Jurassic World Alpha Training Blue Review (Mattel)

Jurassic World Alpha Training Blue
PRICE CHECK
   
EDITOR'S REVIEW
OVERALL EDITOR'S RATING:
What It Is

The Jurassic World Alpha Training Blue from Mattel is the dino-training toy you've been waiting for.  Channel your inner Owen and become Blue's Alpha.

How Does She Look?

Just based on looks alone, this interactive dinosaur toy Blue is impressive. Mattel has delivered the same authentic paint treatment to Blue as we've thus far seen across the rest of its toy line. Blue features piercing yellow/orange eyes, a gray body, and her signature blue strip. Blue stands, at max, about a foot tall and measures, from snout to tail, more than two feet long. She's got wheels on her feet to drive her forward and backward when in motion. The wheels kind of make her look like she's roller blading at times, but we dig it. Once turned on, she'll feature movements throughout her head and body. 

Getting Started/Set-Up:

Before you can get into the play, you'll need to charge Blue up. There's a charging connector located on her underside, which you'll need a screwdriver to open. Here, you'll also be able to connect Blue via USB to the your computer to check for any software updates. We suggest doing so before first use, just to ensure optimum dino performance. Once charged up, which takes roughly 35 minutes, the LED on the charger will change from red to green and you're ready to play. 

Turn both Blue and the remote controller on. The controller's two top LEDs will flash white to let you know the toy has properly paired. These lights will also be a big reference for you as you play through the different modes. The left LED indicates Blue's mood, which, in Training Mode, will change the more you play with her. Note: Reference the guide to gauge her mood. 

The right LED indicates the mode for play. 

There are four modes for play: Guard, Training, Total Control, and Prowl. The other main features you'll want to pay attention to on the controller are the the top button (the Treat Button), which you'll use to reward and reinforce Blue's actions; the Quick Control button located right below that; and the Clicker button, which you'll use when giving Blue commands. 

Guard Mode (Purple): In this mode, you can station Blue to essentially act as your guard dog dinosaur. You can also set her mood in Guard Mode to be neutral, hostile, or friendly depending on what it is you're guarding. In this mode, anytime Blue detects movement within six-inches to a foot of her, you'll be alerted via a vibration in the  Controller. Then, you can control Blue to respond. You can do so with the Quick Control button or Clicker to make Blue react through a command she's been trained. Note: when first starting to engage with Blue, her reactions will also depend on how far Blue is along in her training. If she's only just training training, she'll automatically be more hostile and it will be harder to controller her. 

Training Mode (Blue): This is the mode you'll use to take Blue from an untrained, hostile raptor to one that is almost pet-like in her responsiveness and obedience. 

That said, training takes time and you'll need to start with the basics: level 1 Reinforcements. There are two types of rewards you'll use to give Blue positive reinforcement.  

Use the Treat Button to reward Blue with treats. Simply press the button, flick the controller upward, and release. Blue will mime eating a treat to let you know she's responding to the command. If you the Treat Button down longer, Blue will follow your movements until you release. It's like waving a treat in front of a dog's face to get them to sit/stay. 

The second type of reward you can give her is pets. Pet her nose/snout or under her chin and she'll respond. Again the more you train her, the more loving her responses will become as she nozzles into your hand. Sometimes she'll even close her eyes a bit, letting you know you've hit that sweet spot. Again, this reminded us a lot of scratch behind the ears of our own dog and cat. 

Moving On: Once you've run through these beginner reinforcement movements, you'll enter the next level (Level 2 Head Turns). Here you'll learn to train Blue to look up, down, left, and right. Futher levels include: Level 3 Body Turns, Level 4 Roaring, Level 5 Movement, Level 6 Spinning, and Level 7 Attack. With each movement, you'll want to click directly at Blue (however many times indicated) then make the hand gesture with the controller to instruct Blue on which direction to move, turn, or when to roar or attack. 

After each correctly performed command by Blue, you'll want to give her praise with either a treat or pets. There may be times that blue does not understand the command. This can be user error or simply the response of an undisciplined raptor. You'll know when she correctly responds because the Controller will blink Green and vibrate. If not, it will flash red and vibrate.

***NOTE***: In the guide, some of the gestures look like only a flick of the wrist, especially for right and left motions, but these should actually be very exaggerated. Otherwise, Blue won't respond and you'll become equally frustrated that you can't move forward with training. The wrist rotations, however, are just that: a simply flick of the wrist. When Blue has correctly performed all the actions within a level the toy will unlock to the next level and the right LED will vibrate and change to a new color (level indicator). 

Total Control Mode (Yellow): If you really want total control over Blue and to act like the alpha raptor, enter Total Control Mode. In this mode, use the joystick on the controller to control Blue's facial reactions and the overall controller through hand motions to move her head and body. In this mode, however, you won't be able to make her move forward/backward or turn her body. 

Prowl Mode (Green): This mode, as you probably guessed, allows you to send Blue on the prowl. Use the joystick to move her forward and backward and left and right.

Is It Fun?

Once we opened up the toy through training, we were extremely impressed with the responsiveness and almost life-like animatronics and reactions. Traning Mode was certainly our favorite mode to play in but it's just as fun to send Blue on the Prowl to scare and confuse your friends and family. The remote controller is pretty intuitive as well, making it easy for even the most R/C-impaired individuals (like this reviewer!) to use. 

The looks of this dinosaur toy combined with the extensive interactivity, we think, is going to make it a must-have for dinosaur and Jurassic Park and Jurassic World fans. It's one of the best dinosaur toys---and Jurassic World toys--- we've ever played with. 

Who It’s For

 The Jurassic World Alpha Training Blue is for ages 8 and up from Mattel. This toy, as interactive and exciting as it is, does come with  a hefty price tag, so it's probably best suited for die-hard Jurassic World and dinosaur fans and collectors. It's age-graded for kids 8 and up, but we think it's one that kidults (i.e older) Jurassic World/ Jurassic Park fans are going to be geeking out over. For those willing to shell out the bucks though we can 100-percent say you'll get your money's worth.

What To Be Aware Of

At more than 2 feet long, this interactive raptor toy is nearly on pare with the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Super Colossal T-Rex (three feet).

Charging the battery takes roughly 35 minutes. Be sure you close the battery door back up after charging. Blue won't operate if the door is open.  Also note, charging the toy longer than suggested is not recommended and will not increase the battery life during play. The guide says the toy operates for about 35 minutes of continuous play before the battery will start to go. We actually felt like we played with it longer than that. The battery will be hot after use so make sure it's fully cooled down before re-charging. The toy's battery is a Li-ion battery that comes with a 6.6V charger.

You can also need to charge the controller, which you can do using the included USB. If at any point you want to know how your battery is doing during play, just press and hold the Mood and Selector buttons on the controller. The controller features a permanently installed LiPo battery.

Blue works best on flat smooth surfaces. In Prowl Mode especially, you'll want to watch your speed. If you go full throttle, she'll basically face plant. 

Blue is for indoor use only.

If at any point you need some more tips on how to operate Blue, there are Owen's Tips featured throughout the instructions booklet. 

AT A GLANCE:
  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    None or Very Easy