dinsdag 22 maart 2016

Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs 2: (Ultra) Pteranodon

Year of release: 2004

Description: measuring almost 50 centimetres in wing span, this flying giant is undoubtedly the largest Pteranodon figure of all the JP toy lines. Because of its size there’s also room for a broader range of actions and sounds, making it a highly playable toy. It also has a pair of poseable legs to match. Action feature wise it’s not particularly imaginative: it's mostly the usual Pterosaur options. First, there is the biting beak: pressing the crest makes the beak open as if the animal is snapping at some poor piece of prey. Second, there is the wing flapping mechanism. Third, the fold-in wings: the outer half of each wing can be folded inward (outward too, but that just looks silly), as if the creature is adjusting its flight style. It looks very much like the Pteranodon is diving towards its victim when the wings fold inwards. Additionally, there are the sounds, four in total. The attack screech can be heard when activating the biting action by pressing the beast’s crest. The wound noises are produced by pushing the button in the dino damage wound (located on its right flank, revealing four white ribs and red muscle tissue). The other two sounds can be made by pressing the button on the back which makes the wing flap. Pressing it once and releasing it, or pressing it several times over, produces flapping sounds, while pressing it a bit longer activates a swishing noise, as if the Pterosaur is swooping down on its prey.
The main colour for this large Pterosaur figure is a greenish beige, which can be found all over the body, except for the very top of its back, which looks to be more light grey. Dark red stripes and shapes of various sizes cover this main colour, mostly rather diffused to make it feel more natural. Most obvious are the lines on the wings, while obvious concentrations of red are found around the legs and on the head. White colouring is located on the lower part of the wings (on both sides). The pins in the poseable parts of the wings, just under the fingers, are painted black. The top of the crest on the head is painted light yellow, while spots of the same colour are found right under this, running from half way of the crest to the nostrils. The Pteranodon has small yellow eyes (with black pupils), a pink tongue and a black JP III logo on its left wing.

Analysis: apart from the T-Rex, another big prehistoric creature returns for JP Dinosaurs 2. This fabulous Pteranodon sculpt might have been neglected for Camo-Xtreme, but at least it didn't remain totally forgotten. It's still one of Hasbro's best works, very large and rather detailed, as well as equipped with various cool action features and sounds. Aside from the paint job, it offers nothing new of course, but with a sculpt this good, that can be forgiven. The new paint scheme is quite original and imaginative. The overall pale colour adorned with dark red gives the flying beast a touch of death, underscoring the danger of a Pterosaur this big (certainly compared to the small Hasbro human figures, which look minuscule in comparison to this critter!). The way most of the red paint is applied, in rather vague smears instead of the more usual definite lines and shapes, gives it a more naturalistic, authentic look instead of the obvious artificiality of the usual paint job. The white colouring on the lower side of the wings feels redundant though. It seems such an odd place for extra colouring, unlike the yellow on the crest which could indicate the animal's social status, willingness to mate or age (though it seems unlikely Hasbro actually considered such realism).
Even the best Hasbrosaur has a few downsides though, and this figure sadly does too. Most obviously there is the annoying dino damage wound which can't be covered up, making this Pteranodon scarred for life (literally). More attention could have been given to the claws on the toes and fingers, as well as the inside of the mouth, though it's acceptable as it is. The most lousy thing are the screws that hold both halves of the wings together, right under the creature's hands. They should have been coloured to match, but were woefully ignored, making them feel hideously out of place. Overall, this is a fine, solid paint job, but there's just a few irritable little things. It's an excellent figure regardless and definitely worth your while if you don't own this sculpt yet.

Repaint: yes. This is a first time repaint of the JP III Ultra Alpha Pteranodon figure. The creature would be repainted again for JPD3.

Overall rating: 8/10. This is still one of Hasbro's finest sculpts, impressively sized and loaded with playability features. The new paint job is quite different, yet pretty appealing. Like the other big JPD2/3 electronic dinosaurs, this figure was common a few years back, but now it's running out fast. With luck, you can still find one for a decent price, but this may very well change in the not too distant future.

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