I love dinosaurs, but I haven't kept up on discoveries much since that interest was more or less beaten out of me at a young age. (Thank goodness for toys.) Mattel's Metriacanthosaurus is 13-inches long snout-to-tail, and is hunched over to menace small dinosaurs and human figures. It's a decent size, with really good skin texture and decent paint. Unlike the smaller ladies, the toe claws are painted, the back has some patterns on it, and it looks sharp. Also sharp, the painted white teeth with pink mouth and tongue. It's an old-style dinosaur recreation, lacking in the imagination of David Silva's bird-inspired coloring but still a charming movie monster dinosaur. You and your kids will dig it, dinosaur pedants will likely not.
The figure has a loud scream and an articulated jaw. Just push the button, and she'll yell and bite. The bite didn't seem strong enough to pick up an action figure, so it's not exactly great for thrashing - but it is fun. It gives the toy a fierce personality, which you can alter using the articulated limbs.
The full range of motion on the legs was a nice surprise, but the ball-jointed arms are curious. You can have them point out to the sides, but "why" is a question I'd pose. It's nice to have the option, but the legs more or less lock in place once they find the "sweet spot." The arms can flail any way you wish, which goes a long way to making the toy more comical than menacing depending on how you choose to play with it. I don't know that the articulation really helps it be more fun, outside the jaw and button mechanism. The figure can stand more upright or crouch down more, but those arms are pretty useless. I guess it's a nice option to have here, but they don't really serve any purpose in balance or play. But hey, they move - the tail doesn't.
A problem is time, once again, proves to be a danger to the toy's stability. Its feet are a little rubbery - which, for the first few days, is no big deal. After a week or more, the rubber bends a bit and the figure will topple over unless supported by some sort of stand or pole that you add. On display, it will knock down your other figures over time. If it's warm, it's definitely going to happen - if kept in an icebox, it might not be as much of a problem.
Considering most dinosaur toys before the mid- to late-1980s were generally unarticulated affairs, the advent of Dino-Riders and Definitely Dinosaurs and Jurassic Park were huge leaps over the non-articulated "models" we still get to this day. They're all neat for different reasons, but the action figure format affords kids a lot of options - and supposedly all of these appear in the movies or games this time around. I love what they did in terms of the quality, the wrinkles, the warts. The face is charming, and since I have no real basis for comparison of how it should look it may be authentic. It just looks neat, and it's a dinosaur of which I have no other toys. I like it. I wouldn't go as far to call it essential or a must-have for all, but this entire line has been more than a bit of a treat so I'd nudge you to buying yourself one. Just be aware it's going to fall over eventually.
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