Back in 2011, Hasbro was planning a reboot of Jurassic Park, with some all-new dinosaur sculpts alongside some interesting choices for new humans. Instead of the standard 4″ basic figures seen in previous JP toy lines, the humans in this new series utilized parts from the 25th/ Modern GI Joe figures, making some cool new variants that fit perfectly with either Jurassic Park, GI Joe… or both!
That line never got off the ground, and many fans thought it would be lost to the ages (and a handful of overseas eBay auctions for figure samples/ paint masters). But thanks to the re-release of the original Jurassic Park in 3D this Spring, Hasbro and Toys R us have teamed up to release a new JP toy line, incorporating several of these “lost” dinosaurs and Joe-style figures.
The first wave of the new TRU Jurassic Park line are starting to hit stores now, and the stars of the line are the deluxe box sets, called the Dino Showdown sets. These sets each include a mid-size dinosaur pitted against a unique GI Joe-style mercenary to fight them. There are two sets in the assortment– Allosaurus Assault and Pachyrhinosaurus Clash.
Let me say first, as a huge GI Joe fan, I bought these sets for the Joe figures, but I was very impressed with the dinosaurs! Each beast features an all-new sculpt, packed with gorgeous detail on the scales, teeth and everything else. The dinosaurs both feature ample articulation, especially the Allosaurus, who sports ball shoulders and ball hock joints at the mid-leg. Both also feature hinged jaws that work great, a “dino damage” gimmick just like the original JP figures and an action feature. The “dino damage” is neat as always, with a patch of hide on the side of each creature that pops off like a puzzle piece to simulate battle damage. The action features work well, with the Allosaurus’ arm controlling a side-to-side head thrash, while the back leg of the Pachyrhinosaurus triggers a head-rearing action.
The dinosaurs are painted with bright markings on their more muted base skin colors, which seems like a good compromise between the dark tones of the movie beasts and the garish colors of the later JP dinosaurs of the early 2000’s. These may actually be the most scientifically-accurate dinosaurs in the overall JP toy line, since the bright patterns and markings have been adopted as likely fact by many palentologists today.
The humans are pretty cool, too, both looking unique despite being 100% Joe kitbashes. The Allosaurus Assault set includes Ash Skullstriker, a mercenary archer. This figure makes great use of the Red Dog head on a Gung Ho body to look like a real bruiser. He includes a bow and arrow, pistol with holster and a Snake Eyes backpack with two swords and sheaths.
The Pachyrhinosaurus Clash comes with the equally-oddly named Gunner Gordon, a mashup of a Dreadnok Burnout head on a Resolute Trooper body cast in green and tan. The machine gunning merc comes packing a standard machine gun with bullet belt, and the quasi-military style of his outfit combined with his dreadlocks sell him as a mercenary soldier.
There’s a few more Jurassic Joes that have surfaced online, and I’m hoping we’ll see more of them make their way to this new Jurassic Park line. As it stands, the two new Joe-style figures are welcome additions to any GI Joe collection, and the dinosaurs are surprisingly great figures. Both of these sets are available exclusively at Toys R Us now, as well as toysrus.com, and as far as I’m concerned they’re both totally worth picking up.