Eotyrannus, the “dawn tyrant,” was discovered in the fossil-rich Wessex Formation on the Isle of Wight, UK. It is one of the earliest known tyrannosaurs, and while it was a far cry from the likes of Tyrannosaurus rex, Tarbosaurus, and Zhuchengtyrannus, it must have been a formidable predator in its own right.
CollectA’s Eotyrannus came out back in 2010. It’s a fairly small toy at 15.5 cm long and 9 cm tall at the tip of its raised tail. Like many early CollectA figures, the colour scheme on this one is fairly plain: the plumage is coloured in shades of medium and dark brown, the underbelly is light grey, the hands and feet are light and dark grey with black claws, and the head is brownish grey with yellow eyes, a dull pink mouth, white teeth, and dark grey for the underside of the lower jaw.
The Eotyrannus is hunched over as though it were feeding at a kill or taking a drink from a stream. The raised right hand looks to be aligned properly, but the left one is pronated with the palm flat on the ground, a big no-no! Moreover, the fingers on both hands ought to be longer. The head looks decent in profile, but it’s suffering from a clear case of “shrink wrapping,” with both the eye sockets and the fenestrae clearly visible under the skin. And looking at the head from the front, one can immediately see that it’s waaaaaaaay too wide for a tyrannosaur! Indeed, it reminds me of an upturned bathtub. To top it off, the teeth in the upper jaw look weird as well. They go abruptly from tiny ones at the front to much longer ones, which is not in keeping with all the artistic reconstructions I’ve seen.
On a more positive note, the plumage covering the Eotyrannus‘ body is nicely sculpted, as are the wrinkles on the hands and feet. The long arms and the muscular legs make the animal looks swift and deadly. Paleontologists are not certain how large Eotyrannus grew to be; the holotype specimen appears to have been a juvenile or subadult.
I bought this figure because I’m a big fan of tyrannosaurs and an even bigger fan of feathered tyrannosaurs. That said, this Eotyrannus, with its weird, wonky head, really isn’t very good. It would be great if CollectA made a new, improved version of this intriguing carnivore someday. In the mean time, you may want to save your hard-earned money for something more recent and better researched.