Category Archives: pterosaur

Mighty Dinosaurs (Creator by Lego)

“Season’s Greetings, fellow dinosaur lovers! Yes, it is I, Dr. Bella Bricking, enjoying another holiday season! And where would I be without my trusty and beloved companion, Beth Buildit?”

“I can’t believe I let you talk me into wearing this hat, Doc.”


“Now, now, no humbugs, Beth! We’ve got a big job ahead of us! Today we’ll be reviewing Lego Creator set 31058, Mighty Dinosaurs! New for 2017, this 174 piece set is quite similar to Prehistoric Hunters in that it contains instructions for three different builds! Ready, Beth?”

“Sure. Let’s jingle bell rock, Doc.”


“As you can see, this set contains pieces in medium green, dark green, beige, light grey, dark grey, black, and white. There are also some translucent orange pieces used as eyes, a couple of red Technic pins, and three dark red pieces. Ready for the next one, Beth!”

“Coming, coming.”


“And here’s our first build! Lego refers to it as a “Pterodactyl,” but you and I both know full well that that’s an all too common misnomer, Beth! No, my paleontological training tells me that this is that most famous of pterosaurs, Pteranodon!”


“And not just any old Pteranodon, Doc! Check out how small that head crest is! I don’t know if Lego intended this or not, but I think we have the first ever female Pteranodon toy! Sweet!”

“Indeed, Beth, how delightful! Now, from the tip of its bill to the end of its tail, this Pteranodon measures 18.5 cm long and its wingspan is 26 cm. Now, being a relatively simple Lego build, it would be wrong to say that this is a scientifically accurate animal. The wings are too short and the blocky legs end in enormous talons. As well, the Pteranodon‘s hands have claws sticking out at both ends!”


“That’s due to the nature of Creator sets, Doc. Lots of pieces end up doing double or triple duty. Just look at how poseable our girl is! Her neck, legs, and tail are ball-jointed and each of her wings has two ball joints and a hinge joint. She can be put in a wide variety of walking or flying poses. Definitely a fun toy!”


“I concur, Beth! Very well, let’s dismantle this Pteranodon and begin our next build!”

*sigh* “We’re gonna need a good long rest after this review!”

“Careful where you step, Beth!”


“And there it is, Doc. Our second build is a Triceratops!”


“Unmistakably so, Beth. This blocky representation of the iconic three-horned lizard measures 19 cm long with its tail fully extended. Like the Pteranodon, it boasts impressive articulation, with ball joints at the head, shoulders, hips, and two sections of the tail. The horns are large and intimidating. And how nice that the frill features epoccipitals!”


“Brow horns aren’t quite right though, Doc. In real life, they’d be curving in the other direction. You can rotate these horn pieces around, but it doesn’t look very good.”


“That’s true, Beth, but as an alternative solution, you could conceive of this as a juvenile specimen, still in the process of growing its horns. Now then, take one last look at the Triceratops before we move on to our third build.”


“Hey Doc, have you noticed how I seem to be doing all the heavy lifting during these builds?”

“And you do it wonderfully, my dear Beth. Now, if you’re finished with that tail, please fetch me another one of these tooth pieces.”


“Check out this Tyrannosaurus rex, folks! This bad boy has the most steps and uses all 175 pieces in the set. From nose to tail tip, it measures 27 cm long and stands around 10 cm tall at the hips. And it comes with part of a large rib cage. Must’ve been a good meal.”

“What a ferocious-looking theropod, Beth! It features a mouth full of sharp teeth, curved claws on its hands and feet, and is relatively streamlined for a brick-built Lego dinosaur. Granted, its arms are too large and the hind claws ought to be smaller and less blade-like, but everyone from the youngest enthusiast to the most esteemed paleontologists like myself can immediately recognize this as the tyrant lizard. Oh, and it features forward-facing eyes and non-pronated wrists!”

“And again, Doc, the articulation on this toy rocks. The head, shoulders, hips, feet, and first two sections of tail are ball-jointed and the lower jaw, neck, wrists, tail tip, and middle toes are hinged. The mouth can open extremely wide and the stiff hinged toes give good stability to action poses. Oh, and check this out! If you’ve got some extra slope pieces, you can give this T. rex some feathers!”

My, my, how very creative, Beth! But I’m afraid it’s time once again to dismantle this build and start anew!”

“Come again, Doc? You said at the start that this set only comes with instructions for three builds!”

“Ah, but Lego has graciously provided the instructions for a fourth build on their website! Come, come, let’s see what it is!”

“Huh, how about that? Looks like a Brachiosaurus to me, Doc. Well okay, it’s generic to the point where it could pass for a lot of long necks, but Brachiosaurus is still the big star in the public’s mind, so I’m gonna stick with that.”

“I agree with your hypothesis, Beth. Like the Triceratops, this sauropod is possibly just a youngster, as it’s relatively small. Still, it can raise its head to a height of slightly more than 14 cm or stretch itself out to a length of 26 cm.”

“Sure is well articulated, Doc! The head and neck have two ball joints and a hinge joint, the tail has two ball joints, and there are ball joints at the shoulders and hips. And granted, the eyes stick out on either side and the feet are blocky, but overall, this little fellow still looks pretty organic and fluid for a Legosaur.”

“Fine observations, Beth. Now tell me, how do you think Mighty Dinosaurs compares to Prehistoric Hunters?”

“Well, Lego’s constantly churning out new pieces and coming up with new building techniques, so Mighty Dinosaurs definitely beats out its 2012 predecessor. All four builds look smoother and less blocky. And while the Triceratops is kinda limited in terms of poses, the Pteranodon, the T. rex, and the Brachiosaurus have awesome articulation that makes them a ton of fun to play with. Bottom line, they’re both great kits that many dinosaur fans and any Lego fan would love. Prehistoric Hunters has long been retired, but Mighty Dinosaurs is brand spanking new, retails for only $17.99 Canadian, and available in toy stores everywhere. And don’t forget that you can always ditch the instructions and come up with your own creations! A great Christmas gift, folks!”


“And on that note, fellow dinosaur lovers, Beth and I wish you the happiest of holidays and all the best for 2017. Be brave, be strong, be active, be true, and above all else, be kind. Thank you.”

“Here’s to that, Doc. Be awesome to each other and party on!”

Prehistoric Tube B (CollectA)

Time again to downsize with CollectA’s second tube collection. Like the previous set I reviewed, this one came out in late 2015 and contains no fewer than ten teeny toy dinosaurs and other prehistoric monsters, a couple of them making their debut with CollectA.


First up is a bantam Amargasaurus, based on the Deluxe version. Measuring slightly over 7 cm long, it’s light green with maroon stripes, yellow for the underbelly, black for the eyes, and dark brown shading on the feet. It is posed in a walking stance with its head held high and the tip of its tail curled. The teeth in the mouth, the twin rows of spines on the neck, and the sails on the back are well-defined and the pitted skin has tiny osteoderms as well as thick wrinkles. In terms of accuracy, this animal looks pretty good, although the neck could probably be a little shorter and the tail could be longer.


Second is a diminutive Ankylosaurus, coloured dark brown on top and fading to light brown on the underside. The tiny eyes are black and maroon is used for the stripes running parallel down the animal’s head, neck, and back and for the two bosses on the mighty tail club. This 7.5 cm long figure is posed in a defensive stance with its legs planted and its tail raised and swinging from side to side, ready to rumble. I had assumed that this toy was virtually identical to the Deluxe version, but in a number of ways, it’s actually superior. The rib cage is proportionally wider, the limbs are smaller, and there are more osteoderms comprising the armour. The nostrils are still too close together and there are too many toes on the feet, though. The back and limbs have a pitted skin texture while the underbelly is covered in wrinkles. The osteoderms are keeled and the tail club has a knobby feel to it. This is quite a cool little ankylosaur!


Now we have one of the newcomers to the world of CollectA, a bitty Apatosaurus! At 4 cm tall and 9.5 cm long, it’s the biggest figure in this set. Its main colour is dark grey with a pale pink underbelly, black shading on the feet, and black eyes. The Apatosaurus is sculpted in a classic museum pose with its neck turning to the left and its tail swinging to the right. The tail could afford to be longer, but on the whole, the toy looks reasonably accurate. The skin is pebbly with spiny plates running down the vertebrae, two rows of osteoderms on the back, and wrinkles on the neck and flanks. Despite its size, this Apatosaurus looks beefy and strong. I do wish that it had been Brontosaurus instead (it really is wonderful to have the thunder lizard back), but I think it’s one of the best in the set.


Next up, a runty Brachiosaurus. Not surprisingly, it’s the tallest figure in the set, standing 7 cm tall and measuring 10.5 cm long. Based upon the second Standard class figure, it’s standing rather stiffly with its head raised to maximum elevation. The main colour is greenish-grey with a light grey underbelly, dark grey shading on the feet, and black eyes. The skin is pebbly all over with a few thick wrinkles around the flanks. The limbs and tail look correctly proportioned, but the neck needs some beefing up. Overall though, it’s an okay rendition of Brachiosaurus.


Here’s the second newcomer, a pocket-sized Giganotosaurus! Mounted atop a rocky brown base, it measures 9.5 cm long and is coloured light green with a yellow underbelly, dark grey stripes, black eyes, and a pink mouth. Unlike the Tyrannosaurus rex from the other miniature set, the teeth on this carnosaur are painted the same colour as its mouth, which is disappointing. And despite the name printed on the bottom of its base, it is clearly based on the Deluxe Carcharodontosaurus. Perhaps CollectA originally intended to release it as the shark-toothed lizard, but then decided to introduce the giant southern lizard instead. Unfortunately, while Carcharodontosaurus and Giganotosaurus are closely related, there are noticeable anatomical difference between their skulls. As well, this little fellow has inherited the Deluxe’s shrink-wrapped skull and overly wide hips. And to top it off, the paint on the feet has been poorly applied, making it look like the toy is melting. On the positive side, the sculpting itself is undeniably impressive, with sharp teeth and claws, lots of scales and wrinkles, rows of triangular osteoderms, and thick muscles. It’s a ferocious-looking monster in spite of its faults.


And now here’s a mini Liopleurodon. At only 6.5 cm long, it’s the smallest figure in this set. Like nearly all plastic renditions, its main colours are very dark blue and pale yellow, a result of the animal’s exaggerated appearance in the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs. There are also some very faint airbrushed pink patches on the flanks, but the eyes and teeth are unpainted. A pity, but it would have been very difficult to apply paint at this scale. While the front flippers are angled beyond the real animal’s range of motion, on the whole, it’s a pretty accurate pliosaur, with a pitted skin texture and thick wrinkles around its joints. And as with the Mosasaurus in the other set, this little swimmer makes a perfect baby for its Standard class parent.


Our seventh toy is an undersized Quetzalcoatlus. Standing almost 5.5 cm tall and measuring 8 cm long from the tip of its bill to its heels, this largest of azhdarchids is coloured dusty brown with grey wings, pale yellow on its throat and chest, a black head, yellow crest, pink eyes and mouth, and light blue on the back of its neck. Its head is raised high and tilting to the left, but unlike the larger version, there’s no baby Alamosaurus struggling helplessly in its bill. The neck and body are covered in pycnofibres and the folded wings are wrinkled. The bill is slightly warped, but overall, this is a very good rendition. As I’ve said many times now, I love walking pterosaur figures.


Behold, a wee Spinosaurus, only about 9.5 cm long. Based on the famous and controversial Ibrahim/Sereno reconstruction, this finned fish eater is striding slowly along on all fours, its left paw raised and its long tail swinging well to the right. The main colour is sandy beige with faint patches of bright green, black stripes on the sail, airbrushed grey on the front claws, black eyes, and a pink mouth. Like the Giganotosaurus, the Spinosaurus‘ tiny teeth lack paint detail, but at least they’re not pink. The sculpting detail is excellent, with fine scales and osteoderms on the body, ribs on the sail, long, sharp claws on the hands, and a crocodilian-like tail. This is definitely one of the best figures in this set.


A scrubby Torosaurus is our ninth toy. The perforated lizard is just over 3 cm tall due to its mighty frill and just over 6.5 cm long from the tips of its brow horns to the end of its tail. The main colour is pumpkin orange with dark brown accents on the head, horns, and body. The frill features white wash and black “eyes” shaped like inverted teardrops. The tiny eyes are black as well. Aside from the smooth horns, the entire animal is covered in fine pebbled scales with just a few wrinkles around the joints and belly. Unlike the Standard class toy, this Torosaurus‘ brow horns are correctly curved instead of straight. But sadly, the little fellow has all the same issues as his big brother: a snout that’s too long, a lack of epoccipitals on the rather flattened frill, and limbs that are far too lanky for any chasmosaurine.


Finally, I give you this Lilliputian Velociraptor. It measures nearly 7 cm long and is quite possibly the blandest-looking dromaeosaur figure I’ve ever seen. It is coloured beige all over with darker patches on its tail, limbs, and head, as well as black eyes and a pink mouth. Due to its size, it is moulded onto a small earthen base. On the plus side, despite the fact that it is based on the aging Deluxe version, it’s got more accurate proportions, with a smaller head and a longer tail. The head, hands, and feet are scaly, but the rest of the Velociraptor is nice and feathery, complete with a large fan at the end of the tail. The wrists are properly aligned and the claws and teeth make this animal look like quite a savage predator. Of course, any dinophile worth his or her salt knows full well that this raptor doesn’t have nearly enough plumage. Still, any feathered dinosaur is welcome in my book.


Overall, while I like the other miniature set better, this one is still quite good. Granted, some of the figures have accuracy issues, but they’re all rather endearing little toys. And considering that you’re getting ten of them for a relatively low price, I can’t see many people not enjoying them. Plus as I mentioned in my other review, the durable plastic case means that you can easily and safely take this set on the road with you. Recommended.


This marks my second year anniversary as a reviewer for the Dinosaur Toy Blog! As always, thanks go out to Dr. Adam S. Smith and everyone who’s been enjoying my work. Here’s to another year! 🙂

Discovery Kids Smart Animals 4-Set (Jakks)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

The objective of many lines of dinosaur figures (aside from making money) is to educate children and adults alike about extinct animals. In the last ten years, many lines have been integrated with modern technology to give children more information on dinosaurs besides a 3D view of these animals. Such is the case here: the Jakks Discovery Kids Scanopedia dinosaur sets. Each set (which ranges from having 1-6 figures in them) has an area that, when scanned by the Scanopedia, gives information on the animals. This is one of their four packs, with a group of Jurassic species to explore.


First up is Brachiosaurus, the largest of this set. It is a little cartoonish, but in general, is accurate and well-proportioned. The front legs are a little too short, as the legs are fairly even in size on this figure. The colour is a pale green with dark patches, which is very appropriate for an herbivorous animal. The scanner mark is on the back left leg, and quite deep in the figure, which is rather distracting, unfortunately. It’s got the most dynamic pose of the set, and is a decent figure all round.


Next is the Stegosaurus, a must for most dino lines. This is a very plump, round stegosaur, which does make it rather cute. The colour is a pale red with patchy reddish-brown spots on the body and on the plates. The scanner mark is again on the back left leg, and is again distracting. The figure has a good pose, and again, it is a decent figure.


Next, the pterosaur Rhamphorhynchus. It is an appropriately thin animal with a slightly cartoonish head, but otherwise a very accurate depiction. The colouring seems akin to the depiction to the animal in the BBC Walking with Dinosaurs series, though simplified with a red head, feet, and tail vane, with the rest of the body in green. The wings are translucent green with light green spots, which helps make the scanner mark (under the right wing) much less distracting. A great figure all around.


Last, but by no means least, is Othnielia. Neornithischians, along with other bipedal herbivores, are very rare in toy lines, so this is a very welcome addition. It is depicted as it should be, small and sleek with complete accuracy to the fossil specimens (although I feel the head and neck could be slightly bigger). The colours and patterns are almost an exact match for the WWD depiction, save for being a paler green and lacking black on the tail. The scanner mark is, again, on the left hind limb and is, again, an eyesore on this dino, but otherwise is an excellent figure. It also stands very well on its two legs without being a tripod. Much appreciated!


This is a fairly good set of figures, well-detailed and well-made for what could easily be a cheaply manufactured line. This is very much for children, as can be seen from the slightly cartoonish look, and goes well with the Scanopedia, a great educational piece. If the scan mark can be filled in (something I am working on), it would go well even in a collection or diorama. These are harder to find, but I think worth it.