Lock up your annoying grandchildren – it’s time to look at the Jurassic Park Velociraptor. Well, one of them – the electronic ‘Dino Screams’ version.
Ah, the Jurassic Park Velociraptor – you have a lot to answer for. Unfortunately you made such a lasting childhood impression for a lot of people that when it was revealed that Velociraptor, their favouritest dinosaur, was actually feathered, many of those people simply refused to accept it. To this day they cling to visions of an oversized scaley beast with chimpanzee intelligence and a taste for cattle and game wardens. Given the popularity of the Jurassic Park Velociraptor, it seems odd that Kenner never really managed a decent sculpt of one – they never captured the ‘look’ of the movie creatures particularly well. Arguably it took Papo, working all those years later, to pull off the perfect JP raptor figure (even if they decided that theirs should be in a strange squatting position).
Anyway, to the figure at hand. Plus points – it balances nicely on two feet with its tail in the air, just like many of the other JP dinosaurs, and all the limbs are articulated, although the ‘action’ mechanism means that posing potential is a little limited. The paint job is quite nice – a departure from the first movie’s dull brown creatures, but I don’t really have a problem with that. There’s a resonable level of detail too, including – hooray – painted claws. Why Velociraptor was deemed to deserve this honour but Dilophosaurus wasn’t, I don’t know.
Pulling the toy’s legs back moves the arms outwards (like it’s about to give you a hug…of DEATH) and activates the Dino Scream, which at least doesn’t sound wimpy this time. Instead it sounds like a Halloween novelty. The banshee wail may not be true to the movie, but it does sound…unnerving. A little too human, I think… While this is a decent feature in terms of playability, the permanently open jaws aren’t so much. They also make it look a little gormless, somehow, and the obvious strip of teeth looks a bit crude (although at least there’s a little tongue in there).
Overall this sculpt is just lacking a certain…something. While other JP toys managed to capture the flavour of their movie counterparts quite nicely (the big, imposing T. rex, the lithe Dilophosaurus), this Velociraptor just seems a little dumpy and toy-like – its head too large for its body, the legs rather stumpy, the fingers webbed and the hallux toe, er, missing (might seem like a minor complaint but hey, it’s present on the other JP theropods). As a toy it’s fine, but it doesn’t look great on display. One for nostalgia purposes only, I think. Should you want one, you should probably visit that auction website I’ve been hearing so much about.
Often available eBay here