The Amargospinus is one of those weird toys clearly meant for kids that, as a young college student, I saw and said "Yeah, let me get a few of these." After all, when money is super-tight, one needs this bizarre red, black, and yellow dinosaur action figure. The gimmick here is that Kenner made up new dinosaurs with gene splicing, a conceit whose satirical content was best exploited via Gremlins 2: The New Batch roughly 10 years earlier. In the case of this toy, they mixed the Spinosaurus with the Amargosaurus, the latter of which I had no concept of when I saw this toy. Basically, it's sort of like an Apatosaurus with some spines or a frill on its neck, and this one adds bigger, meaner teeth and more spikes and plates. It's goofy but totally lovable.
Standing about 5 1/2-inches tall, it's a really neat and reasonably simple figure. Its only real articulation is at each of the four legs, plus there's a swell leg-activated mechanism that opens the jaw while causing some spikes on his back and the sides of his neck to stick out. It's really not for any good reason, but it's fun to play with as a toy. Unlike other figures in the line, it doesn't have any real bashing or fighting actions, it just sort of grazes and sticks out pointy bits menacingly. The froglike-coloring is weird, but not exactly out of the ordinary for the 1990s. Bright, neon-like colors were the norm and a number of manufacturers did some variation on those Amazonian poison dart frog things. It was a thing kids would probably know well at the time.
As a big fan of Kenner-style toys, especially for their simplicity and weirdness, this is a favorite. I'm a little disappointed that they came out so long after I was, uh, too old for toys but that's never really stopped me. I have a feeling a few kids out there got and adored these, or maybe were just driven batty by their lack of scientific accuracy. This line was sort of a last hurrah for The Lost World as a movie, Kenner more or less stopped new development on this line and dropped some fun line extensions after this line, I guess, failed to do whatever it was they wanted. A ton of glow-in-the-dark figures were to have been next, and I've always been a little upset we never got the ridiculous "Night Hunter Series" sub-line.
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