#2902: Dr. Ian Malcolm



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.


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.


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.

#2892: Ocean Protector Mosasaurus



You know how I don’t review dinosaurs much around these parts?  Well, sometimes, I go against the norm.  I know, it’s weird, right?  This time, I’ve definitely got a good reason, though.  I can assure you of that.  Also, this one might not strictly be a dinosaur.  I no longer have a resident marine biologist on hand to give me the solid facts, so I make do with what I can find online myself.

The Mosasaurus, or “Lizard of the Meuse River,” is an aquatic reptile which inhabbited the Atlantic Ocean and seaways adjacent to it 82 to 66 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period.  Though extinct now, they can be traced to modern day reptiles, with either monitor lizards or snakes being their closest relatives, depending on who you ask.  Though reptilian, scientific evidence suggests that these creatures were actually endothermic, or warm-blooded.  Pretty nifty.  And, hey, look, it’s a Mosasaurus toy.  How about I review that?


Ocean Protector Mosasaurus is part of Mattel’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous toy line, which is meant to tie-in with the Netflix spin-off of the same name.  I’ve got it on pretty good authority that the show’s not really worth it, but if it means more toys, I guess that’s not so bad, right? The figure is about 8 1/2 inches in height and measures a whopping 17 inches in length.  Based on the Mosasaurus’s average length being between 23 and 33 feet, that makes this figure about 1/18 scale, so it would technically fit with your 3 3/4 inch figures.  Of course, it’s sheer size means it’s not going to look exceedingly out of place with most common figure scales, since it’s always going to be really big by comparison.  The figure has 11 points of articulation, which includes an articulated jaw, flippers, and tail.  Not super posable, but also not a bad set-up.  While the majority of the line is just fairly average toy dino fare, the Mosasaurus, being an “Ocean Protector” and all, has a fun quirk to his construction.  He’s actually made from a pound of recycled ocean-bound plastic, which is plastic waste that is at risk of ending up in the oceans.  The plastic for these was recovered from within 31 miles of waterways in areas lacking in formal waste collection systems.  Plastic waste is a pretty big issue all around, but is especially bad for the oceans, and I’m all for any venture that does something to help stave that off.  The quality of the plastic doesn’t seem to be that far removed from what you see with other items in the line.  It’s slightly softer, so the details aren’t quite as intense, but what’s there looks pretty solid.  There’s a slight shift in detailing between different parts, as some of the plastic is a little more rubbery, but this all feels pretty by design.  I’m kind of curious to see how it holds up long term.  The actual design is a little more fearsome, I think, than most renditions of the creature, but that fits the style of the franchise, and it looks nice enough.  The paint work on this figure is pretty nice.  There’s some variance to the creature’s skin tone, with some cool flecks of color in the plastic, as well as some solid accenting and work on the lighter portions of the skin.  There are no accessories included with the Mosasaurus, apart from the potential satisfaction of doing your part to help protect the ocean.  And really, isn’t that an accessory enough?


Jess was a marine biologist, something that I don’t think was too much of a secret.  She really liked the ocean, and even had an internship at the National Aquarium not too long before the pandemic shut things down.  She fully intended to return once she was able to, but never quite reached that point.  Teaching others about the ocean and the creatures within it was one of her very favorite things, and she was also very devoted to conservation efforts, even more so after starting her work with the Aquarium.  She liked to bring others into the conservation thing when she could, and she certainly worked at that with me.  For Christmas this last year, she got me a pair of Wall-E and EVA Pop!s that were made using some recycled plastic, and she was so excited by them.  When I heard about this toy, I knew it was the sort of thing that she would have absolutely tracked down to give to me, because it was very important to her that we find the places where our loves overlapped.  So, when I found this figure just a few days after my birthday, I has a hard time not getting it, as a little gift to myself, in memory of Jess.  Of course, my mom was with me at the time, and decided to beat me to the punch on that one.  I may not be the biggest fan of dinos, but I’m a big fan of what this toy represents, both personally and on a larger scale.  And I love it for that.

#1686: Triceratops



I am a child of the ‘90s.  That means I was pretty much contractually obligated to go through a period of being super into dinosaurs.  In my case, it was actually a shorter period than for most.  I mean, it’s not that I *don’t* like them, but I haven’t actually bought any proper dinosaur toys since I was like 5.  There’s a new Jurassic World movie coming out, and thus some new toys coming out, courtesy of our friends at Mattel.  Oh goody.  I’m giving them, and dinosaur toys as a whole, another try, though.  Let’s see how this goes.


The Triceratops is part of the first assortment of Mattel’s Jurassic World: S.T.E.M Fossil Strikers.  The Fossil Strikers come packaged disassembled, and have to be assembled.  The slightly rubbery plastic can make getting some of the parts popped together a little difficult, but otherwise it’s a rather of painless process.  When fully assembled, the Triceratops is 3 1/2 inches tall and 6 inches long, with 35 points of articulation.  In a similar fashion to the assembly process, the articulation can be a little tricky to get working in some parts.  The joints are tight enough that if you aren’t careful, you can end up popping pieces off instead of moving the joints.  It takes some slight getting used to.  The sculpt is pretty solid, especially for the price point we’re looking at here.  The bones are all textured, and look fairly realistic.  There’s some slight tweaking to a few of them to make room for the articulation, and some of the assembly points are still visible after assembly.  Compared to your average collector-oriented figure, it’s pretty solid work, and it’s especially nice coming from Mattel, whose sculpts can sometimes be a little bit too soft.  The Triceratops has no paint, being just a consistent bone white.  Given the whole “assemble it yourself” concept, this isn’t terribly surprising, and it looks decent enough.  I suppose a wash or something would help to bring out the details some more, but it’s not essential.  The Triceratops includes  his special “DNA Key” which unlocks his “striker” action.  In his case, it swaps out for the neck piece and uses a spring-loaded function to swing his head up or down, depending on how the piece is oriented.  Nothing terribly impressive, and mine won’t be keeping it for display purposes, but they tried to do something more exciting, I guess.  The Triceratops also includes a display stand (made to look like a wood-grain base from a museum or something), and a stanchion with a little card detailing all of his features.


I just sort of stumbled upon this guy at a Target, while out and about with Tim.  That other dinosaur toy I mentioned getting back when I was 5?  A rubber triceratops, picked up from a supermarket trip with my Nana.  Since then, I’ve always had a soft spot for these guys.  This guy was $10, and that was low enough to get me to bite.  This isn’t a revolutionary toy or anything, but it’s still pretty cool, and definitely worth what I paid for it.  If you’re into cool dino toys, this line’s definitely worth checking out.