Author Topic: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?  (Read 1869 times)

Halichoeres

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Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« on: December 24, 2019, 06:16:05 PM »
Well, reveal season for the major companies is over. We won't know for sure which company has the most diverse set of 2020 releases until the end of 2020. But for the companies that announce in advance, we can still see who's off to a good start.
In case you missed the 2019 version of this thread, here's a brief review of how I'm measuring diversity, using the expected 2020 releases from Creative Beast as an example.

The first part is tree length. For tree length, we specify a phylogenetic tree uniting all of the taxa included among a given company's releases. Then we find the most recent common ancestor of all taxa, indicated below with a red arrow. Tree length is just the quantity of evolutionary history, measured in millions of years from that common ancestor, required to produce each taxon in the tree.

Creative Beast has a very short tree; only 83 million years of evolution from the common ancestor is required to produce this set of ceratopsians. [edit: I've revised this estimate to include Zuniceratops and Medusaceratops, and with better branch length estimates. The raw length is 128.3 million years]

This method disproportionately rewards companies for geologically young taxon choices, and penalizes inclusion of basal members of a given clade. So we adjust it with a bonus for every geologic period represented, equal to the number of years from the present to the end of that period. For Creative Beast, we add 66 million years (all their taxa are from the Cretaceous). Add that to the raw tree length to get the adjusted tree length, which for Creative Beast is 149.0 194.3 million years.

Here are the bonuses for the geologic periods:
0     Quaternary     
2.6  Neogene         
23   Paleogene
66   Cretaceous
145  Jurassic     
201.3 Triassic           
251.9 Permian         
298.9 Carboniferous   
358.9 Devonian         
419.2 Silurian         
443.8 Ordovician   
485.4 Cambrian   
541    Ediacaran   

So who's in the lead at the start of 2020? Unsurprisingly, it's CollectA:


Adjusted tree length: 3,739.5 million years. The invertebrates add 1.3 billion years of unadjusted length, and more than 900 million years in temporal bonuses!

Mattel:

Adjusted tree length: 1,920.6 million years. I might have missed a couple, I have a hard time keeping up with the JW line.

MojŲ:

Adjusted tree length: 1,219 million years

Papo:

Adjusted tree length: 1,180 million years. It's hard to know where to put Chilesaurus, although it doesn't actually make much difference to tree length unless you regard it as a therizinosaur (here I show it as a basal theropod, but it's in the same position with trivially longer branches if you regard it as a basal sauropodomorph).

Safari:

Adjusted tree length: 1,177.3 million years

Schleich:

Adjusted tree length: 846.3 million years. Schleich usually has mid-year releases, so this will increase.

Here's a visual summary, subject to change:


And of course we won't know what PNSO, Favorite, Kaiyodo, Colorata, EoFauna, and other companies might get on this metric until near the end of the year. I'll update this thread then to see who won 2020, but man, CollectA is going to be tough to beat. Meanwhile, the plot below shows the number of taxa a company made on the x axis, and the tree length on the y axis. The diagonal line is a linear regression of length on taxon number. You can see Creative Beast's approach of making lots of closely related species, while obviously a valid way of marketing figures, is obviously not a way to maximize diversity. CollectA really stands out, sampling broadly across animal life. There really is something for everyone in their lineup. Papo also looks decent for having such a small lineup, thanks in large part to their inclusion of a mammal. MojŲ and Mattel are really inefficient thanks to their dinosaur-heavy lineups.



Comments and critiques welcome!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 04:00:29 PM by Halichoeres »
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Bokisaurus

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2019, 06:35:50 PM »
Very fascinating and helpful really.
Thanks for doing all of this!😃

Loon

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2019, 06:55:31 PM »
I resent that "boring shark" comment. I bet it's gonna stay CollectA.Though, they would have been absolutely unstoppable if they made a new mammal this year

Sim

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2019, 07:37:55 PM »
I think the work you put into this is impressive @Halichoeres.  I don't think greater diversity as measured in this way necessarilly means a better lineup.  One thing that isn't taken into consideration here is how the diversity in a new lineup interacts with the diversity that is already present in the line.  You mentioned CollectA has something for everyone in their lineup.  But... well, none of CollectA's 2020 figures appeals to me.  I find CollectA's 2020 lineup somewhat disappointing.  I feel some of their figures are good additions that really add important representation of species (e.g. Lisowicia, Caviramus).  But others are very similar to what CollectA already has in their line.  For example, CollectA already had a Baryonyx and Mapusaurus.  Additionally, they made two new allosauroids for 2020 while they have figures of so many allosauroids in their range already e.g. Metriacanthosaurus, Saurophaganax, Neovenator, Carcharodontosaurus, Mapusaurus, Acrocanthosaurus, Concavenator, Fukuiraptor...  CollectA's Fukuisaurus and Saltriovenator are also very similar to CollectA's Mantellisaurus and Ceratosaurus.  There are other types of prehistoric animals, even just dinosaurs, that lack good representation in CollectA's range, so I find it disappointing to basically see lots more of the same instead of things that are missing.  I'm not saying CollectA's 2020 lineup is bad.  I find it has good but also repetitiveness, similar to Safari's 2018 lineup.  For 2018 I expressed preferring CollectA's lineup to Safari's.  For 2020 I prefer Safari's lineup to CollectA's.  Safari's has less figures, but it feels like each one is a good addition to the line considering what is already in the line.  Additionally, a number of Safari's 2020 figures appeal to me, while none of CollectA's do.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 11:07:05 PM by Sim »

tanystropheus

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2019, 09:32:48 PM »
CollectA for sure.

Ravonium

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2019, 10:31:27 PM »
The inverts alone almost guarantee that it will stay CollectA this year  8)
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Halichoeres

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2019, 03:20:15 AM »
Very fascinating and helpful really.
Thanks for doing all of this!😃

Glad you find it useful!
I resent that "boring shark" comment. I bet it's gonna stay CollectA.Though, they would have been absolutely unstoppable if they made a new mammal this year

Haha.  In truth I think all sharks are interesting, but I think most prehistoric sharks are MORE interesting, and they're definitely all more neglected as toys.

@Sim I agree--if I ever suggested this was the way to rank who has the best lineup, I did so in error. It's a quantitative measure, and "best" is wholly subjective. In addition to ignoring how it augments--or doesn't--an existing lineup, diversity ignores quality of figures. Sonokong had the most diverse lineup in 2019, but I'd never dream of saying they were the best.

It would definitely be possible to estimate how much branch length new releases add to an existing lineup. Might be a fun exercise, although obviously there are more moving parts. Theoretically, a company could get a high diversity score by releasing, say, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Amargasaurus, Quetzalcoatlus, Elasmosaurus, a mammoth, and a megalodon every year. That would be pretty unsatisfying. For me personally, it also matters how companies' lineups interact with each other. Evaluating that would require a metric more like taxonomic distinctiveness.

I'm surprised to learn nothing in CollectA's 2020 lineup appeals to you, although on reflection the only non-dinosaurs I can recall you expressing any interest in are particular lineages of pterosaur and sauropterygian, and for me much of the appeal of CollectA's lineup lies in their non-dinosaurs. I find the dinosaurs a little dull and, yes, repetitive, and despite CollectA having almost twice as many releases as Safari, I'll probably end up with roughly equal numbers from each. Anyway, I still think CollectA's lineup has something for almost everyone, but some people have fairly narrow tastes (which is fine!).
In the kingdom of the blind, better take public transit. Well, in the kingdom of the sighted, too, really--almost everyone is a terrible driver.

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Sometimes I draw pictures: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=4856.0

Loon

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2019, 03:31:22 AM »
In truth I think all sharks are interesting, but I think most prehistoric sharks are MORE interesting, and they're definitely all more neglected as toys.
You're right, I just don't own a megalodon, and the CollectA one looks pretty good. But I'd love to see some more prehistoric fish in their line. That Dunkleosteus is one of my favorite figure fron the past few years.

[...]for me much of the appeal of CollectA's lineup lies in their non-dinosaurs. I find the dinosaurs a little dull and, yes, repetitive, and despite CollectA having almost twice as many releases as Safari, I'll probably end up with roughly equal numbers from each.

This sums up my feelings towards CollectA pretty well. More than half of the figures I own from them are not Dinosaurs, with more than half being mammals. I like the Dinosaurs, but I find their mammals and other reptiles to be far superior. Particularly in regards to their theropods, which I find the most "boring", (ex: the 2020 Allosauroids).  I mean, I'm unhealthily excited for those invertebrates, and other than the herbivores, the dinosaurs are a total flat line.

tanystropheus

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2019, 04:41:19 AM »
Very fascinating and helpful really.
Thanks for doing all of this!😃

Theoretically, a company could get a high diversity score by releasing, say, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Amargasaurus, Quetzalcoatlus, Elasmosaurus, a mammoth, and a megalodon every year. That would be pretty unsatisfying. For me personally, it also matters how companies' lineups interact with each other. Evaluating that would require a metric more like taxonomic distinctiveness.


That reminds me, there hasn't been too many good Elasmosaurus representations in the market (I understand that the WS version is fairly popular but I feel that there's plenty room for improvement). I bet REBOR could make an excellent one, with articulated jaws, incredible teeth and palate details, and a bendy neck! And, it's difficult not to make an Elasmosaurus not look monstrous and 'awesomebro'. Also, a water base diorama would work well with the REBOR formula...I can only dream. I really need to replace my Schleich Elasmosaurus  :))
« Last Edit: December 26, 2019, 04:42:09 AM by tanystropheus »

Sim

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2019, 05:16:43 PM »
I might have been interested in CollectA's Microraptor, but I don't think its tail feather arrangement is accurate and that stops me from wanting it.

I'm also interested in Saurosuchus and certain types of ichthyosaur e.g. Cymbospondylus and Utatsusaurus.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2019, 05:25:02 PM by Sim »

suspsy

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2019, 06:18:38 PM »
Iím still not buying the argument that the Microraptorís tail is inherently inaccurate due to the fact that it was created with the input of a Chinese museum and also the fact that there is at least one Microraptor fossil which clearly shows a total lack of the tail feathers in question.

I also generally donít buy the argument that because one species strongly resembles another, it somehow makes for a less exciting toy. That Fukuisaurus will probably be very popular in Asian markets, especially Japan.
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Sim

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2019, 06:50:05 PM »
Can you show me the Microraptor that lacks those tail feathers?  If there is one I'd be interested in knowing about it.

I don't think being a similar species necessarilly makes it less exciting.  With CollectA, I find it disappointing because of what is still missing from their line.  Utatsusaurus is another Japanese species, and a very important one too, I would have liked to see it get made.  In the end, it's not about buying an argument, it's a matter of different opinions.

suspsy

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2019, 10:31:37 PM »
Sure, itís this specimen at the Beijing Museum of Natural History. You can clearly see impressions all along the tail, but itís missing those two long feathers at the end:



Who knows, perhaps the ones that did have those long tail feathers were the males?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2019, 10:32:15 PM by suspsy »
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SidB

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2019, 01:14:49 AM »
I resent that "boring shark" comment. I bet it's gonna stay CollectA.Though, they would have been absolutely unstoppable if they made a new mammal this year
I'm missing "my" mammal fix this year too.

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2019, 01:51:21 AM »
Who knows, perhaps the ones that did have those long tail feathers were the males?
IIRC only M. gui show the long tail feathers, so it's probably a species trait like the Parasaurolophus crests rather than a gender dimorphic trait (like people tend to assume is the case for Parasaurolophus :P).

suspsy

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2019, 03:59:30 AM »
Who knows, perhaps the ones that did have those long tail feathers were the males?
IIRC only M. gui show the long tail feathers, so it's probably a species trait like the Parasaurolophus crests rather than a gender dimorphic trait (like people tend to assume is the case for Parasaurolophus :P).

Ah, except this is a specimen of M. gui according to the display:

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2019, 04:55:54 AM »
@suspsy that's crazy, I've never seen that specimen.

I went to check the Everything Dinosaur reveals for 2020, as Anthony Beeson usually provides commentary for each model. Unfortunately, I saw nothing about the Microraptor's sex. Though, the model was commissioned and approved by a Chinese museum.

Quote from: New CollectA Models 2020 (Part 1)
[...] magpie feathers had been despatched to China to help the model makers re-create the iridescence on the animalís plumage.

After reading this, and finding that this could represent a female, I'm actually very excited about this figure. I want to see how that iridescence looks in person.

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2019, 01:47:38 PM »
Haha.  In truth I think all sharks are interesting, but I think most prehistoric sharks are MORE interesting, and they're definitely all more neglected as toys.

I can think of a few prehistoric sharks that might seem even more ďboringĒ to some people as toys than Megalodon. Squalicorax and Cretoxyrhina immediately spring to mind. Unlike Megalodon, they donít even have size going for them.

And yes, that Microraptor specimen is indeed intriguing, although I donít think anyone can definitively say that the lack of those tail feathers denotes sex.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 01:49:00 PM by suspsy »
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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2019, 03:26:22 PM »
Haha.  In truth I think all sharks are interesting, but I think most prehistoric sharks are MORE interesting, and they're definitely all more neglected as toys.

I can think of a few prehistoric sharks that might seem even more ďboringĒ to some people as toys than Megalodon. Squalicorax and Cretoxyrhina immediately spring to mind. Unlike Megalodon, they donít even have size going for them.

And yes, that Microraptor specimen is indeed intriguing, although I donít think anyone can definitively say that the lack of those tail feathers denotes sex.
Even Carcharocles may not have size going for it in reality. Most recent estimates (that aren't re-citing older ones) place it at about 10 meters or slightly smaller (~30-35 feet), which is considerably larger than any great white shark and potentially pushing max size for an orca, but dwarfed by whale and basking sharks.

Personally I think this also makes it more interesting; giant generic looking shark? Blah! But a large-ish shark with massive oversized teeth? That has potential for some interesting reconstructions.


As for Microraptor, that was my bad, I had the name wrong! It's M. zhaoianus that has the tail plumes.
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/A-representative-Microraptor-zhaoianus-fossil-showing-body-wing-hind-limb-and-tail_fig2_256102089

Sim

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Re: Which company has the most diverse 2020 lineup?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2019, 04:41:10 PM »
Sure, it’s this specimen at the Beijing Museum of Natural History. You can clearly see impressions all along the tail, but it’s missing those two long feathers at the end:

[...]

Who knows, perhaps the ones that did have those long tail feathers were the males?


It's not clear to me how informative that specimen is for whether it had the two longest tail feathers.  The outline around the tail seems to indicate where removal of rock occurred.  It's not clear to me that the outline indicates where feathers are present.  Additionally it seems possible to me that the two longest tail feathers could be present on that specimen and they're just under rock which hasn't been removed.  I'm open to the possibility you know more about that specimen than I do though.


[...]
As for Microraptor, that was my bad, I had the name wrong! It's M. zhaoianus that has the tail plumes.
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/A-representative-Microraptor-zhaoianus-fossil-showing-body-wing-hind-limb-and-tail_fig2_256102089

The Microraptor gui holotype also appears to have the two longest tail feathers, I think this is shown here: http://mostlyopenocean.blogspot.com/2012/04/colour-of-dinosaurs.html


As for sharks, I personally find Squalicorax and Cretoxyrhina more interesting than megalodon due to their more complete remains and due to living in the Mesozoic.  I think Cretoxyrhina does have size going for it as well, being 8 metres long it's bigger than the great white shark.  However, I can imagine that for some people megalodon is more interesting.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 05:13:04 PM by Sim »