Review and photos by Tyrantqueen, edited by Plesiosauria.
Up for review today is the ‘new for 2014’ Dilophosaurus by Papo, available from Amazon.com . Dilophosaurus was a medium-sized carnivore from the early Jurassic. It was memorably depicted in the Spielberg film “Jurassic Park” as undersized, with a frill and venom spitting like a cobra.
Thankfully, this Dilophosaurus seems to be modelled more on the Sideshow Dinosauria Dilophosaurus pair. Papo has a penchant for basing their models on Jurassic Park designs, but I personally was relieved not to see a frill on this model. The pose is dynamic enough. It is posed mid-stride, with its tail held aloft and the head posed in a “S” curve, with a ferocious look in its eyes. As with all Papo theropods, the mouth can be opened and closed to your liking. The muscles bulge powerfully in the legs, in particular the gastrocnemius. It feels like an active, fast-moving predator, as it should. This is a theropod on the warpath.
If you’re a Papo fan, you may recognise the similarity in sculpt to their earlier Allosaurus model. The sculpt does feel similar, but this is most likely due to both models sharing the same sculptor, not because of any mold recycling. It feels a bit like a lost opportunity, as it would have been very good to see something unusual this time around (perhaps they could have gone one step further and even copied the sitting posture of Sideshow’s Dilophosaurus female- sitting theropods are unusual and refreshing to see, especially since we do have a “butt print” of this particular species).
So those are the aspects of the model I do like. What do I dislike about it? First and foremost is the paintwork. I do like the colour scheme they choose for the animal, but it hasn’t been done well. A good paint job can further accentuate the details on a toy, but it seems Papo have dropped the ball a bit here. In the case of my own model, I actually see smudging in places, and areas where the paint has been brushed on too thickly in others. I am not keen on the glossy finish either. I’ve noticed this tend in a few figures lately- the Carnegie Tyrannosaurus rex comes to mind- and I’m not a fan of it.
The skin detail is good enough, with stretching and wrinkling of skin as the muscles move under the skin. It’s a shame that the detail is not as crisp as their older models.
I do like the red eyes, which harken back to the Sideshow sculpt. Another nice touch is the “trademark” twin crests, painted ostensibly in crimson, probably some kind of flush to indicate sexual maturity. There is a wattle along the throat, and several spines along the neck. This individual was probably intended to be a male of the species.
Now I come to two big problems with the sculpt. First off, the hands. They seem accurate enough. Some may complain about the missing fourth digit. It is entirely possibly that the finger was vestigial and lost in the flesh of the hand over time. So, the lack of a fourth finger isn’t necessarily wrong.
The toy has been posed in such a way that the figure needs to utilise the right hand as a third leg. A lot of people don’t like it when this kind of balancing mechanism is used on a toy. The paint on my own toy has actually been rubbed off where it has been leaning against it for support. I did try to repose my own figure with hot water so that it would stand independently, but sadly the plastic seems to have reverted back to the original posture. We have seen from Papo’s earlier Allosaurus that free-standing theropods can be achieved, so it feels like a step backwards here.
Secondly, I’m not so sure if the posture of the tail was entirely possible on a theropod. There was some degree of flexibility to it, but here it feels too lizard-y and whip like. I would have preferred to see the tail stretched out behind the animal and a more horizontal spine. That would have also eradicated the need for the hand as a support.
Another odd aspect of this toy is the crotch area. The “dip” in the middle is strange. Perhaps the creator was trying to indicate the presence of a cloacal opening, but put it in the wrong place?
Overall, I feel as though this model was a missed opportunity. I do like it more than Safari Ltd’s Wild Safari offering, because of the more dynamic posture, but the poor paintwork is off-putting.
Given the level of hype that usually precedes Papo’s creations, hardcore fans will probably feel disappointed that more wasn’t done with the sculpt. Nonetheless, I think people will probably be willing to overlook this because most of Papo’s dinosaurs are usually of a very high quality and a class of their own.
Available on Amazon.com here.