Another year, another crazy San Diego Comic Con. While Jurassic has never made a peep there as a film itself, its brand partners oftentimes use the event as an exciting chance to show off their current and future merchandise. This year was no different, and while may companies brought their Jurassic World showcase, Mattel easily stole the show.
All eyes have been on Mattel, as they’re the first time a new company took the Jurassic Park core toy license since Kenner brought the line to life in 1993. It’s uncharted waters, but Mattel has shown they’re clearly in command of this diverse and fun property, bringing a toy line to life that not only matches but often exceeds the classic toys so many admire. While the toys have evolved for a new era of play in many regards, they still have the golden triangle of realistic and fun dinosaurs, humans, and vehicles all designed around a consistent scale and competitive price point. Play found a way.
As Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom begins to exit theaters, and wave 3 of the 2018 toys hit shelves, the number one question has been what does the future hold for Jurassic and the toy aisle. Thankfully Mattel answered with their Jurassic World Comic Con panel, where they not only talked deigning the current toy line, but teased what’s to come in the future.
Watch the panel in full below (huge thanks to Sickle_Claw on Twitter!), and read on for our summary and highlights!
One of the largest takeaways from the panel I had was how passionate and knowledgeable the team is about Jurassic Park, and how talented they are as designers. While they were careful not to throw Hasbro under the bus, let’s be honest, the 2015 Hasbro toy line wasn’t good for a plethora of reasons. Not only did Mattel carefully address those issues head on, they aimed far higher, and created a new standard when it comes to Jurassic. Before the toys released this year, I was skeptical, when they were released I was impressed, and watching the whole team talk shop I’m now inspired.
The property genuinely couldn’t be in better hands. So what does the future hold?
The first reveal made prior to the panel was the somewhat stealthy inclusion of Franklin Webb in their diorama display. While he was the only 2019 human part of their core 3.75″ line that they shared, there are surely plenty more on the way – perhaps favorites such as John Parker Hammond and Dr. Henry Wu? Time will tell!
The panel itself primarily focused on the new dinosaur toys of 2019, though they only teased what’s to come rather than showing full looks at the final toys. First up, they promised 16 new species of dinosaurs – this means dinosaurs that have not yet been made by Mattel since they launched the toy line in 2018. There will be far more dinosaur toys once you count the new sculpts of returning dinosaurs, and new paint jobs on previously released toys.
— Mattel (@Mattel) July 21, 2018
The three new species revealed during the panel are the following: Styracosaurus (All new Savage Strike assortment; $10), Amargasaurus (Action Attack assortment; $20) and the gigantic Brachiosaurus (assortment/price unknown). Yes, for the first time ever the Jurassic toy line is getting not one but two in-scale adult sauropod dinosaurs, which is utterly fantastic. Fans have been asking for a Brachiosaurus for years, and all new fans after seeing Fallen Kingdom have only strengthened the demand.
Take a look at the pictures below, which were mainly limited to teases – but showcase the silhouettes and size of the toys next to a 3.75″ action figure! (Pictures courtesy of Toy Shiz on Instagram)
While they didn’t confirm any other species beyond another new large Tyrannosaurus Rex, buzz leaving San Diego Comic Con suggests fans waiting for a large Indominus Rex will probably be happy. Other rumored new species (from short lived retailer listings) include Dracorex, Plesiosaurus, and Rhamphorhynchus! Although there is no definitive word on their existence, I’d fully expect other Velociraptors such as the respective females from Jurassic Park and JP3 plus Charlie, Delta, and Echo from World.
The panel did not touch on future vehicles, though it seems safe to assume the Ford Explorer Tour Vehicle will be inbound, alongside other classics and new fictional dino-capture themed rides. It remains unconfirmed, but one 2019 vehicle assortment is said to include a human, ATV, and dinosaur which would certainly be an exciting offering!
One of my largest worries for the future toys was the art style. While the majority of the current Mattel toys are wholly Jurassic, a few not based on movie dinosaurs have been more angular and stylized, lending to a more mean or cute cartoony appearance (Proceratosaurus and Dimetrodon for example). It may be too soon to call it, but the Styracosaurus showcased has immediately amended that particular fear and critique – its design would not look out of place roaming alongside the other animals in the films. I’m totally fine seeing new variations of dinosaurs we already know, with uniquely themed designs and colors, but I do prefer they stay within the constraints of the Jurassic style set by Crash McCreery and Stan Winston many years ago.
Moving on from the core 3.75″ line, Mattel announced their new 6″ collectors series, showcasing Owen Grady and Velociraptor Blue from Jurassic World, and Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park. The 6″ toys are a larger format item, with more detailed sculpts and paint applications alongside more articulation for the ultimate control over displaying the figure. Prices and accessories were not announced, but it stands to reason the sets will come with some fun add-ons and be sold at a reasonable price. This line will not replace the core line, but serve as a limited scope series running adjacent to it, primarily aimed at larger format collectors!
LET ME SEE YOUR HAND…grab that cup of water🤣🤣 shout to @talker_art for the rad Sexy Malcolm pics! How’s he looking? #hasbro #mattel #worldofnintendo #dcmultiverse #neca #nerd #marvellegends #transformers #mezco #tmnt #sdcc #sandiego #super7 #mezco #gentlegiant #actionfigures #toys #toyshiz #jakkspacific #wwf #marvel #funkopop #disney #wwe #heman #alien #jurassicworld #comiccon #starwars #starwarstheblackseries
While further 6″ dinosaurs and humans were not announced, nor was there talk of vehicles, if these items are successful the range will certainly continue to grow.
Mattel closed out the panel giving away some free toys, including limited-run toys that are all but canceled (incredibly limited numbers made) such as the Indoraptor vs Blue playset, and the Destruct-a-saurs Tyrannosaurus Rex set. Mattel did offer some promising news, saying that most of the Destruct-A-Saurs (previous Toys R Us exclusive line) will see distribution at retailers, so stay tuned for more definitive details about how the 2018 line will continue to expand.
Mattel has spared no expense bringing the Jurassic toys to life, and I am loving everything they’ve cooked up in their labs so far. I cannot wait to see what surprises come in the future (fingers crossed for more collectors aimed 3.75” characters and sets, hatchlings with humans rather than mini-dinos, or even Kenner style collector cards), and am sure whatever is on the horizon will continue to provide quality toys for kids and collectors alike. The diversity of play patterns and innovation within the line is incredible, and has really redefined what quality and affordable prices to expect in the toy isle. Hopefully Mattel does more panels such as this one (and perhaps other subsets of the Jurassic brand can follow their lead), as this was an incredibly exciting look behind the scenes which only further strengthened my interest for the future.
What did you like most from the panel, and what do you hope Mattel releases in 2019? Sound off in the comments below and stay tuned – more Mattel news and announcements are surely on the horizon!