Well, here we are at last, dear friends. After nearly two years of exploring the prehistoric plastic worlds of CollectA, Papo, Safari, Kenner, Lego, Playmobil, and various other companies, we’ve arrived at my 100th review for the Dinosaur Toy Blog! I’ve saved the biggest item in my collection for this very special occasion: the Aurora Prehistoric Scenes Tyrannosaurus rex!
The T. rex was originally released in 1975, then reissued a number of times over the years. The most recent version was released by Revell just last year. The version I own was released by Monogram in 1987 and it was given to me as a Christmas present from my grandmother back in either 1992 or 1993. Most of the 53 pieces were made of dark green plastic, but the eyes, teeth, and claws were bone white. There was also a small nameplate, but that went missing years ago.
I assembled the T. rex the very same day, although it wasn’t until years later that I got around to painting it. I chose purple for the main colour with green stripes, red, yellow, and black for the eyes, a pink mouth, white teeth, and medium grey claws. As with the Allosaurus, the colour scheme was inspired by a pop culture source. In this case, the evil Predacon leader Megatron’s beast mode from the first season of Transformers: Beast Wars. Yessssssssss.
This T. rex is big. Really, really BIG. With a towering height of up to 47 cm and a staggering maximum length of 79 cm, it is by far the biggest dinosaur in my entire collection, the biggest dinosaur in the Aurora series, and indeed, one of the biggest dinosaur toys ever made. A considerable amount of space is therefore required in order to display this tyrant king among tyrant kings. Despite its size, its hollow interior makes it relatively light.
While it is instantly recognizable as a T. rex, this toy is far, far removed from the real deal. Aside from the Godzilla stance, the head is all wrong, the arms are too big, the body is shaped like a huge pear, and the dragging, curling tail reminds me of an anaconda. If this beast were any more vintage, it would be trying to eat Fay Wray.
On the more positive side, this is one of the most articulated T. rex toys ever. The jaws open nice and wide, the head rotates, the neck can raise and lower, the shoulders, wrists, and hips rotate, the base of the tail is hinged, and the rest of the tail rotates in two places. The legs really can’t be put in many good poses due to the position that the feet are sculpted in, but the head, arms, and tail allow for quite a lot of active poses and rampaging play.
No hints of avian lineage here. Most of the T. rex‘s body is covered in large, plate-like scales that give off an appearance similar to a dry riverbed. There are also numerous osteoderms that look like giant warts. The mouth features large, scaly lips and the belly has a crocodile-like skin texture. The tail is covered in rows of square scales as well as finer osteoderms, much like an iguana’s. The teeth and claws are very large, sharp, and scary. Like the Allosaurus, it stands proudly in a display case in the dinosaur gallery at the London Natural History Museum.
Mine’s prettier, wouldn’t you say?
As far as vintage dinosaur depictions go, this T. rex is nothing short of magnificent. Its enormous size alone is impressive enough, but it’s also quite a good deal of fun to pose or play around with. I fell in love with this frightening behemoth the first time I laid eyes on it so long ago, and I still love it just as much. A truly great and legendary dinosaur toy!
And that wraps up my 100th review. What a lot of fun this has been! Once again I must extend my deepest thanks to the owner of this site, Dr. Adam S. Smith, and to everyone who has read and enjoyed my reviews. Also, thanks again to Trevor Ylisaari for the use of all the packaging photos.
Time to start work on the next 100!