In the week leading up to the May 1997 opening of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, one of my local radio stations held a daily contest where listeners could phone in and win movie tickets by correctly spelling a dinosaur’s name. After a couple of failed attempts, I managed to get on the air and win (easily). Which dinosaur’s name did I have to spell? Parasaurolophus!
The Lost World Parasaurolophus stands 20 cm tall and measures around 29 cm long. Its main colours are beige and white with dark brown stripes and and light brown claws. Its distinctive tubular crest is dark brown with beige stripes, its tiny eyes are black, and its head, neck, and shoulders have red airbrushing. A soothing, laid-back colour scheme for a peaceful plant eater. The black JP and Site B logos are on the right thigh, along with the number 19.
One possible function of Parasaurolophus‘ crest was that it was a recognition tool, enabling different species to distinguish one another. The shape of this toy’s crest indicates that it is either a Parasaurolophus walkeri or tubicen as opposed to a P. cyrtocristatus. Both the crest and the duck-like bill are covered in small ridges and the skin has a fine wrinkled texture. The arms end in four digits each, three of which are fused together in a “mitten.” This is an impressive note to detail on Kenner’s part. Indeed, this is one of the most scientifically accurate dinosaurs in all the JP lines.
The Parasaurolophus‘ arms rotate at the shoulders. Repeatedly pushing the square button on top of the hips causes the hind limbs to move in a running motion. It also activates a trumpeting sound. No doubt this is because paleontologists have hypothesized that Parasaurolophus‘ crest served an additional function as a resonating chamber for producing low frequency sounds. This again goes to show that whoever designed this toy was paying attention to current science.
Due to their lack of killer claws and teeth, defensive horns and armour, and incredibly long necks, ornithopods are grossly underrepresented in the world of dinosaur toys and models. The Parasaurolophus is the only ornithopod in all of the JP lines, and was never re-released. And that’s a real shame, because it’s beautifully sculpted, scientifically accurate, and has fun action features. One of the best JP toys to date.