Review and photos by Lanthanotus, edited by Suspsy
Back in the pre-JP era, TV documentaries about dinosaurs were a rare sight on German TV. As a dinophile, it was a viewing obligation when the public TV station aired a four part series about dinosaurs in 1991. The documentary’s title was–you probably guessed it–Dinosaur! and it was narrated by Walter Cronkite. During the show, they announced and discussed Michael Crichton’s book Dino Park (well, Jurassic Park for those of you who are anglophone), which was then unpublished in Germany. Promptly on the next work day, I tried to order the book at my local book store. But given that pre-ordering wasn’t possible back then, I had to wait a few months until its release. Once the book was out, I devoured it for its exciting story and its description of the dinosaurs, and I awaited the movie impatiently.
Two years passed before Jurassic Park made its theatrical debut in Germany and like almost everyone, I loved the movie for its lifelike dinosaurs and couldn’t care less about the scientific accuracy. And now here we are. As with every JP Velociraptor, Dakin’s plush toy resembles more a Deinonychus rather than a true Velociraptor. I probably don’t need to tell you anything about its accuracies or inaccuracies; they are just too obvious and outdated.
As a replica of the movie’s villains, the plush toy does fairly good though. Its tiger-like pattern shows more contrast and colour than the movie’s original raptors and its head is a bit bulgy but still resembles the typical profile. Actually, the toy may look more like a juvenile than an adult. The pronated hands show three fingers and the feet have three toes with the obligate enlarged claw on the inner toe; the dew claw is missing.
The toy is quite big, standing 33 cm tall and measuring about 77 cm in total length. Its outer material is printed fleece or synthetic felt, while the filling is polyester fiber. The soles are enforced with some inlaid padding, but the raptor lacks any other “skeletal” parts to maintain its shape. It does not seem to need that though. The model is fairly stiff and expect for the very thin second half of the tail, the body holds its form very well. You possibly could balance it on its two feet, but being a plush toy, it won’t maintain this stance.
Despite not being a close friend of the JP franchise nowadays, I know I would have loved this plush toy as a child. Dakin’s Velociraptor is obviously outdated and may not be a good display model, but it is a very nice play toy with an undeniable anachronistic charm. Being out of production for many years, its price may scare some away, as the common eBay price is at $40 or more.