Category Archives: ornithopod

Dinosaur Boxset 2 (Toyway)

Review and photos by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

We’ve all seen them. The crude dinosaur toys that you get in small museum shops for extremely cheap prices, normally just bought by parents to keep their children quiet for a while. The last thing you’d expect is to put six of these together and sell them as a box set. Yet that is what Toyway did. Granted, their wildlife sets are extremely well made and varied. Their dinosaur models, on the other hand, are more . . . Chinasaur. Do any of these toys shine in spite of this? Well, let’s see . . .

First is this odd green and yellow quadruped. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was an early ankylosaur with inaccurate teeth. At 5.1” long and 2” high, it looks like a small herbivore. But then I looked up what it was I was quite surprised. This is meant to be a Postosuchus!!! It is too wide, the head is all wrong, and the front legs are much too long! This dreadful figure really is the worst of the set.

Next is a small ornithopod, Camptosaurus. Another small figure, 3.5” long and 2.2” high, it stands out with its dynamic, sweeping pose. The problem is that it can bend out of shape, causing stability issues. The colour is quite subdued: muddy brown and dark greens, good for a herbivore that wishes to stay camouflaged. The main issues are that it is a bit thick in certain areas, like the neck, and the front limbs are too long. A mixed bag.

The hadrosaur in this set is Corythosaurus, a classic. Posed in a strange quadrupedal stance, it certainly looks retro, very lizard-like, though with a rather unnatural dip in the neck. The subdued colours from the Camptosaurus return, but with lilac instead of green, and a garish lime green underbelly. At 4.5” long and 2.4” high, it would suit for a youngster among its kind.

Now, for even more retro, it’s Iguanodon. Between the upright stance and iguana-like head, it will certainly appeal to fans of older dino designs. With a light red colour, it certainly stands out, though. At 3.5” high and 3.9” long, it is one of the bigger figures in this mini set.

Euoplocephalus is the ankylosaur of the set, and one of the best in the bunch. It has the traditional stance of defending itself from a predator, pulling it off quite well. Its brown and turquoise colouring is odd, as is the club design, which is too spaced out. The body is too thin as well, and not squat enough. Again, good for a juvenile at 4.5” long and 2” high.

The final member of the set is the biggest surprise: Placerias, a dicynodont from the Triassic. This figure is well made and really accurate, and it’s hard to find anything to say against it. The green and beige colours work well here and, though the pose is a bit stoic, it still sticks out. At 4.3” long and 2” high, it certainly works as a small reptile among its contemporaries.

Now, here is the final twist. As most of these are cheap, small figures from museum shops, few tend to put these on eBay, except rarely in sets with other figures. As a result, outside this set, they’re surprisingly rare, especially for the Placerias, as it is one of only a few representations of this figure. And the price for it can range from £8.00 to £64.00! If you can find it cheap, it would be worth it, otherwise I can’t strongly recommend it too highly.

Mandschurosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

Beijing-based PNSO (Peking Natural Science and Art Organization) made a splash this year with the release of several large hollow vinyl figures. Besides being imposing due to their size, the new figures are notable for their high level of detail and the unconventional species choices. Today we’ll look at their Mandschurosaurus, the first plastic figure of this genus ever released.
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Mandschurosaurus is not the most famous dinosaur, but rather an obscure genus known from just a few bones discovered in the Amur region of Russia’s far east. The figure is bulky, like the others in its line, about 40 cm long measured along the spine. I couldn’t find reliable length estimates for the animal, so to figure out the scale I actually found a copy of the holotype description in a Soviet paleontology journal (thanks, interlibrary loan and Stanford University!). Incidentally, the author, A.H. Рябинин, died in 1942 and under Russian copyright law his work is now in the public domain.mandschurosaurus_amurensis
The description is mostly in Russian, with parts in English and French. But all I needed was some measurements, and numbers are a global language! I got measurements from both the original specimen and the toy for three bones:

scapula: 76 cm, 4.8 cm on the toy
ulna: 62.4 cm, 3 cm on the toy
tibia: 90 cm, 5.2 cm on the toy

On the toy they’re not quite all to scale with each other, but if you average them together, this figure is about 1:18. That’s a big hadrosaur!

It’s a very nicely sculpted figure, although the preceding measurements suggest some minor proportion problems. The entire piece is painted in various shades of brown, with a glossy finish. It’s slightly paler underneath, with a finely detailed wrinkled texture with tubercles and spiky scales along the back and a nice saggy dewlap.
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The head is not well known for Mandschurosaurus, so this one is sculpted to resemble a generic crestless hadrosaur. The eyes are the sole spot of color, painted a cool blue.
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This hollow figure is molded in multiple pieces, and assembled with glue. Despite the reasonably nice paint job, the seams are still visible around the midsection and across the lower thigh. I don’t find the seams terribly distracting, but your mileage may vary. My copy stands well on its own, but I have heard from other buyers that it can be unstable. It comes on a clear plastic support that you can use to keep it steady, or you can prop it up against another dino on your shelf.
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This might be a good figure for older kids, but probably not for the very young, since the paint chips easily and one incautious child could bonk another one pretty good. I get the impression that it is aimed more at adult collectors, and the price reflects that. It’s an attractive replica that looks very impressive on the shelf, and depicts a unique animal, so I’d recommend it for any fan of hadrosaurs, expert sculpting, or large-scale dinosaurs in general.

Parasaurolophus (Tsukuda Hobby Collection)

Review and photos by docronnie moraleta, edited by Suspsy

Parasaurolophus is known from only a handful of specimens, but somehow it has become one of the most popular dinosaurs around, maybe because of its very interesting cranial crest.

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Like all Tsukuda figures from the standard 13 piece set in the 1980s’, this vintage Parasaurolophus is made of hollow vinyl plastic in a multi-piece construction and moulded into one piece; hence the evident appearance of seams along the neck, extremities, and tail. It also has the signature glassy eyes feature.

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Measuring 28.5 cm long and 13.5 cm in height, this figure is in a somber striding pose with the right front limb lifted off the ground. It is dark olive green in colour, with light green highlights on the dorsal part of the head from the nostrils to the crest, and on the ventral side of the body from the lower jaw to the tail, with subtle black stripes from the neck to the tail.

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The Parasaurolophus exhibits a few tubercle-like scales on the head, body, extremities, and tail. It also has beautiful skin folds all around the neck and on the ventral side from the lower jaw to the tail. “O TSUKUDA HOBBY” is printed on the anterior side of the tail. It seems to exemplify P. walkeri with its possession of a long, slightly curved crest.

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Its cheeks are unequal, with the left cheek being much thicker than the right. It also possesses four digits on its hands and three on its feet with white hooves. The palms and soles of this figure are also carefully sculpted.

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This was my first Tsukuda figure and I bought it because of its charm, vintage look, and great price, only to find out from a fellow DTF member that it’s one of the rarer figures of the line! It might not appeal to everyone, but it seems to have charmed its way into my collection.