Do you love the ridiculous? I do. Already a hybrid in the movie - heck, that's the entire point - the beefed up Hybrid Rampage Indominus Rex is a new mold with even more Chaos Effect-inspired craziness. It's big, it's opaque, and it has a lot of orange. Oh, and snake fangs. And spikes that pop out of his back, after the ridges split apart so they can come out. It makes no sense whatsoever. Other toys just have more spikes, or slide-out spikes that retract, and while those were goofy they would make some degree of sense on a movie creature design. Flip-down walls of plates? Nope. This is crazy. When I saw it at Toy Fair, my reaction was "That's bonkers, I'm buying it and this entire line." Now that I have the final toy in my hands, I am largely not disappointed. She has problems standing, but so do all the big Jurassic World toys, unfortunately.
With her tail, this 22-inch long beast is one of the biggest in the range. It carries the bone-like look of the movie design with big dark cavities on her head with the ghostly pale skin, but what gets interesting is how she borrows from some modern toy trends. The "dino damage" flesh wound? Absent. Instead you get orange spikes and veiny designs cascading down the back, a tremendously bold "JW" cutie mark, and a wonderful paint job with bright red eyes and a nicely painted mouth and teeth. What's weird - and appropriately trendy - are splashes of gold on her hands and feet, not necessarily consistent with any claw patterns but more in line to how a lot of Japanese vinyl figures are painted. You've probably seen something like this on Godzilla figures or Hikari vinyl, it's not remotely realistic and I assume is a fashion statement we'll see a little more of out of Hasbro and Mattel before it finally goes away, never to be spoken of again. See also: colo choices of the early 1990s. (See also: Hybrid Armor Ankylosaurus [FOTD #1,528]. Look at those spines!)
She is, unfortunately, a chatterbox. Just picking her up and rotating her, she's going to start roaring loudly. I write these things at night and I don't live alone - so roars flood my home as I try to tell you how the sounds are seemingly supposed to be activated by tugging down on the left hand to activate the wind-up jaw mechanism, or by pressing in the switch on her belly which activates the pop-out spines. She'll still roar anyway. That's one complaint.
The other is gravity. The placement of the electronics or the pose do not allow her to stand unassisted. She needs to lean on something or be propped up with a stick or toy tree. Maybe you've had better luck than I have, but the toys I had in the 1990s stood just fine. Jurassic World toys on the larger end all seem to have issues standing after a short period of time, not because of rubbery limbs but seemingly merely engineering. It's a gorgeous toy, but it demands assistance.
Having said that, the sculpt is great and the mechanisms do work as expected. If you push the switch in her belly, the orange spikes on her back split open to reveal another row of spikes! Silly, sure, but it's fun and I bet kids might enjoy it if they aren't hung up on realism in their fake dinosaur toys. Press it in again, and they retract. It's simple, functional, and wonderfully fun.
The wind-up mechanism is great because it activates the head and the voice. Just wind the left hand back a few times, and the head opens and closes and opens and closes, roaring and exposing a pair of snake-like fangs in the roof of the mouth. Again, it's totally silly but I love it. In the movie, it would probably make me laugh. As a toy, it makes the toy look all the meaner. I really like the mechanism as an idea, though, and would love to see something like it on other large creature toys in the future. It works well.
I don't think it's fair to fault a toy for what it isn't, but rather, try to celebrate what it is. This is a wonderfully sculpted design with wrinkly and knobby skin. It has gorgeous spikes. I love the mechanisms. But I'd really be happy if she didn't roar if you picked her up, and also if she could just plain stand. Hasbro has had problems with many of its action figures being upright on a shelf, and I know that's not job #1 for a child's toy but it's something I got used to as a kid in the 1980s. If I bought a toy and left it on the table, it would stay standing up. I wish this could, but I'm going to put it on a shelf some day soon and I'm sure I can find a stick to prop her up with... I'd rather not have to, though. Some more weight in the tail or a more boring pose might help, but there's no getting around the fact that this is a big, weird, and terrible lizard of a toy. It's such an interesting manifestation of the times, except for the fact that it's really quite large. It's about as tall as a complete Transformers Combiner Wars robot at a fraction of the price, making for a toy of considerable visible value at retail. The box doesn't do much to accentuate its bigness, but here on my desk it seems that this might be my second-biggest dinosaur toy. I don't like to speculate about future toy markets much, but I would wager in the next 10 years you'll see this one hit blowout prices, dumped at the Ross/TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Tuesday Mornings of the world, and then vanish - and then you can't afford to buy it if you skipped it, because you did skip it. I might be wrong, but this is so bizarrely neat that I assume Mattel won't do anything like it under their regime, especially if the I-Rex is done making movie appearances.
If you're old enough to mourn Kenner's The Lost World: Chaos Effect toys, you are a bad person if you pass on this one.
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