Kenner Jurassic Park Ian Malcolm Action Figure Kenner, 1994
Day #346: March 1, 2012
Ian Malcolm Behold Jeff Goldblum
Jurassic Park Series II
Item No.: n/a Manufacturer:Kenner Includes:Launcher, backpack, projectile, Gallimimus hatchling Action Feature:Firing rocket launcher Retail: $5.99 Availability: Fall 1994 Other: The last "new" movie human from the first film to be made, a year later
I remember going absolutely nuts trying to get an Ian Malcolm figure in 1994, before the internet really made it easy for people to just check eBay to see if a figure came out yet. (If it's for sale, it's probably out-- and today this one goes for about $15.) Malcolm is the quintessential Kenner design-- 4 3/4-inches tall, 5 joints, and a ridiculous accessory as a weapon. Seriously, I have no idea who came up with the tranquilizer gun.
Jurassic Park toys usually came with a capture net with a few exceptions, I guess it makes sense that you would want to give Jeff Goldblum an insane transparent green backpack and a firing gun bigger than he is. With the projectile, the weapon measures a whopping 6-inches long, plus it includes multiple play features-- not only does it fire, but it has a sliding grey piece to move around. The idea is that you can pretend to suck out the green goop out of his backpack before loading it and launching it, which, while creative, is preposterous given the size of the figure relative to his gun. There's no way he could refill it, only you-- the benevolent God aged 4-11-- can help him prepare for battles with giant man-eating bird ancestors created by an insane rich madman. Or something. There are marks on the dart to "measure" how much you took out, but most interesting is the backpack. The accessory was molded in clear plastic and painted silver in some spots and black in others, creating a very rich-looking backpack with minimal pieces. Big points to them figuring this out, painting clear pieces can result in some slick looks and nobody even bothers to try this kind of thing these days as far as I can tell.
Much like Snake Eyes, there's not a lot to Malcolm as a figure in terms of paint. The sculpt is very clean, with a few folds and creases, plus some stitching to bring his suit to life. If anything, it's an amazingly conservative figure-- he's not ridiculously muscular, plus his sunglasses do a good job of covering up the quality of his likeness-- whatever it might have been. The face is definitely Goldblum-esque, plus he's dressed almost entirely in black. This is a recipe for a slick action figure if ever there was one, although I'd be lying if I said I admired his accessories when the figure first came out. I thought they were pretty stupid. Since gravity prevents him from standing and holding his gun, I guess I still do. Hell, he can't even hold his gun at the grip-- it's too thick. It might be too thick for most 12-inch action figures. The reason to buy this figure is for your very own Jeff Goldblum toy, or for his little dinosaur buddy.
Most if not all Jurassic Park human figures included a small dinosaur figure measuring about 2-inches high (or long). The Gallimimus hatchling is delightfully cartoony with big bright yellow eyes and exceptional decoration. Not only does he have the obligatory "JP" logo on his hip, but he has black pupils plus red and blue markings on his back. Oh, and a red tongue. This is pretty remarkable when you consider similarly priced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures from this era had sidekick mini-figures which were completely unpainted and frankly ugly. Kenner's JP dino sidekicks were sharp, well-painted, and the reason I bought a lot of the figures in the first place. The little guys were gorgeous, and it's almost a shame Kenner didn't turn them into a Monster in my Pocket-style sideline of collectible terrible lizards. I really dug 'em, so for my $6 I found Malcolm and the Gallimimus baby to be totally worth it. The gun and backpack, not so much.
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