By far my favourite scene in The Lost World: Jurassic Park was when the male Tyrannosaurus rex ran rampant through the city of San Diego in search of his baby. Sure, it was over-the-top, but it was undeniably fun. And who wouldn’t enjoy recreating that carnage in the comfort of their own home with a little imagination and a very large toy?
The Lost World Bull T. rex began as the Gulper Rex, intended for the original JP line. According to JPtoys.com, the toy was cancelled in 1994 because retailers felt it took up too much shelf space for such a relatively cheap toy. So when the time came to design the LW line, the folks at Kenner gave the Gulper a new colour scheme, beaded eyes, and electronics. The result was a much more expensive, but undeniably superior toy, one that proved to be immensely popular with fans of all ages. In 1998, it was re-released in the infamous Chaos Effect line as the Omega Rex with a funky blue, black, maroon, and fluorescent orange colour scheme (avert your eyes!). And for the 2009 JP line, its mould was used to create a solid plastic toy with articulated hind limbs, enhanced electronics, and an excellent red and grey colour scheme.
The Bull is one BIG toy. From nose to tail tip, it measures a whopping 75 cm long and stands around 22 cm tall at the hips. To date it remains the biggest JP dinosaur, putting even the JP3 Animatronic Spinosaurus to shame. Its main colours are olive green, blue-green, and white with black stripes, green and black eyes, yellowish teeth, dull pink for the mouth interior, and black hind claws. The JP and Site B logos, along with the number 28, are printed in brown on the right shin. Like all super-sized JP toys, it’s mostly comprised of rubberized plastic, with hard plastic for the mouth interior, arms, shins, and feet.
The level of detail on the Bull is impressive. The skin is covered with thick wrinkles, warts, and scales and the hind claws have faint grooves in them. The brow ridges and the neck wattle have been sculpted extra-large in order to clearly distinguish this individual as a male. The huge teeth are grooved, and in a clever touch of realism, a number of them are broken. The interior of the mouth is also finely sculpted.
As far as scientific accuracy is concerned, the Bull is a case of too much largeness. While it’s unmistakeable at first sight as a T. rex, further inspection reveals that the fenestra in the top portion of the skull are too large. The arms are too long and the wrists are pronated. And the hind feet and claws are ridiculously oversized, but this can be attributed to necessity. The big guy simply wouldn’t be able to stand up if his feet were any smaller. The Bull’s arms are articulated at the shoulders and the midsection of the tail is bendable. Pressing down once on the hidden on top of the hips activates the classic roar from the movies. Holding your finger down on the button activates a snarling sound. And holding your finger down again activates a crunching sound. T. rex did not, of course, chew its food, but it certainly crunched through bones with regularity and ease.
And now for the most fun feature. The always-ravenous Bull is capable of swallowing certain other JP figures whole. These include all the puny humans, miniature dinosaurs, and even certain deluxe ones like the original Velociraptor and Pachycephalosaurus. Any toy swallowed can be easily retrieved via the large slit in the Bull’s belly.
I must note in closing that this is a very durable toy. I am an educator by profession and I’ve let many classrooms of children, including destruction-prone kindergarteners, play with the Bull. He’s taken everything they’ve thrown at them and he’s still as strong as ever.
The Bull T. rex is hands down my favourite JP toy. It’s well-sculpted, impressive to display, loads of fun to play with, and built to last. Hail to the king!