Monday, August 20, 2012

#184 JURASSIC PARK – DIMETRODON and PTERANODON (JP01 and JP05) (1993)



I was 13 when the first movie of this saga was premiered in cinemas, and I can remember all the merchandising, all documentaries and all advertisements made to promote the movie. This movie started promoting itself around one or one and half years before the premiere, and it created the so-called “Dinomania”. There were dinosaurs everywhere. When the movie was premiered, I was there, the first day, with my father and a neighbour.

Among the most important merchandise made for this movie was a series of action figures and dinosaurs depicting the original characters from the movie. Originally were 5 of them released plus 11 dinosaurs, but that was just the beginning…

By the way, since Kenner produced the first Star Wars figures ever made, they had good relations to Lucasfilm, ILM and friends... That explains that Kenner was also resposible for action figures made for Indiana Jones, Terminator, Batman, Alien and Predator, Robin Hood, Waterworld... and some other not-so-well known movies like Congo.
A second wave to the first movie was released shortly after the first, being quite difficult to find nowadays. A few new characters were included in this series, but the original five were repainted and re-released.

After such a hard preparation, the movie was a huge success, so to “Jurassic Park” (1993) followed “The Lost World” (1997, also two waves), and then “Jurassic Park 3” (2001). To each movie, more figures were released, and more dinosaurs. And I forgot to mention some vehicles! And if there was no movie at the time, a few more series were released in-between. I was surely a very profitable toyline for Kenner (or Hasbro from Jurassic Park 3 on). The interest of this blog focuses on the first two series: Jurassic Park and The Lost World, both made by Kenner.





As said before, the first series (Jurassic Park) had two waves. The first wave included only 5 figures: Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Tim Murphy (the kid), Robert Muldoon and Dennis Nedry (what they were thinking when the left Ian Malcolm aside, I don’t know), 3 vehicles plus the huge playset “Command Compound” and the most important and best done in this collection: 11 dinosaurs (numbered JP01 to JP11).




The figures had only 5 points of articulation, but the dinosaur were far better done, in a more realistic way and featuring some interesting action or movement. That’s why I decided to start this line with two of the most common dinosaurs in this toy line (I guess they sold well, because they were two of the cheapest toys you could buy from this line). If they didn’t appear in the film was unimportant to the toymaker. As a matter of fact the toys were designed before Kenner would know what would appear in the film and what wouldn’t. I’m not sure, but at least the Pteranodon appears in Michael Crichton’s book.

Catalogue image of these two dinosarus among some others. Taken from jptoys.com
The Dimetrodon presented today came with Dino-Strike “Clamping Jaws” while the Pteranodon had Dino-Strike Jaws and Wings flap as featured action. To read more about this collection and to see the toys that were released in each series and each wave, we advice our readers to visit www.jptoys.com, where I got the catalogue image above.


  


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: DIMETRODON and PTERANODON (JP01 and JP05)
  • Toy Line: Jurassic Park (Wave 1)
  • Year: 1993
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 13 cm


8 comments:

  1. I loved how nice these dinosaur toys were. I hadn't collected many of them, but I did have a few of the figures. My brother had many of the dinosaurs and they were really cool. I am also glad you mentioned the Congo line! I have some of those! I loved Congo. (the book and the movie)

    I miss how great Kenner was at releasing toys to all kinds of movies.

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    1. Hi, I now understand why your name "Miss M" is... you "miss" so many things! I also miss from the 80s and early 90s that from every action movie or cartoons there was a toyline, or promotional toy giveaways with chips, cereals and so on. Nowadays there are no such actions since only very small children still play with toy figures.

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    2. I know! It is a shame that toys aren't as popular like they used to be. I feel like kids these days are more interested in getting an iPhone rather than all the cool stuff that came out ages ago.

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  2. It's funny you commented the only two animals of these wave which aren't really dinosaurs.

    I find the dimetrodon really well done.

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  3. Good point! I didn't even think of that when I wrote the article, but you're right, that they're not Dinosaurs.

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  4. Oh Rex! I feel so nostalgic right now! I had both dinosaurs from the pictures and I used to have the full first wave of JP Human characters, all of them! I remember the cards that came with the action figure, I was a completely dinofreak, and I still, I was like 5y.o. when the first movie came out, so I didn't care well my toys (yeah, shame on me!) but lather at my 15 I bought many action figures and a vehicle from TLW:JP were the remainig toys in a store, I just watch them and couldn't believe it, so I bought like crazy xD and I still have them!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for the comment! Nice story. I didn't have any of those at the time, I got all of them later in flea markets, charity shops and so on. Curiously, I also found some rest in a department store and bought from TLW a few blisters for 1$ each or so. Where I lived, these toys didn't sold very well.

      Those rest are the only figures I have complete now. I have many other loose figures, but unfortunately, they're missing some accs, I hope I can complete them sometime. Anyway, the cool part of this toy line are the dinosaurs :)

      I was also a Dinofreak, I guess most children go through that phase at some point :)

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