Iguanodon (Jurassic Park Junior by Playskool / Hasbro)

2.3 (7 votes)

This so-called “Li’l Iguanodon” was part of a short-lived ‘Jurassic Park Junior’ toy line released in 2001, presumably prompted by the release of Jurassic Park 3 in cinemas that same year. The line was aimed at young audiences and is made up of cutesy renditions of several dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park film series. With one exception; Iguanodon has never appeared in a Jurassic Park film so its inclusion in the JP Junior series is rather unusual. Maybe it was deemed toddler-friendly – a peaceful plant eater with a friendly face. Whatever the reason, I think it might be the only true Jurassic Park Iguanodon toy (excluding a small ‘die-cast metal figurine‘ released at the time of the original movie).

Iguanodon Jurassic Park Junior toy

The Jurassic Park Junior Iguanodon has a spring loaded “leaping action” feature. When you push the toy down firmly the hind legs rotate forwards, ready to spring back when the pressure is released. Square rubber pads on the underside of the toes provide the grip required to accomplish a graceful leap forward . The downside to this feature is that the hind limbs are permanently in a leaping position at rest, so the toy stands on its tiptoes. It doesn’t balance on the flats of its feet.

There are no articulations other than this action feature. The arms look like they should move, but they are actually fixed in place, and the whole body including the head and tail is one single sculpt. The surface is mostly smooth with a few wrinkles here and there. The toy also has an almost slippery texture.

Iguanodon Jurassic Park Junior toy

The model is obviously a stylised baby so I’m not going to drill down much into the anatomical details. There is a clear thumb spike, a sure indicator that this animal does indeed represent Iguanodon. The whole animals is truncated with a relatively large head and stubby little tail. The face has huge eyes and a content chubby-cheeked expression, and has fleshy lips instead of a beak. Disney made the same choice for their Iguanodon designs, a more realistic horny beaks presumably wouldn’t provide the desired amount of expression. It is cute enough, I suppose, but the cuteness gives way to grotesqueness as we cast our eye downwards to see that this poor baby is suffering from elephantiasis of the hands and feet. The sculptor was probably aiming for a chubby toddler look, but the extremities look swollen and painful to me!

Iguanodon Jurassic Park Junior toy

The figure is branded on its left flank with the official ‘JP’ logo. Where the toys in the main line JP action figure line had numbers next to this symbol, the JP Junior toys are simply marked ‘JR’.

Bright orange must be attractive to toddlers and it certainly stands out on a shelf. Even the pupils are orange. I guess they wanted to save on black ink.

The Jurassic Park Junior line is a curious addition to Hasbro’s Jurassic Park toy endeavours. The lack of the line’s longevity suggests it was not very successful, but I’m pleased I picked up this unusual l’il Iguanodon at the time. British dinosaurs represent!

Iguanodon Jurassic Park Junior toy

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