When I was a kid, I remember every single cartoon on TV after school had Jurassic Park toy commercials. The ones that touted ‘DINO DAMAGE!’ and to look for the ‘JP Mark’ on their legs. Don’t remember them? I got you!
Now that you’ve had a refresher course, those were just the dinosaur toys that you could set up with the characters and vehicles from the original Jurassic Park movie. I loved that it was more helpful to call the group of scientists and by the ‘JP Team’ in order to shorten the phrasing. I mean, if you didn’t call each character that it would make for a three-minute long commercial.
It’s fascinating to me that each figurine set came with its own little tiny Hatchling dinosaur which was meant to be a smaller version, a baby, of one of the larger figures you could get. Now, they weren’t poseable or anything like that, but I can see it making a kid want to get the big full-sized Mama Dino in order to have more fun. I also remembered the silly little trading cards that used to come with them. These cards had small drawn scenes or stills from the movie with an informative little bit of trivia or flavor text about the movie that you could collect all of if you picked up all of the toys in the series.
Realizing that they could also toss some fun little electronic trends into the mix, Kenner then produced the ‘Dino Screams’ secondary types that had buttons that let out shrill lo-fi sound bytes. Anyone who had these or grew up in a household where another sibling had them knows just how delightful they started to get when the batteries were going. The dino ‘screams’ were shrill enough but they turned straight up otherworldly demonic once those built-in batteries went low.
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the Evil Raiders set of toys but I think this is just going to have to be something I never quite understand. From what it seems, Kenner felt that kids needed an enemy aside from the dinosaurs and thus the Evil Raiders toys were born. Then again, they also had Chaos Effect dinosaurs that were scientist created mutant versions of the dinosaurs, so I feel like we were just always bound to be the real enemy of the dinos. These toys were incredibly fun for kids who enjoyed Jurassic Park, which it’s dinosaurs so of course they do, but once it gets into mutations and poachers, that gets a bit nuts! Life finds a way, I guess.
Remember: Look for the Mark of Jurassic Park!