Review and photos by Takama, edited by Plesiosauria.
It is a special day for Geoworld because today is the first time one of their products will be reviewed on the Dinosaur Toy Blog! Geoworld, for those who don’t already know, is an Italian company started by (self-proclaimed ?)* paleontologist Dr. Stefano Piccini (AKA Dr Steve hunters) with the mission of getting kids excited about the world of geology and paleontology via authentic paleontologist products. . Their most extensive Geoworld line is called Jurassic Hunters and features a wide variety of prehistoric species to collect. Each figure in the line is packed inside a resealable bag along with a card detailing scientific information related to the creature. In addition to the card there’s also a binder (that must be bought separately) in which the cards can be catalogued, resulting in an encyclopaedia of dinosaurs. The company claims that all their products are paleontologist-approved and treats the figures though they are scientific replicas. The only problem is that most of the figures are, in reality, plagued by anatomical errors that make them anything but museum quality. Many members on the Dinosaur Toy Forum scrutinise them for this, and while it is true that some of the models are not very good, there are a few that show that the company is, at least, trying.
The figure I’ll be looking at today is the Jurassic Hunters version of the infamous Velociraptor. This Velociraptor is one of the examples, in my opinion, that show how the company is attempting to make accurate models. Firstly, the toy is well proportioned and the whole body is textured to appear covered in feathers. Another good point is that the hands are in the correct position with palms facing each other – supinated and not pronated. In addition, the figure is attached to a plastic base so it stands on its own two feet allowing the tail (which is nice and stiff) to point upwards in a realistic fashion.
Really, the only problem with this figure is that there’s no feathers on the hands, and instead of large feathers, there are just little tufts on the arms. The colors on this figure are bright but simple. The majority of the body is orange and there are red lines on the legs and arms, and brown lines that hug the backside and adorn the fluffy crest feathers on its head. The teeth are painted crudely in a basic white while the tongue is red with black on top. As a side note, this figure was repainted once and the one I have is the second version. The original colour version is hard to describe so I will let its picture do the talking!
Despite the accurate model there are some issues with the information provided on the card. Velociraptor was discovered in the 1920s during an expedition by the American Museum of Natural History to the Gobi Desert – not during a Polish expedition in 1971. To be fair, there really was a Polish expedition in 1971 that discovered a complete Velociraptor locked in battle with a Protoceratops, which explains the mix up, and the false information may be the result of poor translations.
Overall, this is a good figure, recognisable as Velociraptor, and shows that Geoworld does sometimes succeed in making accurate dinosaur toys. Recommend!
*I added “self-proclaimed ?” because a quick search on google scholar didn’t reveal any actual research publications under this name, and I wasn’t able to verify Dr Piccini’s credentials. As a palaeontologist myself, and since Geoworld is “palaeontologist approved”, I think this is important to clarify, because anyone can put on a fedora and call themselves doctor. As such, I’m genuinely unsure if this is all just marketing fluff or not. If anyone can clarify one way or another, please do respond in the comments below, and I will update this post accordingly – Ed