Tag Archives: Giganotosaurus

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 Rubén 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 €, 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 €) to make use of that. Available in almost every German toy and lots of book stores and of course, Amazon and eBay.

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Giganotosaurus (World of History by Schleich)

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

When it comes to carnivorous dinosaurs that are 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 is not as 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 thing 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 allow the model to stand on its own (oversized) feet. The head is looking to the side and looks best when the mouth is closed. The chosen colors are quite drab. The oversized fenestrae are outlined with red and the tongue is a dark pink.

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The 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 have those who love it  because of its size as compared to the other WoH models, I don’t feel it 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.


Giganotosaurus (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd)

At last the Carnegie Collection Giganotosaurus is available to the world. This is one of the finest dinosaur pieces of its generation, due to its high level quality. This is simply one of the best dinosaurs Carnegie has ever released, not because it’s an impressive dinosaur, but because it’s very accurate, and very detailed. Giganotosaurus is carnosaur found in Argentina. It lived along some of the biggest animals to ever walk the land.

Giganotosaurus Carnegie
Giganotosaurus Carnegie

At a little more than 30 cm long, he’s slightly longer than the Carnegie Tyrannosaurus (as he is in scale with the rest of the line). Giganotosaurus harbored a lot of attention by the media recently, because it appears to be the longest theropod found yet. Carnegie has done an excellent job producing Giganotosaurus carolini in all its glory.

Giganotosaurus Carnegie
Giganotosaurus Carnegie

The figure is colored in a beautiful mix of cerulean blue, creamy white for the underbelly, and darker cerulean blue all over its back, with some light green stripes running along. The Giganotosaurus is posed in a sort of “I’m king of the world” pose, with an open mouth, and a classic “roar” stance. It towers over most other Carnegie Collection dinosaurs. It’s certainly one of the most impressive dinosaur molds as of late, with its awesome color, size, detail, and above all, accuracy. It definitely deserves all the hype it’s getting among dinosaur collectors. This is a must buy for all dinosaur lovers. And he’s not that expensive, either. It can be found anywhere you look. In all major dino shops, museums, specialty stores, and so on.

Giganotosaurus Carnegie
Giganotosaurus Carnegie

Available here for example.

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