soon as they can.

Once we have a sculpt we are happy with, and the mechanism is figured out, we can make our first model. The first model is never perfect, but we use it to see if we need to change anything about the sculpt and details, the mechanism function, the articulation, and the color choices. We then take notes on any revisions and make adjustments to improve this model. After all the changes have been accounted for we make a new and improved model. During the entire process there are multiple check points with Universal to make sure they approve the look and function of the dinosaurs.

When the final model is approved we move on to make a “first shot,” which is the first run of the product in plastic. First shots are made in the factories with any leftover or extra plastic they have, so they usually are really crazy colors. For example, we could get a raptor first shot with a pink body, black left leg, blue right leg, green head, and neon yellow arms. We make comments on the first shot and make sure the toy can stand and that the detents and articulations function properly. Next we get our first painted plastic toy sample. At this point the toy is almost complete, but we make sure the plastic and paint colors match, we make sure the mechanism and any electronic features are functioning the way they should, and make sure all the packaging information is aligned with the product. After all these comments are captured we pass them along to make sure our final product is the best it can be. Then, finally we receive the final product!

As a whole the toy design process takes an entire team and I have to say that team Jurassic is made up of some of the most passionate and hard-working people I know. Our design team couldn’t make the toys we do without the enormous help of our awesome marketing team, packaging team, and engineering team. It is truly a team effort and an awesome brand to be a part of.”

Thanks so much to Kristen for taking the time out to speak with us, and to share many of these images! For more from Kristen, you can check out her website here and her Instagram here. With the 2020 Primal Attack line coming soon (which the Sarcosuchus belongs to) , there will surely be more toys to learn about in the future!

What toy do you like the most from Mattel’s line, and what would you like to see more of? Sound off in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost!


Opinion: It’s Time We Get Some Answers About Jurassic World’s ‘Battle at Big Rock’ Short Film

This article is a guest contribution by Thomas Fishenden.

February has come to be an exciting time for Jurassic World fans – with New York Toy Fair usually leading to the reveal of a plethora of Jurassic merchandise which fans of the franchise will have the opportunity to sink their teeth into over the coming year. This year’s Toy Fair brought more with it than usual, however, with Mattel’s sales reps giving us a tantalization tease in the form of a secret which they weren’t meant to let slip on the show floor. According to them, fans of their toyline could look forward to both a Nasutoceratops and a brand-new Allosaurus joining their line, modeled on an upcoming live action short film which was set to debut before Universal’s ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ – the next instalment in their popular Fast and Furious franchise.

During May, two brand-new dual attack figures from Mattel hit store shelves, featuring new branding which called out this short in the form of a small graphics stating that these characters were ‘As seen in Battle at Big Rock’. But, more than two weeks after the release of Hobbs & Shaw, this highly anticipated short film is still nowhere to be seen.

The absence didn’t come as a massive surprise to Outpost. It was already heard that there had been a little bit of trouble over the experimental films budget, which had reportedly exceeded the ten-million-dollar threshold. With such a high-cost for what was to be a smaller story, it appears the studio decided late in the game that they had wanted a more traditional content delivery method. This is most likely a step to try and turn a profit on the project, given the large cost which ended up being attached to it.

However, all this silence and behind the scenes uncertainty has led to a growth of pessimism within the online community. Rather than build excitement and anticipation, many Jurassic fans are now worried whether this project will ever see the light of day.

Despite several toys with ‘Battle at Big Rock’ branding already being available for several months now, Universal Pictures have still yet to acknowledge that this short film even exists. This radio silence from the studio has, understandably, got many members of the fan base worried about the direction this project may take. You may remember that, recently, we debuted some storyboards from a scrapped Jurassic Park: The Lost World animated show, which never saw the light of day. It is safe to say that cancelled projects like this, combined with a track record of production troubles for the Jurassic franchise have led to many fans becoming used to exciting new projects suddenly disappearing from the Universal release calendar. Even more troubling than this is the fact that Walmart (who have had a solid track-record with carrying Mattel products) have now decided to drop the ‘Dual Attack’ line altogether – suggesting that this may be a move to remove the Allosaurus and Nasutoceratops from shelves altogether. It strikes us as bizarre that, even before the project’s release, Universal seem to be taking steps to kill the tie-in synergy which they pushed for the short.

Whether Big Rock was intended to debut as a secret project or not, it is safe to say that Jurassic fans now know this project exists. Continuing to maintain a degree of secrecy when products from the short are already available seems to be a gross misjudgement of the community, and one which we hoped is rectified sooner rather than later. We’re hopeful that the powers that be will hear the concerns of the fanbase, and will let us know that this Battle is far from over. There are still many more adventures to explore in a Jurassic World.

Update


The Jurassic World themed ‘Running Universal’ Expands with 5k, 10k, Kids Run, and More!

This November, Universal Studios Hollywood invites you to a Jurassic World themed run within the park and studio back-lot with an exciting two day event! Running Universal is a chance for fans of all ages to explore the parks and Jurassic World like never before, and is not to be missed – read on for the press release, and be sure to use our exclusive discount code JPOUTPOST when signing up!

On the heels of the successful launch of its new mega attraction, “Jurassic World—The Ride,” Universal Studios Hollywood kicks off its next Running Universal program with the JURASSIC WORLD Run. The two-day event begins on Saturday, November 16 with a 5K, along with the all-new 1K Kids’ Raptor Run, and continues on Sunday, November 17 with the first-ever 10K run.

To experience the ultimate “runner’s high,” participants can register with the Play All Day package, which invites JURASSIC WORLD fans to run it, then ride it.

On your mark, get set, go: the JURASSIC WORLD Run takes fitness buffs, runners and walkers alike (of all fitness levels) on 5K and all-new 10K run, both geared towards guests ages 5-years and older, while the all-new Kids’ 1K Raptor Run targets those between the ages of 4-years and 12-years.

All participants will receive a collectable Finisher medal; those who complete the 5K and 10K runs will receive an exclusive Challenge medal. The JURASSIC WORLD Run will conclude at the Universal CityWalk finish line and feature a lively celebration at the 5 Towers Stage.

As part of the event, participants will venture through areas of the new thrill ride, including the iconic JURASSIC WORLD arches. As guests wind their way through the historic movie set backlot, they will also have the unique opportunity to enjoy a series of fun photo ops set up along the way, including JURASSIC film props, and one with Blue, the beloved Velociraptor from the JURASSIC WORLD movies.
The JURASSIC WORLD 5K Run begins at 6 a.m. on Saturday, November 16, followed by the Kids’ 1K Raptor Run at 7:30 a.m. The program begins at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 17.

Registration is now open will fill up quickly as space is limited. Click here to register and to learn more about the Standard, VIP and Play All Day packages available.

We’ll be there, and we hope you’ll join as well – and Universal Studios Hollywood was kind enough to offer an exclusive discount code for Jurassic Outpost readers! Using code JPOUTPOST offers 10% off all registration, minus the Kids’ Raptor Run and Team Member or Pass Member Pricing – so don’t miss out!

The expanse of ticket options for the 5k are as follows (and the other race options scale accordingly):

So what are you waiting for? Grab your tickets now before it’s too late – and let your friends know about our code so they can save 10% as well!

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Mattel’s Jurassic World Comic Con Panel Unveils Huge Assortment of New Toys Coming in 2020!

The dinosaurs of Jurassic World continue to run loose in San Diego, taking over Comic Con, and roaring to life in fantastic new ways. Mattel hosted a Jurassic themed panel today titled “How a Dinosaur was Made”, focusing on the behind the scenes design process before turning the spotlight onto the future toys. Wasting no time, they revealed the theme and title of next years assortment: Primal Attack!

They key art is bold and colorful, with a toxic haziness that screams beautiful but deadly. In true Jurassic fashion, it seems to revolve around the park on Isla Nublar, with fencing not yet destroyed, hinting at the open park era. We’re not sure what this means for potential line lore, but we’re excited by it all the same.

Jurassic World Primal Attack’s play theme is about bringing the dinosaurs to life in their most raw authenticity, giving them fluid and realistic movements, attacks, and roars. This was showcased with their new electronic roaring Carnotaurus, which features a thrashing and biting attack, with a full range of body motion. Check it out in action!


They then moved on to reveal and tease many new dinosaur species, promising a total of 17 entirely new species, with many more brand new toys. In this first image, you can see the three new species they revealed: Edmontosaurus, Alioramus, and Cryolophosaurus (left to right) surrounded by many more dinosaur silhouettes. Within those silhouettes we see what looks to be Sinoceratops, Teratophoneus, Manjungasaurus or Rugops, Sarchosuchus, Callovosaurus, Irritator or Ichthyovenator, Postosuchus, Scutosaurus, what may be a Carcharodontosaurus, and a few more species too hidden to make proper guesses on (could that be a Moschops bottom right?).

They then revealed another image with even more silhouettes, many of which are returning species, though some may be new sculpts. We notice a few obvious species like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tapejara, Dimemorphodon, Minmi, Baryonyx, Styracosaurus, a handful of raptors, and quite a few others, most of which are obscured by one another. Check out the picture below and see what you can spot!

While many of these species are designed just as toys, Mattel did confirm that quite a few will be based upon the upcoming Netflix animated series Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, and even went as far as showing the previously revealed trailer during the panel. We’re not sure what species are from the new series, but we’re quite excited at the prospect of some brand new canon designs being introduced to the lineup. Outside of the dinosaurs, you may notice a lack of human figures, which Mattel sadly has confirmed that there are no news humans planned for 2020 at this time (outside of potential Amber Collection expansions).

As for other reveals, Mattel gave away a few new toys not yet in stores at the end of the panel: the Battle Damage Spinosaurus, and the Ultimate Battle Damage Baryonyx Breakout set! Check out the pictures below – we’re particularly big fans of the Barynoyx set!

Image via nostalgicadam on Instagram!

While that’s it for new toy reveals, the panel itself kicked off with the making of process for some of the existing toys, as the designers took turns explaining the process. The design portion is a must watch, and we will be sure to highlight it once we have the panel available online, which will also provide more insight into the upcoming Primal Attack toys as Mattel explains the reveals seen in the images!

Personally, I think many of the new species revealed and hinted at are incredibly exciting, and feels like Jurassic Park at its most raw, with many exotic and primal lesser known species taking the stage. The upcoming paint jobs feel more alive, natural, and complex than the past ranges, while remaining exciting and eye grabbing. The only species I’m currently not feeling is the Cryolophosaurus, which is a long necked and agile animal, where as the toy feels stumpier with a less distinguishable shape – however, as it’s only concept art, I’m sure the final design will see some evolution and refinement. I can’t wait to see more, and I’m particularly ecstatic about the endless potential Camp Cretaceous crossovers will offer.

Let’s just all keep our fingers crossed Mattel decides to introduce some new human characters and vehicles into the core line in 2020, as they’re an essential part of what makes Jurassic toys truly come to life.

Are you excited by the new reveals, what species do you think are pictured, and what are you looking forward to the most? Sound off in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for all the latest news!


Jurassic Outpost Is Headed To San Diego Comic Con!

Hold on to your butts, everybody! We are more than happy to announce that for the first time ever, Jurassic Outpost is headed to San Diego Comic Con. The year’s premiere event for pop culture and geek fandom is celebrating its 50th iteration of the convention, and organizers are sparing no expense heading into next week. To honor the legacy of the 50th San Diego Comic Con, Jurassic Outpost is following suit as we dive into our first ever Comic Con appearance. The event is a planned to last four days starting on Thursday, July 18, and ending on Sunday, July 21. A special preview night is also scheduled for Wednesday evening on July 17.

Jurassic Outpost writers Samantha Endres and Corey Anderson will be on the ground at the San Diego convention center every day covering all the newest Jurassic updates Comic Con has to offer, from new toy releases to interviews with Jurassic VIPs. The event is rife with opportunities and our team is dedicated to reporting as much as possible over the course of next week. If you happen to spot either of our writers waiting in a line or wandering the convention floor, feel free to stop and say hello!

We are also excited to announce that we are bringing some exclusive prizes to give to fans and followers at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. If you or someone you know will be at in San Diego this week, be sure to follow Jurassic Outpost on Twitter for some exciting announcements about our giveaways from the Con. Trust us, these giveaways are not something you will want to miss. Keep your eyes peeled for some scavenger hunt locations as we drop our prizes outside the convention center. You may even be able to snag a poster signed by Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow if you’re quick enough!

Do you have anything you would like to see us cover at San Diego Comic Con? Comment below and we will try our best to bring you the latest and greatest SDCC50 has to offer!

 

 

Let’s Talk About the Color of the Jurassic Park Velociraptors (They’re Not Green)

Last August, we took you on a deep dive through the different variants of Velociraptor the Jurassic Park franchise introduced us to over the years. Today, we delve a little further into a specific aspect of the raptors of the first movie to debunk a common misconception that has plagued fans and Universal collaborations for years: the original Jurassic Park Velociraptors were NOT green.

The misconception of the green velociraptor has been perpetuated ever since promotional material from Jurassic Park hit the mainstream in 1993. The main culprit for this fallacy stems from a particular set of photos that most people have stumbled across at one point or another. Here is just a taste of few pictures from that set.

Green Velociraptors? Not quite… read on.

As you can see, these pictures give the raptors a faint, but noticeable, green tint to their skin. This mis-color can be attributed to several factors: blue stage lighting, a set full of green plants, and post-shoot color corrections.

This has been problematic for a variety of reasons, but the issue has really spread like wildfire when it comes to merchandising. Mattel’s recent Legacy Collection has been a hit with casual fans and serious collectors alike, but the toy line is not without its faults. In this case, raptor color is, well…the big one. Take the Muldoon/Raptor figurine set for example. The ill-fated park warden is sporting his signature khaki look, but we cannot say the same about the accompanying Velociraptor.

Green, green, and more green. Since the green raptor promo pictures were some of the most common materials distributed by Universal, it would not be a stretch to speculate that many partners, like Mattel, are pulling the color palettes for their toys directly from those images. Perhaps even Universal believes this is the proper color? The result is a recreation that is not exactly authentic to the source material. And let’s take a look at the SDCC Exclusive Hammond figure that Mattel just announced. See if you can predict where we might take issue with the set.

You guessed it. Another green raptor (and as one commenter comically noted, a stand that resembles “a bowl of guacamole”). Tasty Mexican food similarities aside, the raptor color is the real takeaway. So, while many of you know what we’re about to say, let’s set the record straight. Without any doubt, we can tell you the Jurassic Park raptors were BROWN. Photos unmarred by color corrections or studio lighting reveal exactly how the predators were supposed to look.

Stan Winston’s studio took great care in creating the scariest possible version of the Velociraptor, including the color selection. The finished product was a molted brown color to allow the animals to blend in with the earthy tones of the Costa Rican forest. And you do not just have to take our word for it. The folks over at the Stan Winston School have shared numerous pictures of the original animatronic raptors.

Check it out below!

As you can see, not a hint of green. Just watch the film!

The Winston team put so much work into building the scariest and most advanced and lifelike animatronics on the planet for Jurassic Park, as you can tell from the painstaking details in each figure. In our minds, it’s time we honor the legacy of Stan Winston’s work and get these toy raptors (or any other homages to the original, like potential appearances in Jurassic World Live Tour or Camp Cretaceous) back to the way they were meant to be colored…Brown, inspired by a Leopard.

What do you think about the colors used for the raptors in toy sets? Does the green color bother you? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think!

John Hammond Was Killed by Velociraptors in These Newly Unearthed Jurassic Park Storyboards

Although Jurassic Park is now over 26 years old, new stories, art, and secrets continue to be unearthed by its incredibly dedicated and passionate fanbase. This Jurassic June, Jurassic Time has uncovered yet another long-forgotten storyboard from the original Jurassic Park film. It is part of what Jurassic Time dubs as “The Many Deaths Of John Hammond”.

In this newly revealed storyboard page, John Hammond is in Jurassic Park’s control room during the climax when the Raptors have broken out of their pen and have entered the Visitor Center. John Hammond, with an incubator of eggs he plans to take with him upon leaving the park to “save it”, hears Lex screaming downstairs. He opens the door to the control room to help, but is greeted by a Raptor. Hammond falls backward, crashing on a tabletop model of Jurassic Park that is on display in the control room (which was to be very similar to the one we see in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), as the Raptor digs its claws deep into his chest. The incubator shatters to the floor, breaking one of the eggs while another remains unharmed.

Later on, Grant finds Hammond in the control room, barely alive, as he tells Grant that he always knew the “first batch of DNA was too unstable” and that he was looking forward to working with him at the park. He then dies as the two men are framed by the destroyed model of Jurassic Park. Then, the one unharmed egg from before cracks open, revealing an infant Triceratops.

This was one of the many deaths originally planned for John Hammond. In the novel, John Hammond dies while falling down a hill then killed by Compies. In Michael Crichton’s first draft of the screenplay, Hammond is in the Visitor Center when he falls into the destroyed scaffolding after being startled by the twitching corpse of a Raptor. Then, he is finished off by Compies like in the novel. Jurassic Time showed an illustration from this depiction some time ago.

This was then followed by Crichton’s final draft, which featured Hammond being killed by a Raptor while the “Welcome Video” of him is being played behind him, stuttering in an eerie effect as he is being attacked. The next version of his death is the one just described with the tabletop model; originating from a script revision actually tackled by someone else no one has ever known to have penned. But that is another story that will be told another time.

The other versions of his death are of Hammond simply being left behind on the island, either by his choice or by accident. Some art and storyboards of this idea were done by Art Director John Bell, with a version of this scripted in Malia Scotch Marmo’s screenplay that followed both Crichton’s and the one the tabletop Raptor death was from.

However, once David Koepp entered into the picture, it was decided Hammond no longer needed to die. Whether it was because Richard Attenborough was cast or the filmmakers decided it didn’t fit their ever-evolving take on the character remains to be seen. It seems to be a good choice for the version of the character they ended up crafting, but it will always be interesting to see just how his many deaths were once going to be played out.

You can find more rare art and storyboards from Jurassic Park at Jurassic Time, along with an audio memoir of John Hammond read by Richard Attenborough that was adapted from the Lost World game Trespasser. It includes a video version with art by Felipe Humboldt, as pictured above, who also has been uncovering many lost relics of the Jurassic Park films via Behind The Gates.

Huge thanks to to Derrick Davis for providing this article and his great work at Jurassic Time!


Vote Now: Jurassic World Dino Battles ‘March Madness’!

It’s March Madness, and that means bracket polls and online voting.

Inspired by the official Jurassic World ‘Jurassic Battles’, we decided to spice up the variety and make things more difficult (for starters, not pairing off the battles by those already in the films with winners).

Vote Now!

Choose your favorites, or who you think would win logically – there is no wrong way to votes! Our poll notably includes some ‘Jurassic Park’ favorites like Dilophosaurus and Spinosaurus, and is sure to challenge fans with their picks. So what are you waiting for? Round one ends on March 24th, and the finals conclude on the 31st!

Of course, we couldn’t feature every species – and while we love the Mosasaurus, including her just seemed unfair for the competition. Be sure to come back and vote for every round – and as always, stay tuned for everything Jurassic!