INDOMINUS REX (2015)
On it’s opening weekend Jurassic World grossed over $524 million (just hit a billion as of today). I think about half of that came from me and my family. My girlfriend Vanessa, my brother Doug, his wife Alaina, their kids Alex and Luke, my sister’s kids Carter and Ty, my Dad and myself went to a matinee together on Sunday. We’d all been looking forward to it for some time except for Doug who isn’t impressed by dinosaurs for some reason. Although afterwards he told me it was his favourite Jurassic Park movie yet so I guess they won him over in the end. I really enjoyed it but there’s no topping the original in my opinion. There was just something magical about seeing Steven Spielberg’s and Stan Winston’s dinos on screen for the first time. I’ve really enjoyed all of the JP movies, my least favourite probably being the Lost World, and I think World has clinched the number 2 spot.
I went into Jurassic World with fairly high expectations and I’d say they were met. It was very familiar at times but there were enough new elements introduced to keep it feeling fresh. For example, the iconic JP dinos (T-Rex and Raptors) were on hand but there were some pretty rad new ones brought in as well. The most notable addition was the fictional Indominus Rex.
In the movie, the Jurassic World theme park has been up and running for about 10 years. Things were great for a while but attendance is beginning to drop because people are getting bored of the same old dinosaurs. In order to drive interest the scientists whip up a new creature named the Indominus Rex by mixing the DNA of a T-Rex, Raptors, frogs, cuttlefish and other things. The result is a big smart monster with a number of unique biological abilities. So naturally all hell breaks loose.
Before seeing the movie I wasn’t sure if I’d like the Indominus Rex. You saw glimpses of him in the trailer and he looked kinda cool but other than his white skin I didn’t think he looked all that different from other dinosaurs we’d already seen. My first good look came when I saw this toy on the shelves at Walmart. I was pleased to see that he looked like a believable dinosaur. They didn’t go too far by giving him bat wings or anything crazy. Considering all the boney protrusions I decided that he looked different enough from my T-Rex figure to seriously contemplate buying him. After looking him over thoroughly though I was turned off my his unrealistic proportions so I left him behind.
Then I saw the movie and I knew I needed to go back for this toy. The Indominus Rex was definitely cool but it wasn’t his portrayal alone that won me over. The whole movie just got me excited about dinosaurs again. If the other Jurassic World toys were better I probably would’ve bought them all but most of them are underwhelming.
When I went back for a second look at this figure I was still bothered by the wonky proportions. However I was pretty sure that a big part of the problem was that his tail was not attached to him in the box which threw off the overall look. After some coaxing from Vanessa (who loved the movie) I took my chances and shelled out my thirty-five bucks, all the while hoping that he would look better once I got him home and attached his tail. Fortunately, adding the tail did help a lot. His head and arms still seem oversized but its not nearly as noticeable as it was sans tail.
Now that its home and on my shelf I am happy I purchased him to display next to the 1993 Jurassic Park T-Rex; an item I inherited from my little brother Brian a few years back. This toy is a worthy follow-up to the Rex but just like the movies they’re based on it falls short of the greatness of the original.
The ’93 T-Rex is a work of art. His whole body, with the exception of his little arms and lower legs, is covered in soft rubbery dinosaur skin. There are almost no seams in the rubber so it looks and feels quite realistic. I absolutely love the thing and I was very jealous of Brian when he got it for Christmas way back when because it completely blew any dinosaur toys I ever owned out of the water (exhibit A, exhibit B). Thankfully he outgrew it and it ended up in my collection. The Indominus Rex has similar rubbery skin but only on it’s head. The rest of the figure is sculpted in hard plastic. There are visible seams at the tail, the hips, the shoulders, the neck, and along the spine. You might think all those seams would mean increased articulation but you’d be wrong; this figure is just as stiff as the T-Rex. Indominus does have movement at the hips that Rex didn’t have but the lack of tail articulation seems like a glaring oversight. Rex’s rubbery wire tail was able to be posed all kinds of ways.
The T-Rex also sported an excellent paint job with a greenish belly and brown spots on the back. Indominus is almost completely lacking in paint but at least he has it where it counts. His eyes are well done with multiple apps and his teeth, inner mouth, and claws are painted too. If you do find him too dull you can take comfort in the fact that if you install a couple of AA batteries in his belly his back will light up pink. It might seem silly but it’s Hasbro’s way of replicating Indominus’ cuttlefish camouflage maneuver from the movie. The batteries would also allow him to roar. I haven’t bothered putting batteries in mine and I likely won’t.
A couple other fails to point out are that right side of Indominus (the side that wasn’t visible when he was still in package) is riddled with screw holes. There are six very noticeable holes that really detract from the look of the figure. And lastly he doesn’t stand up very well. It can be done but it usually involves pointing his head up to the sky.
On the plus side, when you pull down on his arms Indominus’ mouth opens big and wide just like it does in the movie thanks to what appeared to be a distended jaw. The play feature works well and doesn’t require any unsightly joints or screws on the face.