Front shot

Box back shot

Loose shot

Diorama shot

Collector card 44 (front)

Collector card 44 (back)


Action feature: "Fang" w/ Saber Strike Teeth. Comes with 3pcs of Capture Gear.


Retail: $4.99


By Roselaar:

Description: this muscular carnivorous quadruped stands in a rather active posture, with its right hind leg and front left leg posed forward and its other legs positioned backward, as if walking. The rest of the figure’s body assumes a neutral pose. Lycaenops comes with biting jaws: pulling the right hind leg back causes the upper jaw, equipped with four nasty looking dagger like fangs, to raise upwards, as if the monster is opening its maul, ready to close those jaws around an unfortunate creature’s body. An interesting detail: the creature’s tongue sticks out when the animal opens its mouth. Releasing the leg makes the jaws close with a powerful snap.

This figure sports a rather old-fashioned paint job (the typical brown with black stripes/spots scheme), which does look pretty good on it but isn't very original. Most of the beastie's body (legs, head, neck, flanks, and parts of the tail) is painted brown, while its underside (inner part of the legs, belly, lower part of the tail) is white. On its back and tail the creature has a row of black stripes (most of which are attached to each other, but also some separated). It also has a thick black stripe on each side of its face. Additionally, it has small black nails, orange eyes with red pupils, white teeth (both the fangs and the teeth on the inside of its mouth, and a pink tongue and mouth detailing. A black JP logo is located on its left hind leg, with the number .12 next to it.

The Lycaenops comes with three pieces of capture gear, all painted metallic grey. There’s the required tag, in this case large enough to fit around the monster’s muscled neck, as well as some leg shackles shaped like a cross to keep the beast from walking away. Thirdly, there’s a head piece which can go around the creature’s head, in an attempt to keep it from using those strong jaws. It doesn’t work though, since activating the biting action also makes the figure thrash the head piece off.

Analysis: adding an unknown prehistoric creature (not even a dinosaur) like this to the JPS2 toy line was a bold move on Kenner's part, and we can only applaud the decision because this figure turned out quite well (as did most of the other little known creatures made for JPS2, though some of them remained unreleased until 1997). One can imagine Kenner feeling the need to add a sabre toothed cat (an iconic prehistoric creature) to its JP toy line, but since that would have little to do with dinosaurs they opted for this critter instead, since it has a similar body shape and teeth to match (even though Lycaenops isn't a dinosaur either, but most people don't know that anyway). Lycaenops is one of the finest additions to the JP toy line, with a cool and powerful attack action. And even though the paint job isn't very imaginative (not much unlike the JPS1 Velociraptor or even the Young T-Rex), it suits this creature well. Also good to see the designers didn't forget the inside of the figure's mouth, adding some realism.

The biting action basically is nothing new. The JPS1 Dimetrodon had the exact same attack option, but Lycaenops improves upon it. Because of its longer legs it's easier to operate, while its mouth opens much wider, allowing for bigger prey to be seized. Its bite force is also much stronger, and the big fangs make it harder for its victims to escape. The upward movement of the tongue, which accompanies the opening of the jaws, is also a neat extra detail, though sometimes it might hinder the mouth space for bigger prey. Fortunately the tongue is made of pretty strong material so there's little risk of breaking it when the biting action is in use. Likewise, the biting mechanism is also less easy to damage, unlike the one of the Dimetrodon which often got damaged so the jaws only open, but won't close any more. In short, Lycaenops' biting action is superior over Dimetrodon's in any way (as well as over most figures with a similar attack feature that followed).

The capture gear does its job pretty well (when put on, Lycaenops can't walk or bite), though the head piece can be removed by activating the biting action, so there’s a dinosaur-breaks-free-of-restraints option involved to some extent (something which is lacking on the other JPS2 dinosaur figures, but would be a common feature in he Lost World toy line). The tag doesn't have a particular function, but at least it's not as small as with most other JPS2 dinosaurs, so it's less easy to lose.

Playability: Lycaenops comes with the usual range of poseable limbs as well as a moveable upper jaw. Though its legs are positioned in a walking mode this doesn’t hinder playability much (but the right hind leg will always snap back when moved because it's attached to the biting action). The creature is equipped with a strong and easily accessible biting action, capable of gripping human figures and smaller dinosaurs without problems. However, the tongue of the figure might get in the way when biting something, but since its mouth can open so wide (over a 90 degree angle) there's plenty of room for grabbing prey with its strong jaws. The three pieces of capture gear form a nice way to subdue the animal, but are of little use otherwise.

Realism: Lycaenops wasn't featured in any of the JP movies, making the choice of an action figure in its likeness daringly original. It looks quite similar to the actual Lycaenops, albeit a bit oversized when compared to human figures (Lycaenops was rather small in reality). It also looks not much unlike similar prehistoric creatures like Cynognathus and Gorgonops. Colour is of course something we can only guess at, but at least this figure has a paint job similar to its hatchling counterpart of this toy line, adding some consistency.

Repaint: no, this is a new figure. However, it would be repainted twice, the first time for the Chaos Effect line (Tyrannonops), and again for the first JP: Dinosaurs line (Lynx). Both repaints would feature repaints of the same capture gear this Lycaenops comes with.

Overall rating: 8/10. This is an excellent new figure, though with (an improvement over) a standard attack action and a rather bland (but in this case good looking) paint job. It seems to have been released in the USA only, but it is one of the more common JPS2 creature figures. It's not always easy to find though, and costs may vary, but it's worth tracking down.