Yangchuanosaurus is sorely underrepresented as a dinosaur toy so I’m glad Safari Ltd decided to make one as part of their Dinosaurs of China line (and moreover, make it good!) Yangchuanosaurus was a large theropod from the Late Jurassic of China – the T. rex of it’s time – and lived alongside other contemporary Chinese dinosaurs such as Sinraptor and the behemoth sauropod Mamenchisaurus.
The sculpt is very nice and its obvious that attention has been given to the texture: this guy scales all over his body. His legs aren’t deathly thin like some of Safari Ltd’s Carnegie replicas and they look beautiful. The head is well done, I love the nostrils and the thick ridges going down the snout. It also has noticeable external ears. Unlike many other Safari dinosaurs, this Yangchuanosaurus isn’t covered in wrinkles; the only wrinkles visible are behind the right side of the head. The pose is creative and makes a welcome change. It is actually in a natural pose, not so much “RAWR look at me I’m a dinosaur!”. It looks to be wiping it’s mouth off after taking a drink from a nice prehistoric stream.
This is one of the handful of Safari theropods that actually has its mouth closed and it looks great. At first glance, the arms seem to be of two different lengths, but when you measure them out, they are really equal. As with the the other dinosaurs of China fugures, this Yangchuanosaurus was distributed in a box together with a special display stand featuring the skeleton of the animal. Although this is rather crudely sculpted, it makes for an eye-catching display.
As with any dinosaur sculpt, this replica has its faults. The left side of the head has more teeth than the right side, and the tail is particularly thin. There is also the absence of a dew claw on each foot.
The paint job on this figure is very nice too, and it fits the sculpt well. It is mostly a (slightly greenish) brown all over, and it is slightly more green on the head than other places on the body. The eyes are a fierce forest green with circular black pupils, and to give the illusion of sunlight hitting the eyes, there is a little white dot above each pupil. Fading black bands adorn this beast’s flanks. The ribcages are highlighted in a bright orange yellow color. The claws, unfortunately, are unpainted, and at first glance they look like part of the digits themselves. Oddly, the line of the mouth is highlighted in black– This is the only Safari theropod figure that I can think of that has this feature. This figure is about 8 inches long.
Overall, the ‘Dinosaurs of China’ Yangchuanosaurus is a worthwhile figure – I rate it 9/10. However, since he has a very non-hunting pose with a closed mouth and docile look, he probably didn’t go over so well with children, which may explain why he was discontinued. If you can find him you better get him soon because I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes highly sought after.
Edit – this post was updated by ‘Plesiosauria’ on 2/9/2012