There aren’t a lot of dinosaur toys on the market that specialize in articulation (David Silva’s Beasts of the Mesozoic line being the main shining exception right now), so the announcement of Mattel’s Amber Collection for their ongoing Jurassic World line was reason for excitement. Beginning in 2019, Mattel began select releases of dinosaurs, and later human characters, in the 6.5″ collector’s scale, with higher quality detail and poseability than the standard action figures they produce. We’re surprisingly short on reviews for this line on the Dinosaur Toy Blog as of this writing, though, so let’s fill out this category a bit more with a look at the Velociraptor Delta, released in summer of 2020.
I admit I was a little late to the Amber party, as I had been drifting away from the Mattel scene after the initial waves of figures. One downside to the Amber Collection is that, due to the set scale of 1:6, most releases were of the raptors and little else at the start. And, like some other figures in Mattel’s overall JW line, distribution and availability have been inconsistent, resulting in some of the more interesting additions disappearing quickly. Delta here was something of a whim purchase for me during a sale through Target, which is the major carrier of the Amber series in the USA. Delta, of course, was one of four Velociraptors featured in Jurassic World, part of the pack led by Blue and trained by protagonist Owen Grady. Delta didn’t get much time to stand out as a character in the film before meeting her demise in the climax, regrettably.
Delta comes packaged in what is standard for the Amber collection: fully enclosed in an attractively designed black box with amber-colored cracking patterns and a small info blurb on the animal/character on the back. A large window in front displays Delta in full while still packaged. The figure itself measures 32 cm (12.5 inches) long from nose to tail tip, placing her around 1:12-1:14 scale for the in-universe size of Velociraptor. The package includes a two-piece stand for additional display options, which connects to the main figure via peg-and-socket under the figure’s pelvic region. Also included is a small rubber piece representing the camera attached to Delta during the film’s third act. The piece is meant to be stretched over the head and positioned just behind the skull; however, I have yet to fully try this, as I fear the limits of how much the rubber can stretch.
Delta’s figure appears faithful in overall proportions to the character on-screen; the Amber Collection raptors largely recycle the same sculpt, which works out at least for the four Jurassic World raptors. The JW raptor designs feature slightly flatter, rounder-edged skulls akin to the original Jurassic Park film, but with teeth rows that extend to the back of the jaw. Interestingly, Delta in particular seems to have somewhat more pronounced antorbital ridges than her siblings; regrettably, that trait is lost on the figure. The mouth line is sculpted into a slight snarl, revealing the back teeth a little more. The limbs are very long and slender, but are muscular with large hands and feet. The hands are sculpted into a semi-pronated position, which is less film-accurate but slightly more science-accurate, either by choice or just a happy accident. The feet are enlarged for balance of the figure, which can look a little exaggerated sometimes but accomplishes its purpose (JP raptors tend to have large feet to start with, anyway).
Texturing on the figure is well-done, with a mixture of fine pebbly scaling and wrinkly skin which overlaps and shifts across different regions of the body in a natural manner. Larger scales adorn the skull and face, as well as the fingers and toes; some scattered raised scales are also apparent on the back of the head and neck. The claws are all smooth, with a matte finish as opposed to the glossier look of the body (which varies somewhat between pieces of the sculpt). Delta’s coloration consists of countershaded tones of lime green with darker green striping and splotching in varying patterns across the body. Some of the patterning is applied inconsistently (namely on the neck area), but overall the coloration is eye-catching and fairly accurate to Delta’s film appearance – in fact, I’d even say it’s an improvement in the saturation department, as the four raptors can be difficult to distinguish in the film, even with their unique color schemes. Delta’s eyes appear less accurate, painted in a flat pale yellow rather than the darker amber yellow from the film.
The primary draw of this figure, of course, is the articulation. There are 22 points of articulation: the limbs and skull have swivel/hinge joints, while the head, neck, and tail have ball-and-socket joints. The sickle claws are hinged as well, which is a nice touch. Separate joints for the upper skull and the jaw allow extra range of expression and let the mouth open about as wide as one could ask for. Although I wish a couple of joints like those in the neck or elbows had just a little more range, the figure is capable of holding a variety of action or natural poses (sometimes with help from the base), if not anything truly ridiculous. The tail is primarily rubber with an internal wire for holding poses, further enhancing the display options (just be gentle so you don’t wear out the wire). Although not as high-end of a model as a raptor from Beasts of the Mesozoic, I still have a lot of fun handling and posing this figure. In some ways I dare say it even feels more durable, if only for how much more robust the base design of the film raptors is.
The Amber Collection Delta is a solid action figure in a market that’s rather lacking in articulated options. Raptors in this line are pretty swappable other than their color schemes, admittedly, so it would be nice if Mattel could have offered a few more fine touches to distinguish the individual features. Still, fans of Jurassic World should be pleased with Delta, either on her own or as part of a larger raptor pack. The Amber Collection is primarily sold through Target in the USA (and at Toys R Us in Canada), but you might be able to find them through a few collector sites like Entertainment Earth as well.