Lambeosaurus (Bullyland)


One of two releases by Bullyland for 2014, this new Lambeosaurus is a lovely addition to their line. I picked up mine as a souvenir from a museum shop in Germany, which reminded me how much more meaningful it can be to select and purchase figures in person. I suppose those days are behind us now, but at least it has become easier to find whatever figure you want in the digital age.

Lambeosaurus Bullyland
Lambeosaurus Bullyland

I’m pleased Bullyland selected Lambeosaurus because I’ve always been fond of this hadrosaur. There aren’t too many representations of this genus out there, although the number has been growing in recent years, with offerings by CollectA (reviewed here) and Geoworld. However, I wouldn’t go quite as far at the Reddit community who regard this crested dinosaur as the very best dinosaur there ever was or will be!

Lambeosaurus Bullyland

Anyhow, the first character of this figure that struck me was its large size – it is 25 cm long – bigger than I anticipated. Compared to the prices of the other smaller figures I saw in the shop it seemed good value for money to me. The quadropedal posture is noteworthy because the right hindlimb is positioned entirely off the ground. It still stands stable. The general similarity between this and the Invicta Lambeosaurus invites direct comparison and I wouldn’t be surprised if the older model provided some inspiration for the new one. Both are elegant and graceful figures, with a low-slung neck, arched back, and a dynamism to their posture. An almost dainty appearance for what is, after all, a nine metre-long hulk of an animal.

Lambeosaurus Bullyland

There are no points of articulation in this figure. While articulated jaws aren’t so bad, I was never convinced by the awkward articulated limbs and body parts in some of Bullyland’s other recent figures (e.g. the 2010 Iguanodon) As such, I appreciate the more traditional solid model approach used here. Not that I have anything against action figures, I just think there isn’t much space for (or point in) finding a middle ground.

Lambeosaurus Bullyland

There are three hoof-like digits and a reduced digit V on each hand, which is correct, and there are three large digits on each foot. This is also correct, but in addition there’s an additional tiny digit on the outside of the foot of the Bullyland model, in the position of digit V, which was absent in the living creature (please correct me if I’m wrong!). So, the anatomy isn’t completely without error. The legs also look a little spindly for a multi-ton critter, but who knows.

Lambeosaurus Bullyland

The texture is typically ‘Bullyland’: quite rough-looking and relatively crude, but perfectly acceptable from a distance. Fossil evidence has shown that hadrosaurs were scaly creatures so it works here. The colour of the figure is pleasantly unusual with bold blues and yellows, and a striking blood-red crest. The head crest of Lambeosaurus lambei, the species to which this Bullyland model clearly belongs, with its backwards-facing prong, has always reminded me of a mitten. For this reason I’ll end my review by giving this figure a good old ‘thumbs up’. Good work Bullyland, this is a solid figure and I highly recommend it. More like this, please!

Available soon from Amazon.com

Carnotaurus (World of History by Schleich)


Available on Amazon Here.

If you didn’t know; in the late 60’s a dinosaur renaissance took place, which sparked new ideas and discoveries in paleontology.  Of course, through the 70’s and 80’s, change was slow, most of the public was still being taught that dinosaurs were cold blooded and sluggish.  It was during this time a new, single, well preserved dinosaur skeleton was unearthed in Argentina.  Its name was Carnotaurus! By the late 80’s and early 90’s you had Carnegie toys and Jurassic Park, a new era of Dinosaur fanatics have emerged. Even though T-Rex and Stegosaurs continue to be popular classic dinosaurs, one of the new classic dinosaurs is the Carnotaurus.  It has been a very popular dinosaur in the toy world lately, as for Schleich; it is their second attempt at the Meat-Eating Bull.  So without any further ado, here it is, Schleich 2012 World of History Carnotaurus!!!

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History: The notable points about Carnotaurus, and I’ll keep it brief since, I am sure most of you are aware of this info. Carnotaurus was discovered in Argentina in 1984.  It lived during the Late Cretaceous and most likely fed on small prey animals.  It had a pair of brow horns on its skull, a nearly straight neck, its arms were tinyvestigial forelimbs, and might have been one of the fastest theropods.

Figure: It is made from a soft, pliable plastic that has a soft natural feel to it. The scale is approx 1:35. It is a robust model especially in the head and neck. Carnotaurus is sculpted in a very basic, neutral, standing position.  The head and neck are slightly turned to the side as the rest of the body is straight, and a slight curve in the tail.  It stands up nice and tall on oversized feet with one foot forward.  Down the vertebra column there are row of spikes from the top of the head to the tip of the tail.  From the neck to the base of the tail are a couple lines of scutes along the flanks.  The head has a mouth that can be opened or kept closed, which is good, because most dinosaur toys never shut their mouths; they just roar and roar all day long.  Along the skull there are bumps and ridges.  The teeth are small and are set in a shallow mouth.  The two prominent brow horns are massive; jutting out from the skull.  The head-to-body joint is fairly obvious.  The feet are huge with three long toes and one short toe per foot.  The arms are short with three fingers pointing downward and slightly inward.

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The paint job is nice and for the most part neat.  The coloration is maroon, with a brown front skull, jaw and a tan brown underbelly that snakes around the legs.  The scutes, claws, and horn are white. The teeth are a little sloppy with the white paint but not too bad.  Along the vertebra column there is a darker maroon colorization.  The eye color is blue.  The eye, inside the mouth and nostril, all have a glossy wet sheen.  The skin has a small pebbly texture with skin folds and veins along the neck and torso.  There is even a small hint of a ribcage underneath the skin. The skin texture is quite simply beautiful.

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Scientific Accuracy:  In my opinion; the sculpt was one part Dinosaur the movie, one part cool, and one part real science.  First, this is my nit-pick so bear with me, as an active hunter it is important to be able to see your prey.  This is why many predators have stereoscopic vision, since it allows for depth perception and the ability to judge distances.  When you look at this model straight on, it’s like looking at a shaggy dog, where are the eyes?  How could it possibly see straight ahead?  The eyes are hidden behind all the bumps jutting out from its skin.

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Another area of concern is the arms and feet. The arms are a little too long and missing a digit on its hands.  There should be four fingers, not three. The feet are out of proportion clown feet that are simply massive.  Some people might not notice the feet, or think that at least it stands without tripod pose but it is hard not to notice.

Another pet peeve is why every artist tries to make dinosaurs look like dragons by putting a row of spikes down the back. I have looked at many skeletal reconstructions (on the internet and you can only trust that so far) of Carnotaurus, and I do not believe the vertebrae would be jutting out like that down its back or have scutes that are that long and spiky.

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The head may be a little big but the brow horns technically could be that big over the bone core.  The neck is long and rather flat which would make it accurate.  The skin is pebbly and has dermal scutes which, due to skin impressions from the flank of the only known specimen that was excavated; it is known that its body was covered with small, pebble-like scales with lines of larger scutes, running in rows along the flanks of its body.  So the design team gets a point on that one.

Playability:  This figure rocks as a “toy”.  It is tough, looks menacing, the mouth opens and closes, the skin has real feel to it, this is a cool toy!  The paint job takes a pounding and can stand up to rough house style of play.  It’s worthy of the toy box or anywhere else were dino adventures are played.

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Overall Appraisal:  Due to its color and size I think this model displays very well.  If you are looking for just one Carnotaurus and you compared Schleich version with the current renditions from Papo and Carnegie, the outcome is very clear.  If you want a scientific accurate Carnotaurus for your collection or diorama, go with Carnegie, unless you are recreating a scene from the movie Dinosaur.  If you want a flat out amazing figure, the choice is Papo.  If you feel like shelling out the dough for the sandbox, then go with the Schleich.  Of course why would you choose to just get one model?  My final verdict, it really is a cool dinosaur toy despite its scientific issues.

Available on Amazon Here.

Dilophosaurus (Papo)


Review and Photos by Tyrantqueen

Up for review today is the ‘new for 2014′  Dilophosaurus by Papo, available from Amazon.com . Dilophosaurus was a medium-sized carnivore from the early Jurassic. It was memorably depicted in the Spielberg film “Jurassic Park” as undersized, with a frill and venom spitting like a cobra.

Papo Dilophosaurus

Thankfully, this Dilophosaurus seems to be modelled more on the Sideshow Dinosauria Dilophosaurus pair. Papo has a penchant for basing their models on Jurassic Park designs, but I personally was relieved not to see a frill on this model. The pose is dynamic enough. It is posed mid-stride, with its tail held aloft and the head posed in a “S” curve, with a ferocious look in its eyes. As with all Papo theropods, the mouth can be opened and closed to your liking. The muscles bulge powerfully in the legs, in particular the gastrocnemius. It feels like an active, fast-moving predator, as it should. This is a theropod on the warpath.

Papo Dilophosaurus

The jaws articulate so they can be opened or closed

If you’re a Papo fan, you may recognise the similarity in sculpt to their earlier Allosaurus model. The sculpt does feel similar, but this is most likely due to both models sharing the same sculptor, not because of any mold recycling. It feels a bit like a lost opportunity, as it would have been very good to see something unusual this time around (perhaps they could have gone one step further and even copied the sitting posture of Sideshow’s Dilophosaurus female- sitting theropods are unusual and refreshing to see, especially since we do have a “butt print” of this particular species).

Papo Dilophosaurus

So those are the aspects of the model I do like. What do I dislike about it? First and foremost is the paintwork. I do like the colour scheme they choose for the animal, but it hasn’t been done well. A good paint job can further accentuate the details on a toy, but it seems Papo have dropped the ball a bit here. In the case of my own model, I actually see smudging in places, and areas where the paint has been brushed on too thickly in others. I am not keen on the glossy finish either. I’ve noticed this tend in a few figures lately- the Carnegie Tyrannosaurus rex comes to mind- and I’m not a fan of it.

The skin detail is good enough, with stretching and wrinkling of skin as the muscles move under the skin. It’s a shame that the detail is not as crisp as their older models.

Papo Dilophosaurus

I do like the red eyes, which harken back to the Sideshow sculpt. Another nice touch is the “trademark” twin crests, painted ostensibly in crimson, probably some kind of flush to indicate sexual maturity. There is a wattle along the throat, and several spines along the neck. This individual was probably intended to be a male of the species.

Now I come to two big problems with the sculpt. First off, the hands. They seem accurate enough. Some may complain about the missing fourth digit. It is entirely possibly that the finger was vestigial and lost in the flesh of the hand over time. So, the lack of a fourth finger isn’t necessarily wrong.

The toy has been posed in such a way that the figure needs to utilise the right hand as a third leg. A lot of people don’t like it when this kind of balancing mechanism is used on a toy. The paint on my own toy has actually been rubbed off where it has been leaning against it for support. I did try to repose my own figure with hot water so that it would stand independently, but sadly the plastic seems to have reverted back to the original posture. We have seen from Papo’s earlier Allosaurus that free-standing theropods can be achieved, so it feels like a step backwards here.

Papo Dilophosaurus

Comparison between Papo’s Allosaurus and Dilophosaurus.

Secondly, I’m not so sure if the posture of the tail was entirely possible on a theropod. There was some degree of flexibility to it, but here it feels too lizard-y and whip like. I would have preferred to see the tail stretched out behind the animal and a more horizontal spine. That would have also eradicated the need for the hand as a support.

Another odd aspect of this toy is the crotch area. The “dip” in the middle is strange. Perhaps the creator was trying to indicate the presence of a cloacal opening, but put it in the wrong place?

Papo Dilophosaurus

Overall, I feel as though this model was a missed opportunity. I do like it more than Safari Ltd’s Wild Safari offering, because of the more dynamic posture, but the poor paintwork is off-putting.

Given the level of hype that usually precedes Papo’s creations, hardcore fans will probably feel disappointed that more wasn’t done with the sculpt. Nonetheless, I think people will probably be willing to overlook this because most of Papo’s dinosaurs are usually of a very high quality and a class of their own.

Available on Amazon.com here.