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!


First Look at Mattel’s Jurassic World Amber Collection Packaging and Velociraptor Charlie Figure!

This week will be an exciting one for fans of Mattel’s Jurassic World toy line – we and our friends at Collect Jurassic have a whole suite of reveals planned that revolve around the upcoming range. Today’s focus is on the Jurassic World Amber Collection, the upcoming 6 inch scale collectibles line that will be debuting exclusively at Gamestop. While San Diego Comic Con saw the toys official revealed and placed on pre-order on their site, the packaging design was withheld – today that changes!

Take a look at the new reveals below!

Jurassic Park Velociraptor (Female)

Relive the exciting big-screen action with the Jurassic World Amber Collection! This collection spans the film franchise and features highly collectible and extremely posable action figures with authentic decoration and deluxe detail. The Velociraptor dinosaur action figure is inspired by the original Jurassic Park film and captures not only her aggression but her intelligence traits as well. Action figure is approximately 6.5-inches and includes a stand for display. Take home the excitement of Jurassic Park with this exciting Velociraptor dinosaur action figure! Collect other action figures in the Amber Collection! Each figure sold separately, subject to availability. Colors and decorations may vary. For ages 4 and up.

Pre-order now!

Jurassic World Owen Grady

Relive the exciting big-screen action with the Jurassic World Amber Collection! This collection spans the film franchise and features highly collectible and extremely posable action figures with authentic decoration and deluxe detail. The Owen Grady action figure is inspired by the first Jurassic World film. The action figure is approximately 6.5-inches and includes a stand for display, an extra pair of hands for enhanced play-action plus knife accessorie. Take home the excitement of Jurassic World with this exciting Owen Grady action figure! Collect other action figures in the Amber Collection! Each figure sold separately, subject to availability. Colors and decorations may vary. For ages 4 and up.

(Expected to release early 2020)

Jurassic World Velociraptor Charlie

Relive the exciting big-screen action with the Jurassic World Amber Collection! This collection spans the film franchise and features highly collectible and extremely posable action figures with authentic decoration and deluxe detail. The Velociraptor Charlie dinosaur action figure is inspired by the first Jurassic World and captures not only her aggression but her intelligence traits as well. Action figure is approximately 6.5-inches and includes a stand for display plus tactical head gear for expanded play. Take home the excitement of Jurassic World with this exciting Velociraptor Charlie dinosaur action figure! Collect other action figures in the Amber Collection! Each figure sold separately, subject to availability. Colors and decorations may vary. For ages 4 and up.

(Expected to release early 2020)

Jurassic Park Ian Malcolm

Relive the exciting big-screen action with the Jurassic World Amber Collection! This collection spans the film franchise and features highly collectible and extremely posable action figures with authentic decoration and deluxe detail. The Dr. Ian Malcolm action figure is inspired by the original Jurassic Park film and captures not only his wit and sarcasm but his deep respect for the power of nature. The action figure is approximately 6.5-inches and includes a stand for display, an extra pair of hands for enhanced play-action plus flare and water cup accessories. Take home the excitement of Jurassic Park with this exciting Dr. Ian Malcolm action figure! Collect other action figures in the Amber Collection! Each figure sold separately, subject to availability. Colors and decorations may vary. For ages 4 and up.

Pre-order now!

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Velociraptor Blue

Relive the exciting big-screen action with the Jurassic World Amber Collection! This collection spans the film franchise and features highly collectible and extremely posable action figures with authentic decoration and deluxe detail. The Velociraptor Blue dinosaur action figure is inspired by Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom and captures not only her intelligence but her aggressive traits as well. Action figure is approximately 6.5-inches and includes a stand for display. Take home the excitement of Jurassic World with this exciting Velociraptor Blue dinosaur action figure! Collect other action figures in the Amber Collection! Each figure sold separately, subject to availability. Colors and decorations may vary. For ages 4 and up.

(Expected to release early 2020)

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Perhaps the most exciting parts of the reveals above is the look at the Amber Collection box art, which takes a more minimalistic and streamlined approach to packaging design, though is more complex in texture detail when compared to the Star Wars Black Series from Hasbro. One of the choices I like the most is rather than using the complex full film logo, it’s simply the round Rex logo with amber inspired styling, giving the overall presentation a much more refined look.

Velociraptor Charlie is the other big reveal, as she was not announced by Mattel at SDCC, and seems to be planned for release alongside Owen and Blue. While the core 3 3/4″ line didn’t handle the Raptor Squad very well, messing up both Delta’s and Charlie’s colors, the Amber Collection has absolutely nailed it. Her color scheme is complex, accurate, and striking looking.

It’s clear the Amber Collection is shaping up to be a collectors series worthy of Jurassic Park, and we cannot wait to go hands on when the first toys release later this year!

What are your thoughts on the new reveals, and what characters do you hope make it to the Amber Collection in the future? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned – we have many more Mattel reveals, including a look at new Primal Attack toys coming later this week!


Didn’t Make It to SDCC? You Can Now Buy Mattel’s ‘Jurassic World Legacy Collection’ John Hammond Toy Online for a Limited Time!

Last week, Mattel released their Jurassic World Legacy Collection SDCC exclusive John Hammond toy to convention goers, and every copy they had at the show sold out! While many thought the chance to get Hammond was then extinct, it turns out there is some good news: Mattel produced more than they could take to the show, and have partnered with Entertainment Earth to sell them!

Supplies are extremely limited, and once he’s sold out your chance is gone – so order now!

Relive nostalgic, iconic film moments from Jurassic Park with the Jurassic World Legacy Collection John Hammond action figure! This exclusive character captures the spirit of the franchise legacy with movie-authentic decoration and deluxe detail. The John Hammond action figure is inspired by the original Jurassic Park film and captures his innovative will, his caring role as a grandfather and his high expectations for his theme park on Isla Nublar. The figure is approximately 3 3/4- inches tall and includes a cane and a stand with dinosaur eggs. Take home the excitement of Jurassic Park with this exciting John Hammond action figure!

On the fence? Don’t be – check out our review of the toy now (spoiler: we love it)!

We’re hopeful Entertainment Earth can partner with Mattel to bring other Jurassic Park characters to the toy shelves that may otherwise be unproduced. From Jurassic Park workers, Ray Arnold, Tim and Lex, Nedry, or even ACU troopers from Jurassic World – the potential is nearly unlimited!

Did you pick up a Hammond from SDCC or Entertainment Earth, and what future exclusives would you like to see? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for all the latest news!


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!


Mondo and Restoration Games Reveal Jurassic Park ‘Unmatched’ Skirmish Games!

It’s day 2 of San Diego Comic Con, and with that comes more Jurassic news and announcements! While toys often get the largest focus at events like this, they’re not the only stars of the show, and today Mondo and Restoration Games reinforced that by announcing that Jurassic Park will be joining their “Unmatched” 2-player tabletop skirmish game!

Unmatched pits hero characters, represented by small figurines each with their own unique deck of hero cards, against one another on a small tabletop map. This is a 2-player game, featuring fun head-to-head skirmish gameplay that can be as brief as 20 minutes, but last longer depending on the scenario! Check out the press release below, which promises many more Jurassic Park themed expansion beyond the pictured InGen vs Raptots set.

Mondo Games and Restoration Games have announced the next license to appear in their head-to-head skirmish game system Unmatched. Fans of Jurassic Park will be thrilled to learn that the pair of two-player sets and a solo-hero pack are on the way, leading with Unmatched: InGen vs. Raptors in late 2019.

Sattler vs. T rex and Dr. Alan Grant’s solo expansion will expand the line in 2020, allowing players to pit even more of their favorite heroes in combat against iconic dinosaurs from the 1993 film. As with all Unmatched sets, the power to mix and match heroes and maps to create a customized play experience is not only possible but encouraged.

Marketing Manager at Mondo Games Jayme Boucher explains, “Today’s gamers have options. Not only do we have thousands of titles to choose from, but we have choices that are impeccably designed. Modern games provide quality experiences that blur the lines of art and entertainment. To that end, our goal wasn’t simply to make ‘a Jurassic Park game’. Our goal was to make a Jurassic Park game unlike any other available. Teaming up with Restoration Games has allowed us to do that, and we’re incredibly proud of how it turned out.”

Each character deck has been engineered to represent the personality and characteristics of its on-screen counterpart, and no two heroes (or dinosaurs) battle the same way. Additionally, the unique maps featured on the game boards allow players to designate specific terrain to either replicate scenes from the film or direct their own.

“We teamed up with Mondo Games to bring exciting characters and settings to the battlefield in Unmatched, and they came through in epic fashion with Jurassic Park.” Explains Restoration Games President Justin D. Jacobson. “It is a thrill to get to work with one of the world’s premier licenses. Bringing these truly unique fighters into Unmatched — from massive dinosaurs to brilliant scientists — really shows the system’s strength, with each deck capturing their combat style. It only took 65 million years, but the Jurassic Park skirmish game you’ve been waiting for is finally here!”

All three Jurassic Park sets continue to push the boundaries of art in modern games by featuring illustrations from Oliver Barrett, who also worked on Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Vol 1., Robin Hood vs. Bigfoot, and Bruce Lee. All three are all debuting at Gen Con this year. These Jurassic Unmatched releases will replace the previously announced Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene game which is no longer in development.

Take a closer look at the game with our pictures straight from Mondo’s booth at SDCC:

Sadly, this does confirm the previously announced and showcased ‘Chaos Gene’ game from Mondo has been cancelled. We had a chance to check it out at Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary celebration, and it did look quite interesting. However, Unmatched is a fantastic fit for Jurassic Park, and I find the smaller scale 2-player tabletop approach to be quite exciting and approachable!

Stay tuned for more news out of San Diego Comic Con 2019, as we continue to cover Jurassic Park and Jurassic World news directly from the show floor — and as always, sound off in the comments below!


‘Jurassic World Amber Collection’ by Mattel Revealed at SDCC – GameStop Exclusive – Available for Pre-order Now!

Preview night roared into action yesterday at the San Diego Convention Center for San Diego Comic Con 2019, and with it many new Jurassic World reveals occurred! Perhaps most notably is the official unveiling of Mattel’s 6 inch scale Jurassic World collectors series – the Amber Collection:

To bring the Amber Collection line to life, Mattel has partnered up with GameStop as the exclusive retailer for the exciting lineup. With GameStop comes a great but simple opportunity for collectors – the ability to pre-order the items, guaranteeing you the toy upon its release date. GameStop is no stranger to pre-orders, and offers this for all their upcoming products such as videogames and consoles, which meant they were a perfect fit for high demand collectors items such as these!

The initial wave of items in the Amber Collection are a Dr. Ian Malcolm figure from Jurassic Park, and a Jurassic Park female Velociraptor – and they are available for pre-order now! Dr Malcolm is available here, the Velociraptor is available here, and a online exclusive bundle pack is available here! We strongly reccomend you pre-order ASAP (whether online or at your local GameStop store), as with any exclusive item and collectors lineup, the availability will be more limited than the other toys with the potential of selling out.

The pictures show just how detailed each of these items are, and gives a great look at their amber themed display stands. Malcolm and the female classic Velociraptor are expected to ship this October, so be sure to pre-order now. No word yet on when Owen and Blue will be available, nor what the packaging will look like, but we expect those reveals to happen soon!

We’re on the floor at San Diego Comic Con, so stay tuned for more coverage and pictures on our website and social media channels. We had the chance to talk to GameStops James Parker about the Jurassic World Amber Collection, so keep your eyes peeled on our site for the full interview soon!

What are your thoughts on the Jurassic World Amber Collection, and what other dinosaurs and humans would you like to see? As always, let us know in the comments below, and 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!

 

 

‘Jurassic World: Amber Collection’ – Mattel’s 6 Inch Scale Collectors Line Revealed!

Since the release of the Mattel Jurassic World lineup in 2018, dinosaurs have truly ruled the toy shelves, calling attention from fans and collectors alike. Last year during San Diego Comic Con 2018, Mattel promised a new format for the Jurassic World line: a 6 inch collectors series. Since that reveal, which included Owen Grady, Malcolm, and Velociraptor Blue, it’s been radio silence – however, prior to SDCC 2019 we finally have new pictures and details!

Releasing under the title of the ‘Jurassic World Amber Collection’, this line is aimed at collectors and is sculpted in a 6 inch scale (the core line is a smaller 3 3/4 inch scale). The range will launch with 2 figures based upon the original Jurassic Park: Dr Ian Malcolm, and a classic female Velociraptor. Read their descriptions below for all the details!

Dr Ian Malcolm

​Relive the exciting big-screen action with the Jurassic World Amber Collection! This collection spans the film franchise and features highly collectible and extremely posable action figures with authentic decoration and deluxe detail. The Dr. Ian Malcolm action figure is inspired by the original Jurassic Park film and captures not only his wit and sarcasm, but his deep respect for the power of nature. Action figure is approximately 6.5-inches and includes a stand for display, an extra pair of hands for enhanced play action plus flare and water cup accessories. Take home the excitement of Jurassic Park with this exciting Dr. Ian Malcolm action figure! Collect other action figures in the Amber Collection! Each figure sold separately, subject to availability. Colors and decorations may vary. For ages 4 and up.

Velociraptor (female)

​Relive the exciting big-screen action with the Jurassic World Amber Collection! This collection spans the film franchise and features highly collectible and extremely posable action figures with authentic decoration and deluxe detail. The Velociraptor dinosaur action figure is inspired by the original Jurassic Park film and captures not only her aggression but her intelligence traits as well. Action figure is approximately 6.5-inches and includes a stand for display. Take home the excitement of Jurassic Park with this exciting Velociraptor dinosaur action figure! Collect other action figures in the Amber Collection! Each figure sold separately, subject to availability. Colors and decorations may vary. For ages 4 and up.

The Velociraptor and Malcolm both have seen quite a few revisions and improvements since their 2018 reveals. Most obviously, the Velociraptor is no longer based upon Jurassic World’s Blue, while Malcolm himself looks more proportionate, and less ‘Jeff Swoleblum’ as some had dubbed him. Take a look at their prior reveals below to compare:

At this point there is no word on availability or pricing, though the current buzz is these items will be retailer exclusive. With San Diego Comic Con 2019 opening its doors in less than 10 days, we wouldn’t be surprise to see and learn more soon – though it remains unconfirmed that the toys will be on display at the show. Further, while Owen is currently not available with the latest batch of information, we suspect he will make it to store shelves at some point (although we would welcome a Jurassic Park focus, with Grant and Sattler first).

Be sure to stay tuned, as more images and information are sure to roar online soon! Until then, sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think of the Amber Collection toys!