Crazy facts about the original 'Jurassic Park''s merchandise

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“Jurassic World” has its fair share of merchandising tie-ins: a Dairy Queen promotion, Lego sets, even branded cans of Barbasol shaving cream (which seems to indicate that Barbasol, as a company, is totally cool with people using their product to smuggle stolen dinosaur embryos).

 

Still, “Jurassic World” will never be able to compete with the materialistic onslaught of 1993’s “Jurassic Park.” In a “Spaceballs”-esque bid to put the picture’s name on everything, the world was subjected to “Jurassic Park” colouring books, T-shirts, shampoos, even finger puppets for some insane reason. But here are some surprising facts you may not know about “Jurassic Park”’s merchandise.

"Jurassic Park" kicked off a controversial McDonald’s campaign

Famously, the “super-sizing” option at McDonald’s allowed customers to order their food in even larger portions, a move famously critiqued in the documentary "Super Size Me." Well guess what-- it began as a "Jurassic Park" tie-in.

 

Rather than “Super-Size” customers were encouraged to "Dino-Size" their meal in celebration of a corporate partnership with the new movie "Jurassic Park" (which also included collector cups for people who collect plastic cups for some reason). When the movie left theaters, McDonald’s retained the feature, but changed the name-- presumably so people wouldn't realize they were ordering enough French fries to feed a dinosaur.

In the comics, Muldoon survives

After producing a straight-up adaptation of the movie, Topps comics continued the “Jurassic Park” saga in a new comic series. Oddly, in one of its first sequel comics, a major character death from the film is completely negated.

 

Tough-guy/wearer of tiny shorts Robert Muldoon (the “clever girl” guy) is taken down by velociraptors in the movie. In the comics, though, Muldoon shows up alive, and completely unharmed, without a single scratch on him. Muldoon just explains that the raptors “tried” to kill him, but failed. Of course that’s clearly ridiculous, he’s probably just a clone or a robot or something.

There were a bunch of weird food products

You expect a certain amount of crappy food tie-ins with big movies-- or in the case of “E.T.,” crappy children’s vitamins. There were “Jurassic Park” cookies, fruit snacks, and even a “Lost World” breakfast cereal-- but there were also some weird meat products.

 

Yes, apparently someone reasoned that if people love “Jurassic Park” they’ll probably also buy some mysterious meat products if the JP logo and the silhouette of a dinosaur are plastered across the package. Thanks to that decision, the world briefly saw “Jurassic Park”-brand salami and beef jerky. Buy some if you want to spare lots of expense.

The Jurassic Park ride was nearly twice as expensive as the movie

Since even a movie about a theme park that will probably kill you can’t escape a tie-in theme park ride, the “Jurassic Park” ride opened at Universal Studios Hollywood back in 1996. In defiance of chaos theory, the ride was a success and is still in operation today-- which is a good thing, because it was crazy expensive to build.

 

 

Jurassic Park: the Ride cost a whopping $110 million dollars, whereas the movie itself only cost $63 million. Development on the ride began in 1990, three years before the movie came out. The ride’s river raft theme referenced a sequence from the book that was later cut from the movie during production.

The toys were kind of depressing

Movie action figure lines don’t always capture the likenesses of the characters. With the “Jurassic Park” toy line, it’s  possible the toymakers never even saw the movie. Alan Grant looks kind of like Dolph Lundgren, Tim seems to have doubled in age, and Dennis Nedry has gone from heavyset slob to turtleneck-clad, sunglasses-wearing tough guy. Also, in a move that would justifiably enrage the internet if it happened today, there is no action figure for Lex.

 

Presumably because there weren't enough characters in "Jurassic Park" for all of the toy executives to buy summer homes, they also produced a line of toys for characters who weren't even in the movie, with ridiculous names like "Harpoon" Harrison and Dr. Snare. Seriously, there’s an action figure for “Dr. Snare” but not for Lex. Without her computer skills, the ending of “Jurassic Park” would have only been a happy one for the velociraptors.