Gather the coins in your couch cushions and whatever’s left of your Trump bucks. On August 6, 2020, you can bid for over 50 life-size animatronic dinosaurs on AbleAuction. This is not a drill. I repeat: this is not a drill.
The listing, which was spotted by BoingBoing, says that this treasure hoard of robot dinos includes “T-Rex, Brontosaurus, and Raptors; plus hundreds of fossils, animatronic equipment, lighting, speakers, and more.” While the auction house, and therefore, the dinos, are in Langley, a municipality in the Metro Vancouver area in British Columbia, Canada, the sale itself will be online only. If you’re in the area, however, you can preview the dinos from 9 am-5 pm on August 5. (Provided, you are not a jackass and follow Able Auction’s request to wear a mask.)
But who has more than 50 giant animatronic dinosaurs to sell in the first place? According to the Vancouver Sun, the collection was likely part of an international touring exhibition that has since folded. Able Auctions declined to reveal exactly where it acquired “between 70 and 80 of the animatronic dinos”, but the Sun reports that the Experiential Media Group (Canada) Corp. filed for voluntary bankruptcy on May 5 and that KPMG was named as trustee.
Apparently, the Sun notes that KPMG had written a report detailing how EMG Canada bought the assets of Dinoking Tech Inc, an animatronics firm that then merged with Premier Exhibitions, a company that specialised in historical artefact exhibits, in 2015. Even though the companies then created travelling dino and bug exhibits that were featured by museums, zoos, and tourist attractions in over 100 cities globally, it wasn’t enough to escape money troubles.
Coincidence? Probably not. Able Auctions CEO Jeremy Dodd told the Sun that for now, the robot dinos are sitting in a warehouse in Langley and “sea containers that would be unloaded over the next two weeks.”
I’m not saying that a generous, Vancouver-based Gizmodo-lover should gift one of these bad boys so we can put in front of our office for whenever the pandemic lets up. I’m also not not saying that. Maybe a ‘lil velociraptor.