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Battle Growlers Tyrannosaurus Rex Hasbro Toys "R" Us Exclusive, 2009

Battle Growlers Tyrannosaurus Rex Review Capsule
Based on the Jurassic Park III T-Rex, Battle Growlers Tyrannosaurus Rex repaints the original toy in a fairly bright color scheme, and retains all of the electronics. A solid toy, albeit one with a price increase. Exclusively sold for $16.99 at Toys "R" Us stores. The Sample courtesy Hasbro.

Overview

Since Jurassic Park as a movie franchise exited the world nearly 10 years ago, Hasbro had the foresight to keep repainting toys for stores as exclusives, resulting in a wide range of product like this pretty nifty Battle Growlers Tyrannosaurus Rex. Previously available in numerous color schemes ranging from a classic brown color to a white and blue "arctic" deco, this version seems to have a lot in common with a water melon. Depending on how you pose him, he's 5-inches tall and 8-inches long.

Update: This toy in similar packaging with minimal changes to the paint job was rereleased by Hasbro in 2013 as a tie-in to the 3-D reissue of the original Jurassic Park film as a $19.99 Toys R Us exclusive.

Sculpt and Deco

While it's easy to complain about toy repaints being a big part of Hasbro's business plan, the main buyer for these-- kids-- will love it. Long-time fans may admire the fact that Hasbro's attention to detail in the paint job department has improved greatly, with multiple stripes, gradients, and unique color applications which really makes this toy come to life. Unless, of course, green and orange doesn't do it for you.

As a toy, this one is pretty solid. The notion of just how to do a dinosaur as a good toy doesn't seem to be too commonly explored as most companies are content to put out a solid, unposeable toy which does nothing more than stand in place. Other companies have put out figures so ornate that the pose and articulation make it difficult for it to stand upright with out assistance from a display stand. You'll be glad to know that this one is somewhere in the middle.

If you balance it right, he should have no problems standing. The arms and legs can move, plus the mouth opens with a button placed on his neck... so if you try to strangle it, the figure will engage in a sort of biting attack which also activates a roar. The figure will also growl if you push a button on his side, replicating the very real action feature of a creature being upset if you find an open wound and stick your finger in it. The wound is pretty nicely designed, while off-putting (who wants a dying toy?), the paint is done quite well. It does look sorta like an opened, if cleaned, wound.

Packaging

The Battle Growlers Tyrannosaurus Rex comes in a tray package, just like the previous exclusive versions and the non-exclusive Jurassic Park III toys. Because of this, you can grasp any part of the toy without opening it, and its completely exposed to tiny hands at retail. As such, you may want to keep an eye on these when you buy them to make sure they aren't dinged up or covered in baby spit or whatever it is kids do. The design itself is quite stunning, it's almost a shame there's no new movie to exploit it-- the combination of jungle, rock, and graphic elements resembling warning signs around an office or a warehouse is really inspired. Seriously, Hasbro's graphic artists deserve a raise for doing such an awesome job making clear, colorful, creative trays here.

On the back of the package are other figures released in the same Battle Growlers assortment-- a triceratops, a dilophosaurus, and a velociraptor. It's worth noting that of the four, the T-Rex is (at press time) the hardest to find. During a fairly large two-state toy run in November of 2009, I found plenty of the aforementioned three, but none of this T-Rex. (The above images are stock Hasbro shots.)

Fin

At $17 it may be worth saving your pennies and just getting the larger, huge version but this one is a decent toy as such things go. It's quite colorful and probably would make a great toy for a kid, and collectors (or someone) already seems to be snapping them up en masse. If you like strangely colored dinosaurs, and we do, this is a must-buy. However, if you are OK hunting down older toys, you may be able to get some fine (we guess they're old enough to be called) "vintage" toys for a similar price. Given the current seeming scarcity of this particular toy, you may want to grab it if you stumble on one if you're already inclined toward such things.


Text and photos by Adam Pawlus
Review posted on November 27, 2009
Review updated on April 21, 2013
Sample obtained in November 2009

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