History: Ah the Triassic, a vastly important but overlooked period of time that occurred before the Jurassic. The Triassic began in the wake of the massive die off and it would take 30 million years for life to recover. Strange and magnificent beasts emerged from the dust and battled for control of Pangaea. By the late Triassic, approximately 210 million years ago, an interesting theropod dinosaur came along named Liliensternus.
Liliensternus was one of the first large, predatory dinosaurs, it was bipedal, and was approximately 5.15 m (17ft) long. It is similar to its relatives Coelophysis and Dilophosaurus, which may or may not have had a crest similar to that of Dilophosaurus.
About the toy: The 2011 CollectA Liliensternus has a crest and balances well on two legs. The head, neck, body, and tail are very stiff and straight with a slight bend in its tail. The head looking straight ahead and is being held vertically on its long neck much like a chicken or old Brachiosaurus toys. The arms are pronated and held close to the body with five digits apiece. The tail is more than half the body in length and is very stiff. The legs are thin but muscular with three digits on each foot and with dewclaws on the inside.
The texture on this model has small pebbly skin with lots and lots of skin folds all across the body, neck, and tail. There is a small ridge running the full length of its vertebra. The skull is narrow with a lot of small sharp teeth. Along the middle of the skull is a single thin crest. The lower temporal fenestra is big and triangle shaped. The head shows lots of detail with a pink tongue and mouth, white fenestra, red crest, and glossy white eyes with black pupils. The head and the body is colored olive with dark green blotches, which would be good camouflage in the swampy or low lying areas where it would have hunted. On the underside it is colored whitish grey, which is also dry brushed across its body.
Scientific accuracy: The basics are covered on the model. It has a long neck, a long tail and long hind legs. The front limbs have five digits with the fourth and fifth digits reduced. There is a crest, which is speculative, but as it is possible, I see nothing wrong with adding it. The pronation of the arms on the other hand is a definite negative.
Playability: It is ok, but it has no outstanding features to really set it apart from other theropods or predator toys. The paint job on this toy is quite robust and will stand up to some rough play. There are no sharp edges on this toy.
Overall appraisal: There are many good things about this toy, the colors, texture; even the anatomy is well done; other than the arm pronation. The main problem I have is the overall pose of this Triassic predator. It is depicted with the head being held high on a stiff neck, with pronated arms which makes the Liliensternus look like it is about to do a chicken dance. Which is fine (sometimes) at a birthday, wedding, or anniversary, not sitting on a shelf or desk at home. I guess it could be working out in a home gym doing chin ups, but the pose really looks bad to me, which is a shame since so many of the other parts seem to have been done right.
It is a rare Triassic dinosaur that has only been done by Bullyland so that is a reason to grab this guy. I would recommend this toy if you do not have a problem with the pose. I would also highly recommend it if you are doing a Triassic dance off diorama, complete with disco ball, laser lights, and a fog machine. If not, then I would pass on this toy.
Available from Amazon.com