Review and photos by Takama, edited and added to by Plesiosauria.
Well, nobody was expecting this wonderful surprise! After about 20 years of retirement, Battat has decided to re-release their popular collection of dinosaur models, including a lineup of brand new species. This revelation came almost out of the blue, when I happened upon some of these early new releases at a Target store earlier this week. After announcing my discovery on the Dinosaur Toy Forum, Dan (of Dan’s Dinosaurs) was able to confirm the news, and Dan LoRusso (the sculptor) was kind enough shared photos of several of the other designs. It must have been quite a challenge for them to bite their tongues and keep this a secret over the last few months!
There are currently only four models for sale, but all of them are new species for Battat, the new line of which is called Terra. The Terra series is sculpted by Dan LoRusso, who also modelled many of the figures in the original Battat Boston Museum of Science Series. Three of the currently available species have been created by other companies before, while one is unique to the market (to see them all, please refer to the thread dedicated to this new line on the dinotoyforum). One of the new models is the now-popular ceratopsian, Pachyrhinosaurus, made famous by its appearance on the big screen this past winter. It is this figure I’ll review now.
Pachyrhinosaurus has become a popular dinosaur for toy companies, firstly because of its media appearance in Walking with Dinosaurus 3D, but also because of its strange head-gear, which makes it a weirdo for kids to play with. This new figure is based on the species P. lakustai, and when I first saw it, I thought it looked fantastic. The figure is sculpted in 1:40 scale, which makes it compatible with all of the original Battat releases, as well as some older Carnegie models.
LoRusso has clearly done a thorough job researching for this new line, and this figure, in particular, is very accurate. To start with, the feet have the correct number of digits and claws, and the toes are separated as individual digits, rather than stumpy trunk-like feet. In addition, the tail is the right length and the head is the correct shape. I should draw attention to the bony bosses on the nose as these are the most striking feature of this model. P. lakustai is known from numerous skeletons with skulls that possess three bony bosses on the head. These bosses grow bigger as the animal matures, eventually forming one sizeable mass (as seen in this figure).
The body is adorned with a hide of wrinkles and folds, similar to those on some of the older Carnegie Collection models. It lacks the extremely fine scales present in the Papo figure, which might be disappointing to some, but I think the figure is great the way it is. The figure also has other details including a tongue, and a cloacal opening – the latter is a detail other companies have also started paying attention to. Seeing the little opening on the bottom of the figure really adds to the realism, and whenever it’s missing, I get the feeling the creature may be constipated!
The figure is posed in an impressively dynamic stance with the body turning, the back leg raised off the ground, and the nostrils all puffed up, as if ready to charge. In my opinion this makes for a more interesting model then the Papo Pachyrhinosaurus, CollectA version, and Wild Safari version. Comparison with the Walking with Dinosaurus action figure is meaningless because the action figure can be posed in all manner of positions.
Looking at past dinotoyblog reviews of older Battat pieces, all of them show the dinosaur’s name on their belly. For some reason the name of the dinosaur is not included on these newer models. The omission of this detail seems a shame because kids (and adults!) may just throw away the box (which has information about the creature on the back) and not know what the animal is. Of course, if you’re reading this blog, then you will probably recognise the creature without any trouble anyway. You might even decide to leave the figure in the box to raise its collector value in the years to come. The packaging has been nicely designed to show of the figure and includes a scenic background.
Overall this is an amazingly beautiful figure and I can’t wait to see the others in the line! Hopefully, this new Terra series of figures will flourish, which will be great news for collectors. As of right now, the only place to get any of these new items is at Target stores un the US. For a line of authentic dinosaur replicas they are really cheap, especially compared to other lines. According to Dan (of Dan’s Dinosaurs) the line could see a wider release in the future, meaning that if you don’t have a Target near you, then you can probably get them somewhere else online for a fair price. They will no doubt also turn up on Ebay soon, though I can’t promise the price there will be fair! We will, no doubt, review the rest of the series, one by one, in due course.