Gallimimus and ornithomimosauria in general are poorly represented in the world of dinosaur models and toys. Recently CollectA fixed this with their outstanding figure of Deinocheirus but Deinocheirus is only known from scant remains and while it is a marvelous example of the group we could still use more figures of the better known genera. Despite some fame generated from Jurassic Park the ornithomimosauria in general just doesn’t get much attention. They aren’t very big (save for Deinocheirus) or scary or exciting looking. No flashy frills or spikes or plates. Indeed they look very much like ostriches and are commonly known as the “ostrich dinosaurs.” Still they exemplify in my mind what dinosaurian elegance truly is and their simplicity only adds to that. Watching Jurassic Park for the millionth time last night I was once again left in awe at the scene where the flock of Gallimimus “flocks this way” but I digress…this is a review for a toy after all and I better keep on track. That toy by the way is the 2001 Jasman Gallimimus, in case you hadn’t figured that out already.
Jasman’s various lines of dinosaurs are generally poor in quality, by the definition of most collectors they are simply “Chinasaurs” (mass produced cheap toys) but a few of those by Jasman are pretty good and worth checking out. The Gallimimus is among them, especially given the rarity of “ostrich dinosaurs” in the dinosaur-toy-world. I knew when I first saw one that I would at some point need one in my collection and given its large size my recently acquired specimen towers over my theropod collection; perhaps it could be a Deinocheirus stand-in? At least until I get the CollectA model I suppose. This hunk of hollow vinyl measures 17” from nose to tail and stands 10” tall from the ground to the top of its head, it must be the largest ornithomimosaur produced by any company. A seam is present but since it moves down the length of the animal it is barely noticeable, unlike the large toys produced by Safari’s Great Dinos collection where the seam runs right around the mid-section.
It does have its faults but, hey, it is a toy after all, and from a company in a much different league than say Papo or any museum line. The hands are pronated, a common mistake and the figure stands in the often undesired tripod stance with the tail supporting it but it is no tail dragger. The model looks like a creature of strength and speed. Muscles are sculpted on the flexed legs with only the tips of the toes making contact with the ground; the figure looks like it is about to spring forward and dash away from some unseen predator, and with little effort. The proportions all seem correct, at least to my untrained paleontological eye. The beak may be a little short on length. The fingers and claws are also on the blunt side but that is to be expected from a child’s toy (and this certainly is that).
Where color is concerned the figure is a unique dark turquoise with a cream underbelly. It is a fairly appropriate color choice for an animal that is thought to have lived in moist environments; most of the few ornithomimid toys are (or were) reproduced in various shades of light brown or yellow. In texture and detail however this toy is lacking and shows that is was made on the cheap. No scales are present anywhere, only some wrinkles on the skin. Oddly enough however skin impression do exist for the related Pelecanimimus that show no scales or feathers and only wrinkly skin so perhaps Jasman has inadvertently made a more accurate figure than it set out? Unlikely, given its position in coelurosauria the Gallimimus almost certainly had feathers on at least some part of its body. The eyes are red and a white tongue is present in the open beak. The claws are the same color as the bulk of the body.
Though not as high quality as some of the other dinosaur lines out there, where ornithomimid toys are concerned one really cannot be too picky and honestly this Gallimimus by Jasman isn’t bad for a cheaply made toy over a decade old. Its relative accuracy, dynamic posture, large size and unique color scheme all give it positive marks. I don’t know if it is still in production but it shows up in lots on eBay from time-to-time. Though it may prove difficult to find, it should prove cheaper than the Kenner, AAA or Battat Gallimimus. If like me you’re a fan of this underrated group of dinosaurs the Jasman Gallimimus represents one of the more accessible examples of the group and genus in particular and is worth seeking out.