zaterdag 5 september 2015

Jurassic Park Dinosaurs: Pachycephalosaurus and Dinosaur Trainer

Year of release: 1999

-Heavy Strike Weapons Pack with detachable missile launcher
-Two missiles

Description: this Pachycephalosaurus stands in a completely neutral pose. Its body is almost symmetrical, except for some small details, like the position of the hands (notice Pachy has no less than five fingers on each hand, more than most bipedal dinosaurs had) and the paint scheme. And of course there is the round button sticking out of the left upper leg. When pressed, this activates the dinosaur’s attack action: the head will move downward, as if it’s giving a head butt. The animal resembles a kangaroo with its large feet and arms: but it has a bizarre head covered with bumps and little spikes, and of course a big bald spot on its forehead. A row of bumps can be found on the neck, while several more of them run over its back and tail.
This figure sports a diverse paint job. Its underside (belly, lower part of the tail, most of the legs and all of the arms) is painted grey. This colour gradually shifts into light green on its tail, upper legs and flanks, while additional green is found on its throat and face. The neck, upper parts of the legs (including action button on the left leg) and most of its back are coloured blue with asymmetrical leaf like shapes running out of this colouration, while blue stripes run over its tail and blue spots cover its eye sections and snout. The top of the head, including the skull dome, is white, and the creature has small red eyes with black pupils. It also has black claws on its feet and a black JP logo on its right upper leg.
The Dinosaur Trainer stands in a largely neutral pose, except for his right leg which is moved slightly forwards. He sports an almost military outfit, namely a green shirt with a black vest and brown straps over it, black gloves, light brown pants with yellowish green stripes and swirls on them in a random pattern suggesting camouflage, and black boots. He also wears a red cap with the typical JP T-Rex logo on it. He has a stone cold facial expression, black hair, eyebrows and eyes . He’s got some detailing on his pants, though it’s hardly noticeable because it’s painted in the same colour as the pants themselves: on his left leg he’s got one pocket, while on his right leg he has a knife as well as some damage to his pants, indicating he’s had a near miss with some ferocious prehistoric vermin.
This man comes with some impressive looking weaponry. First, he owns a small gun (don’t ask me what type of gun it is, I'm a pacifist), coloured grey. It doesn’t do anything, it’s just an additional gadget. Second, he sports a large backpack, labelled a Heavy Strike Weapons Pack (let's abbreviate that to HSWP). It’s basically a large back pack carrying a missile launcher, enabling the user to keep his hands free to carry other stuff. The HSWP, sporting a yellowish brown (almost golden) paint job, looks pretty sophisticated and detailed, but works fairly simple. It can be pinned to the figure's back (he’s got a hole there for this sole purpose). The rocket launcher can move up and down, in about a 100 degree angle: it can also be detached to be used separately from the pack. The launcher comes with two different grey missiles (same colour as the gun), and can hold one of them at a time. The other can be stored in a hole in the pack when it’s not used: the hole also fits both missiles simultaneously. By pressing the button on top of the pack the missile is launched with a decent enough force, over a distance of about half a metre. Interesting little detail, the gun can be pinned on a pin on the right end of the launcher when not in use.

Analysis: poor old Pachycephalosaurus is the only basic dinosaur figure in the first JP Dinosaurs line that didn't get released by itself, but only paired up with a human figure instead. This does bring unnecessary repetition in this line down a little bit, but doesn't stop unimaginative repainting, since the paint scheme of this Pachy is largely identical to that of its TLWS1 predecessor. It's a bit of an old colour choice here, mixing grey with light green and blue, and the result isn't great. A stronger tone of green would have been preferable, since now the gradual change of grey into green looks more like the effect of discolouration. The blue is fine, though maybe a bit too strong a hue compared to the rest of the paint job. The real downer is the ugly white colouring on the head. It looks very artificial and fake and doesn't fit in at all with the rest of the paint job. Some details have been taken care of, like the ocular area (the red eyes look cool) and the claws on its feet, while others have been neglected (like the rest of the claws). The typical head ramming action works as fine as ever. Overall, this is still a great sculpt, but the paint job is a real mixed bag.
Pachy's human companion got lucky though, since his paint job is very good in comparison. Aside from the Jurassic Park cap, he has a rather commando feel to him. His big boots, camouflage pants, big muscles and expressionless face make him look like a real 'hard man'. Contrary to his prehistoric pet he sports a more appealing look than Ajay, his original body. This is one dinosaur drill sergeant few reptilian recruits would feel like messing with. He doesn't take crap from anyone, and if some extinct critter talked back to him he always has his HSWP to back him up and take it down. This too is still an excellent bit of weaponry, though a bit over the top maybe. It hasn't been changed since its last appearance, except for its new lighter paint job. The original black colouring looked more realistic though, light brown just doesn't do this killer equipment justice, it looks too soft. Unfortunately the missiles' impact force is not sufficient to knock the Pachycephalosaurus over, it's more suited for mowing down hatchlings. Pachy's head butt should suffice to slam the Trainer to the ground, so despite his tough guy look and heavy equipment – and the fact it got a better makeover – he would get his ass kicked and the dinosaur would win this fight.

Repaint: yes. This is a repaint of the original JPS2 Pachycephalosaurus, which was previously repainted for TLWS1. For this set he teams up with a TLWS2 Ajay repaint, which has a head sculpt that originally belonged to JPS2 Jaws Jackson. The Dino Trainer comes with all of Ajay's accessories, except for the Parasaurolophus hatchling. Neither the dinosaur nor its keeper would be repainted for later toy lines (though a repaint of Ajay's body would also be seen in the Stegosaurus with Dinosaur Hunter set of Wave 2 of this toy line).

Overall rating: 8/10. A solid set, comprised of an excellently repainted human figure and his butch accessories and an awesome dinosaur figure which unfortunately suffers from a bit of an uninspired and messy paint job. Of all the JPD1 dino/human sets, this one is probably the easiest to find, though still not overly common, especially in MOC or complete condition. It can be found at varying costs.

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