Review and photos by Zim, edited by Suspsy
June 12, 2015 was the day the Jurassic Park series was revived with a new film called Jurassic World. It features a revamped park along with many new species, including Dimorphodon, Mosasaurus, and a new hybrid, along with old favourites like Tyrannosaurus. While the visuals looked good, the movie suffered from forgettable human characters (apart from the main two), dumb physics logic, and the accuracy being way off. The toys weren’t better, what with Hasbro owning the license and their products (with the exception of the minis) having glaring screw holes on one side, raptors without sickle claws, and bad paint applications among other issues. In 2016, fans rejoiced when was announced that Hasbro had lost the license and Mattel will be taking over. In 2018, the Mattel toys came out and, while far from perfect, were much better sculpted and painted, and better overall at everything than the Hasbro products had ever been.
While Mattel’s JW toys line shelves in the West, Japan’s Takara Tomy were sold in Asia. They are standard size figures that are relatively inexpensive (if you live in Asia, that is) and highly detailed and articulated, however, the scale is all over the place. They started producing these figures just before JW: Fallen Kingdom came out as well as during the release of Camp Cretaceous on Netflix. They also released a random assortment of figures in 2021, with an Amargasaurus bearing a striking resemblance to Mattel’s. Most of the figures can be bought individually, but a few are playset exclusives or in one of two gift packs. The one which we will be focusing on is the Isla Nublar Decisive Battle set which involves the final fight from Jurassic World and contains Rexy herself, the Indominus Rex, and the Mosasaurus and we will be going in order from worst to best (in my opinion).
The first figure we’re looking at today is the Indominus Rex. Let’s get this out of the way first: the design is weak, similar to Rudy from Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to the figure. It is the largest one in the set coming in at 18 cm long, and features some nice scale details, although they are oversized due to the small size of the figure. There’s a row of osteoderms that is slapped on to almost every new species in the franchise as well as teeth that are blunted out for children’s safety (these Takara Tomy toys are also advertised to be safe for the visually impaired to play with). The figure is painted in a light grey color and the toe claws are painted (unlike most Mattel toys). The feet are oversized, but it cannot stand up on just those. The hands, however, are quite long which allows it to balance on all fours, which is a neat way to display the toy. The articulation involves standard jaw articulation as well as legs and two points in the tail segment, which is my biggest gripe. The tail pieces are cut and separated via ball joints, which makes it look like the tail has been chopped off and then reattached. This also means that the smaller piece can go missing easily, and it can be a choking hazard to the small children who are the target demographic. This is unfortunately a problem with most, if not all the theropods and select few herbivores. A better solution would be having the tail in one piece, like Mattel toys, or use a wire–which will drive costs up, or omitting tail articulation altogether.
Returning from Jurassic Park is the all famous Rexy. The figure features the same problems with the Indominus, though some parts are better applied. We will not be going over articulation as it’s the same as on the Indominus. The figure comes in at 17 cm long and unlike the Indominus, the teeth are finer and sculpted together, though due to the minute stature, can be sloppily painted at times. The skin texture is similar to an elephant’s, but the silhouette is unmistakably Rexy even though the arms are long even for a JP-style Tyrannosaurus and the paint on the main body is a golden brown color similar to on the Mattel T. rexes that were released with a much darker brown shade after 2018. The figure also features scars from her past encounters with the raptors back in Jurassic Park and are painted a pink color. Overall, not the worst, but not the best figure of this iconic character. Still, a must-have for die hard collectors.
My favorite figure in the entire line is another newcomer from Jurassic World: the iconic Mosasaurus. Ironically, despite being the largest animal outside the sauropods, this is the smallest in the set at only 16 cm long. However, this figure features the best details with very fine teeth and osteoderms on her back. The silhouette is unmistakably the JW Mosasaurus. The figure is painted in a dark blue with a lighter underbelly. The figure features the same articulations as the two theropods except without the limb articulation and slightly better tail articulation. It would be neat if it came with a shark to recreate the feeding scene from the movie, but oh well.
Overall, I think this is a decent set for kids and collectors alike with better proportions than Mattel toys as well as painted claws. Since this set is an Asia exclusive, I can’t say I recommend it unless you’re a die hard collector, as shipping costs can be expensive. But if you’re willing to kiss some of your money goodbye, I’ll say go for it as these are the best substitute for the Mattel figures. Since JW: Dominion is coming out soon, it is expected that Takara Tomy will make figures of at least some of the new species or maybe rerelease some old favourites too.