Woolly Mammoth baby (Prehistoric Life by Wild Safari)


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After completing the 2004 Wild Safari Prehistoric Life Woolly Mammoth review, it was brought to my attention that I should take a look at the retired WS Baby. With this thought in mind, I sat down and took a close look at this little toy. I suppose I could have added a small revision to my first review and added this little figure. Even though it does complement the adult mammoth, this baby is well done and can stand out on its own.

The baby mammoth is 3.5 inches (8.9cm) long and 1.14 inches (2.9cm) high and was retired in 2011. The pose is an attractive one. Its head is looking straight ahead with its trunk stretched out in front of it. It has a classic bugle look to its trunk, as if it is tooting hello, or saying wait up. Of course it could just be reaching out for its mommy’s tail. Interestingly, there is a mop of fur on its head, and above the shoulders there is a very small hump, and then the back slopes downward. These features are typical characteristic of the species, but supposedly these features were not present in juveniles, which had concave backs like African elephants.

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On the head are prominent brow ridges, big wide eyes, and very small ears the stick out on either side. The mouth is open; there is even a small outline of tongue inside. There are some small trunk ripples right in front of the eyes. The small ears are kept close but not flat to the body. As you would expect, it is covered head to toe in fur. There is a long outer covering of guard hairs that cover the upper part of the head, body, and legs. On the trunk and bottom half of the legs you see the shorter undercoat. The tail is short with long bushy end.

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The texture on this model is all about the woolly fur. It has long lines of guard hair covering the upper body, with small, faint lines, for the undercoat. The muscles on the legs do bulge out a little bit, and has a little rounded ribs, but it is hard to notice with all the fur covering it.

The color is just like the adult. It is two toned with different shades of brown, which looks good and is accurate. There is a dark brown undercoat, were the guard coat of fur is a little more light brown. The toes are painted in grey. The eyes are completely brown with black pupils. Inside the mouth is a small line of pink for the tongue.

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As a toy, I can see that this would please the younger kids, and find use for bigger kids. It is an active, and dare I say cute sculpt. It will find play by itself, with its mommy, or in a big herd. If a brother a sister a playing with this little guy, and it happens to wonder away from the toy herd there are plenty of predators such as large cats, or occasional T-Rex which one sibling will probably use to ambush it. So be prepared, as this can lead to one of the kids becoming upset at their sibling. The paint is robust and there are no sharp edges on this toy.

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This is a beautiful piece to have. It is easy to overlook, due to its size, or just being thought of as a companion piece to the adult. For those who have overlooked it, or if you like mega fauna, you might want to take a second look. It currently retails in the 3-7dollar range, so it is very affordable. I would stock up on it if you find some. I wouldn’t say it is a rare toy but it has been retired since 2011, so finding it can be fun challenge.

You can begin your search here:Ebay

Triceratops (Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs by Kenner)


Rounding out my assortment of Jurassic Park recolours is none other than the world’s most famous ceratopsid.

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First released under the Lost World label in 1997, this Triceratops is rather small compared to the massive 1993 version. Its short horns and length of only 20 cm indicate that it is meant to represent a juvenile. A very cool-looking adult Triceratops was slated for release in both the LW and Chaos Effect lines, but ended up being cancelled each time. Boo. Meanwhile, our humble young friend here went on to be re-released several times. Like the Cyclops Velociraptor I reviewed previously, this one hails from the 2004 Dinosaurs line.

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While it’s not on the level of a CollectA ceratopsid, this Triceratops has a fairly spiffy colour scheme nonetheless. It’s chocolate brown with an orange underside, light brown markings, white horns and beak, a pink tongue, and black hooves. Its eyes are light brown with orange pupils and the white JP logo is on its left thigh.

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In terms of accuracy, this toy is decent. The frill is the right shape and the limbs look to be of proper proportion, but the feet have five hooves apiece. On the other hand, the arched back is more accurate than on the original JP Triceratops. The skin texture consists mostly of wrinkles, but there are small scutes and a thick row of scales along the back. The surface of the frill is ridged and there are small rounded epoccipitals lining the edge.

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The Triceratops is articulated at the shoulders and left hip. Pulling back on the right hind leg causes the head to raise in a butting motion. Don’t underestimate this young scrapper.

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I would rank this second out of all the JP Triceratops toys to date. It’s not big, but it’s nicely sculpted, durable, and fun to play with.

Mosasaur by Sideshow Dinosauria


Review by Dan Liebman – Dan’s Dinosaurs

Regular visitors to the DinoToyBlog know that I enjoy reviewing every new piece in this series, but I really wanted our resident paleontologist Dr. Adam Stuart Smith to have a go at this one; truly, I doubt there would be anyone better suited to this task. Sadly, the good doctor’s schedule did not permit this plan to come to fruition, so I’m afraid our dear readers are stuck with yet another review from an uneducated amateur.

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To my simple eyes, this statue does uphold the lofty standards of aesthetics and accuracy the series is known for. There are a number of unusual factors at play here, starting with the name itself. The manufacturer simply attached the moniker “Mosasaur”. This strangely nonspecific name might have something to do with the similarly titled “Mosasaur” revealed around the same time to star in the upcoming film “Jurassic World”. We do know that Sideshow has been eager to see how their own dinosaur line can stand up without the costly license of Jurassic Park, so it’s not really surprising when one considers the species selected for previous projects, many of which seem likely influenced by the Jurassic Park franchise (though happily, restored with much greater accuracy). Keen readers will still recognize this piece as depicting Tylosaurus proriger, which has been confirmed by the sculptor. Names aside, the species itself was not likely influenced by the film, since the original sculpt was completed at least two years ago.

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Original stock photo

Another striking feature is the vertical build of this statue. Every paleo-enthusiast knows how rapidly shelf space is consumed by so many horizontally constructed models, and running out of space for new pieces isn’t fun. This is almost a merciful design decision here, as the Dinosauria statues are undoubtedly some of the largest pieces in most collectors’ displays, so any chance to own this model without wasting valuable space is certainly going to make it more desirable. Bear in mind this is definitely not a puny statue, either. Like several other models in the series, the Mosasaur is around 1:20 scale, and stands 20″ high.

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Sideshow has introduced some fancier backdrops for their more recent releases. These water effects are computer wizardry, and under no circumstances should this model be placed in water.

I also wish to point out something very strange indeed. This animal is undoubtedly a fearsome carnivore, and yet, its jaws are closed. It’s been said many times that “closed jaw” depictions are naturalistic, since this is how the animals would have held their jaws most of the time. I feel some measure of admiration of any mass-manufacturer that approves of such a decision, knowing full well that it could negatively impact sales among mainstream audiences, but clearly this is a company that has grown confident in its ability to attract serious collectors. It’s as if Sideshow is seductively whispering in our collective ear, “We know you’re smarter than the others, and we know you want this. We made this just for you.”

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Another great shot I couldn’t resist sharing. Many of Sideshow’s impressive diorama-like images have been used as clickbait around the web, from individuals claiming to possess “leaked images from Jurassic World” and so on. If only the films could really be this accurate.

I will admit, the set of jaws on this animal are really spectacular, and it would have been great to see those deadly chompers and palatine teeth as shown in several excellent models of years past. Even so, they are scarcely missed here, because there is so much for one’s eyes to dance around. The colorful base is probably one of the most complex in the series, and consequently, this makes it a bit trickier to assemble the eight piece model. My recommendation is to insert the Mosasaur into the seafloor base first, so as to avoid damaging the more delicate pieces around it. From there, it’s mostly a matter of matching colors: branches of green coral with shimmery fish, yellow plate coral, and the big orange tube sponge with ammonites attached. A nice pink and green zoanthid sits at the center. There is a square hole below the left rear flipper to insert the shark’s peg. The peg will go all the way inside, but I would suggest wiggling it very gently to avoid any breakage. This easily sets the new record for “Most Species Ever Featured in a Dinosauria Statue”. Don’t bother looking that up. I promise it’s a real thing.

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I know that quality has been inconsistent for a few of the previous Dinosauria statues, particularly where paint is concerned. Happily, there appear to be no such issues present in this Mosasaur. The signature jagged striping of Steve Riojas is transferred reasonably well by this factory paint job, and the eyes convey appropriate realism. If it were larger and a bit greener, it would stand quite nicely beside the Foulkes Tylosaurus. The patterns do enhance the predator quite nicely, as it’s not too garish, but enough to help it pop despite being surrounded by so many colorful critters. It seems to rise above them ominously, an eerie presence that is both huge and hidden.

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With several crimson-eyed predators appearing in the series, it’s nice to see this fellow looking very natural, without compromising his menace. The loose folds of skin around the neck, and the skin texturing itself (which appears to be faithfully reproduced from actual skin impressions) really drive home the reptilian heritage of this animal. The flippers have visible digits running through them, and the “thumbs” actually end in very small claws. These features all contribute to a great sense of realism in this sculpt, truly a testament to Jorge Blanco’s dedication and skill.

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Like the other Dinosauria statues, this can be a fun model for playing around with different lighting effects. Warm light beaming down from above could simulate sunlight, allowing the giant to literally cast a shadow over the tiny creatures below. I’ve seen very intricate collections that make use of blue light for that aquatic atmosphere. I strongly advise keeping it away from actual water sources though, including any live aquariums you may feel tempted to utilize. Besides, it’s sure to terrify your poor fish.

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Dinosauria Mosasaur (1:20) shown beside Foulkes Allosaurus (1:15)

Dinosauria Mosasaur (1:20) shown beside Foulkes Allosaurus (1:15)

“The shark is a young Sqalicorax and the small fish are acanthomorpha (angelfish). I also could not resist the temptation to add a couple of ammonites. At the time I finished sculpture and while it was in production, a new paper was unveiled that showed new features of the tail of a new specimen of mosasaur. I had already given my final version so it was impossible to make changes, but I’m honestly very happy with result. I wanted to emphasize the aspect of varanid lizards in these marine reptiles, and I put my full attention to some anatomical features, and how varanids swim propelling with the tail, and with the limbs close to the body and using them only to maneuver, although these are basically terrestrial reptiles with aquatic adaptations while the mosasaurs were fully aquatic.”

– Jorge Blanco

Available to order from Dan’s Dinosaurs here.