Tag Archives: Compsognathus

Compsognathus longipes(Sentry, by Rebor)

To get in the right state of mind for this model lets take a quick stroll down memory lane.  While vacationing on the beach of Isla Sorna a young girl makes a startling discovery.  Out of the foliage and onto the beach hops a cute, small, chirping, green dinosaur.  She feeds the little fellow but suddenly many more arrive and surround her.  The pack goes after her and you hear her scream.  A rather tense beginning to the movie the Lost World Jurassic Park.  It also makes a great Public Service Announcement on why you do not feed wildlife.  While that scene was a interesting start to the film, one of the best scenes from the movie is when a pack of Compies stalk and pursue the hunter Stark.  After answering natures call, he becomes lost in the woods and falls down a slope. A pack of Compies approach and attack him.  He gets away from the initial attack but they ultimately wear him down in a creek and succeed in killing him.

Why does this model of Compsognathus longipes looks familiar?  That’s because it is practically an exact copy of the Stan Winston’s Compspognathus maquettes for the movie the Lost World Jurassic Park.  Rebor went retro on this model and is appealing to the sentimental feelings that many people have for the JP franchise.  This might bring up some bile or nostalgic feelings  depending on how you feel about the Jurassic Park movies and the stylization of the animals portrayed on film.  But that’s not all you get with this model.  It also comes with an accessory animal that represents Protolindenia which is an ancient dragonfly.

About the Toy:  The toy is in 1:6 scale.  It is around 6 3/4 in(17 cm) long and 3 in(8 cm) high.    The tail is 4 in long.  That makes the tail more than half of the total length of the figure.  The look of Compspognathus as stated above is a direct homage to the Lost World Jurassic Park.  The base color is a glossy yellow green.  The back is a darker green, and the underbelly is more yellowish.  There is dark striping on the neck, torso, legs, and on the tail.  The claws are black, and the entire skin has been subject to a dark wash to bring out the skin texture.

The mouth is articulated.  If you open up the mouth it gums and tongue are painted glossy pink.  The teeth are very small, and are hard to see from a distance as they blend into the mouth.  The eye is also glossy giving it a wet look.

It is in a neutral pose and resting on three points.  Due to it being in a tripod, it does not have stability issues.   It rests on its really long tail.  The legs are directly under the hips and the head is staring straight ahead.  There are three fingers on the hand with a reduced 1st digit.  The hands are pronated and hanging down.  The neck, arms, legs, and tail are all thin and are made of a bendy plastic.  The figure looks underfed as it thin and rather lithe.

What about the Dragonfly.  It has a small swamp rock base with moss on it.  A small metal rod fits into the base and into the bottom of the dragonfly.  This gives it the appearance of flying.  The colorization of the dragonfly is yellow green and black stripes on its thorax and the eyes are red.  The dragonfly has two sets of wings — one behind the other. The wings are long with a mosaic of veins running throughout them.  It is amazing how real the dragonfly looks, especially from a distance.

Overall:  Scientifically there are some issues with this model other than the pronated hands. If you look at a reconstruction of Compsognsthus, the neck and arms would be a little shorter than they are on this toy.  You might wonder why there are no feathers?   Since it is meant to mimic the movie the Lost World JP, there are no feathers on it.  It is in this capacity were the toy shines.  If you compare it to the movie it matches up really well. The lack of feathers might turn some people away from this model, but this toy is not meant to be accurate to science, just accurate to the movie.  In that respect Rebor nailed it.  This looks like a Stan Winston creation.   The food item for the Compsognsthus is the really well done dragonfly.   It complements the main figure and is a nice accessory for the shelf or diorama.

Despite the boring pose, I personally  find the Jurassic Park Compsognsthus to be rather cute.  When I look at it, they way the head is raised on the figure, it looks like a pet that is begging for some food.   If you are fan of Stan Winston or Jurassic Park, you might want to give this figure a try.  If you only want accuracy, then I would pass on this figure.

Dinosaur Advent Calendar 2016 (Schleich)

Review and photos by Tim Sosa

This year Schleich followed in the footsteps of companies like Lego and Playmobil in offering an advent calendar, but this one is dinosaur-themed! 24 days of dinosaur goodies sounds pretty attractive, so I bit the bullet and picked one up. I opened it long before Christmas, so that maybe this review can help you decide whether to buy one yourself. If you want to be surprised, maybe don’t read any further, but it’s going to be tough anyway because the entire contents of the box are pictured on every surface.

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If this were a video review, I might go day-by-day, but that would be too many photos for a brief review, so I’ll let the photo below give you an overview, and then summarize the contents:

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So what do you get over 24 days? You get three dinosaurs, none of which is a new sculpt, although two of them have been repainted and therefore are billed on the box as “exclusives.” The Velociraptor is the same sculpt released by Schleich in 2011 with a new paint job. Previous reviews have dealt with it more thoroughly, but briefly, it lacks feathers, its hands don’t face each other as they should, and the shape of the head is incorrect. You might notice from the photo above that it’s the only dinosaur not in a plastic bag, so during shipping it loses paint to the tray and there are lots of little red streaks on the white plastic. The Compsognathus is the same sculpt as in the “Velociraptor on the Hunt” pack released last year, again with a new paint job. The evidence on Compsognathus feathers is more ambiguous, since its preservational environment had at least a chance of preserving feathers but did not do so. Nevertheless, its relationships to other animals suggest it might have had feathers, and even if you give it the benefit of the doubt on its pajamas, this figure has the same problems as many Schleich theropods: incorrectly oriented hands, distorted proportions, and in this case the wrong number of fingers. The Tyrannosaurus baby is the same as in Schleich’s cave playset, and doesn’t even get a new paint job.

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Besides the living dinosaurs, you get the remains of a couple more: a complete Stegosaurus, the same one as in the volcano playset, and a Tyrannosaurus skull. The Stegosaurus is spread out over multiple days. Its stance isn’t perfect, but it has the right number of plates and roughly correct proportions. (I didn’t count ribs and vertebrae, but you can if you like!)

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There are a few other animals included in the advent calendar. To my mind, these are actually the biggest draw for this set. None of these is identified by name, but they’re identifiable to varying degrees. You get two ammonites, and to the best of my knowledge, they are the only parts of this set that represent sculpts available nowhere else. I don’t know what kind of ammonite, if any, they’re supposed to represent, although they seem like reasonable efforts, with the basic ammonite shape and correct number of arms. The frog has a stub of a tail, perhaps to indicate that it is one of the earlier, more basal members of the group, something like Triadobatrachus, Mesophryne, or Vieraella. It’s a repaint of the frog included in the volcano playset. Finally, there’s a little fish, painted like a flying fish, but with very different proportions. It’s a dead ringer for the reconstruction of the holotype fossil of Potanichthys xingyiensis by Fei-Xiang Wu. Potanichthys and its relative Thoracopterus seem to have evolved the ability to glide over the water about 240 million years ago, long before modern flying fishes (which aren’t closely related, showing up independently about 66 million years ago). This figure makes for a pretty nice rendition of Potanichthys, although it is missing the anal fin. Like the other small animals, it isn’t labeled, but it strains belief to suppose that its resemblance to Wu’s reconstruction is coincidental.

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This set also includes a pair of plants, although they come in pieces that you assemble over multiple days. Both are figures used in plenty of other Schleich products. One is a fern, which makes sense, as ferns were common throughout the Mesozoic. The other is an agave, which is peculiar because agaves didn’t evolve until well after most dinosaur lineages had gone extinct. I would have been happier with another fern (or better yet a horsetail or cycad), but oh well.

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Finally, you get four information cards about the best-known animals in the set, and stickers for everything (four days of the calendar, you just get stickers), but sadly no information on the “accessory” animals. I think that’s a bummer because you could use these to teach kids about animals that lived alongside the dinosaurs, but how would you even know where to look if they aren’t even identified?

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This set isn’t great if you’re looking for accurate dinosaurs, and doesn’t have much educational value for kids who are into prehistoric life. If you’re the kind of collector who likes the quirky animals that don’t get much press, you might get more enjoyment out of it. It’s a much cheaper way to get the fish and the frog than the very large, very expensive volcano playset due for release later this year, and so far it’s the only way to get the ammonites (and you get two!). That’s the only type of dino fan I’d recommend it to, however–you have better options for Velociraptor, for prehistoric plants, for skeleton figures, you name it. You can get this all over the Internet right now, although I imagine availability will diminish after the 2016 holiday season.

Compsognathus (Jurassic Hunters by Geoworld)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Over the years, many different dinosaurs have been made into toys and models by different companies, but it’s only recently that a creature that’s appeared in the media multiple times is finally getting the attention it deserves.Compsognathus has had a bit of resurgence on the dino toy market, with Schleich releasing two as a part of a playset and Rebor doing what they do best by pandering to those who love the scaly little whippersnappers that took down a little girl in the Lost World: Jurassic Park. Prior to this, the only serious Compsognathus toy that I could think of is this one by Geoworld (which just so happens to be the subject of today’s review).

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Compsognathus comes from a family of dinosaurs–coelurosauria–in which enough fossils have been found to conclude that it and its relatives were feathered to some degree (and there’s even one species that gave us enough clues to pinpoint the color of the feathers that covered it.) Unfortunately, no specimens of Compsognathus have been discovered as of yet with a hint of a feathery covering. This is enough to make some lay people think that it must not have had feathers and was therefore scaly, like the ones in the second and third JP films. It’s this kind of mentality that some companies love to pander to, and I’m sorry to say that Geoworld is one of them, despite their insistence on claiming that their products are museum quality.

The Geoworld Compsognathus would be a great little figure were it not for one thing. It was released in 2013 when remains of its feathery cousins had been known for quite a while. Looking over my Geoworld collection, it seems the company only puts feathers on the dinosaurs that are known to have had feathers from their fossils (phylogenetic bracketing be damned) and leaving those that don’t have feathers on their fossils completely naked and scaly. The only exceptions to this theory would be the Albertosaurus, which I think might be a fluke.

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Anyways, the Geoworld figure is scaly, but it at least look like the real creature to a lesser extent. The proportions seem to be almost correct (the tail should be longer) and the skull is faithful to the real creature. If there’s one thing (other than the lack of feathers) that could make this figure exceptional, then it would be the hands. As it stands, they are inaccurate due to the lack of a third claw. If one more digit was added to each of the hands, then this would be a good 1980s’ representation of the species. The colours on this model are not too bad either. The base color is yellow while the back is orange and a black line runs the length of the flanks and wraps around the tail. The feet are dirty and the claws are black.

Overall, this is one of Geoworld’s more decent efforts. It could be a lot worse, but it can also be better at the same time. All in all, it’s just a flawed replication of Compsognathus, but is perhaps the most accurate model you can buy as of this writing.

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