Author Archives: Guest Reviews

Woolly Mammoth (2007)(Cuddlekin by Wild Republic)

Review and photos by Bryan Divers, edited by Suspsy

This is a review of my most prized possession, the original woolly mammoth Cuddlekin by Wild Republic, released back in 2007. It is not the same as the more recent versions that have already been reviewed, which come in 40-inch, 12-inch, and 8-inch sizes. The original version by Wild Republic is made of noticeably different material and is slightly larger at about 14 inches. I can’t believe I haven’t thought to review it for the blog until now.

This good old woolly mammoth is approaching the 10th anniversary of when I first got her. I was twelve at the time, and my mother bought her for me at the Shop 4 Science gift shop at the Science Museum of Virginia. She was the best of the best for her time, and is probably my most prized possession down to today. I even think that if my house was on fire, I would grab her! A close friend also saw the personality in her and would always ask me about Ellie the mammoth, as we called her. Ellie also accompanied me on a number of family vacations: the most memorable one to me was to Smithfield, Virginia.

My friend always commented on how soft Ellie’s fur was to the touch, and indeed the plush was beautiful. It has become a bit matted over the last ten years, and I actually patched a couple of defective spots on her belly with some felt that matched her fur. The rest of her, though, has remained in fair condition. Although, as her owner, I may be a little prejudiced.

Her trunk is made in a tea spout position, as if she is trumpeting. Her tusks are accurately made, even down to the little brown parts that the tusks grow out of. The end of her tail has little black hairs on it, and the toenails are stitched. The insides of the ears, the soles of the feet, and the toenails are made of a reddish-brown fabric that is flatter than the reddish-brown fur fabric on her head and shoulders. Her mouth is open and makes her look like she is smiling–one of the most appealing features of this toy, to me at least. Her shoulders, hump, and the top of her head are made of a dark reddish-brown fur fabric, and the rest of her body is made of a brown taupe fabric that almost looks dark grey. My mother got her for an easy $12.99, which was moderate considering her quality and that she was sold from a museum gift shop. I think the fact that she remains my favourite stuffed animal into my twenties all the way from age 12 proves that she is as wonderful for the young as for the young at heart.

When my friend was forced to return to her native country, Brazil, in December 2009, Ellie became even more precious to me because she reminded me of the many happy memories with my friend and her family. She is the last connection I have to that beautiful time in my past. If you too see the magic of this beautiful toy and want one for your own, eBay is probably your best bet: search for “mammoth cuddlekins” or “wild republic mammoth.” (A hint: if you want the original mammoth like mine, the fur on the face, legs, and rump looks very dark, almost black, as opposed to the more brown look of the newer version.)

Tyrannosaurus rex (Carnage Dinosaurs by ReSaurus)

Review and photos by EmperorDinobot, edited by Suspsy

Welcome to another review by Emperor Dinobot! Today we’ll take a closer look at the Carnage ReSaurus Tyrannosaurus rex! This legendary figure is the easiest ReSaurus figure to find, and it fully delivers!

Those who know me know that I appreciate a fully articulated dinosaur figure. However, this leads me to a discussion about the things I don’t like about this figure, so we will start there. Most Carnage dinosaurs are high quality, but they aren’t always durable. Their joints tend to degenerate over time, with their pins falling out and so forth. I’ve had several of these break down on me. Another thing I don’t like is that their feet are posed, which makes them impossible to stand. What’s the point of having articulated legs if the figure is going to be stuck in a running pose anyways? It also looks terrible. Another prevailing problem with this figure is that seams form very easily around the base of the rubber tail. Same problem goes with the Giganotosaurus. But there you go, those are the low points, and I think the positives outweigh the negatives, especially since this figure was released all the way back in 1997. I do not expect a lot of these to be in good shape since they are now vintage.

The Carnage T. rex has an amazing paint scheme. At first glance, it may look boring since it’s just “green with black stripes,” but it is really well done. That’s the thing I love most about the Carnage dinosaurs: the detailed paint! It’s very well applied, and while there is an obvious separation between the body and the tail, it works flawlessly since the tail takes on the colour of the animal’s belly, which is a pleasant yellow-olive green.

The figure comes with a footprint fossil bed base which is nicely sculpted, and a pin that keeps it from falling over. This is definitely needed for the bipeds in this collection. The other side of the base features a name plate, and on some releases it holds information about the animal. The jaws and neck are articulated. Notice how the figure is outdated and the hands are pronated a la Jurassic Park T. rex. Forgivable since it is vintage.

While the articulated legs are still posed, the figure can hold a variety of poses, such as the one above, chomping down on an unfortunate prey. The base really helps in this case, as it will hold the figure while posing. The tail is rubbery and has a wire running through the length of it, which allows you to pose and articulate the tail however you desire. This has always been one of my favorite things about these toys.

Again, this is an impressive figure, despite its vintage feel. It was far ahead of its time, and I wish we could see a fully articulated feathered T. rex figure in the future that was this impressive and well done.

I think this figure is worth it all the way, regardless of condition. The drawbacks are forgivable and fixable. It is also the most commonly found. I have had a lot of trouble finding used samples of the others, but never with this one. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this review. Happy hunting!

It’s on!

Tyrannosaurus rex (2016)(Museum Line by Bullyland)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

This Tyrannosaurus rex is one of two medium-sized models released in 2016 for Bullyland’s Museum Line, and this year they will be joined by a Triceratops and an Archaeopteryx. One thing I have noticed people complaining about is that it seems like Bullyland is regressing when it comes to the accuracy of their models, but honestly, I’m not too familiar with the line to determine if this is true or not. What I will say is that this T. rex is definitely not a masterpiece.

From nose to tail tip, the T. rex measures about 7″ long. It is sculpted in a dynamic, horizontal pose, and stands perfectly fine on its two feet thanks to its dewclaws. However, as you can clearly see, this model is not going to win any awards for being the most accurate T. rex ever made. In fact, it seems like a downgrade from the previous model made for the line. Like some of theropods that preceded it, this model has an articulated jaw, but unlike those on Papo and Schleich, the jaw is not well-integrated on the figure. As you can see, there is a big gap at the front of the face, and you can still see the inside when the mouth is closed to its limit.

Other problems with this figure include the arms being way too big and the wrists being pronated. Also I think the skull looks very derpy and not like that of the real thing. If you really want to get nitpicky and speculative, it can be argued that the model needs feathers as well, but it’s clearly too late to change that.

Really, this is less of a museum model, and more of a toy for children. The silly look of the face and the overly soft features make me less likely to treat it as a serious replica, despite the fact that the model does come with an info tag which gives out facts about the animal that I’m sure we are all familiar with. For example, it states that “T. rex was at the top of the food chain, and hunted hadrosaurs and Triceratops, although some experts believe it was primarily a scavenger.” The reason I bought it is simply because it has a charm to it, and I look forward to getting the Liopleurodon, and the two new models slated for 2017. If you’re a stickler for accuracy, there’s no reason to buy this. But if you really want a durable toy for your child to play with, then this will fit the bill nicely.