Author Archives: Suspsy

Tylosaurus (Mojo Fun)

Very occasionally, the fossil record allows us a fascinating glimpse into interactions between various extinct animals. Take the “Talkeetna Mountains Hadrosaur” for example. Discovered in Alaska in 1994, it is a juvenile specimen that washed out to sea after its death and eventually sank to the bottom to become fossilized. Preserved toothmarks on the bones suggest that the corpse was scavenged upon by a mosasaur, probably Tylosaurus proriger.

Today’s review will focus on Mojo Fun’s 2010 interpretation of that famous and fearsome mosasaur. As you can see, it’s sculpted with its long tail swinging sharply to the left. This gives the toy a length of around 16 cm. Main colours are dark and light olive green with black eyes, white teeth, and a pale mouth interior with a purple tongue. And for some strange reason, Mojo opted to add a series of medium green and pale pink spots on the flanks, and rather sloppily at that. Needless to say, the toy would have looked much better without them.

The Tylosaurus‘ skin has a fine crisscrossing wrinkle texture all over. The head has the proper conical shape of a mosasaur, although it looks slightly too thick for Tylosaurus and the teeth are too small. The tongue, however, has a forked tip, which is a definite plus. And the tail features a fluke at the end. Granted, it’s more eel-like than shark-like, but it still looks good.

And now let’s address the two elephants in the room. First, as you can see from the comparison photo, the Mojo Tylosaurus bears a very suspicious resemblance to the version from CollectA. I’m generally cautious about tossing around accusations of plagiarism, but in this case, it may well be justified. And second, like its CollectA doppelganger, this Tylosaurus is missing its nostrils. Lame.

Overall, the Mojo Tylosaurus is an okay toy at best. Not the worst rendition I’ve come across, but far from the cream of the crop. Kids will no doubt enjoy playing with it though.

Stegosaurus (Mini)(Skeleflex by Wild Planet)

Despite its immense fame and popularity, there are not very many complete specimens of Stegosaurus. Most of the skeletons you see in museums are actually composites of multiple animals. The most intact one is currently “Sophie,” a young adult that resides in the Natural History Museum in London, U.K. It is about 85% complete and looks magnificent. But as you’ll see, the subject of today’s review is quite the antithesis of “Sophie.”

The Skeleflex Mini Stegosaurus kit is made up of fourteen army green pieces. The main part of the skeleton is rubberized plastic; the rest are hard plastic. They all snap together via ball joints save for the peg-on thagomizer.

Once assembled, the Stegosaurus measures 16.5 cm long and stands 10 cm tall due to the large plates on its back. It holds together quite well and is articulated at the head, jaw, shoulders, hips, wrists, ankles, and tail. The sculpting is reasonably good and the plates in particular have an interesting bumpy texture to them.

But as you can clearly see from these photos, this Stegosaurus makes the T. rex I reviewed last time look like the very pinnacle of scientific accuracy by comparison. This is a hideous monster, plain and simple. Its head is oversized and equipped with sharp, triangular teeth. It has too few vertebrae. It has a single row of skinny, dagger-shaped plates. And most noticeably of all, it has ridiculously humongous feet. It’s anyone’s guess how a freak like this would be able to lift its feet high enough to walk.

Like all Skeleflex kits, the Stegosaurus‘ pieces can be swapped out to create any number of monstrous creatures. Although honestly, I find its default form plenty frightening already!

So that’s the Skeleflex Mini Stegosaurus for you. If you’re in the market for painstakingly detailed and accurate prehistoric renditions, then for goodness sakes, skip this kit and buy yourself a nice CollectA or Safari toy. But if you enjoy a little bit of weird fun now and then, look no further!

Tyrannosaurus rex (Mini)(Skeleflex by Wild Planet)

Today I’ll be taking a look at an unusual addition to the Dinosaur Toy Blog: Skeleflex. Released by a company called Wild Planet back in 2007, the line was described in its press release as “a creative ball-and-socket building system that puts kids in control. Its interchangeable bone-shaped pieces can be combined to make aliens, dinosaurs, and other fantastical creatures that move in a lifelike manner.” Sounds interesting, no? Now, everyone knows full well that you just can’t have a dinosaur toyline without a Tyrannosaurus rex, and Wild Planet made sure to include two of them. The first set included an electronic display stand that allowed one to make the skeleton thrash about. The second was a miniature version which is the subject of this review.

The mini T. rex is made up of twelve olive green pieces. The piece consisting of the cervical and dorsal vertebrae and the pelvis is made of rubberised plastic, but the others are hard plastic. With the exception of the tail tip, which simply pegs on, all these pieces snap together by way of ball and socket joints. Once assembled, the skeleton measures 19 cm long and stands just over 6 cm tall at the hip.

The T. rex is articulated at the head, lower jaw, shoulders, hips, phalanges, and tail, allowing for a good variety of active poses. The flexible spine also allows you to turn the upper body from side to side during play. The pieces hold together very firmly and the toy can withstand rough play and falls.

Being a skeleton, this is also a rather scary-looking toy. The mouth is full of sharp teeth and the claws on the feet are long and curved. While it is immediately recognizable as a T. rex due to its large head, small arms, and two fingered hands, to call it a flawed depiction would be an understatement. The head is V-shaped instead of T-shaped and the fenestrae and orbits are all wrong. The arms are too big and the phalanges are too long. There are too few vertebrae in the spinal column and too few ribs. And the pubis and the ischium are too small to boot. Keep in mind, however, that Skeleflex was always meant to be a fantasy line (hence the inclusion of aliens and monsters), not a paleontological one.

The main selling point of this toy is that the pieces are interchangeable with those from other sets. Much like Hasbro’s Hero Mashers line, this allows you to build all sorts of weird and frightful beasts. Needless to say, this has the potential to be a great deal of creative fun—provided you bought enough of the sets. I only own two of them myself.

Overall, I like the Skeleflex Mini T. rex. It’s not for every dinosaur collector, but I believe anyone can agree that this little building set would be entertaining for youngsters or fans of the slightly-to-supremely-macabre. The line was discontinued a long time ago, but you may still be able to find this toy on Amazon or eBay. Good luck!