Retro

The Foot Clan are one of the most feared (fictional) ninja clans in Japan, led by Oroku Saki, known as the Shredder. The Foot Soldiers are his main minions to help in carrying out his evil schemes, originally human, they are now replaced with robots.

 

Name: Foot Soldier
Line: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Manufacturer: Playmates
Released:
1988
Price: Then:$3.99 MOC, Now: $40 – $50 USD MOC, less if loose.
Scale: Roughly 4 inches in height
Accessories: Electro-Shock Mace, Turtle Shell Biter, Turtle Carver Knife and “Weapons Rack”

When growing up around the time I did, you no doubt had certain toys you grew up with during your youth. Transformers, Dino Riders, Lego, various Kenner Toy lines and definitely Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

My brother and I had the main turtles and villains, including the foot solider and I’m pretty sure we had at least two them and It’s always good to have some supporting characters during play time and the foot solider fills that role nicely.

Unfortunately for me and my brother most of our Ninja Turtles were given away to our cousins (against our will) and were never seen again.

So as you do when you get older, you want to reclaim your childhood, buying back some Ninja Turtles figures become a must. I don’t think time has been very kind to the original TMNT Foot Soldier, but I still have a soft spot for him even after all these years.

SCULPTING

One thing Playmates original TMNT line always had going for it was the amount of detail in each figure. You could even say they had too much detail at times. The other thing was that the toys hardly ever matched the cartoon in appearance or colour palette.

However, this is still a pretty cool looking Foot Soldier; it’s very gangly limbs and thin build. I’m not sure if this one is meant to be a robot or not, but it definitely looks creepy.

Plenty of detail in the clothes and armor, the bugged out eyes are pretty cool too.
He’s pretty much sculpted in the one, slightly awkward pose, which pretty much all of the TMNT toys were.

PAINT

Generally, I remember Playmates doing a pretty decent job with their paint applications, even if the toy is cast in most of the colours it’s meant to be. But, most of the time the overall colour scheme doesn’t match the source material (for me in this case the cartoon).

I’ve seen some photos of a custom figure made using this one as a base and painted in show accurate colours and it looks amazing, it’s a shame Playmates never did this themselves as I think it would have been great! The grays and blues are just a little bit too dull for me, however the purple looks great!

ARTICULATION

A grand total of five points of articulation. All of it swivel joints. Pretty standard for a toy from 1988. You are pretty much keeping him in the same pose, unless you are playing with him.

ACCESSORIES

Playmates always included a decent number of weapons with each figure. They came packaged on a “weapons rack” which I always thought was Playmates just being lazy and not cutting the weapons off the mold tree. So it’s up to you to do that.

There’s a bit of variety between each weapon and they all look pretty neat. I think I prefer the Turtle Shell Biter the most.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Nothing to really worry about here. Obviously if the figure is loose you might need to scrutinize it a bit more closely before buying it.

PRICE

I paid about $40 USD for one, but that MOC and back when the AUD was at parity with the US dollar. Plus shipping costs. I was pretty happy with that considering the age of the toy and I wanted one that was in excellent condition, so I paid a little more, you can still pick this guy up for next to nothing loose.

OVERALL

I think the Foot Soldier is a pretty neat figure, there are a few nit picks I have with it, mainly the colour palette choice, I feel could have been for cartoon accurate or at least, release a version in that style. The sculpting and accessories are the best parts of this figure and let’s not forget it’s an “army builder” toy as well. Which is always a good thing. If you have a vintage TMNT toy set, you’d need at least one Foot Soldier in there or two to round out that display a bit.

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Kenner’s line of ‘Aliens’ Space Marine toys was fairly short lived. After only 1 & 1/2 series of figures, the Marines were dumped in favor of Predators instead to do battle with the Aliens. What marines we did get however were quite cool and in most cases had action features to add more play value. Corporal Hicks, a fan favorite character that appeared in the Aliens film franchise, also received a figure in this toyline.

Name: Corporal Hicks
Line: Aliens
Manufacturer: Kenner
Released: 1992
Price: Then: $10-$16.  Now: $10 – $26 MOSC or less if loose
Scale: 4 -5 Inches in height
Accessories: Rocket Launcher, Claw, Two Alienator Missiles  

I really can’t remember why my brother and I decided to collect the Kenner Aliens toys when we were kids – being a toyline based off an MA 15+ series of movies – but they did look cool. The Alien designs were nice and there were a variety of figures.

But you can’t just have Aliens… You need Marines as well! Regardless of what collectors at the time and collectors now think of this toyline, I still like what Kenner did with about 90% of the figures they made.

Hicks was the one figure we would never see at the store, besides the Panther Alien, maybe they were short packed? So neither I nor my brother owned him when the toyline was originally released.

It wasn’t until later in life where my brother finally picked one up. (He is the bigger fan of Corporal Hicks out of the two of us, even if I think he’s pretty cool in general, I always preferred Hudson over Hicks.)

SCULPTING

For the most part, I’d like to think Kenner did a good job of taking the source material and putting their own spin on it. Apparently, there was going to be a cartoon to tie in with the toys so that would make sense changing the characters a bit. I think Corporal Hicks looks pretty good, It’s a passing likeness and he’s not an accurate match to the Aliens movie, but ticks a lot of the boxes of what you’d expect from a Corporal Hicks figure in my opinion for the time period.

PAINT

Generally, the paint on Kenner’s products was always to a fairly high standard. The paint application on this particular Hicks is quite good, no bleed, no slop. The quality of the older toys sometimes puts a lot of newer companies to shame. Plenty of greens and blacks make up Hick’s uniform the tan looks a little out of place but the gold/silver mixture looks excellent.

ARTICULATION

Hicks has the typical amount of articulation for a toy of this time period, Swivel everything! Swivel head, swivel shoulders, swivel waist, and swivel hips. You can move his joints but you can’t really do a lot with him besides simple poses. It’s decent articulation, but nothing to write home about.

ACCESSORIES

Hicks comes with a rocket launcher, Some kind of Claw/gun arm weapon and two missiles for the rocket launcher. The firing action on the rocket launcher is quite good the claw/gun arm is a bit miss-placed it just clips on his arm and that’s it. It would have been cooler if he came with a Pulse Rifle like Vazquez did, as I think that would be a more appropriate weapon for the character.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

None that I can think of;  Corporal Hicks is rock solid. What would you expect from an early 1990’s toy?  Just make sure your one has a good paint job before you buy it.

PRICE

I was happy with the $10 + shipping costs; however, I wouldn’t pay too much for this figure, as he is not worth any large amount of money.

OVERALL

The Corporal Hicks figure lacks the fun action feature many of the other Aliens Space Marines have, but it’s made up for with a missile firing rocket launcher, this doesn’t make the figure as great to play with as Ripley or Drake, for example. Hicks is still an important character in the Aliens universe and this is his first real toy/collectible figure made of him, it’s worth picking him up, if you are a Kenner completist of their Aliens line or if you like Corporal Hicks in general.

 

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After the original Transformers US cartoon series ended in 1987, A Japanese exclusive series The Headmasters continued the story and was followed up in 1988 with Super Godmasters. The series had a very human-centric story where humans connected with Transector bodies to become the power source and personality of the Transformer and also included the more traditional Transformer characters as pretenders.

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Name: Ranger C-305
Line: Super-God Masterforce
Manufacturer: Takara
Released: 1988
Price: Then: 1,980 YEN.  Now: 45,000 YEN more or less.
Scale: 5 1/2 Inches in height
Accessories: Godmaster Transtector, Napalm Blaster

Variations:  Joyride (The powder blue plastic is replaced with green)

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When it comes to G1 Transformers there are a lot of toys to be collected if you want to go all in, then you have a choice of if you want to collect the Japanese exclusive repaints of the tail end of G1 (basically recolours of toys released by Hasbro in the US and in my opinion the Japanese versions got the better colour scheme too)

The only problem in doing that is not only are they harder to come by, but the price increases quite a lot too! (Especially if you are looking to buy Minerva or Grand Maximus among others)

I’ve been lucky enough to acquire most of these toys over the years and decided I’d at least cover one in my blog seeing I’m sure lacking a lot of Transformer based reviews, for being such a big fan. Tonight I’m looking at Ranger from the Godmaster series of Transformers first released back in 1988!

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SCULPTING

Most G1 Transformers are quite blocky looking toys and Ranger is no exception. He’s quite square and chunky. His dune buggy car mode has a lot of nice details, like his suspension etc. Plenty of smooth surfaces too. Not too much detail in robot mode, these later toys relied more on their stickers for the details than anything else. He has a pretty nice face sculpt too.

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PAINT

The only paint on Ranger I can see is on his face. it’s neatly applied and a yellowy brown colour. other than that he’s got plenty of stickers to make up the details on him. and everything else has been cast in the colour it’s meant to be. His body is a really nice powder blue, with red arms and legs and a bit of grey here and there. Really nice colour choice I have to say pretty much screams Autobot.

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ARTICULATION

As with most G1 Transformers, his articulation is due to his transformation which is just his arms have any real movement. he can bend his elbows and partly swivel his arms at the shoulder and that’s about it! pretty much the definition of a ‘brick Transformer’. His Transector has more articulation then Ranger does.

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ACCESSORIES

Ranger comes with his ‘Napalm blaster’ and his Transector and that’s all he really needs right? A gun and his engine (not necessary required to transform the toy, however.)

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

He’s a pretty rock solid toy, if you are taking the plunge, I would make sure you are buying one that hasn’t yellowed (if you look at mine, in the pictures one of his mirrors and his suspension are slightly discoloured.) Other than that be prepared to potentially pay through the nose.

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PRICE

Ranger commands decent prices on the secondary market I picked up mine for about $450 AUD about 5 years ago, he was pretty much unused and in great condition. I would expect you would be paying more if you happen to find one Mint in sealed box after all.

"I have the POWER!!!"

“I have the POWER!!!”

OVERALL

I like the colour scheme of Ranger a lot more then Joyride, I can appreciate this toy a lot more than I would if I had just bought Joyride instead. Also, it helped that I watched the original Godmaster cartoon series as well so at least I was familiar with his character too. It’s really up to you if you want to buy him or not, just be happy with the decision as you can pay quite a lot for a simple repaint, but in my opinion, the colour scheme is far superior and makes the toy look a hundred times better.

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transformers_g1_ranger_japanese_version_011

 

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Kenner’s line of ‘Aliens’ Space Marine toys was fairly short lived. After only 1 & 1/2 series of figures, the Marines were dumped in favor of Predators instead to do battle with the Aliens. What marines we did get however were quite cool and in most cases had action features to add more play value. Drake, a character that appeared in the Aliens film franchise, also received a figure in this toyline.

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Name: Drake
Line: Aliens
Manufacturer: Kenner
Released: 1992
Price: Then: $10-$16.  Now: $10 – $26 MOSC or less if loose
Scale: 4 -5 Inches in height
Accessories: Smart Gun, Bayonet

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I really can’t remember why my brother and I decided to collect the Kenner Aliens toys when we were kids – being a toyline based off an MA 15+ series of movies – but they did look cool. The Alien designs were nice and there were a variety of figures.

But you can’t just have Aliens… You need Marines as well! Regardless of what collectors at the time and collectors now think of this toyline, I still like what Kenner did with about 90% of the figures they made.

When my brother and I first saw these figures, normally each one of us would choose which ones we liked best, my brother owned Drake so from a nostalgia point of view, I don’t really have that same connection as say Ripley or Hudson figures which I personally owned.

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SCULPTING

For the most part, I’d like to think Kenner did a good job of taking the source material and putting their own spin on it. Apparently, there was going to be a cartoon to tie in with the toys so that would make sense changing the characters a bit. Drake has all the key elements: blonde hair, tank top and camo pants. All things the character had in the movie, even if it looks nothing like actor Mark Rolston. Still, overall I think it’s a great looking figure.

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PAINT

The paint on most of Kenner’s toys and figures tend to be quite neat. Drake is a pretty good example of this, but there is a little slop around his hairline. Otherwise, it’s all very neat and expertly applied, as always, if you are able to get a good look at what you are buying you can pick one with a good paint job.

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ARTICULATION

Drake technically has about six points of articulation, swivel head, arms, legs and waist, however besides the arms and legs the rest will all move when using Drake’s action feature, where you rotate his waist, it moves his upper torso with the head staying in place, so it looks like he’s maneuvering his Smart Gun around at different targets. (You can still move his head independently if desired.)

This is a pretty cool action feature and really captures the action from the movie quite faithfully, however, it does limit Drake as he’s essentially stuck in the one, unchanging pose.

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ACCESSORIES

Drake only comes with a bayonet which can be attached  to the end of his Smart Gun, it makes sense that you would want to keep aliens as far away from your person as possible and this would help to do that, but just the Smart Gun by itself would be enough, I’d like to think. I guess it’s just thrown in there for extra play value.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

None that I can think of;  Drake is rock solid. What would you expect from an early 1990’s toy?  Just make sure your one has a good paint job before you buy it.

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PRICE

I was happy with the $10 + shipping costs; however, I wouldn’t pay too much for this figure, as he is not worth any large amount of money.

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OVERALL

Drake is a pretty solid figure, even if he is sculpted in the one pose. His action feature is fun and really adds a great amount of play value to the figure. He may not be the most important character in the Aliens franchise, but memorable none the less. If you are looking to complete your Kenner Aliens collection Drake definitely needs to in there.

kenner_aliens_drake_010

 

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Dino Riders was a short lived toy line by Tyco started in the late 1980s; it also had an accompanying cartoon series and combined very detailed dinosaur models with futuristic weaponry. Each dinosaur came with its own unique armour which, depended on the size of the Dinosaur included 1-3 small humanoid figures, in scale with the dinosaur.

The Ankylosaurs’ role for its Rulon masters, was to be used as infantry support weapon with a crossbow mounted on its back which fired a ‘high explosive projectile’. Being a small toy, it didn’t have any action feature or motorised walking action. 

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Name: Ankylosaurus with Sting
Line: Dino Riders
Manufacturer: Tyco
Released:
1988
Price: Then: $7.00 – $ $17.00 MIB Now: At least $20.00 Loose
Scale: 1:24
Accessories: One Rulon mini figure, one mini figure weapon set.

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The Ankylosaurus was one of those toys I vividly remember receiving as a child. The closest toy store my parents would take me and my brother to was the Big W in Chullora. (which is still open today) we were bought all manner of toys from there, Lego, Transformers, Toy Biz wrestling figures and even Dino Riders.

I remember seeing the shelves stacked with the many Dino Rider toys, my brother and I came away with an Ankylosaurus each and did end up receiving a few larger ones for Christmas and Birthday gifts. That memory for whatever reason has stuck with me all these years. So, of course I plan to review most of the Dino Rider toys that were made. (Even if it takes a while to do so)
Also this Ankylosaurus is one of the many of Tyco’s Dino Rider toys that fall under the “Colours may vary” label as the prototype shown in the toy box art and catalogue is orange as opposed to the released figure which is grey.

 

LIST OF PARTS

Inside the box you get the following items:

One Ankylosaurus dinosaur

One Sting Rulon mini figure

One Brain box and harness

One crossbow

One mini figure weapons set

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PACKAGING

The artwork on the front of the box features a very colourful battle scene portraying the Ankylosaurus engaged in battle the Dino Riders. Upon lifting the flap, you are able to view the toy inside the box as well as a number of pictures listing the highlights of the product.  A cropped section of this artwork is displayed on both sides of the box, with the back of the box showing all products from the current series engaged in battle with each other.

The excellent graphics do a great job of attracting you towards the box. (This was one thing I loved about Dino Riders when I was a child.)

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SCULPTING

Tyco have done a great job with the amount of detail on not only the dinosaurs in this series but the mini figures too. There are lots and lots of great details all over the Ankylosaurus’ body, it looks great!

The Rulon mini figure looks excellent too and has the same body as the other standard Rulons; he also has the same head type as Antor. For a small scale figure, it is very detailed and has many creases in the clothing as well as smooth armour sections.

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PAINT

Besides paint on the Ankylosaurus, the paint applications have been kept to a minimum. I really think Tyco tried very hard to get the best application possible on all the Dinosaur toys. The end result is wonderfully blended multi-toned grey colours for the Dinosaur. The colours work really well to contrast with the plastic grey and purple of the armour and weapons!

Sting has a little bit of paint application – mainly just for extra details on his costume or on the toys head. It’s all nice and neat. The rest of the figures parts are cast in the colour they are meant to be, which is perfectly fine as this works really well for the toy.

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ARTICULATION

The Ankylosaurus has very limited articulation being his four legs with are all swivel joints, it’s not much, but this is a basic figure after all and it still helps to add plenty of play value to the toy.

Sting has the same amount of articulation that all the other Rulon figures have: swivel head, swivel arms – where the arm meets the body, swivel legs – where the legs meet the body and hinge joints at the knees.

For an older figure, this is more than enough for it to not only work well with the accessories but be put into a number of poses too.

Obviously, articulation has come a long way since then, but you still get quite a lot with Sting.

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ACCESSORIES

All the Rulon toys in the first series came with the same weapons: one crossbow, one binocular, one shield, one bazooka, one electronic whip or ball and chain and one ladder. You get a good number of weapons for each Rulon and I really like the red colour it’s been cast in, it really pops!

Tyco_DinoRiders_Anklo_and_sting_Weapons

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

I would be careful with the brain box/harness when you are taking it off as you can potentially create plastic stress marks on parts of it due to the age of the plastic. Otherwise just avoid samples that have been yellowed.

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Series 1 Mini Comic

PRICE

Depending weather, it’s MIB, MISB or loose will affect the price you pay. However, from time to time you can grab a bargain on eBay.

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OVERALL

This is one of the more basic figures that Tyco released in their Dino Riders line, obviously the cheaper price point for children whose parents wouldn’t buy them the larger toys, I have fond memories of not only receiving the Ankylosaurus, but plenty of hours playing with it and the other Dino Rider toys my brother and I were lucky to get as children. It makes for a great army builder, I actually have about four of these myself and in a group, they look pretty impressive. Worth picking up if you really want to have a complete Dino Riders Collection.

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The Young T-Rex was one of the many dinosaurs released for Kenner’s original Jurassic Park line of toys, based on the hit movie. Even although the young T-Rex never appeared in the first movie, it did appear in the novel and was sort of a cheaper alternative to the full sized T-Rex from the same line, but never the less, still cool in it’s own right.

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Name: Young T-Rex
Line: Jurassic Park
Manufacturer: Kenner
Released: 1993
Price: First released – $30 AUD (guestimate). Now – varies $200-$450 MIB
Scale: 6 Inches in height
Accessories: JP Collector card #1.

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I have a little bit of a long story about my original Young T-Rex (it’s not this one in the photos) that I owned as a kid (so I’ll try and keep it short). One night one of our family cats decided to have a fight with my Young T-Rex and rip up most of his face, needless to say I wasn’t very happy about this, but kept the toy anyway.

But you can bet what was at the top of my Christmas wish list that year – yes, that’s right a Jurassic Park Young T-Rex.

Unfortunately what I ended up receiving was the Triceratops from the series instead, although happy with it, it wasn’t what I wanted so badly. (The surprise of also receiving a G2 Megatron took away some of that let down, however)

Skip to years later and I decided I wanted to re-claim that part of my childhood and purchase a new Young T-Rex for myself, which is what I went and did, although this was a few years ago now. I decided I may as well review him now, in all his mid-1990s glory.

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SCULPTING
This T-Rex has always had one of the more amazing sculpts out of the plethora of dinosaur toys my brother and I had as children. I’ve always loved how cool it looked and how much it evoked the look of the movie T-rex, even if on a smaller scale then the larger version (owned by my brother). There are a lot of great details here – skin folds, scales, claws, every little bit of detail looks great. Whoever sculpted this for Kenner went above and beyond in my book, kudos to them!

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PAINT
The paint on the Young T-Rex is kept to a minimum, mainly skin pattern and things like the claws or the white underbelly of the dinosaur. That’s fine with me, I feel the base colour of the figure works great, it doesn’t even need a wash to bring it up either. All the paint apps are nice and neat, no problems there, just watch out for paint rub on the figure.

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ARTICULATION
The Young T-Rex doesn’t have much of anything in the way of articulation, only his little arms, which are swivel joints and can be rotated 360 degrees without any problem. the T-Rex’s whole body is bendable, due to the rubber, but it doesn’t hold any poses, unfortunately.

The Young T-Rex also has a “Dino Damage” feature where a section of the side of the dinosaur can be removed to show internal organs, its cool, but never something I bothered too much with.

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ACCESSORIES
None. Unless you are counting that collector card and I wouldn’t count that.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
There isn’t too much to watch out for here, besides paint rub and perhaps tears in the rubber body, discoloration maybe?

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Dino Damage!

PRICE
I paid a decent price for a new mint in box, even although I can’t remember how much I know it wasn’t over $250. This figure was important to me, so I was happy to pay a bit more for one that was going to be in excellent condition and this one did not disappoint.

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Don’t forget kids, if your dinosaur has the JP logo on it, then it’s a genuine Jurassic Park dinosaur!

OVERALL
I think the Young T-Rex toy is great, it has really excellent sculpting, nice paint application, even if it’s limited in actual play value. I’d still take this over anything Hasbro has put out for the most recent movie any day of the week. If you are a fan of Kenner’s Jurassic Park line (and who wouldn’t be?) or just dinosaurs in general, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a spot for this guy in your collection, if you already haven’t.

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