Author Archives: Laticauda

Compsognathus longipes(Sentry, by Rebor)

To get in the right state of mind for this model lets take a quick stroll down memory lane.  While vacationing on the beach of Isla Sorna a young girl makes a startling discovery.  Out of the foliage and onto the beach hops a cute, small, chirping, green dinosaur.  She feeds the little fellow but suddenly many more arrive and surround her.  The pack goes after her and you hear her scream.  A rather tense beginning to the movie the Lost World Jurassic Park.  It also makes a great Public Service Announcement on why you do not feed wildlife.  While that scene was a interesting start to the film, one of the best scenes from the movie is when a pack of Compies stalk and pursue the hunter Stark.  After answering natures call, he becomes lost in the woods and falls down a slope. A pack of Compies approach and attack him.  He gets away from the initial attack but they ultimately wear him down in a creek and succeed in killing him.

Why does this model of Compsognathus longipes looks familiar?  That’s because it is practically an exact copy of the Stan Winston’s Compspognathus maquettes for the movie the Lost World Jurassic Park.  Rebor went retro on this model and is appealing to the sentimental feelings that many people have for the JP franchise.  This might bring up some bile or nostalgic feelings  depending on how you feel about the Jurassic Park movies and the stylization of the animals portrayed on film.  But that’s not all you get with this model.  It also comes with an accessory animal that represents Protolindenia which is an ancient dragonfly.

About the Toy:  The toy is in 1:6 scale.  It is around 6 3/4 in(17 cm) long and 3 in(8 cm) high.    The tail is 4 in long.  That makes the tail more than half of the total length of the figure.  The look of Compspognathus as stated above is a direct homage to the Lost World Jurassic Park.  The base color is a glossy yellow green.  The back is a darker green, and the underbelly is more yellowish.  There is dark striping on the neck, torso, legs, and on the tail.  The claws are black, and the entire skin has been subject to a dark wash to bring out the skin texture.

The mouth is articulated.  If you open up the mouth it gums and tongue are painted glossy pink.  The teeth are very small, and are hard to see from a distance as they blend into the mouth.  The eye is also glossy giving it a wet look.

It is in a neutral pose and resting on three points.  Due to it being in a tripod, it does not have stability issues.   It rests on its really long tail.  The legs are directly under the hips and the head is staring straight ahead.  There are three fingers on the hand with a reduced 1st digit.  The hands are pronated and hanging down.  The neck, arms, legs, and tail are all thin and are made of a bendy plastic.  The figure looks underfed as it thin and rather lithe.

What about the Dragonfly.  It has a small swamp rock base with moss on it.  A small metal rod fits into the base and into the bottom of the dragonfly.  This gives it the appearance of flying.  The colorization of the dragonfly is yellow green and black stripes on its thorax and the eyes are red.  The dragonfly has two sets of wings — one behind the other. The wings are long with a mosaic of veins running throughout them.  It is amazing how real the dragonfly looks, especially from a distance.

Overall:  Scientifically there are some issues with this model other than the pronated hands. If you look at a reconstruction of Compsognsthus, the neck and arms would be a little shorter than they are on this toy.  You might wonder why there are no feathers?   Since it is meant to mimic the movie the Lost World JP, there are no feathers on it.  It is in this capacity were the toy shines.  If you compare it to the movie it matches up really well. The lack of feathers might turn some people away from this model, but this toy is not meant to be accurate to science, just accurate to the movie.  In that respect Rebor nailed it.  This looks like a Stan Winston creation.   The food item for the Compsognsthus is the really well done dragonfly.   It complements the main figure and is a nice accessory for the shelf or diorama.

Despite the boring pose, I personally  find the Jurassic Park Compsognsthus to be rather cute.  When I look at it, they way the head is raised on the figure, it looks like a pet that is begging for some food.   If you are fan of Stan Winston or Jurassic Park, you might want to give this figure a try.  If you only want accuracy, then I would pass on this figure.

Kentrosaurus (the Lost Kingdoms series C, by Yowie)

Background: Wild Safari Kentrosaurus Foreground: Yowie Kentrosaurus

Despite it being smaller and less grandeur in size when compared to its contemporaries Stegosaurus and TuojiangosaurusKentrosaurus’s look is snazzy enough for the major dinosaur toy brands to show it some love from time to time.  As with many of its fellow sterosaurids it had a small yet narrow skull that ended with a beak which would have been useful while sniping off plant stems and leaves.   It also had a double row of small plates running down its back which transformed into spikes on the hips and continued down the tail. Along with the tail spikes there also was a long spine on each shoulder.

If you don’t know and you are wondering, what is the Yowie toy brand?   Well, they are a confectionery and publishing brand that originated from Australia and teamed up with  confectionery giant Cadbury to make foil-wrapped character-shaped milk chocolate that came in a plastic egg. Within the capsule there was a multi-part collectable model which included animals from Australia and around the world. The Kentrosaurus is from 2002 series C, which had 30 figures and 6 limited edition dinosaurs.

About the toy:  It is hard to follow up the ever impressive, spectacular, Arnold Schwarzenegger in feathers, Wild Safari Tyrannosaurus Rex review that proceeds this one. That figure is the epitiomy of  grandeur and majesty of dinosaurs in toy form. Due to its size, the Yowie Kentrosaurus is not quite as majestic, and is easy to overlook, but lets not underestimate it.  At a height of 1.1 in (2.79 cm) and a length of 3 in (7.62 cm) it is a small figure on par with the Kaiyodo figures.  In the pictures for this review, I posed it with the Wild Safari Kentrosaurus (which is really small) just to show how small the figure really is.   The figure comes in four parts, head/neck, tail, body and legs right and left sides.  When put together, it leaves a little articulation in the head and tail, to be able to move them up and down slightly.

The head on this figure is really small and the neck is at an appropriate length.  The body has a gut that sags and looks well fed.  The legs are slightly bent which makes it look like it is ambling along at a slow pace, most likely foraging on nearby vegetation.  The tail is raised with two spikes at its tail.  The figure only has three colors on it.  a light green for the body, legs, and head, creamy white for the underbelly, and an orange streak that runs from the head all the way to the tail.  There is a small dot of black for the eyes.  There is not a lot of texture on this toy, just some bumpy skin and lines on the plates.

As for the scientific accuracy, it is not perfect.  The good news is, it does have a  squat body with a small head, and a combination of plates and spikes along the back. Unfortunately it is missing the shoulder spike, the spikes on the back look like pegs, and the tail is way too short, but what do you expect from such a small figure that came with chocolate.

Playability: For kids in the 3-6 range it can be fun toy to play with. Older kids might like it as well if they are dinosaur fans.  It is made from four separate  pieces that snap together, which can fall apart if played with roughly. This  might lead some parents to super glue it together to keep it from falling apart. The plastic is not super brittle but it can break if treated too roughly.

Overall:  I personally like this little guy.  I find this diminutive toy a fun, cute, little gem of a figure.  Yes it lacks perfect accuracy, and the seam lines are visible, but that doesn’t mean it can’t find a place in your collection.  Of course if you place on the shelf next to the Tyco Kentrosaurus, this little guy would look newly hatched.  If you are interested to find this small, but wonderful figure (in my opinion), off to places like ebay you must go, as this figure has been retired for quite some time.

Lufengosaurus (CollectA)

Lufengosaurus lived during the early Jurassic period and is a primitive sauropodomorph from China.  A full  osteology of Lufengosaurus was done in 1941 and was the first complete dinosaur skeleton mounted in China. Fortunately, much is known on its size and shape as there is quite a lot of known material.   Despite being the first mounted dinosaur in China, it has not had much love in the toy world.  The 2010 CollectA Lufengosaurus is one of the few toys that has been made of this interesting animal.   The only other toys  that I have seen, is a generic cotton filed PVC by Guangdong Big Orange Toy company and one that was recently released by PSNO.

This look and quality of this toy falls into CollectA’s interesting and frustrating early middle period (approx 2010 -2012), in which the models they produced were a step up in design and color than the early darker Procon years.  The middle period figures tended to be hit a miss in terms of accuracy and look.   I guess the question remains, is this figure a hit or is it a miss. Lets take a closer look.

About the toy:  At 5 in (12.7 cm) long and 6.5 in (16.51 cm high) the toy is on the larger side for the CollectA standard range.  The pose is static yet maddeningly interesting.  The figure has a deer in headlights look to it, or better yet, looks like a kid who just got caught by their parents with their hand in the cookie jar.  The figure is standing upright and its neck is twisted to the its right side at 95 degree angle.  Its arms are slightly bent, elbows in, and the hands are pronated making it look like it is pushing open a door.  The legs are evenly spaced and bent, and the figure is resting on its tail.  The hands and feet have five digits, with the fifth digit being small.  On the hands, at the end of each digit, is a sharp claw.  The claw on the first digit “thumb” is bigger than the rest.

As for the paint job, it is colored for a romp through the forest.  A light greyish brown covers the tail, torso, neck, and head.  The legs, arms, and the underside of the figure are in a darker shade of greyish brown, it is almost charcoal in color.  The arms and legs are dry bushed in a lighter grey.  Starting at the base of skull, there is faint green striping all the way down to the tail.  On the torso the green striping extends down to the mid flank, shoulders, and hips.  With the exception of the legs past the hips, arms past the shoulders, and the underside, the figure is covered in small black lines.  Inside the mouth, the teeth are uniform white and inside the mouth looks to be salmon.  The eyes are orange with black pupils.

The texture on this figure is ok, but nothing to get too excited about.  The body is covered in wrinkles.  Big wrinkles, little wrinkles, wrinkles of all sizes.  The figure is missing some of the details that that we tend to take for granted, such as nice  skin folds.  The skin is rather uniform outside of the wrinkles, no sagging skin, or skin being pulled taunt.  There is some heft to the figure but absent are fat rolls, and muscle bulges.

Play ability:  This is an awkward toy for kids.  Due to the pose, I think many kids would pass on this toy for other dinosaurs.  It doesn’t act like a attacking predator, or a defending herbivore.   Nor is it in good position to be a fun herbivore with the upright pose and neck pointing to one side, it just ends up being awkward.  Kids are kind of confused on what to do with this figure.  To quote my son, “the body is nice, but the neck is weird.”  The paint job is tough, so it can stand up to some rough play.  The tail, neck, and limbs have some bend ability and there are no sharp edges.

 

Overall:  There are many little inaccuracies with this toy, such as the generic head, the slightly too short neck, and the pronated hands.  I understand it is harder to do on small models, but another thing that bothers me on this figure is the fact the teeth are uniform, and blunt, when in reality, Lufengosaurus had sharp teeth. Its not all bad, there are some good accurate things to say about this toy.  The front legs are short, the large thumb claw is present, and it accurately depicts the animals ability to rise on its back feet.  I could go further into the scientific accuracy, but I didn’t choose the toy for it accuracy.

At the time, (not anymore thanks to PNSO), this was the only Lufengosaurus toy out there.   One of things that I liked the most about this figure was the interesting paint job.  It looked like a German tank from World War 2, with hinterhalt-tarnung camouflage.  It is a really snazzy look.  I also thought the pose was interesting.  Of course, once I got it into my hands and tried to find a way to display it, I learned that this figure is very hard to display due to its pose.  It is hard to find an angle were it looks good and not pushing other figures off the shelf.

Of course if you are a creative person and looking to do something interesting, there are some possibilities.   For example, if you have a library, you could easily turn this figure into a book end.  Glue or nail it to a thin piece of metal, or plastic, and presto, it is holding up your book collection.

At the end of the day, this figure is more of a miss than a hit.  With its glaring inaccuracies, and its awkward, hard to display pose, it is easy to pass on.  Of course if you like how it looks or a fan of the species, go for it, as it is at a low cost and easy to find online.