Parasaurolophus (skeleton) (Dino Horizons by COG Ltd)

Now here’s a company whose products have yet to experience the nerdy scrutiny of the Dinosaur Toy Blog. COG Ltd, manufacturers of educational toys, produce a line of dinosaur-themed gubbins named ‘Dino Horizons‘ (beware: site contains horribly inaccurate life restorations and the phrase “T-Rex”. And loads of Flash). For whatever reason the company produces very few flesh-on figures among its plethora of unlikely prehistory-themed products, but does churn out an awful lot of skeletal models – which brings us to this snap-together Parasaurolophus.

First impressions are good, especially as this is an inexpensive item. I obtained mine in the Natural History Museum, London, for £6 (just under 10 USD), and the museum is hardly the cheapest place to buy, well, anything (£2.50 bottle of sparkling orange drink, anyone?). The skeleton is sold in a plastic ‘test tube’ and fits together easily, with the limbs able to rotate and the head on a ball-and-socket joint, which allows for a small variety of poses. The jaw is also articulated. The quadrupedal pose, with the tail kept straight and elevated behind the animal, is pleasingly modern and indicates that the sculptor did some research, which can only be considered a Good Thing given the educational remit of the toys.

Unfortunately, while everything is basically in proportion, the skeleton overall better resembles a hadrosaurine – like Edmontosaurus – than the real Parasaurolophus walkeri, which had notably taller neural spines and a shorter tail than portrayed here. The leg bones could also do with being somewhat more robust, and the scapulae are positioned too low (there’s also a load of bones missing around there, but we’ll excuse that on the basis that museum mounts are often incomplete too).

Still, all these complaints seem a little unreasonable when one considers the cheap ‘n’ cheerful nature of the product. While somewhat flawed, it makes for a decent enough model to display alongside similarly-sized Parasaurolophus figures – the Schleich and Battat, if you are lucky enough to own one (SWINE!), would make good partners. This is also by far the best of an otherwise rather bad lot of skeletons in the range, which also includes a giant-armed Tyrannosaurus, a giant-headed Stegosaurus and a Veloci-wrong-o-raptor. A rose among the rather slapdash thorns, if you will.

Overall, I often run out of things to say about skeletons really quite like it, mostly because it’s quite rare to come across decent-ish dino skeleton models at a price within reach for the common borderline alcoholic humanities student. And as an ignorant humanities student, I am quite happy to put up with its flaws. Bravo, COG – a model that makes the Toyway-stuffed nightmare that is the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur gift shop worth a visit.

Available on eBay here

7 Responses to Parasaurolophus (skeleton) (Dino Horizons by COG Ltd)

  1. I have one and I think it’s a great purchase for the money, and I also like the little diagram on the back of the tube (even though it’s all a bit simple, information wise). It’s a good portrayal in my opinion, and reminds me of the Schleich model a lot. It’s almost as if it’s the skeleton of that exact model!

  2. Es uno de los mejores esqueletos de dinosaurio que he visto

  3. Ah, now I see the significance of your last ‘tart’ paragraph…

  4. Grat review Marc. I’m surprised you managed five short paragraphs on a skeleton, as I’d certainly have run out of things to say by paragraph two. And also, I am one such swine 🙂

  5. Marc (Horridus)

    “My basic hypothesis is this: the people who run the media are humanities graduates with little understanding of science, who wear their ignorance as a badge of honour. Secretly, deep down, perhaps they resent the fact that they have denied themselves access to the most significant developments in the history of Western thought from the past two hundred years; but there is an attack implicit in all media coverage of science: in their choice of stories, and the way they cover them, the media portray a parody of science.” – Ben Goldacre, Bad Science (p. 224-225)

    Bloody good book that.

  6. Indeed: “Hacks, quacks, uncomfortable facts”

  7. Ah, yes, I was expecting this one. 😉 Great review, as ever; although do I detect more than usual tartness of tone towards the end? 😀

    I’m also intrigued by what the skeleton is standing on in the last picture (I know I’m not supposed to pay attention to it, but…).

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