‘I’m roaring into town’

Rex, the animatronic dinosaur being used by Bispham based Big Foot Events

Rex, the animatronic dinosaur being used by Bispham based Big Foot Events

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You’ve heard of walking with dinosaurs before – but now residents up and down the Fylde coast are set to experience the real thing.

Thanks to Bispham-based company Big Foot Events, ‘Rex’ could soon be stalking its next prey at a party or event near you.

Thankfully, this is a smaller and less fearsome version of the meat-eating Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur it is based on – but now crowds throughout the resort are set to be wowed by its realistic movements.

The £6,000 robot, made in China, arrived in Blackpool last month and is available for hire.

Erica Crompton, director of Big Foot Events, based in Red Bank Road, said: “The idea to buy Rex came about after the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs programme.

“It was very popular and children loved it. We went and sourced a company in China which designs the dinosaurs for theme parks all around the world.

“We took delivery of him in March and he is magnificent, absolutely brilliant.”

The dinosaur is 15ft long, 7ft tall, 3ft wide and is completely animatronic.

His head moves, his eyes blink, his tail moves from side to side and his mouth opens wide and roars.

Rex is available for weddings, parties and birthdays and, as Erica revealed, has already proved very popular.

She said: “We took him down to the beach last week and everybody wanted to have their photo with him. We had joggers, walkers and dogs going crazy.

“It is something brand new. Later this year the new Jurassic Park film, Jurassic World, is released and I am sure dinosaurs will be more popular than ever before when that appears in cinemas.”

Erica said Rex is one of the most life-like dinosaurs in the UK – in part thanks to its unique design.

An operator can go inside the robot and, wearing a harness, control its movements, including moving Rex’s legs, pushing buttons to make him roar and make his eyes blink.

Erica added: “He is the most realistic dinosaur in the UK today and the only one in the country with hollow legs so you can’t see the operator inside.

“We have a handler who goes out with Rex and interacts with him.”

Erica revealed if Rex proves popular with partygoers the company could look to expand its dinosaur collection.

She added: “We could look to invest in a velociraptor – another type of dinosaur – for a fun attraction at children’s parties.”

l For more information or to hire Rex out, contact (01253) 351100 or visit www.bigfootevents.co.uk.