Category Archives: PNSO

Majungasaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

Majungasaurus was an abelisaur, closely related to Carnotaurus and Rajasaurus. One of the very last dinosaurs to roam the planet, it was the feared and undisputed ruler of the island of Madagascar.

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Here’s Seia, the little Majungasaurus from PNSO. Sculpted atop a tan oval-shaped base, she is in a running stance with her right leg forward and her powerful tail curled back like a dog’s. This gives her a height of slightly over 7 cm and a length of 8.5 cm. While this pose unquestionably looks dramatic, I’m not sure if it was possible for a big theropod to achieve such a feat without breaking some tail bones.

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Seia’s main colours are ochre and very pale yellow with dark grey stripes and orange eyes. An appropriate colour scheme for a predator, very much like a tiger’s pelt. Her skin is wrinkly all over with multiple osteoderms on her neck and back. Her head features sculpted teeth and the single signature horn above her eyes. Her snout is short in length and tall in height, her hips are the correct width, and her muscular hind limbs make her look swift and graceful, but also deadly.

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Unfortunately, Seia is plagued by some major inaccuracies. First, her arms. Abelisaurs are famous for having arms so insanely tiny, they make a T. rex‘s look downright huge by comparison. Majungasaurus was no exception to this feature, but Seia’s arms, while small, are simply too large and long. Secondly, both her neck and her torso should be longer. And thirdly, her legs should be shorter. Seia also has a couple of mould issues. Her right foot is fused with a lump of plastic and looks ugly. Worse, she has a tendency to sag to the left. I keep her propped up with a support column made out of Lego, but she begins to sag again soon after I remove it. Not sure if this is just an individual case of bad luck or a widespread problem.

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Overall, Seia the Majungasaurus has a number of anatomical flaws, but she’s still an attractive and dynamic little toy. I extend my thanks to PNSO for this sample figure.

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Tuojiangosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

What an impressive debut PNSO has made this year! From huge resin statues ranging from $500 to $2000(yowza!) to large vinyl figures and to a variety of finely detailed miniatures, it looks like this Chinese company is going to be causing us dinosaur collectors much joy and much lighter wallets in future!

Today we’ll be taking a look at an adorable little Tuojiangosaurus going by the name of Rahba. Hailing from the Late Jurassic period, Tuojiangosaurus is the best-known of all the Asian stegosaurs, and at 7 metres in length, it was one of the larger members of the family.

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Rahba is posed in a walking stance with both her head and her thagomizer turning to the right and her right front leg raised in mid-step. Her main colours are sea green and beige with dull brown for her plates and spikes and orange for her eyes. Dark brown is used to accent the many wrinkles on her skin.

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From nose to tail tip, Rahba measures a mere 8 cm long. As I mentioned above, her body is covered in a network of thick folds and wrinkles. Her plates and spikes are grooved and there are even small, rounded scales on the underside of her jaw and her throat. Her head, neck, limbs, body, and tail all look very well-proportioned. No easy task when sculpting such a small toy.

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Rahba has three toes on each hind foot and at least three on each her front ones (it’s difficult to tell at this scale). Her thagomizer is made up of four long, curved spikes. No complete thagomizer of Tuojiangosaurus has been found to date, but all the skeletal reconstructions I’ve found online have depicted it with four spikes. The two small row of plates running down the back are also in keeping with the available fossil material. But the same cannot be said for the large spikes projecting from Rahba’s shoulders. For some reason, there is an abundance of paleoart depicting Tuojiangosaurus with shoulder spikes, but no such feature is known to exist in the fossil record. Nor do any mounted skeletal reconstructions include them.

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Tuojiangosaurus is not well-represented at all in the world of dinosaur toys, so it’s a real shame about those shoulder spikes. Nevertheless, Rahba’s impressive sculpting detail make her a lovely little toy in spite of her inaccuracy. Recommended.

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Thanks to PNSO for this and many other products!

Glyphoderma (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

Who here loves basal sauropterygians!? The Sauropterygia is a group of marine reptiles that include the well-known plesiosaurs and several other smaller-bodied groups, including nothosaurs and placodonts, which tend to receive far less attention. This is especially the case in toy form, which is unjust because these are fascinatingly weird creatures, well-deserving of a figure or two.

Glyphoderma PNSO Age of the Dinosaurs

Placodonts can be divided into two types: those with armour and those without. Glyphoderma is an example of the armoured variety from the middle Triassic of Southwestern China. It was described in 2008, and it is natural that PNSO would select such a locally significant and recently named taxon to represent in their acclaimed (by us, anyway!) Age of the Dinosaurs line. For an overview of the complete set of 24 PNSO little models, check out my unboxing video on youtube, in which you’ll also see the Glyphoderma find a happy home alongside his new best buddy, the Safari Ltd Henodus!

Glyphoderma PNSO Age of the Dinosaurs

This tiny figure is on par with the miniature Kaiyodo figures in terms of size and detail. However, the small PNSO figure is produced in a single mould (as opposed to several pieces), and consists of a slightly flexible PVC material, which makes it durable enough to be played with. Despite the temptation I won’t be taking mine into the bath!

This is an accomplished sculpt, with no errors to speak of, which is astonishing for a relatively new company such as this. Most companies tend to go through a teething period during which they find their feet (look back at some of the earliest models by Safari Ltd and CollectA), but PNSO have leapt straight into to deep end and are holding their ground against the big boys. Just look at the pictures, the detail is spectacular: the fine wrinkles, the bony tubercles, the spines along the tail. And remember, this toy is just 9 cm (3.5 inches) long. I’m enamoured.

Glyphoderma PNSO Age of the Dinosaurs

The limbs of the Glyphoderma are arranged in a dynamic paddling position and the tail and neck are twisted, which all help to make the creature feel alive. The PNSO artists have an obvious eye for realism, accuracy, and an attention to detail. It was a special pleasure for me to see their sculptors at work on new master sculpts when I visited their workshop in Beijing earlier this year.

Glyphoderma PNSO Age of the Dinosaurs

The paintwork on the figure is also realistic and expertly applied, consisting of a dappled pattern of multiple shades of green and brown. The individually packaged PNSO miniature figures come with a small fold-out poster featuring life restorations of the animals. In this case, the poster features a lone Glyphoderma, hungrily eying up an oyster.

Glyphoderma PNSO Age of the Dinsoaurs

To go back to my opening question, it doesn’t matter if you placo-do or placo-don’t have an affinity for sauropterygians, there’s no denying the charm of this little Glyphoderma by PNSO and the expertise behind it. It is incredibly detailed, relatively cheap, and will take little shelf space. What’s not to like?! The PNSO figures are also now easily available via Amazon although they are currently listed as out of stock.

Special thanks to the PNSO for providing the Dinosaur Toy Blog with review samples of all of their little Age of the Dinosaurs figures.