Another staple of the Chap Mei prehistoric line is that famous, finned, and fearsome fish-eater from Early Cretaceous Africa, Spinosaurus!
This version of the spined lizard measures a good 28 cm long and stands about 16 cm tall at the sail. It is posed in the classic theropod stance with the mouth open wide, the arms flailing, one foot in front of the other, and the tail curling to one side. The colour scheme might be described as stealthy or nocturnal: black all over with red stripes, blue eyes, white teeth, and black and white markings on the translucent orange sail. Like many Chap Mei toys, the teeth are only painted on one side and the inside of the mouth and the claws have no paint at all. The despised screw holes are on the left side.
Putting aside the ongoing debate over whether Spinosaurus was bipedal or quadrupedal, there are still plenty of scientific errors to be found on this toy. The head clearly copies the design from Jurassic Park 3, with twin crests instead of just one, misplaced nostrils, no notch in the premaxilla, inaccurate dentition, and too wide a muzzle. The neck is too short and thick, the wrists are pronated, the foreclaws are all the same size, the feet are too big, and the tail is pathetically stumpy.
So what does this toy have going for it? Well, the detailing is reasonably good, with pebbly scales, thick wrinkles on the belly, large scales on the fingers and toes, grooved claws, and small osteoderms running from behind the head to the tip of the tail. The sail has a rough, almost coral-like texture. The hind legs rotate at the hips and the large feet enable the Spinosaurus to be posed in either a horizontal or a rearing stance. And as with the other Chap Mei toys I’ve reviewed here, there can be no question that this one looks appropriately scary and destructive. Push down on the Spinosaurus‘ right arm and the left arm raises, the mouth closes, the sail lights up, and a Kaiju-style roar emanates from the body.
Once again we are faced with a dinosaur toy that will almost certainly appeal to children, but will repulse older collectors for whom accuracy matters a great deal. But if you enjoy the occasional over-the-top monstersaur, then the Chap Mei Spinosaurus should please you.