Category Archives: theropod

Tyrannosaurus rex (Sue Plush by Field Museum of Natural History)

If you’re reading this review, then it’s likely that you have at least heard of FMNH PR 2081, AKA “Sue.” It is one of the largest and most complete specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex to date, with a length of 12.3 metres and an estimated weight of nine tons. It is also famous for being the subject of a lengthy legal battle over ownership before it was finally sold at auction for the whopping sum of $8.5 million US. Happily, the buyer was the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, which had obtained financial backing from the Walt Disney Corporation and McDonald’s. Sue stands tall and majestic in the museum’s central lobby to this day, much to the delight of experts and enthusiasts of all ages.

Over the years, Sue has inspired a wide variety of merchandise: books, videos, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and, of course, toys. You can check out a couple of them here and here. Today I’ll be examining this stuffed Sue, which came out around the year 1999. At 50 cm in length and 20 cm in height, it’s one of the largest T. rexes in my collection, albeit fairly standard size for a plush toy.

The main colours on this toy are dark brown, light brown, and white with a black stripe running from the muzzle to the tip of the tail. The large eyes are made of red glass with black, cat-style irises. The mouth is purple with white teeth made from thin strips of leather. The black hind claws are also made of leather. Not a particularly unique colour scheme, especially for a tyrannosaur, but it’s realistic and works well here.


“I’m based on Sue too!”

Sue is soft enough to be pleasingly huggable, but its legs and tail are still sturdy enough to allow it to stand in a horizontal tripod stance. Like most plush toys, it’s made to take a good licking from a child and can be dropped, bashed around, or thrown across a room without the risk of breakage. Accuracy-wise, this toy is missing nostrils, foreclaws, and dew claws, but I reckon that’s forgivable given its simplicity. And on the plus side, the hands are properly positioned, which can’t be said for a good many more recent and detailed renditions!

Overall, I’m rather fond of my Sue plush. It’s big, instantly recognizable as a T. rex, and fun to play with. I look forward to passing this toy on to the next generation!

And can it be that time again already? Yes, my friends, I’m celebrating yet another milestone: my 150th review! As always, I must extend my sincerest gratitude to Dr. Adam S. Smith for granting me this wonderful opportunity in the first place. And I thank each and every single one of you for reading and commenting on my reviews. I’m actually nearing the point where I won’t be able to churn them out on a weekly basis anymore, but I still plan on writing as time and opportunity permit! Cheers!

Tyrannosaurus rex (Breakout Rex by Chronicle Collectibles)

Review and photographs by Sammy Allouba (aka JurassicGeek09), edited by Suspsy

Continuing on with Chronicle Collectibles’ offering of high-end JP items, today I have the highly anticipated Breakout Rex, which obviously is a reenactment of Rexy breaking out of her paddock in the first Jurassic Park. For those of you who have been following the development of this piece via social media, you may recall there was some controversy regarding the final product in terms of its paint job, with some people claiming Chronicle pulled a bait-and-switch on them because the final product was a complete 180 from what the promo shots advertised. I’ll touch on all that in this review. This statue is approximately two feet long and when assembled, weighs around 30 pounds.

I know the packaging may seem like a pointless part of discussion, but given how much a collectible of this nature sells for, I think it’s important to highlight the respectable and tightly packed nature of the shipment. Let’s be honest, when you buy something from eBay for instance, you rate the seller based on how well they packaged an item amongst other things. This one here is snug and tight. If you’re wondering where the fence cables are, they are located in a separate compartment located on the reverse of the styrofoam. It’s easy to miss and almost made me think I was missing pieces until a friend of mine who also bought one pointed this out to me.

Well, there she is, in all her glory! Please do note that the photos you are seeing here are not filtered and as such, are presented in natural lighting. This is important because, as I said at the beginning, the paint job was a point of contention for a lot of people, so let’s talk about that. But by all means, do take in her glory before we start an analysis. She stands proudly, free of her constraints, ready to take on the world. Even if you’re not entirely sold on her, it’s hard to take your eyes off her. She fits squarely into the base via pegs on the underside of her feet.

So, the paint job. I hate to admit it, but it is a tad underwhelming. It’s more leopard-y than I’d like and based on shots of Rexy in the film, she wasn’t quite so spotted. When I compared the shots of my model to the ones featured on Chronicle’s product page, I saw where the difference lay. Those images featured a slightly darker underbelly and fewer spots.

On to the head. This is really where people started freaking out when the retail images began to surface. Again, same story as the underbelly. In the promo shots, it was darker around the neck with fewer visible stripes. The eyes were also darker. Both of them, in the final release, look like they were painted brighter. For me, this isn’t a deal breaker, but it makes one wonder what the heck happened during production. The teeth are painted, but beyond that, there isn’t much detail to them. They’re pointed, but serrations aren’t noticeable on them, like the Lost World Rex Bust.

This is what the base looks like when fully assembled. It’s very easy to put together. You just need to slide the wire poles into their respective holes, and (I only discovered this after the fact) the middle pole with the lighting fixtures (which do not light up) has small circlets in which you insert the wires from the pole on the left and twist them accordingly. The wires do not feel flimsy, but loose enough that you can twist and turn them to your heart’s content. I had a lot of fun with this part. I tried to make it as “screen accurate” as possible.

And there she is, fully assembled! The night falls, the power fails, and the Queen will once again mark her mark on this primordial world. Overall, I say it’s an impressive piece to look at and can certainly be a conversation starter but the paint job could’ve been better. From what I understand, Chronicle outsourced the final phase of production to a company called Toynami and after the complaints started to come out, Chronicle took matters into their own hands and pulled most of the figures back prior to shipment to touch them up. That said, it’s not nearly as bad as some people claimed it to be. Lord knows some people were ready to tear Chronicle apart, calling them scam artists and such (can you imagine?). A few more touch ups would have been nice, but I would still recommend this piece for any Jurassic Park lover. I look forward to the next one!

Tyrannosaurus rex (Original Version)(Recur)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

In 2016, a new brand of toys came onto the dinosaur collecting scene, with a huge selection in their Ancient Animals line. Recur, and its parent company Ankyl Toys Co. Ltd., has been around for a while, but only recently have their products have been revealed to the public (presumably for the first time outside of China). What sets their products apart from the competition is the fact all of them are made out of flexible PVC plastic, and most are filled with a synthetic cotton. As of now, there are 41 toys to choose from, and some of them appear to be in different sub-lines, although Recur has not come out and say if this is true or not. For instance, most of their new products for 2017 are simply jumbo-sized versions of some of the dinosaurs they already released, but I don’t know if they have stated anywhere that these ones are part of a different group. There is also a massive difference in the style of how some of them are made. For instance, the Edmontonia is clearly cartoonish, but the Ankylosaurus they made for this year is a lot more realistic in appearance. Today’s review is another example of this strange contrast in style. What I have here today is what I like to call Recur’s monstrous version of Tyrannosaurus, which was sculpted in a tripod stance instead of having a horizontal pose like the one that was already reviewed.



As for accuracy, there’s nothing praiseworthy about this figure other than the fact that it has two tiny arms. But I’m finding it very hard to come up with the words to describe how inaccurate this T. rex is. For one thing, the skull is way too box-like and does not match up with that of the real animal at all. The skull even lacks the creature’s signature binocular vision, which is something that even collector oriented companies (*cough* Rebor *cough*) seem to forget on their figures. Another prominent issue I see with this figure is that it does not match up with the shape of the real T. rex. I cannot describe what’s wrong with it without writing for hours on end to explain it all, so I will simply say that the 2016 version is a vast improvement in terms of accuracy since it is not a tripod, and at least looks a little more like an actual T. rex than this one ever could.

After all that criticism, you might wonder why I chose to buy this T. rex over the newer one to purchase. Well truth be told, I like this version better. When I say this is the monstrous version, I mean it. The toy looks gnarly and ready to tear you to shreds. However, that is part of what I like about it. I realize not everyone is going to like this figure the way I do (if not at all). But it is clear to me that this toy was made for kids as opposed to adults. The T. rex is posed in a dynamic turning-to-the-side motion, which is up for interpretation. Maybe it’s about to get charged by a Triceratops, and it dodged the hit? Who knows, and that’s what I like about this toy. The materials may not be up to Papo standards, but the detailing and colour choices make it seem like a living creature to me. Of course, the realism is diminished greatly once you get to the blunted teeth, but one must remember that this product was made for kids first and foremost. Not older collectors like us. That being said, it’s time to discuss the colouration of this toy. The model is simply dark, swampy green with an even dirtier swampy green on the bottom. The claws are your typical black and the teeth are white. Inside the mouth, you will find a shade of dark pink, and the eyes are orange. It stands 13.5 cm tall and measures 20.5 cm long.

Overall, I can’t say I recommend this to collectors. But as a kids’ toy, it could work perfectly as long as you don’t use it in an educational context that declares it to be an accurate model. As of now the only place I recommend buying it from is www.dejankins.com, as their prices are often fair, and it carries the entire line as of today. However, the supply of most of them is extremely limited, so if you want one, contact DeJankins now before they’re sold out.