Review and photos by Nathan Morris (‘Takama’)
It’s a well-known fact that CollectA’s prehistoric animal figures vary in quality. Some of them are good and incorporate current palaeontological knowledge, while others are poorly sculpted and sacrifice accuracy. The subject of today’s review belongs to the latter group, but to be fair, the toy was released when CollectA was just venturing into the dinosaur toy business in 2007. The figure is supposed to represent Dilophosaurus, a 20 foot long Early Jurassic theropod notable for two thin crests on top of its skull and a distinctive notch in its jaw-line. However, CollectA’s effort bares almost no resemblance to the real animal. It takes on a cartoonish persona instead, which might appeal more to little kids instead of collectors.
Reviewing this figure and pointing out its flaws is a piece of cake, you will immediately see that this Dilophosaurus is in an outdated tripod position, but then you might also notice that its tail doesn’t actually touch the ground – it is able to stand on its own two feet. This makes the tripod position redundant as it could have been sculpted in a more accurate horizontal position like CollectA’s Eustreptospondylus and standard sized Neovenator (even though they were both bad sculpts as well). The rest of the body also has many flaws. Dilophosaurus was a long slender animal, but this figure is a pot-bellied, short-tailed abomination. And while it has a fat belly, the ankles appear too thin to support its weight if this creature were real. In general appearance the whole body has detailed wrinkles and folds of skin, a common feature of generic dinosaurs in the toy market. The arms should be shorter but at least the hands have the right number of fingers. On the head the bottom jaw is crudely sculpted and dislocated, while its teeth are blunt and pebble-like when they should be sharp and pointed. It also lacks the aforementioned notch in the jaw, so the only character that really distinguishes it from other generic theropod figures is the pair of iconic crests on top of its head.
The colours on this figure work fine in my opinion. A line of black is painted along the back of the figure, while the rest of the body is a dark blue-green with bands of lime green running down the flanks. The hand claws are just little black spots dotted on the edges of the fingers. The head crests are orange and the mouth is sparkling clean with pink gums and a raspberry tongue, when it should probably be rotten and dull from eating all those Anchisaurus.
So that’s it, in terms of accuracy this model is among the worst in CollectA’s ever-growing line of prehistoric figures. But accurate or not, I see this as a happy little fellow to be played with by a happy little child, although I can’t recommend it to anyone who only accepts the most accurate models into their collection. If you’re one of those people, then Safari’s awesome rendition of this genus might be up your street. I bought this figure because I’m a sucker for Dilophosaurus and CollectA’s expanding collection of prehistoric animals. And remember, it could have been worse – at least it lacks a retractable frill! Always available on eBay here.