Behind-the-Scenes: Baby Raptor Tiki Mug

Brock Otterbacher, Creative Director, Toys & Collectibles

For some reason, the Baby Raptor mug was hard to design! Mike Bonanno (Art Director) and I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out the best way to represent a raptor in tiki form. The easy route would have been to just have an adult raptor as a tiki idol - sort of like we did for our forth-coming T-Rex mug - and it would have been a solid mug. We felt, however, that our raptor deserved a bit more thought and came up with all kinds of wacky ideas, such as a pile of the three raptors from the film, a raptor paddock, and even a big raptor claw in the style of a drinking horn. Ultimately, though, it just takes watching JURASSIC PARK one more time to get that spark. Specifically, this scene:

One of us said "Dude, baby raptor in an egg!" and we had our idea. Our thought was to have it be a bit of a nod to coconut-style tiki mugs, which have been a staple of tiki drinkware for years.

Mike drew up the initial idea to present to Tiki Farm:

Tom "Thor" Thordarson was on duty, along with Tiki Farm, to render the design further. Thor (who is not only a great illustrator, but also an accomplished sculptor) wanted to quickly rough out the idea in 3D first, to get a better idea of how to illustrate a full turnaround.

Notice how the head is tucked into the shell? This is because the initial thought was to sculpt the mug as one piece, but we asked tiki guru and Tiki Farm founder/owner, Holden Westland, how we could make it so the raptor's head was posed in a more alert way. He did a quick illustration of how we could use greenware bonding - the process of taking two wet pieces of clay and bonding them together before firing them in a kiln. 

Since the molding process of these mugs are very restrictive in how much detail you can have in a sculpt, doing greenware bonding (while being a more expensive process) allows for more dynamic designs. With this in mind, Thor was able to do a complete turnaround, which would be the basis for our final sculpture:

Notice how there is a Velociraptor icon on the back of her? Our initial thought was to put the individual dinosaur icons on the back of these, but in the final steps we removed it as it felt a bit intrusive to the design. 

Once the design was approved by Universal, we had Thor do the initial sculpture, and then had it finished off by Ramirez Studios.

And as a final touch, we added the JURASSIC PARK icon on the bottom.

One last kind of fun fact (at least to me) is this: you'll notice when you get your mug, there's a little hole in the bottom of our baby's chin. Because of the greenware bonding process, with the head being molded separately from the shell, the head itself is made hollow. In the firing process (where the clay is baked in a kiln), the air inside the head heats up to such a degree that if the hole wasn't there to allow the air to escape, it would explode. Fun!

I love the process of making these mugs, but this one had a particularly fun - albeit long - journey. From 2D to 3D to 2D again, and finally 3D! It's a fun mug to hold and drink from, and I can't wait to get Baby Raptor in everybody's hands!

We're offering three different glazes - our Standard version, Isla Nublar Green, and Blue - each more gorgeous than the next! 

But that's not all! We will be offering a classic Brown glaze to select Alamo Drafthouse locations in the near future -

We also created a super rare Lava glaze, which was specially-made for customers who weren't able to receive their Alien Hive tiki mugs due to inventory shortages.

We may bring bring a super super SUPER limited amount (like, maybe 10) to Designer Con in November, so if you're at the show in Anaheim, come stop by and check in.

Pick up the JURASSIC PARK: Baby Raptor Tiki Mug here.

On the horizon, we have A LOT of mugs coming! Bruce the Shark from JAWS, PREDATOR, HALLOWEEN, Stay Puft and of course T-Rex, which is our biggest mug (so far). Here are a couple of previews! Until next time - drink up!