Tag Archives: Mosasaurus

Mosasaurus (Recur)

My next Recur review will be that colossal tyrant of the deep, Mosasaurus hoffmannii. In stark contrast to its terrestrial counterpart, T. rex, Mosasaurus had both poor binocular vision and a poor sense of smell. This means that it probably restricted its hunting to the ocean surface, where it would have been easier to locate prey.

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Released in 2015, the Recur Mosasaurus is now the largest prehistoric sea creature in my collection. It measures an gargantuan 40 cm long and has a flipperspan of 12.5 cm. The main colours are swampy green and light brown with a faint reddish tinge around the throat, yellow eyes, maroon for the mouth, and yellowish teeth. It’s a good colour scheme for a marine predator, one that would come in especially handy in kelp forests—assuming there were any back in the Maastrichtian age.

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The Mosasaurus is in a swimming pose with its huge head turned to the right and its powerful tail undulating. Looking at it head on, the silent killer appears to be measuring you up with its left eye, trying to determine whether or not you would be good to eat. The skin is a combination of fine, lizard-like scales and wrinkles with round osteoderms embedded in the back and a row of dorsal spines running from the top of the skull to the end of the tail. The digits in the flippers can be seen and felt through the skin. Between this sculpting detail, the sheer size of the toy, and all those pointed teeth, this is one scary-looking sea monster!

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Of course, there are a couple of noticeable errors here. First off, while those dorsal spines certainly add to the the toy’s frightful appearance, there’s no fossil evidence of such features, nor would they have been of any advantage for a fully aquatic reptile. And second, the pterygoid teeth are absent from the roof of the mouth. On the plus side, this Mosasaurus does have a fleshy fluke near the end of its tail. It’s not as big as I would have liked, but still, points go to Recur for being aware of this recent discovery. Points also go to them for the fact that, being made entirely of PVC, the toy is very light and nearly impervious to breakage. The fierce-looking teeth are quite harmless. Moreover, the Mosasaurus can float in water, which makes it perfect for playing with at the beach, in a swimming pool, or while taking a bath.

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Overall, despite its inaccuracies, the Mosasaurus is my favourite Recur toy. It’s big and scary, it’s got some impressive sculpting, and there can be no question that it’s a lot fun to play with. If you only get one Recur toy, I suggest this one.

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Thank you, Recur! Available from Recur’s AliExpress store

Mosasaurus vs. Submarine(Jurassic World by Hasbro)

 

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The sky is clear and boundless blue; it is a beautiful 80 degrees, a nice day to be at the park.  The water is a beautiful shade of blue green, there is barely a ripple across the calm lagoon.  There is something dangerous roaming in the depth of the waters, but not a trace of it is seen.  I sit in a cramped seat, and all around me is a sea of phones being held on high as the audience is in a buzz.  A staff member is explaining about the animal over the arena speakers, as my eyes continue to seek any sign beneath the surface.  Suddenly a dead Great White shark that is hung by its tail starts moving slowly across a wire.   The staff says,” Let’s see if it is still hungry.”  The audience anticipation grows, the arena becomes tense and suddenly the waters part with an eruption.  Inside the white spray a great head appears, surging to the sky with its maw agape.  Its huge mouth engulfs the shark.  The jaws close with a snap and it seems frozen for a moment while the water is rolling and cascading all around it and then it falls to the surface, crashing with one final explosion, covering us in a shower of water.  As I sit there stunned from the titanic spectacle, a feverish applause explodes from the crowd.  To my surprise the entire arena begins to move, and sink.  Suddenly we are viewing the beast from under the water. The animal swims by, its size is extraordinary, a bit of flesh is hanging from the corner of its mouth, and with a swish of its tail it swims off, and disappears.

What an amazing visual from Jurassic World.  The Mosasuars leaping for the great white is an iconic image from the film.  Due to the success of the film, interest in Mosasaurus has soared in a similar fashion to Dilophosaurus, Velociraptor, and Spinosaurus rise of popularity after Jurassic Park.    Of course it is not a perfect representation of the actual animal, as it has plenty of anatomical errors, but it has gotten people excited and asking questions, which only serves to help educate people about the real animals.  Jurassic World is a polarizing movie that has spawned many emotions from the people that have seen it.  The Hasbro toy line has also spawned many emotions with their toy line.  Their lack of ingenuity and quality of the products were a letdown to fans and collectors.  This brings us to the hotly anticipated Mosasaurus toy.  They made a couple of Mosasaurs toys for the film, a really small chomper toy, an even smaller blind bag mini figure, and this medium sized one.  A big Mosasaurus toy would have been great, unfortunately this was not to be and the Mosasaurs vs. submarine is what we get.

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About the toy:  The Mosasaurus vs submarine pack is interesting as no submarine was seen or used in the film.  They should have used a Pteranodon, which would have matched the movie, and been fun to play with.  Alas, they instead made a cheap toy sub.  I am not going to spend much time on the sub and the small diver, but if you have kids, it is useful during play time, and it is actually a good toy for small kids.

First thing that strikes me on the Mosasaurus is the paint job.  A dark blue teal top that blends nicely with a lighter blue teal underneath.  The belly is a cream color and the mouth is a dull pinkish red.  The colorization looks really nice.  The paint application is really good, except “sigh,” some run off on the teeth.  I guess you can’t get everything.  The eyes are painted cat like, with a small sliver of yellow.

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The figure is sculpted with its head looking up as if it is checking the surface for its next meal or shark snack.  The rest of the body is straight.  The tail is curved as if it is being propelled through the water.  The sculpt really isn’t that bad even though it is not quite up to date with fossil evidence.  It is textured with visible scales on the head, and on the flanks but they do not line up scientifically with diamond shaped scales and keeled scales that Mosasaurus most likely had on their bodies.  On the head of the toy there is a bony ridge above the eyes and runs most of the length of the skull.  There are also two nostril slits on top of its head before the eyes.  The mouth opens really wide and is full of different sized teeth, but it is missing the pterygoid secondary teeth.  There is also a small tongue in the back but it is not forked.

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Along the body there is a dorsal crest the runs the length of the body and down the tail.  This might look cool, but again scientifically, they did not have them.  The end of the tail has a small crescent shaped fluke which is line with current evidence.  The front flippers are thicker but shorter than the rear flippers.  On the left side are the dreaded screw-holes.  On the right side is the sliding dino damage wound.  The seam lines between the head and body are visible, and in the tail as well, but they are tied to the gimmick, and are not overly distracting to the overall sculpt.

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The articulation on this figure isn’t that good, but that’s ok, due to the fact that this toy is all about the gimmick.  If you pull the front flippers the mouth will open and the tail will move up.  If you fully pull the flipper up the mouth will snap shut.  The action is smooth and works really well.  The rear flippers can also be rotated fully around.  The dino damage is in the form of plastic sliding flap.  I have heard some people complain about it, since it only goes half way up when touched; I think it is great idea since I do not like the huge gaping wounds.  When the flap is touched the skin slides half way up to show an ugly wound underneath.  It is red muscle and some bones.

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Playability:  It is a fun toy for kids.  Even the cheap submarine has some simple, yet fun, gimmicks for kids to enjoy, including a decent net firing gun.  Ok the net is lame, but it is a flying projectile which kids love.  As for the Mosasaurus itself, the biting gimmick is easy for kids to use and it works really well.  In fact kids (or adults) can have fun pretending the Mosasaurus is jumping out of the water and dragging I-Rex or any other animal back into the water.  In fact the Indominus Rex from the vs. Gyro Sphere set might not scale up perfectly together when compared to the movie, but you can still recreate the end of the Jurassic World with retaliative ease.

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Overall:  I fully recommend this toy for kids as the entire play set is safe, functional, and fun.  As for collectors, the submarine is useless, where as the Mosasaurus is actually cool and rather nice, even with the screw holes.  The biting feature works well, and is fun to use.  I think the colors are pleasing, and it is painted rather neatly, except for the teeth.  As a bonus you can keep the dino damage covered if you do not like seeing a gaping wound.  If you are looking for scientific accuracy, you are looking in the wrong place as you will not find it with this toy.  This is one of the better toys from the Hasbro Jurassic World line, if you like how it looks, it is worth a chance.

 

Prehistoric Tube A (CollectA)

Following in the footsteps of Safari Ltd and Papo, CollectA burst into the world of miniatures in late 2015. Today we’ll be looking at Prehistoric Tube A, which contains no less than ten figures of some of the most popular dinosaurs and other extinct animals. The tube itself measures 27 cm long, is made of transparent hard plastic, opens like a chest, and fastens shut securely with a clasp. This makes it easier to remove or put away your toys than with the Safari Ltd Toobs. Also keeps your toys safer.

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First up in the assortment is that unmistakeable piscivore from the UK, Baryonyx. This shrimpy spinosaur measures 8 cm long and is coloured brownish-green with grey stripes, black airbrushing on the hands and feet, black eyes, and a pink mouth. The toy is sculpted in a typical “Grrrr, I’m a big, scary dinosaur!” pose. The skin is wrinkly with thick folds of skin on either flank. While the head looks nice, the hands are pronated and the hips are too wide. It appears that this toy was copied straight from the original Deluxe Baryonyx toy, and it’s a shame that the sculptor didn’t think to fix these errors. As it stands, this is the weakest toy in the lot.

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Next up is a dinky Diplodocus standing a good 7.5 cm tall and measuring about 9 cm long. Its main colour is dull green with a pale yellow underbelly, dark brown stripes, dark green feet, and black eyes. Like its larger version, it is rearing up on its hind limbs, seeing off a carnosaur or reaching for the most succulent vegetation. The skin has a pebbled texture and a row of triangular osteoderms runs down nearly the entire length of the spine. The muscles around the chest region are bulging like a powerlifter’s, but the neck looks too thin when viewed from the front. A decent little sauropod overall.

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Here’s a cute little Kentrosaurus. From snout to spike tips it measures only 6.5 cm long. It’s rather bland in colour, pine green with darkened feet, back, and underbelly and black eyes. The skin is pebbled and the plates and spikes are smooth. Despite the lack of bright colours, this is quite an impressive miniature, quite unmistakeable as Kentrosaurus. It would work well as a baby for the Standard version, although I suppose the plates and spikes look too mature.

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And now here’s a minute Mosasaurus. Actually, this one is the largest of the lot at 12 cm long. It is coloured dark grey with a pale yellow underbelly, white stripes on the body and spots on the tail, black eyes, a pink mouth, and white teeth. The body is smooth save for groves on the head and flippers and thick wrinkles around the neck and flanks. Still no forked tongue, but the pterygoid teeth are present in the upper jaw. Again, while the proportions are no doubt off, this wonderful toy looks positively adorable alongside its Deluxe momma!

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Next is a petite Pachycephalosaurus mounted on a muddy brown base. It measures 5.5 cm long and is coloured dull green with yellow airbrushing on the head and underbelly, dark red stripes, dark green hands and feet, and black eyes. The sculpting on this toy is particularly impressive. The hands have the correct number of fingers and the head is adorned with plenty of spiky knobs. The domed cranium is pitted and scarred and the skin is pebbled. A pleasing little toy that could be construed as a baby alongside the Standard version. That is, unless you support the Pachycephalosaurus/Dracorex hypothesis.

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Behold, a puny Parasaurolophus, always the “go-to” hadrosaur for any toyline (which, given the wonderful diversity of hadrosaurs, is quite lamentable). It measures 9 cm longe and is orange with a darkened bill, back, hands, and feet, black stripes and eyes, and a red crest. The skin is mostly pebbled with some thick wrinkles along the sides, muscular limbs, and grooves in the crest and the bill. Not nearly as imposing as the massive Deluxe version, of course, but a very nice miniature.

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And here’s a pint-sized Pteranodon, another “go-to” prehistoric animal (although the variety among toy pterosaurs is better than with hadrosaurs!). It measures slightly under 5 cm long with a wingspan of 8 cm. The toy is translucent grey with black for the body, arms, and eyes and light orange for the head, hands, and feet. It’s a pretty cool look. The head looks good enough, and I reckon we can forgive the lack of preaxial carpals at this scale, but the wings look too wide for a proper Pteranodon. Still, it’s good enough for a miniature.

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Now take a look at this stunted Stegosaurus. It measures 7.5 cm long and is blue-grey with light and medium brown plates and spikes, black eyes, and dark patches on its sides and feet. It is sculpted in a modern pose with its head turned slightly to the right and its formidable tail raised high. The skin has a rough texture with wrinkles on the underside, the head is appropriately small, and the feet have the correct number of toes. As you can see, however, some of the grooved plates are weirdly shaped. At least they don’t have weird patterns like the Standard’s.

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Gangway for the teeny Triceratops! Measuring slightly under 7 cm long, it is coloured rather plain: medium grey with black airbrushing, muddy green epoccipitals, horns, and beak, and black eyes. The skin texture is pebbled and there is a row of trademark CollectA quills running atop the hips, although they’re less noticeable due to the colour scheme. The muscles are well-defined, the feet have the proper number of toes, and the head is well-sculpted, although the beak looks slightly off. The alert pose suggests that the Triceratops has just been startled by something. Perhaps by . . .

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. . . a tiny Tyrannosaurus rex! Rounding out the set is this fearsome apex predator that measures 9 cm long. The colour scheme is virtually identical to that of Firestreak’s: light brown and pine green plumage with an airbrushed white underbelly, red crest, black eyes, pink mouth, white teeth, darkened fingers and toes, and a medium brown earthen base. The animal is sculpted in a menacing attack pose with its tail twitching, its left leg forward, its head turned to the left, and its jaws wide open. It appears to be based on this year’s Hunting Tyrannosaurus figure. The musculature and plumage are well-sculpted, the hips are the proper width, and the eyes are correctly aligned. This teensy-weensy tyrant is a winner!

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If miniatures are your cup of tea, then CollectA’s Prehistoric Tube A is right up your alley! Some of the little toys do have flaws, but overall, I think they’re on par with Safari Ltd’s and definitely superior to Papo’s. Their small size and durable carrying case make them ideal travel toys for children (or for certain adults!). I hope these sets become a mainstay of CollectA’s annual assortment from now on. A prehistoric mammal tube would be especially sweet!

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