Tag Archives: Giganotosaurus

Prehistoric Tube B (CollectA)

Time again to downsize with CollectA’s second tube collection. Like the previous set I reviewed, this one came out in late 2015 and contains no fewer than ten teeny toy dinosaurs and other prehistoric monsters, a couple of them making their debut with CollectA.

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First up is a bantam Amargasaurus, based on the Deluxe version. Measuring slightly over 7 cm long, it’s light green with maroon stripes, yellow for the underbelly, black for the eyes, and dark brown shading on the feet. It is posed in a walking stance with its head held high and the tip of its tail curled. The teeth in the mouth, the twin rows of spines on the neck, and the sails on the back are well-defined and the pitted skin has tiny osteoderms as well as thick wrinkles. In terms of accuracy, this animal looks pretty good, although the neck could probably be a little shorter and the tail could be longer.

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Second is a diminutive Ankylosaurus, coloured dark brown on top and fading to light brown on the underside. The tiny eyes are black and maroon is used for the stripes running parallel down the animal’s head, neck, and back and for the two bosses on the mighty tail club. This 7.5 cm long figure is posed in a defensive stance with its legs planted and its tail raised and swinging from side to side, ready to rumble. I had assumed that this toy was virtually identical to the Deluxe version, but in a number of ways, it’s actually superior. The rib cage is proportionally wider, the limbs are smaller, and there are more osteoderms comprising the armour. The nostrils are still too close together and there are too many toes on the feet, though. The back and limbs have a pitted skin texture while the underbelly is covered in wrinkles. The osteoderms are keeled and the tail club has a knobby feel to it. This is quite a cool little ankylosaur!

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Now we have one of the newcomers to the world of CollectA, a bitty Apatosaurus! At 4 cm tall and 9.5 cm long, it’s the biggest figure in this set. Its main colour is dark grey with a pale pink underbelly, black shading on the feet, and black eyes. The Apatosaurus is sculpted in a classic museum pose with its neck turning to the left and its tail swinging to the right. The tail could afford to be longer, but on the whole, the toy looks reasonably accurate. The skin is pebbly with spiny plates running down the vertebrae, two rows of osteoderms on the back, and wrinkles on the neck and flanks. Despite its size, this Apatosaurus looks beefy and strong. I do wish that it had been Brontosaurus instead (it really is wonderful to have the thunder lizard back), but I think it’s one of the best in the set.

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Next up, a runty Brachiosaurus. Not surprisingly, it’s the tallest figure in the set, standing 7 cm tall and measuring 10.5 cm long. Based upon the second Standard class figure, it’s standing rather stiffly with its head raised to maximum elevation. The main colour is greenish-grey with a light grey underbelly, dark grey shading on the feet, and black eyes. The skin is pebbly all over with a few thick wrinkles around the flanks. The limbs and tail look correctly proportioned, but the neck needs some beefing up. Overall though, it’s an okay rendition of Brachiosaurus.

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Here’s the second newcomer, a pocket-sized Giganotosaurus! Mounted atop a rocky brown base, it measures 9.5 cm long and is coloured light green with a yellow underbelly, dark grey stripes, black eyes, and a pink mouth. Unlike the Tyrannosaurus rex from the other miniature set, the teeth on this carnosaur are painted the same colour as its mouth, which is disappointing. And despite the name printed on the bottom of its base, it is clearly based on the Deluxe Carcharodontosaurus. Perhaps CollectA originally intended to release it as the shark-toothed lizard, but then decided to introduce the giant southern lizard instead. Unfortunately, while Carcharodontosaurus and Giganotosaurus are closely related, there are noticeable anatomical difference between their skulls. As well, this little fellow has inherited the Deluxe’s shrink-wrapped skull and overly wide hips. And to top it off, the paint on the feet has been poorly applied, making it look like the toy is melting. On the positive side, the sculpting itself is undeniably impressive, with sharp teeth and claws, lots of scales and wrinkles, rows of triangular osteoderms, and thick muscles. It’s a ferocious-looking monster in spite of its faults.

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And now here’s a mini Liopleurodon. At only 6.5 cm long, it’s the smallest figure in this set. Like nearly all plastic renditions, its main colours are very dark blue and pale yellow, a result of the animal’s exaggerated appearance in the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs. There are also some very faint airbrushed pink patches on the flanks, but the eyes and teeth are unpainted. A pity, but it would have been very difficult to apply paint at this scale. While the front flippers are angled beyond the real animal’s range of motion, on the whole, it’s a pretty accurate pliosaur, with a pitted skin texture and thick wrinkles around its joints. And as with the Mosasaurus in the other set, this little swimmer makes a perfect baby for its Standard class parent.

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Our seventh toy is an undersized Quetzalcoatlus. Standing almost 5.5 cm tall and measuring 8 cm long from the tip of its bill to its heels, this largest of azhdarchids is coloured dusty brown with grey wings, pale yellow on its throat and chest, a black head, yellow crest, pink eyes and mouth, and light blue on the back of its neck. Its head is raised high and tilting to the left, but unlike the larger version, there’s no baby Alamosaurus struggling helplessly in its bill. The neck and body are covered in pycnofibres and the folded wings are wrinkled. The bill is slightly warped, but overall, this is a very good rendition. As I’ve said many times now, I love walking pterosaur figures.

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Behold, a wee Spinosaurus, only about 9.5 cm long. Based on the famous and controversial Ibrahim/Sereno reconstruction, this finned fish eater is striding slowly along on all fours, its left paw raised and its long tail swinging well to the right. The main colour is sandy beige with faint patches of bright green, black stripes on the sail, airbrushed grey on the front claws, black eyes, and a pink mouth. Like the Giganotosaurus, the Spinosaurus‘ tiny teeth lack paint detail, but at least they’re not pink. The sculpting detail is excellent, with fine scales and osteoderms on the body, ribs on the sail, long, sharp claws on the hands, and a crocodilian-like tail. This is definitely one of the best figures in this set.

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A scrubby Torosaurus is our ninth toy. The perforated lizard is just over 3 cm tall due to its mighty frill and just over 6.5 cm long from the tips of its brow horns to the end of its tail. The main colour is pumpkin orange with dark brown accents on the head, horns, and body. The frill features white wash and black “eyes” shaped like inverted teardrops. The tiny eyes are black as well. Aside from the smooth horns, the entire animal is covered in fine pebbled scales with just a few wrinkles around the joints and belly. Unlike the Standard class toy, this Torosaurus‘ brow horns are correctly curved instead of straight. But sadly, the little fellow has all the same issues as his big brother: a snout that’s too long, a lack of epoccipitals on the rather flattened frill, and limbs that are far too lanky for any chasmosaurine.

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Finally, I give you this Lilliputian Velociraptor. It measures nearly 7 cm long and is quite possibly the blandest-looking dromaeosaur figure I’ve ever seen. It is coloured beige all over with darker patches on its tail, limbs, and head, as well as black eyes and a pink mouth. Due to its size, it is moulded onto a small earthen base. On the plus side, despite the fact that it is based on the aging Deluxe version, it’s got more accurate proportions, with a smaller head and a longer tail. The head, hands, and feet are scaly, but the rest of the Velociraptor is nice and feathery, complete with a large fan at the end of the tail. The wrists are properly aligned and the claws and teeth make this animal look like quite a savage predator. Of course, any dinophile worth his or her salt knows full well that this raptor doesn’t have nearly enough plumage. Still, any feathered dinosaur is welcome in my book.

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Overall, while I like the other miniature set better, this one is still quite good. Granted, some of the figures have accuracy issues, but they’re all rather endearing little toys. And considering that you’re getting ten of them for a relatively low price, I can’t see many people not enjoying them. Plus as I mentioned in my other review, the durable plastic case means that you can easily and safely take this set on the road with you. Recommended.

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This marks my second year anniversary as a reviewer for the Dinosaur Toy Blog! As always, thanks go out to Dr. Adam S. Smith and everyone who’s been enjoying my work. Here’s to another year! šŸ™‚

Giganotosaurus (TipToi by Ravensburger)

Review and photos by Lanthanotus, edited by Suspsy

Large carnivores are always worth a headline, be it a shark attack or a prehistoric discovery in a country as neglected by international news media as Australia. Back in 1995 the world’s public was introduced to a dinosaur species which had been discovered two years before in the endless wastes of Patagonia by RubĆ©n Dario Carolini, who is also the species’ namesake: Giganotosaurus carolinii. This immense carcharodontian theropod was fit to rival T. rex and therefore immediately gained a lot of popularity. With an estimated length of more than 12 or even 13 metres the species is more or less on par with our all time favourite theropod, but being built comparably lighter and less robust, the new competitor couldn’t push good ol’ Rex from its throne and gain a leading role in a movie or such. But Giganotosaurus does not need such media hype and fame for being awesome. After all, it’s an animal that evolved to hunt down the largest land dwelling prey that ever roamed the earth. Back in the Late Cretaceous, most surviving sauropods continued to thrive in what one day would be South America and species as Argentinosaurus grew to tremendous sizes. It was this was the presumed prey of the specialized Giganotosaurus. At an estimated top speed of 50 km/h, this flesh-eating giant probably hunted in packs in a hit-and-run strategy, biting and ripping parts of flesh out of their towering prey until it trembled and fell.

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Now, how to pack such awesomeness into a lump of plastic? Several attempts have been made and Safari’s Carnegie Collection figure may be the best among them. German companies have not covered themselves with glory in the past when trying to depict this species (see here or here). The specimen described here is also a mixed bag, but certainly has its charms.

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First of all, Ravensburger is not a classic toy figure producer, but a publisher of board games, books, and the like. For the last few years, Ravensburger markets the TipToi system. The central part of this system is the TipToi pen, an electronic device that can read tiny raster printed all over on the TipToi book sites and also on the orange spots on the marketed dinosaur figures. The toys, figures, and books “work” independently from another, so one can read and use the information provided on the raster of a figure after having downloaded (“free”) the information to the pen. Not being an owner of the pen yet, I can’t say how accurate the information about this dinosaur is. However, Ravensburger claims in its advertisements that such information would be up to date. Who actually sculpted the creatures is unknown to me, but style, general design, and quality makes me suggest it’s Schleich.

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The TipToi Giganotosaurus measures 28 cm in total length and stands 10 cm tall. It is comparably heavy and produced from very sturdy plastic. The base color is a dark red which gives the theropod a nice, menacing look. The skin is very well detailed and decked with singly sculpted scales, dark pink scutes, and a dark, formidable ridge running along its spine. Muscle bulges, folds, and creases add to the liveliness of the model. The arms are reasonably small, three fingered, and not pronated, although the raised left arm makes the hand appear pronated. As is still quite common in paleoart these days, the skull is noticeably shrink-wrapped. This allows us to see how accurately the skull resembles the original, especially in its length and the far back jaw hinge. The eyes boast slit pupils, rendering our 2D vision apex predator a nocturnal hunter and the unfortunate short length of the lower jaw provides it with a remarkable overbite. Its toes are way too long and the tail is too short (and lacks a cloaca) which adds further negative points to the scientific accuracy. It does add a lot to the figure’s stability though. I deem the play value of this figure very high. As a kid, I would have loved this dino with its articulated jaw, despite the paint being rubbed off quite easily.

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Overall, this rendition of Patagonia’s bane is far from being perfect, but still has a certain eye candy level with its size, color, detail, and agile, long striding pose. At a price tag of 16 to 24 ā‚¬, it isn’t a cheap buy, but I guess one must keep in mind that you also purchase the downloadable information and sound of Giganotosaurus, though you’d need the TipToi pen (approx 35 ā‚¬) to make use of that. Available in almost every German toy and lots of book stores and of course, Amazon and eBay.

Sent from my iPhone

Giganotosaurus (World of History by Schleich)

Review and photos by Nathan ‘Takama’ Morris, edited by amargasaurus cazauiĀ and Suspsy

When it comes to carnivorous dinosaurs that areĀ larger than Tyrannosaurus rex, most companies go for the ever-popular Spinosaurus nowadays. When Safari released a Giganotosaurus for the Carnegie Collection in 2008, other companies took notice and started dishing out their own chosen carcharodontosaurid species. In 2010, Schleich released their first version of Giganotosaurus to compete models with Safari and other companies. The large and expensive size of the model was possibly hurting sales, so in 2012 they released a shrunken version for the then-new World Of History line. An articulated jaw was added to make the figure competitive with Papo.

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This new version is not as big as the original, but it is still one of the larger models in the WoH collection, coming in second place to the Kaiju-like monster Schleich calls a Therizinosaurus.

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In terms of accuracy, this model is not great. The head is not shallow as it is in the actual dinosaur, and the arms are pronated. The tail is in a curl which would be highly improbable given the stiff tail we generally accept would be correct for the animal. In terms of aesthetics, this model comes up lacking. It isĀ not asĀ detailed as the Pentaceratops, and everything about it feels too smooth and lacking in texture. The skull is pocked with tiny scales but the rest of the body is covered in irregular shapes, and there is a row of osteoderms running down the length of the spine.

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Another thingĀ I find fault with is the model’s pose. It is just simply boring and uninspired. Both the arms and legs are in the same position, which does allowĀ the model to stand on its own (oversized) feet. The head is looking to the side and looks best whenĀ the mouth is closed. The chosen colors are quite drab.Ā The oversized fenestrae are outlined with red and the tongue is a dark pink.

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TheĀ model is primarily colored grey with dark red and yellow for effect on the sides. The osteoderms are colored white while the claws are black.

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This is a rather drab, mediocre figure. Although it’s bound to haveĀ those who love itĀ  because of its size as compared to the other WoH models, I don’t feelĀ itĀ deserves the thirty dollar price tag. A new Giganotosaurus is set to come out this year, but it is in a tripod stance, and I have no intention of acquiring it as well. If you still would like to add this version to your collection, you can find it wherever Schleich products are sold.

Available from Amazon.com here and Amazon.co.uk here.