Review and photographs by Dilopho, edited by Suspsy
CollectA! One of the greatest current companies that produces dinosaur figures! While Papo has the detail, Schleich has the playability, and Wild Safari has the realism, CollectA has all of those three points! But this figure I will be looking at today is from the “dark ages” of CollectA’s history. Ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you the CollectA Neovenator.
This figure is from 2007, when CollectA operated under the name Procon, and, if you excuse my pun, they did tend to have less pro than con. I’m sure if you are a CollectA fan, you have seen their hilariously bad early efforts. Charming as they may be, figures such as their naked Velociraptor, snaggle-toothed Eustreptospondylus, and chubby Dilophosaurus were far from the pond of popularity when they were released. A sort of . . . ugly tributary? And here is another one of their early efforts. But is it really THAT bad? Let’s see . . .
For clarification, Neovenator was an Early Cretaceous hunter from England. From the few fossils currently known, the length of this theropod dinosaur is estimated to be around 33 feet—a big one! It was closely related to dinosaurs such as Allosaurus, Concavenator, and Eocarcharia. CollectA’s figure certainly conveys a big, fierce predator well enough. Just a glance at those big claws and teeth tells kids that this thing is going to be used to chow down on their smaller figures. The pose is pretty similar to the aforementioned Eustreptospondylus figure—and it shares some of the same problems.
The gums are a sickly purple colour which stand out too much. Taking into account this toy is from the Procon era, they weren’t attempting for high accuracy, and since they were making a carnivore, they should’ve focused on the teeth instead. The teeth are nice and sharp though, and not huge blocky ones like on the Eustreptospondylus. The hands are pronated too, which was impossible. Although strangely enough, I have seen official CollectA photos of this figure with non-pronated wrists and a smaller head. Speaking of the head, it is way too wide. Even though allosauroids like this could widen their skulls to take bigger bites, it was definitely not to this extent. The eyes are also strange and frog-like. The whole skull also looks . . . off. Shrink-wrapped around the face, but with a bulgy, fleshy snout at the front. Maybe this dinosaur got stung by an insect? Thankfully, it does have forward-facing eyes so that it can see well!
The colour scheme is nice and reminds me of modern reptiles. The green and yellow blend together quite well and eyes are painted great. However, as you can see, some of the white tooth paint got onto the cheek of my model. Although this never usually happens–even in these embarrassing early days–CollectA/Procon still had pretty good standards. And playability is high. Kids in my family won’t leave this figure alone and keep making it attack other dinosaurs (but always fail, because bullies never win in children’s minds, apparently.)
All in all? Pretty good. It doesn’t seem right for a high-standard collector of CollectA (hah, see what I did there?) but if you are not bothered about accuracy, this is a great model. And definitely great for children! But if you don’t feel like this is enough of a Neovenator, which is an issue, try their Deluxe version! That one is much better.
Thanks to Mike at Everything Dinosaur for selling this model!