Kenner’s first attempt at a Stegosaurus for the Jurassic Park line – released back in 1993 – turned out a little, well, ugly. The Lost World saw Stegosaurus‘ debut in the film franchise, and fortunately Kenner had a much, much better sculpt lined up, one that resembled closely the creatures as they appeared on screen.
This is a big toy – around 30cm long, bulky and suitably spectacular with its large, well-detailed plates, it makes a striking impression. The colouration, with dark graduating to lighter greens and a white underbelly, matches quite well the creatures in the film and is easy on the eye without being too bland; highlighted details include the eyes and tail spikes, although the claws are not painted. Unlike its predecessor this is a rather attractive sculpt that does Stegosaurus justice – as does the action feature which is actually worth a damn this time around.
While most of the body is made of a solid plastic, the tail is rubbery, soft and flexible, which allows for a decent swinging motion when two of the plates are squeezed together. It’s a neat idea executed very well, as it doesn’t detract from the look of the sculpt at all. The toy also has a ‘Dino Damage’ piece which, unfortunately, doesn’t slot in very well, leaving the animal looking as if it’s been bitten by a carnivorous beast with an enormously wide and triangular beak. Take it out and, as well as losing a plate, there’s a shoulder blade and ribs on show. Ouch. I was never a fan of Dino Damage – always looked a bit weird and unnatural to me (I must’ve been a bit of a fussy brat), but it adds to the playability I guess. As a grown up collector one naturally would rather it wasn’t there, because it detracts from the fine aesthetic qualities of this plastic hunk o’ junk.
In terms of fine aesthetic details it could be better – scaley detailing is mostly approximated with crosshatching and the like, which doesn’t compare favourably with other JP toys (such as the original series Triceratops) that have all-over scalation. It’s also a shame that the legs are all fixed in position. It’s a suitably dramatic, aggressive pose, but it would have been interesting to have it adopt different poses either for display or for kids’ playtime. Oh, and anatomically it’s not perfect either, but expecting that from an action figure seems very, very churlish. To say the least. I’m obliged to stick this in before some smart alec chimes in with a remark on the number of claws on the feet or what have you. I KNOW.
This is a cool toy – a handsome sculpt combined with a decent action feature that works well and doesn’t ruin the overall look of the figure. If you’re a collector of plastic stegosaurs, and you’ve got the room to spare, I’d definitely give it a shot. It’s available on eBay pretty regularly and at cheap prices, but make sure that the pesky Dino Damage piece is included, as it apparently it did tend to get lost down the back of the sofa/eaten by the family dog/carried off by thieving magpies. Best o’ luck!