This is a good set - the Galaxy Laser Team set gets you 48 figures and 2 ships, but the Green and Yellow Prehistoric Dinosaurs Figure Set has only 48 figures. Like the Laser Team, there are a few differences from the original - but what I had as a kid in the 1980s were knock-offs, so these don't quite match and I don't quite have perfect reference.
Opening a sack of Tim Mee figures is like dumping out a cereal box to get the prize, except there's no cereal and it's all toys. They're also better than a lot of prizes I've gotten over the years, with largely cleaner production values. A few figures have some flash, and there are a few imperfections I assume are the result of the age (and use) of the tooling, but you're basically getting a decent afternoon of fun here. Moreso if you've got kids. Each design has 2-3 of each in the set - I don't know if it's consistent from sack to sack, so assume you'll get at least two of each color in every bag with three on a few of them.
This is the first reissue in recent years, but knock-offs of these can probably be found at thrift stores, grocery stores, and elsewhere. You probably have a few of these - I found out about them in (if memory serves) Kindergarten and I asked my teacher where she found them - so I got to go out there and get them. And now I can't find them, so I assume they're in a lost box or were dumped at a garage sale - there are a few tweaks here, but overall they're quite good as their own thing. They're glossy and in pretty good shape - the Stegosaurus and Triceratops need a little love, but then again the price-per-figure is about 24 1/2-cents each. Which sounds good, until you realize you're only getting 18 "different" figures, with tons of duplicates you can hand out on Halloween, stuff in stockings, or give to friends and/or take to work.
As with the few other Tim Mee items I've bought, you get your money's worth. 48 figures in a sack make this the perfect cheap toy for small families because you've got extras so every kid could have their own, probably. There are 9 sculpts, kicking off with one I don't remember having in my original sets. The Tyrannosaurus Rex looks like the original (as I'm told) 1970s toys with a dragging tail and lumpy sculpt. Big cheeks and a bit of a belly have this tail-dragging, meat-eating menace look years apart from the 1990s scavenging monster we saw in Jurassic Park. He looks a bit slower and meaner, like you might have expected from this kind of a toy if you were a kid when things like The Flintstones and old Marx dinosaurs dictated your terrible lizard world view. Having never had one before, I was surprised to see the texture on the skin was not as smooth as I would have guessed. It's quite nice. The arms are tiny and as expected useless, and the back of each foot has a claw coming off the heel. The left side of his mouth is open a bit more than the right, giving him an Elvis-like snarl. It's quite nice.
While technically not a dinosaur, the Dimetrodon is one of 3 prehistoric creatures that aren't exactly a terrible lizard, as such. The finned-back creature looks like one of the older models with a smaller, more lizardlike head rather than a more active, lively noggin that you may have seen in Dino-Riders, Jurassic Park, or even Imaginext. Its popular design comes to us thanks to a very recognizable - if not unique - silhouette, and this creature is often classified as a precursor to mammals rather than reptiles or birds.
The toy itself looks a lot like a typical backyard lizard here in the southwest. There's a light, scaly texture with a reasonably smooth fin and a facial expression that says "dammit, I forgot to get milk on the way home and my wife is going to make me go back out." (I am assuming, for the purposes of this review, that the dimetrodon is played by a 1950s television star.) The nostrils are visible, and like unmany of the other figures in the recent slate of Tim Mee toys it isn't exactly super sharp. The details are a little softer, especially when compared to the exceptional (and as of yet unreviewed here) Legendary Fantasy 70mm figures. Those things will knock you on your duff. But I digress!
He's another cute little guy designed in the thinking of the era surrounding Harryhousen movies and The Land of the Lost's original run.
The Smilodon (or another saber-tooth tiger creature) is a mainstay in old shows involving cavemen or time travel, and it looks more or less like you'd expect - there haven't been a lot of revelations about its build. It's a big cat thing, it has sharp teeth, and that lends itself to good toys. It's not a radical departure from most designs, but it feels a little skinnier with a slightly longer tail. The detail is pretty solid, but it's not like any sample I've seen of the originals was particularly amazing. It's a good design in that it's immediately recognizable and has, yet again, a solid silhouette. You know what this is, it looks good. And it's 2 1/2-inches long.
I was a big fan of the Ankylosaurus because it looked like an armadillo. How can you not love little armored turtley dudes? This one has a much bigger tail club than I remember from my old ones, but the stumpy little guy has no neck to speak of. This helps keep it solid - I've heard collectors make reference to these being "indestructible" but I dare not tempt fate. I'm pretty sure that they could survive any sandbox, toy box, or little brother or sister.
The dinosaur design is unquestionably easy to recognize, but the details are a little off. Modern interpretations seem to have more of a neck, while this feels sort of like a turtle. Looking at it, it's almost as if the head and the "shell" are fused together unable to turn around or look at things. There's a decent skin texture and clearly sculpted eyes, which are much harder to see on the yellow sample. The smile pops more on the yellow one, as does the skin texture, so that might actually be the winner here depending on how you define success. The design has the back shell part look like it's really the body, with the "meat" under it looking as if it had been scooped out. The legs all reach the floor nicely and it's pretty neat. I think you'll like it.
The long-necked dinosaur - presumably a brontosaurus given the marketing of the past century, likely actually an apatasaurus. The same design has been used a few times, with its unique hooked neck design having made numerous appearance in cheap dinosaur bags over the years. I've got a few copies of this mold in various larger and smaller sizes, and I'm fairly sure I read another company or two also had figures in this style. I really dig it, mostly because the pose isn't used on most other, bigger sauropod toys. The skin texture is good, it feels a little waxy. The head is nice and sharp with clear eyes and nostrils, plus a mouth that also seems to look a little frustrated or irate. You can't beat that. The tail drags, as most of these do, and the pose is perfect for a creature looking over his shoulder while being chased down by angry meat-eating dinosaurs. This dinosaur was my favorite as a kid, and getting (new copies of) the original really makes my day. I'd love to see these in some other colors too. He's about 2-inches tall.
The duck-bill dinosaurs have many names, and because of the fast and loose relationship with authenticity that plagued dinosaur toys for years - and to some extent, continues to - it's tough to say exactly what the toymakers meant to do. I assume they were going for a Trachodon, as it's posed somewhat similarly to Marx' model. The tail is dragging and curved the same way, as are the legs. The arms are a little different and of course he's got a nice big nose. Any skin texture that may have been in older incarnations appears to be long gone as this is a smooth figure with pretty decent details. His head has a lot of nice detail for the size, with deep cuts around the eyes, nose, and mouth plus some decent definition in the neck and body. The pose almost feels more like some sort of suited-up Kaiju monster from a lost Japanese TV show than most modern takes on a dinosaur, but hey, that's what old dinosaur toys looked like - plucked birds.
The stegosaurus looks both better and worse than I seem to remember it. The detail is a lot sharper, each plate has a few grooves and the head and neck are nicely sculpted. The expression is a little more optimistic, and the longer neck radically alters his personality. It looks more doddering, older, and a little more wobbly than the tanklike ankylosaurus in this set. The less-sturdy look and feel is carried into its thin build, with a small hole appearing under the plates on his back in two spots. The traditional spiked tail is here, as are the four legs. There's not a lot of variety here other than more recent stegosaurus interpretations seem to put more emphasis on a beak while this one has more of a grin on his maw, but it's still cute and pretty good. You can't really knock this one.
I'm a fan of mammoth toys. I'll pick up a lot of them given the chance, within reason. I'm less of a fan of models, and this woolly mammoth is pretty sharp. You'll notice it has smaller ears, unlike the believed appearance of the American version known as the Columbian Mammoth. The cold climate means smaller ears, so there's less frostbite, and nobody wants frostbite. Well, maybe the dire wolves. He has a small tail, a lot of sculpted fur, and is also unnaturally skinny for such a robust creature. The head has two pointy tusks and the trunk, giving it some much-needed depth. If you look at the body from most angles, it just doesn't look healthy. It's a decent figure from the side, although like most of the set the proportions aren't quite right. Such is the charm - it's a fun, lively little guy.
Rounding out the set is the triceratops, or so I assume. Older versions of the mold have three visible horns, while this one has two truncated horns and no central nose horn. The smoother skin is consistent with later releases, although there are some creases and folds here and there. The frill has a little bit of detailing, and the head has some good cuts for the eyes, nose, and mouth. I assume the tool had some wear or this was de-fanged due to safety issues, because without the three horns it's a pretty weak triceratops. Some of the later releases were like this too, so it's not like the lessened design is a new thing - there's a lot floating around out there like this. I'm not crazy about the design without the third horn, but it's not unreasonable to see some fossils (or actual extant animals) with horns that were favored a little too much that resulted in filed-down horns or antlers or whatever. Granted, I'd rather they be longer so I could customize them were I so inclined, but it's still cute and small and pretty nifty.
If you're like me, you want this. You're enamored with the concept of the toy soldier, specifically the green army man, and want to see it expanded beyond the military. Dinosaurs are a good fit, and the scientifically (as the kids say) wack designs are charming. If you've got a Battle Mountain or a computer with a decent monitor they make great decorations, plus they're reasonably fun and cute. Nobody is going to argue these are beautiful and perfect models, but how many made-in-the-USA sacks of dinosaurs can you get out there these days? The J Lloyd International/Tim Mee/Processed Plastics lines of reissues continue along nicely and quietly, but most of all cheaply. The bag isn't exactly high-grade stuff and the paper label doesn't feel like it will hold up to a lot of abuse. Get yourself a set, split it with your kids, or your trading buddy in Portland.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.