Time – the ever-flowing river. Come with us now to a time before Walking With Dinosaurs, when the river flowed through a world easily impressed by CGI and when Spielberg ruled the Earth. Welcome…to the Jurassic Park action figure line, circa 1997.
Fine, I dropped the ball at the end there. Nevertheless, it is always worth looking at these toys through the primordial mists of childhood (or perhaps not, for our more geriatric readers) nostalgia. Here then we have a monstrous hunk of plastic to tie in with The Lost World: The Sequel to Jurassic Park. And it’s yet another Pachycephalosaurus.
Keen-eyed readers may note that this blog has looked at a Jurassic Park Pachycephalosaurus before, alongside a number of other renditions of the genus. The aforementioned toy was re-released in 1997, with a more boring paint scheme, as part of the Lost World line. However, in addition a bigger and badder Pachycephalosaurus also hit the market head-first, modelled more closely on the creature as it appeared in the movie. That said, while the movie pachycephalosaur was a juvenile/Dilophosaurus-esque midget, this particular action figure portrayed a genetically-engineered super-beast on steroids, protein shakes and a workout recommended by Dino-Men’s Health magazine. Just compare its sheer mass to the recently released Papo Pachyrhinosaurus (its name begins with ‘Pachy’, see?) and try and imagine the Jurassic Park human action figure I no longer possess alongside it.
As you can see, this toy truly represents Pachycephalosaurus‘ revenge. It’s enormous, even at JP scale. It portrays the most optimistic of 1990s Pachycephalosaurus size estimates with the addition of a little Jurassic Park artistic license. Had this beast appeared in the movie it could well have put a considerable dent in the side of Tyrannosaurus and crushed the pesky InGen team underfoot. Size matters aside, however, it’s a rather nice sculpt, replicating the somewhat smaller creature from the movie very well; it easily surpasses the recent Papo effort, particularly as it has articulated limbs and can stand up without leaning on its tail. In addition it has an action feature which is noteworthy for being considerably sillier than that of its smaller counterpart in the Jurassic Park action figure line.
That’s right – a spring-loaded head. Rather than merely butting like a ram, this pachycephalosaur is capable of quite actually shooting its head at its foes. Pushing down on the dinosaur’s dome makes its head click into the primed position. It also makes it look more like a tortoise than a Pachycephalosaurus. To launch the head outwards one must press a strategically-placed button located over the creature’s hips. I would argue that this feature alone makes this figure worth acquiring – it’s hours of essay-busting fun for feckless dinosaur-loving university students. Give me this over the new Doctor Who extending sonic screwdriver any day. (Mock the geekiness all you like, but you are reading the Dinosaur Toy Blog.)
When The Lost World: Jurassic Park was released back in 1997 I was but a tender nine years old, and very keen to collect the associated action figures. However, while I managed to acquire the smaller (unbeknownst to me) re-released Pachycephalosaurus I never happened upon this slightly absurd behemoth (comparable in size to the Jurassic Park Young/Junior T. rex). Therefore bagging this figure from eBay during what will no doubt become my tragically wasted early 20s has been a very pleasant surprise, particularly as my example has its ridiculous ‘Dino-Damage’ wound intact.
I couldn’t recommend this toy enough. It’s great for adult collectors, being as it is a fine movie replica and a perfect procrastination aid, and it’s also good for kids (should you deign to hand it over to one), given that it’s highly poseable and has a very fun action figure feature. Overall it’s an undercelebrated member of the legendary Kenner Jurassic Park toy line.
Sometimes available on eBay here