Capture Cruiser


Front shot

Back shot

Loose shot


Action feature: With Overhead Strike Net.


Retail: $18.99


By Roselaar: (Note: the reviewer is not an expert on cars, so any incorrect technical terms or lack of detail in this vehicle's description ought to be disregarded.)

Description: this four wheeled vehicle's most obvious feature is the big black net, attached to a long yellow bar on either side, held together by small yellow protrusions. On the back of the car there's a dark grey handle: pulling this forward makes the beams raise upwards, capable of gyrating in a 110 degree radius approximately, causing the net to cover anything in front of the car. There's also a dino damage feature: the entire roof section (which is also coloured yellow) can be torn off, exposing the driver's seats. These seats are dark grey, with a big boxy beige control panel between them, and there's also a dark grey steering wheel. The vehicle's underside is all dark grey, while the rest of the Cruiser is beige instead. The wheels are black.

At the back of the car, there's a black piece of equipment on either side: the left side sports what appears to be some type of gun, while a radar dish in found on the right side. Both pieces can be rotated insofar as the design of the car allows, and are only there for show: they do not provide any action features of their own. Between both pieces, under the net when it's not in use, there's storage space for equipment, or human figures (though there's no real place for them to sit or stand). On the front of the car there's a dark grey bumper, and two lights on top of the wind shield. The car comes with various stickers for ornamentation, including four stickers with camouflage colours (one for the roof section, three for the wind shield, including a big one with the JP logo on it). There's also lights stickers, two for the front of the car, and two at the back, and stickers with red and black stripes for on the front of the yellow beams holding the net). There's a compass sticker for the driver's section of the car, and lastly a big sticker with the number '14' on it, as if there's at least 14 Capture Cruisers (or other Park vehicles).

Analysis: after the success of the first JP toy line, which featured two neat cars (and in case of the Jungle Explorer one absolute classic), Kenner got inventive for the second toy line in the vehicle department and made a cool motor cycle and a buggy. They also came up with this Capture Cruiser as a third car, but obviously put less effort in it than in their other new vehicles. As such, the Capture Cruiser isn't a very good car, with a weak design and even a lousy paint job (who would drive a beige and yellow car in a green dinosaur infested environment? It's not going to go unnoticed!).

The main action feature, the overhead strike net, works via an interesting mechanism though. It doesn't launch or drop a net on creatures, it pulls one over them (which does make it a close range weapon). Pulling the handle at the back of the car makes the net swing over any prey in front of the car. This mechanism works well, but it doesn't fully cover most animals (though it does restrain bigger ones like the Young T-Rex at least for the most part). Smaller prey has little trouble slipping out from under it. Also, even if the Cruiser does manage to trap an animal, what then? This car has no equipment to really knock them out. A tranq missile launcher or some similar device is surely missed here. There is the gun like piece of equipment at the back of the car, but that's only there for show and doesn't have an action option of its own unfortunately. Even more annoying is the fact the bars and protrusions holding the net together are really fragile. The plastic tends to break easily so you should be careful with it if you don't want it to get broken, in which case it's best to use the net action not too often.

Like most vehicles of this size, the Capture Cruiser also comes with dino damage. In this case, the whole roof section can be ripped off by a nasty dinosaur. It's best to use this when the net is deployed though, otherwise the bars get in the way. Though not the most original of action options, at least this dino damage works as it should, and isn't prone to get broken. When you remove the roof, you see just how little there is to this car: it only has dino damage and the net for action features, and is pretty boring and empty otherwise. There's only room for two figures, and most figures don't really fit in the seats because there's so little leg space. Only the smaller Kenner figures (like Tim Murphy or Ellie Sattler) are capable of sitting in the seats. The only Dino Tracker that fits is Jaws Jackson, even though this is supposed to be a Dino Trackers vehicle. You can of course put other figures in the back, but there isn't any real place for them to sit or stand (there's none of those little pins inside that fit in the small holes human figures have in their feet, so they can stand in certain places). Also, if you do throw them in the back, they're usually covered by the net; not much of a gratifying place to sit for sure.

Unlike the other JPS1/2 vehicles, the Capture Cruiser just wasn't given much thought in the design process. It lacks either originality or usable action features, it has overly fragile parts, and not enough interactivity possibilities with other figures. And it just doesn't look good: the designers didn't even bother with bashing out a decent paint job to obscure their flaws. This vehicle only fetches the high prices it does because of its rarity, but surely not because it deserves to be spent a lot of money on.

Playability: less than most other vehicles. The main action feature is supplied by the overhead strike net, and that only partially covers targets, but there's no means of subduing or restraining then (even a clichéd function like a rocket launcher or something would have helped a lot here). Also, it doesn't fully cover dinosaurs, smaller ones will have little trouble escaping from under it. Like most vehicles, the Capture Cruiser comes with dino damage, and pretty extensive in this case, but that's only good when the net is in use in front of the car, because otherwise the net gets in the way of the dino damage section. Also, the plastic parts that hold the net are quite fragile and can get easily damaged so you can't really play rough with this vehicle if you want to keep it intact. The limited space for human figures in this car is also a nuisance, since only a few figures really fit well in the driver's seats.

Realism: a vehicle like this was not seen in the JP film, but it's not unlikely a similar vehicle was in use in Jurassic Park, for trapping loose dinosaurs. However, it would surely need backup from other vehicles or humans with decent weapons to function really well because of its limitations. Also, its paint job stands out too much in a jungle environment (even though it comes with some camouflage colour stickers).

Repaint: no, the Capture Cruiser is a new vehicle. It would not be repainted for later JP toy lines. However, it would be repainted for Kenner's Congo line, for which it was redubbed simply as 'Net Trap' (and for which it was given a much better paint job, featuring jungle green colours).

Overall rating: 4/10. This is one of Kenner's most disappointing vehicles. It has a dull paint job, a half decent design (the net mechanism is nice enough, but the rest of the car simply isn't) and some parts are easily damaged. None of its features can't be found on other vehicles, which often make them look better. To top it all, this car is one of the rarest Kenner sets, and often goes for stupendously high prices (particularly MIB samples), usually much more than it's worth (especially considering intact loose samples aren't easy to find). If you do happen to stumble on one, be sure you don't pay more for it than you think you should, otherwise you might find yourself ripped off.