Giganotosaurus (Carnage Collection by ReSaurus)


The late 1990s saw the release of a particularly unique line of figures known as the Carnage Collection by ReSaurus. Eight (that I’m aware of) boldly patterned and articulated dinosaur models were produced before the line ended. The models seem very much aimed at kids, all representing flamboyant and mostly carnivorous dinosaurs. Oh, except for Protoceratops, they made one of those too for some reason, maybe to compliment their Velociraptor. Anyway, none are terribly accurate but they’re all fun looking and interesting models. Only one other figure from the line has been reviewed here, the Styracosaurus. Now that I’ve run out of new Battat models to review I’ll tackle the only model from this line I currently own, the Giganotosaurus.

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If you’re looking for an accurate model you’ll have to look elsewhere. Though not terrible and probably better than it ought to be, this model does have a couple issues. Most obvious would be the pronated hands but the entire head of the creature is a bit off. Far from the long shallow skull that we’re used to on Giganotosaurus this one has a shorter boxier head. It reminds me a lot of the skull illustrated in James H. Madsen’s 1976 monograph on Allosaurus. You know the one, it’s a classic. In fact, I’ll admit that is a feature that drew me to this particular model. It gives the model a nostalgic quality. Aside from those flaws, there really is not much to complain about, not bad for an action figure from the 1990s!

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The details are particularly good here; lots of wrinkles, bumps and appropriate musculature adorn the body. Some of the skeletal elements are visible through the skin; ribs and the scapula in particular. The head in particular is detailed with bumps, hornlets and bulges. It’s almost overkill as the combination of details on the head almost makes it look like a piece of burnt meat. It’s a bit shrink wrapped too which is a little off putting, all the fenestra are visible. While the color choices may not have been the best, the paint application is pretty good with little bleeding of the paint. The model is mostly a strange combination of purples along the back that runs down the sides in a series of stripes overlapping a green body. The head is black with a green lower jaw. The feet, hands and tip of the tail are black as well. All the teeth are individually sculpted and painted. A series of black spots can be seen on the neck. The tongue and pallet are pink and the claws and teeth are crisp white. The eyes are a bit unnerving and have an undead look to them; they’re pink with white pupils, probably meant to look more menacing than undead. The model itself is a hard plastic while the tail is a softer rubbery material. Unfortunately it seems the paint chips easily away from the rubber portion, especially where it meets the rest of the body. Care should be taken when acquiring this model if you desire this toy in mint condition.

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At 14” the model is a hefty one which puts it almost in the 1:40 scale range but that was no doubt unintentional as all the figures in this line are about the same size. There are several points of articulation here; the upper legs, knees, ankles, arms and jaw can all be moved and posed as desired. The joints in the knees and ankles mean this biped has a very difficult time standing. Though the model comes with a base and support rod it is hard to make it stand right and impossible to do so without some kind of support. The base itself is pretty cool though; a theropod track covered in dirt, rocks and bone with a name plate on the front.

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If you’re into action figures, retro dinosaurs or novelty type figures this would be a model worth seeking out. It’s large, detailed, well made and just fun to have around. That said, it’s a bit inaccurate, has difficulty standing and the paint chips off pretty easy. All of the Carnage dinosaurs are now out of production so you’ll have to do some dino-hunting on eBay for this guy.

Dacentrurus (Terra Series by Battat)


As I started writing this review I realized that I am an anomaly. During the 90’s when I was buying my first Carnegie dinosaurs, I never heard of or saw Battat dinosaurs. Throughout the mid 2000’s I wasn’t really collecting dinosaurs, other than grabbing the occasional interesting ones that I would find in a store. I have no attachment to the Battat line, and even now, I have never really felt the need to spend $60 plus on one. This makes the new Battat Terra series so much fun for me, since they are all new.  As a Stegosuria fan, I knew I wanted to check out the Battat version of Dacentrurus Armartus. The only other Dacentrurus toy I have seen was a version by CollectA.

Battat Terra Dacentrurus

150 million years ago, walking around the woodlands of Western Europe, there was a 6-8 meter, two tons, of plant munching awesome named Dacentrurus. Even though the animal looks more like Kentrosaurus, it was bigger than its African cousin, more closely related to Miragia, and amazingly enough, Hesperosaurus from North America. I would also like to point out that it was the first Stegosaur to be described, and that was done by Richard Owen in 1875.

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The Dacentrurus sculpt has the head and tail pointed in the same direction. The head is slightly cocked to one side and has small ear holes on the back of the skull and two prominent nostrils in the front. The neck is short and has small plates running down it. The triangular plates become bigger and longer along the back, and reach their tallest over the hips. Along the tail, the plates become thin spikes. The tail also is raised up in a way that it could be using its tail for display or defense. There are also two shoulder spikes, one on each side. The legs are all firmly planted on the ground with some definite bend on its front two legs. There are five splayed toes on the front feet and three on the back feet.

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The colors are conservative, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. The top half is dark green, and the bottom half is light green. The plates and spikes are colored in a light bluish green that really stands out. The edges of the plates and the tops of the spikes are black. The eye is yellow with a black middle. The toes and beak are brown. The skin texture is basically all skin folds and lines and it feels very fleshy. There is also a wattle of skin under the skull and has loose skin running down the neck. There are some texture lines on the plates as well.

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So here are my nit- picks on this model. On skeletal reconstructions that I have seen, the highest point of the animal should be over the wide, robust hips, instead on this model it is over the mid-section. Now is that a nit-pick or what? The other thing that bothers me is the eyes. The one eye has an undeveloped look to it. It reminds me of the Kentosaurus eye from safari, though that skull was tiny. On the topic of the skull, the head also feels too big compared to the size of the rest of the body, but I could be wrong.

As for playability, it has spikes on its tail. What’s not to love? The spikes are bendy, so it shouldn’t hurt any kids playing with it. I am not sure what the breakage rate is with the spikes, but it seems to be strong enough to stand up to kid play. Also, with a high tail, it enhances a kid’s ability to use it during play, so that is another plus.

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Overall, this is a nice, but average model. I would not say it the best stegosauridae out there. The stance is a little boring, though I do like the height of the tail. The paint could have been applied a little better, but for the price, it was a steal. For kids, I think they would enjoy it, and for school projects, due to the lack of Dacentrurus out there, it could come in handy. I just have to mention that I enjoyed the box that it came in, very cool.

You can find the Battat Terra Series at Target and Dan’s Dinosaurs

Cryolophosaurus (Terra Series by Battat)


Well we’re three-fourths of the way through the new Terra series by Battat. At least, with the models released so far. No need to introduce the company to our readers at this point or discuss the fan fair generated by these new models. No real need to introduce the species we’re reviewing either. Cryolophosaurus ellioti is a bit of a fan favorite for those of us “in the know” where dinosaurs are concerned. Sure, normal folks may not be familiar with the genus but we’re not normal folks, just look at how excited we are for these toys! Nope, most of us are already familiar with the early Jurassic theropod from Antarctica described in 1994. In fact, most of us probably already own the Carnegie Collection take on this crested tetanuran.

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Measuring 6” in length this figure is a 1:40 scale replica of the 20’ plus carnivore. Sculpted by Dan LoRusso, this is naturally a very accurate model. You won’t find bunny hands or tail draggers in this new series. In fact, this model is not even a tripod. It is capable of standing on two legs which is rare for theropod models. I don’t know if it was intended to stand this way because the tail does dip down and can support the model but at least with mine it doesn’t need to. That may become necessary however if the legs warp, which they often do. And oh yes, I should mention that the mouth on this model is closed! I think I speak for a lot of collectors when I say we’re tired of mouth-breathing theropod models. Although it is often nice to get a look at the palate, tongue and dental anatomy of a theropod toy, the more natural looking closed mouth is more appealing, at least to this collector. The model looks agile and alert and is sculpted in mid-stride while looking towards the left. A series of knobby scutes are sculpted from the back of the head and down the neck.

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The paint job might be the best of all the models in the new Battat line. Though I’m not normally a fan of green dinosaur toys this model executes its chosen colors well with interesting patterns. Dark green dorsally and light green laterally the two shades are separated by brownish maroon colored edging. Maroon colored spots can be seen along the back and various other places and the edging again appears between the lateral green coloration and the creamy white underside. The feet and most of the tail are also white but bands and spots decorate the tail. The head is light green as well with a dark green mask over the eyes and white lower jaw. The characteristic crest is dark red. The combination of colors and patterns make the model realistic looking but not boring, it looks like a creature evolved to hunt in dark dense undergrowth. Unfortunately there are places where the paint application is a bit sloppy. That said, this is kind of the norm for a lot of Battat models. At least they are consistent. In fact, all of the new Battat models fit in nicely with the older collection which is commendable given the long gap between their production.

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So what we’re left with here is a bipedal, closed mouth, accurate and interestingly painted 1:40 scale model of a fascinating theropod, and it’s cheap and readily available to boot! What’s not to love? If you are having a hard time locating these models go check out “Dan’s Dinosaurs” where he currently has them for sale. If you live near a Target store in the United States, keep an eye out there. They should be getting them in shortly if they aren’t already in stock.

Available from eBay here.