Category Archives: Dinostoreus

Plesiosaurus skull (Favorite Co. Ltd)

Here’s a bit of an experiment – our first ever video review. So, I’ll stand back and let the youtube video do the talking (video also embedded below). I will note, however, that I’m a complete novice when it comes to recording and editing, so there’s a lot of room for improvement! Nevertheless, I’ll be interested to see how this goes down, and to learn whether readers are also interested in becoming viewers!?

Transcript of the video review:
0:14 Oh! So, this is the Favorite Plesiosaurus skull,
0:19 It’s half natural size, consists of the cranium,
0:24 and also the lower jaw.
0:27 For display purposes it’s attached to this false wooden base,
0:33 It’s actually not wood, it’s some sort of plastic I think
0:37 and it is detachable so we’ll take that off now
0:39 and have a look.
0:42 So, here we are, Plesiosaurus, distinctively so as well.
0:45 Plenty of details. You can see on the top of the skull
0:49 two little opening there, they’re the external nares or nostrils
0:53 er, the orbits – openings for they eyes – and they have
0:58 sclerotic rings inside them – a little ring of additional bones
1:01 that help support the eyeball.
1:03 This opening on the top there – a pineal foramen.
1:06 And then these two large openings in the rear of the skull.
1:09 They’re the temporal fenestrae, and they are, erm,
1:13 openings that housed the muscles for closing the jaws.
1:18 There are details on the underside as well – the palate.
1:22 But something that is missing is the braincase
1:26 You can see here I can poke my finger straight through the braincase.
1:31 Now, I think that the error comes from the source material,
1:35 which is this reconstruction of the Plesiosaurus skull
1:38 by Glenn Storrs in 1997, and this is still the most recent reconstruction
1:43 of this genus, but you’ll notice in side view the braincase is missing,
1:48 it’s in shadow, and I think that this is why the reconstructed skull model is also missing the braincase.
1:54 While it’s intended to look like bone, it actually isn’t very bone-like at all,
2:00 The individual bones as well are separated with suture lines,
2:05 but these have simply been marked in.
2:07 The teeth are incredibly delicate as well, er,
2:12 particularly fragile and easy to break, and this has
2:15 actually happened – one of the teeth here at the back has come off,
2:19 and that happened in transit before my figure arrived
2:23 so you do have to be careful.
2:25 It’s also a bit scruffy in places, especially where the
2:28 top of the skull is attached to the lower part, the lower jaw.
2:32 These bits are particularly crudely done and it looks
2:35 like they’ve been splodged together.
2:38 To conclude, this is a good but not brilliant statue
2:42 It’s the only one of its kind, so that’s definitely a positive.
2:47 Erm, and for the price I’d actually recommend it,
2:51 and i’d give it, say, 8 out of 10.
2:54 So, that’s my first video review for the Dinosaur Toy Blog,
2:57 very much an experiment, let me know if you like the style,
3:01 like the tone, think there’s something that should be added or removed,
3:04 and we’ll take that on board in the future.
3:07 Thank you for watching.

Plesiosaurus favorite skull.

Allosaurus Skeleton Model (Dinostoreus)

If you’re a regular reader of Prehistoric Times magazine, you’ve probably noticed the prime ad space that always seems to be occupied by Dinostoreus. This is a good thing, though. In addition to supporting such a great publication, Dinostoreus really embodies the mature aesthetic and academic priority of the seasoned dinosaur enthusiast. Sure, the fleshed-on models are bound to look a little dated as time plods along, but most of their replicas are based on good ol’ fashioned fossils. Skulls aren’t likely to change much as new information comes to light – at least not as much as a fully fleshed reconstruction – and this makes them more of an iconic collectible, something that will withstand the test of time.

Straddling the borders of fossil evidence and artistic reconstruction are the coveted skeletal models. These fall within the higher price range of the Dinostoreus line, as well as the most fragile of the bunch. Their size allows each bone to stand out as an identifiable piece of the animal’s biological framework, making them useful for educational purposes and certainly satisfying collectors looking for something better than the dime-shop glow-in-the-dark plastic skeleton toys. My particular interest often drifts to the mighty Allosaurus fragilis, a staple of the Jurassic North American stage.

With this model, one can clearly recognize the most distinctive attributes of the animal. The high lacrimal crests, the hatchet shaped skull, the elegant length of the tail, and the powerful, inward-facing forearms are all present and accounted for. Since the reconstruction bears no flesh, there is no quibbling about speculative neck wattles or spiky adornments. It is simply Allosaurus as we know her, and as she might well appear in a museum mount.

The model is centered by a sturdy rod, held in the center of the wooden base. The standard name plate is present, of course. Just peel off the protective sticker, and you’re good to go. That being said, removing this delicate beauty from the box can be an adventure on its own, slowly unsheathing the silent beast from its styrofoam bedding, which is admirably buffered within the box by soft foam padding. This particular model even came with a full page of instruction, offering tips on how to safely remove the model from its protective shell. Not even Sideshow has offered such a courtesy for their models.

An excellent quality of movement is conveyed with the uplifted foot, suggesting a running pose. This would actually be difficult for a mass-produced model to pull off, but luckily, this piece takes full advantage of that solid central support rod. Some may find it distracting, but I honestly found it less cluttered-looking than a museum display. The “grounded” foot actually hovers just a few millimeters above the wooden base, presumably to prevent abrasive damage, and further cushioned by a bit of foam padding in the original packaging.

Since this replica isn’t too big – about 20 inches in length and 1:20 scale – it seems to get away with having the teeth all banded together. Separating them would have surely resulted in too many breaking off. The skull itself looks nice, and the varied shades of brown and green help add depth and interest to what might have a very bland arrangement of bones.

In the event of breakage, many repairs can be performed with standard superglue treatment. The Allosaurus is actually relatively small among other Dinostoreus skeleton models, making it a fairly affordable way to treat oneself – and I’ve been told it’s one of the sturdiest of the bunch. Like the skull models, these pieces have the “adult” feel if you’re worried others may ridicule your interest in dinosaurs. As if that’s ever happened.

Available on Amazon here

Spinosaurus Hunting (Desktop Model by Dinostoreus)

In addition to their primary line of single-character maquettes, Dinostoreus produces a number of diorama-style pieces which portray prehistoric animals in their natural environment. One that undoubtedly draws attention is this model, featuring the beloved Spinosaurus snatching a snack from churning Cretaceous waters.

At 13 inches in length, this is a pretty generously sized model, falling roughly within the 1:40 range to make it compatible with the Carnegie Spinosaurus, or Papo if you’re not a stickler for accuracy. Granted, the subnarial gap isn’t quite right here – possibly a forgivable offense since so few reconstructions seem to really get it right, and most people won’t really notice anyway. Otherwise, there’s plenty for the paleo-enthusiast to gush over. The hard polyresin construction allows the tail to be held neatly off the ground, the arms aren’t straining the animal’s anatomy, and the sculpt is full of action without going over the top.

There is often some inconsistency among the finished desktop models, particularly where paint application is concerned. It’s a difficult thing to stay on top of, with factory workers dressing up so many pieces a day, while trying to keep production costs reasonable. However, I would rate this model among the best painted in the entire Dinostoreus line. Nary a stray splotch nor crude stroke of color can be found on the model, and I’ve inspected several of them. Application appears quite neat, easily on par with the finest of Papo and Safari. Even the little black eyes have a lifelike shine. I particularly like the cranial crest design, like a “Hi, my name is…” tag to help distinguish him among his sail-backed brethren.

Some struggle to accept the 50-foot predator’s probable role as piscavore, which may cause some disappointment with the scene. All things considered, this is actually a rather bold move to put the image right in people’s faces. Watch any footage of a grizzly plucking fish from the water, and it’s certainly an endearing moment. Nets and rods may detach us from the finer points of fishing, so the visceral power of this scenario could make it an interesting piece for a hunting/fishing lodge.

Also of note is the fish itself, a gar. As luck would have it, these fish are still around today, and many humans consider them quite delicious. A unique greenish bone coloring in the gar is caused by bile pigment, though revealing this in the statue may have been a bit too gruesome or impractical. In fact, the violence could be intentionally toned down, without a speck of blood present. This could be an effort to produce a “gentler violence” than that which pervades many other pieces, including Dinostoreus’s own T.rex Fight Over Carcass.

The translucent teal water provides a much more interesting base than the usual bland patch of earth. The Sideshow Deinosuchus vs. Parasaurolophus comes to mind, but those waters were darker and muddier, not even close to this tropical fishing paradise the Spinosaurus enjoys. The water actually looks beautiful and clear, and the fully-finished feet can even be seen beneath the surface. The base works well on its own, and it’s nice to have the option of using the wooden base with nameplate as well.

This statue came as a pleasant surprise to me. It does not overwhelm with scale or drama, but offers plenty of intrigue and has been crafted with considerable care. I would try to keep it away from too many harsh elements, but the appeal of using it in beach or coastal diorama is understandable. It’s a bit heavy and not exactly cheap, so as always, take care displaying it around young children who will undoubtedly try to play with it. Sneak it into the bathtub at your own risk.