In this new series, titled Popspective, we give voice to characters from some of the most beloved fandoms, allowing them to share details about their lives as Pop! figures, as well as their thoughts about public perception of their characters.
Welcome to my world. I'm John Hammond and yes, I can appreciate the irony of the man who introduced the modern world to the Jurassic era currently existing as a 3 3/4”-tall collectible. Can you imagine what it's like waking up trapped in a box one-sixteenth your normal size? It was a very nice box, don't get me wrong. I have an eye for the importance of packaging to brand identity and this box was very well done.
People forget that I launched the entire Jurassic Park brand. I'm perceived as the doddering old fool who got a bunch of people killed. I'm not denying my role in all that. You have to remember that this all started in the ‘90s. There weren't online job boards. Employers had limited access to qualified workers. I did the best I could finding people willing to work on Isla Nublar, but my employees—one in particular—were flawed and that was my Achilles heel.
My idea was just a few decades ahead of its time. If we were starting this up today with modern recruiting tools and access to experts, the employees would have been topnotch and this would be a very different conversation. I chose to go into a life of seclusion after … everything that happened. Many of the families held me responsible and, at my age, it wasn't such a hardship as it would have been earlier.
There's been some confusion over whether I'm alive or dead, between book canon and five different movies, and the answer is yes! It's difficult to understand because "alive" and "dead" is such black and white thinking, and the world is a complex place as I think I proved by bringing back several extinct species of dinosaur. Here I am, a 5'7” man who died sometime between The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III and yet here I am speaking to you from a form that's mere inches tall. That's the magic of storytelling for you. I can't die, not while my story remains alive.
But back to my current life! The dog here is adorable. I've been trying to train her to carry me around the house. It's slow going and I've fallen off twice but I think we're making real progress. The real challenge is directing her where I want her to go. She's very easily distracted by cats and food so I'd like to implement some kind of braking and steering system.
I know what you're going to say, “here he goes again manipulating nature” but it isn't true. You expect that around a certain age mobility is going to be more of a challenge. I've had my cane for a long time. But you just don't expect to wake up one morning 3 3/4” tall. It's hard to prepare for and not exactly a common affliction. I feel like a character in a Kafka story!
There are some lovely Pop! Rides that I've got my eye on. Viserion might be a bit much for me, and I think it would remind me too much of my Jurassic Park days. But there's a gorgeous Aston Martin that I would love to get my hands on. Then there's that deathtrap from Ghostbusters; what's it called? Ecto-1? It wouldn't be my first choice but it beats trying to ride a husky. Although, I think my first Pop! Rides choice would be the Hogwarts Express; it's so charming and cozy! I've got them all on my wish list but unfortunately my birthday is a way off and I don't want to spend all my time in an armchair until then.
It's not just me and the dog. There's also a cat who has given me a few predatory looks and I'm concerned she's entertaining the idea of eating me. I'm not as exciting as a bird outside the window but I seem to be a great deal more compelling than the toys she ought to be playing with. Isn't that always the way with cats?
I have appreciated the opportunity to explore the world on a micro level. Scale is so important, not so much your size but your size in relation to the world around you. I started studying small animals to see how they adapt, rodents and insects especially, although I plan to expand my observations to include the local bird population. Details that seemed so insignificant before pop out at me now.
Of course, it's not all birdwatching and dog riding. Finding clothes that fit my new size has been a real challenge. Sure, I could buy clothes for dolls, but where's the dignity? My food expenses have decreased dramatically. This experience has radically redefined the term bite-sized, although I do spend a lot of my time getting my food down to manageable portions. Technology has helped with the transition though I am cautious about my relationship to technology in a way that I was not before the events that occurred on Isla Nublar.
I've entered a reflective phase of my life and I must say it's quite uncomfortable. The mistakes tend to jump out at you—not unlike a hungry velociraptor. I'm sorry, was that in poor taste? Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and while that's a little dark on the surface, I think it has merit. By looking back at everything that's happened, we get to live twice. Remember the past so you're not doomed to repeat it, but that doesn't mean you must remember the past with a perpetual frown on your face. You have to face life with an optimistic attitude, whatever the circumstances.
I've come to realize that in a lot of ways I never left the island, and I probably never will. I'm not sure I want to leave the island if it means leaving behind the dinosaurs. I like to think about them out there in the world living their lives. It makes the more prosaic aspects of modern life tolerable. And I do believe the world shared that joy with me, the awe even. I might not always have made the best decisions, but I gave you something you will never forget as long as you live and I think that warrants some respect. Big dreams sometimes lead to big consequences.