Review and photos by Loon, edited by Suspsy
Released in 1992, James Gurney’s book Dinotopia follows the shipwrecked scientist Arthur Denison and his son Will as they journey through the titular island, where dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals escaped extinction and coexist with humanity. This book was extremely popular during the 1990s, garnering sequels, prequels, all sorts of merchandise, a computer game, and at one point, was going to be adapted into a Hollywood movie by Sony. That didn’t pan out, but Disney did end up producing a TV miniseries in 2002.
With all that popularity, you would think Dinotopia would have had a bigger toy presence, and it was going to. In 1995, Hasbro had been planning a pretty revolutionary toy line that would have been targeted at both boys and girls. Unfortunately, once the movie was canceled, the toy line was as well, leaving the only toys based on the original books to be a couple of plush released by the now-defunct Accent International in 1993. This review will be looking at one of them, Bix, a Protoceratops multilinguous ambassador able to speak human languages.
This is a pretty decently sized plush, about 15 inches (38 cm) long. It’s also a very simplistic rendition of a character from a book that’s nearly 30 years old, so I won’t really be scrutinizing it from a scientific accuracy angle. Still, she’s very clearly a Protoceratops. The body is primarily pink-red with a yellow belly. The main color may be a little too pink for some people’s tastes. The eyes are made of transparent coloured plastic.
Luckily, my copy still includes the tag, which features some fantastic art by James Gurney. Opening the tag, you’ll find a cute description of Bix and the premise of Dinotopia.
If the colors don’t convey the character enough, “Bix” is literally written in both English and the Dinotopian footprint alphabet on her vest. Bix didn’t wear any clothing in the book, but I think this a nice little feature of the plush, despite making her look a bit like a theatre attendant. The vest can come off as well, allowing for a more book accurate look.
She also has wraps on her right arm, which actually are from the book. She gets these after she first approaches Arthur Denison and he, mistaking her for a wild animal, throws a rock at her. Unlike the vest, it’s not removable; this would have been preferable, as it would have allowed this plush to be less scene-specific.
This is a really charming plush. Not only is it one of the few toys based on Dinotopia, but it’s also a really well made product (still in pretty good shape after 27 years). So, hopefully, I didn’t overload you with too much information on Dinotopia. If not, here’s Bix with the Dino-Riders Protoceratops, which served as a model when James Gurney was painting her.
See you next time when we look at “Lil’ Hadro,” the other Dinotopia plush from Accent International. Until then, “Breathe deep, seek peace!”