Fisher-Price given us many versions of this Imaginext prehistoric creature, but the one in Dr. Malcolm & Dimetrodon debuted here. I think. I've got one from their not-quite Dino-Riders line, there was one in the caveman line, and at least three other ones from over the years. Clearly kids like synapsids and Jeff Goldblum!
The decision to put a prehistoric creature not in the movie series with a character from the first two movies in the preschool line is, to say the least, gutsy. It also shows the importance of things like dadvertising and the strength of the Jurassic license, which you can use to sell pretty much anything. On the whole, dinosaurs tend to sell in these lines as long as you don't overproduce anything. As far as I can tell this set was one of the first ones to consistently sell through, and when it got marked down a bit it was absolutely the first to go if it wasn't already long gone. I waited a smidgen too long for a sale, and got one at Kohl's about a month ago. Hey, at least I didn't have to pay shipping! In addition to Malcolm, the line also squeezed out Dr. Sattler and Dr. Grant, plus Dr. Wu. There's a lot of doctors to be had.
Since I already had Dimetrdon [FOTD #954] from the not-quite-dino-riders line, which was only eleven bucks, I was in no real rush to get this one at full price. The previous release had articulated limbs, snap-on armor, a helmet, and tons of gear for the driver figure. It was a full toy package at a price that even for the time was really great. I would steer you to that one over this one just because of how great of a toy it is - but this one is fine in its own right, with good sculpting and a nice rubbery finish for the price. There are no joints, it's hollow, but the eyes and teeth have a lot of paint. The stripes on the sail look nice, while the spines on the tail are a bit much. It's basically slightly better than the cheap plastic dinosaurs you get for a dollar out of a bin at Walmart. And I did get an Edaphosaurus [FOTD #2,023] out of the cheap bins, and its license-free format is a bigger toy for less money.
This red Imaginext Dimetrodon is a decent size for an Imaginext toy but probably doesn't hold a candle to other dino toys, nor does it interact with its companion figure in any real meaningful way. It's an accessory.
I bought this for the sheer novelty of Jeff Goldblum: the preschool toy. It's a 3-inch Ian Malcolm with a Jurassic souvenir v-neck t-shirt, sunglasses, and a smirk. I don't know if the torso has been reused, but the back has a big "i" on it - so I'm guessing it is a reuse. The legs are marked "DC" and pulling on those strings will lead you to the fact that they're a reuse from Two-Face. The head may also be a Two-Face reuse, it's hard to tell from the online photos and I don't have a big Batman collection.
With what I assume to be minimal development costs, you also get a net launcher. It shoots fine, but it's too weird to latch on to any dinosaurs - and I would be unsurprised if it was also a reuse from another set I don't have. With over 17 years worth of Imaginext-branded toys, I haven't kept up as well as I should have.
I love this set - and I don't like this set very much. I am a little perplexed by why it exists, and that making some guy from an old movie with a creature that wasn't in any of the movies can sell proves dads make toy buying decisions and kids just like cool-looking things. A random dude in a cool t-shirt with a big dinosaur-looking thing isn't a tough sell, especially compared to some of the less interesting sets at the price point. At a fair price, get it just for the novelty of your very own My First Jeff Goldblum toy. It's fun enough, but there are better toys for the price. I would have liked more interaction between the pieces in the set.
It's my hope Imaginext keeps going and keeps it weird. Look at the blind bags with references to classic toys, or entire lines based on old cartoons. How can you sell kids on the Wonder Twins and Scooby Doo in 2019? Apparently fairly easily.
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