The Toys of Camp Cretaceous: The Show Vs. The Action Figures

By September 20, 2020Feature

The Jurassic Park/World franchise is deeply rooted not only in the lore of its films, but also in the merchandise frenzy it spawned alongside the release of each movie. With the first major non-film release arriving this week in the form of Netflix’s Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, there is similarly a whole herd of dinosaur toys and collectibles inspired by this latest entry in the Jurassic saga. In particular, Mattel has lead the charge with over a dozen Camp Cretaceous-related toys hitting store shelves in the months leading up to the series premiere.

Now that the show’s entire first season is officially available for fans and collectors to watch the world over, we’re heading back to take a look at each of Camp Cretaceous’ toy releases to see how they compare to their on-screen appearance. If you’re curious about which version of Bumpy’s action figure is the most accurate in size, or how Toro the Carnotaurus’s signature nose scar stack-up to it’s plastic counterpart — we’ll be covering all that and more in this latest special feature. Due to the nature of covering each dinosaurs’ appearance in the show in relation to the toy, there will be some light spoilers discussed throughout this article. For our completely spoiler-free take on Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, check out Collect Jurassic’s season 1 review!

 

Toro the Carnotaurus

Carnotaurus is easily the most prominently featured dinosaur in all of Camp Cretaceous’s marketing thus far, so expectations for its representation in the show were quite high. Nicknamed “Toro”, it was also one of the flagship toys from Mattel which kicked off the rest of their Camp Cretaceous-related releases. While the Toro figure is a simple repaint of the previous Control N’ Conquer Carnotaurus released earlier in 2020 (which itself is a retool of 2018’s Action Attack Carnotaurus), the new deco is actually a pretty decent recreation of the show’s character. While some images of the animated version seem to have more contrasting pattern, the toy’s darker tones actually seem more consistent with what we see on-screen throughout the first season. Of course with Toro in particular, its all in the nose! The signature wound on Carnotaurus’s snout is indirectly caused by Darius and Kenji early in the season, and is visible in each subsequent encounter with the horned carnivore. On the toy, a simple-but-effective red line added to its nose does the trick — thought it would have been nice to get a little more detail to make its addition on this version of the toy more meaningful.

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Sinoceratops

Herbivores get plenty of attention in Camp Cretaceous too, with Sinoceratops charging to the forefront (and ahead of the typical Triceratops-centric scenes we’ve come to expect from Jurassic). It’s essentially the star of Episode 3 “The Cattle Drive”, so the fact that Mattel decided to revisit it’s controversial Sinoceratops toy it released along side Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom isn’t that surprising. To make a long story short, the original figure was actually designed as a Pachyrhinosaurus that would be shown in the film. However, due to a late change during post-production the species was tweaked to become Sinoceratops — but it was too late for the toy to change! This wrong has at last been righted, with the release of the Sound Strike Sinoceratops alongside Camp Cretaceous. Comparisons to the show aside, this is an incredible looking figure both in sculpt and paint deco. What’s interesting is that in the series we see several different versions of Sinoceratops during shots of the herbivore herd, with one coloration more in-line with Fallen Kingdom’s version of the animal. The other, however, is a dead-ringer for Mattel’s toy. This little detail that make’s the new Sinoceratops figure feel all the more special.

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Stegosaurus

During Camp Cretaceous’s first season, we’re treated to several sequences which take place along side a large herd of the park’s herbivores. Within this herd, we see familiar Jurassic species like the already-discussed Sinoceratops as well classics like Brachiosaurus and Stegosaurus. While glimpses of the latter are more fleeting, we do see a Stegosaurus that’s very faithful to Jurassic World and Fallen Kingdom’s design of the animal. Mattel’s toy version of Stegosaurus, both in Action Attack and Dual Attack flavors, already packs a ton of detail and a nice move likeness. A third version now available as part of the Target-exclusive Camp Cretaceous Camp Adventure playset brings with it yet another paint deco. This darker grey variation is arguable the best paint deco on a Stegosaurus toy yet, but does it match-up to what we see in the animated series? Similar to Sinoceratops, there’s actually a few different colorations of this species visible in Camp Cretaceous’s herd scenes. While it’s difficult to be certain, one does bear a close resemblance to Mattel’s latest Stegosaurus figure.

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Dimorphodon

Now that we’ve seen each episode of the animated series, it’s obvious now that not every toy Mattel released under the Camp Cretaceous banner appears in the first season. Dimorphodon is our first “no-show”, with the flying reptile absent from multiple scenes which were otherwise filled with Pteranodons (which we know from the film, escaped alongside Dimorphodon). It’s a shame we don’t get to see Mattel’s version in the show, too. A vibrant underwing paint application feels like the perfect fit for the animated series, but it wasn’t meant to be in Season 1. Hopefully Dimorphodon shows up with this flashy coloration in later seasons of Camp Cretaceous.

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Darius Bowman

Yes, there’s more than just dinosaurs running around in Camp Cretaceous, though you might not be able to tell from the dearth of human action figures released alongside the show. Darius Bowman not only has the distinct honor of being the only human character from the show to be realized in toy form (so far),  but being the first new human character to get an action figure from Mattel since 2018 — not counting convention exclusives. After the release of Fallen Kingdom, Mattel stuck with re-releases of its original human roster until it stopped releasing them altogether. This makes the Darius figure’s existence even more significant, and thankfully it’s an excellent toy aside from its novelty. Tiny details like the stripes in his shoes and the inclusion of his Raptor tooth necklace are rendered beautifully even at such small scale. The necklace is an especially nice touch, as we come to find out it’s important to Darius over the course Camp Cretaceous’s first season.What’s interesting is the inclusion of the yellow jacket, which he takes off early on and never wears again. It makes for a vibrant looking toy, but doesn’t really represent Darius’s look for the majority of the show. That being said, Darius and the rest of the cast sport a dirty, beat-up look in most episodes. Maybe a “Battle Damage” Darius is in order?

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Tyrannosaurus Rex

Jurassic’s biggest dinosaur star somehow appears in every episode of Camp Cretaceous yet is barely in the show at all. How is this possible? Well, aside from briefly popping up in Darius’s VR video game in the first episode, Rexy’s screentime is limited to just the opening title sequence for the entire first season. This might sound disappointing, but there’s so much other dino action happening in each episode that one barely notices her absence until the final credits roll. Even with these quick peeks at T-rex, Camp Cretaceous’s take on the iconic animal look fantastic — and the toy is just as good. Mattel’s Epic Roarin’ T-rex is actually its fourth rendition of the species to date (tenth, if you count all the repaints)! And this newest figure sets out to prove that yes, you really did need to buy another Jurassic Rex toy. The all-new sculpt packs even more detail than previous versions, while the head feels more accurate to the films than ever before. And its connection to Camp Cretaceous couldn’t be more literal, with the Epic Roarin’ action feature mirroring the show’s opening sequence perfectly. That simple inspiration makes for one of the best Mattel toys yet, but we’d still love to see a lot more of Rexy next season if possible.

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Parasaurolophus

The creator’s of Camp Cretaceous showed Jurassic’s herbivores some serious love, with Parasaurolophus finally getting some time in the spotlight after being treated like a dinosaur extra in a majority of the films. What makes its animated appearance so special is a mysterious bio-luminescent glow — several cave-dwelling Parasaurolophus appear to glow alongside the algae they are grazing on when the campers happen upon them in Episode 6 “Welcome to Jurassic World”. Such a unique concept had to make the jump over to toy form of course, and Mattel rose to the occasion. Last year’s Dino Rivals Dual Attack Parasaurolophus figure has been retooled and repainted for its Camp Cretaceous tie-in, with all-new Primal Attack action features and sound effect. Furthermore, select areas of the body have been adorned with a bright pink metallic finish to seemingly represent the luminance effect from the show. Mattel made a solid effort with the metallic paint approach, but we’d love to see them take it even further with a 3.75″ version of Parasaurolophus similar to the Camp Cretaceous Mini Dino Pack (which we’ll get to later).

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Raptor Squad

One of the more refreshing aspects of the new animated series is that it doesn’t rely on on the usual Jurassic dinosaurs to carry its action — we’ve already mentioned the fact that the T-rex essentially isn’t even featured in the first season. This new approach even applies to series favorites like Velociraptor, with Jurassic World’s much-lauded Raptor Squad only briefly terrorizing campers in the first couple episodes. In any case, we do get to see gorgeously animated versions of Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo stalking their teenage prey in Camp Cretaceous long enough for them to make an impression. As for their show-based toys, Mattel’s newest versions of Echo and Delta actually look convincingly close to what we see on screen. Using previously released Savage Strike molds of the Jumping and Slashing Raptor respectively, both Echo and Delta are painted with a subtle metallic finish that pops their more vibrant base color. Toys of Blue and Charlie, on the other hand, are little more straightforward. These Attack Pack Raptor repaints were made available only in the as-of-now unreleased Ceratosaurs Clash set, and do’t appear to have the same vibrant recoloration seen on Echo and Delta. Blue looks identical to previous versions of the Attack Pack figure, while Charlie sports a color scheme that’s very similar to this year’s non-Camp Cretaceous Savage Strike figure. Unfortunately with the Ceratosaurs Clash being somewhat impossible to come by in most countries, most collectors may not be able to complete their animated Raptor Squad.

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Stygimoloch

As mentioned earlier, there are some Mattel Camp Cretaceous toys that tease dinosaurs not portrayed in the show — at least not yet. Stygimoloch, also referred to as “Stiggy” in a somewhat derivative nod to Velociraptor Blue, is nowhere to be seen in the first eight episodes of the series. What’s interesting is that Mattel’s Camp Cretaceous toy marks the first time Stygimoloch’s paint deco has been revisited since the first toy released in 2018 alongside Fallen Kingdom. Over the course of the six (yes six) different releases of Stiggy’s action figure, the coloration of each toy has remained virtually unchanged. That is, until Camp Cretaceous. While this all-new repaint is reminiscent of the film’s design, it is more saturated with pumped up contrasting colors that lend to a more animated look. Surely this implies that Stygimoloch’s appearance in Camp Cretaceous is inevitable in a later season.

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Indominus Rex

Next to Toro, the Indominus Rex has dominated much of the marketing lead-up to Camp Cretaceous. It’s no surprise that Jurassic World’s first true hybrid ends up being somewhat of the main antagonist of the show, as Indominus has remained extremely popular amongst Jurassic fans even after Fallen Kingdom’s attempted one-up with Indoraptor. She’s every bit as ferocious in the animated series, as well having the only body count amongst all the carnivores showcased in the first season. Mattel wisely leveraged Camp Creteaceous’s focus on Indominus to at last release one the most requested figures from their over-sized toy assortment. The Super Colossal Indominus Rex might be one the most breathtaking figures ever released in the toyline — and that’s not hyperbole. Its massive size alongside a nearly perfect screen-accurate sculpt make for a toy that has to be seen to be believed. If anything, Super Colossal Indominus is such a flawless recreation of the film’s design that it actually doesn’t quite match the animated version’s subtle differences. Camp Cretaceous’s Indominus Rex looks ever so slightly more stylized, with larger eyes and smoother details throughout. The toy meanwhile feels like an a leftover maquette from Jurassic World’s film production. It’s that good.

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Baryonyx

Fallen Kingdom’s introduction of Baryonyx was a memorable but brief action sequence, one that certainly left fans wanting more after waiting so many years to see the species in a Jurassic film. As early details around Netflix’s animated Jurassic World show began to circulate, it seemed that Baryonyx was set to have a larger role within the series. The names Grim, Limbo and Chaos seemed to correlate to a trio of Baryonyx that would appear in the show, with the dinosaurs having character names similar to Toro and Bumpy. But after watching all eight episodes of Camp Cretaceous’s first season, the crocodilian-like animals are nowhere to be seen — we can only assume they are destined for a future season. That didn’t stop Mattel from releasing toys that appear to further reenforce the idea that Baryonyx will at some point play a bigger role on the show. We’ll get more specific when we talk about the Mini Dino assortment and future Camp Cretaceous toy releases, but for now we’ll take a closer look at the figure included alongside Stegosaurus, Darius and Bumpy in the Camp Adventure set. This Target-exclusive release includes a electronic-less version of the Roarivores Baryonx, complete with a paint deco that likely designates this individual dinosaur as one of the “named” dinosaur characters hinted at earlier. Exactly how big of a part this species will play in Camp Cretaceous we’ll just have to wait for future seasons to find out.

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Bumpy the Ankylosaurus

Camp Cretaceous’s unofficial poster-child, Bumpy the baby Ankylosaurus, is a dinosaur that was destined to be made into a toy if we’ve ever seen one. Bumpy’s adorably over-sized eyes and friendly face steals audiences’ hearts the moment it hatches in Dr. Wu’s lab. Later in the series, the campers are reunited with a bigger, but not much older, Bumpy who joins the cast for the remainder of the season. Capturing the cuteness of Bumpy in toy form, and across both of these appearances, had to have been challenging even for the seasoned Jurassic design team at Mattel. With both a Mini and Attack Pack figure, they have certainly risen to the challenge and then some. The Miniature figure included in both the Mini 10-Pack, Mini 15-Pack and Camp Adventure Set is a great stand-in for Hatchling Bumpy, while the Attack Pack figure acts as the more mature version we meet later in the show. However it is definitely on the larger side, and when compared to the Darius figure looks grossly oversized in relation to the on-screen Bumpy. The bigger size does allow for more detail and articulation though, which makes the Attack Pack Bumpy the most faithful representation of the Camp Cretaceous character.

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Miniature Versions

While the focus of this piece has been mainly around Mattel’s 3.75″ scale of Jurassic figures, when it comes to discussing Camp Cretaceous toys the Mini Dino packs absolutely can’t be missed! Between the 10 and 15 pack of miniature figurines, almost the entire roster of season 1 dinosaurs can be collected — including unique variants like a bio-luminescent Parasaurolophus and Toro the Carnotaurus. The 15 pack also includes three different colorations of Baryonyx, and while they aren’t named specifically on the packaging these are undoubtedly meant to be Grim, Limbo and Chaos. Other Jurassic mainstays like T-rex, Velociraptor Blue, and Indominus Rex are all packed into each set as well. While this particular assortment is of a much smaller scale than the rest of Mattel’s Camp Cretaceous offerings, both multi-packs make for the perfect one-stop-shop for fans looking to grab toys of multiple dinosaur species all at once.

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More Toys On the Way

Camp Cretaceous has only just released but as this article clearly shows there’s already plenty of toys to collecting from the show. Mattel seems to only just be getting started, with more figures already on the way to coincide with the animated series’ future seasons. We already know Triceratops, Pteranodon and a Baronyx bearing the name “Grim” are just around the corner, alongside more figures that have yet to be revealed. For a more in-depth breakdown on what’s headed our way next, head over to our preview article 2020’s next Mattel Jurassic World toy releases. And as always, stay tune to Collect Jurassic here on the website and on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for more toy and collecting updates.

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