On November 8, 2012, Sideshow offered the first preview image of the Dilophosaurus statue. This choice of species does not come as a great surprise to many of us, as we all know that this creature was featured prominently in a rather successful film in 1993. Sideshow’s Dinosauria line first set out to demonstrate the great profitability of dinosaurs without a major franchise backing them, perhaps making Dilophosaurus all the more an expected choice.
Many manufacturers have since capitalized on this species, and some have done a pretty good job of it. One of the great benefits of the original line is that it can freely pursue contemporary, scientifically sound reconstructions of these animals, rather than perpetuate the often fictionalized “cinematic” interpretations.
Paleoartist Jorge Blanco has, as always, stuck closely with the science for his sculpt. The skull bears the correct maxillary notch, the long neck is free of any frill, and the hands are not held like a Sterling Cooper typist. Particularly noteworthy is the posture of the animals. Instead of the endless combat that theropods seem to engage in, these animals appear to enjoy a moment of domestic bliss. The male is recognizable by his enlarged nasolacrimal crests, which are highlighted in blue, much like the Tupuxuara. He strolls past the female, who sits in supplication nearby. This is perhaps the boldest feature of the diorama, and was likely inspired by a recent fossil find that is attributed to a “sitting” Dilophosaurus.
The female’s crest is smaller, as are her neck spines. At the time this review was written, this sexual dimorphism was not demonstrated with fossil evidence, but it remains appropriate as an artistic choice. I am especially fond of the way the two characters’ tails “frame” one another, as visible from a rear angle. This tail curling is common in these models, perhaps also for the practical purpose of reducing their fragility.
The details preserved from the original sculpt appear to be quite strong. No area looks”softened” in this respect, right down to the leathery avian feet. The paint application does not deviate far from the original of Steve Riojas. Interestingly, it looks very similar to the pink and grey of the Dinosauria Allosaurus; perhaps Steve really likes this color pairing on theropods. The male does have a stronger reddish flush, however. The eyes have been painted in Sideshow’s favorite “carnivore red”, though at least they shine in a more lifelike manner.
Time will tell if collectors find this piece to their liking. Although the popularity of Dilophosaurus is reasonable, this placid pair might prove to be too dull for the casual crowd. This might be acceptable though, since more of the dedicated enthusiasts would be likely to approach a piece at this price range anyway. I do hope the manufacturer continues to take risks with scenes like this. It’s the dinosaur everyone has seen before, but in an entirely new light.
Back in 2010, when Sideshow asked me for some dinosaur designs, I thought about some mating scenes. I didn’t want to show the couple almost ready to give birth. Instead, I was more interested in showing the very first steps of the courtship – an adult male with some battles on his back, and the female impressed by his self confidence. I’ve read some works about the special ways the Dilophosaurs sat, but I wasn’t totally sure, so I talked to the Sideshow Team in order to justify the classical seating position the sculpture finally adopted. And, to help me decide about this, I observed some contemporary big birds from Argentina (Ñandúes, a sort of small ostriches) and everything became quite clear to me since then.
Available to order from Dan’s Dinosaurs here.