Following their excellent Therizinosaurus, Deinocheirus and Triceratops carcass, 2012 was really starting to look like CollectA’s year – a number of superb models and a distinct lack of genuine stinkers. Sadly, this model looks set to break that good run, and even more unfortunate is that it’s yet another dodgy T. rex. Like the world needed any more of those…
Don’t get me wrong – as far as T. rex toys go this is a long way from being among the worst out there, and actually incorporates a few very nice ideas. Above all else, it’s clear that someone really tried to get it right when they were sculpting this, rather than just lazily slapping together some silly Jurassic Park extend-o-arms with a boxy head and having it all stand in a boring, tripodal position. The proportions are basically right (with some important exceptions, but I’m getting to that), the arms are suitably short and face the right way (halle-bloody-lujah!), the tail is aloft and the animal is portrayed as a big, bulky, beefy beast.
The inclusion of prey is a nice touch, too, and prevents this from being Yet Another T. rex Toy. In fact, I’m sure a lot of collectors will be unable to resist picking this figure up simply because of this novel feature – I count myself guilty. Although the Struthiomimus is tiny and as such not terribly detailed, it’s possible to discern a fuzzy covering and that its hands, too, are facing the right way. Unfortunately, it also draws rather unwanted attention to the head.
Simply put, it’s not very good. The teeth are rather small, blunted and uniform, while certain jaw muscles seem to be missing. Even worse, the back of the skull narrows towards the top so that, although the animal’s eyes face forwards, they are also ridiculously close together, and the space where the temporal fenestrae would be in the top of the skull is squeezed into non-existence. ‘Derpy’ is perhaps the correct, if rather understated, term. Elsewhere, while it’s commendable that Collecta have managed to avoid the dreaded tripod trope and also avoid giving the toy clownish outsized feet, the weirdly splayed, crouched, highly flexed posture is uncomfortable-looking and not at all attractive. This is especially the case when the ankles have warped, which they have a tendency to.
In the end it’s all a real shame. Collecta were clearly aiming in the right direction with this model, and it’s crisply detailed and well-painted to boot. Given how badly the head has been fudged, though, this isn’t really a figure that I can honestly recommend. Still, given the rapid evolution of their figures I am hopeful that Collecta can learn from what went wrong – and right – with this figure, and apply the lessons to their future figures of giganto-theropods.