Review and photos by Dan Liebman of Dan’s Dinosaurs
The Dinostoreus “Desktop” Allosaurus model has a generous heft to it, both in physical weight and price – as of the time this review was written, she typically sells for at least $70 before shipping. Given the price tag, it would only be fair to ask: is it worth it?
As far as polyresin prehistoric predators go, the Dinostoreus Allosaurus is pretty impressive. The earthy base keeps the body sturdily postured on two feet, tail balanced nicely in the air, head shifted slightly to the side. The one adjective I would use to describe this sculpt would be “mature”. This is clearly not some child’s plaything. You won’t find it in a cereal box; in fact, you’ll be lucky to even find one in a museum gift shop. Instead of the ubiquitous roaring pose with gaping jaws so often seen in theropod media, this Allosaurus keeps her jaws tightly shut. Thought clearly in mid-stride, she is not sprinting. Though she looks very much alive, she does not appear to be hunting. She simply… is.
And really, why is that such a bad thing? As a friend of mine once pointed out, the poor fellows “need to close their mouths sometimes”. The simple truth is that these animals probably did have their jaws shut most of the time. If you strolled up to one in its natural environment, this is exactly how you would expect it to look. Strolling along, in a relatively neutral stance. Some people may find this turns them off, given the considerable price. Others may feel she makes for an outstanding collector’s piece, easily elegant enough for display in the office.
The foot-long body is extremely hard, and it stands firmly upon the separate wooden base. The base also enhances the tasteful qualities of the sculpture, having an attractive color and golden identification tag on its display side. Viewed at a glance, it looks less like a replica and more like a miniature Allosaurus. The relatively relaxed posture, unhurried gait, and glossy eyes all contribute to a very pleasant piece that is both striking and soothing at the same time.
The body appears to be dry brushed in many areas, by hand, which brings out the pebbled surface of the animal’s skin. The lacrimal crests above the eyes have also been highlighted in crimson, following the conventional “display” hypothesis. While forelimb posture in theropods is regularly debated among paleontologists, the black-clawed arms of this Allosaurus are impressively sharp. Naturally, handling the piece should be done with care, particularly when young children are around.
The only real problem with this sculpture is that the dry brushing appears rather rough in some spots. The natural hues are very conservative and fitting for an ambush predator, yet it seems like the original sculpture was given far more attention than the paint job. This discrepancy becomes problematic when one considers the cost of the item. Few people would consider this Allosaur to be four times as impressive as the Papo Allosaurus, despite being four times the cost. Even so, the paint problems become less noticeable if the sculpture is kept a few feet away from the viewer. It remains one of the most pleasing pieces available for the refined theropod enthusiast.