All this buzz over the next instalment of the Jurassic Park franchise, officially now in production under the title of ‘Jurassic World’ and set for a 2015 summer release, has spurred me to take a look back at some of the toys from previous films. And, why not, speculate a little about what the future may hold for Jurassic Park action figures. We’ve actually reviewed a great many Jurassic Park toys over the years on the Dinosaur Toy Blog, but there are still many we’ve overlooked, and this Tyrannosaurus rex, part of the Jurassic Park 3 CamoXtreme series, is one of them. And it is quite an oddball…
The posture is weirdly contorted, with the torso bent out of all recognition and arching upwards. This unusual aesthetic was applied to many of the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park 3 CamoXtreme series, and other relatively recently released JP figures such as this Dilophosaurus. As a result the figure is imbalanced, and mine, at least, only stands unsupported when tilted backwards into a pose reminiscent of the original Papo T. rex.
Weird posture out of the way, now we turn to the equally weird colour scheme, which consists of icy hues of white and blue, fitting for an ‘Arctic’ dinosaur. The ‘Arctic’ rex certainly stands out in a crowd, whereas an alternative ‘Re-ak-a-tak’ (reviewed here) version of this T. rex sculpt is more traditional in appearance. The Jurassic Park 3 figures were released in several gaudy colour variants. According to the Jurassic Park Wiki, the ‘plot’ behind this variation is that “dinosaurs survived and thrived in different environments and evolved camoflouge [sic]”. Hence the series name, CamoXtreme – the ‘camo’ stands for ‘camouflage’ and the ‘Xtreme’ stands for ‘extreme’ (presumably, losing the ‘ex’ and replacing it with a capital ‘X’ is cooler – almost as cool as this arctic paint job). So, that explains that! Having learned this, I suppose we should go back to our other Jurassic Park 3 figure reviews and update the titles accordingly.
The right thigh is branded with the official JP3 logo, another staple for Jurassic Park figures that distinguish them from knock-offs, of which there are many. I’ve always imagined the Jurassic Park rangers wondering around the park with their branding iron, angering the dinosaurs one by one – what a job.
I’ll skip over the anatomy of the figure, which, posture aside, is consistent with previous incarnations of the tyrant reptile in the Jurassic Park series (though the tail is perhaps shorter). The figure has a ‘Re-Ak At-Ak’ feature (As we’ve seen above, intentionally misspelling simple words is Xtra cool). The mouth opens and roars by pressing a button on the throat. The button is difficult to reach, but the roar can also be activated by a more accessible button on the flank of the creature – in a flesh wound. Actually, ribs are exposed in the wound, so it is more of a fatal injury, ripe for infection.
All of the CamoXtreme Jurassic Park 3 dinosaurs were produced at about the same size and not to scale to each other. The rex is about 21cm long and therefore much smaller than previous JP T. rex figures. As for playability, having the animals to scale to one another would be preferred, as would more neutral postures. Of course, I don’t play with these things (honest!).
This is an unusual and interesting rendition of an old favourite, and I suppose it was inevitable, after so many predecessors, that Jurassic Park toys would head into odd directions (as happened with the Chaos Effect line way before CamoXtreme came into being). So, what does this mean for the future? Presuming for now that Jurassic World will be accompanied by a line of action figures at all, (it must !), will the trend for the weird continue? Personally, I’d hope for a more conservative approach to figures this time around, with an emphasis on detail. Only time will tell, but since time flies, all will surely be revealed soon! And we will be ready and waiting to review them here!
Sometimes available on Ebay here