Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy
By now, we are all aware of the reputation of the Geoworld Jurassic hunters line: cheaply made figures, full of inaccuracies despite (false) claims of palaeontological approval and shameless plagiarism of palaeoartists. However, I wanted to investigate these figures personally, so I got a figure from each of the first three ‘expeditions’ and see what they were like. One was good, one was okay, and the other was a waste of money. We’re going to start with the better of the three. From the third expedition, Embolotherium.
From the late Eocene of Mongolia, Embolotherium is a member of the Brontoheriidae family of extinct even-toed ungulates, related to species like Megacerops. They are herbivores with a bony outgrowth on the nose, forming what looks like a battering ram, although they were too fragile for ramming. It is thought they may be sexually dimorphic based on these crests, but is yet to be proven. There are few brontothere figures available, usually Megacerops. Could this help buck the trend? Let’s see . . .
First, to discuss the fact card that comes with the figure. This is often the part that offends most for its heavy plagiarism. However, it would seem that they have learnt to do their own work for this figure, as it is just an airbrushed version rather than blatant plagiarism with no mention of the original artist. I will let you decide if there is some problems with the card, but it seems okay to me.
Now, onto the actual figure! It has been done in a 1:35 sale according to what is stamped on the underbelly, as it seems all figures are around the same size with various scales, which is a little confusing. In any case, the figure is 5.8” long from snout to tail and 3.1” tall from hump to hoof. The figure is an overall grey-beige colour, similar to large mammals today, with the exception of the yellow underbelly. This is used to highlight the company name and other details, but it is incredible distracting from the rest of the figure. The overall texture and skin is very similar to the Indian or Sumatran rhino, giving it a natural feel. While simple, it doesn’t seem to copy any work by other palaeoartists, only vaguely resembling the Embolotherium featured in the show Primeval. The pose is stoic, with only a languid tail swish and open mouth to provide action, making it look like it’s feeding. Dull, but okay.
Normally, accuracy in Geoworld figures is low to non-existent. The main fossil evidence for Embolotherium are from skull remnants, and it does seem they have got it right. The crest is correct and the skull is correctly flattened. It might be a bit wide, but not bad overall. The hump is likely based on related species, which do feature raised neural spines, though this seems overexaggerated. The rest of the figure is accurate to most brontotheres, with short tails and stocky legs. It is surprisingly accurate for a Geoworld figure.
Despite being in a line full of extinct versions of modern animals or ancient mammals that have been released over and over, Embolotherium sticks out as a great figure that is actually recommendable, a gem among the trash that is a lot of the Geoworld dinosaurs. If you see it for a good price, I do recommend it.