Author Archives: Suspsy

Tyrannosaurus rex (Rainbow Running Version by Papo)

Since its release in 2012, Papo’s Running Tyrannosaurus rex has become immensely popular with dinosaur enthusiasts. Its fearsome visage has popped in multiple books and magazines, and it has even crashed a few weddings! Not surprisingly then, Papo released this very colourful repaint in mid-2016. Unlike the super-rare brown variant, this one is widely available both online and in certain stores such as Mastermind Toys here in Ontario.

I’m not going to go much into sculpting detail, as it’s already been amply discussed in the reviews linked above. As you can see, the “rainbow” moniker is well-justified. The T. rex’s back is covered in dark blue, purple, and light brown while its flanks and underside feature medium grey with dark stripes, dark blue hands and feet, and dark grey claws. The throat, with its thick wattle, is dark pink. The brow ridges are dull purple, the eyes are blood red, the inside of the mouth is off pink, and the teeth are pearly white.

At first glance, this colour scheme appears identical to the female version’s. However, there are a few differences. The male’s skull and mouth interior are darker. The tissue connecting the skull to the mandible is pink painted over with purple as opposed to just pink. The purple stripes running horizontally along the sides are more pronounced. Finally, the hands and feet are dark blue as to blue-grey. Blueback, meet Bluefoot. May you live long and dispatch many ceratopsians together. Oh, and Bluefoot is also distinctly glossier on his head and back compared to his mate.

The other two versions of the Running T. rex are infamous for having difficulty standing on their own. Happily, Papo appears to have addressed this flaw. As you can see in the comparison photo below, Bluefoot leans less to the right than Roughskull, making him a centimetre taller and greatly improving his stability!

Out of all three versions, this one is now my favourite, due to the spiffy colour scheme and the improved stability. If you don’t own any of them yet, I definitely recommend getting this one. And if you’re particularly fond of T. rex, as I am, then you’ll definitely want to add this figure to your collection regardless. Incidentally, the upcoming 2017 Acrocanthosaurus figure has the same colour scheme as Bluefoot and Blueback. Someone at Papo must really like this blend.

Smilodon (2011)(Papo)

One of the more bizarre proposals I’ve heard recently is that Smilodon and other machairodonts may have had large, drooping jowls to protect their famous (and fragile) fangs from the elements. I’m not convinced of this reconstruction myself, but I do find it rather amusing. Speculation will always be a large part of paleontology.

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The Papo Smilodon was released back in 2011, so its fangs are out in the open for all to see. It is posed in an extreme crouching stance with its muscular limbs taut and its mouth open in a roar. No proper predator would ever let out the slightest peep during a hunt, so it’s doubtful that this guy (you can clearly tell this is a male) is stalking game. No, more likely he’s confronting a rival who’s been trespassing on his turf. Or maybe he’s facing down a vicious pack of dire wolves or a hulking short-faced bear bent on stealing his hard-earned kill. Or perhaps he’s been cornered by a band of early human hunters. In any case, this big cat is ready to rumble!

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The Smilodon measures 15.5 cm long. Its colour scheme appears to be based on an African lion: tawny brown and white fur with dark brown on the ears and the tip of the tail, grey claws, black for the pads on the paws and the accents around the eyes, nose, and mouth, light brown eyes, a dark pink nose, pink and dark purple for the inside of the mouth, and creamy white dentition. It’s perfectly possible that Smilodon was coloured like this, but I much prefer my machairodonts with spots or stripes on their pelts.

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The detailing on this toy is very impressive. Finely sculpted fur covers the entire animal and the muscles in the limbs look well-defined and powerful. The ribs can be felt on the flanks and the wrinkles on the muzzle add to the Smilodon‘s enraged appearance. No major anatomical inaccuracies to be found here, although the overall build is probably too sleek and streamlined. And the inside of the mouth is quite a disappointment. Look inside the mouth of just about any Papo theropod and you’ll see plenty of fine sculpting detail. But aside from the simple tongue, the inside of this cat’s mouth is flat and plain.

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In conclusion, while I like the versions from CollectA and Safari better, this is nevertheless one of the better-sculpted, more fun Smilodon toys currently available. Recommended.

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But if the standard appearance isn’t your cup of tea, there’s the upcoming 2017 version with tiger stripes and a lion’s mane. Looks like it’s wearing a babushka to me.

Tyrannosaurus rex (2006)(CollectA)

CollectA nowadays is widely considered one of the top makers of high quality prehistoric toys, as demonstrated by their very awesome 2017 assortment. But that certainly wasn’t always the case. For this review, I’ll be taking another trip back in time to 2006, the year of CollectA’s humble beginning. Back then, of course, it was known as Procon, and its first wave of toys was . . . well, not exactly what you’d call spectacular.

Feast your eyes on the very first CollectA/Procon Tyrannosaurus rex. Measuring about 19 cm and slightly under 10 cm tall, it is posed in the much-reviled tripod stance with its massive head turned to the left and its mouth wide open. The main colour is pine green over dirty brown with darkened stripes, a pale underbelly, very dark grey claws, gold eyes, a pink mouth, and white teeth. This same colour scheme would later be reused for the Deluxe version and the titanic 1:15 scale version. And yes, it also bears a suspicious resemblance to the original Papo T. rex that came out the year before it.

The sculpting on this T. rex is decent if unremarkable. Its skin is scaly all over with thick wrinkles on the neck, belly, and flanks. The inside of the mouth has minimal detail and the tongue is barely more than a slab. The very high brow ridges give the animal an enraged appearance. The forward-facing orbits are sunken, but the fenestrae are actually not that visible beneath the skin.

And now let’s tackle the many inaccuracies on this poor fellow. First, of course, there’s the upright tripod stance. Then there’s the stumpy, too-short tail. The hind limbs look stiff and elephantine and the feet and claws are chunky. The arm are too long and the wrists are pronated. The neck is also too long. The lower jaw is too wide and the teeth are little more than generic rows of bumps. And perhaps most glaring of all, this poor T. rex is missing its nostrils! Oh, and the legs on mine are warped to boot.

Probably the best thing I can say about this T. rex is that, when compared alongside CollectA’s more recent toys, it certainly illustrates how much the company has improved over the last ten years. Truth be told, I bought this one strictly as a novelty, and because my ambition is to someday see the DTB’s CollectA page completed. If you don’t already own it, then seriously, don’t bother. Not unless you’re a die-hard T. rex fan like me.