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Primal Clash Wave 1: Dino-Riders Nostalgia

Several weeks ago, I happened across some figures in a Walmart toy aisle that I’d never seen or heard of, but caught my attention.

Though I initially just bought the Raptor, I ended up going back for the other three.

And then last week, came across the two larger figures.

primal_clash_wave_1

I was “just” going to get the Triceratops…but went ahead and also got the Mammoth. I reasoned–I’d wind up wanting it anyway, and with my luck, if I didn’t get it then, I’d be hunting a bunch of Walmarts just trying to find the thing, and that’d be a waste of time and gas. (So of course, now I’ll see it every time I’m at a Walmart…)

These figures are from Lanard, a company that apparently has been producing toys for some time. They apparently did the Rampage toys that were out last year for the movie, and they’ve been producing a line called The Corps. I’d seen that line in the toy aisles of Walmart before, and thought it was just some generic cheapo-thing; a low-end GI Joe to capitalize on there NOT being regular GI Joe (specifically A Real American Hero-variety) toys at present (shame it’s not brought back the way the Transformers have been! But that’s another post entirely).

I’ve also figured out that Lanard has produced this particular line outside of the U.S. for at least a couple years, though under other names. The most frequent reference I could find was Jurassic Clash…but that would be obviously “problematic” given Jurassic World having toys and such out.

These figures REALLY spark my nostalgia for Dino-Riders (an ’80s toy line that many folks probably don’t remember or never knew about, but has a definite high-scale collector community, at least on Facebook).

Being able to get these for $7 for a “full size” rider and dino, and only $15 for the larger…that’s a steal! Just the human figure would be $15+ from most other companies, and probably be in the $20-25+ range having the dino; the larger ones would likely be $30+!

I’m definitely onboard for any other figures that show up in Walmart for this line. They’re presently marked as “Walmart exclusive,” but given I have two Walmarts I get to regularly within a 15-minute drive, with a couple more in a slightly broader radius, and 2-3 others that I’m fairly regularly “in the area,” I’m not personally all that bothered by the “exclusivity” since I have the easy access. Chain-exclusive toy lines are generally their own issue to me, though, and the subject for some other post.

Here are the figures individually in their packaging (out-of-package will be another post sometime!)

primal_clash_raptor

The Raptor most caught my attention, given the prominence of the Velociraptors in the Jurassic Park/World films. I also remember having the Dino-Riders velociraptor (or deinonychus, whatever the case, essentially the same visual).

primal_clash_titanis

Titanis is a creature I’m unfamiliar with…whether that’s the name of this one as a creature or as a specific character, I’m not sure. I saw some references to it as a “Terror Bird” or such; and I do like the sculpt!

primal_clash_sabretooth_tiger

The Sabretooth Tiger kinda speaks for itself. I like the sculpt, and it fits the Primal Clash name. May not be a “dinosaur,” but tends to get lumped in with them; certainly doesn’t bother me seeing it in this group.

primal_clash_trimetrodon

I don’t know what a Trimetrodon is, though I’m pretty sure I remember a similar fin/sail-backed dinosaur as a dimetrodon. Given the looks of the riding gear, this could be a “variant” on that…whatever. It’s not a horrible sculpt, but of these first four, it’s probably my least-favorite.

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Apparently for the toy line, there are the Dino WRANGLERS…and Dino COMMANDERS. The wranglers apparently have smaller dinos, while the wranglers have the larger ones.

I really like the Triceratops sculpt!

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I’m less impressed with the Mammoth sculpt…perhaps because the headgear is such a similar color to the tusks, making it look like “just” a hairy elephant with headgear, to me. Once I get it out of the package, we’ll see how my thoughts on it change, though!

primal_clash_dino_wrangler_card

Here’s the card-back for the four. I definitely REALLY like that the entire basic “wave” is shown, so that even if there’s only one figure handy/in-stock, one can see what other ones exist. I’d be even more enamored with it if the larger ones were also shown…but c’est la vie and all that.

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Here’s the card-back for the Mammoth and Triceratops. Same deal…it’s nice to see both represented, though a shame that the other figures aren’t also shown.

primal_clash_story

Finally, here’s the text of “the story” behind the figures. While it’s not much it’s better than nothing at all! I’d really enjoy something more in-depth to “support” these toys…such as individual bits for each rider/dino, if not some sort of publication (novel/comic book/something). And a cartoon series would be quite interesting, especially as an alternate narrative to the Jurassic World side of humans/dinos existing together.

This would be the sort of thing that would be ripe for “fan fiction” or other online content at a site, even if nothing was officially published “in print.”

Stories of the small group of Raiders and their dinos having to survive and fight back against the Final Impact, while looking for a means to take out the “mastermind” Evolution supercomputer…you’ve got your “good guys,” “bad guys,” and “big bad” right there. Plenty of room to fill in with specific characters. Who’s the leader of the Wranglers? The Commanders? Would these be “factions” or “sub-factions” of the Raiders? Do they get along, or is there bickering? How rigid or formal would the titles be?

Are these ones that we have right now–these first six–are they all “good guys?”

This “story” seems almost like an “elevator pitch” for a wider world…and though I know there are several further human characters and another “Dino Commander” dinosaur as well as a couple of larger creatures–a Tyrannosaurus and some sort of giant ape–i’d be curious about additional dinos and riders.

To say nothing of the fact that–as far as I can tell–we don’t have actual names for these humans, and though I questioned Titanis above, that’s likely not a unique/specific/character name…so there’d be room for us to have specific characters in both the humans and the dinosaurs.

Given I only JUST discovered these in January 2019, and know there are several more that could come this year, it’ll be interesting to watch and see what else comes out, and if or how popular these might be.


For whatever it says, though I’ve long been a fan of Jurassic Park/Jurassic World, I did not buy any toys from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and had only bought the Indominus Rex, Tyrannosaurus, and a 4-pack of the main Velociraptors back in 2015.

While perhaps not as pose-able or as specific characters and all that…I find these a lot more interesting than the Jurassic World toys available over the past year or so, not to mention a superior price point! (Especially as figures I appreciate but are bound for display more than “play”!)

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The ’90s Revisited: Adventures of Superman #472

90s_revisited

adventures_of_superman_0472Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite Part Two: Clark Kent–Man of Steel!

Story: Dan Jurgens
Layouts: Dan Jurgens
Finishes: Art Thibert
Letters: Albert De Guzman
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Associate Editor: Jon Peterson
Editor: Mike Carlin
Published by: DC Comics
Cover: Dan Jurgens, Art Thibert
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: November 1990
Cover Price: $0.75

This is another very nostalgic issue for me…from the cover on in!

We open on Superman hanging upside-down, tangled in a rope, while a hulking behemoth–Mammoth–postures about being the one to take him out. Flashback to the day’s start–a visit with Emil Hamilton as well as (separately) Lois and her family, where Clark learned that they’re indebted to Lex Luthor for Mrs. Lane’s survival. In the present, Superman bluffs his way out of being squished by Mammoth, and barely survives the SCU’s attempt to take the villain down…which leaves Superman to play a harrowing game of "chicken" with the rampaging brute–essentially staring him down without powers. After making his way home and reflecting on the day, Clark realizes his days as a hero may be done, unless he can get some help…and places a phone call.

While I’d read a handful of issues prior–and this issue itself is some 20 issues after my first of the title–this is still one of my "earliest" Superman comics that I owned, in my "initial run" with comics. And though I didn’t know it at the time, this is largely by one of my all-time favorite creators–Dan Jurgens! It’s reasonable for me to assume that this early issue was quite influential–as well as other issues he was on–in both setting him as one of my favorites, and "imprinting" his take on the character as a sort of "default" or such in my mind.

That said, nostalgia certainly swings my opinion of the visuals very much into the positive…though I’d say they’re quite good anyway. It’s not hard to follow the story, everyone looks recognizable…and something TO the art, I felt like I could SEE Superman’s physical vulnerability here. Sure, he’s in-costume, but I "bought" that he’s powerless.

The story is very solid as well, advancing the overall story of this arc while functioning nicely as its own issue…complete with a fairly obvious (to me) formulaic structures (starting on action, flashing back to earlier, catching up to present and resolving that initial high point, then giving us a bit of drama to end on). We get to see Clark as himself and as Superman; we have a villain; we have interaction and story advancement of supporting characters/subplots. Superman literally in a bind against a villain, surviving, and ready for whatever the next step of his adventure is.

All those years ago, this was the sole issue of the story that I had and read: I came in on Chapter 2, never having read the first chapter, nor getting to read the latter chapters until some time after the fact; in their initial run, I didn’t even know about the "event" within the "event" that ended this arc until some time much later. And I was not put off by getting an isolated chapter of a larger story.

As such…this is a good issue as a random one-off: there’s plenty of "continuity" that it draws from and sets up, and the ending hints at stuff to come, and we have no resolution to Superman’s powers, but we still get a story in this issue. It’s a "middle chapter" without feeling like it’s wholly incomplete, unlike many contemporary comics.

The only "complaint" I’d have is that the cover is a BIT misleading–it pertains to the story within in that we see Superman in trouble with his rope-and-grapple gear, but not falling helplessly toward a street. Still, as covers go, it’s a great piece–eye-catching and conveys the "heart" of the situation–without being context-lessly generic, "iconic," or vague. Best of all, this IS the cover. It is THE cover. No variants, no collector’s editions, no enhanced editions. To my knowledge, it’s this issue, or the collected edition.

I’d definitely recommend this as a simple, fun-ish read if you can snag it for under $1, and certainly worthwhile if you can snag the whole story!

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