Jurassic World’s Claire Dearing – A Character Study

Claire Dearing. Who is she? Where did she come from and what gives her the right to lead (yes, I said lead) a Jurassic film? In the words of John Hammond, “I’ll show you.”

I would like to present you all with a challenge. Your attitude toward Claire Dearing will be improved after reading this character analysis, whether it be loathing to hatred or love to further adoration. I challenge you not to be affected by this study. You’ve accepted the challenge? Great! Let’s go…

Claire is complex. She is a multifaceted character with deeply layered undertones and intricately placed certainties mixed with uncertainties. Jurassic movies have always been character pieces with a moral glimpse at human nature. The Jurassic franchise may be famous for featuring dinosaurs, but it has never been about the dinosaurs. It has always revolved around the choices made by humans and how they deal with the circumstances from playing God. The humans are always trying to clean up the moral mistakes they’ve made based on their own fatal flaws. That is the basis of the Jurassic franchise. The dinosaurs have always acted as props in this cautionary tale.

Jurassic World is no different. Claire is a deeply flawed character with specific character traits that evolve throughout the entire two hours and four minutes. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Jennifer, I saw the movie, tell me something I don’t know’. Ok. Jurassic World is actually Claire’s journey of self-discovery. The foundation behind this 4th installment is the story of someone who did not conform to the standards of a stereotypical hero, but instead stayed true to oneself by finding their own INNER strength and knowledge to save the day.

When we are first introduced to Claire, she immediately displays several emotions and you can already see a crack in her armor. She holds this high position and does what is expected of her, but is still uncertain of herself when no one is watching. Claire goes through many tones just in this introduction. There is a vulnerability and softness that comes through, but only for the viewer to see, before we’re introduced to who Claire was trained to be. She is always wavering on the struggle between what’s right and what should be done; this can be said for all the Jurassic ‘heroes’.

Claire reminds me of someone who grew up playing with dinosaur toys, someone who had a huge imagination with constantly flowing ideas and a strong mind for executing them. This is why she chose the career she did. However, the corporate ladder can be a damaging place. Once she began climbing, those characteristics from childhood were quickly frowned upon. She was trained consciously and unconsciously of what was acceptable and how to act in this setting. The higher she climbed, the more she lost touch with her inner self and forgot why she wanted to work at Jurassic World in the first place.

While we may forget a piece of ourselves, it never forgets us. It’s always there trying to peak through the cracks. Here, in this story, we get to watch as the cracks are broken and Claire’s true self is revealed. She is insecure, she is unsure, she is scared, but her compassion and her connection with her humanity shines through and it is that vulnerability and staying true to one’s self that is refreshing.  She is not a superhero, she is a regular person in an extreme circumstance brought about by her own fatal flaws.

The first important scene for Claire is when she jumps to the conclusion that the Indominus Rex has escaped. This is a case of Claire showing that she is not as confident as she led on. The uncertainty displayed in her first introduction is surfaced once again, but so is the pressure to ‘make it happen at all costs’. Once again, she’s pulled between who she is and what she is supposed to do and maintain. The audience is also pulled with her in both directions due to having been let into her vulnerability early on. However, her corporate built ego and status cannot allow for such an error as this, so she must act in haste. This could come across as an unintelligent move, but understanding the stakes weighing on Claire and her already displayed lack of true confidence to the viewer, the viewer can follow her decision and understand it. Much like trying to solve a quick mishap at work before the boss finds out. We’ve all been there and we’ve all made that reckless decision. When things start to implode around her, all she knows is her assets and her park. She did not plan for there ever to be a catastrophe of this magnitude. Her initial reaction to the dinosaur’s false escape demonstrated exactly that.

This decision spirals out of control, rapidly growing into a company-wide problem which is now all on Claire. Deep down, Claire is not heartless and she is not cold. One of the most important scenes for Claire is when the Indominus is ripping through the ACU team. Masrani continues with the façade of ‘company first, park first, asset first’. “It was an eventuality” he says, fully unaware of this moral compass. Claire tries to maintain that same level, but it is now evident that she is losing that inner battle between what’s right and what she was trained believe is right. You see her start to break down and show concern for the park’s operation, the safety of the guests, the safety of the employees, the safety of her assets, amongst her own worry of what others will think of her. She has to be in charge, she has to make another rash decision, but this time, she begins to question what that even means in this situation. She has a quick glimpse of ‘wait a minute, what are we doing?’ which makes the delivery of “YOU ARE NOT IN control…here” one of her best lines in the film. She is not in control, but is still keeping the façade, for now. Masrani doesn’t give it a second thought when making the best corporate decision, but now Claire is giving everything a second thought. The inner battle between her two worlds is colliding. Here she is truly concerned for human life, she remembers her nephews, her perspective and priorities are changing.

This all leads to the most important scene for Claire, the dying Apatosaurus. Here in this scene, Claire sees what she’s become. She sees the consequences of her corporate actions, not on a spreadsheet, not in the stock market, but in real flesh and blood. Here Claire remembers the dinosaur loving girl with a big imagination. The emotional flood of mistakes, regret, and compassion comes flooding back and her tears were not only for the Apatosaurus, but also for what she has become and who she has forgotten.

Throughout the film, Claire showed weakness, uncertainty, fear, but she also displayed extreme bravery. She was out of her element and didn’t back down. She didn’t give up. She didn’t leave with everybody else. Claire is the true hero of the story and should be a hero to young girls. Claire proved that you don’t have to sacrifice your identity to be a hero. You can find your own inner hero by using your own personal strengths to their advantage.

Claire is an average person using average person strengths to deal with the extreme circumstances happening around her. She is not a superhero, but she is resourceful. She will do whatever it takes to save her park and those in it. It is extremely refreshing to see someone who comes from strictly an education/business background take charge and save the day WITHOUT losing who she is. She didn’t change her clothes, she didn’t find boots, she didn’t even put her hair up! Claire did not change for anybody. She stayed true to who she was and what she knew. THAT is a true hero in my book. She did not conform to the standards of a stereotypical hero. Claire remained herself completely, and through her own INNER strength and knowledge, she saved the day. That is an empowering message. Claire showed that you don’t have to take on boy-like traits to do incredible things.

Releasing the T-Rex was Claire using the strengths of what she knows best. She knows her park assets and she knows what the right asset would be to counter the current problem. Instead of magically becoming a dinosaur expert, she used her problem solving skills and the knowledge acquired from her job. She stayed true to herself no matter what obstacles were being thrown at her and she handled them the best way she knew how in the business that she knew. This was a key point in her reliability factor. By cutting to the heels while running, that’s reminding the audience who Claire is. It reinforced to them that she is still the same business Claire we met in the beginning, but now she’s finding her inner strength through her area of expertise.

Director, Colin Trevorrow, didn’t try and change her character to fit the hero mold. It would have been unrealistic if all of a sudden she became a fearless superhero by the end. There are going to be three movies in this trilogy and this is just part one. If Claire changed that drastically in just this one film, not only would she have nowhere to go in the next two, but it would have been highly unrealistic and not relatable at all. Her transition has just begun.

It was a brave choice to put a character like Claire in an action film and not make her the villain, and then to take it a step further by showing the audience her inner battle and journey of self-discovery. Claire found the strength she never knew she had and that’s more inspiring than any hero-type character. At the end, Claire was defeated, broken, and lost. She never once expressed joy that it was over, she didn’t smile and cheer that they survived. She was traumatized by the end of this film. That is realistic and a testament to Claire’s true character. She was fragile and scared, but she found her inner strength and persevered.

I believe Claire is a regular girl who grew up with a love for dinosaurs and a limitless imagination. She got lost along the way, but through Jurassic World, we get to watch her unfolding journey of self-discovery. We get to peek through the cracks and then watch as new cracks appear and discover who that real person is underneath. However, the viewer might not like that person underneath, and that’s ok, but you can’t deny that there IS a complex person there. One filled with insecurities, conditioned a certain way, but due to her own fatal flaws, found herself in circumstances that required her to rise above higher than she knew she could. Claire is very human, she makes human mistakes, she loses control, she finds the strength, but remains broken at the end. Keep this in mind the next time you watch Jurassic World. Listen for the vocal cracks, the uncertain looks masked in certainty, the constant inner battle, and the rediscovery of one’s self only to find that she’s lost and broken.

Claire’s journey is about moving past the illusion. John Hammond build Jurassic Park based on an illusion. The franchise’s moral basis focused on man creating an illusion. Man created Claire’s illusion. Man created dinosaurs. Claire broke through that illusion, because of dinosaurs, and found herself.

What are your thoughts on Claire? Are you excited to see her transition through the next two movies? Do let us know in the comments section below.

Unboxing the March 2017 Primal Loot Crate with a Jurassic World surprise!

Ah, Loot Crate – I’m addicted already. While this was my first foray into this popular geek delivery service, I can say it wont be my last. For those unfamiliar, Loot Crate is a monthly subscription service where you are sent a box full of surprise goodies, many of them exclusive. For March 2017, the theme was ‘PRIMAL’ and it included a very nice Jurassic World surprise! Check out the unboxing and review below:

Ok, we can safely say I won’t be making a career out of unboxing and review videos, but I think this serves its purpose well enough! I really hope Loot Crate does more Jurassic Park and Jurassic World items in the future – or even consider doing a strictly Jurassic themed crate, which is something they do for franchises like Halo. While you’re here, check out this fun video Loot Crate put together for this months box… featuring Ty Simpkins of Jurassic World!

Interested in Lootcrate? Check out their website now! You can buy the crates individually, or subscribe to receive them each month. At the low price of $15.99 a month, you really can’t go wrong! What are you waiting for, subscribe now!

Huge thanks to Loot Crate for sending this my way!

Happy New Year from Jurassic Outpost!

Wherever you are in the world, the team at Jurassic Outpost wishes you a Happy New Year!

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We have had a wonderful year launching our new website and we wanted to thank you all for following us and for your support over the past couple of years. This year especially has been filled with Jurassic news and exclusives, including our interview with Colin Trevorrow (and J.A. Bayona!) which you can listen to here!

We also wanted to thank all of you who listen to the InGeneral Podcast – we have a lot of fun recording it and we hope it’s just as fun listening.

2017 is going to be a great year and it will be filled with Jurassic news! Jurassic World 2 starts filming, the recently trademarked video game will be released, a new series of Jurassic World comic books will be released and we will be there to cover all of it! We can’t wait to experience Jurassic World 2 (or Jurassic Park 5) with you all.

Thank you to the filmmakers who have brought this franchise back – Frank Marshall, Colin Trevorrow, J.A. Bayona. The dream team.

On a personal note, I wanted to thank my team for all of their hard work this year. The launch of our new site was a big and challenging one, but all of us pulled together to make it work. Our graphic designer James McQuade could quite possibly be the best thing to come out of Australia, and continues to impress us all with his work. Chris is my main man – thank you for all you have brought to the website. Asees – we will never quite understand why you love Jurassic Park 3 so much, but hey, we love you for it. Ryan “Crash McCreery” – your artwork, that is all I need to say. Alex – better known as the encylopedia wizard, and Josh who recently joined our team, perhaps one day the world will be able to retweet you. One day.

Here’s to 2017! Now go and celebrate!

Jurassic World website update adds new sections and never before seen pictures

As all living things do with time, the Jurassic World website has continued to evolve – this time adding sections for ‘Community’, ‘Films’, and perhaps most excitingly: ‘Intel’. Finally, JurassicWorld.com houses the entire Jurassic Park franchise, and not just the movie of the same name. Intel being the most feature rich addition has pages for each major character, actor, and dinosaur* (*more on this later in the article) – and some of these pages showcase awesome new images from the past.

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Intriguingly, the section for the ‘Exhibition’ has been changed to ‘Events’, although it still only houses information about Jurassic World the Exhibition. This does seem to imply that other events are planned, though have yet to be announced. Another new addition is a Snapchat icon, so expect more from JurassicSnaps in the future – I know I’d like to see some fun Jurassic themed filters in conjunction! Also of note: the Jurassic Park facebook page has been folded into the Jurassic World facebook page, and the link for JP’s now defunct page has been removed. This is continued indication that the ‘Jurassic World’ branding will house the franchise moving forward for the time being.

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While the website doesn’t add much new material for the connoisseurs of canon, for the first time in the film franchise, ‘BioSyn’ is mentioned by name. Readers of the books know BioSyn as the company that hired Dennis Nedry to smuggle embryos off the islands. However, the films never acknowledge or confirm that Dodgson actually represents the nefarious company in question – that is until now! Dennis Nedry’s intel page directly confirms they do exist in the film universe as well. Fingers crossed they make an appearance in Jurassic World 2!

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Don’t get too excited – this is a hidden placeholder, and isn’t functioning!

If you’re like me, one of the first thing you’re probably doing is sleuthing through the website and looking for unintentional hints of what’s to come. While I didn’t find much (I’m admittedly not a pro at dissecting websites at that level), I did find something cool buried inside: a countdown timer. Now, before you freak out and think Jurassic World 2 news is inbound – the timer is placeholder and counting UP, not down. Still cool to see something is planned eventually!

I’ve got to say, the website is incredibly slick and features all the right types of pages with ample room to grow from. Whomever designed this certainly deserves some praise, and it’s great to finally see a site visually worthy of the franchise it’s attached to. However – and this is a larger however – the content on the individual pages could use a lot of work. Many of the facts are awkward, some of the bios are missing outright, and the amount of content per ‘intel’ page is severely lacking. Most potently, the dinosaur pages are riddled with errors (and many species are completely MIA).

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No, Apatosaurus wasn’t in The Lost World – the sauropod seen in that movie was Mamenchisaurus (which is lacking a page) – and for some reason the Apatosaurus page shows an image of a Brachiosaurus (also missing a page). Further: Pachycephalosaurus was not featured only in Jurassic Park – it wasn’t even in Jurassic Park! But as a reader, I’m sure you already know that (if you don’t, they appear in both The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic World). Strangely, another key missing player is JP3’s Spinosaurus – though for unknown reasons the Suchomimus is listed as being in Jurassic Park 3; it wasn’t. The list could go on and on, so I’ll end it there for now (perhaps the update went live too soon?), but Universal: if you need help generating and fact checking content (or more), just give us an email!

Now that I got that out of the way, I want to close off on some more of the many positives. While the information on the intel pages need some work, let’s talk about how cool some of those featured pictures are! Although nothing unknown is outright revealed, many of the photos are completely new to the web. One cool shot is an HD picture of Udesky holding a stick – this was from a never released deleted Jurassic Park 3 scene where he fights off the Velociraptors before being killed. Check out some of our favorite images below, or hit the intel section to explore yourself!

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Honestly, I cannot wait to see where this all leads. I hope the website continues to evolve, and becomes something as feature rich as Starwars.com or Halowaypoint.com. While it will take some time to get there, they’re on the right path now and I’m optimistic about the future. Hopefully the franchise begins to get an expanded universe, and the website can serve as a point of reference/encyclopedia of sorts. It will also be quite interesting to see what the ‘community’ section evolves into – personal interests aside, I know I would love to see more interaction with the fanbase and I believe it could really turn into something special.

As always, stay tuned for the latest news and be sure to sound off in the comments below!

Theory: Do we already know LUCY’s father?

Who is Lucy? That is the question that keeps rippling across the online community since the ‘Ancient Futures’ casting call was discovered. While any attempts to decipher more information about the character beyond that provided in the casting call may be baseless conjecture, I decided to take a stab at it anyhow. Worst case scenario: I’m completely wrong, but generate some discussion amongst fans in the process. So, let’s have some fun.

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Before moving forward, I want to pull up the character description Actors Access provided:

She is a young girl around 9 years of age. The girl playing “Lucy” must be at least 9 years of age by February 2017, but cannot be over 10 years old.  She must be a sensitive and clever actress capable of handling long and complex scenes.  Lucy must be able to handle a range of emotions from tender moments with her father, to anxiety, bravery, and shock.

Let’s get one thing out of the way now while we’re at it: the casting call mentions her father, and names her Lucy. The name may be placeholder, just as Ancient Futures is used in place of Jurassic World 2, while the father role may not actually be her father. However, for the sake of discussion and discovery, we will presume those two things are actually factual.

What else do we know? Those who attended auditions implied it was clear they were going for a ‘certain look’ for the girl, but did not elaborate further due to NDA’s. The test dialog apparently played against the implied father character – though no details on what exactly that involved were shared online. With that in mind, what immediately becomes clear is the father character is assuredly just as important as Lucy – if not more so. As such, they are likely looking for a young actress who would have good on screen chemistry with that mystery actor.

To test ‘Lucy’ actresses properly, it only makes sense that they know who is playing the father. Considering no casting reports for Jurassic World 2 have been shared by the trades or Universal Pictures, I find it unlikely to be an entirely new player in the franchise. My assumption is that the actor has not been reported on, as he did not need to try out: he is simply a returning player, established in prior films. With that in mind, I’ve floated a few ideas.. but am favoring one more than the rest.

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Credit: Science Picture Co Collection Mix: Subjects Getty Images

As I said earlier, in this article I will presume the name Lucy is not placeholder. In a film about extinct creatures, it’s hard to ignore the scientific importance of that name. Around 42 years ago a stunning discovery was made by a team of scientists in Ethiopia – the fossil remains of an early hominin who lived over 3 million years ago was discovered. Dubbed Lucy, some even suggested she could be the missing link in humanities ancestral evolution – and her remains being 40% in tact helped fuel many scientific discoveries. While she may not be the missing link some had hoped for (it’s now suspected we branched from Chimps around 13 millions years ago), her importance is not to be understated, with more being learned even today. Lucy remains a very significant name in the scientific fields and popular science culture, especially those to do with ancient history.

With the information above, in a series of films where our worlds ancient history becomes our future, I couldn’t help but wonder if a character naming their child Lucy would do so on purpose. Surely the significance wouldn’t be lost on them? It seems too uncanny to be a coincidence, and I feel it’s safe to assume the screenwriters Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly are also familiar with those facts.

Rather unsurprisingly, I find myself pondering who in the franchise would name their child after a scientific discovery with such gravitas. While some may assume the paleo-past connection would favor Dr. Grant, I just don’t think that would be his style. Plus, I’m hard pressed to imagine a situation where Dr. Grant shows up in Jurassic World 2 AND has a child. That would take a ton of exposition to make believable, and I really cannot see it happening in a organic way. Where he was left off in Jurassic Park 3 does not really leave a path to that result – nor him returning in a sense-worthy fashion.

Then, I suppose we could look at Ian Malcolm.. we know he does like to have kids. I could certainly see him returning in Jurassic World 2, he’s like a moth to the flame, simply to have the chance to be right and say “I, uh, told you so”. But I just can’t imagine him naming a daughter – and we’re presuming the context is on purpose- Lucy. After his experience in Jurassic Park, the implications of a name tied to extinct history would be testing the chaotic nature of fate, far too close to experiences he’d like to forget.

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So, where is this all leading? Why, Dr. Henry Wu (played by B.D. Wong) of course. Yes, he would have the hubris to name his child after such a momentous scientific discovery (in the real world it may be innocuous enough, but in the Jurassic universe it carries irrefutable clout). His work in bringing the extinct world into the extant, playing god, and exploring the history while defining the future is unparalleled. That name is the perfect fit if he were to have a daughter. Further, him having a daughter to interact with could add a complex layer to his characterization – helping add a more human element to the man who’s ego often leads to deadly results.

In Jurassic World Dr. Wu was played more like a villain, and while I doubt we’re going to be rooting for him in the sequel, adding empathy and motives to his persona would only play to the benefit of the story. Ideally, the inclusion of ‘Lucy’ would help drive and further define his character, perhaps playing in contrast to his less idealistic actions, reminding us that he’s a human, not a caricature. It also plays to the benefit of the audience, because while we may eventually think it’s best he becomes dino-food, the inclusion of his daughter now creates a situation to be dreaded and avoided. Will he be able to evolve, and see the dangers in his actions, or will he slip up and potentially put his daughter in harms way? The material is there, and while the Jurassic franchise has a rich history of roles for children, there has never been one quite like that.

Ultimately, I could be connecting the dots where none exist, and building a reconstruction of a fossil that never existed in actuality. In fact, that’s more than likely the case… but I covered that in the first paragraph. Despite the complete lack of evidence, I do feel like I’ve cracked the code on this one – although just earlier today I was favoring Malcolm’s return with another daughter, if only for the parallels to The Lost World. Yet until a definitive answer comes to light, I will continue to enjoy the thought that Dr. Wu may return in Jurassic World 2 with a more somber story than many expect.

Be sure to listen to our latest podcast where we discuss the “Lucy” casting and what it could mean for the franchise:

As always, sound off in the comments below – and be sure to share your crazy theories as well! Stay tuned, more news is surely on the horizon.

A Trip to Isla Nublar – Visiting the Islands of Oahu and Kauai, Hawaii

A week ago I returned from a vacation to the islands of Hawaii where we were lucky enough to visit numerous locations from the Jurassic Park movies and the television show Lost, as well as a handful of others.

The islands of both Oahu and Kauai have been used extensively for film and TV productions over the years but I would say that the islands are most recognizable as both Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna.

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Visiting the islands has been a lifelong dream – as it is for many fans – and standing on the many locations where the cast and crew of the movies stood can get fairly surreal. Seeing the mountains, valleys, and film sets in person is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

I wanted to share some photos from my trip, as well as describe the Kualoa Ranch tour (famous for the Gallimimus sequence, I-Rex Paddock, Gyrosphere Station) and the Jurassic Falls tour (landing at the famous waterfall) which I highly recommend to all fans who are lucky enough to visit the islands! I have already shared some photos from the trip on Instagram:

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I was lucky enough to be shown around by my friend Sean from Reel News Hawaii, who knows the island of Oahu like the back of his hand. Leaving out the many locations we hit for Lost, we started off with the pier where the Isla Nublar ferry arrives at Jurassic World! The pier is naturally exactly as it was seen on screen, but you’ll notice the flag poles and CGI monorail aren’t to be seen.

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We visited the Hawaii Convention Center which stood in for the Isla Nublar Hilton, as well as the car park in Jurassic World where workers are panicking and Owen and Claire leave on the ATV:

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The Jurassic Park 3 landing strip was up next, which is at Dillingham Airfield. It was interesting to learn that a lot of foliage was added to the sides of the landing strip, and the small shack/building was also added. I had always just assumed it was always like this! Our website designer had some fun with the photo:

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This was always one of my favourite scenes in Jurassic Park 3, so it was pretty cool to stand and explore this landing strip.

The first official tour we took was the Premier Movie Sites Tour at the Kualoa Ranch. It is the only tour that takes place in an air conditioned Mercedes Sprinter van and the tour is incredibly in-depth, playing scenes on monitors from various movies as you drive past, and in some cases, stop at famous movie sites. Our tour guide was called Stephanie and I’d highly recommend her! She was brilliant, knew as much about the Jurassic movies as any fan, and really has a passion for movies and the locations in which they filmed. She was joined by trainee Melani who will no doubt make an great tour guide herself. The famous Gallimimus scenes takes place right next to Hurley’s Golf Course in Lost, and while they don’t sign post the Gallimimus hill, a log sits roughly where the original log sat.

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There are many other locations at the Kualoa Ranch, mostly from Jurassic World. The Helipad, the I-Rex Paddock, the Mosasaurus lagoon, the Gyrosphere Station and the “Jurassic Park” gate were all constructed here and in some cases, they remain. Check out the gallery below!

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And obviously we had to recreate some photos too! Credit to Reel News Hawaii for some of the featured photos and the I-Rex poster below!

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It’s pretty safe to say this tour is a must do for any Jurassic Park fan. The Kualoa Ranch have done an outstanding job of restoring many of the Jurassic World sets, and they ensure you have the best experience while touring the property. The property itself really shows off Hawaii’s natural beauty; I often found myself gazing at my surroundings, taking it all in.

If you take the Premier Movie Sites Tour – which I recommend – then you are given 10% off at the gift shop too. What I did find strange however, is that there is not a single piece of Jurassic merchandise to be found. After asking around, it seems that Universal Pictures have not provided the rights for the Kualoa Ranch to sell merchandise, which is just downright bizarre. After visiting the Jurassic Park filming locations, doesn’t everybody want to buy a shirt? It seems like one of the most logical places to actually sell merchandise, yet there is none to be found. Even the staff found it odd.

Aside from that, the Kualoa Ranch is a must-see on the island of Oahu!

While there are many locations to be found on the island of Oahu, the island of Kauai is where a large chunk of Jurassic Park was filmed. We only had the day on Kauai so we did not get to see much, but two minutes from the airport is the Island Helicopters office – the only helicopter company that land at the Manawaiopuna Falls, the waterfall from Jurassic Park!

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This was the most surreal of it all. As you approach the waterfall, they play the Jurassic Park theme through your headphones – icing on the cake. It really places you there. Our pilot told me that some of the original pieces of the landing pad had been left on the other side of the plunge pool but I couldn’t quite make anything out in particular.

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Once you have gazed in awe at the waterfall the Helicopter tour continues, taking you around the beautiful island of Kauai and showing you the Nā Pali coast, hidden beaches and much more. It’s a great tour, the whole island looks like Isla Nublar. Our waterfall experience was amazing, and we even got to witness a wedding proposal – congratulations to Marissa and her partner! What a great place to have proposed.

It’s hard, if not impossible to say which location was my favourite to visit but the waterfall does comes close. The whole trip was absolutely wonderful and I’m so grateful to have seen the islands. It’s something I have wanted to do since as early as I can remember and this trip ticked all the boxes. I finally got to visit Jurassic Park. Hands down the best vacation I have had.

I want to thank Sean for showing us so much on the island of Oahu! The Reel News Hawaii/Jurassic Outpost meetup finally happened!

If you are lucky enough to take a vacation to Hawaii then be sure to check out the Kualoa Ranch website for more information on the tours they offer, and the Island Helicopters website for information on the waterfall tour!

I hope you have enjoyed this write-up and the photos too! This trip was filled with great memories that I’ll never forget. Have you been to the islands? Be sure to share your stories and photos with us in the comments section below!

Review: Hasbro Jurassic World ‘Hybrid Rampage’ Indominus Rex

The fearsome hybrid Indominus Rex is terrifying and unpredictable. Born in captivity, she on the loose stalking her prey. Watch out! She’s rampaging across Jurassic World!

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Hasbro’s Jurassic World ‘Hybrid Rampage’ Indominus Rex is now appearing in stores and online, retailing at $34.99. This is a brand new sculpt, and was first shown off at Toy Fair 2016. Measuring 22 inches long, she is actually about 2 inches larger than the 2015 ‘Bad Boy’ Indominus Rex. She features articulated legs, left arm lever activated ‘Chomping Jaws’ & ‘Fang Reveal’,  button activated ‘Spike Reveal’, and a free to move articulated right arm. Plus, she’s electronic and features numerous different roaring sounds! What’s not to love?

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The first thing that stands out about this toy to me is its clean, crisp white coloration. While it has a tendency to wash out in photos a bit, it really pops and looks fantastic on the toy. The color scheme shines with the addition of the clearly defined reddish orange striping patterns running the length of her head and body, applied with a mildly metallic sheen. Her underbelly, hands, and feet are painted with an incredibly metallic gold paint – it looks really good in my opinion, but could have used better blending work. The orbital and fenstra sockets are filled with a dark, brownish purple paint which gives her face a sinister and skull like appearance. The eyes are nicely detailed, conveying a mean look, and featuring four different colors. The inside of the mouth is painted a solid, flat dark purple, and the teeth a cream color – sadly the claws are unpainted.

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The detail work on the sculpt is really great, and captures the Indominus Rex fantastically – albeit with larger, more stylized spikes. The teeth, claws, scutes, spikes and other finer details are all shaped very nicely, while still lending themselves to safe play. The skin detail feels very hand crafted, with each scale and scute inter-playing with the muscle and skeletal structure – something most Jurassic World toys were severely lacking. Unfortunately, the right flank of the toy features six visible screw holes, however these are far less offensive than those seen in prior releases. The biggest issue with the sculpt is the feet. While they look great, they are not proportioned for the weight of the toy, leading to major balance issues (surely to frustrate both kids and collectors).

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The toy is made out of hard plastic which is fairly lightweight. It doesn’t feel as cheap as generic toys offered by competitors, though its lightness does feel quite strange for a Jurassic Park toy and gives a sense of added fragility. The sound quality sits at a nice middle ground, neither too loud nor too quiet. The sounds can accidentally activate in play, as the jaw hinge is loose and can open and close from momentum rather easily. Otherwise, the sounds are activated by the spike reveal button on her left flank, and the ‘chomping jaw’ activation via her left arm.

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The spike reveal works rather nicely – one firm push of the button, and they pop out and stay in place. Another push, and they recede back into the neutral pose. The chomping mechanism is a lot of fun – when it works. It has a tendency to get stuck, and not complete its activation without further nudging of the arm. Ideally, the arm is pulled back, and upon release it resets and activates a randomized amount of chomping motions (up to 14), plus different roars. It’s quite cool when it works, but I worry that so many reports of it being faulty straight out of the package may lead to complete brokenness via casual play.

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The toy sizes nicely compared to the rest of the Jurassic World lineup, and Jurassic Park toys of the past. This toy has notably more size to it (helped by better proportions) than other large offerings from the 2015 range, and is quite eye catching. Not only is it longer that the previous large Indominus Rex, it stands taller at the hips, and is wider overall. Its head and arms are lightly smaller, and legs slightly larger, but all look more natural. Honestly, this is the perfect sized toy.

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Overall, this is easily my favorite toy from the Jurassic World lineup, and is the first that looks at home next to past Jurassic Park items. I really dig the sculpt, colors, play features and sounds – but am certainly bummed by the quality control issues on the chomping mechanism, plus item balance. For a collector it’s frustrating, but for a parent it’s a nightmare and for a child, a letdown. However, overall this toy skews positive in my eyes – and it’s important not to forget that target audience:

 

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If that adorable video doesn’t prove this toy is a must buy, I don’t know what will. Should future releases have the chomping gimmick fixed, and feature better balance it’s a near perfect toy. Hopefully the QA issues are short lived, as this overall is something special (in fact, it also may be the last big Dinosaur from Hasbro as Mattel is taking ownership in late 2017). If those issues did not exist, I would note the room for improvement in the gold paint blending, and perhaps continuation of the red stripes to the tail.

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6~8 / 10

(Based upon variable balance & chomping activation experiences)Recommended for collectors and parents/kids, but we wary of bad balance and faulty chomping features! Want more? Check out the additional photos below!!

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Why has Universal Pictures splintered the Jurassic Park and World social media accounts?

Marketing can be a weird thing. Focus groups, key words, and target demographs are the typical forces that drive the decisions forward to making as big of a splash as possible. Our world today is ruled by social media: we want more stimulation faster, and if appropriate, in as an abbreviated format as possible. Because of this, platforms like Twitter thrive – the hyperfocus of a Tweet can capture attention with ease.

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It’s no surprise then that Twitter is an important social media tool in the film industry. It is used to unify the online community with an official focal point, which can then be shared and networked beyond through hundreds of thousands of followers. As such, keeping a growing brand like Jurassic Park and World – which has numerous unofficial fan sites and social media accounts – unified for marketing synergy only makes sense. While Jurassic World did change its name, effecting marketing and branding, it is still the fourth film in Jurassic Park series.

Up until today, the social media accounts reflected that: on Twitter the account handle was @JurassicPark but the ‘account name’ and imagery was for Jurassic World. It reflected that the franchise was one, and helped bring fans of classic to the new, and fans of the new to the classic. However, now Universal Pictures has made the inexplicable decision to split the handles to @JurassicPark and @JurassicWorld, splintering their following.

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Ultimately, this move unnecessarily confuses and dilutes the brand by splitting its potential followers in two. What happens if those following @JurassicPark still want news for the next film, but don’t realize the other account exists? Or perhaps an inverse scenario, where fans of the newest film would be interested in news about happenings revolving around the classic trilogy – however, they aren’t following the other account as its existence isn’t necessitated by common sense nor current marketing trends. And if they both share the same news, why split the accounts in the first place?

Jurassic World was the 4th highest grossing film of all time in the box office, making over $1.6 billion dollars worldwide. However, it only has 178,000 followers on Twitter – as opposed to Star Wars with 2.3million followers and Marvel with over 4 million. The Jurassic brands online presence does not nearly match its box office strength or recognition, and splitting the accounts will not help with its true potential in growth. Of course, to grow the social media accounts would require activity which also felt organic and genuine in tone; unmanufactured. As it stands now, they are neither.

It can be frustrating to be a fan of the Jurassic franchise. While as fans we are not owed anything (an inflated sense of entitlement can often lead to unwarranted toxicity between the studio and fandom), it’s easy to see the potential the brand has to excel, yet there is a palpable lack of enthusiasm – or perhaps confidence – from the studio to hit those marks. Some of the most frequent non-toy and non-videogame questions we receive from other fans are ‘Will there be a Jurassic World artbook?’, ‘Where are the Jurassic Park and World comics’ and ‘Will there be new movie canon tie-in novels?’. The opportunity to expand the fiction (and brand strength by association) into new territory is ripe, and utilizing the momentum Jurassic World presented is essential. Yet it’s radio silence, and minimal visible output abroad.

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However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Yes, the rant is over for the time being – lets talk the future, and what we can infer from the splitting of the accounts. First and foremost, ‘Jurassic Park’ is not dead. By giving @JurassicPark its own social media account it’s clear the classic trilogy will continue to see new merch and media going into the future – alongside the current Jurassic World film merch and media. With a slick new logo similiar to the current DVD offerings, which is quite different from the nostalgic original, it’s clear they’re utilizing brand imagery that is meant to operate with today’s trends.

As for Jurassic World: those who didn’t believe the title and branding were here to stay should reconsider. When the accounts split, one had to start anew while another would keep the existing followers. The handle @JurassicWorld was given the existing 178k followers, meaning it will be the brand and marketing powerhouse moving forward, @JurassicPark the niche. So yes, while we do not yet know the name of the fifth Jurassic movie, it will certainly include ‘Jurassic World’ as opposed to ‘Park’ or something entirely new.

Ultimately, it’s exciting to know that as we get closer to the release of the Jurassic World sequel, classic Jurassic Park will remain relevant. We’ve heard buzz that a toy line inspired by the classic Jurassic films could be targeting 2017 alongside ‘Raptor Squad’, and this seems to give it further legitimacy. While the splitting of the brands seems to be a convoluted misstep, it’s nice to see the Jurassic Park logo on social media once again.

As always, sound off in the comments below and stay tuned for the latest news!