At the center of any successful Jurassic Park line is at least one big Tyrannosaurus Rex toy. They've been getting smaller. This isn't the smallest one - the Jurassic Park III one was pretty tiny - but the lack of an electronic roar on the bigger toys is something that we can pretty much blame on the changes in toy manufacturing costs. Hasbro wanted to make a big toy at a low price, and more or less made it - this one is bigger and more impressive than the $15 Young Tyrannosaurus Rex from the first movie, but not by much. The skull and pose are more like we saw in the movies, but the coloring is quite similar save for the stripes. We get an action figure and JW branding which almost looks like it says something else, and depending on who you are you may see something differently than I did. (It's weird, is what I'm saying.)
For the first day, I had this on my desk and it was great. He stood there proudly, and I could pick him up and make his jaws chomp for fun, and put him back and he'd stay standing. A couple of days later, he tipped over - again and again. I noticed he started to wobble when I typed, so I went and put him on a shelf. He'd fall over in 30 minutes to 2 hours, every time. I'd here a big "crash" and have to set him up again. I hate that.
One of the best-kept secrets in toy collecting is that Jurassic Park toys - especially old ones - are quite expensive. People didn't think to save these, so now they're expensive. They're also kid toys, and that's important to remember when we look at this figure. The third movie's toy line was squarely in the court of kid stuff, and this one is no exception - the humans are gone, and the toys are aged down. Mostly. One area this figure is better than his ancestors is its articulation - the classic big T-Rex toys generally didn't have leg articulation, and this one does! And he balances amazingly well, but only for the first couple of days.
A typical Kenner T-Rex had jointed arms and little else. This one has jointed arms and legs, standing 6-inches tall at the top of the head and measuring 17-inches long from snout to tail. Once you plug the tail in, you're off to the races - with a pair of scissors you can get this guy out of his packaging and completed in about twenty seconds.
Deco is good, but not as ornate as some other releases. Kenner and Hasbro often gave these creatures "dino-damage" bloody wounds, which this one lacks. There are no stripes on his back, but his skull has a lot of fancy dark markings around the ears, snout, and mouth. There's a lot of color in his eyes, plus the teeth and interior of the mouth are fully painted. His claws and belly are also decorated, but not much else. It's simple, but it works - and I hope Hasbro decides to take a cue from their own history with Arctic and Omega and Watermelon-themed versions. They did some wonderfully strange and creative things with their repaints, so now that we have the token brown release I hope we can see some utter weirdness down the road. If there are any Chaos Effect nods, I will buy them all.
Sculpted detail is a bit sharper than previous versions thanks to the fact it's mostly hard plastic and we've had some advancements in toy manufacturing. The "real-feel dino skin" gimmicks were largely dropped as of the second movie, with a few toys retaining the feature. One thing about this new Rex I don't like is there's a big line on the snout which I missed before I got it home - the interior of the mouth is a single, big piece and it connects to the front of the face, leaving an ugly seam. I'm willing to forgive this as it's also a big T-Rex with a button-activated jaw feature that's a lot of fun to futz with - even though it's probably just going to hang out on my desk for a few weeks before being retired to a shelf somewhere when the smaller one hits.
I think your enjoyment of this toy will be inversely proportional to your age and the asking price. For $20 or less, it's a slam-dunk. If you're a little kid, it's awesome - those chomping jaws are just the right size to pick up figures roughly 3 3/4-inches tall or shorter. It's impossible to designate this as a great accomplishment in toys, because outside the 6-inch collector figures and some of Transformers everything Hasbro does tends to be a little cheaper and skewed a little younger. It's big and sturdy, and I assume I'll see a lot of gently-loved examples of this at various thrift stores in the years to come as today's kids get older and realize they can't sell it on eBay. If you're itching for a decent T-Rex toy, it's certainly fun - although given there's a smaller $10 model with seemingly more articulation, I'd suggest taking advantage of the try-me packaging and see what works best for you. If he stood better, I'd suggest everybody get one at the first sign of a sale.
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