Before I get on with this review I would just like to mention that a couple days ago, July 16th 2016, was my five year anniversary on the Dinosaur Toy Blog. On that day five years ago my review for the AAA woolly rhinoceros was posted by blog owner Dr. Adam Smith aka Plesiosauria. In those five years I’ve written 72 reviews (including this one). Also in that time I’ve watched many old reviewers fade away while a fresh crop of new reviewers took the helm. I’ve seen this blog go through a serious lull with one review for March 2013, to receiving 30 reviews in January 2016.
I’ve watched this hobby change a lot in that time as well, CollectA climbed from mediocrity into the juggernaut they are today. The Carnegie Collection ended, and Battat returned. Another “Jurassic Park” movie was released with it’s own line of toys (for better or worse) and we’ve seen the passing of a great man in this industry, rest in peace Dan LoRusso. And lets not forget all of the scientific discoveries that have furthered our knowledge about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. It’s been a fun ride and a pleasure writing for the DTB. Who knows what the next five years will bring? All I know is that I hope I’ll be here, doing what I love to do and I hope you’ll all still be reading.
So with all that out of the way let’s take a look at CollectA’s rendition of the obscure genus Metriacanthosaurus. Poor Metriacanthosaurus is so obscure that I feel like an introduction is in order. Metriacanthosaurus is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in England during the mid-Jurassic. It’s only known from an incomplete pelvis, leg bone, and part of a backbone. That’s not a lot to go on but the genus is currently thought to have been related to Sinraptor, and more distantly to Yangchuanosaurus.
Metriacanthosaurus was almost made famous by “Jurassic Park” in 1993. Remember when the camera scrolled by the embryo labels? Well right next to the misspelled Stegosaurus was the name Metriacanthosaurus. The genus would later appear in promotional material for “Jurassic World” but it never made an appearance in either movie. The CollectA model released this year is the first model of this genus ever produced, as far as I’m aware. Although there is a toy Dimetrodon out there that’s labeled Metriacanthosaurus.
Measuring about 6” in length this figure falls within CollectA’s standard range of models. The theropod is striding forward on a brown rocky base with mouth open and head looking towards the left. Since the genus is known from scant remains it’s hard to judge the accuracy of this model. That said it appears quite accurate for a “generic” carnosaur. The toy has a very trimmed down, Greg Paul look to it. It’s sleek, elegant, and muscular. I particularly appreciate the skull design in general, the muscular legs, rounded torso, and the ridges where the flanks meet the underside of the body. Fenestra are present on the skull but the hands are neutral at least.
Fleshy spines run down over the shoulders but aren’t present down the rest of the body until we get to the tail. From there they start off short, lengthen, and then shorten again. The small hornlets and bumps on the head give the toy an Allosaurus-like appearance. Different parts of the body are sculpted with different kinds of scales with those on the feet, body, neck, and belly all being different from each other. These are all small and subtle details that only serves to enhance the quality of the model.
The color choices are soft but really pleasing to the eye. Overall the model is a light, clean gray color with darker gray spots along the sides. The underside of the model is a pale peach color as are the spines along the back. The ridge along the nose, horns above the eyes, and bumps around the eyes are yellow. All the nails are painted black, including the tiny hallux toes.
The soft material and spindly legs means that this is a model that might start to lean over time. Mine seems to have a slight tilt to the right. This sort of warping seems typical with CollectA models but I don’t foresee it being a serious issue with this one, it certainly won’t be tipping forward.
CollectA continues with their trend of bringing obscure dinosaurs to life while still implementing a high level of quality and accuracy. This Metriacanthosaurus is a prime example of CollectA at their best. Although much of what’s sculpted is speculation at this point it’s still a great little theropod model worth picking up and adding to your collection. We might never find additional remains of Metriacanthosaurus, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a place on our shelves.