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Dandy Lion SX

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Quote1
The Earth is our only home; if we don't take care of it, who will?
Quote2
― Dandy Lion SX commercial [1]
Dandylionsx

The Dandy Lion SX.

The Dandy Lion SX is a fuel-efficient, eco-friendly and dangerously defective "car of the future" that runs on fuel made from dandelion weed. Designed by Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries, which invested millions of dollars into the sleek and stylish car was highly anticipated and expected to be an enormous success that would allow the company to surpass its many competitors and become the leader of its field, before the discovery of a fatal flaw in the engineering of the car.

Shortly before its scheduled release, automobile specialist Bernard Slaybeck discovered the Dandy Lion SX would explode anytime it was driven more than 70 MPH with the headlights on and the seat warmer set to low. Mark Chase, president and CEO of Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries, attempted to conceal this information through a series of murders and attempted murders, which were brought to light by the efforts of Ned, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles and Emerson Cod.

The company folded following the arrest of Chase and the discovery of a cover-up, and the Dandy Lion SX was discontinued.

History

Company formation and Dandy Lion SX

Dandylionhq

The headquarters of Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries.

Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries was founded by Mark Chase, who had a vision for a stylish, futuristic, fuel-efficient and eco-friendly car that he believed would become extremely popular and make him extremely rich. His company thrived largely due to Chase's obsessive nature and what he described as "a thousand sleepless nights" and "intense Ritalin abuse." He had an equally intense interest in botany, which led him to eventually discover a fuel that could be derived from dandelion weed, although whether this was Chase's discovery alone or whether he was assisted by the "science guys" he employs is unclear. [1]

Regardless, the discovery led to the design of the Dandy Lion SX, the environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient car that Chase, and many others, believed would be an enormous success once unveiled. Millions of dollars were invested into the car, which put Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries at risk of going bankrupt if it were not as successful as many expected. The future looked bright, however, as Chase was courting national investors, bringing dealers from as far as Japan to look at the car. Investors reacted positively to the car, leaving the company's many competitors angry and generating some fears of sabotage. [1]

Discovery of fatal defect and cover-up

Bernardchase

Bernard Slaybeck discussing the Dandy Lion SX defect with Mark Chase.

During crash and safety tests of the Dandy Lion SX, automotive safety specialist Bernard Slaybeck discovered a fatal problem with the car. He informed Mark Chase that if the car were driven more than 70 MPH with the headlights on and the sear warmer set to low, the short circuit in radio would cause a cataclysmic chain reaction that would blow up the car and the people inside it. At first, Slaybeck kept the flaw a secret and worked to repair it. On orders from Chase, he would drive the crash test dummies to a ditch and dump them to conceal the test data recorded by their computer hard drives. Jeanine, a flower girl model with the company and Bernard's girlfriend, followed him during one of these trips, believing him to be cheating on her. She confronted him about what he was doing, but he refused to tell her anything. [1]

When the problem with the car persisted, Bernard insisted that Chase delay the launch date of the car. But Chase said it would be cheaper to release the unsafe car than to delay the launch, and instead tried to bribe Bernard. When Bernard refused the bribe and told Chase he intended to go public with the information, Chase snapped; he donned one of the outfits from his crash test dummies and shot Bernard with a stun gun, then placed his unconscious body into a Dandy Lion SX test car and rammed it against the wall, killing Bernard. Chase took the body to the street and created the appearance that he had been killed in a hit-and-run automobile accident. [1]

Dandylionbodies

The dead bodies used in crash tests for the Dandy Lion SX.

This murder gave Chase the idea to replace the crash test dummies, which could electronically collect data, with dead bodies, thus concealing the evidence of the car's fatal defect. At least two dozen cadavers were eventually brought to the Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries headquarters for use in these tests. It is unclear whether they were murdered by Chase for use in the test, but as Ned discovered by bringing two of the subjects (Rick Page and Beth) back to life, they were not familiar with the company and had allowed their bodies to used in experiments to test automobile safety, so it is possible that they were simply supplied to the company, not murdered. [1]

Ned's investigation and company closing

Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries came to the attention of Ned, Chuck and Emerson Cod, who brought Bernard Slaybeck back to life in order to find the man who hit him and collect a reward. Slaybeck did not have sufficient time to tell them the full story, but they discovered that he was "killed by a crash test dummy" and was in love with Jeanine. Through further investigations of his place of employment and discussions with Jeanine, they eventually discovered that dead bodies were now being used instead of dummies to test the Dandy Lion SX. [1]

Dlnedchuck

Ned and Chuck, about to speak to Jeanine.

Jeanine attempted to bring the trio to the place where Bernard was dumping crash test dummies, but her car exploded on the way to the site; while Emerson suspected arson, none of them realized it was the result of the very defect Bernard had discovered. Jeanine miraculously survived, however, and told them where she could find the dummies. They travelled to that location, where Mark Chase, once again dressed as a dummy, shot them with his stun gun and brought them back to the Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries headquarters. [1]

He put the trio in the car and attempted to kill them the same way he had Bernard, but they managed to escape by driving the test car out of the facility. Chase pursued them in his Hummer, attempting to get them to exceed 70 MPH so they would explode. Instead, he drove them off the road and into the woods. This captured the attention of a nearby police car, however, and Chase was pulled over after his Hummer ran out of gas. He was arrested and the secret of Dandy Lion SX was eventually discovered. As a result, Chase was sentenced to life in prison, the Dandy Lion SX was discontinued and the Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries company was shut down. [1]

Headquarters

Dldisplayroom

The interior of the Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries headquarters.

The Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries headquarters maintains the slick, stylish and futuristic image upheld by the Dandy Lion SX and its marketing campaign. The walls and floors are completely white and spotless. The floors have no carpets and the walls are completely bare, with the exception of a few Dandy Lion logos and images of white dandelion flowers. The rooms are completely devoid of smudges, most likely due to Mark Chase's compulsive cleanliness. Ned, Chuck and Emerson Cod were able to infiltrate the headquarters after hours, despite the facility's security system. [1]

Display room

The display room is strategically designed to project the magnificence of the Dandy Lion SX. The car itself sits on a rotating platform at the center of the room, and is surrounded throughout the room by platform-mounted flat-screen televisions constantly looping commercials for the car, as well as marketing girls dressed in their flower apparel, reciting slogans, handing out fact sheets and answering questions about the cars. A steel Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries logo mounts the wall directly behind the platform. [1]

Crash test facility

The crash test facility is utilized by a team of scientists that Mark Chase calls "science guys" to visitors and investors. This room is wide open with a track leading to an impact wall, providing the scientists with plenty of space to conduct their tests, which consist of crashing the cars against walls and using data collected from the electronic anthropomorphic units (crash test dummies) to test the Dandy Lion SX for structural integrity, as well as restraint and impact-initiated safety systems. Mark Chase simplifies this process to investors by explaining, "We crash things in here." [1]

Dummies

The crash test dummies used to test the Dandy Lion SX.

The facility includes a closet for storing the crash test dummies and, later, the dead bodies that are substituted for them. The dummies and/or bodies are suspending from the air via suspension hooks and wires. The closer is closet is refrigerated when the bodies are stored there, to maintain their freshness. Since the closet is not meant to be open to the public, it does not maintain the white color scheme featured throughout the rest of the building, and the walls and floors are instead a dull gray. [1]

Security

The sensitive rooms in the headquarters, including the crash test facility, are protected by a security system that prohibit entrance without a security card, held by such employees and officials and Mark Chase and Bernard Slaybeck. During day-time hours, the building is protected by an unknown number of security guards; the presence of these guards is significantly reduced after hours. [1]

The integrity of the security system was put into question shortly before the demise of the company, as Emerson Cod was able to have a duplicate card made by contacting the security company under false pretenses, obtaining a sample ID badge and digitally altering it using the magnetic code that matches the serial numbers of the card-swipe machine. Chuck was also able to penetrate the security system by hugging a security guard good-bye and stealing the card from his belt. [1]

Marketing

Dlflowergirls

Jeanine and other flower girls being trained by Mark Chase.

The chief marketing strategies of Dandy Lion World Industries are to portray both its product and the company itself as stylish, futuristic and environmentally-friendly. The advertisements, and the car itself, utilize a dandelion motif, to emphasize the car's food course and the environmental importance the company wishes to project. In order to maintain a white color scheme emphasized in its headquarters, the company's marketing utilizes dandelions as they appear during the final stages of the flower's life (white), rather than the earlier stages (yellow). The company logo are the initials DL in a circle; the color is green, once again indicative of environmental sensitivity. [1]

Slogans

The Dandy Lion SX is often referred to as "the car of the future," a phrase comes so naturally from to sleek, futuristic look of the car that many people, including the Narrator have referred to it as such, completely independently from Dandy Lion World Industries. This is one of the most often repeated slogans, along with, "It'll blow you away." This phrase is a play on blowing away the bracts of a dead dandelion, which is in keeping with the company's dandelion motif. [1]

The flower girls also say "feel your flower power" upon introduction to customers. Jeanine has also used the phrase "the 'spores car' of tomorrow," but as she indicated to Ned and Chuck, she made of this phrase herself to avoid repetition of the "blow you away" line, and it is likely not a company-endorsed slogan; in fact, the haste in which she explains her reasoning to Ned and Chuck indicates company officials likely discourage the flower girls making up their own phrases. [1]

Commercials

While the former two are more implied, the latter is far more explicit in the company's television commercials; a commercial for the Dandy Lion SX set against a CGI image of the planet Earth begins with a narrator saying, "The Earth is our only home; if we don't take care of it, who will?" and emphasizes the dandelion-derived fuel "from a renewable plant found everywhere." The Dandy Lion SX is also frequently described as the "car of the future." [1]

Flower Girls

Dandy Lion World Industries also hires thin, attractive women to serve as advertising models. They don white knee-high boots and green dresses with sleeves slightly past the elbows and skirts almost to the knees. In keeping with the dandelion theme of the marketing campaign, they wear brown hats with dozens of white flowery stems coming out of them, giving their heads the appearance of a white dandelion. They also carry in each hand matching white dandelion-like bouquets, which they distribute free to customers, and wear yellow petal-like cosmetics around their eyes. [1]

Mark Chase, in keeping with his micromanaging style as a CEO, trains the flower girls himself. During the sales training seminars, he instructs the girls to present the flowers with arms extended, and then to shake their shoulders in an adorable fashion. Chase also hires each of the women himself, all of whom are seemingly Caucasian, although it is not clear whether this is a required trait of the job. Jeanine's eating disorder may also be the result of pressure to keep thin for the job. [1]

Behind the scenes

The Dandy Lion SX is obviously inspired by the Toyota Prius, the hybrid electric vehicle celebrated for its fuel-effiency and environmental friendliness. The white color scheme and white color scheme of the Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries headquarters is also reminiscent of Apple Inc., the computer and electronics company.

The announcer of the commercial is Anna Friel (who plays Chuck) using her real British accent.

The exterior

Similar to the changing of the Pie Hole's exterior between the screener and aired versions of the "Pie-lette", the exterior of Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries changed between the first airing and the repeat on December 26, 2007. On the first airing, the exterior was a simple building with the "DL" logo on it. On the repeat, it was changed to show a large building with a steel sculpture in the middle shaped like the spores of a dandelion.

Sources

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 Dummy

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