Universal Studios Florida Twister... Ride It Out - Dorothy II

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by nstevic01, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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    I have always loved Twister, it was one of those guilty pleasure movies. I can literally watch it over and over and never get tired of it. I'm sure I'm in the minority with this, but hey, we all have that movie. That being said, we were walking through Universal Studios a couple of weeks ago and visited the new prop store they have there. Every time we go in, they have a few things here and there from closed rides, but nothing really cool. Not this time...Immediately greeting us when we walked in was none other than the Dorothy II that sat outside the gift shop all those years. This is the one that sat outside holding the stuffed cows.

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    Now I immediately started drooling. I took dozens of reference photos thinking this was my chance to get started on a long wanted Dorothy build. It had NEVER crossed my mind that I would be buying it, especially after seeing the price tag. That was until my wife said "it will probably end up costing more to build it that its priced at". For the most part, she was right. By the time I sourced all the raw materials, the electronics, and a new welder, I would be well over what they were asking. At that point we walked out of the store and continued our day in the park. On the way back to the car, on a whim, I stopped back in to take a look at it again. After a long family discussion, we decided to pull the trigger and buy.

    Due to the size, we clearly could not fit it in the back of my Jeep so arrangements needed to be made. I was aiming for the following Sunday but the back of house staff doesn't work on the weekends so I needed to pick it up on a week day. Ultimately we settled on Tuesday (yesterday) and I made arrangements to rent a trailer. The ride up was uneventful. When we were within a few minutes of the park, we contacted the manager Kevin and he gave us directions to the staff entrance where we would meet up for the exchange. From here, you can actually see the area where the Hogwarts Train moves between the parks. Kinda ruins the magic a little.

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    We get to the parking lot outside the guard shack and are immediately greeted with a Delorean. Naturally I geeked out.

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    Anyway, Kevin arrives with Dorothy.

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    We get it loaded up in the back of the trailer for the trip home.

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    Stopping off for lunch...The waitresses inside were inquisitive.

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    Naturally we get looks when driving....but when an Ecto is pulling a Dorothy down I-4, you get some interesting reactions. I REALLY wish I got a picture of this one lady hanging her head out the window with her mouth gaping...It was hilarious.

    And here she is, finally at home. We put her in the garage for the time being while I begin the process of sourcing some screen accurate stuff to update it.

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    So here is where I need some help. I've been in contact with the Wakita museum that has the Dorothy I from when the Jeep is dropped upside down. Linda was kind enough to send me some awesome reference photos of the beacon lights on her Dorothy, the Muskogee College logo, and the Dorothy sketch. I've also been in contact with a couple of sensor ball owners inquiring about selling them, but no dice there. So here is my wish list:


    I need 3 or 4 Whelen Cadet CR-12 beacons, in red. There is also a CR212 that has the button on the side for speed selection, but this is an absolute last resort. Im willing to buy the CR-12 in another color as the lenses are still available. So if anyone out there has a lead on the CR-12s, PLEASE let me know.

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    I need a scan of the Muskogee Warrior image. Apparently this was something made for the movie and doesn't seem to exist anywhere else. The one on the left is what my Dorothy has, and the one on the right is from the screen used one. This may be something I have to recreate.

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    I also need to find the source for this Dorothy image. I've searched for hours and couldn't find anything close to it. It almost looks sketched. The sad part is, my Dorothy had the picture but Universal had to remove it prior to sale due to licensing issues.

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    There is also this graphic that appeared on the hero Dorothy, the one that had the armature to open the lid. I haven't seen it on any of the other Dorothys out there. A guy named MJ Junkie from the commancheclub started to make his own but never finished. This also may be something I have to recreate.

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    I am also searching for a screen used sensor ball. I need to know what the boards inside look like to see if I can find them for sale, or can recreate them. So I would need detailed shots of the top and bottom of the boards. I am also interested in purchasing one if any of you have one for sale.

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    More to come.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  2. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Congrats on the new and cool aquisition!

    Would have loved to been riding shotgun with ya on the trip home! :lol

    Great Movie I watch it at least once a year!!
     
  3. Odin82

    Odin82 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome score man! Twister is one of my guilty pleasures also! Seems like it has been forever since I saw it in the cinema!. Very jelly!

    Best of luck on the hunt man! Will try my google-fu on the Dorothy image.
     
  4. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I can tell you the font used on the 'real' college seal is Fritz Quadrata, in multiple styles.

    Odd that the park one is so off. I'd guess they had to recreate it from a screencap or something like that.

    Additionally, Dorothy's braids don't curl up like that in any pics I can find. They're longer, and they hang straight down. I think you're correct in thinking that was re-drawn for the prop, maybe from memory. Alternatively, it could be an old illustration from the film, not a photo.


    -MJ
     
  5. Broilermaker

    Broilermaker Sr Member

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    cool pick up! i was tripping on your jeep! man your wife is a winner
     
  6. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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    After talking with Linda at the Twister Museum in Wakita, I got some information on other Dorothy locations. Out of all of them, I think only the Wakita Museum and Salt Mine Dorothys were screen used ones.

    Dorothy I stunt (from the J10 being dropped upside down) - Twister Museum in Wakita

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    Dorothy I - Hollywood Star Cars Museum in Gatlinburg, TN

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    Dorothy (not numbered) - Weather Center in Norman, OK

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    Dorothy II - Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson, KS

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    If anyone is close to any of these Dorothys and you ever take a trip there, I would be eternally grateful for any reference pictures you can get for me. We are looking at maybe covering all of these locations, except TN, on a family vacation this year. But we aren't 100% yet.
     
  7. TeeKay

    TeeKay New Member

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    WOW!!! Massive jealously :D

    Twister has been one of my favourite films forever, and I've always though it'd be cool to try and re-create Dorothy (though doing so myself is both well out of my price range and skill level, LOL!) So I'll be keeping a very close eye on this thread. I'd also interested in seeing all the detailed photographs you take :)
     
  8. ShortWookie

    ShortWookie Active Member

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    The one in the stars cars museum in gatlinburg is more than likely a replica. I say this because everything else in that museum that is owned by them is a noted replica. I've heard of a few loaned items are real deals but far and wide from what's normally on display.

    Congrats on your purchase, I'm jealous!
     
  9. Theron Leginas

    Theron Leginas New Member

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    Welcome to the Dorothy club! I'll help you out however I can. I own the Paxtonmobile and Dorothy V, which I had custom built. See my work at www.facebook.com/thepaxtonmobile

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    If you need anything, let me know! I have detailed sketches all over the place about every little thing Dorothy that I could get my hands on. I will fully admit that I didn't go for 100% accuracy (as my "in-universe" reasoning for the Paxtonmobile is after the F5, the insurance company reimbursed Bill for his "loss" with a somewhat identical Ram, and now in 2015/16/etc another Dorothy is needed as the old system is failing). My Dorothy and the Paxtonmobile are both very much WIP, but I'm getting there.

    I'll be sending you a PM here shortly - glad to see someone else who is passionate about Twister building something up :D
     
    Mike J. likes this.
  10. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wait, Universal has a prop store now, where you can go buy things?? When did this happen?

    I clearly remember that piece you bought too, having gone there many times growing up. The movie always freaked me out, the "ride" if you want to even call it that freaked me out when I was younger but eh.
     
  11. Moviefreak

    Moviefreak Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A little over a year ago. It used to be the magic show across from the Terminator 3-D and the Special Effects Make-up show. Now they sell way overpriced pieces from the rides and Halloween Horror Nights.
     
  12. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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    I managed to pick up 2 of the correct model CR12's on eBay for $40. I still need 1-2 more, but the ones on eBay are ridiculously overpriced right now. Just gotta wait. :(

    Also still trying to track down the red lenses. I found one site that sells them, but they are $40 each plus shipping. If anyone knows of any place that sells them for a reasonable price, let me know.

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  13. barnburner

    barnburner New Member

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    Wow, I try to keep an eye on things, and found this thread yesterday! First, let me say that I am jealous of your find!!! Very jealous. If you ever want to sell it..........

    Second, I am the curator (owner just doesn't sound right) of the sensor ball that you posted a picture of. I have tried and tried to track down the circuit boards, but have thus far been unable. Give me a few days and I will take it out of its display case, and take some high res shots for your reference.
     
  14. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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    That would be awesome!

    If you can get me some high res pics, measurements, etc... I can look into having the boards made, perhaps do a run of kits for the balls.
     
  15. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What is TWISTER now, 20 years old? That is very cool and considering the age of the prop, in quite good condition.
     
  16. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    How do you plan on displaying this piece once it's finished?
     
  17. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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    I've been tossing around ideas. Right now, the current plan is to update it to make it a little more screen accurate. After that, work on the below list:


    - Integrating functional weather station components and have a wireless receiver in the house since it will be sitting out back in our enclosed porch.

    - Integrate sound effects, functional switches and lights, and a Bluetooth receiver so that it could be used as a stereo for when we want to listen to music

    - Fabricate an insert to drop in and be able to use it as a cooler for when we throw parties and such.
     
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  18. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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  19. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone happen to have one of the stuffed cows they sold at the gift shop? For some reason I kinda want one to display with the Dorothy.

    Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
     
  20. Moviefreak

    Moviefreak Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Search: Universal Studios Twister stuffed cow
    On eBay. They pop up often. But the prices have gone way up. One is listed now for $69.00, but they do accept best offers on it. I say keep searching and watching for one to pop up at a good price.
     
  21. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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    I saw that one, but it is missing the glasses. I saved an ebay search for it. Now to play the waiting game.

    Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
     
  22. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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    I know it's been forever regarding updates....but I could not resist picking up a J10 to go with it. Debating on whether to convert this thread into one for both the truck and Dorothy, or just make a new one.

    Found an 81 J10 Honcho that had been repainted an ugly brown. Still has the correct flat brush guard and light bar. A quick walk around the truck and I discover that it was once yellow...sigh.

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  23. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It USED to be yellow?! Oh the pain, the pain!
     
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  24. nstevic01

    nstevic01 Well-Known Member

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