Anomalocaris (Yowie)

Review and photos by Faelrin, edited by Suspsy

For my first review, I will be reviewing the Yowie Anomalocaris. Anomalocaris was one of the largest creatures of its time, growing up to around 1 meter long (or 3.2 feet), and is one of the many species preserved in the Burgess Shale. It lived during the Cambrian Period, and some of its contemporaries included creatures like trilobites, worms, Opabinia, Hallucigenia, and Wiwaxia. Its name means “abnormal shrimp”, as for a while, its remains were thought to be different creatures until more complete fossils were found.

Now on to the figure itself. Like other Yowie figures, its many pieces need to be assembled together to create the figure. It pretty much resembles what is known of Anomalocaris. All key components of its anatomy are present: the eyestalks, the arms which would have been able to grasp in life, the radial mouth parts, the many lobes along its sides, and the fan-like tail. For how small this figure is, at only a little over 5cm (or 2″), the painting is pretty detailed.

The base colour is a red or red orange. Its eyes are painted black, while the stalks are painted white. The tips of its tail lobes are painted white, or maybe a pale pink, as well as the belly. Many tiny white specks are painted on its backside and the back of its head, as well as on the ridges on the undersides of its arms. The lobes are painted more of a yellow colour with tiny red specks, closest to the body, on both the top and bottom of this figure. The outside of the mouth is painted white, and the inside is painted black. The figure’s head can also rotate around and the tail is a bit loose (though these things may be due to letting my mother assemble it upon its arrival).

If you are a fan of Anomalocaris, Cambrian creatures, Paleozoic creatures, or the Yowie figures in general, then this might be the figure for you. Like other Yowie figures, it may be hard to track down though, being an older figure, and originally only available in Australia.

Spinosaurus (Jurassic World Hybrids by Hasbro)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

If I’m going to be truly honest, I kind of regretted buying this figure at first, but it kind of grew on me after a while. What we have here is a repaint of the 2015 Bashers and Biters Spinosaurus, which I reviewed here on the blog last year. And to cut to the chase, nothing about this figure is an improvement over the previous version, except for the colours.

The packaging is everything we come to expect from this toy line. The model is tied onto a display platform without a window, so that shoppers can test (or break) the toy if they so desire before buying it. The back of the box shows a lovely graphic of the dinosaur in question that bears little to no resemblance to the actual product due to the fact that it’s essentially a Photoshop painting.

Once the model is out of the packaging, it becomes apparent that all of the issues that plagued the first version are still present with this one. The head looks like that of a Spinosaurus, complete with a tooth notch, but it is still too wide when viewed from above, just like the JP3 model. The arms are pronated as usual, and still lack the signature fish hook claw that should be present on all spinosaur toys. But perhaps the biggest thing Hasbro failed to correct with this figure are the feet. They did not change the design flaw at all, so when the feet are evenly aligned, the three toes on the left foot are still raised up.

Since this is exactly the same sculpt as the 2015 figure, its gimmick operates the exact same way. You pull down the tail to make the head go up, and pull it to the side to make it open its mouth.

The only difference between this model and the old one is pretty obvious, and that would be the colour scheme. In all honesty, they looks a whole lot better then the awful ensemble of the original. The base colours are bright blue while the bottom parts of the body are a light metallic brown. The back is painted red, with some purple being visible in between the red and the blue, and the the model is also complimented by some black stripes. The claws on this figure are white like the teeth, and the eyes are the same shade of red as the one used for the back. Since this model is painted in brighter colors, it does not look as zombie-like as the original, with its open flesh wound. And while the original had an unpainted tail, this figure’s tail features a pattern that matches those on the torso and neck.

Overall, this is another step closer to completing the Jurassic World page. And I will say that, out of all the Hybrid figures, this one is actually my favourite. The colours, while not realistic, are still very attractive and an improvement over the original version. Despite being poorly made, I find myself playing with this toy a little more each time I am at my desk. If you can find enjoyment like that in them, then this Spinosaurus is worth every penny. Otherwise, it’s best to just save your money on something more detailed and accurate then this.

Regaliceratops (CollectA)

Review and photos by Bokisaurus, edited by Suspsy

When it comes to the dinosaur family know as ceratopsians, it seems that each new discovery yields a creature that is more weirder and more exotic than the previous one. Ceratopsians are famous for their exotic and sometimes outrageous head ornamentation and their impressive horns and head shields are unmatched in the dinosaur world. Today, we will look at one of the newest discoveries, and also one of the oddest. CollectA has long been known for their penchant of choosing dinosaur species that are obscure. So it is no surprise that for their 15th ceratopsian (to date, their list of ceratopsian species is at 16!) they would choose an exotic species that, up until now, has not been represented in toy form. Meet Regaliceratops peterhewsi or ‘royal horned face.’

Regaliceratops is a fairly recent discovery, having just been discovered in 2005 and officially described in 2015. It is only from a single, almost complete skull. Although the skull was slightly distorted from compression, it is beautifully preserved. Early in its discovery, the difficulty of extracting the skull from the surrounding rock matrix and the challenging preparation process earned Regaliceratops the nickname ‘Hellboy.’ The difficulty of extracting the skull is also one reason why a formal description took almost ten years after its discovery to be formally announced. Regaliceratops is a close relative of the famous Triceratops. Although it is classified as a chasmosaurine, it has some unique features that are closer to centrosaurines.

Unlike the majority of chasmosaurines, Regaliceratops sported a rather enlarged nasal horn (more like those of centrosaurines) and unusually short and small horns (for a chasmosaurine) over the eyes. In addition, its impressive frill is elaborately decorated with large triangular and pentagonal plates. This impressive, crown-like frill is what led researchers to give this new ceratopsian its name (an image of Queen Elizabeth I in her famous collar comes to mind). CollectA’s beautifully sculpted figure possesses all of these unique features. The head and frill are faithful to the fossil evidence. The brow horns are appropriately small, while the nose horn is much larger. The unique triangular and pentagonal frill plates are beautifully done, each one a different size. The largest ones are at the top of the frill and then gradually decrease in size down the sides.

At first glance, some may notice that the snout looks longer on the figure than the fossil skull. This is due to the fact that the skull was missing the snout and rostral bones, and also that the it was deformed by compression. So if you add these missing parts, the head on the figure is about right. CollectA never disappoints in giving their ceratopsians colourful frills. This figure’s frill is outlined by black that extends all the way down to the jaw. This is followed by red that also runs down all the way to the tip of the snout. A white teardrop-like circle with an olive inside is at the center, with another band of black running down the center of the frill (separating the sides) all the way down to the forehead and snout. The horns and plates are painted brown, as is as the beak. The tiny eyes are painted black.

It is worth noting that, despite the Regaliceratops‘ small size, its head is very rich in detail. There are multiple skin textures and wrinkles on the head, all of them very delicate and only truly appreciated in person. Speaking of size, Regaliceratops was a fairly small ceratopsian, with a size estimate of roughly five metres long. This figure is also small, much smaller that CollectA’s previous ceratopsians. It measures five inches long from horn tip to tail tip and stands two inches tall at the highest point. This puts the figure roughly around the 1:40 scale. The small size has its pros and cons. Those who like their figures at 1:40 scale will find this figure fitting nicely with their collection. As for cons, well, it sure looks diminutive when compared to the rest of CollectA’s herd.

However, don’t let the small size of this figure fool you into thinking that it lacks detail. Despite the size, this figure is rich in detail. The body is very well-proportioned and does not have those wide hips that plagued its predecessors. This ceratopsian is a certified weight loss program graduate! Wrinkles and rich texturing abound all over the body, as well as bumps of varying sizes. The main body is given a tan base with multiple shades of brown hues applied over it to bring out details and add depth. There are dark brown stripes that runs along the back as well as the tail and legs. The tail quills are given a reddish brown color and the underbelly is given a light brown wash.

The legs show muscle definition and are very well sculpted. The figure is posed in a calm state with both front legs slightly bent, as if the animal is lowering its head closer to the ground to leisurely browse on some delicious greens. The toes are accurate as well.

In closing, the CollectA Regaliceratops is a very welcome new addition to their already impressive herd of ceratopsians. The figure is rich in detail and beautifully sculpted. The colourful paint is very well applied there are no sloppy areas. It is a joy to watch CollectA grow and improve with each passing year, and this figure certainly reflects that. I highly recommend this figure. I believe that it is better appreciated in person, and I can guarantee that soon, you too will be charmed by it.

Hope you enjoyed the review of this fascinating figure. Till next time, cheers!