The DNA of Jurassic Park

We spent a day at Frontier Developments in Cambridge and played Jurassic World: Evolution!

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Velociraptor (Film Universe)
There are three distinct variations of Velociraptor which were cloned by InGen, not counting sexual dimorphism seen within each individual version. However, despite the surface level variations, each sub-species remains relatively similiar in terms of physical attributes. Each species is roughly 6 feet tall…

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

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

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

Green Velociraptors? Not quite… read on.

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

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

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

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

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

Check it out below!

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

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

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


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

  1. It is strange how Kenner was able to nail this color scheme for their standard Velociraptor toy, while Mattel hasn’t yet. It’s not particularly complicated to simplify onto a toy. Brown, with dark/black stripes, and a pale belly/lower jaw with yellow green eyes.

    The images of the maquette here: are easily some of the best pics of the color scheme these raptors had.

    Honestly it is far from these film raptors that have had numerous accuracy issues. I have been compiling a list on reddit and on the dinotoyforum, about accuracy and inaccuracy issues for these Mattel Jurassic World, and this extends to most of the other Velociraptor figures, minus a few of Velociraptor Blue, whether it be something minor as having the wrong markings (orange/TLW Legacy Collection Velociraptor) or the wrong color scheme (Attack Pack Delta), or the wrong sculpt (both the orange/TLW Legacy Collection Velociraptor, using the JP/// style sculpt, and the JP/// female Velociraptor being another repaint of the standing Attack Pack Velociraptor sculpt which is of the JP/TLW raptors).

  2. Sadly, the Raptors are ruined anyway thanks to JW’s redesign. They just look so off. Nothing will ever compare to the original Jurassic Park. Why even try??

  3. My theory, and you should adopt it also, is that, like Reptiles, they changed to darker shades when cold and more vibrant shades when warm. Helps explain a lot of different shots in the film.

    1. Yeeeaaaah… have you ever even see Jurassic Park. The movie literally explains that dinosaurs evolved from birds and were warm blooded creatures. This is also backed up by real-world science. This “theory” is incorrect and should definitely not be adopted by anyone, JP fans especially.

      1. Have YOU ever watched Jurassic Park? The movie literally explains that they aren’t TRUE Dinosaurs… Reptiles and Amphibians change colour slightly depending on their environment and whether they are warm or cold… Jurassic Park’s Dinosaurs literally have Amphibian DNA in their make-ups… Ya Goose.

      2. Dinosaurs evolved from birds? What?

        Anyway, the bird stuff and warm blooded stuff is only someones ideas, and as for your backed up by real world science comment, it’s actually just backed up by people repeating the same ideas.

        I am not denying some connection between Dinosaurs and Birds, but the enourmous, ridiculous leaps made by these scientists, to the point we have reached now, where they have basically said practically all theropod Dinosaurs and many others were covered in feathers etc, it’s ridiculous.

        I have laughed at the so called evidence to make them come to these conclusions. “this thing here on this fossil, might be a feather, maybe, and as this Dinosaur might have had a feather, and it existed before all these other Dinosaurs, let’s just say all of them certainly had feathers on them too.” it’s pathetic.

        As for the warm blooded thing, the only reason that even started getting talked about years ago now, was because these guys were so ignorant about Reptiles, they believed if Dinosaurs were not sluggish and slow, they surely must not have been cold blooded, believing all cold blooded creatures were very inactive and slow moving. Which is utter nonsense. It was this same kind of ignorance that made some foolish scientists come up with a theory that Komodo Dragons must hunt by using the bacteria in their mouths. It persists to this day, you hear it in all the documentaries, but it’s rubbish they made off the top of their heads because of their ignorance about Reptiles. The same guys probably thought they were cold and slimy too.

          1. I’m happy to see your comment Gavin 🙂
            Nice to know there are others feeling the same!

          1. Well one of the fossils that was found in China that was eventually found to be fake, I was shocked when they admitted on a documentary, that they didn’t test it as much as they could, because they just wanted it to be real so much! The bias is crazy. How many other fossils did they take the same approach with?

          2. The academic world is actually awash in intellectual dishonesty, publish or perish chains, splitters out to make a name and personal bias. It’s truly alarming. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but one cannot simply accept what they read in a journal or watch on a documentary anymore.

  4. Am I alone in hating the JW design the Raptors have? Especially in the JW: Evolution game, they just look… Off. Is it their snouts? I think it is. Their mouths are far too straight. I really miss the Eagle-like Raptors of the first two films.

  5. You made a point about Universal possibly believing that green is the correct color – and that is a potent possibility, as all merchandise is subject to licensee approval.

    This is a common issue between Lucasfilm (before and after the Disney sale) and Star Wars fans, but not often reported outside those fandom circles. The best comparison is the Imperial Navy Trooper / Death Star Trooper – when the Kenner toy, ‘Death Squad Commander’ was released in 1978, based on a goof/error on set, the figure was manufactured with a gray uniform and black helmet, and fans have always wanted a modern version… but Lucasfilm refuses to allow it. There was a similar long-standing issue over Han Solo’s coat in Empire — on screen, it’s a dark color that looks blue-ish, but the 1980 toy made it a very bright blue, but as the actual prop was brown, only brown was used for a variety of years in merchandise, with blue showing up occasionally in homage. etc. etc.

    I’m using these unrelated examples to suggest that Universal may be overruling licensees in favor of green coloration if they see it as a discrepancy. It’s a possibility.

    Although in case of FK merchandise, there were also Green Raptors besides Blue present as well, so there may be more to it than a mistinterpretation of 1993 stuff.

  6. The only small detail missing from this article is that Crash McCreery’s color schemes involves a green Velociraptor. Therefore it goes to show that Velociraptors in Jurassic Park trilogy were going to be green and was dropped in further production. However, the design would reappear in the franchise in credence to marketing from The Lost World: Jurassic Park as toylines and the arcade game featured green Velociraptors of there own.

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