Tuesday, 27 February 2018

POP! Movies – Dilophosaurus (Jurassic Park)

Because everything under the sun is currently getting turned into a POP, Funko have seen fit to release a series of Jurassic Park POPs. Coinciding with the movie’s 25th anniversary, there’s a good selection of human and dino characters alike – so today, we take a look at the regular version of Dilophosaurus.  

Unlike T-Rex or Triceratops, Dilophosaurus was a relatively obscure dinosaur before it was included in the novel and film versions of Jurassic Park. This obscurity allowed both Crichton and Spielberg to take a bit of creative license to turn the Dilophosaurus into a better villain for both page and screen; she got shrunk down, given a frill and the ability to spit poison.

It was an unusual departure for Crichton; those who have read the book will be aware that he poured a ton of research into the book, making considerable effort to keep his dinosaurs in line with then-current scientific findings. That said, Crichton wasn’t totally talking out of his ass when they took this piece of creative license. Given the weak jaws of Dilophosaurus, it has been speculated that it was primarily a scavenger – or that it had a poisonous bite, similar to modern Komodo Dragons. Probably no spitting venom or frill, though. 

Nonetheless, the film had a huge influence on the way the public perceives dinosaurs, and the frill looks set to stay in pop culture images of these beasts. There are worse falsehoods that have done the rounds, I suppose. Interestingly, it was one of the few dinosaurs in the book or movie that actually did live during the Jurassic Period. 

The sculpt of the figure is great, with the face being a particular standout. I'm generally ambivalent about Funko's move away from stylised looks to greater "realism" but this is one instance where I really think it works. 

I do have some gripes, though. From the back I feel like there’s a few too many ugly join lines. Such is the nature of moulding, but we’ve seen Funko do more complex sculpts in fewer pieces in the past. Likewise, the paint is disappointingly sloppy. If you’re in a generous mood I suppose you could palm it off as “unique markings” for each different animal.

Now, there is a 1:6 Chase for the Dilophosaurus – not glow in the dark, sadly. Indeed, many won’t see the value in it as doesn’t feature the distinctive frill. Not so iconic by film standards, but technically it’s more accurate to how a real Dilophosaurus looked. I'd love to get my hands on one, but can't see myself spending big money for it. 

The Dilophosarus is a fun, if imperfect collectible. Those who enjoy repainting their POPs will enjoy the challenge, while the rest of us will simply tolerate it as we always do. And Jurassic Park or no, Dilophosaurus toys are relatively unusual, so it's always nice to have another one out there. Sure to be a strong seller over the next few months, particularly as the real anniversary grows closer. 

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