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JA-RU is a company out of Florida that makes some pretty decent rubber dinos, and a couple of cheap bagged sets. A couple of the large vinyl dinos seem to be copies of dinosaurs by other companies, for example, the Stegosaurus (not pictured here). Ja-Ru also has smaller scale dinos, discussed below the large guys here, that come in a bag, party-favor style.
 
First, we'll take a look at the big guys. The tags that come attached to them can bee seen at right.
 
I purchased these guys at a local supermarket, and have seen them in several different supermarket chains. They run about three bucks a pop. Really, they are fairly decent representations of the various dino-types. For cheap dinos, anyhow.
 
First up, we have Spiny. When I bought him, he had creepy, black glassy eyes. I couldn't stand his eyes. They creeped me out too much and gave him sort of a blank look. I decided to paint his eyes and add some pupils in there, and I have gotta say, the guy has a lot more character now.

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Click the thumbnail below for a really ginormous picture of Spino:

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Next up is Styracosaurus. He didn't need any alterations made. Not a bad looking dude.

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Triceratops:

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As far as I know, Ja-Ru makes two different bagged sets of dinosaurs. One is a bag of 12 larger dinos, most of which seem to be knockoffs of Marx or MPC figures; the other is a bag of very small, party-favor style dinosaurs that come in a wide array of wondrous colors...
 
Explore Planet Earth: Prehistoric Dinosaurs
 
I love that--'Prehistoric Dinosaurs.' Couldn't that be pegged as being redundant? I mean...is there a such thing as non-prehistoric dinosaurs? Oh yeah! DUUUH! Jurassic Park. How could I forget? (heh).
 
Anyhow, sarcasm aside, here we have a set of 12 dinosaurs that seems to be common in supermarkets and drugstores. It ran me $2.99 at a supermarket (interesting, since a nearly identical set of dinos costs $0.88 at Wal-mart).
 
I had first thought that this Ja-Ru set was the same as the Wal-mart set, but as I examined it more closely I saw that it was ever-so-slightly different. And despite the higher price on the Ja-Ru set, the Wal-Mart bagged sets are actually superior in quality--there is less paint rubbing for one thing. The Ja-Ru dinos had awful paint rubs all over them straight out of the bag. The Wally dinos, not so much. There is a lot more flash on the Ja-Ru figures too, and the paint jobs aren't quite as nice.
 
So, enough rambling. I bought this set and shot photos of the little chaps, and here are my thoughts on them. The pictures can be clicked and enlarged to view detail.

Tyrannosaurus
Here we have a very weird orange T-Rex, with very weird stretchy hands and feet, but that resembles the Marx T-Rex Version Two. He also looks like the T-Rex from the Wal-Mart 20-pc. set, but a bit smaller. I just don't get the three digit-fingers with the alien look. Maybe this was an attempt to try not to make it look so much like the Marx Rex? It's anyone's guess. Surprisingly, though, he stands up...

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Closeup:
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Compared to the Marx T-Rex, ver.2:

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Stegosaurus
Clearly a Marx copy, and a near twin of the Wal-Mart Stego from the 20-pc. set. The Marx and Wally Stegos are added in the second picture for comparison.

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Trachodon
Ditto on the Marx stuff here too. The Wal-Mart Trachodon is closer to the Marx one, but is made of more of a 'rubbery' plastic.

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Allosaurus
Clearly a copy of either Marx or MPC, and much moreso than the one in the 88-cent Wal-Mart set:

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From left to right: Ja-Ru, MPC, and Marx Allosaurs.

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Styracosaurus
He doesn't appear to be either a Marx or MPC copy, but is very similar to the Wal-Mart Styracosaurs from the bagged sets.

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Triceratops #1
This is a tiny copy of the Marx Triceratops, as you can see here:

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Triceratops #2
Not a Marx copy, but darn near identical to the Wal-Mart Triceratops #2 in both the 12 and 20-pc. bagged sets:

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Brontosaurus (Apatosaurus)
Another tiny Marx mimic:

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Dimetrodon
Copy of the Marx Dimetrodon:

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Ankylosaurus
A tiny Marx copy as well--an even closer copy than the Wal-Mart Ankylosaurus too, because the Ja-Ru figure is in a walking pose:

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Leg positions (from top to bottom): Wal-Mart, Ja-Ru, Marx:

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Macrauchenia
Not a dinosaur, but an interesting addition, as not many prehistoric playsets include this figure. This figure is pretty much the same as the Wal-Mart one, but the W.M. figures is actually much more detailed. The texture of the fur can bee seen in that one, whereas this guy's pretty smooth all over. This is probably a copy of the MPC Macrauchenia (Marx never released a Macrauchenia figure).

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Uintatherium
Again, not exactly a dinosaur, but prehistoric nonetheless. Uintatherium was around during the Eocene Epoch of the Cenozoic era, and again, is not included in many prehistoric playsets.

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This Uintatherium would appear to be identical to the Wal-Mart version, but upon closer inspection, we see a couple of differences. First, there is a bit more detail in the Ja-Ru figure (notice the wrinkles on the sides of the body):

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Flip the two of them over, and you'll notice that the Ja-Ru Uintatherium (bottom) has a hollowed out spot on its belly. I don't know why--saving on plastic, perhaps?

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A shot of the figures still in the bag:

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Check out what the Realm of Rubber Dinosaurs guy has to say about this set. Different label, same set.

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The Little Guys (Party Favor Style Bagged Set):
 
Purchased for a buck at the Dollar General Store, here a set of smaller, very colorful Ja-Ru dinos. They are not bad looking for such cheap figures, in my opinion. This time, none are Marx or MPC knockoffs.
 
The biggest drawback to these guys is that a couple of them will not stand up. I had to guess as to what species a couple of them were too, a couple are pretty ambiguous. They're not labeled anywhere as to what they are supposed to be...so it's at the owner's discretion, I guess.

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Here are some closer shots:

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Page updated on 15 December 2005.