Scary Scotty gets the odd kiss
Palmerston North 5-year-olds Connor Hughes and Lincoln Grimmond are going to be so excited: Scotty the T-Rex is coming to town.
The 12-metre long mechanical puppet has already made Wellington children laugh and cry and adults scream and run on his outing at Te Papa.
He has been unleashed to promote the upcoming exhibition, "Tyrannosaurs - Meet the Family", which opens at Te Papa on September 27.
Although the exhibition will not be touring to Palmerston North, Scotty will be here on Thursday, September 18.
Weather permitting, he will be out in The Square from noon until 12.30pm.
Mothers Mel Hughes and Linda Grimmond said their boys were dinosaur mad and would love to be there.
Dinosaur games in the backyard were one of Connor's favourite pursuits, and Lincoln had accumulated a room full of assorted dinosaurs since the obsession began when he was just 3.
Neither mum could quite explain the appeal, but judging from Scotty's reception in Wellington, some kids just love to be scared and are fascinated by the prehistoric creatures.
Puppeteer Michael Cullen said the Scotty costume was the size of just a baby tyrannosaur, but weighed 40 kilograms.
It could walk, roar, blink and curl its tongue.
"Some kids are absolutely brave and they just come up and want to kiss him on the nose, and other kids run screaming.
"We've had some pretty good reactions from some adults; if you creep up behind them, they just scream and run."
Scotty has been brought from Australia as part of the Te Papa event, which will include a full-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.
Te Papa curator Alan Tennyson said everyone, even the most serious dinosaur enthusiast, would learn something new from the exhibition.
"The New Zealand section will show almost all of the fossils that have been found in New Zealand."