Category Archives: Playskool

Ankylosaurus (Playskool Heroes Jurassic World, by Hasbro)

When you think of the toys made for Jurassic World by Hasbro, there are  probably a lot of colorful adjectives that pop into your head .  I warn you not utter them out loud as there are preschool toys present.  One word I did not hear many people say about the toy line was “fun”.  Well today I am going to present a fun toy from the Jurassic World line.  Yes that’s right, I said fun!  You might be wearing a look of disbelief but I assure you sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun.

I present the Playskool Heroes Ankylosaurus.  The Jurassic World line of Playskool Heroes are designed with smaller kids in mind as the toys are stylized with bigger feet, simple articulation, and with cute expressions.  You might ask if the dinosaurs in this line are scientifically accurate?   Of course not!  Its a kids toy inspired by a movie.  Maybe your thinking, is the toy at least accurate to the dinosaurs in the movie?  Not even close, though some people might say that’s a good thing.

About the toy:  It is quite the diminutive figure at 4 in (10 cm) long and just barely 2 in (5cm) high at the center.  The toy is made from a hard plastic and has some articulation, more on that later.  The head is very cute with overly large eyes.  Interestingly, the one feature that is normally correctly on an Ankylosaur toy is completely wrong.  There should be two horns pointing backwards from the back of the head and two horns below them that pointed down and to the back.  On the toy the two lower horns are were you expect them to be, but the other two are not.  They can be found on the top middle of the skull.  Looks kind of strange in my opinion.

Side by side with the Jurassic World Bashers and Biters Ankylosaurus.

On its armored back there are outlines of plates with a huge spike coming out of the middle of each one.  The tail is curved and ends in a club.  The legs are short and also have a few small bumps on them.  It is painted in a light blue with a dark yellow for the spikes and club.  The upper beak is painted in purple and a small red tongue is visible inside the mouth.

The toy does come with some articulation and an action feature.  The legs can move forwards and back.  If you wanted to pose it like a flying superman, you can.   Also the tail can rotate 360 degrees which is really useful with its action feature.   On top of its back, the center six spikes all form a push button.  When you press down, the tail will swing to its left, and the head will move to the right.   It is a simple gimmick for sure but a very fun one. What kid (or adult) can resist pushing the button and watch its tail swing.   It is actually a durable and well made little figure.  The paint will wear on the tips of the spikes on the action button, but let’s not be too harsh as that’s to be expected.

Overall:  It is a adorable, durable, fun toy for children.  Ok. ok, it is also fun for adults who are still kids at heart.  I could easily see a child grab this toy and use it during play.  Maybe they would use it for an epic dinosaur battle royale, or in a sweeping adventure were this little Ankylosaur is looking for the lost valley while avoiding a murderous Sharp tooth.   Even in a gentler style of play, I could see this Ankylosaur being the life of a tea party, swapping stories, sipping tea, and eating macaroons.  What fun!

Is it worth getting? It all depends on what you are looking for.  If you want scientific accuracy, than no.  What about the collectability?  For people who like Jurassic Park and Ankylosaurus, than maybe.   As a gift for a child, definitely go for it!  It is really affordable as it can be found at a low price, but they are disappearing from regular and online stores.    By 2018, I would expect Ebay will be the main location to find one.

 

 

Stegosaurus (Wendy’s Exclusive from Definitely Dinosaurs by Playskool)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

For my second Definitely Dinosaurs soft model review, I will be tackling their rendition of Stegosaurus. Right off the bat, this model is downright cute, and it is clear it was made for toddlers because of the bright colours and the hard vinyl plastic it is made off. As with the Ceratosaurus(and every other model I will get to in the line), this model is not made to be taken seriously, as it is clearly for the youngest of children. However, they did managed to get one thing right with this figure: ending the mouth with a beak.

The two colours this model is painted in are teal and bright purple, while the eyes are painted yellow. The plates are all too small to be realistic for an adult, so I’m assuming that this model is made to represent a juvenile. There are also way too many plates on its back to be considered accurate. Instead of 17, there are over 21 plates, not counting the thagomizer. The thagomizer spikes are also way too short to be effective against the mean old Ceratosaurus, whom I see as more of a bully then a hungry animal. The model is made as if it were a heavyset animal, with his thighs up just beneath the plates. This forces his front legs to sprawl out to the sides, and one of them is outstretched so that he can achieve his pose. The feet on this model are nowhere near being as accurate as say, the feet on the Battat Stegosaurus released in the same Decade. But they are not your usual elephant feet either. Instead, they look like blunted claws that stick out of the animal’s feet.

Really, this is not a toy that needs to be scrutinized for accuracy, but I thought it would make this review more interesting if I did anyways. It’s very hard to criticize this figure, as it is still apparent that it was not made for adults. But I’m sure that this little guy will forgive me as he knows I’m just writing a review for him on a blog that scrutinizes dinosaur toys. As always, the only way to get this figure is through eBay, and understand that you may have to settle for one with a duller color scheme than this, as mine was one of the latest releases of these toys.

Ceratosaurus (Wendy’s Exclusive from Definitely Dinosaurs by Playskool)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

And now for something completely different from all the scientifically sound and modern reconstructions of dinosaurs. I’ve tackled many different figures for this blog, but today marks the start of a series of reviews that will be very different. Back when I was a child in the 1990s, my parents spoiled me with various dinosaur toys, and among them was a brand of colourful, cartoonish models that reminded me of the Land Before Time, although it was clear that the line shared no connection with that franchise. These were in fact the vinyl models available at Wendy’s restaurants and made by Playskool for their Definitely Dinosaurs line. The toys were not made to be scientifically accurate. In fact, they seem to go out of their way to make these figures look like cartoon animals. To my knowledge, there were ten models made for the series and I acquired all but two in my lifetime, although I lost one at some point in my youth. Fortunately, most of the others remain with me to this day, and I have since traded some contemporary items for a couple more Playskool figures. This leaves only three that I plan on acquiring somehow in the future.

image

​Today’s review focuses on my personal favourite of the entire group, mainly because his presence makes him look a lot different from all the others. He is the Ceratosaurus. He is unique among the rest of the batch because he looks nothing like the animal he is supposed to represent. This is due in part to the fact that he is supposed to be a cartoon animal, but there are enough things wrong with him that it suggests the sculptor(s) did nothing but glance at a picture of Ceratosaurus.

image

If you’re thinking I’m going to spend the rest of this review ripping this poor guy a new cloaca, don’t worry, I won’t be that mean to him. But he does look like the sculptor(s) barely knew what a Ceratosaurus was, so I will touch on a few things that are fairly obvious.

image

​The head is round and almost frog-like, with one horn in between the nostrils. On top of that, the arms look like human arms, and there’s only three fingers sculpted on either hand. I can go on to say how it is in a tripod pose, but I think I’m being mean enough. This toy was not meant to be taken seriously, and I knew that back when I was a kid. The one thing that stands out to me with this particular toy is that the eyes were painted red, giving him an evil look with that mouth full of teeth (keep in mind, other figures in the line also had red eyes, but they also did not have the teeth). When I played with these toys, I always pretended that the herbivores were on an adventure and they were always pestered by the mean old Ceratosaurus (I did not have the Tyrannosaurus at the time, as I was not aware of its existence until 20 years later).

image

​The colors on all of these Playskool models were very bright and cheerful. This Ceratosaurus is the darkest of the bunch, but it still manages to be anything but dull. The bottom part of the toy is blue while the top is purple. These days, most preschool toys look a little more realistic, with brands like Fisher Price making their figures a little more modern and somewhat realistic while still retaining the cartoonish look. Today, Playskool (now run by Hasbro) includes a Heroes line that makes characters from popular franchises into cute toys for little kids. The successors of the Definitely Dinosaurs series would be the Jurassic World figures from this line (which in my opinion were a lot better then the garbage released for older fans).

image

The Definitely Dinosaurs Ceratosaurus is not something that I can recommend to those who want a serious take on the animal, and I am unsure if anyone other than a collector like me is willing to acquire these classic figures. I decided to collect them because I already had most of the assortment saved from my youth, with only three awaiting to be acquired. If you want one, your best bet is Ebay, as it is the best place to find long retired toys such as this. [See Definitely Dinosaurs on Ebay]