Tag Archives: Plateosaurus

Plateosaurus (Jurassic Hunters by Geoworld)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

If there is one group of dinosaurs that toy companies seem to dislike more than ornithopods (due to the fact that they are thought to be poor sellers) then it would be the prosauropods, or sauropodomorphs as they’re now called. When a modern company makes a line of dinosaur figures, they almost always neglect this family of dinosaurs, with the sole exception of one species. And that species is Plateosaurus.

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Plateosaurus is the most common sauropodomorph genus made for the dinosaur toy market. And whenever a company decides to make just one representative of the family, it usually always ends up being this one, despite the fact that there are other distinct species in the family like Melanorosaurus and Thecodontosaurus. And once they do make a Plateosaurus for the line, it almost always remains the only sauropodomorph to ever grace the entire line.

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This brings me to the Plateosaurus model made by Geoworld for their Jurassic Hunters line. It remains to this day the only sauropodomorph figure in the entire 96 figure (soon to be 102) collection of prehistoric animals. With so many known species, you would think that at least one of them would be another sauropodomorph, but nope. Poor old Plateosaurus remains to be the only one of his kind in a collection of more popular species, like Velociraptor, and obscure prehistoric genera such as the cave bear.

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Since Geoworld is a hit-or-miss company with a bad reputation, you might be wondering how bad this Plateosaurus model is. Well, for starters, my model cannot stand up no matter how many times I try to fix his legs with a hair dryer (hence the small piece of pipe cleaner in the pictures). Geoworld is known for giving most of their bipedal models a base, because they know that they would not be able to stand without one, but this Plateosaurus remains to be the only model that really needs a base despite not having one.

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​In terms of accuracy, this model is pretty much a dud. It’s in a tripod position that makes it look like it was from the mid 20th century, similar to the Carnegie Collection model. The tail is in an upward curve, which would be impossible to do on the real animal without breaking the vertebrae. Also, the tail might be too short. The head of this figure seems decent, although it looks a little cartoonish. About the only thing Geoworld seemed to get right on this model is the number of digits on the hands. Unfortunately, the fingers are not the correct length, making them more uniform when Plateosaurus is known for having some weirdly shaped hands (for a model that gets this right, see the CollectA version reviewed by Gwangi). The colors on this figure are mostly a dark sky color blue with some orange stripes painted on. The claws are painted black and the midsection of the bottom half of the figure is colored in a light tan. The eyes are yellow and the teeth are white.

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Overall, this is another miss from Geoworld. I can’t recommend it to those who like realistic replicas. If this model is based off of a piece of artwork, then I’m not aware of it, although I would not be surprised if it is. If you want one, you can buy it cheaply from www.dejankins.com.

Plateosaurus (Dinotales Series 5 by Kaiyodo)

Review and photographs by Dennis AKA Lanthanotus

When I first discovered the Dinosaur Toy Blog, I began with browsing the several dinosaur toy producing companies listed. The Kaiyodo site woke my interest, mainly because of the intriguing color schemes and accuracy of their models. I’ve never heard of the producer before, but when searching the forum I eventually found that they had made a plentiful array of prehistoric models (not to mention the Capsule Q and others).

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My special interest got caught by the Plateosaurus, one of the relatively few dinosaurs known from Germany and a rarely sculpted one as well–particularly if you want a model that actually looks like a Plateosaurus rather than a generic Whatsoeversaurus. My decision for this purchase was also related to the fact that I couldn’t make out production seams in the pictures I’d seen of the model. Those seams, or perhaps it is better to say joints, as the models come in parts that have to be put together manually, can sometimes be quite obvious (Apatosaurus, for example). After a fair bit of search on ebay I located a seller in Hong Kong and deceided to risk the 18 dollars to check out these kinda unique Kaiyodo models. Few weeks later (while we resided on dinosaur-free Iceland) a small envelope arrived in our mail box.

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So what’s to say about the model? According to clawmarktoys.com, the Kaiyodo Plateosaurus was originally only sold in Japan as a promotional item, attached to a bottle of CC Lemon Drink. I cannot say what the original packaging looked like as I received the figure in a plain plastic bag (and I also got no information on the taste and sucess of CC Lemon and its prehistorical promotion, sorry). There are two color versions of the Plateosaurus, the other being obviously inspired by the belli-phased Varanus varius.

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The Plateosaurus stands 7 cm tall and measures around 10.5 cm along the spine. It’s made from vinyl and cannot withstand rough play. The five parts of the body body fit together very well. While the joints of the hind legs are concealed in folds of skin, the ones on the forelimbs blend into the “camouflage” pattern. As a result, the joints vanish from sight almost perfectly. The color scheme looks very natural with an olive base color that is lighter on the throat, belly and underside of tail and inside of the limbs. A hue of orange can be spotted on the dark striped belly and the head appears in a sandy yellow with orange eyes with black pupils. Finally, a yellowish ridge runs along the dinosaur’s spine from the neck to the tip of tail. What fascinates me is that if you closely inspect the paint job, the model seems to have been assembled for painting and disassembled after–quite a tricky endeavour when one takes in account how well and firm the limbs attach to the model.

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The details on this small figure are astonishing. The skin appears leathery and saggy and even shows the flank fold which can also be seen on modern monitor lizards (if they are not overfed). Strong muscles shine through the skin, even the tiniest finger is sculpted individually and the mouth is lined by scaly “lips” which you can only really spot with a magnifying glass.

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When it comes to accuracy, there’s very little to bemoan. The model resembles the latest scientific finds that Plateosaurus was bipedal and could not really use its forelimbs in quadrupedal walk. Accordingly, the forelimbs are sculpted as hands rather than feet. The palms face each other, the thumbs show off big claws, the second and third fingers are strong and long, and the fourth and fifth ones are short and weak. The feet show four toes, which is not really correct, but I suppose not including the outermost and very tiny fifth toe can be excused on such a small figure. The model is standing on all four toes on each foot, which is debatable. While the inner toe was comparatively long, it likely could not touch the ground on its whole length as shown. But this is nitpicking for such a scale. As well, the pelvis sticks out very prominently, the mouth shows no cheeks (which are not verified but likely), and the ridge is doubtful (but possible).

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My verdict? Taking in account the scale of this model, I rate it 10/10. For me, its pose, detail, colour and pattern is just eye candy and it’s currently my most treasured model. If you want one of these rarely seen Triassic dinosaurs for your collection, you’d need to invest $14 to $18 and find it on ebay or clawmarktoys.com


Plateosaurus (CollectA)

Having recently reviewed the Bullyland Liliensternus, I thought it fitting to do another Triassic dinosaur that lived with and was possibly preyed upon by Liliensternus. I’m talking of course about everyone’s favorite basal sauropodomorph, Plateosaurus. This one was put out by CollectA in 2011. CollectA is known for their production of obscure species so it is no surprise that this well known Triassic dinosaur has been produced for their line. Despite their propensity to tackle obscure genera, CollectA models are historically not very good, but they’ve been improving. Though some newer models are still hit or miss the Plateosaurus is among the best and probably the best model of this dinosaur currently available.

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The CollectA Plateosaurus measures 8” from nose to tail and is rearing up at 6” tall matching it closely to the older Carnegie Plateosaurus. As such it is 1:40 in scale and actually displays nicely next to the Carnegie representation. Where CollectA has succeeded most with this model is in the attention to detail. Surprisingly for CollectA this model is quite lifelike which is what drew me to it to begin with. The appropriately small and rectangular head is packed with tiny, individually sculpted peg-like teeth. The fenestra are present behind the nostrils and tiny eyes are sculpted with black pupils. The eyes themselves are blue. The body itself is a convincing olive drab all over with pale stripes running down the neck, back and tail. The paint job actually looks to have been inspired by the “Walking with DinosaursPlateosaurus and the same color scheme is presented in Greg Paul’s recent “Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs”. The nails are all painted black and the inside of the mouth pink. Small scales are sculpted throughout. Tie those in with some wrinkles and musculature and you have an incredibly lifelike representation from CollectA, taking into context that it is a toy and fairly cheap.

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 Speaking of accuracy, the figure mostly succeeds on that front. Overall I see little to complain about and the head especially appears faithful to the real animal. All five toes are sculpted on the feet with the three weight bearing toes as heavily clawed as they were on the actual animal. The only thing seriously wrong is the position of the hands. Recent evidence has shown that like theropods, these sauropodomorphs could not pronate their hands. This means that not only is the CollectA model inaccurate, but so too are the many artistic representations of this animal as a quadruped. Most now agree that this animal was bipedal. The large thumb claws also appear reduced and while all the fingers are present the hands almost look like baseball gloves. The caudofemoralis muscle could probably be a bit beefier too but that is hardly reason enough to pass up this otherwise well made model.

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 To echo what I said in my review for the Liliensternus, Triassic dinosaur models are rarely made. Tell CollectA and other companies you want more by picking up this fantastic sculpt of a rarely made dinosaur. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more affordable and accurate toy representation.