Year of release: 2002
-Net launcher (with “net”)
Description: this figure sports a light red, almost pink, shirt with a pair of binoculars over it, a gold watch, dark grey pants with darker tones mixed in, brown shoes and a brown belt. He shows signs of being attacked by some ferocious creature: his right leg features some rips in his pants, showing skin underneath, while his lower left leg is covered in bandages and part of his pants is missing. Paul has red hair and green eyes, but actor William H. Macy’s famous moustache, featured heavily in the JP III movie, is noticeably missing. The figure doesn’t stand in a neutral pose: his legs are in ‘walking mode’, with one leg moved forward and the other backward. His arms are bent, like he’s holding something. The figure has some slight balance problems and has a tendency to fall over.
The net launcher is entirely painted in metallic grey. It looks pretty sophisticated, but it’s a very simple design despite the detailed look: just push the lever and the end part moves upward, launching the net (or any item presently sitting on the device). The net is quite small, and all black. It’s got two ‘balls’ on its sides, with which it can be attached to the launcher.
The Stegosaurus certainly isn’t a hatchling (its plates are way too big), but appears to be a miniature version of an adult Stegosaurus. It’s basically coloured in three layers. The lower layer (the belly, legs, and undersides of the tail and neck) are painted grey with black stripes. The middle layer is coloured blue. The upper layer, consisting of the back, top of the head and tail, as well as the spikes and plates, is black. The eyes are yellow, and a black JP III logo can be found on its left back leg. The animal stands in an attack posture, with its body bend and its tail dangerously sticking out, like it’s defending itself from an aggressor.
Analysis: this figure evokes mixed feelings. Though Paul’s paint job is quite good, the sad fact he misses his trademark, the moustache, is a disappointment. I reckon many people had no trouble applying a moustache themselves though. The pose he takes on in also somewhat irritating: he easily falls over because of the position of his legs. The odd way in which he holds his arms, especially his left, also doesn’t help. But other than that this is a pretty good sculpt.
Unfortunately the net launcher is a different thing: it downright sucks. It looks ridiculous, and the net is far too small to catch anything. The nets are launched, but don’t get very far and rarely hit something (at least: they don’t catch anything). Even the Stegosaurus with its plates and spikes is easy to miss with this sucker. The material of which the net consists is also quite a bummer: one can’t help being remembered of all the wonderful nets the Kenner lines featured. The paint job of the launcher further diminishes the set: though the device is pretty detailed, it’s coloured in a monotonous paint job, like they couldn’t be bothered painting some of the details.
The Stegosaurus is fifty-fifty. The animal looks pretty good, but the paint job could have been better. Especially the dull black of the spikes and plates makes one want to get some paint and customize the poor creature. The attack posture looks pretty scary and aggressive, but it stands in the way of playability since the sculpt is in defensive mode only. A neutral pose would have been preferable.
Playability: quite limited unfortunately. The figure has the usual poseable body parts, but his position doesn’t help the playability. The Stegosaurus, which is not poseable in any way and stands in a very un-neutral pose, further hinders possibilities. The net launcher is just a disgrace to the very term ‘net launcher’ and should be utterly ignored.
Realism: Paul Kirby’s facial features look quite similar to those of Paul in the movie, despite the moustache being absent. His outfit is also different, but still pretty realistic for an everyman posing as a millionaire adventurer. There were no net launchers in JP III, and seeing this miserable contraption we can be nothing but grateful for that. The Stegosaurus is easily recognizable as a Stegosaurus (or a close relative), but doesn’t look much like the Stegosaurs featured in both TLW and JP III (we only saw a few shots of them in JP III anyway): the most noticeable difference is the paint job this figure sports. But also the position of the plates and spikes, as well as the relative long front legs this figure has, differ from its movie counterparts. It’s still relatively paleontologically correct though, except for the front legs maybe.
Repaint: no. However, the Stegosaurus would be repainted for future toy lines: once for JP III Camo-Xtreme, and twice again for JP Dinosaurs 2 and 3. (Note: one of the JPD models actually had the same paint job as the Camo-Xtreme model, so it was a reuse instead of a repaint. But JPD still featured two more paint jobs for this sculpt.)
Overall rating: 5/10. The figure looks pretty good, but is hampered by his posture, and the Stegosaurus even more so. The net launcher is just a plain disaster, the less spoken of it the better. This set isn’t very hard to find in the US, and probably at low cost, so if you feel you need one you can get it without much trouble. It’s a bit harder to find in overseas territories, but still not impossible to locate.