The PNSO produce everything from tiny miniature toys to giant life-sized museum sculptures, but this review is something in between – a sizeable 1:35 scale statue of Tyrannosaurus rex, dubbed ‘Wilson’. We previously unboxed him on our Youtube channel, now it’s time to take a closer look.
With his menacing gait and devilish red eyes, Wilson has a lot of character. The dappled colour and detailed texture of his skin are both convincingly natural and, as far as accuracy goes, Wilson is basically faultless. The base is also excellent, adding to the realism of the scene. To be honest, the pictures will speak for themselves – this is an awesome model. The lower jaw articulates, so you can choose whether you prefer a roaring maw, or a slightly less dramatic pose. The articulation is completely invisible.
The PNSO’s decision to omit plumage was intentional and is outlined in the accompanying book “The Making of Tyrannosaurus Wilson”. Not many (if any?) dinosaur models come with a book, let alone a glossy 75 page volume, lavishly illustrated – a collectors’ item itself. The book outlines the entire creative design process for Wilson, which was undertaken in consultation with palaeontologist Mark Norell.
A painting of Wilson in the book portrays him with feathers on his neck and tail, and another shows a juvenile with much more fuzz. However, after considering all the evidence, the PNSO summarise: “For our reconstruction of Wilson, we did not cover the body with a complete covering of feathers. Rather, Wilson’s entire body is covered with scales”. The book also indicates that Wilson is based on a specific skeleton of T. rex called ‘Stan’, and provides justifications for other design considerations, such as refraining from sculpting fleshy lips, and the amount of hornage (yes, I’ve invented a word) above the eyes. In addition to the book, the high quality box also contains an envelope of postcards featuring photographs and artwork of Wilson.
The statue is composed of solid PVC. I’m used to statues being made of more brittle materials (e.g. resin) so I unpacked Wilson with great care, as anyone who watched the youtube unboxing can attest to. However, such care really wasn’t necessary – the PVC is durable, strong, and slightly flexible, so only the most serious accident will cause it any damage. This claim is backed up with evidence because I came home one day to find my beloved Wilson on the floor of my Kitchen. Perhaps dizzied by the height, he had taken a a tumble and fallen more than two metres (6.5 feet) from his perch above the cupboards. The fall may have been ‘cushioned’ by the kitchen work top but, miraculously, Wilson survived without a scratch.
The actual reason for this accident is the only issue I found with the model – stability. Wilson’s feet have holes on the underside that slot into circular pegs located in footprints on the base. In my statue, the feet don’t align completely. One of the legs must be slightly distorted, so he leans slightly over to the right. You can see this in the photos. It seemed stable enough, so I didn’t anticipate it falling over, but obviously the pegs were not long enough to stop him tumbling eventually. Perhaps this is just my figure but it is important to mention in a review like this. I fixed the issue by raising one side of the base up, so the dinosaur itself is in a more balanced position. It would also be possible to glue him into place to be certain.
All in all, this is an excellent piece, which demands attentions. Wilson shows that PNSO are painstakingly serious when it comes to accuracy, but maybe they can review stability/production issues. At the moment, their figures are difficult to get hold of outside of China. They used to be for sale on Amazon but have been unavailable for several months. I undertsand that PNSO are going though a change in personnel, which might account for them being unavailable, but hopefully they’ll be in full force again soon and back up on Amazon.
Thanks to PNSO for sending us ‘Wilson’ for review. I should also note that PNSO provided me with two versions of the book, identical in every way except for the different language. So, make sure you order your preferred language version.