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Monday, July 30, 2007

The Mark of Jurassic Park

The most vivid memories that I have - that is, the events to which I feel the greatest amount of nostalgia towards - are from the summer of 1993. Living in Toronto was just such a blast: the Toronto Blue Jays had just gotten off the first World Series win for a Canadian team, and were well on their way towards winning their second. I was completely obsessed with Batman, and the animated series was in it's finest form. Star Trek has retaken the minds of the masses, and had just launched Deep Space Nine, while TNG was still wildly popular (I can still remember taking my Jean-Luc Picard action figure to school, and stupidly, as kids are wont to do, scuffing up his comm-badge by running him along the fence to produce a most satisfying *ding-ding-ding* noise). It was just such an awesome time, and even though my father had just gotten laid-off when the Ontario Stockyards moved from Toronto to Cookstown, I remember it as an easy-going, and supremely fun time.

And of course, there was Jurassic Park.

I don't know what it was - maybe it was my exposure to and subsequent love of all things Barney, or maybe it was just the natural proclivity of children to love dinosaurs, but I fell for Jurassic Park with no hesitation, and I fell hard. Dinosaurs were my life from that point onward. I wanted the toys, the t-shirts, the school supplies... I wanted anything I could get my hands on. Now, in reality, I only ended up getting these really cheap, possibly-knock-off, miniature JP dinosaurs (I got a T-Rex and a Gallimimus, my brother got a Velociraptor and a Brachiosaurus), that seemed to be made out of resin and were about two-inches tall. I did what the commercials told me to do, and I "looked for the mark of Jurassic Park," in order to authenticate my finds, but a tiny "JP" mark is easy enough to fake. I no longer have the tiny dinoes, but I do remember being so disappointed that I had not gotten any of the big dino toys that actually had chunks of their flesh that could be taken out to resemble "dino damage." Other items that I received were a Jurassic Park pencil case set (featuring my most favorite of all dinos, the Dilophosaurs, or "Spitter" as I called him - he rose to the rank of my favorite above T-Rex after I had won a stuffed Dilopho from "the Birthday Game" booth at the Canadian National Exhibition), a set of Jurassic Park-themed pencils, a McDonalds promotional plastic cup (featuring Gallimimus), and a backpack (I would have killed for the lunchbox, though).

There was also the numerous JP-shaped food items that I indulged in (not as many as there were for The Lost World, but we'll talk about that later): Jurassic Park yellow-cremed Oreos, Jurassic Park animal crackers, Jurassic Park Raptor-Egg gumballs. There were also other items that weren't exclusively dino-flavoured, but that nonetheless helped fuel my JP-inspired consumerism: Jell-o had cardboard recreations of T-Rexes and the awe-inspiring JP Ford Explorer on the back of their pudding packages.

So, you can imagine how finding something like this might make me all giddy (EDIT: If the videos aren't showing up, then YouTube obviously hates you. You can stick it to the man by viewing the first video here, and the second video here):

Also cool:

I remember another McDonalds commercial that recreates the opening scene (if you can't remember what it was, this might help: "Shooooooooooot heeeer!"), but the big metal box that's being carted through the jungle has a big ol' set of "Golden Arches" on the side. If anyone can find this, it would make my whole goddamn year.

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