Review and photographs by Rajvinder “IrritatorRaji” Phull, edited by Suspsy
Behold Spinosaurus, a ‘marmite’ animal among dinosaur enthusiasts. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny how fascinating this beast is. It’s a creature still shrouded in mystery, much like the statue we’ll be looking at today. I’m not really sure what company produced this statue; all I can say is that I picked it up at the Kents Caverns gift shop in Devon, England. I’ve not found any information or images of this statue online, and statues that appear to be of the same style offer contradictory information about their origin.
Remember what I said about ‘marmite’? Well, that may be one’s interpretation of this statue as well. This model appears to be an older sculpt, perhaps early to mid-2000s’ when public perceptions of Spinosaurus were still being shaped by Jurassic Park 3. The posing on this figure is typical for the ferocious ‘rex killing’ monster that Spinosaurus was portrayed as. Mouth open with teeth on display, muscular arms baring flesh-tearing claws carelessly hanging, and walking among the bones of the fallen.
Measuring at 40 cm (15.7 inches) long and 25 cm (9.8 inches) tall, this is a decent-sized model. Inaccuracies aside, the sculpt is quite nice. The scales are individually sculpted with a life-like texture. Skin folds are also found throughout the model. The muscles aren’t too well sculpted, but in few places, such as the legs, there seems to be some evidence of musculature. The facial details are symmetrical. The teeth in the lower jaw are also individually sculpted and are also sharp. The same can’t be said for the teeth in the upper jaw, which are, in all honesty, slightly pathetic. While there are some teeth, they are found on the right side of the jaw only, and they take the form of random bumps. The left side of the upper jaw is devoid of teeth, save for a ridge that makes it look as if the sculpt is unfinished.
Part of this model’s sculpt did surprise me. A cloacal opening and non-pronated hands are unexpected on an otherwise very scientifically inaccurate model, but are welcome nonetheless. The sculpting on the hands and feet are good, featuring large and broad scales that give the hands and feet a bird-like appearance. The signature crest of Spinosaurus is also present.
The base is also interesting, but a little lacklustre. It’s littered with the rib bones of some long deceased (or recently eaten) dinosaur, a far cry from the river setting that Spinosaurus is often associated with. Personally, I welcome this base. I imagine that Spinosaurus would definitely wander further inland during dry seasons or drought. The base does allow one to question the circumstances that led this Spinosaurus so far from home. My only wish for the base is that it had more detail. While you can make out some rocks, the terrain this Spinosaurus is wandering through isn’t very clear. I’d say it’s desert, yet tall, healthy plants are present. I’d say marsh, but the Spinosaurus doesn’t seem to be sinking into the ground, and the sides of the base look very rock-like.
Now it’s time to list the flaws, of which there are MANY. First of all, no, that is not a camera trick, the tail really is that short. In reality, it would be incapable of balancing the animal, meaning it’d probably be falling forward onto those oversized hands all the time. The legs are also incredibly long, even if you’re comparing them to JP3’s Spinosaurus. The hands lack the enlarged killing claws that would have been used to fish. The torso section of the Spinosaurus is very robust; this guy (or gal?) has massive hips. The face and neck are incredibly shrink-wrapped and lack any sort of muscle definition. The neck itself is also very long, thin, and serpent-like, forming an ‘S’ curve that I’m not sure Spinosaurus was capable of achieving. The face is also quite rounded, short, and small, as opposed to long and narrow. A tooth notch is somewhat present, but it’s so subtly sculpted that it’s very difficult to see. The teeth, as mentioned before, are appalling and fail to represent not just spinosaur teeth but theropod teeth as a whole. The eyes are also incredibly large and the interior of the mouth isn’t sculpted at all.
Final verdict: this is not a statue that those who care for scientific accuracy. It’s nowhere near as bad as other dinosaur models, such as early Schleichs, but it’s no Sideshow Collectable either. Dinosaur model collectors may also have a hard time fitting this one in their collection. Those who like or appreciate vintage models may take a liking to this figure. However, to obtain one, you’d need to want it very badly, given that I couldn’t find any information (or even evidence of existence) about this figure online.