The ending of Jurassic World opened a can of worms to a world of possibilities as to where our favorite sci-fi dinosaur franchise was going. Luckily there was a ton of lore to draw from, whether it was from the books, game or other media, though maybe not as deep as Star Wars, but just like the Star Wars sequel trilogy, there was not much of a plan going forward in terms of movie-making. Universal did know one thing though: the money making potential was enormous, something that they learned once “Jurassic world”(2015) came out to mostly good reception. But let us be honest. Movies are getting worse, which has led some of us to proudly declare that we are in it for the toys at this point. I, Emperor Dinobot, am one of these proud collectors, but where is the pride in being a collector when Hasbro laughed at our collective behinds with their terrible Jurassic World figures? It seemed that Universal was not completely sold on the potential success of Jurassic World, and neither was Hasbro, apparently. But I am not going to talk about Hasbro. We all know the horror stories about figures that made Chap Mei’s worse look like gemstones. Either way, Mattel was awarded the license to make the toys for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”(2018) while expecting great financial success, and their figures have been met with great enthusiasm and positive reception by kids and collectors alike. 5 years on and 200+ figures later, they have captivated our imaginations, filled up our shelves, and captured the contents of our wallets, and our hearts. I think we can now celebrate the 5 year anniversary of Fallen Kingdom’s release on this same week 5 years ago!
Trust me, this isn’t so much an opportunity for me to humblebrag about the fact that I own every single pre-Dominion mainline Mattel animal, even if not all of them are yet on display. The sheer number of figures, repaints and all that Mattel has made far surpasses Kenner’s foray into 90’s Jurassic at least in terms of quantity. Quality? Well, I have already received a few broken toys, and the quality control is not the best. Several collectors have complained of animals having the wrong leg, or having their eyes not painted, , and so forth. The more articulated figures from the Amber and Hammond collections suffer from quality issues too, but I like to think of these as isolated incidents….that pile up over time. Then again, just look at how many figures there are, mostly well distributed across the globe. Errors and pseudo-variants were bound to appear.
The vehicles, few as they are, have all been great, and their large scale dinosaurs such as the Legacy Brachiosaurus are nothing short of impressive. I never thought I would have a Brachiosaurus figure in 1/14 scale, let alone 1/18th scale back in the 90’s. I wished that they would scale better with he original Jurassic Park humans, and there are several unfortunate instances of me complaining about this all over social media, but eventually I learned to live with the 1/18 scale, and even expand my action figure repertoire. Not much of a choice was given once my beloved Beasts of the Mesozoic ceratopsians came out.Some dinosaurs are small/big enough to compare well with a Kenner human either way, as I have demontrated in previous posts.
I don’t need to tell you that these are superior to Hasbro’s half-tailed attempts, but the question most people ask themselves is whether they are better than Kenner’s stuff. I wish I had a definitive answer, but it goes along the lines of “they are dinosaur action figures, and they all look good together”. This picture proves just that.
I stated earlier that movies are getting worse, and they are. I have only viewed Fallen Kingdom once, on the day I went to see it in the theater. It has its moments, but I think bad editing made it the wreck that it is. There were some strange story elements that may have been re-hashed from old ideas and concepts, but in the end, I was entertained, and I actually liked the whole idea of this planet becoming a Jurassic World, where the animals inevitably went global for better or for worse.
I also think it is one of the saddest movies I have ever seen, not just because we saw the end of an era as Nublar was obliterated by a volcano, but of the way some of the dinosaurs ended up, and how the undesirable segments of society were more interested in weaponizing the poor animals than anything else. Just imagine if Nublar has been napalmed into oblivion by the non-existent Costa Rican military as explained in the book’s finale. “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to”.
But anyways, now onto the main event!
Initially, I was happy to open this toy for the review since I have opened expensive figures in the past, but then I began having second thoughts as this is kind of a rare pack. My understanding was that they were sold at the Toy Fair that year, and only attendees would get them, but you can still find them online, though at a steep price, which goes up as time goes on. I paid half of what the asking price is now for the cheapest one, but that was 5 years ago. This was covered in a ton of dust, and I was going to cheat by using the Poseable Indoraptor and the Battle Damage Velociraptor Blue instead in order to do this review. The idea was to talk about the differences between figures, but I decided to heck with it, and opened it anyways. I really wanted to play with the strange Triceratops skull featured in Lockwood Manor’s museum, which featured taxidermized dinosaurs, and the real bones of the creatures that were made in the lab lurking below the surface.
Another thing I wanted to point out is that I always appreciated the fact that Mattel packaged their Indoraptors in boxes that had a rainy, stormy motif, as Indoraptor was never on Isla Nublar, being only present during the shenanigannery that went down at Lockwood Manor during that same stormy night. The other figures do not have this theme on their packaging.
Upon looking at the instructions, I noticed that the Indoraptor was more than just a retooled Battle Damage version, which suddenly made this set a whole lot more interesting than I thought…
I never really liked the fact that these Indoraptor figures were kind of overscaled, but I do enjoy their articulation, action features, etc. You can find more in-depth reviews of the Poseable and Grab ‘n Growl Indoraptors here in the Dino Toy Blog.
The main difference is that this set’s Indoraptor is a modified or retooled Indoraptor with the Battle Damage feature which consists of a rotating drum inside the figure’s torso, which is activated by pushing in the cover button, causing the drum to rotate and reveal the animal’s innards. I thought this was a pretty cool approach, first tested in some of Hasbro’s figures, and carried over to Mattel’s Battle Damage dinosaurs, usually sold only at WalMart.
I learned from the instructions manual that the figure has two holes which were not featured in the Poseable Indoraptor’s torso. Other than that, Lockwood Battle Indoraptor is virtually identical in every way to the Poseable figure. I wondered if scanning the foot code for the Facts App would give me another Indoraptor, but it is the same as the Poseable Indoraptor. This is a good thing, since this set was a hard to find exclusive.
Sadly, the Grab ‘n Throw Indoraptor’s scanned entry is exactly the same. I never got the Dino Rivals Poseable Indoraptor because it’s the same as the Fallen Kingdom one, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you if the app’s entry differs in some way. Anyways, Game and Watch time! Say what you want about Fallen Kingdom, but the final showdown was pretty intense, and now I got the parts to recreate it.
No way out!
“Let’s see what they made you for”
“So much for a glass ceiling”
“Blue, I choose you!”
Blue used Sky Uppercut! It’s super effective!
“I’m in this too!”
“Come with us”
“Naw m8, I got things to do, people to see…so long, partner…”
And there you have it. I opened another expensive set for y’all.
Thanks to Mattel I am running out of space in my room, and they do not seem to be slowing down. I do not know much of what their plans are except for what everybody knows about future releases. I never expected gigantic dinosaurs roaming my toy room, nor did I expect the dinosaur action figure spell to ever end once Toys R’ Us closed, Chap Mei becoming Cheap Mei, but we were surprised by these excellent toys, and we also have Beasts of the Mesozoic dinosaur figures in the same scale with Mattel’s Jurassic toys. The future looks bright, and I cannot wait to see what they are cooking in the kitchen next.
As for the movies, I think that part of our lives is finally over. Maybe we will get a good dinosaur movie eventually, or maybe Prehistoric Planet will make dinosaur figures available in the same style of Walking With Dinosaurs and WWD3D, but this seems unlikely.
Fallen Kingdom had its good parts, mostly bad from a moviegoer’s point of view. I did enjoy it, I had my popcorn, and my pizza afterwards. And I had the toys to come home to. These last 5 years have been…difficult, but that was a fun day for us. That is what truly matters in the end. Here is to 5 more years full of dinosaur toy fun!
“I want you to draw me like one of your French dinosaurs…”