Barbasol Can

JurassicPark_Barbasol02

The Barbasol can is a camouflaged container that Nedry uses to smuggle genetic information, i.e. dinosaur embryos, off the island to an unnamed group that is willing to pay him a lot of money for this act of industrial espionage.

JurassicPark_Barbasol03

The exterior case looks identical to an off-the-shelf can of Barbasol shaving cream, and hides a metal cradle for the DNA vials. With a twist, the cradle pops up.  When twisted back, the cradle locks into place.  Dennis uses this under tight time constraints to steal the DNA samples and carry them.

JurassicPark_Barbasol01

Wait. The movie never mentioned Proceratosaurus.

Near the end of the movie, he falls and loses the can.  It rolls away into a pile of silting mud where it will be impossible to find (though Nedry doesn’t live long enough to look for it). Greed gets its comeuppance.

Would you want one of these today?

This device would prove really problematic today.  First, it would never make it past modern security at an airport. It’s too big. Given the acceptable travel-sized can, that’s like five crummy embryos at the most. That eliminates a big backup plan for Nedry and the MysteryCo if the getaway plan involves anything other than privately chartered transportation. Which, given the need for secrecy, we can presume.

Barbasol travel size

Second, the large, round shape is too big to comfortably grip and its cylindrical shape basically guarantees that it’s going to get lost if it gets dropped. You know, which is exactly what ends up happening. What was the original plan, a moistened bar of soap?

Third, anyone can open the can. There is no key. Given that Barbasol cans are actually a commonly-available diversion safe, you might want to lock that thing down with a magnetic key that’s still undetectable, but won’t let the baggage handler walk off with your millions.

Barbasol Can Diversion Safe

Admittedly, this might be a real world thing because of the movie. It’s hard to say.

Finally, since to the casual observer it has to look and function identically to a Barbasol can, it runs the grave risk of being swapped for one, accidentally or in some gritty-reboot Spy Vs. Spy fan fiction. Including a passive RFID call-and-response API would enable identification, status indication, and triangulation for, say, if the thing ever gets lost in the silt of a tropical island in the Caribbean Sea.

So, if there’s going to be any dinosaur embryo smuggling in the future, and I’m looking at you, Dodgson, it should pass modern security. So maybe a travel sized can of Barbasol and I don’t know, mousse? Does anyone still use mousse? This size will be easier to zip into a pocket. Make sure Nedry has zipping pockets. Give the can a hidden lock to deter casual unscrewers, and be able to wirelessly query for identification or loss. And maybe someone as bumbling as Nedry can fetch you the goods without getting himself turned into raptor chow.

JurassicPark_Barbasol04

Ha HA…raptor chow…classic.

3 thoughts on “Barbasol Can

  1. “What was the original plan, a moistened bar of soap?”

    That was awesome! Remember when I become an Evil Overlord to hire you along with my five year for my advisor staff. Not sure the five year old would be as amusing as they cut my plan to shreds. 🙂

  2. I think you’re being too harsh on the designer. The hard part is keeping the embryo tubes cool enough for long enough, everything else is secondary. Nedry is a trusted insider, so it doesn’t have to pass heavy security on either the island or the boat that’s going to take him to the mainland. For this, it is an excellent design. Given the millions of dollars at stake, if InGen don’t have a private jet waiting for Nedry on the mainland, they’re incompetent.

    It’s droppable, but the original plan probably didn’t include Nedry crashing his car and trying to fix things in a thunderstorm. (I suspect most containers are easily dropped when you’re attacked by a dinosaur.)

    • I agree: for a one-off at the time, this was probably the minimum viable product that they could put out for the job.

      Personally, I think it’s interesting to consider a full run of them though (for, say, trying to move embryos between countries to dodge taxes). In that case, this probably isn’t ideal. It should probably also be reconsidered for a similar heist in today’s environment. I still don’t think I’d want a Barbasol Can if I was trying to steal the embryos at a modern version of Jurassic Park.

      And, on a minor note, I thought it was interesting that they didn’t specifically mention InGen as the company behind the plot. InGen is mentioned in the background a couple of times during the genetics-tour sequence, so it’s possible that this was a third party that was trying to catch up to what InGen had accomplished.

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