Category Archives: Papo

Velociraptor (Blue Version)(Papo)

Ah, Velociraptor. Thanks to its starring role in the Jurassic Park franchise, it is arguably the second most popular dinosaur after Tyrannosaurus rex. But the funny thing is, it might never have become so famous had it not been for a taxonomic error in a certain book: Predatory Dinosaurs of the World.

Written and illustrated by acclaimed paleoartist Gregory Paul in 1988, PDotW combined meticulous research, vivid art, and a writing style that was appealing to an eleven year old dinosaur buff. It is still one of my favourite books, one that truly revolutionized my perception of dinosaurs. Michael Crichton clearly felt the same way, as he relied heavily on Paul’s book when he was doing research for the novel that would be titled Jurassic Park. The problem is, PDotW contained a number of erroneous or highly dubious claims regarding dinosaur taxonomy. One was to lump Deinonychus and Velociraptor as the same genus, with the latter name taking precedent. Had Paul not done this (he has since acknowledged the error), or had Crichton not relied on PDotW, it is very possible that Deinonychus, not Velociraptor, would have been the dromaeosaur featured in Jurassic Park.

Enough musing on what might have been. The toy I’ll be reviewing here should be a familiar face to most readers. Recall that Papo released their first Velociraptor toy way back in 2005. In 2010, they rereleased it in grey with reddish brown markings. In 2015, they released a multi-coloured version in a two-pack with a similar repaint of the original Tyrannosaurus rex. In 2016, they released a rather dull green version. And finally, for this year, Papo has opted to release their 2015 version again, with the official name is ‘Blue Velociraptor.’ And indeed, it does feature purple-blue on its back and bright blue around its eyes on and on the tip of its tail. The main colour, however, is a dull olive green with very faint pink for the underbelly. Reddish-brown and faint pink stripes run in a line down the neck and spine. The lower jaw and throat are tinged with rusty orange and there are black spots lining the mouth. The wide eyes are dark orange. Finally, the inside of the mouth is medium pink with a pale pink tongue, the teeth are white, and the claws are black. Not quite as flashy as the T. rexes, but easily the most colourful of all the Papo raptors.


The Acrocanthosaurus is similarly coloured too.

This Velociraptor stands 9.5cm tall and measures slightly over 17 cm long. I’m not going to go into a description of the fine sculpting or the many, many glaring inaccuracies riddling this toy, as both have been covered in the review of the original version.

So why did I even bother with this toy given my passion for dromaeosaurs depicted with feathers and my disdain for those that are still depicted without them? Well, as an educator, I love squeezing dinosaurs into my lessons whenever possible. And I figured an outdated, inaccurate toy such as this one would be a perfect contrast to say, Papo’s 2016 Feathered Velociraptor or Safari’s 2017 masterpiece. Show this toy to the kids first, ask them where they’ve seen raptors like it, then show them the feathered version and explain that this is what they really looked like.

For those of you who do thoroughly enjoy the JP franchise, or just vintage renditions of dinosaurs in general, the Blue Velociraptor will probably be a good addition to your collection.

Acrocanthosaurus (Papo)

Review and photographs by Rajvinder “IrritatorRaji” Phull, edited by Suspsy

Like diamonds to a woman, Papo is a dinosaur lover’s best friend. While they tend to fall short in terms of scientific accuracy, their models are renowned for being packed to the brim with detail. Their offerings are pleasing to look at, even if it’s a slightly less enjoyable viewing experience for a trained eye. However, for 2017, Papo have brought out the big guns, with this Acrocanthosaurus arguably taking centre stage. Measuring at 28 cm (11 inches) long and 15cm (5.9 inches) tall at the tip of the tail, it’s a decently sized model. Just how good is this figure though? Well, let’s take a closer look.

The pose is an interesting one, but certainly not unique, with Battat’s Acrocanthosaurus and Safari Ltd’s original Carcharodontosaurus having used this stance before. While it’s not the dreaded tripod stance, the animal does not stand on its own two feet. Instead, it rests on the middle claw on its right arm. That being said, Papo has certainly made this pose their own. Through use of beautifully sculpted muscles, the figure gives off the illusion of a heavy animal shifting all its weight onto its left leg. While I feel this figure may have had a lot of potential being sculpted in a horizontal position, similar to Papo’s new Ceratosaurus, the impact of this forward-lunging pose can’t be denied. What makes this pose better for me is the ambiguity of the animal’s emotion; it doesn’t appear to be inherently passive or aggressive. Simply altering the position of the articulated jaw can turn this cautiously curious reptile into a predator striking at its prey.

In typical Papo fashion, the detail is superb. The face is adorned in small, individually sculpted scales. The teeth are also individually sculpted and are not uniform. The tongue and inner mouth are also worthy of merit, not only being well sculpted, but being wonderfully painted too. The lower jaw and neck showcase those signature Papo spines. The skin of the Acrocanthosaurus is sculpted beautifully, stretching to expose muscle and bone and bunching into highly detailed folds. The hands, which are not pronated, and feet are coated in broad, bold scales, giving them a very bird-like appearance. The hands are missing the enlarged claws that allosaurs are known to have, but given that I myself nearly forgot to talk about it, I can’t really blame Papo, especially since it’s not an obvious or iconic feature. The model is also very sturdy, and I mean very sturdy. On a flat surface, it’s nearly impossible to knock this figure over unless you were trying to, so you can trust that it will not accidentally fall off your shelf to its doom.

The paint job is another plus to this figure. Gray, orange, dark blue, white, gold and purple create this dinosaur’s skin. A very strange choice of colours, in my opinion, but definitely worth that gamble. The dark blue sail and thin purple line help to bring out the bright orange streak going along the body. White osteoderms also contour the animal’s neck, shoulders, back, and tail. The face and neck are also dotted with gold. Its small eyes, which feature yellow scleras with red irises and black pupils, are lined with a thin black that makes them pop. It’s also worth noting that this figure isn’t overly shiny, having a nice matte finish instead.

That’s all that’s great about this model, but does it have any flaws? While it does have some, they’re quite small, and if you’re not looking for them you may never notice them. First of all, while my Acrocanthosaurus was unaffected, I’ve seen other ones where the paint on the gums spills onto the lips. The spines that line the animal’s sail were also worn and unpainted on a few of them for my model. The tail also curves at the end, it looks nice but may not have been possible in reality given the stiff tail that we generally accept. I also have an issue with the pink paint on the cheeks, and that’s that it ends so abruptly, it looks like a mistake. It was probably intentional, but I feel it could have been blended with the grey skin better. There are also two large ‘canines’ in the lower jaw that tower above the other teeth. I don’t recall these canines being present in current findings or restorations of Acrocanthosaurus, but maybe I’m just out of touch. The temporal fenestre are also difficult to see. This figure also shares a flaw that was present in Papo’s Baryonyx. Namely, the head and neck are covered in small, bumpy, sculpted scales, but the body is covered in smoother wrinkles. It’s not a massive problem by any means, but the difference between the details in the head and the body are clear to see.

So, what’s my verdict? This is a fine model, a real beauty that any dinosaur lover should consider adding to their collection. While it does have its flaws, none of them should deter anyone who’s thinking of picking this figure up. And that’s it for my first review, thank you for reading!

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.