This year’s really all about Tyrannosaurus as far as Papo are concerned, with two brand new sculpts and a repaint/refinement of their original Jurassic Park knock-off. Sure, there’s also that tantalising brachiosaur, but that’s not out yet – and I think we’ll all agree that we’re better off pretending that any disastrous attempts at marine reptiles didn’t happen. So, having already looked at the new ‘big daddy’ T. rex of the line, it’s time to bring on the baby!
This is the first juvenile dinosaur Papo have produced (no matter what they might claim about that Pachycephalosaurus), and it’s very obvious that they’ve decided to capitalise on the cute factor. There are no feathers (of course – it’s Papo), but the animal is depicted in an upright, begging posture and has a rounded little face, complete with huge yellow eyes with wide pupils. It reminds me of nothing more than a cat begging for tidbits at the table.
As such, it’s pretty hard to resist, particularly as it packs the typical Papo attention to detail. It’s hard to tell if the sculpt is based directly on the baby T. rex that appeared in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, or if the sculptor simply based it on Papo’s own JP-aping designs. Whatever the case, it’s a crisply detailed, flawlessly painted figure that fits in perfectly with the rest of the Papo T. rex family, even if not in terms of scale. It even has a tiny articulated jaw (although getting it open more than a little bit requires a little…forcing), revealing a textured tongue inside the mouth.
So it’s certainly aesthetically pleasing, not to mention quite adorable, and it’s tempting to pat it on the head, feed it some chicken scraps and send it skipping on its merry way. However, we here at the Dinosaur Toy Blog are renowned for being cruel, cold-hearted curmudgeons, and it would be amiss to give this toy a free pass without looking at the anatomy. While it has been correctly pointed out that hatchling tyrannosaurs are something of an unknown quantity, young juveniles aren’t, and the reality doesn’t quite square with what we have here. If it were a little more scientifically honest this figure would, quite literally, have a very different face – while the snub-nosed appearance adds a lot of charm, young tyrannosaurs actually had shallower snouts than the adults, while their legs may have been even longer than this figure indicates. Oh, and the arms are broken too, but you knew that.
Still, pointing out such flaws in a Papo figure always seems a little moot – that’s not what they’re here for, and Papo do not claim to be trying to educate anybody. The fact is, you’re going to buy one anyway – either this or the brown version (although I prefer green) – because LOOK AT HIS FACE D’AWWW! And hey, as (almost) always, it’s a well-made toy.