Category Archives: Papo

Tyrannosaurus rex (Rainbow Running Version by Papo)

Since its release in 2012, Papo’s Running Tyrannosaurus rex has become immensely popular with dinosaur enthusiasts. Its fearsome visage has popped in multiple books and magazines, and it has even crashed a few weddings! Not surprisingly then, Papo released this very colourful repaint in mid-2016. Unlike the super-rare brown variant, this one is widely available both online and in certain stores such as Mastermind Toys here in Ontario.

I’m not going to go much into sculpting detail, as it’s already been amply discussed in the reviews linked above. As you can see, the “rainbow” moniker is well-justified. The T. rex’s back is covered in dark blue, purple, and light brown while its flanks and underside feature medium grey with dark stripes, dark blue hands and feet, and dark grey claws. The throat, with its thick wattle, is dark pink. The brow ridges are dull purple, the eyes are blood red, the inside of the mouth is off pink, and the teeth are pearly white.

At first glance, this colour scheme appears identical to the female version’s. However, there are a few differences. The male’s skull and mouth interior are darker. The tissue connecting the skull to the mandible is pink painted over with purple as opposed to just pink. The purple stripes running horizontally along the sides are more pronounced. Finally, the hands and feet are dark blue as to blue-grey. Blueback, meet Bluefoot. May you live long and dispatch many ceratopsians together. Oh, and Bluefoot is also distinctly glossier on his head and back compared to his mate.

The other two versions of the Running T. rex are infamous for having difficulty standing on their own. Happily, Papo appears to have addressed this flaw. As you can see in the comparison photo below, Bluefoot leans less to the right than Roughskull, making him a centimetre taller and greatly improving his stability!

Out of all three versions, this one is now my favourite, due to the spiffy colour scheme and the improved stability. If you don’t own any of them yet, I definitely recommend getting this one. And if you’re particularly fond of T. rex, as I am, then you’ll definitely want to add this figure to your collection regardless. Incidentally, the upcoming 2017 Acrocanthosaurus figure has the same colour scheme as Bluefoot and Blueback. Someone at Papo must really like this blend.

Smilodon (2011)(Papo)

One of the more bizarre proposals I’ve heard recently is that Smilodon and other machairodonts may have had large, drooping jowls to protect their famous (and fragile) fangs from the elements. I’m not convinced of this reconstruction myself, but I do find it rather amusing. Speculation will always be a large part of paleontology.

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The Papo Smilodon was released back in 2011, so its fangs are out in the open for all to see. It is posed in an extreme crouching stance with its muscular limbs taut and its mouth open in a roar. No proper predator would ever let out the slightest peep during a hunt, so it’s doubtful that this guy (you can clearly tell this is a male) is stalking game. No, more likely he’s confronting a rival who’s been trespassing on his turf. Or maybe he’s facing down a vicious pack of dire wolves or a hulking short-faced bear bent on stealing his hard-earned kill. Or perhaps he’s been cornered by a band of early human hunters. In any case, this big cat is ready to rumble!

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The Smilodon measures 15.5 cm long. Its colour scheme appears to be based on an African lion: tawny brown and white fur with dark brown on the ears and the tip of the tail, grey claws, black for the pads on the paws and the accents around the eyes, nose, and mouth, light brown eyes, a dark pink nose, pink and dark purple for the inside of the mouth, and creamy white dentition. It’s perfectly possible that Smilodon was coloured like this, but I much prefer my machairodonts with spots or stripes on their pelts.

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The detailing on this toy is very impressive. Finely sculpted fur covers the entire animal and the muscles in the limbs look well-defined and powerful. The ribs can be felt on the flanks and the wrinkles on the muzzle add to the Smilodon‘s enraged appearance. No major anatomical inaccuracies to be found here, although the overall build is probably too sleek and streamlined. And the inside of the mouth is quite a disappointment. Look inside the mouth of just about any Papo theropod and you’ll see plenty of fine sculpting detail. But aside from the simple tongue, the inside of this cat’s mouth is flat and plain.

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In conclusion, while I like the versions from CollectA and Safari better, this is nevertheless one of the better-sculpted, more fun Smilodon toys currently available. Recommended.

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But if the standard appearance isn’t your cup of tea, there’s the upcoming 2017 version with tiger stripes and a lion’s mane. Looks like it’s wearing a babushka to me.

Kaprosuchus (Papo)

The name Kaprosuchus means ‘boar crocodile,’ and that pretty much says it all about this fantastic and frightful crocodyliform from Late Cretaceous Africa.

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Papo’s 2016 Kaprosuchus figure is positively massive, far more so than I originally anticipated. It measures 22 cm long and is slightly over 10 cm tall due to its raised tail. Incidentally, the first length estimate of Kaprosuchus–which is known only from a single skull–was six metres, right up there with the dangerous saltwater crocodile of today. Later estimates, however, have placed it at slightly over three metres long, which is the same size as an average American alligator. Not exactly what you’d call a giant, but still big enough to kill and eat you.

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Unlike modern alligators and crocodiles, this Kaprosuchus is standing high and proud off the ground on large, powerful legs. The big tail is flailing about in the air, ready to knock something right off its feet. Although only a skull of Kaprosuchus has been found, paleontologists have determined that the eyes were positioned laterally and somewhat anteriorly. This strongly suggests an animal that lived mainly on land as opposed to the swamps. As well, the robust snout with its bulbous tip indicates that Kaprosuchus used its head as a battering ram, knocking out its prey before chomping down with those terrifying teeth. Unfortunately, the head of this figure is missing both of those distinct features. It does have the two rugose horns jutting out at the back, but overall, it looks more like a saltwater or a Nile crocodile’s head, aside from the teeth, of course.

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And what teeth! The sculptor definitely got the Kaprosuchus‘ dentition correct, with multiple sets of huge caniniform teeth in the upper and lower jaws. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision how deadly these would be in real life! Like many of Papo’s prehistoric carnivores, the mouth on this one is hinged, allowing for fun play or impressive display. The main colours on the toy are dark grey, light grey, and light brown with tiny cream accents on the back, grey claws, gold eyes, an off pink mouth, and ivory teeth. The hide has been painstakingly modelled after that of a modern crocodilian’s, with countless heavy scales and multiple rows of osteoderms. We don’t know for sure that Kaprosuchus possessed such armour, but it’s within the realm of possibility.

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So how does this walking fang factory compare to the one from Wild Safari? Well, as far as sheer sculpting detail and scariness are concerned, victory definitely goes to the Papo Kapro. But in terms of scientific accuracy, the Safari ‘suchus wins due to its better placed eyes and its more bulbous snout. It’s also way less expensive–especially given that Papo has jacked up their prices this year. Bottom line, these are both great toys.

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Indeed, the Kaprosuchus is now one of my favourite Papo figures. Like the Baryonyx and the Feathered Velociraptor, it’s got some noticeable anatomical errors, but it’s just so big and detailed and impressive that you’re willing to overlook the shortcomings. Highly recommended.