dino potato snacks, dino frisbees, dino mugs, dino jellies, dino magnets, inﬂatable dinos, origami dinos, dino soap and a huge range of dino toys. some of which even dino roar.
Unlike the cartoon character-led merchandising of the past, dinomania is not such a bad thing. At the City Arts Centre in Edinburgh, hoards of school kids stare wide-eyed up at one of the exhibits in a brand new show, Land of the Dragon — Dinosaurs from China. Towering above them is the skeleton of the Mamenchisaurus. 22 metres long and I60 million years old. There are six other huge skeletons all from Beijing's Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology as well as i‘ossilised footprints, clutches of dinosaur eggs and the fossilised remains of other animals around at that time.
China has proved to be a treasure trove of remains and this show gives exposure to a host of less well-known
dinosaurs. ‘I like the Tuojiangosaurus best,’ says eight-year-old Jenny, with remarkable dexterity. ‘They‘re much much bigger than I thought they would be.‘ Meanwhile a cluster of children have gathered around a computer game where, as a dinosaur of their choice, it’s them against the world. One wrong move and the screen declares them one dead dino. ‘Aw,’ the children moan. ‘lt’s no easy being prehistoric.‘
For most children, this exhibition ﬁrmly roots their toys in a prehistoric context and this makes them even more fascinating. ‘Some of them are scary and they could eat you,‘ muses six- year-old Andrew, chewing the head from his jelly Tyrannosaurus Rex. ‘But they're all dead, so it‘s okay.‘
Land of the Dragon—Dinosaurs from China. The C ity Arts Centre. Market Street. 03/ 558 I 018 until Sat 26 Jun. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Kids £1; adults £2.
It lives again
What would have happened to Doug Mchure’s career after The Virginian it it hadn’t been ior dinosaur movies? Send him burrowing into the earth, and he’ll bump into a Pterodactyl. Put him on an undiscovered island, and there’s sure to be a Brontosaurus welcoming committee. Have a pint with him in your local, and there’s probably a Tyrannosaurus Rex serving behind the bar. But sadly Doug has become The Actor That Time Forgot, lost in the Stone Age oi late SOs/early 70s cheapo Jules Verne rip-oils.
This was, however, a iertile period tor the dinosaur, who extended his acting range by alternating modern- man-stumbles-on-lost-world adventures like At The Earth’s Core with those big-screen epics that rewrote the history books. My school actually arranged a screening oi When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth for an 0- Drade History class - roll over Charles Darwin: when it comes to the origin oi the species, a scantily clad Victoria Vetri is my natural selection. And who can iorget that authentic look oi terror on Raquel Welch’s iace as a lumbering giant reptile took a liking to her designer iur bikini in One Million Years BC?
At least by the 60s, the monsters themselves were looking a bit more respectable under the guiding hand oi Ray Ilarryhausen and his special eiiects crew. ills stop motion work
Part two of your exclusive dinosaur cut-out-and-keep guide free with next issue. price [2 7.99.
was impressive enough to put earlier attempts by the likes oi Willis D’Brien in King Kong to shame: never again would an audience be on the edge oi its seat, waiting to see it the little irilly thing sellotaped to an iguana would keep irom ialling oii during the tight scene. Blue Peter could have done a more convincing iob.
Since then the dinosaur has become big business. In Japan Godzilla was the prehistoric lizard equivalent oi Arnold Schwarzenegger, while in the West, Jim lienson’s Muppet team brought us the ultimate in TV sitcoms with the snappily titled Dinosaurs. But aiter 16 July 1993, the dinosaur’s liie won’t be the same again. Thrust into mega-buck blockbuster stardom with Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, no longer will he be able to log down Sunset Boulevard without wearing shades and a ialse beard.
Based on Michael Drichton’s novel, the iilm tells oi a dinosaur theme park, where the iormer rulers oi the earth have been reconstructed by human scientists irom DNA in prehistoric blood cells. But man underestimates his latest means oi amusement, and soon discovers that dinosaurs would rather reassert their dominance than be ienced in. Jeii Goldblum, Sir Richard Attenborough, Sam Reill and Laura Dem try to avoid being stomped on in a iilm that the director describes not as science iiction, but ‘science eventuality’. Bring back big Doug, he’ll get them in line. (Alan Morrison)
Includes free ring-hinder and a bit of cardboard that's supposed to look like a pterodactyl 's
attkle bone. Maybe.
i % Elﬁn"
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The List 26 March—8 April l993 7