The year is 1993 – Kenner releases the Jurassic Park toy line which shaped many of our childhoods. From there on, Kenner (and eventually Hasbro when they entirely overtook Kenner and their products) made Jurassic Park toy lines. Whether it was a spin-off like ‘Chaos Effect’, ‘Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs’ or ‘Camo-X-Treme’ or a film line, the franchise was handled by the same company.
Most recently, Hasbro released the ‘Jurassic World’ toy line in 2015 – and to be blunt, the toys were not good. Velociraptors were missing their sickle claws, toys were poorly sculpted, poorly and cheaply painted, prone to breaking, and riddled with gaping screw holes. Not to mention, there was no sense of size consistency in the line, and it did not feature traditional human action figures. Fans were bummed.
Apparently, so was Universal Pictures – while Hasbro began to improve the quality with much better paint application on 2016’s ‘Dino Hybrid’ line, they lost the license that summer to Mattel. This is now uncharted territory – and truth be told, when I first heard the news I wasn’t excited. Mattel has no current lineups that prove they could do the classic Jurassic style of lineup (which is quite similar to current Star Wars offerings from Hasbro), and Hasbro had just put out some of the best Jurassic Park toys ever a few years back (see: Jurassic Park 2009/2011).
Let me just jump to the point: I was wrong to doubt Mattel. While the final quality of the toys remains to be seen, the lineup style is what fans have wanted and true to the legacy of Jurassic Park.
Recently, Mattel held a showcase for vendors, licencors, and more where they showed off their in-development and upcoming lines. As you can imagine, Jurassic World was there – and from what we have heard, it was easily the biggest highlight of any Mattel offering. We’re going to avoid going into too deep into specifics, as certain items will spoil future surprises, including things about the new film.
However, this is the lay of the land for the upcoming Jurassic World toys from Mattel (the images used below are from past Jurassic Park offerings, and used for demonstrative purposes only):
3 3/4″ Human Action Figures ($10)
Yes, human action figures are back – they will be roughly 3 3/4″ tall, and in scale with past Hasbro offerings. They will follow the Kenner styling of including a small or hatchling dinosaur, and some gear/weapons. However, from our understanding the gear skews more towards collectors than play factor (as in Dr. Ian Malcolm includes a film accurate flare – not a net launcher) – and the toys have articulation that will surely please.
Basic Dinosaur Figures ($10)
The bread and butter of the line – the dinosaurs are back! Roughly 6″ long, these are comparable to the basic non-electronic dinosaurs of the Kenner toy lines (or the Bash & Bites from Jurassic World). Much like classic Kenner, these dinosaurs are not dressed with permanent mortal wounds, and have simple articulation tied to a basic action feature. One of my favorite bits of news: size of the dinosaurs are considered when choosing what type of toy to make. There will be no miniature adult Tyrannosaurs – it will focus on smaller species like Velociraptor, and Gallimimus.
ROARIVORES (Electronic Dinosaur Figures) ($15)
Slightly larger than the basic dinosaur figures, these toys focus on electronic roars tied to a biting mechanism. They again do not have open wounds, and while they are not posed as neutrally as classic Kenner toys, they are less awkard than the Jurassic Park 3 offerings. Again, the size of the dinosaurs were considered when developing these toys – so at this time, there are no electronic Velociraptors, but rather species of a larger size will be focused on.
SUPER STRIKE DINOS (Deluxe Dinosaur Figures) ($20)
Slightly larger than the electronic figures, these hearken back to the classic non electronic Kenner dinosaurs of the medium size. An example that was described to use was a Stegosaurus with a tail swinging action that was very Kenner in looks. However, it was apparently closer in size to the JP 2013 Dino Showdows Pachyrhinosaurs.
Large Dinosaur Figures (prices vary)
Yes, they have a Tyrannosaurus Rex (two in fact!) and we have heard both steal the show. We’re going to avoid describing them anymore, as they’re worth waiting for the official reveal to be surprised! But it’s worth noting that there are more than Tyrannosaurs in the large scale, and some figures use a “Real feel” latex/rubber, have action features, and electronic roars.
Vehicles (prices vary)
Not much to say other than they’re film accurate, look awesome, and are scaled to the human figures. Everything in this line is sized correctly, much like the classic Kenner toys. The classic Jurassic Park Jeep has a few details super fans are sure to LOVE!
Matchbox (prices vary)
Gone are the fictional vehicles – they’re being replaced with small film accurate vehicles from all five films! Some include small dinosaurs, and the entire lineup was described as similar to the Micro Machines (but bigger) sold alongside The Lost World. This includes some very cool playsets based upon movie moments!
Games (prices vary)
There will be games – including something tied to pivotal plot elements of Jurassic World 2!
Various ‘smart’/electronic toys (prices vary)
Drones, remote control vehicles, and more! While a lot of these won’t be cheap, they do offer great modern play functionality.
Some key notes: Mattel’s first Jurassic World lineup will be called something similar to ‘Jurassic World: The Classic Collection’. This lineup is scheduled to hit stores late this year or early next year, and is mainly based upon the first Jurassic Park. While they boast film accuracy for all their items, it does seem to also borrow from Kenner by featuring dinosaurs never seen in the films.
Sometime early spring (mid April) in 2018 the Jurassic World 2 toys will begin to arrive in stores. Much like the classic Jurassic line, it boasts film accuracy and a multitude of figures and offerings. From there, the line should continue to populate shelves with new waves featuring figures from the latest sequel, or past films. There are apparently quite a few more classes/skus of toys from Mattel than those listed above, so there are plenty of surprises in store!
It’s worth noting that some of the basic dinosaur figures were described as slightly exaggerated looking, with proportions and poses that were more cartoony than realistic. Our hope is that between now and release, those items will be refined and perfected to better match their film counterparts (and proper realistic anatomical poses). Otherwise, we’re thrilled by what the line is slated to offer, and cannot wait to see photo’s from it – there are quite a few more surprises Mattel has up their sleeves, so stay tuned!
As always, sound off in the comments and let us know what dinosaurs, characters, and vehicles you want toys for. Happy #JurassicJune, everyone!