Everybody has their favorite dinosaurs, and the Allosaurus Assault set brings a fan favorite to life. I didn't really get that this guy had so many supporters given how few toys he's had, although in the last year this guy has popped up in Imaginext plus has had recent releases from Schleich and Papo. You've got a lot of options when you buy an Allosaurus, so why buy this one? His hunter, the amusingly named "Ash Skullstriker." Seriously, who the Hell names these things? Give them a raise.
Ash (Mr. Skullstriker is his father) is basically the Rise of Cobra G.I. Joe Monkeywrench figure with different deco and a new head. His grenades are the same color as the vest and the deco is overall more simplified, and illustrations exist that indicate an earlier concept for this figure may have been an "Adventure Team meets Jurassic Park" set. This was not to be, so instead you get an all-new head with a goatee. It fits quite well.
Sporting 16 points of articulation, the figure is what G.I. Joe fans expect and what Jurassic Park collectors could only dream of - with few exceptions, Jurassic Park human figures have had 5 joints. I've got an Alan Grant with knee joints, and that's a real unusual thing. Heck, the Joe-based bodies finally usher this line into the modern age as the last new humans from the Jurassic range were from the third movie, and seemed like outdated Kenner figures upon their release. (I still love them.)
Unlike Gunner Gordon, Ash is loaded with gear. He has a pistol which fits in his holster (loosely, so be careful) plus a backpack which can store two painted Ariashikage-marked swords. Rounding out the ensemble is a large bow and arrow which you've seen with other figures like Shadow Tracker from a few years ago. Since the human has no InGen or JP markings, he's likely to be just as much at home in your G.I. Joe collection as on your dinosaur shelf. Also, of the two Dino Showdown sets, this is the better human figure. But how about that dinosaur?
An attempt at modernizing the Allosaurus, this toy has feather-like spines on his back and a colorful coat of paint bringing his excellent sculpt to life. He also has a ton of articulation, and may be the first dinosaur in the range to sport ball-jointed ankles and shoulders plus an articulated jaw. Previous dinosaurs tended to rely on rubbery plastic, Allosaurus has a couple of joints giving him the ability to look down as well as clamp his jaws shut if you're so inclined. This gives him some added personality, as does the optional removable hunk of flesh and exposed flesh wound.
This figure feels smaller (and is significantly lighter) than his casemate, the Pachyrhinosaurus. Oh, and locally at least he seems a lot more popular. He also has an action feature, but it's pretty ignorable - if you move his right arm, his head wobbles from left to right. It isn't really fun and on my sample, the movement is a little jerky. I'd just as soon not have it, but it's better than nothing at all.
I can get unreasonably excited by "new" launches, so the first two all-new Jurassic Park dinosaurs to be released in over 10 years made for an exciting (and expensive) day at the toy store. I wasn't particularly thrilled to get an Allosaurus (as I have many other theropods) but the scaley sculpt and more modern design was fun to see. It's possible we might end up seeing feathers on our dinosaur toys more frequently very soon, so these transitional toys are shying away from the science for artistic license. It does a good job approximating what these dinosaurs may have looked like in Jurassic Park III had they appeared, and it's also worth mentioning the copyright date on these dinosaurs was of a few years ago - these were long in-development. The packaging also shows a covered-up co-sell on the bottom for "Stegosaurus Strike," one of two remaining as-of-yet unreleased new sculpts from the past few years. Maybe we'll get him for Jurassic Park IV?
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