This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of blog posts memorializing cancelled toys. Our subject today is Hasbro's two attempts to blend GI Joe and dinosaurs.
Between 2009 and 2011, Hasbro had the Jurassic Park license. If you're thinking there was no JP media out at the time, you're right; and that's why the line didn't do very well. They planned to release a subline that would have paired Frankensteined GI Joe repaints with new dinosaur sculpts, with the Generation 3 Joe molds representing various InGen employees. The line was due out in 2010, then was rescheduled for 2011, and then was cancelled altogether because Hasbro's license was expiring.
Never ones to let work go to waste, however, Hasbro rebranded the idea "Dino Hunters Adventure Team" and made it a GI Joe subsidiary. The figures would have been the same combinations as before, just with Adventure Team logos instead of InGen.
No definitive list of all the figures intended for this orphaned set has ever appeared, but the prototypes that have shown up fit into four broad categories: humans, vehicles, and dinosaurs.
This figure presumably would have been the leader of the team - that's Joe Colton's head, with his distinctive beard and weirdly kissable lips. The torso and legs come from Gung-Ho and the arms from Tomax and Xamot. The tattoo on his forearm is an allosaurus skull. This same recipe was released (with Red Dog's head instead of Joe Colton) in 2013 as "Ash Skullstriker."
Remember when we asked if Zanzibar was based on a cancelled Jurassic Park figure? Turns out he was! The eyepatch and scars mean this was probably supposed to be a villainous mercenary or something. The "HFE" marks on his forehead aren't part of the design, they're anti-theft branding from the factory (they stand for "Hasbro Far East"). The entire body is Resolute Duke. The head looks similar to the character featured in the art above, but in different colors and different clothes.
This is the only solo figure that's been found that actually had the JP and InGen logos tampoed on. It was the first prototype figure to turn up, and was rumored to come paired with a repaint of the 2009 T rex. Hundreds of samples made it to the secondary market, with Hasbro hiring lawyers to harass people who bought them on eBay. Despite clearly just being a combo of Duke and Roadblock, the skintone and intricate tattoo on his face and shoulder make him feel Samoan.
No idea what this vehicle would have been called, but it's a straight repaint of the A.W.E. Striker. It got close enough to production that work was begun on the packaging layout. The driver (Resolute Cobra Trooper with a Firefly head) was dark blue, though a red version was also tested. His accessories would have included a shotgun, a set of ninja claws, and a helmet with night vision goggles on it. The vehicle was also worked up in a "desert" colorscheme in addition to this "jungle" look, and that driver would have been green and yellow.
This mini helicopter was a new sculpt created specifically for the Jurassic Park line. It was originally seen in just blue and green plastic, but this second test shot is slightly more realistic. The crate in the middle can lower on a strong to snatch up loose dinos. The pilot uses Scrap-Iron's vest over other pieces and gets a new head and helmet. New at the time. It eventually became Mercer.
This Humvee was also an original sculpt, though it looks almost identical to one from The Lost World. The doors swing open to the sides, bringing the seats with them to become gunner's platforms, and that big piece over the hood flips forward to trap dinosaurs with a big net. This probably would have come with a driver, like all the other vehicles were planned to, but the jeep has only ever been found by itself, so we have no idea who it would have been. Possibly the Cobra Trooper body with Burn-Out's head, since a figure with that construction was released as "Gunner Gordon" in 2013.
The dinosaurs include an allosaurus, a carnotaurus, a pachyrhinosaurus, and a stegosaurus, all new sculpts and all with more articulation than average for the time.
2013 update: the Allosaurus and Pachyrhinosaurus have now been released as part of a Toys "Я" Us exclusive 10th anniversary line, along with a few of the human characters (see above), but the Carnotaurus and Stegosaurus still have never appeared.