Troodon is an animal that everyone with more than a passing interest in dinosaurs knows about but few people count among their favorites. It’s featured prominently in books and documentaries due mostly for its large brain to body ratio but is otherwise typically regarded as a small, underwhelming dinosaur; similar to dromaeosaurs but not quite as cool and too small to be scary. As such it is seldom manufactured as a mass market collectible or toy. CollectA, Safari, not even Kaiyodo have a Troodon in their collections that I’m aware of. Since I do happen to like Troodon and its kin and would like it represented on my shelf I have to contend with a sub-par model by a company with an unsavory reputation for laziness, excess, and plagiarism.
Geoworld is an Italian company and while they do produce some interesting and well-made fossil and skeletal replicas they’re most well known for their “Jurassic Hunters” line of collectibles. While this line does offer a large catalog of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals we seldom see produced, the quality of these figures is low and the accuracy poor. What few models they’ve produced that are half-way decent (like this Troodon) are only decent because they directly rip off the work of another company or artist. What models don’t directly rip off another artist often come with information cards that have pictures of the animals that do plagiarize other artists with only slight modifications from the original depiction. What makes it all worse is that the company is owned by and relies heavily on the image of “Dr. Steve Hunters” aka Stefano Piccini the geologist/paleontologist who claims that his models are “scientifically accurate museum replicas of dinosaurs or prehistoric animals.” Yeah, okay!
As far as Troodon models go this is unfortunately one of the better depictions. The Invicta model is of course a better made model but rather dated nowadays and hard to find, aside from that you really only have the “Walking with Dinosaurs” movie tie-in toys which look like mangy chickens in my opinion. In terms of accuracy the Geoworld Troodon lacks the stiff pennaceous feathers on the arms that troodontids had and the feathers end at the wrist instead of moving down the second finger but it otherwise does present Troodon as a bird-like, feathered animal. The hands are not pronated; the tail relatively stiff, the eyes large, and the bodily proportions match well with the troodontid body plan. There are some scaly bits; the feet, hands, neck, and underside of the tail but aside from that it’s a fully feathered animal.
The feathers are painted blue with green splotches, the snout and scaly parts are orange with black bands. The paint application is poor with a lot of run-off, bleeding, and unpainted parts such as the inside of the hands which just out of sheer laziness are blue like the feathers. The model is stepping forward on a rocky base and stands 5.5” tall and about 5” in length.
With all that said, we can hardly give Geoworld credit for this model and any positive attributes it may have. The Geoworld Troodon is an exact copy of Gabriel Lio’s depiction of Troodon. Since other artists have come out and said that they were never contacted by Geoworld for use of their depictions we can only assume the same is true here. Gabriel’s Troodon is a popular depiction, showing up second on a Google image search of the genus. It would seem that for this particular model Geoworld’s “research” amounted to nothing more than an image search.
Given a more natural and cleanly applied paint job this model really wouldn’t be that bad. The fact that it directly rips off another artist’s work, however, makes this a model I cannot really recommend. A lot of toy companies plagiarize the work of others but few seem to do it as lazily, frequently, and with as much gall as Geoworld’s “Jurassic Hunters” line. And all while claiming scientific accuracy and paleontological approval. Geoworld is concerned with quantity, not quality. If you’re in need of a Troodon there aren’t too many other options at the moment and this might have to suffice. Hopefully Safari, CollectA or another company will remedy that soon with their own unique representation of this neglected genus.