Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Predasaurs: DNA Fusion!

So now for a quick look at a new series which has been out for a while in Europe but has had a lukewarm reception here in the States, so far only tucked away in Toys R' Us.

Predasaurs is a series created by Dracco, makers of such creative and original franchises as "Filly Princess" and "Dracco Spin", which totally aren't ripoffs of anything.


Anyway, this series is a lot more original (or, if it does copy anything, it's of something I've never heard of). "Predasaurs" is a line of soft vinyl figures in the shapes of various dinosaurs. As opposed to traditional dinosaur figures, Predasaurs are instead biological mashups of two dinosaurs and have traits of both of them. They are also smart enough to carry bronze-age weaponry like clubs or axes which are held in a little notch in their hands.

Oh, and did I mention the teeth? The really, really, really big teeth? True to their name, even the Predasaurs which consist entirely of plant-eater dino DNA sport a keen row of rail-spikes jutting from their mouths in sizes that border on insane. With the figures being about three inches long at most, some of these teeth are over half-an inch long!

 The teeth also have a gimmick where they glow in the dark, something emphasized with the highly-reflective foil packaging they come in.
I guess that makes them Radioactive along with being mutant dinosaurs. "Radioactive Mutant Dinosaurs"; I can't think of a single part of that which doesn't sound totally awesome. It's not terribly scientific, but at least it's cool.

Anyway, the dinosaurs are divvied up into the various parts of the Mesozoic; Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. Dinos fall into each category based on which time period the majority of their DNA comes from. Each tribe has a leader dino with seven underlings. The leaders are the biggest and carry the weapons with special "power stones" on them.

And then there's the big daddy "Vulltarex" who is mostly T-Rex and part Stegosaurus and gets a tribe all his own: "Volcano". Okay, so now we're up to "Volcano-dwelling Radioactive Mutant Dinosaurs". Add a catchy theme song and we'll blow those silly turtles away! Vulltarex is only matched in size by other leaders or special dinosaurs and has a gaping maw filled with sharpened telephone poles the length of his head.

 Since the dinos are in soft foil packs, it's possible to figure out who is inside by feeling their heads, tails and weapons while within the package without opening it, like how many hunt for Lego Minifigs or Gormiti. I've managed to get all of the Leader characters (Hwaron, Enok, Hawa, and Vulltarex) this way without error.
Each dino also comes with a card which gives their combined species name, given name and battle stats., with Leader and Special dinos getting a foil effect, as well. Oh yeah, like every other boys toy out there right now, there's gotta be some sort of a battle game. Sheesh... Anyway, the idea is that you toss a dino out there and name an attribute you want to fight with, as well as the tribe you want to fight against; whoever wipes out their opponent's team wins.

But, the game isn't all that balanced. Jurassic is capable of making a perfect wall with a "10" in every category between Enok, Kallan, and Naum while Triassic's defense is full of holes. And what of Vulltarex? Does he count as a wild card which can be used as a pinch-hitter or does one have to call out "Volcano" in order to fight him? He's not that good, anyway, having only one "10" score versus Enok and Hawa who sport tens in two categories each.

However, the expansion "Insect Invasion" looks promising if it ever reaches the United States. In it, the three Dino tribes must team up in order to fight an invasion of half-dino/half-bug monstrosities! Dinos now come packed with helmets and tail-weapons as well as a new card spread. Vulltarex has much more threatening stats thanks to an infusion of Scorpion DNA, having a "10" in three categories.

There is also the Insect Invasion online game (*ahem which I currently hold the high score in *ahem*) Where you grab a Predasaur and single-handedly fight-off the Insectasaur invasion! It's a fun game once you get the hang of it and there is actually some strategizing and preparation involved.

Other products seem to exist as well, if the Powerpoint I dug up is any indication: There's combo-packs, playsets, carrying-cases, battlefields, and a huge sales display with a TV installed in it. The limited USA release makes the chances of anything beyond the double-pack seem dismal, but I think they're kinda fun.

More info about these toys can be found a