DR. IAN MALCOLM
JURASSIC WORLD: AMBER COLLECTION (MATTEL)
Wait, another Jurassic thing? This quickly? But I just looked at one last week. Shouldn’t I be spacing them out more? It’s okay, this one’s not actually a dinosaur, so it gets a special exemption, under the Goldblum by-laws. Unless he, uhh, unless he wants to be a dinosaur. That’s also covered by the by-laws. They cover a great many things.
Ian Malcolm is really just a supporting player in the first Jurassic Park novel, and is even technically killed off, but when it came to the movie, Jeff Goldblum’s very Jeff Goldblum-y performance made him one of the film’s most distinctive and likeable characters. His presumed death at the end of the book was therefore removed from the film, paving the way for him to take up the lead for the film’s first sequel. He’s gotten plenty of toy coverage over the years, and Mattel made sure to include him as one of the very first human figures in their more collector-oriented Amber Collection line. I’m taking a look at that figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Dr. Ian Malcolm was part of the first assortment of the Jurassic World: Amber Collection from Mattel. It initially was a GameStop-exclusive line in 2019, but over the course of the last year, the follow ups have seen wider releases, and so has Malcolm himself. He’s seen here in his all-black attire from the first film, which is really just the best choice for him. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Malcolm’s articulation represent’s Mattel’s learning curve from 2019 pretty well. They were definitely taking strides in the right direction, but he’s not *quite* there. The original prototype for this figure was sporting double-jointed elbows, which were removed and turned into a universal joint during the production process. It’s a little bit of a step-down, and Mattel clearly recognized this, since they’ve subsequently done a V2 release that swaps out this figure’s arms for ones with those joints added back in. The two releases are otherwise the same, and the rest of the articulation is still a little bit of a mixed bag of not the best range and rather obtrusive to the sculpt. It’s certainly not Mattel’s worst work, though, and was a vast improvement to their output from the few years prior. The sculpt’s quality is generally pretty decent. The likeness is a rather respectable Jeff Goldblum, certainly better than any prior attempts for the character, and really rivaled only by Hasbro’s Grandmaster figure in terms of closeness. The glasses are a separate piece, but not one designed for removal. I’m okay with that, as it gives them the appropriate depth, but means they aren’t overly bulky or at risk of getting lost. His body matches decently with Goldblum’s rather slender build as well, and while the detailing is maybe a little soft on the clothing, it’s an overall respectable output. The paint work on Malcolm is largely centered on the head, which gets a rather lifelike and realist paint app which helps the likeness quite a bit. The rest of the work is rather basic, but it gets the job done and is generally pretty clean. Malcom was packed with two sets of hands (relaxed and gripping), the flare he uses to distract the T-Rex, a glass, and a display stand. My figure is without the extra hands and the glass, but he’s still got the flare, which is the most exciting piece anyway, so I’m not too bummed about it.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Ian Malcolm is definitely my favorite character in Jurassic Park, so I’m not opposed to having a cool toy of him, and I was certainly interested in this one when it was shown off. Of course, then he was a GameStop exclusive, and I wasn’t having any of that, so I held off. Fortunately for me,
life, uhh, finds a way a loose one was traded into All Time back at the beginning of the summer, and while he was missing a few small pieces, it meant he was a whole lot easier to get, so I went for it. I like him quite a lot, actually. He’s not perfect, but he shows the direction Mattel was headed, and he’s just a pretty solid figure. It almost makes me want to possibly pick up one or two of the others, and I’m not even that big a Jurassic Park fan.