In 1985 Walt Disney Studios hired me to go on a month-long tour to promote their upcoming Touchstone Pictures dinosaur movie Baby, Secret of the Lost Legend. My job included doing TV, radio and print interviews and giving my “Fantasy Dinosaurs of the Movies” lecture at schools and museum, but now with scenes from Baby and Disney’s Fantasia now added to the reel of 16mm film clips. The tour included visits to various museums that had gift shops — so naturally my collection grew again as a result of the tour.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to acquire one of the limited-edition “Baby” models like the one I’m covetously holding in this photograph. By the time I came on board and this photo was snapped at the studio by the Disney photographer, the supply of these models was already exhausted. But I was able to get a large “one sheet” poster from the film.
During my Seattle stop I reconnected with my friends, the Cotte family. The Seattle lecture was at an Imax theatre that was exhibiting a set of the full-sized Kokoro mechanical dinosaurs offered by the Dynamation company in Orange County, CA. No, I couldn’t add one of those to my collection, either! But the Cottes nicely treated me to a nice birthday party, complete with a “dinosaur cake” — as did my Mother when the tour continued through Chicago.
One collectible I did manage to keep, ftom my Atlanta stay, was a large, chocolate fin-backed Dimetrodon made by the chef at my hotel and given to me by local “rep” (and also dinosaur fan) Dave Tribble. I kept that unique “collectible” for a while — until my appetite overpowered any need to add yet another paleo-item to my collection.
There was some Baby, Secret of the Lost Legend merchandise that was sold about the time the movie was released, and the studio gave me a few of the licensed items, namely several movie “one-sheet” posters, a story book (published by Little Simon, a division of Simon & Schuster) and some plastic candy dispensors (from Topps, including candy). The bubblegum cards and VHS videotape, however, I had to buy.