Category Archives: Geoworld

Argentinosaurus (Geoworld)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

Well, we’ve had the good, the bad, and now it’s time for the . . . okay. Once more I delve into Geoworld’s collection of dinos to see if we get a gem or a dud. This time, from the second expedition, we have Argentinosaurus. With very few figures having been made of this species, I was curious to see another take on it by a different company. Will this inspire other companies to do the same? Well, let’s see . . .

image

First, as always, let’s start with the source of irritation to most true paleontologists: the fact card. This does come with some good facts and figures for Argentinosaurus, with cards in multiple languages. The picture (and the figure, as they are very similar) doesn’t seem to be taken from any single paleoartist, but does seem to resemble Luis V. Rey’s drawing and, to an extent, the popular children’s TV show Dinosaur Train.

image

On to the figure! It measures 9.0” long and 3.9” high, making it a mid-sized figure at the odd scale of 1:130. Being one of the largest land animals ever, it seems odd for it to be on the smaller size. The pose is decent, perhaps eating from a tree with its tail languidly swishing behind. Most the body is covered in blue with patchy purple spots and beige underneath. It has an odd pink splodge on the bottom jaw, looking like it has failed to put its lipstick on right. At least it did its nails right (matching black, very nice!)

image

Accuracy for Argentinosaurus is difficult to gauge. The fossil evidence is fairly limited, consisting of vertebrae, ribs, and a few incomplete leg bones, so often other titanosaurs are used as blue prints to flesh out the final animal. From what is known, the figure isn’t bad (considering it’s Geoworld), with long, columnar legs, a long neck, and a fairly wide body. But the legs, belly, and neck feel a little too thin for such a big dinosaur. The bumps on its back are very much artistic licence, as no skin or osteoderms have been found for Argentinosaurus. It feels like it is based off Saltasaurus, a fellow titanosaur and another used as a template for a complete Argentinosaurus. It’s a bit odd, but some may like that.

image

While this is certainly better than the first expedition figure I brought, it still feels a bit generic by most sauropod standards. Without looking at the underbelly or seeing it out of packaging, you might easily mistake it for an Apatosaurus. It is one of the few Argentinosaurus figures on the market, so if you want a bit of variety, I do recommend it, at least until another company makes a model of it.

image

Well, those are the reviews for my first three Geoworld figures. Overall, I would say that this is a line that, while feeling very Chinasaur in certain areas, does have a few gems in the group, especially in the later lines. It is certainly a mixed bag, leaning towards the worst most of the time, especially compared to other companies. The plagiarism is also completely shameful and far too prevalent. They seem to have better models when they make fewer per line, as the first two produced 36 each, then 18 on the third, which shows in the poor quality of the early figures. Hopefully future lines of Geoworld will produce fewer figures at better quality, with less plagiarism, but who knows? Only time will tell.

Protoceratops (Geoworld)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

The last time I reviewed a Geoworld figure, I mentioned I had bought a figure from each of the first three lines. I reviewed my favourite of the three first, which in my opinion was the best of what I have. Now it’s time for the worst of the three, a waste of money and plastic: Protoceratops. This early ceratopsian is a very common herbivore in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Mongolia, often nicknamed the ‘sheep of the Cretaceous’, so you’d think it’d be easy to create an accurate model from even a small amount of research. Evidently, Geoworld disagreed.

image

Geoworld is infamous for claims of scientific accuracy that are quickly proven wrong, and massive amounts of plagiarism. The First Expedition, as it’s known, is a good example of these problems. The first culprit is the fact card provided with each figure. While it does have useful information that children will appreciate and learn from, the picture of Protoceratops is clearly a plagiarised picture from early dinosaur books (can‘t find the exact author).

image

Onto the figure itself. It measures 6.2” long and 3.0” high, making it oddly large for a Protoceratops. On the underbelly of the figure, it has a scale of 1:10, as the figures are made at a similar size and given different scales, which is very bizarre. The pose seems very odd, looking like the animal is prowling around like a big cat rather than in something more appropriate for a herbivorous dinosaur. The colour scheme is a mix of beige and browns, with a pair of reddish-brown stars on the frill as a possible display feature for the animal. While not directly plagiarising any palaeoartist, it does seem fairly similar to several pieces, such as the one from Charlie McGrady Studio.

image

Onto scientific accuracy. If you have seen any of the early Geoworld figure reviews, you can probably see where this is going. We’ll start with the good points. The raised spines on the tail are present, the skull is the correct shape, and the front legs are shorter than the back legs. Now for the bad points. The skull and frill, though correctly shaped, seem much too small in comparison to the rest of the body. The neck far too long and the figure is very skinny in general. Though Protoceratops is generally thought to be more lean than the bulkier early incarnations, this seems way too skinny. While the front legs are fairly accurate, the back ones aren’t, as the ankle joint is far too far apart from the foot.

image

Looking over this early figure from Geoworld, I am surprised they managed to get to a second line, let alone a further two more lines beyond that. This figure is very ugly in general, and its flaws stand out very badly. I really can’t recommend this figure, especially with the blatant plagiarism that is connected to it. There are much better figures of Protoceratops out there. This one can be avoided.

image

Utahraptor (Jurassic Hunters by Geoworld)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Last time I did a review of a Geoworld product, I said that the company likes to put feathers only on species that are known to have feathers in the fossils. Well, unfortunately I should’ve done more research (and a little more glancing at my collection) because that was not the case. Today’s model is a feathered dinosaur by Geoworld, and it’s actually one of a few models that have sculpted plumage despite being currently absent in the fossils. The model in question is Utahraptor, and for once in the line, the colours look very believable. The model is sculpted with a feathery texture and is given a realistic spot-like pattern that remind me of the patterns found on big cats such as leopards. Unfortunately, I don’t think this color scheme is well-suited for anything that’s not a grassland, and we all know that grass was not very abundant in the Mesozoic.

image

Despite this, the patterns and texture are pleasing to look at. The only downside is that the model is made in a ridiculous pose. The torso is arched upwards at an angle and one of its hands is raised higher than the other. The mouth is also wide open (since kids think theropods look cooler with their mouths open), but on this model, it looks ridiculous. What it is intended to be doing is beyond me, but the way I interpret it is that the raptor is about put his hand over his heart while he sings a ballad or two for his sweetheart.

In terms of accuracy, this model is pretty decent. The arms lack primary feathers, but in my opinion, this is best for Geoworld because whenever they do try such feathers, they always get them wrong (case in point: the Velociraptor) and the way the feathers are sculpted on this figure makes the model look more convincing as a living creature (if only the pose were different). Yes, I know that it’s inaccurate without primaries, but in this instance, I’m willing to let it slide. The head is your generic dromaeosaur skull that looks reasonable for a species like Utahraptor. The feet are the right shape and the hands have the correct number of digits.

image

The colours on this model are the most strikingly realistic ones I have ever seen on any Geoworld figure. The main color is orange while the patterns are brown with black outlines. The feet are a bright blue which contrasts to the duller, more subtle colours on the rest of the body. The teeth are white (as usual), the claws are black (also as usual), and the tongue is pink.

Overall, I would say this is one of Geoworld’s more decent efforts were it not for the pose. If you can get over it (or find a diorama that requires a singing dromaeosaur), then go ahead and buy one from your preferred Geoworld retailer (mine just so happens to be Dejankins, who’s got the entire Jurassic Hunters line in stock for a fair price).

image