Review and photos by Faelrin, edited by Suspsy
Being a heavy collector of the Mattel Jurassic World line, it’s not often I give attention to their fantastic line of minis despite having collected a good portion of them ever since the line’s launch in 2018. In fact, this is probably my first review of these particular types of figures. 2023 has been one of their better years as far as the mini figures go, as they have released 14 brand new unique sculpts. Note that there is a new chase Spinosaurus and Indominus rex, but those are retools of previous figures, and they only differ from being made of a softer material as well as their coloration, and therefore won’t be included in this review.
There are three waves or series (as noted on some of the boxes), and each wave brings a few of these new sculpts to the table. Each mini set consists of two minis post the 2022 Dominion line, which changed up how the minis were done compared to former years, which were sold individually in blind bags and on occasion, in some sets. Many of the minis are now intended to have some sort of a sense of scale, with the larger creatures being larger, and the smaller creatures being smaller. As noted earlier, the material is also generally softer from the harder plastic used on the minis from 2018 through 2021 (or at least from 2020, since I’m unfortunately behind on picking up the 2021 mini figures). Wave 1 introduced Amargasaurus & Herrerasaurus, Majungasaurus & Ouranosaurus, and Kentrosaurus & Sarcosuchus. Wave 2 introduced Albertosaurus & Tupandactylus and Kryptops & Pentaceratops. Wave 3 introduced Elasmosaurus & Nothosaurus, and Bistahieversor & Borealopelta. With the exception of the Kryptops, all of the mini figures are based on previous mainline figures, new and old. Some of these have been re-released in later waves, and I have compiled those in the Mattel – New for 2023 thread on the forum (along with all the codes).
Each of the boxes has a sort of checklist of each of the wave’s figures, and also come with a little pamphlet with that information as well. It also plays into the theme of assigning different biomes to the creatures, like this year’s mainline Dino Trackers theme. Wave/Series 1 featured Velociraptor Blue & Beta; Wave/Series 2 featured the Indominus rex; Wave/Series 3 featured Triceratops. Wave/Series 2 and 3 boxes are also marked as such, but Wave/Series 1 is not. I also find it interesting the design for the Series 3 box has changed since its release. An earlier image of the Series 3 box on the Japanese Mattel site showed it with the Camp Cretaceous Nothosaurus, which appears in that wave. I would have preferred it honestly, as Triceratops doesn’t even appear in that particular wave, only the first one. Granted, it is also possible the Japanese release has different packaging from the US one.
Starting off with the Wave 1 minis, Amargasaurus & Herrerasaurus, it is worth noting the former is the only one of the new 2023 figures with articulation like many of the previous figures, which had at least one or two joints. Similar to its source of inspiration, the 2019 Dino Rivals figure, it can move its neck up and down. It’s one of the few minis released this year to be nearly faithful to the original figure in terms of having a similar number of paint apps. Despite Herrerasaurus getting a brand new sculpt in this year’s mainline, the figure in this set is based on the older original sculpt, in particular the 2018 Battle Damage figure with its yellow and orange coloration. Neither figures have paint on the eyes. It’s also worth mentioning both of the animals in this set were found in Argentina, although Herrerasaurus lived in the Late Triassic while Amargasaurus lived in the Early Cretaceous.
The next set of figures in Wave 1 is the Majungasaurus & Ouranosaurus. The former is based on the 2020 Primal Attack toy, and the latter is based on the 2021 Dino Escape toy. Once again, neither of the figures have paint on the eyes. And yes, the mini Ouranosaurus also has the same polydactylism as its larger counterpart, with sic digits on the hands. It is a film canon species here, showing up in Season 3 of Camp Cretaceous. Both of the animals here were found in Cretaceous Africa, the former from Madagascar and the latter from Niger.
The last bit of the Wave 1 figures are the Kentrosaurus and Sarcosuchus. The sculpt of the former is based on the 2021 Dino Escape figure, but strangely enough, the coloration is not. Instead, it is a mix of green and white. So far, no toy with these particular colors, other than the mini, have come along. I wonder why that was done? It is also worth mentioning that the Kentrosaurus is another film canon species, from Camp Cretaceous Season 4. Moving on to the next figure in this set, the Sarcosuchus is based on the second 2020 Primal Attack figure, with the purple and blue colors, and not the original release with the brown and mustard colors. This is yet another set with no paint on the eyes. It’s also another group of animals found in Africa. Kentrosaurus was from Late Jurassic Tanzania and Sarcosuchus was from Early Cretaceous Niger (like Ouranosaurus). It was also found in Brazil.
For the first batch of the Wave 2 figures, we have an interesting mix of old and new in the case of both sets. The first, the Albertosaurus and Tupandactylus, is based on both an older toy and one that is new for this year: the 2020 Primal Attack Albertosaurus and the 2023 Dino Trackers Tupandactylus. Both toys feature orange or red paint on the eyes, a break from the trend of new releases from the previous wave.
The next set in this wave consists of the Kryptops and Pentaceratops. The latter is based on the 2021 Dino Escape figure and the former is totally new and unique for this line, and not based on any pre-existing figure, although it shares some similarities with both the Rajasaurus and Skorpiovenator from the 2022 Dominion mainline. The last time there has been a sculpt exclusive to the mini line has been back in 2018 with the Apatosaurus, the Diplodocus, and the Postosuchus. But it is worth noting the Apatosaurus and Postosuchus did eventually get mainline figures, with the latter in the 2020 Primal Attack line (and a repaint of the previous mini figure to have a matching color scheme) and the former in the 2021 Legacy Collection respectively. Perhaps the Kryptops might get a mainline release someday like those two did? It is also worth mentioning that it has yellow paint on the eyes, but the Pentaceratops does not. It only has paint on the two brow horns, and part of the frill is painted as well.
The last and most recently released wave consists of the Elasmosaurus & Nothosaurus and the Bistahieversor & Borealopelta. All of these are based on figures that were released in this year’s Dino Trackers mainline. Despite the lack of articulation, I think the Elasmosaurus is one of the better releases as far as paint apps go (like the Amargasaurus), as it features the white paint all the way down the neck, and on the blue on the tail much like its larger counterpart. It also has tiny orange specks for paint on the eyes. The Nothosaurus does not, however, and only has tan paint from the jaw down the neck and belly, like its larger mainline counterpart. As with the Ouranosaurus and Kentrosaurus, the Nothosaurus is another film canon species from Camp Cretaceous, and featured in Season 5. It’s also interesting to see both marine reptiles in a set together here, though Nothosaurus was from the Triassic and the Elasmosaurus was from the Cretaceous.
The Bistahieversor and Borealopelta are the last pair here. While I’m not the biggest fan of the strange, comb-like spines the larger mainline Bistahieversor figure has (which have been carried over here), I do prefer the more simplified coloration, with just the black and cream color. It feels much easier on the eyes to me, and I wish the larger figure went in this direction too. It’s also interesting that the mini figure features orange eye paint, but the larger one has green eye paint. The mini Borealopelta is a very nice addition, as I feel it is one of the better figures to be released this year. The sculpt is nice and detailed like its mainline counterpart. Like many of the other minis, it lacks paint on the eyes. I think it could have also benefited from painted shoulder spikes to help it be a little bit more in line with the larger figure.
Absolutely worth mentioning is that the Amargasaurus & Herrerasaurus, Kentrosaurus & Sarcosuchus, and Kryptops & Pentaceratops (unless pending a better sample) are all sets I’m currently holding for Flaffy of the Dinotoyforum, among others. The rest are all sets he helped me get (as are the other sets I’m also holding for him). He generously gave me permission to get images with those particular figures. Altogether, I think this is a great batch of minis, and some of the mainline figures like the Amargasaurus, Majungasaurus, and Sarcosuchus were long overdue for this particular treatment, as well as the film canon Kentrosaurus, Ouranosaurus, and Nothosaurus. This leaves only a few more animals in either the films or the TV series without corresponding mini figures (although some like the Oviraptor and Smilodon still don’t have mainline figures yet either). I’m also rather glad some of my favorite figures that were released this year have gotten the mini treatment, with the Nothosaurus, Borealopelta, and Elasmosaurus. If one wants to track down any of these particular figures, best of luck. Try your local retailers or check online.