zaterdag 26 oktober 2013

The Lost World Series 1: Electronic Velociraptor

Year of release: 1997

Accessories: none

Description: this rather large Raptor figure stands in a totally neutral pose, though the end of its tail is curved to the right, otherwise it wouldn’t fit in its box. It appears a bit fat, due to the electronics and snapping mechanism inside. Its legs are also quite short, unlike the arms. This Raptor is equipped with a ‘snap-jaw’ attack action: pulling its right leg back makes the head move forward and its mouth open and closing with a snapping move (though as stated later in this review this is relative). When activating this action the Raptor produces three sounds: two shrieks, the second one higher pitched than the first, followed by a low growl.
This creature is painted mostly orange, on the back and flanks, as well as the neck, head, upper part of the tail, arms and legs. The lower parts of the animal (belly, underside of the tail, throat, inward parts of the limbs, as well as its teeth) are coloured white. Additionally, it sports rows of black stripes all over the orange part of its body, on its back, tail, head, neck, arms and legs. It also has a stripe on each finger, as well as small black spots on its neck, lower jaw and lower flank. Its eye is yellow, with a larger dark spot around it. This carnivore has a black JP: Site B logo on its right upper leg, along with the number .18. Its claws are also painted black.

Analysis: this is definitely one of the more interesting and realistic Raptor sculpts, though it has some flaws as well. It features a fine paint job, reminiscent of the pattern the striped Raptors in the TLW movie had, though less dark. It has a great and almost movie accurate head sculpt. However, it looks fat and has rather short legs. If the legs were longer this animal would have looked even more accurate, but this at least suffices.
The ‘snap-jaw’ action isn’t totally original (the JPS2 Electronic Baryonyx featured the same option), but still a cool attack function. However, it wasn’t very well designed. The mechanism breaks down very easily. In fact, mine was already broken when I first bought it in stores in 1998. It wasn’t until a few months back when I saw a second figure I realized this dinosaur is actually supposed to snap its jaws shut, as its nickname indicated… Fortunately, the rest of the system is less fragile, so the average Raptor should still be able to move its head and mouth, and produce sounds. These sounds are also movie accurate; they are featured in the various JP movies several times and help us remember the awesome suspense scenes involving Raptors such as these, thus making this figure even more menacing.

Playability: this figure takes on a very neutral stance and has poseable arms and legs, though the legs can’t move very far because the design of the body hinders them, and one leg has an attack action to support. The arms don’t have these problems though. The ‘snap-jaw’ action would have stimulated playability options if it wasn’t so damn fragile. If you want to keep it intact, you better don’t play with it at all. If you decide otherwise you better still be careful not to ruin those great sounds.

Realism: this predator looks very much like the Raptors seen in the JP movies, particularly the striped Raptors from the TLW movie. The pattern differs somewhat, since the Raptors in the movie were much darker and didn’t have white undersides (though this may also be due to the fact the Raptors were only featured in night scenes in that movie). The sounds, as mentioned before, are taken directly from the movies, adding more welcome realism. Accuracy is lessened a bit because of the disproportionate legs: they simply are too small, and appear even smaller due to the fat stomach. Also, compared to the human figures of this toy line, this Raptor is way oversized. But all things being equal, this is definitely one of the more accurate and praise worthy Raptor figures Kenner produced.

Repaint: no. This sculpt would not be repainted either, though a repaint was originally in the works for the unreleased JP Chaos Effect: Night Hunter Series.

Overall rating: 8/10. Quite a good sculpt with some minor, but acceptable, flaws. A shame about the fragility of the snap jaw system, but even without snapping jaws, the biting action you (should) get instead is a good attack option. And the sounds kick total ass. Recommended you get one, though it might not be the easiest figure to find. It was released in lesser quantities than other electronic TLW figures, and didn’t make it to some markets (though it got imported here and there). It will probably be more expensive if you find one, but for any JP toy fan it should prove to be worth it.

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