One of my favourite activities as a child was seeing the dinosaur skeletons at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario. And my favourite one was the Daspletosaurus, due to the fact that it so closely resembled Tyrannosaurus rex.
Tyrannosaurs and other theropods were likely similar to modern carnivores in that they spent much of their time not hunting and fighting and killing, but resting peacefully. To that end, CollectA’s Daspletosaurus is sculpted in a sitting pose. The head is raised and looking around and the tip of the tail is flicking. Perhaps this individual has just awoken after a relaxing siesta. I rather like this pose because it’s unusual and adds some welcome variety to my theropod collection. There’s no question, however, that it limits playability. Younger dino fans in particular may be turned off by it.
In terms of scientific accuracy, this figure is fairly decent. The head is appropriately large and has the right profile for Daspletosaurus. The tiny forelimbs are sculpted correctly and worry not, they’re made of soft, bendy plastic to prevent breakage. The hind limbs also look to be of proper proportion, although it’s harder to tell when they’re bunched up that way. The tail is flicking perhaps a bit too flexibly for a theropod, but it’s nowhere near as big an offender as say, the Papo Dilophosaurus. There are no feathers to speak of, but that’s still an area of speculation, so we can forgive that. The dentition, however, is another story. More on that to come.
The Daspletosaurus measures about 15 cm long. Its skin is pebbly in texture with a row of tiny plates running down the length of the spine. The main colour is standard green with dark green spots and stripes, a yellowish underbelly, red airbrushing along the spine, a red and dark blue head with white stripes, white and black eyes, pink mouth interior, white teeth, and brown claws. Oh, and there’s a little brown patch on the cloaca. Keeping it realistic.
I have a couple of gripes with this figure. First, the odd patterns on the head. I’m assuming the artist was striving for something unique, but it looks like the Daspletosaurus is wearing UK-themed face paint. An avid World Cup fan perhaps? And second, the teeth are far too small and not even sharp. They resemble those of an herbivore, not an apex predator. As a result, this poor tyrannosaur comes off more like a farcical lizard than a frightful one. It’s more the pity given that Daspletosaurus is not well represented in the world of dinosaur figures, models, and toys. Indeed, the only other one I’ve come across is from the adorable Dinosaur Train series.
CollectA’s Daspletosaurus isn’t anywhere near as flawed as some of their earliest figures, but nor is it one of their more recent triumphs. No, I’m afraid the best rating I can give this figure is “okay.”
Available from Amazon.com here.