Category Archives: Mojö Fun

Tyrannosaurus Rex w/articulated jaw (Prehistoric & Extinct by Mojö)

Ever since Tyrannosaurus rex was described back in 1905, this amazing animal has captured our imaginations.   Its not hard to see why. It was one of the largest land carnivores of all time and it had a huge skull with bone crushing jaws.  It is so recognizable that toy makers just can’t help themselves on trying to capitalize on their popularity by making as many as they can.  For 2017 Mojo released three new Tyrannosaur Rex toys and they are a vast improvement over their previous releases, which were tail dragging, piano playing monstrosities. Overall Mojo has improved their range of products.  By no means have they caught up with Safari or CollectA but they have taken a step in the right direction.

About the toy:  Of the three tyrannosaur’s that Mojo released for 2017, the articulated jaw T. rex is the smallest.   It is 7.5 in (19.05 cm) long and 3 in (7.62 cm) high.    It terms of size and pose the sculpt is similar (just a little smaller) to the striding Wild Safari 2011 sculpt.   It legs are not spread out as far as the striding Wild Safari version, instead they are closer together in a fashion that makes it look like it is creeping up on its prey.  Combine that with scientific inaccuracy, exaggerated rugosity on the skull,  a softer rubbery plastic feel that you would expect from a Schleich WOH toy, and suddenly this toy looks like the Schleich T. rex met the 2011 Safari and they had a baby.

Red Schleich T. rex side by side with 2017 Mojo T.rex

The pose is dynamic enough to make the toy look like it is on the hunt or it is just curious about what is on the other side of a river.   The figure is very steady on its feet without any assistance and this is due to the exaggerated size of both feet.  Unfortunately it does detract from the toy but I guess that’s the price for stability without a base.  Unless some new information has come out that I am unaware of, there is another error that plagues this T. rex, and that is the position of the arms.  The arms are pronated, with the claws facing down, which is inaccurate and every toy maker that wants to be taken seriously should know by now to have the claws facing inward.  I guess old habits die hard.

One of the most important features on a Tyrannosaurs rex is the impressive head.  One of the important things to look for is the position of the eyes.  The orbits are set in a way for the eyes to face foreword.  The back of the head should be expanded so that is in the shape of a T, with the snout being thin and long.  When we look at the head on this figure, it has those characteristics.  There is a clear antorbital fenestrae on the sides of the face in front of the orbit.   Also present on this figure is rough rugged bumps on the nasals that spread backwards and spouts a little flaring horn above the eyes.  This line of bumps continues going back on this toy until both sides meet at a point on the back of the skull. The seam for the head is visible despite attempts to blend it in along with skin folds on the neck.

Inside the mouth there are over thirty five teeth present.  That’s double than what you would normally find inside a T. rex mouth.  The teeth are individually sculpted and despite appearances, when you look closely you will notice they are different sizes.  Inside the mouth is a sculpted tongue.

As for the rest of the body on this figure it appears to be on the thin side.  There should be a little more heft to the toy.  On its back you can see a small bump from the dorsal vertebrae and at the hips you can see the ilium sticking out.  Above the arms you can see a bulge of muscle over the scapula.  There are similar muscle bulges on the legs.  There are some small skin folds connecting the torso and the legs.  The overall texture on the sculpt are lines of wrinkles running horizontal and vertically across the figure.  There are some scales on the antorbital fenestrae and on top of the head.

The colors are safe.  The head, torso, arms, legs, and tail are green.  The underside is in cream. There is some black wash in the skin folds that make them stand out a little.  Along the back all the way to the tip of the tail are dark blue triangle stripes.

If you are wondering were the feathers are, sorry but this is a scaly version.   Not trying to pick a fight but feathers are still speculative.  Yes it is highly likely that Tyrannosaurus rex had a liberal coating of feathers, it is also not impossible that it had a considerable coverage of scales on it as well.   Maybe feathers could have only been on youngsters.  The reality is we do not fully know yet, though there are some good ideas on what it could have looked like.   If you are interested in great feathered Tyrannosaurus rex toys both Safari (Hardbit)* and CollectA (Firestreak)* have made great versions with feathers, but lets take it easy on this figure as you can’t really take points off this toy for the lack of a feathery down.

Playability:  It is durable and has a moveable jaw.  Those are two important qualities for a dinosaur toy.  It is safe to use as they are no sharp edges and the material is bendy.  The toy is stable so it can be used on different surfaces with an increased chance of standing wherever it is being played.  The only problem is the size.  When you have a Tyrannosaurus rex toy, you want it to inspire awe and fear, unfortunately this is a smaller toy.  I guess it could be a juvenile that would accompany a parent on the hunt.

Overall:  Mojo has stepped foreword and released an improved product compared to their previous tyrannosaur releases.  It checks a few positive boxes but it does fail in other areas.  If you are looking for a gift for a child, well look no further as it is a really good toy for kids under eight years old.  For collectors it is not a must have,  as it is average at best when compared to all the other tyrannosaur toys that are available.  For educators , you should pass on this figure as it has too many scientific inaccuracies.  There is one more positive thing about this toy.  The cost.  It is an inexpensive figure.    As always, if you like it go for it, and happy hunting.

 

*Disclaimer: Both the 2017 Tyrannosaurus rex by Safari Ltd and Feathered Deluxe T. rex by CollectA do not go officially by the names Hardbit and Firestreak, those are names that were given to the toys by the reviewer Suspsy and used in this review as a reference to the reviews done for those figures.

 

Quagga (Mojo Fun)

The quagga (Equus quagga quagga) was a South African subspecies of zebra, immediately recognizable by its unique stripe pattern. During the 19th century, it was hunted relentlessly for its skin and meat, and to eliminate it as competition for domestic animals. Last minute attempts to preserve the species failed and the last known individual died in captivity in 1883. An effort is currently underway to selectively breed Burchell’s zebras with reduced stripes, but they will never be the same as the original quagga.

Mojo Fun’s 2013 take on the quagga measures 10 cm long and stands slightly under 9 cm tall. Its colour scheme is in keeping with what we know of the animal’s appearance: brown for the upper portion of the most, white for the underbelly, legs, and tail, and very pale beige for the stripes and main. Black is used for the muzzle, eyes, and hooves.

This individual, which is clearly a male, is standing tall and proud with its right hind hoof pawing at the ground. The tail is moulded to the left hind leg, which I find somewhat unfortunate, but not disastrous. As far as accuracy goes, this is a perfectly good rendition. Aside from its colours, the quagga’s anatomy was virtually identical to that of the still-extant Burchell’s zebra, to the point where telling their skeletons apart is said to be impossible.

Sculpting on this quagga is decent. The musculature is well-defined, the hide has a pitted texture to simulate fur, and the hairs on the mane and tail are done well enough. Overall though, it’s safe to say that this equid isn’t sculpted nearly as beautifully as the ones from CollectA or Schleich.

Like most recently extinct animals, the quagga is seldom depicted in toy form, so I’m very grateful to Mojo Fun for producing this one. I wish I could say that we as a race have learned something from its extinction, but I fear that is just wishful thinking. 🙁

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.