Sauron (Primal Rage by Playmates)

Primal Rage was one of the more unique fighting games to hit arcades back in 1994. Instead of martial arts warriors, its cast consisted of godlike prehistoric beasts waging a savage battle for control of the planet. By far my favourite character, the one which I mastered the game with, was Sauron, the God of Hunger. A monstrous Tyrannosaurus rex, he had to constantly devour human flesh in order to remain immortal. His fighting arsenal consisted of such lethal moves as the Cranium Crusher, the Earthquake Stomp, the Primal Scream, and the Leaping Bone Bash. And of Sauron’s three finishers, my favourite was the Grape Crusher, in which he pounded his opponent’s body into a gooey paste. You can learn more about Sauron and the rest of Primal Rage here. Or do a search on YouTube. Be warned: this game is not for the faint of heart!

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Here we have the standard 1996 Sauron action figure from Playmates, the same toy company responsible for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It measures 13 cm tall when standing upright (as in the game) and is around 20 cm long. Main colours are bright yellow and dark blue with faint orange airbrushing, black outlining, white teeth and claws, pink mouth interior, purple tongue, and dark purple, yellow, and black eyes. Sauron had four different available colour schemes in the game, but Playmates opted to go with only this version and one in yellow with purple and orange stripes based on his default appearance. My personal favourite colour scheme was purple with black stripes, and to this day I wish that Playmates had gone with that one.

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Sauron’s skin appears to have been based on a crocodile’s, with lots and lots of thick scales. The ones on his limbs are mostly rounded while the ones running down his back are larger and more plate-like. As far as scientific accuracy goes, the God of Hunger is quite unmistakeable as a T. rex, but there are a number of flaws. His head is too big and not quite the right shape, his arms are enormous, and his tail is impossibly curled. His left arm, legs, and tail are articulated. Pushing down on the right arm causes Sauron’s mouth to open wide for battle.

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As if his immense strength and teeth and godly powers weren’t deadly enough, Sauron comes with snap-on armour pieces for his jaws and feet. This armour did not appear in the video game, but it does add play value to the toy. Sauron also came with a tiny little human acolyte/snack, but it went missing ages ago. No great loss.

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Playmates also released a much larger Sauron toy that stood around 30 cm tall. It was later reused in the TMNT line and I used to own it, but I donated it to a Xmas charity some years ago.

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Primal Rage will always be one of my favourite video games and Sauron will always be one of my favourite T. rex toys. This is an accurate (in terms of resembling the character, not a real T. rex), fun, and highly durable toy. I just wish I’d bought more of the toys when I had the chance.

Available from Ebay.com here.

3 Responses to Sauron (Primal Rage by Playmates)

  1. I really like that armour. It’s like Dino Riders but more brutal.

  2. AH! PRIMAL RAGE!

    One of my favorite video games, too. Such an inventive fighting game, and the stop-motion character models were very cool. I went to Boston for PAX East this year, and they actually had an old Primal Rage arcade cabinet there! The game doesn’t hold up particularly well; the graphics are much worse than my rose-colored nostalgia remembered. Still, it’s a fun game, and it’s a real shame it didn’t get a sequel or reboot.

    I had all the Rage toys, including Sauron. They were great fun to play with, and the line even featured two characters that were deleted from the final version of the game: a bipedal saber-tooth tiger and a skeletal dragon. My favorite was always Armadon. Great review!

    • Necrosan and Slashfang probably would have been fun characters to play as. Sure wish I had bought more of the toys when I had the chance! Especially Talon. He may well have been the first mass market feathered raptor toy.

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