Business Insider Edition

Meet Coronasaurus, the T-Rex delivering geeky face masks in Cape Town, dreaming of TikTok fame

Jay Caboz , Business Insider SA
 Jun 02, 2020, 08:58 PM
The Engrave Slave.
  • Coronasaurus is the friendly neighbourhood dinosaur delivering geek-themed masks across Cape Town.
  • She works for The Engrave Slave, a small engraving company that pivoted to mask making when lockdown cut off its main business.
  • The bespoke dino delivery service happened completely by chance when Michelle Roodman, co-founder of Engrave Slave, decided to get her nerd on and wear the suit out on a delivery run.
  • It was not long after that that their customers were demanding even more deliveries by dinosaur.
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A friendly neighbourhood dinosaur has taken on the task of delivering geek-themed masks - much to the delight of the internet and residents in Cape Town. 

Coronasaurusis the proud new member of The Engrave Slave, an engraving store that until lockdown was selling geek-themed beverage glasses (like Superman beer mugs and even Deadpool shot glasses) at comic book conventions. But with group gatherings banned, one of its big sources of revenue disappeared.

In order to stay afloat, Michelle and Shaun Roodman, Engrave Slave's owners, pivoted from making the engraved drinking vessels to selling face masks online, with that same geeky twist.

But their pièce de résistance, their bespoke dino delivery service, happened completely by chance when Michelle decided to get her nerd on and wear the suit out on deliveries. 

“I needed something to protect myself when delivering the masks. I literally got the suit the day before, and I thought why not wear it. I didn't even tell people that I was rocking up in it. People were thrilled and were running up to their windows to see me in the dinosaur suit in the road,” said Michelle.

After the day’s deliveries were done, Michelle decided to pop off to her local Pick n Pay, rather than going home and changing. 

“I was too tired to go back home and change and I needed to go and get cat food. I've been going to the same Pick n Pay since I was a kid.”  

Out of this seemingly mundane act of domesticity, Coronasaurus was born after the humorous attempts at collecting groceries exploded on social media groups. 

And it was not long after that that Roodman’s customers were demanding she deliver masks in the suit.

The aptly named ‘ninja-masks’ are made in Cape Town and have been doing a great job catching the imagination of South Africa's geek community. For R90 a mask, you can get masks with themes ranging from Wonder Woman to the Harry Potter houses. The company even has a range of kids sized masks. 

"Orders are crazy, I can’t keep up," says Michelle. "While my husband is driving us to the next delivery I’m answering calls and Whatsapps in my dino suit. If you deflate the suit a little, you can just reach the phone and type with the little T-Rex fingers. It’s been a very interesting learning experience.”

But even with more deliveries, the duo are still taking extra care in the dino suit.

“In between deliveries [Coronasaurus] gets washed with alcohol and every night she gets washed and hung out to dry. She looks very sad on the clothesline after a hard day’s work, but luckily she dries very quickly.” 

Coronasaurus herself has taken the unlikely rise to stardom and fully embraced it. You could even say she is fast becoming a full blown dino-diva on instagram and TikTok - the videos of her delivering orders all over Cape Town are hilarious. 

Here are some of our favourite Coronasaurus moments. 

The dino-diva has shown a proficiency for dancing.

And is a fan of Gene Kelly. 

Deliveries are made all over Cape Town for R65.  

Here she is dancing in a street in Plumstead for some residents. 

Sometimes she will sneak up on people's homes to make deliveries.

She was spotted at a Bootleggers buying banana bread - apparently, she’s a fan. 

She believes it is important to maintain a healthy early morning exercise routine... 

...and likes walks in the forest.

With such tiny hands shopping can be unconventional.

She’s dreaming of becoming TikTok famous.  

And of course there must be an ode to the Jurassic Park franchise.

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