Although this DK-inspired poseable figure is alright as a generic theropod toy, it’s a pretty weak depiction of the iconic genus it’s meant to represent.
Dinosaur toy history is a relatively new endeavor of study, be it researching the origins of the hobby in the famous Marx line, or trying to catalogue the onslaught of brand-new models from PNSO. Naturally, there will be gaps in knowledge for a young field of study, especially with a variety of “3rd party” producers and vendors that have popped up and disappeared over the years. Enter the trio of Lontic, Kid Galaxy, and Happy Kin, three companies who appear to have worked together in recent years to release inexpensive dinosaur action figures through various physical and online retailers. Kid Galaxy, based in the USA, currently specializes in toddler toys and remote-controlled vehicles, while the Hong Kong-based Lontic appears to have specialized in playsets. Both companies supplied toys to American retailers, including boxed sets of poseable dinosaurs in the style of Hasbro or Chap Mei toys. Happy Kin (or Xidi), another Chinese company, may have been the original manufacturer of these sets, which still pop up occasionally in a range of assortments and color versions.
What makes this line of poseable dinosaurs interesting at first glance is that numerous figures in the line are taking – *ahem* – generous inspiration from other sources, including the aforementioned Hasbro Jurassic Park line and, more importantly for this review, the Dorling Kindersley publishing company. If you grew up reading dinosaur books in the late 90s and into the 2000s, I’ll bet you picked up at least one DK book and became familiar with their signature stock imagery of dinosaur models or digital renders. For this review, I’m taking a look at the Allosaurus from the Happy Kin line, which I picked up on a whim while researching these toys. Typically this figure would be sold by Happy Kin or Kid Galaxy in an open-box set of 5-6 figures; mine was bought second-hand on its own, as many of these figures tend to be found now.
Allosaurus, of course, needs little introduction itself, as it remains one of the staple predatory genera in dinosaur pop culture. This poseable action figure comes engraved with the genus name and typical “made in China” note at the base of the tail, but lacks any other information regarding a manufacturer or release date. There are five points of articulation on the figure: a hinge at the jaw, a swivel for each limb, and another swivel on the tail (although that last joint doesn’t add much due to the sculpt). My figure’s jaw can be just a tad loose, but it is second-hand. The figure holds poses pretty well when balanced on both feet, however, it is just front-heavy enough that it can still tumble forward over time. Take note, manufacturers: it really wouldn’t hurt to make the tails a bit longer on these toys!
The Allosaurus measures about 23 cm (9 inches) long, and about 9 cm (3.5 inches), which ostensibly puts it at around 1:37 scale. This is not meant to be a scientifically-accurate toy, however, and creative license has been taken with various proportions of the animal, presumably to make a more appealing action figure. Of particular note is the highly shortened tail (a trend JP collectors will be woefully familiar with), enlarged arms and feet, and a shortened neck. Obviously this is meant primarily as a cheap kids’ play toy, so one must keep expectations in line. Other issues stem from the figure’s heavy inspiration – and I mean HEAVY, as in frankly ripped-off – from Dorling Kindersley’s digital art from the early 2000s (to be honest, I don’t think a lot of DK’s early digital artwork has aged well). The skull is largely nondescript, bearing little to no resemblance to the distinct skull of a real Allosaurus. The lack of lacrimal horns is most noticeably absent; instead, the eyes themselves are positioned within an exaggerated brow line more akin to the Jurassic Park T. rex than anything else. The figure is also missing Allosaurus‘s enlarged thumb claw – although this is an admittedly common mistake.
Anatomical issues aside, this Allosaurus does have some decent finer detailing to the sculpt. The face is surprisingly fleshed out, with what appear to be scaly lips and no sunken fenestrae. Elsewhere, the animal looks a little more gaunt, with visible tendons in the neck and ribs poking out from the sides. Circular scales are patterned across the face and body in between more prominent wrinkling and creasing of the skin. Larger overlapping scales line the fingers and toes in a birdlike manner, and another patch of large scales is oddly placed in the middle of the stomach. The figure’s color scheme follows the DK pattern of tan with chocolate-brown stripes and spots – which actually looks pretty good in application. Although some of the striping looks inconsistent, the smattering of speckles has a very natural appearance to it. The eyes are painted a lime green, which pops nicely on the figure, and the mouth and teeth are highlighted in pink and yellow, respectively. Apart from a few paint slops, the only real eyesore is the three-to-four screw holes on the left side of the body. Cheap is cheap, I suppose. Another, more recent color variant also exists with vivid dark green and black striping highlighted with white and yellow markings. It’s a gaudier color scheme, but it certainly catches the eye.
Although I find this poseable figure likeable as a generic theropod toy, it’s a pretty weak portrayal of the iconic genus Allosaurus. Apart from kids who just want a half-decent action figure, this toy from Kid Galaxy/Happy Kin will be best appreciated by those who specifically appreciate the aesthetic of Hasbro and Chap Mei dinosaurs, with which this figure should mesh just fine. The Allosaurus can be found second-hand on eBay, both individually or in the original boxed sets, by searching with the right keywords.
OMG this dinosaur finally got reviewed! I have this dinosaur but never knew where it originated! Thank you so much!
Glad to be of help! I’m tempted to order more figures from this line for future reviews; there really isn’t much information I can find out there about them.