Kentrosaurus (the Lost Kingdoms series C, by Yowie)

Background: Wild Safari Kentrosaurus Foreground: Yowie Kentrosaurus

Despite it being smaller and less grandeur in size when compared to its contemporaries Stegosaurus and TuojiangosaurusKentrosaurus’s look is snazzy enough for the major dinosaur toy brands to show it some love from time to time.  As with many of its fellow sterosaurids it had a small yet narrow skull that ended with a beak which would have been useful while sniping off plant stems and leaves.   It also had a double row of small plates running down its back which transformed into spikes on the hips and continued down the tail. Along with the tail spikes there also was a long spine on each shoulder.

If you don’t know and you are wondering, what is the Yowie toy brand?   Well, they are a confectionery and publishing brand that originated from Australia and teamed up with  confectionery giant Cadbury to make foil-wrapped character-shaped milk chocolate that came in a plastic egg. Within the capsule there was a multi-part collectable model which included animals from Australia and around the world. The Kentrosaurus is from 2002 series C, which had 30 figures and 6 limited edition dinosaurs.

About the toy:  It is hard to follow up the ever impressive, spectacular, Arnold Schwarzenegger in feathers, Wild Safari Tyrannosaurus Rex review that proceeds this one. That figure is the epitiomy of  grandeur and majesty of dinosaurs in toy form. Due to its size, the Yowie Kentrosaurus is not quite as majestic, and is easy to overlook, but lets not underestimate it.  At a height of 1.1 in (2.79 cm) and a length of 3 in (7.62 cm) it is a small figure on par with the Kaiyodo figures.  In the pictures for this review, I posed it with the Wild Safari Kentrosaurus (which is really small) just to show how small the figure really is.   The figure comes in four parts, head/neck, tail, body and legs right and left sides.  When put together, it leaves a little articulation in the head and tail, to be able to move them up and down slightly.

The head on this figure is really small and the neck is at an appropriate length.  The body has a gut that sags and looks well fed.  The legs are slightly bent which makes it look like it is ambling along at a slow pace, most likely foraging on nearby vegetation.  The tail is raised with two spikes at its tail.  The figure only has three colors on it.  a light green for the body, legs, and head, creamy white for the underbelly, and an orange streak that runs from the head all the way to the tail.  There is a small dot of black for the eyes.  There is not a lot of texture on this toy, just some bumpy skin and lines on the plates.

As for the scientific accuracy, it is not perfect.  The good news is, it does have a  squat body with a small head, and a combination of plates and spikes along the back. Unfortunately it is missing the shoulder spike, the spikes on the back look like pegs, and the tail is way too short, but what do you expect from such a small figure that came with chocolate.

Playability: For kids in the 3-6 range it can be fun toy to play with. Older kids might like it as well if they are dinosaur fans.  It is made from four separate  pieces that snap together, which can fall apart if played with roughly. This  might lead some parents to super glue it together to keep it from falling apart. The plastic is not super brittle but it can break if treated too roughly.

Overall:  I personally like this little guy.  I find this diminutive toy a fun, cute, little gem of a figure.  Yes it lacks perfect accuracy, and the seam lines are visible, but that doesn’t mean it can’t find a place in your collection.  Of course if you place on the shelf next to the Tyco Kentrosaurus, this little guy would look newly hatched.  If you are interested to find this small, but wonderful figure (in my opinion), off to places like ebay you must go, as this figure has been retired for quite some time.

Tyrannosaurus rex (2017)(Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

Available from Amazon.com here.

The old bull snorts angrily, but Hardbit is unmoved. He has stalked and killed scores of calves and cows on his own, and together with his mate, Tanjaw, large bulls like this one. And there is no moon in the sky overhead. A good night for a kill. Silently and methodically, the two hunters circle their prey. Unlike them, it cannot see in the pitch darkness and can only swing its horned head blindly from side to side. Suddenly, Tanjaw lunges and bites down on the bull’s right thigh! The bull jerks its head to the right and in that instant, Hardbit comes in from the left, clamps his jaws down on the bull’s frill, and forces the massive animal to the ground. Immediately, Tanjaw places her full weight on top of the bull and pins it down. Hardbit then plants a foot on the bull’s shoulder, bites down on the frill even harder, and begins to tug with every ounce of his brute strength. The frantic bull struggles and screams as the skin around its neck stretches and tears. There is a sickening crunch of breaking bone, and then, with one last effort, Hardbit wrenches off the bull’s head completely! He holds the dripping prize aloft for a few seconds, then lets it fall to the ground with a thump.

Tanjaw wastes no time in beginning to feed, but Hardbit pauses to catch his breath. He regards the severed head lying in a dark puddle at his feet. Although his mind does not allow much in the way of deep thought, he is still capable of feeling pride. This was indeed a good night for a kill . . .

Tyrannosaurus rex is THE dinosaur, plain and simple. Granted, some people have other favourites, and that’s great, but the tyrant lizard king will always be iconic. It’s the Batman, Spider-Man, Optimus Prime, Mickey Mouse, and Darth Vader of dinosaurs, the most famous and the most liked. And the most studied one too. The Dinosaur Toy Blog certainly attests to this popularity, as there are by far more T. rex reviews than any other animal. And now it’s my pleasure and privilege to review one of the newest and most anticipated renditions, the 2017 Feathered T. rex from Wild Safari!

As is often the case when I acquire a new figure, I promptly presented this T. rex before my non-dinosaur loving wife. Her gut reaction this time? “It’s really fat!” And yes, this certainly is one of the beefiest tyrant kings I’ve seen yet. The rib cage is nearly 6 cm wide and the torso is around 7 cm deep. The figure stands a majestic 14 cm tall and measures just over 31 cm long, positively dwarfing the previous Wild Safari T. rex! It is also noticeably heavier than either of the Papo T. rexes or the CollectA Deluxe Feathered T. rex. So why is this figure so massive? Well, the truth is that we’ve all been duped for a long time into envisioning T. rex as slimmer than it really was. One reason is that a number of prominent museums such as the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and even the Field Museum in Chicago have their T. rex specimens mounted without gastralia, those belly ribs that would have made the animal’s torso particularly bulgy. The Smithsonian’s recently acquired specimen, however, will include its gastralia when it goes on display in 2019. Another reason is that even some of the best paleoartists have had a tendency to depict T. rex more along the lines of an NBA forward as opposed to the NFL linebacker it really was. Indeed, while it’s true that Giganotosaurus was longer than T. rex, the latter was still heavier, with a thicker head, neck, and torso as well as far greater physical strength. And if the Ibrahim/Sereno reconstruction of Spinosaurus is indeed correct, then the spined lizard also lost out to the tyrant lizard in terms of mass if not length. Bottom line: I strongly advise against placing this figure up on a high shelf; you really wouldn’t want it falling on your head!

This T. rex is posed with the head raised high and turned to the left, the jaws wide open, the left foot forward, and the powerful tail twitching slightly to the left and well off the ground. Unfortunately, I’ve heard a few people report balancing issues with their figures. Mine was stood well enough when I first got it, but after a couple of days, it became more prone to tipping forward. Fortunately, after softening the left foot in boiling water, bending it back slightly, and then running it under cold water, I have solved that issue. The figure can also be balanced on the tip of its tail if needs be.

Our fine feathered friends! And a must-read book too!

One detail I’m going to touch right now are the deep scars crisscrossing the muzzle, three one on side and three on the other. Looks like the result of a very nasty scrap with another T. rex. There does exist fossil evidence that tyrannosaurines at least occasionally engaged in intraspecific conflict. These could have arisen over food, territory, mating rights, or possibly even cannibalism. In any case, the scars give this individual a distinctly rugged, hard-bitten appearance, hence why I’ve named him Hardbit.

Hardbit’s most prominent feature is, of course, his elaborate plumage. Nearly his entire body is covered in feathers. A thick mane, similar to that found on the wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) and various species of eagle, covers the back of his neck. A welcome bit of variety from the tall mohawks so frequently seen on feathered dinosaur depictions. There are even feathers extending onto his cranium. Feathered renditions of T. rex usually omit such a feature, so this is again a welcome change. The only bare parts are the muzzle, the mandible, the throat, the feet, and a large patch on the underbelly.

Like many of the 2017 Wild Safari figures, Hardbit here was crafted by artist (and fellow Canuck) Doug Watson, which alone should tell you about the quality of the sculpting. The featherless bits have a very fine pebbled texture, with thick folds of skin on the throat and large, overlapping scales on the fingers and feet. The feathers on the main body have a lush, shaggy feel, like on a rhea or a kiwi. The larger, spikier feathers comprising the mane have tiny grooves carved into them. The savage teeth are appropriately sharp and the roof of the mouth and the tongue are pitted. There are also rows of tiny osteoderms running along the brow ridges and along the top of the muzzle, as well as the aforementioned scars. Even the soles of the feet are textured. I can’t imagine how much time, effort, patience, and heart must have gone into sculpting this figure, but I take my hat off to you, Doug.

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food!”

Hardbit is easily one of the most colourful Wild Safari dinosaurs to date. The plumage on his main body varies between dark red and pale orange with black stripes and a slight dark grey wash. The plumage on his chest and the underside of his tail have a white wash and the mane and cranial feathers are a combination of crimson and black. The scaly parts are a mixture of grey and beige, the nostrils, claws, and the large scales on the feet are dark grey, the eyes are yellow surrounded by red, the osteoderms are red as well, the mouth, connective tissue, and scars are crimson, and the teeth are white. It really is a gorgeous scheme, one that utilises a wide variety of colours, yet at the same time is quite realistic and not overly bold. There are a few small nicks and blemishes here and there amidst the feathers, but keep in mind that finely textured figures carry a greater risk of paint rubbing when they are packed close together during shipping. This goes more so for large figures like this one. Safari may want to consider providing extra protective packaging for their products in future.

And now it’s time to discuss the scientific accuracy of this figure. Doug Watson informed me that Hardbit was based on the famous Sue specimen, which is the largest T. rex known from near-complete remains (although Scotty might actually have exceeded Sue in mass). As such, Hardbit possesses all the correct anatomical features. The massive, T-shaped skull features stereoscopic vision and savage teeth that are large, but not overly so. No question of shrink wrapping here; the orbits and fenestrae are completely hidden beneath the skin. There is a short, sturdy neck, a barrel-like rib cage, rightly tiny arms with non-pronated wrists, powerful-looking hind legs, and finally a stout tail whose enormous caudofemoralis muscles would have enhanced the animal’s speed and allowed it to successfully pursue live prey. As for the plumage, we all know that’s a divisive issue among dinosaur experts and enthusiasts. It’s true that there’s currently no direct fossil evidence of feathers on T. rex, but the same can be said for a good many theropods that we are still pretty certain had them. Fossilised feathers are the rare exception, not the norm. Phylogenetic bracketing certainly suggests the distinct possibility that the tyrant king had feathers. And shoot, no one has yet discovered a Megatherium with preserved fur, but you don’t hear anyone claiming it had naked skin! Speculation will always be an essential and major component of paleontology, and I for one am all in favour of a tyrant king adorned with plumage. I will also note that for the life of me, I’ve never understood the notion that feathered theropods can’t possibly be scary. I think the people who claim as such would be screaming at their top of their lungs if they were attacked by a Canada goose, let alone a great horned owl, a harpy eagle, or a cassowary (which actually has killed at least one person). And consider brown bears, which are covered in heavy fur that gives them a cuddly, friendly appearance. But have you ever seen The Revenant or the documentary film Grizzly Man? A feathered T. rex like Hardbit here would be no less lethal than a scaly one.

Wild Safari has long been one of the very best prehistoric lines, but 2017 will go down in history as the year they took it to a whole new level of awesomeness. This Tyrannosaurus rex is nothing short of a masterpiece, no two ways about it. Its gargantuan size and bulk alone make it stand out in any dinosaur collection, but add to that the expansive plumage, the handsome colour scheme, the exquisite sculpting, and those vital airs of majesty and ferociousness that accompany any proper depiction of the tyrant lizard king, and you have a truly phenomenal toy. One for the ages. Even people who don’t agree with the feathered look ought to be impressed by it. Hardbit here is now my favourite T. rex figure, hands down. Yes, even more so than the CollectA version (which I still adore, mind you). Highest of recommendations!

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Dan’s Dinosaurs for generously providing this figure for review.

“It ain’t about how hard you bite. It’s about how hard you can get bit and keep moving forward. It’s about how many bites you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Tyrannosaurus rex (Carnage Dinosaurs by ReSaurus)

Review and photos by EmperorDinobot, edited by Suspsy

Welcome to another review by Emperor Dinobot! Today we’ll take a closer look at the Carnage ReSaurus Tyrannosaurus rex! This legendary figure is the easiest ReSaurus figure to find, and it fully delivers!

Those who know me know that I appreciate a fully articulated dinosaur figure. However, this leads me to a discussion about the things I don’t like about this figure, so we will start there. Most Carnage dinosaurs are high quality, but they aren’t always durable. Their joints tend to degenerate over time, with their pins falling out and so forth. I’ve had several of these break down on me. Another thing I don’t like is that their feet are posed, which makes them impossible to stand. What’s the point of having articulated legs if the figure is going to be stuck in a running pose anyways? It also looks terrible. Another prevailing problem with this figure is that seams form very easily around the base of the rubber tail. Same problem goes with the Giganotosaurus. But there you go, those are the low points, and I think the positives outweigh the negatives, especially since this figure was released all the way back in 1997. I do not expect a lot of these to be in good shape since they are now vintage.

The Carnage T. rex has an amazing paint scheme. At first glance, it may look boring since it’s just “green with black stripes,” but it is really well done. That’s the thing I love most about the Carnage dinosaurs: the detailed paint! It’s very well applied, and while there is an obvious separation between the body and the tail, it works flawlessly since the tail takes on the colour of the animal’s belly, which is a pleasant yellow-olive green.

The figure comes with a footprint fossil bed base which is nicely sculpted, and a pin that keeps it from falling over. This is definitely needed for the bipeds in this collection. The other side of the base features a name plate, and on some releases it holds information about the animal. The jaws and neck are articulated. Notice how the figure is outdated and the hands are pronated a la Jurassic Park T. rex. Forgivable since it is vintage.

While the articulated legs are still posed, the figure can hold a variety of poses, such as the one above, chomping down on an unfortunate prey. The base really helps in this case, as it will hold the figure while posing. The tail is rubbery and has a wire running through the length of it, which allows you to pose and articulate the tail however you desire. This has always been one of my favorite things about these toys.

Again, this is an impressive figure, despite its vintage feel. It was far ahead of its time, and I wish we could see a fully articulated feathered T. rex figure in the future that was this impressive and well done.

I think this figure is worth it all the way, regardless of condition. The drawbacks are forgivable and fixable. It is also the most commonly found. I have had a lot of trouble finding used samples of the others, but never with this one. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this review. Happy hunting!


It’s on!