Normally the choice for dinosaur figure collectors is a simple one – it’s either small, perhaps not-so-accurate but cheap plastic figures, or large, stunningly detailed resin statues that will make your PayPal account beg for mercy. However, here we have a compromise – a fairly large model (similar in size to the JP ‘Thrasher’ T. rex), with gorgeous detailing, that you can pick up on the cheap. All together now: SEEEE-GAAAA!
The reason that this model is so cheap (I got mine for 10 Euros, whatever they are, plus p&p) is that it’s made from PVC and entirely hollow. It comes in 3 parts – the body, the tail, and the base, with the tail fitting tightly into the body and the feet slotting into pegs on the base, allowing it to stand. The animal is posed taking a long stride, turning its head to the left and slightly upwards and, presumably, roaring. Gaping theropods might be one of the worst dinosaur model clichés of all, but in this case the showy pose makes a real impression on the viewer.
The fine detailing present here is quite spectacular – especially when compared with other similarly-priced figures. Skin folds and bulging muscles are expertly placed, instilling a sense of fluid motion and making this giant animal appear very graceful indeed. If I were to be nitpicky then I’d say that the neck and possibly forelimbs may be a little scrawny, but that’s not much of a criticism. It’s hard to think of many other Tyrannosaurus sculpts that are much better than this one, except some that are several times the price (and another more recent one churned out by Sega!).
If there’s one aspect of this figure that’s a bit of a let down, it’s the paint job. It’s mostly OK – a rather bland grey with darker grey stripes and ivory-coloured claws (a pleasing change from black!) – but some of the finer details on the head, notably the teeth, have been fudged a little bit. This is all the more surprising given how well the eyes have been done. They may appear to be all-black, with the nice touch of a black stripe running through them, but close inspection reveals tiny pupils that are ever-so-slightly darker than the iris. That the eyes themselves are so small is definitely commendable, as a lot of Tyrannosaurus models seem to give the animal eyes that are much too large relative to the size of the orbit. It’s worth noting that this is the latest, but not only paint job this sculpt was given, and that the other versions (including one seemingly inspired by the King Kong “V. rex”) are probably superior – although I’ve only seen photos.
Yes, you get the odd rather visible join, and you have to be willing to put up with a base, but really I couldn’t recommend this model enough. Once again Japanese toy makers have shown us all how it’s done.