Be careful what you wish for. After his critically approved turn in last year’s indie hit Swingers, Vince Vaughn, 27, landed the coveted, high-profile part of The Lost World: Jurassic Park‘s photographer Nick Van Owen. The role has moved him one step closer to the A list and helped him realize every American boy’s dream: having an action figure made in his very own likeness. There is, however, one problem: The Van Owen doll ”doesn’t look like me,” says Vaughn. ”The outfit looks like my figure should come with a yodeling mechanism.”
Indeed, Vaughn’s miniature is short, buffed, husky, and wearing a lederhosen-like getup, a far cry from the lean, 6’5” real thing. Worse still, the toy’s right leg, which has a knife strapped to it, appears to be longer than the other, which would give little Vaughn a limp.
It seems that while The Lost World‘s scientists are experts at cloning, the folks at Hasbro can’t always claim to be. ”Generally we don’t get complaints,” responds Holly Ingram, the public relations manager for Hasbro, the company responsible not only for the Star Wars figures Vaughn remembers from his own childhood toy box, but also for immortalizing the cast of this summer’s Batman & Robin. While the Schwarzeneggers of the world have approval over their likenesses, for other actors, ”we get the approval from the studios, and if they’re happy with it, that’s what we go with,” says Ingram.
And as for the Vaughn doll’s goofy outfit and appearance (okay, it looks a little like him in the face), Hasbro put a great deal of thought into it. The toy company worked on The Lost World toys for a year and a half before the movie was released. ”We look at video clips, and photos that come directly from the film,” Ingram explains. Hasbro artists draw their own sketches, then use computers to produce a mold for a wax figure, which is finally painted and mass-produced in plastic. ”There are experts in every phase of the process, from sculpting to waxing, who work on the figures,” says Ingram. Vaughn is trying to put his disappointment with the final product in perspective. ”I can’t really blame the manufacturers,” he says. ”Before The Lost World, no one knew what I looked like.”