Concavenator (Jurassic Hunters by Geoworld)

Concavenator was a carcharodontosaurid dinosaur that hails from the Las Hoya Plateau in Spain. This animal is very special to me because I have fond memories of seeing it being reported in the news back in 2010 when I was only a lurker on the Dinosaur Toy Forum. This lead me to my first ever review in 2011 (which I admit, is pretty cringeworthy to me now) which just so happens to be a Concavenator.



This Concavenator is of your typical Geoworld quality, meaning its accuracy is minimal. It is clear that the model looks like a dinosaur, but it does not really have the care put into it to be worthy of purchase. The first thing that’s wrong with this figure is the total lack of muscle in most areas of the body. Basically, the model is very shrink-wrapped all over. But perhaps the one thing that really sinks this figure down the drain is the head. It looks like no theropod I have ever seen replicated. It is triangular in shape and almost terminates in a beak. As a result, the head bears no resemblance to the skull of the real animal. About the only thing that makes this a Concavenator are the tall spines on its back, which are sculpted like a sail as opposed to being a hump.



The colours on this model are very basic. The main colour is tan and there are black stripes painted on the back. The claws are black too. The base that the figure is mounted on is a light teal and the eyes are yellow. The inside the mouth is mostly hot pink, but the mouth is not opened very wide, so you would really have to examine it in order to see. As usual, the teeth are white, but for some reason, the tongue is topped with some purple.



Moving on to the card, all I can say is I’m happy to report that I can now tell you whose artwork has been exploited for this piece of paper. One look at this image is enough to bring back memories of the one used by Raul Martin in most news outlets when Concavenator was first discovered. It is very clear to me that the image was photoshopped to make it seem different from the actual piece, but there’s no denying the fact that this is still a textbook example of plagiarism. Other than the fact that the image used on this card is clearly the one by Martin, I don’t see anything else worthy of pointing out on this card at all. The info on this card is basic, but the grammar is very iffy.


Overall, I say skip this toy in favour of the retired Carnegie Collection version, or even the CollectA one for the time being. If you still want one, your best bet is DeJankins, as he is the best source of these products within the USA.

Shantungosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

Review and photographs by Fembrogon, edited by Suspsy

Hello, all, this is Fembrogon with my first review for the DinoToyBlog. My featured creature for this review is the gargantuan hadrosaur Shantungosaurus–a genus which I believe could achieve minor stardom in the mainstream with the right push. Shantungosaurus obviously wasn’t a carnivore, and didn’t have fancy ornamentation like some of its relatives, but with size estimates reaching up to 50 feet long and 13 tons heavy, Shantungosaurus holds the record for largest known non-sauropod land animal in history. That’s not bad for a duckbill!

Of course, with size being Shantungosaurus‘s potential claim to fame, the best way to market it would be to bank on BIG merchandise. The Chinese company PNSO finally took a stab at this dino, as well as several others (some of which have already been reviewed here on the blog), as part of a large hollow plastic toy line. How well does Shantungosaurus hold up?

Unfortunately, not so well in the case of my particular figure. The feet are so unevenly balanced that the big hadrosaur is prone to falling like dying prey. Hot water treatments to the legs have only offered temporary respites. Hopefully, this issue is unique to mine (I don’t even know if it’s actually a sculpting or shipping issue), but it’s the biggest criticism I have to lay on the figure, so let that issue . . um . . . Stand at the front.

The above problem notwithstanding, the PNSO Shantungosaurus has an impressive shelf presence, standing 6.5″ tall at the hip and 13″ long, 17″ counting the curves in the neck and tail. This puts the figure at roughly 1:35 scale. I’m no expert on hadrosaur anatomy, but looking at skeletal photographs and illustrations, PNSO seems to have nailed the overall proportions and features of the genus. I particularly like the thick, rectangular lower jaw replicated on the figure, which distinguishes it more from other, more “plain”-looking hadrosaurs (if the honking great size wasn’t enough for you). I don’t know if Shantungosaurus could bend the end of its tail as well as it is on this figure (hadrosaurs are thought to have very stiff, reinforced tailbones), but it certainly adds to a dynamic pose not often seen in herbivorous dinosaurs.


Finer details are very good for what is ostensibly a child’s toy. There’s little or no shrink-wrapping I can make out, besides a rather bony face. The body is covered with fine scaly detail, pronounced by dark paint highlights. The paint job is very earthy and natural in appearance, with light and dark brown washes and a nice, subtle striping on the tail. There are some odd rusty red highlights on the face, but they aren’t too distracting. My figure does have a few tiny scuffs on the toes and spine, however, so I would recommend treating this figure gently. There is also a noticeable paint blotch on the left back leg of mine; hopefully that is another flaw unique to my own.

PNSO appears to be off to a strong start with their dinosaur figures. While I can’t praise this particular one as much as I’d like, what with the various issues mine has (getting it to stand risks becoming a hassle), the PNSO Shantungosaurus is nonetheless a very nice representation of a genus rarely seen in toy form. If you’d like to obtain one for yourself, DeJankins still has this figure and others in the line for reasonable prices as of this writing.

Mammoth Skeleton Tent with Cavemen (Playmobil)

As storm clouds gather overhead, a trio of human hunters work quickly to finish erecting their shelter. Fortunately, the mammoth that they recently killed and butchered has provided far more than just food. Its large, sturdy bones form an effective structure while its thick fur hide acts as a waterproof covering. As the hunters settle down inside their new dwelling, they are joined by the fourth member of their party: a faithful tracking wolf that they have raised from a pup.

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a Playmobil review. Today I’ll be presenting a very interesting set from the 2011 Stone Age series: the Mammoth Skeleton Tent with Cavemen. We’ll begin with the bare bones, if you’ll pardon the pun. The aforementioned skeleton consists of nine pieces, all them coloured pale grey save for the white tusks. Most of the pieces are made of hard plastic, but the tusks and tail are made from softer, flexible material to ensure safety and prevent breakage. Once assembled, the skeleton holds together very firmly. And I mean very firmly. Granted, the limbs can be removed with relative ease (they’re supposed to, as you’ll see in due course), but the skull and tail are practically sealed in place.


From the tip of the tusks to the rump, this skeleton measures 20 cm long and stands about 13.5 cm tall. The head, shoulders, hips, and tail all rotate, making it reasonably poseable. And while this skeleton is admittedly lacking a mandible and some vertebrae, it’s still unmistakeable as a specimen of Mammuthus primigenius. Pretty impressive for a children’s toy. Interestingly, while the “living” Playmobil mammoth has a larger head and tusks, the skeleton has a higher back and is wider at the shoulders.


Here are the three cavemen who come with the set. I call them Charles, John, and Mauricio. As you can see, they have the same dark hair, tanned skin, and fashion style as the two that came with the sabretooth set, indicating that they’re all part of the same tribe. Charles is decked out in an impressive bison headdress and cloak, suggesting that he’s the leader of this merry band. Their accessories consist of a jagged-tip spear, an axe, and a broken femur bone. Perhaps that last one is for their canid companion.

And here he/she is, a light brown wolf measuring slightly under 8 cm long. It’s generic-looking enough that it could pass for either an extinct Canis dirus or an extant Canis lupus. Its detailing is simple, in keeping with the Playmobil aesthetic, but it does have sculpted fur on its head, limbs, and tail. It is also jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips, making it a fun little figure to play with. It’s just a shame that the eyes and nose aren’t painted.


Here we have a large, dark brown mammoth pelt moulded in the shape of a tent and made out of rubbery, flexible plastic.

And here’s the main section of the set, a large base plate sculpted to look like rocks and sand, complete with a dead shrub, a live fern, and a blazing campfire.

To assemble the tent, you first need to remove the limbs from the skeleton. Attach the main section to the underside of the pelt, attach the hind limbs to the entrance way, then peg the whole thing into the base plate. The resulting structure is big enough for all three cavemen and their wolf to shelter under. Of course, real mammoth dwellings were considerably more complex, but again, this works very well indeed for a children’s toy.

Overall, the Playmobil Mammoth Skeleton Tent is a really fun and educational set that any young prehistoric fan should enjoy. Not to mention a lot of older ones. As I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews, the Stone Age series was discontinued back at the end of 2011, but you may still be able to find it online.