Category Archives: Kenner

Pteranodon (Jurassic Park Series 1 by Kenner)

Shrieking out of the sky and swooping in from of 1993 comes the “Jurassic Park” series 1 Pteranodon. Although Cearadactylus was featured in the book “Jurassic Park” the original movie didn’t feature pterosaurs at all. Four years after “Jurassic Park” the genus Pteranodon would only have a brief cameo in “The Lost World” but would land big roles in the following two movies. Despite its absence from the movie, due to budget or technological constraints perhaps, Pteranodon did feature prominently in the movie’s tie-in merchandise.  I remember battling these winged beasts frequently in the Sega Genesis game, and then of course there is this toy we’re looking at today.

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Measuring in at about 9” from wing-tip to wing-tip this Pteranodon does the genus no favors in terms of accuracy. While “Jurassic Park” may have given dinosaurs an image boost the pterosaurs have notoriously lagged behind the science in their renditions. This scaly, leathery winged interpretation could have just as easily been featured in 1933’s “King Kong.” Although the presence of hair-like pycnofibers has been known to coat pterosaurs since 1831 this toy and most other interpretations depict this as a scaly animal. There is little that the toy gets right anatomically but the pterosaur is depicted as toothless, with a short tail, and with three fingers, the fourth elongated finger used as support for the wing membrane. The fact that it’s toothless is nice; as many Pteranodon toys are sculpted with them (I’m looking at you Papo). Unlike with actual pterosaurs this toy’s wings attach at the hips, and not the legs where they should.

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All of that said, this is an action figure first and foremost and there are a few action features on this toy. The feet are articulated with grasping claws that I presume should be able to hold other toys. The mouth opens when you pull back on the crest and snaps back when you let go, and the neck swivels about as well. The wings are hinged in two different places and a button on the back creates a flapping motion when pressed.

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As inaccurate as it is the detail work is decent, lots of veins are sculpted on the wings and scales cover the body and head, even the beak. With piercing red eyes this is certainly a sinister looking toy. Not at all an elegant and graceful creature of the skies as most of us would prefer, but it’s fun for the children I suppose. The toy is painted light gray on the underside and a darker blue-gray on top. The head and fingers are blue. This seems to be in keeping with other Pteranodon depictions accompanying the first JP movie and it matches the colors as described for the Cearadactylus in the novel.

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Ultimately this is one of the lesser toys in the original JP toyline. It is grotesque, with its ugly and outdated appearance. Although the action features are fun I really don’t like the double hinged wings which are really off-putting visually, and the toy certainly doesn’t display well on a shelf.  Unlike most of the original Kenner line this toy is a bit of a dud and really only worth seeking out if you’re a JP completest or nostalgic for the toy itself.

Next up for review will be a much better and slightly older action figure of the same genus. A toy that despite its age; is decidedly more modern looking than the Kenner Pteranodon.

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Pachycephalosaurus (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Series 1 by Kenner)

Two Pachycephalosaurus toys would be released in conjunction with “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” the monstrously large adult “Ram Head” and this one, marketed as a juvenile. Seeing as how the genus features prominently in the movie it makes sense that it would feature in the toy line as well but in the case of the juvenile we’re looking at today it may seem somewhat familiar.

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This Pachycephalosaurus was originally produced for the “Jurassic Park” series 2 line and then recycled here for “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” The only difference between the two toys is the paint scheme. The older version was a striking combination of reds, black, and yellow and this toy is a bit more subdued, painted in various shades of green, green-blue, and red. The underside, head, tail, and limbs are all a lighter shade of green. The sides of the animal, up to the shoulders are a darker green, and the green blue color runs down the back and sides while bands run down the length of the tail. The knobs on the head are painted red with a white spot on the dome; in some figures this spot is yellow. The eyes are also red and have rounded black pupils. This differs from the original toy where the pupils are painted as slits.

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Although visually appealing the division between the two green tones is considerably jarring. Instead of a gradual change in color the colors terminate where the different pieces of plastic come together. Equally jarring is the giant button on the left leg that activates the action feature. When pressed the head jerks downward, essentially making this toy a true head-butter. To allow this feature to work the head looks quite odd where it attaches to the shoulders. It’s a fun toy to play with for sure, but it certainly doesn’t display on a shelf very well.  None of this is as off-putting as visible screw holes however.

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The toy is posed neutrally which allows for quite a bit of playability. In addition to the action feature the legs and arms also move. The hands are kind of odd looking though, with five human-like fingers spread out as if it were getting its nails done. When the arms are positioned straight out in front of the animal it looks like it’s auditioning for a dinosaur/zombie crossover movie. The feet are awkwardly large too, more theropod-like than what you would expect on this animal. Regardless of how you pose it the toy looks uncomfortable but this is an action figure and it succeeds well in that regard.

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The detail work is nicely implemented, with the head appropriately knobby and lines of scutes running down the body and tail. Bird-like scales run down the toes. The nails on the hands and feet are individually painted dark green and the overall paint application is well executed. While the toy as a whole is made of hard plastic the tail is made of stiff rubber. The toy measures about 7” in length.

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Although odd looking, this is a fun and dynamic toy to play with. This Pachycephalosaurus has stood up to the test of time as well, being re-released for “The Lost World” in 1997 it still functions like brand new, on my individual at least. Apparently the button has a tendency to stick on some toys.  Although pushing 20 years of age this toy is still readily available for a low price on eBay.

Allosaurus (The Lost World: Jurassic Park by Kenner)

Review and photos by Paul Carter AKA Carnosaur, edited by Suspsy

Released in 1997, alongside The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Kenner’s Dino Damage Medical Center playset featured my personal favorite dinosaur, Allosaurus. This is one of my favorite Allosaurus toys.

It was also one of the last toys attached to the LW franchise to be released, making it somewhat rare. Allosaurus as a species was never featured in any of the JP films, and its sudden arrival on Toy “R” Us shelves was a surprise, especially with the toy line winding down. The Dino Damage Medical Center playset featured a operating table mounted on a base along with various tools and equipment to treat injured dinosaurs. The table even featured a restraint to tie down the animal.

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But the real star of this set is the Allosaurus itself, which is still one of the best made dinosaur figures around. Not only is it well-sculpted and detailed, but features a whopping five pieces of Dino Damage, more than any other JP toy ever! The skin on the torso, leg, and tail, as well as half of the rib cage and even the entire left leg can be removed to expose soft tissue and organs underneath. The Dino Damage parts snap on very well and will not come off unless pulled on. Like many of the Kenner JP toys, these pieces have aged well, and look as good now as they did even 17 years ago.

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With five points of articulation being the standard for most dino toys, the Allosaurus features articulation at the hips, shoulders, and jaws. Even so, it can with a little effort be posed in a natural-looking stance, although it will stand as a tripod as well.

The colours on the figure are tan with a creamy white underbelly, bright green eyes, and brown stripes. This colour scheme work nicely on the figure, and as with many of the Kenner toys, looks very natural. The head is wedge-shaped, as it is based on earlier Allosaurus reconstructions, but it’s still nicely detailed with both the nasal ridges and spikey crests well-defined. Overall, the figure is fairly accurate, with pronated hands being its only real flaw.

Overall, I highly recommend this figure with or without the Medical Center. If you’re a fan of JP, Kenner, or Allosaurus in general, it’s a worthy addition to your collector’s shelf.