Category Archives: Procon

Lufengosaurus (CollectA)

Lufengosaurus lived during the early Jurassic period and is a primitive sauropodomorph from China.  A full  osteology of Lufengosaurus was done in 1941 and was the first complete dinosaur skeleton mounted in China. Fortunately, much is known on its size and shape as there is quite a lot of known material.   Despite being the first mounted dinosaur in China, it has not had much love in the toy world.  The 2010 CollectA Lufengosaurus is one of the few toys that has been made of this interesting animal.   The only other toys  that I have seen, is a generic cotton filed PVC by Guangdong Big Orange Toy company and one that was recently released by PSNO.

This look and quality of this toy falls into CollectA’s interesting and frustrating early middle period (approx 2010 -2012), in which the models they produced were a step up in design and color than the early darker Procon years.  The middle period figures tended to be hit a miss in terms of accuracy and look.   I guess the question remains, is this figure a hit or is it a miss. Lets take a closer look.

About the toy:  At 5 in (12.7 cm) long and 6.5 in (16.51 cm high) the toy is on the larger side for the CollectA standard range.  The pose is static yet maddeningly interesting.  The figure has a deer in headlights look to it, or better yet, looks like a kid who just got caught by their parents with their hand in the cookie jar.  The figure is standing upright and its neck is twisted to the its right side at 95 degree angle.  Its arms are slightly bent, elbows in, and the hands are pronated making it look like it is pushing open a door.  The legs are evenly spaced and bent, and the figure is resting on its tail.  The hands and feet have five digits, with the fifth digit being small.  On the hands, at the end of each digit, is a sharp claw.  The claw on the first digit “thumb” is bigger than the rest.

As for the paint job, it is colored for a romp through the forest.  A light greyish brown covers the tail, torso, neck, and head.  The legs, arms, and the underside of the figure are in a darker shade of greyish brown, it is almost charcoal in color.  The arms and legs are dry bushed in a lighter grey.  Starting at the base of skull, there is faint green striping all the way down to the tail.  On the torso the green striping extends down to the mid flank, shoulders, and hips.  With the exception of the legs past the hips, arms past the shoulders, and the underside, the figure is covered in small black lines.  Inside the mouth, the teeth are uniform white and inside the mouth looks to be salmon.  The eyes are orange with black pupils.

The texture on this figure is ok, but nothing to get too excited about.  The body is covered in wrinkles.  Big wrinkles, little wrinkles, wrinkles of all sizes.  The figure is missing some of the details that that we tend to take for granted, such as nice  skin folds.  The skin is rather uniform outside of the wrinkles, no sagging skin, or skin being pulled taunt.  There is some heft to the figure but absent are fat rolls, and muscle bulges.

Play ability:  This is an awkward toy for kids.  Due to the pose, I think many kids would pass on this toy for other dinosaurs.  It doesn’t act like a attacking predator, or a defending herbivore.   Nor is it in good position to be a fun herbivore with the upright pose and neck pointing to one side, it just ends up being awkward.  Kids are kind of confused on what to do with this figure.  To quote my son, “the body is nice, but the neck is weird.”  The paint job is tough, so it can stand up to some rough play.  The tail, neck, and limbs have some bend ability and there are no sharp edges.

 

Overall:  There are many little inaccuracies with this toy, such as the generic head, the slightly too short neck, and the pronated hands.  I understand it is harder to do on small models, but another thing that bothers me on this figure is the fact the teeth are uniform, and blunt, when in reality, Lufengosaurus had sharp teeth. Its not all bad, there are some good accurate things to say about this toy.  The front legs are short, the large thumb claw is present, and it accurately depicts the animals ability to rise on its back feet.  I could go further into the scientific accuracy, but I didn’t choose the toy for it accuracy.

At the time, (not anymore thanks to PNSO), this was the only Lufengosaurus toy out there.   One of things that I liked the most about this figure was the interesting paint job.  It looked like a German tank from World War 2, with hinterhalt-tarnung camouflage.  It is a really snazzy look.  I also thought the pose was interesting.  Of course, once I got it into my hands and tried to find a way to display it, I learned that this figure is very hard to display due to its pose.  It is hard to find an angle were it looks good and not pushing other figures off the shelf.

Of course if you are a creative person and looking to do something interesting, there are some possibilities.   For example, if you have a library, you could easily turn this figure into a book end.  Glue or nail it to a thin piece of metal, or plastic, and presto, it is holding up your book collection.

At the end of the day, this figure is more of a miss than a hit.  With its glaring inaccuracies, and its awkward, hard to display pose, it is easy to pass on.  Of course if you like how it looks or a fan of the species, go for it, as it is at a low cost and easy to find online.

Rebbachisaurus (CollectA)

rebbachisaurus-1

In the 1950’s some fragments of an interesting sauropod with tall neural spines was discovered, unfortunately, unlike many other dinosaurs with tall neural spines, it has not captured the imagination of others in its family.  The name of this animal is Rebbachisaurus.  It is unknown if it supported a sail or a hump, though the trend is to show it with a sail.    Other than the tall neural spines, it is widely considered to be a generic diplodocid sauropod with a large build,‭ ‬long neck, and whip-like tail.  Of course its popularity could change if more material was found.  The  holotype  included part of a vertebral column,  a scapula, a humerus, and an ischium.

This is one of CollectA’s earlier attempts which was very simplistic in its design and colors, but over time, they have grown up.  CollectA continued getting better and better, and now they have become a serious competitor in the prehistoric toy market.  With Rebbachisaurus they continued the trend of making every type of animal, from the obscure, to the well known.   Since this is an earlier figure, you know their will be some small issues with it.   Could it be a surprising figure, that is better than many expect or remember?  Lets take a look.

rebbachisaurus-5

About the toy:  It is small toy, which is typical for CollctA’s standard size figures.  It is 20.5 cm long and 6.7 cm high. Unfortunately, it has the typical horse head that many early CollectA figures were given.  The mouth is open and showing off its white peg like teeth.  Starting at the base of the skull, and going all the way down the  spine to the tip of the tail, are the tall neural spines, that are sporting a sail.

The pose is ok.  The head turned slightly to its left, and the tail raised off the ground with some flowing curves to it.  The front and back legs are paired up and are in a static standing pose.  The feet are outdated and inaccurate, showing multiple claws on each foot. The gut is bulging and rotund, yet it feels small, wedged between the front and back legs.  The neck is thick and long with a nice dewlap, while the tail is thin and long.

rebbachisaurus-13

The texture is made up of small wrinkles and skin folds along with some osteoderms embedded in its flank.  The colors are rather dull.  The base color is actually a light brown that is overlaid in a thick dark chocolate brown.  Due to the dark brown, the orange on the sail really pops.  The material used on the figure is very bendy.  As the legs, neck, and tail can bend easily.  Despite this, the material will snap back into place and will not break or tear easily.

rebbachisaurus-15

 

Overall:  It isn’t really a bad figure, but neither is it memorable or outstanding. There are some typical scientific errors, the brown color is kind of off putting, and its pose is a bit on the static side.   For most collectors, they might want to pass on this toy.  When I compare it to some of the other early CollectA sauropods toys, I kind of like it.  Due to  its calm and innocent demeanor, along with its bright sail, it has some personality, and that makes me like it despite its flaws.  Its size can come in handy if you need shelf space, but not for those who like to have their figures in a compatible scale.  Rebbachisaurus  toys are rarely made, I know GeoWorld made one as well, but it is a harder species to find as a toy.

 

 

Shunosaurus (Procon/CollectA)

Procon-CollectA Shunosaurus 5

Shunosaurus Lii is a sauropod that lived during the middle Jurassic in what would now be present day China. It has some strange features for a sauropod, such as a relatively short neck, and a tail that has a club at the end. It shared an environment with longer necked sauropods and low browsing stegosaur. With its shorter neck maybe it browsed the middle area of vegetation such as smaller conifers, bushes, shrubs, and cycads. Its tail was probably useful at keeping predators such as Gasosaurus away.

CollectA has made a wide assortment of interesting, rare, and amazing animals in their prehistoric flora and fauna line over the years. Some of their prehistoric figures have been great, while others woefully go down as some of the worst looking prehistoric toys that have been made in the last 25 years.  Safari released their first version of Shunosaurus in 2016 and it looks quite different in shape and style when you compare it to the older 2007 Shunosaurus by Procon/CollectA.

Procon-CollectA Shunosaurus 21

The 2007 Shunosaurus has arguably been called the worst figure that Procon/CollectA has ever made. This ugly duckling has received much criticism over the years and has been kicked off many people’s shelves. Not just because it has some imperfections, but because it is considered ugly. While some people may feel that this is mean or demeaning towards this poor innocent toy, for collectors, lets be honest, you want something nice to look at. Of course, despite its looks, there might be something to like about with this toy.  Outside of the average collector, what about younger children or educators, could this figure actually be a beautiful swan in disguise ?

Procon-CollectA Shunosaurus 1

About the toy: The toy is 2.5 in(6cm) high at the head and 3.3 in(8cm) at the tip of the tail. It is 6.5 in (16cm) long from the head to the bend in the tail. The head itself is wedge shaped and has  large eyes. In my opinion, it is not an accurate representation of a Shunosaurus head. Most of the skulls that have been found were compressed and dis-articulated. This has led to some different interpretations of the shape of the skull. The sculpt has the broad, short and deep skull, instead of the more common interpretation which is more narrow and pointed. You add the strange skull shape to the slit pupil on the eye, and the overall look becomes a mutated snake head, or a monster alien.

Procon-CollectA Shunosaurus 8

The rest of the proportions on the figure look ok.  The neck is short and has a slight bend. The back is in the shape of a rounded hill and slopes till it reaches the tail. The tail then raises up menacingly, with the tail bent and ready to swat something. The awkward bend in its tail makes it look more like a scorpion. The front legs are shorter than the back legs. The right front leg is bent and the left leg is straight while the back legs are staggered. The front feet have five toes and the first toe has a bigger claw than the rest.

Procon-CollectA Shunosaurus 10

The texture on the body is basically made up of varying sizes of rounded pebbly skin. There is no muscle tone or skin folds that shows up in the sculpt. If  you found the texture of the sculpt is boring, then you are in for a real treat with the paint job.  The base paint color is tan  overlaid in a slightly darker tan/brown color. Wow, that’s an exciting color combination.  I guess you could call it a natural looking paint job.  At the end of the tail is the small rounded osteoderms that are painted in white blobs. The toe claws are grey and the eyes are orange.

In terms of play-ability, the toy works just fine for kids. With no sharp edges, and with a tail that looks like it is ready to hit things, kids will find a use for this toy during their playtime adventures. The paint job will hold up to a rough style play and is easy to touch up if it wears. Even though it will be used by younger kids, it is not the first toy that they grab for. It might be used as a baby to a bigger sauropod, or it might be chased by a bigger carnivore, the point is, that it will most likely be played with in a supportive role.

Procon-CollectA Shunosaurus 9

Overall Appraisal: I tend to be a very optimistic person who tries to find the positives in everything. In this case though, there is no hope that this ugly duckling will actually be a swan. It is not as ugly as the Schleich Ceratosaurus, but it is a rather unattractive fellow. With its alien-snake like head and scorpion poised tail, it looks more like a movie monster than a actual depiction of a real dinosaur. In fact, if you think of it as a movie monster it suddenly becomes a little bit more charming. I guess you just need to use some imagination, which is why it is a playable choice for younger kids.  For that reason, some people may find that the figure might be worth it. Due to its looks and lack of scientific accuracy many people will and should pass on this figure. It also should not be used in a education setting as there are better options.