Just under a year ago I came to the Dinosaur Toy Forum inquiring about a small “Jurassic Park” Dilophosaurus figure, an almost forgotten memory of my childhood. I didn’t know who manufactured it or where to find one but with the help of other forum members I quickly learned about the figure in question. Just recently I became the proud owner of my second Dakin Dilophosaurus, one that unlike its predecessor would never find its way into a yard sale.
Dakin is a Japanese toy company that was among the first to produce merchandise for the movie. The year printed on the bottom of the figure even says 1992 and the movie itself did not release until June 1993. I don’t know if I owned the figure before the movie came out or not but I recall having others like it. The Dakin company produced many small figures like these as well as other merchandise and are probably most well known for their plush toys which all my childhood friends had but somehow I did not. They also made smaller keychain versions of the figures as can be seen in the pictures. This particular toy measures 5” long and stands 3” tall.
As far as accuracy goes this figure pretty much has none. It is well known that the Dilophosaurus in the film was inaccurate but this figure doesn’t even look all that much like the one from the movie. Though the figure can stand on two legs the posture suggests a tail dragging animal. The feet are clubbed and the toes on them aren’t even of the same size on each foot. The figure does have a hallux toe on both feet and these help it stand with the tail lifted off the ground. The hands are incorrectly faced palms down but that should come as no surprise. Like the movie animal this figure has the famous frill around the neck but as most of us know the real animal did not, a mistake toy companies continue to make despite not being affiliated with the “Jurassic Park” franchise. The only thing this figure has in common with the real life Dilophosaurus are the twin crests on top of its head, beyond that it is simply a model based off the movie monster and not even all that good of one.
I should confess that despite the negativity in this review I absolutely love this figure. Accuracy aside the creature is wonderfully retro in appearance, very much a relic of its time. The toy’s face and frill are full of little bumps and ridges, the skin is nicely textured with wrinkles and muscle bulges. The frill is brightly colored and patterned with wavy red and orange. The body is gray with a pink underside and geometric patterns cover the creature as if it was wearing war paint. Gazing at this toy one is instantly transported back to the early nineties when dinosaur fans of my generation were still young and all hyped up for what would be the pinnacle of dinosaur movies. My wife never understood why I loved this little figure and wanted to own it so badly until the day it arrived in the mail, upon seeing it she said “now I want to watch Jurassic Park”. For me that is reason enough to own it, this thing glows with nostalgia which for many collectors is a major draw in this hobby. If you’re looking for a scientifically accurate Dilophosaurus than this clearly is not the one, if you’re a Jurassic Park fan looking for a unique reminder of a simpler time than this may be what you’ve been looking for. Coming across one of these can be difficult but they do show up on eBay from time-to-time.