Category Archives: PNSO

Ophthalmosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by, PNSO)

Kids perspective by, William and Erin

By day the squid lurk in the deep waters were only the brave dive into the unknown. It is in these murky depths were they hide from the predators above. When the sun goes down and the moon arrives they come up from down below to the surface to feed.  Awaiting the strange creatures from the depths is a fast predator with big eyes that can see through the gloom.  A squid is gliding around looking for small morsels to eat.  It never sees the big eyes that have locked onto him.  The creature speeds towards it target and snap, the squid is grabbed quickly and swallowed.  For as wonderful as nature is, it is unforgiving and deadly.

The Ophthalmosaurus was an ichthyosaur that was around 19 feet (6 meters) long and like dolphins today it was a voracious predator that was well adapted for eating squid.   It lived around 155 million years ago and had big eyes, a graceful tear drop body, and a half-moon caudal fin.

Little Becky along side the Kaiyodo Ichthyosaurus.

I am not sure why there are not more toys of this species made as they fit the definition of cute.  I remember watching Walking with Dinosaurs and rooting for the little juvenile Ophthalmosaurus  as it dodged bigger predators in the cruel sea.  Lets face it, they look like dolphins (thank you convergent evolution) which makes us think of them as fun, graceful, and playful animals from a long time ago.  Unless your a squid they ae not the things of nightmares, as they don’t have a gaping maw with large man eating teeth.  Combine that with their large eyes and it is hard not to like these wonderful ichthyosaurs.  There have been two other Ophthalmosaurus reviewed on the blog, the beautiful WWD version and the mini Chap Mei toy.  So lets take a look at Becky the little Ophthalmosaurus toy from PNSO.

About the Toy:  Like the other PNSO little figures, this toy came with a poster and information.  The toy is small at 3.8 in (9.65 cm) long and about a half and inch (2 cm) high.  True to its claim to fame the eyes are big on this model and takes up most of its skull.  This probably means that it hunted at a depth where there is not much light or that it may have hunted at night when prey was more active. The pose on the toy is that of an active swimmer.  The head to its dorsal fin is stiff, then the body curves and ungulates gracefully to its right and then flattens back toward  the midline.  This follows the thought that it was a thunniform, high speed, long distance swimmer were all the sideways movement is in the tail and the region that connects to the body.  The tail is in the shape of a crescent moon which appears correct.  The forepaddles and hindfins seem correct as well.  The dorsal fin appears a little small but within the realm of possibility.

The colors and texture are pleasant.  Texturally there is not much to mention other than the entire body is covered in small diagonal lines that give the appearance of skin.  The forepaddles and hindfins also have small lines on the top and bottoms.  In reality, the color on this model probably should be darker on top, instead it is painted in a pleasing light green, with blueish green stripes.  The under side is a light creamy tan.  On the sides of the toy there is a blend of green and tan along with markings that appears to be a question mark design in blueish green.  That same blueish green is dotted on the forepaddles and along the crescent tail.

Kids perspective:  It is small and I wish it was bigger but I can still play with it.  I like the colors, as the colors look real but not as real as in Walking with Dinosaurs.  I really like the green on the tail.  The toy looks like it is a fast swimming fish torpedo.  To play with it is ok.  You can play with it in the pool, or bathtub, as they are both great places to play with this toy.  You do have to be careful when playing in water as you could lose it.  In a deep pool it could go to the bottom and be hard to find.  It is a lot of fun to play with it in the bathtub but it could go down the drain as it is small, so be careful.  You can definitely play with it in Barbies pool but it doesn’t go well with other animals like horses.  We would rate it is an average toy.

Overall:  I think this is a nice figure. It is cute and has an active pose which gives it personality.   I think it displays very well and I did not notice any major anatomical flaws.  The colors are pleasing even with the strange question mark pattern.  The cost on this little figure is low as well.  With all those thoughts in mind I would say that Becky the little Ophthalmosaurus is a keeper.

 

Allosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs, by PNSO)

As you may know, Allosaurus was a common predator 150 million years ago.  It hunted everywhere on the flood plains of the Morrison formation from the conifer forest, to the fern plains in between.  This charming little fellow is Black the little Allosaurus from PNSO.

About the toy:  The figure comes with a poster that has a small Allosaurus skeleton picture and information on one side. On the flip side there is a full color picture of the animal.  The toy has a base which allows it to be posed in a active stance.  The toy is positioned with its back leg lifting up off the ground, its tail flicking high into the air, and its head looking up.  From the ground to the tip of its tail it is 3 in (7.62 cm) high.  From the tip of its snout to the end of its tail it is 3.25 in (8.25 cm) long.

Texturally this little figure has many creases and skin folds that make it look like the skin on a naked mole rat or an elephant.  Probably not what it looked like in real life but at least it makes it visually interesting.  As for the rest of the sculpt it looks rather skinny.  There are some small muscle bulges but overall the body feels thin and squished.  The tail probably should be wider than the hips due to the Caudofemralis longus muscle but the big issue is the tail just whipping all about.  The tail really should be more stiff especially the first half of the tail.

The head looks ok but like the rest of the body it feels squished.  The mouth is closed but poking through are teeth from the upper dentary.  As for the rest of the body, the hands face inward, the neck has a pronounced s-curve, and the leg proportions look correct.  The back right foot has a block of plastic attached to the foot to maintain stability and strength to where the toes and the base meet.

The colors are a blend of light green, dark green, and a yellowish tan.  The base is the same color as the feet.  The eyes are yellow and the lachrymal  knob is colored red.  The entire figure has a wash of black that fills in the cracks and spaces.  The teeth and claws are not painted individually and have the same colors as the rest of the toy.

Overall:  There are some anatomical errors but, it is also a small figure so I guess that’s to be excepted.  When compared to the other PNSO mini’s that I have seen this one seems to be one of their worst efforts.  That doesn’t mean it is bad, it just ends up being average and unexceptional.  As with it the rest of the minis it can be found at a low cost.   This is not a must have figure and I would rate it as no better than average.

 

Shantungosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

Review and photographs by Fembrogon, edited by Suspsy

Hello, all, this is Fembrogon with my first review for the DinoToyBlog. My featured creature for this review is the gargantuan hadrosaur Shantungosaurus–a genus which I believe could achieve minor stardom in the mainstream with the right push. Shantungosaurus obviously wasn’t a carnivore, and didn’t have fancy ornamentation like some of its relatives, but with size estimates reaching up to 50 feet long and 13 tons heavy, Shantungosaurus holds the record for largest known non-sauropod land animal in history. That’s not bad for a duckbill!

Of course, with size being Shantungosaurus‘s potential claim to fame, the best way to market it would be to bank on BIG merchandise. The Chinese company PNSO finally took a stab at this dino, as well as several others (some of which have already been reviewed here on the blog), as part of a large hollow plastic toy line. How well does Shantungosaurus hold up?

Unfortunately, not so well in the case of my particular figure. The feet are so unevenly balanced that the big hadrosaur is prone to falling like dying prey. Hot water treatments to the legs have only offered temporary respites. Hopefully, this issue is unique to mine (I don’t even know if it’s actually a sculpting or shipping issue), but it’s the biggest criticism I have to lay on the figure, so let that issue . . um . . . Stand at the front.

The above problem notwithstanding, the PNSO Shantungosaurus has an impressive shelf presence, standing 6.5″ tall at the hip and 13″ long, 17″ counting the curves in the neck and tail. This puts the figure at roughly 1:35 scale. I’m no expert on hadrosaur anatomy, but looking at skeletal photographs and illustrations, PNSO seems to have nailed the overall proportions and features of the genus. I particularly like the thick, rectangular lower jaw replicated on the figure, which distinguishes it more from other, more “plain”-looking hadrosaurs (if the honking great size wasn’t enough for you). I don’t know if Shantungosaurus could bend the end of its tail as well as it is on this figure (hadrosaurs are thought to have very stiff, reinforced tailbones), but it certainly adds to a dynamic pose not often seen in herbivorous dinosaurs.


Finer details are very good for what is ostensibly a child’s toy. There’s little or no shrink-wrapping I can make out, besides a rather bony face. The body is covered with fine scaly detail, pronounced by dark paint highlights. The paint job is very earthy and natural in appearance, with light and dark brown washes and a nice, subtle striping on the tail. There are some odd rusty red highlights on the face, but they aren’t too distracting. My figure does have a few tiny scuffs on the toes and spine, however, so I would recommend treating this figure gently. There is also a noticeable paint blotch on the left back leg of mine; hopefully that is another flaw unique to my own.

PNSO appears to be off to a strong start with their dinosaur figures. While I can’t praise this particular one as much as I’d like, what with the various issues mine has (getting it to stand risks becoming a hassle), the PNSO Shantungosaurus is nonetheless a very nice representation of a genus rarely seen in toy form. If you’d like to obtain one for yourself, DeJankins still has this figure and others in the line for reasonable prices as of this writing.