Category Archives: baby dinos

Brachiosaurus (Baby)(Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

Although Brachiosaurus remains one of the most popular dinosaurs, in large part due to once being heralded(incorrectly) as the “biggest of the big,” the reality is that very little is known about this Jurassic giant. Only scant fossil remains have been found in North America, and what was once thought to have been an African species is now recognized as a separate genus, Giraffatitan. Interestingly though, SMA 0009, a nearly complete skeleton of a juvenile sauropod from the Morrison Formation, may actually be a baby Brachiosaurus!

Safari Ltd first released their Brachiosaurus Baby figure all the way back in 1997. This repainted version came out in 2013, at least according to the date printed on its tummy. Its main colours are grass green and sandy yellow with orange eyes, a pink mouth, and black claws. It’s a simple but bold look, appropriate for a children’s toy. The little giant proudly stands 7.5 cm tall and measures 8 cm long.

The Brachiosaurus is sculpted with its neck reared back and its head turned to the right. Being such an early Safari product, it lacks the magnificent sculpting detail that we’ve come to expect from their figures nowadays. The skin has a very basic wrinkled texture all over, a soft ridge of vertebrae runs down the back and tail, and a keel runs down the front of the neck. The proportions are pretty much what you’d expect in a baby sauropod toy: an oversized head, a relatively short neck and tail, and stout, stubby legs. Indeed, with its large, round eyes and decidedly friendly expression, this little sauropod looks quite, quite cute! You almost want to offer it a slice of grape or a fresh spinach leaf.

There are a couple of major inaccuracies to be found here. First, there appear to be no visible nostrils anywhere on the head. And second, the front feet each have five claws, whereas the real animal would only have had claws on its thumbs. I have no doubt that the overall proportions are off as well, but given the age and simplicity of this toy, I see little point in dwelling on them. And again, we don’t know for certain yet what a juvenile Brachiosaurus really looked like.

Overall, I find the Brachiosaurus Baby to be an endearing little toy in spite of its shortcomings. Young children especially should adore it.

Hatchling T. Rex “Rudy” (Club Selection by REBOR)

Review and photos by predasaurskillekor, edited by Suspsy

When Sideshow Collectibles revealed their Brachiosaurus hatchling in 2009, it might have inspired REBOR to create their own take on a hatching dinosaur. The REBOR Club Selection line features only limited edition models numbering about 1000 worldwide. After their first two non-limited edition models (Yutyrannus huali and the T. rex), they released their first hatchling, Jolly. In mid-2015, they released the Velociraptor triplets (which I will review soon), and around Christmas, they released their third hatching: a (male) T. rex! It was during that same Christmas that I first learned about REBOR when I received this model, the triplets, and the Utahraptor “Wind Hunter” (which unfortunately is broken, so I can’t review it) as gifts.

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Let’s talk about the model. It measures 10.5 cm long and 15 cm tall (21.5 cm with the base), and is made entirely of polystone. The details are spectacular enough to make this T. rex seem real! When I look at him, I imagine that he has just finished hatching! But it is also very fragile: for example: one of my two Rudys has a broken finger and the other has the same broken finger, plus the arm.

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This model is clearly of the Jurassic Park style: it is coloured brown with black and beige accents, black eyes, a rose mouth, and white teeth. The little male doesn’t have feathers, but it’s not yet proven that the hatchlings had feathers (the babies, yes). The egg is extremely detailed with a beautiful pebbly texture, large cracks, and egg fragments.

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The base for the egg is absolutely fantastic, with a rough, sandy texture that seems real. On the bottom of the base is the name of the model and the limited edition number. Sadly, Rudy’s box does not have the fantastic illustrations of the standard REBOR line. Instead, the club selection and the scout series packaging have only the model’s photo, so I didn’t save it. These two series don’t have the information cards either!

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To me, this is the best hatchling dinosaur model in the world, I really recommend it.

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Six little dinosaurs (Tyrannosaurus, Mamenchisaurus, Amargasaurus, Ankylosaurus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops) (PNSO)

Enter the PNSO! I first became aware of The Peking Natural Science-Art Organisation in March 2016, when I visited their offices and workshop in Beijing on a work-related business trip. It was with great excitement that I discovered this blossoming company has its sights set not only on literature and 2D palaeoart (my expectation going in), but also on commercially available 3D art as well: dinosaur toys. It is early days yet, but the PNSO may have a lot to offer dinosaur toy collectors over the coming months and years.

Six Little Dinosaurus PNSO

This review will focus on one of the PNSO’s current offerings, a box set of ‘6 little dinosaurs’. This is a series of small figures based on a book of stories by PNSO writer Yang Yang and PNSO illustrator Zhao Chuang. The beautifully packaged set includes the book and six accompanying figures, which are visible by lifting a flap on the front of the box. This flap also reveals some stunning paleoartwork.

Six Little Dinosaurus PNSO

As per our remit here on the Dinosaur Toy Blog, this review will focus on the dinosaur figures, but I must say a few words about the book itself to put the models into context. The white hardback book contains six short stories in both Chinese and English (translations by Wang Yile and Lin Youji) about the trials and tribulations six young dinosaurs face growing up in the Mesozoic. It is illustrated with pictures of the toys as well as beautiful artwork. Bedtime stories are infinitely better when they’re accompanied by dinosaur toys!

Six Little Dinosaurus PNSO

The figures are small, each one just a few centimetres long, on a par with Japanese Kaiyodo miniatures and Safari Ltd ‘toob’ figures. All the characters are babies, too, so these are ‘little dinosaurs’ in more than one way. The models are single piece solid sculpts produced in a flexible ‘Environmental PVC’, so they are robust enough to play with (age: 3 years old and above). The species names are not listed anywhere on the box, or the figures themselves, but the book reveals all. The dinosaurs will be familiar to most (if not all) readers.

Tyrannosaurus rex
Who can resist the charisma and infamy of T. rex? The King of the Tyrant Lizards makes an inevitable appearance in this delightful set. Aaron (for that is his name) has a mane of feathers on his head and neck. The colouration is simple countershading with the large baby eyes picked out in a wet-look black. This colouration is true for all the figures in the set. The posture is reminiscent of recent Carnegie Collection theropods in that it tries to find a middle ground between holding a horizontal spine while supporting itself in tail-supported tripod pose.

Six Little Dinosaurus PNSO

Mamenchisaurus
This is the only Chinese dinosaur in the set, although PNSO’s other offerings have a stronger focus on Chinese taxa, which makes sense given their location. Emmy (for that is her name) has a subtle satisfied smile but is otherwise unremarkable.

Six Little Dinosaurus PNSO

Amargasaurus
Amargasaurus stands out in the pack because it shades of green, whereas the others are shades of brown. Its distinctive double-row of neck spines are just sprouting, so there is little doubt that Romario (for that is his name) represents a baby.

Six Little Dinosaurus PNSO

Ankylosaurus
Darcy (for that is his name) has an incredibly squat body with extremely short limbs. It is difficult to judge the proportions as they are supposed to be different from the more familiar adults. The armour is finely detailed with individually sculpted scutes.

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Spinosaurus
This is a modern take on the species, with a long and narrow snout; and long and relatively low spine. I noticed the feet have four large webbed toes, so this represents a a semi-aquatic incarnation of Spinosaurus. The ‘extra’ fourth toe, by the way, is an enlarged digit 1, the digit is present but small in most other theropods (which have only three large toes). The posture is remarkable too: Nada (for that is her name) is sitting back in a crouched position. There is a speculative flourish on the tip of the tail. I approve of such additions.

Six Little Dinosaurus PNSO

Triceratops
Bringing up the rear of the group, head held high, is my favourite of the bunch. Elina (for that is her name) is full of energy and has adopted a trotting pose with two legs raised mid-step. As with all six figures, this one is beautifully textured with both fine scales and the occasional large scale. No bristles on the tail, though, which some companies have got into the habit.

Six Little Dinosaurus PNSO

The individual figures are stamped “PNSO Made in PRC 2015”. PRC, of course, is the People’s Republic of China.

In conclusion, this is a charming set of miniature baby dinosaurs aimed squarely at a young audience. The figures are cute but accurate modern representations of six familiar species, and the detail is good for such small play things. The retail price for the box set is 199 Chinese Yuan, which is about 30 USD, but the products are currently difficult to find outside of China (link below). Hopefully this changes with time.

It is wonderful to see yet another company enter the scene, and you can expect more PNSO figure reviews here on the Dinosaur Toy Blog as their models become more widely available. For more information and options to acquire PNSO figures, follow the PNSO discussions on the Dinosaur Toy Forum here. You can check out the PNSO’s website here. Lastly, I thank the PNSO for accommodating me when I visited and for providing this sample.

Available from Amazon.com here and Chinese online shop here (for the special price of 139 Yuan).