Tag Archives: rex

Tyrannosaurus (Dinotales Series 1 by Kaiyodo)

While Kaiyodo is probably most beloved for their production of more obscure prehistoric critters they made sure not to neglect the classic fan favorites too. In their 7 series run the Dinotales line produced no less than three distinct models of Tyrannosaurus, not counting the Tyrannosaurus skeleton and the slew of repaints produced for each one. This is only the Dinotales line mind you. Kaiyodo also produced a retro Tyrannosaurus for their Dinomania line and an entire set of Tyrannosaurus for their Capsule Q Museum Collection and another Tyrannosaurus for their Cretaceous collection. And those are only the ones I’m aware of; suffice it to say there are a lot of small snap-together Tyrannosaurus that have come out of Japan. Today’s review concerns their very first Tyrannosaurus from their Dinotales series 1, produced all the way back in 2001. Specifically we’ll be discussing their special color variant. In total I believe there are five paint variations including this one.

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Measuring 4” long and standing 2” tall this figurine is as small as you would expect the models in this line to be. Given that, it’s fairly dated so not quite as detailed as some of Kaiyodo’s later models but for its time and size it is no less impressive. It is also refreshingly accurate for a time period when most dinosaur collectibles weren’t. I think a lot of us forget that it’s only been in the last 10 years or so that this hobby has truly blossomed.

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This rex is completely bipedal and standing horizontally, one foot stepping ahead of the other. The head is large and boxy with forward facing eyes. Triangular horns are set above the eyes, giving it an almost “Jurassic Park” quality but not enough so that I would call it a rip-off of the design. The hands are worth mentioning as they’re appropriately tiny and correctly neutral facing. For this one though you might want to get out your magnifying glass and take a look at the feet; it would seem the hallux toes are missing. Or are they? Again with a magnifying glass you can almost make them out, they are however not individually painted so hard to discern from the rest of the foot. It’s truly amazing that they would even bother, but we appreciate that they did.

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The color scheme on this particular variant is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on any other Tyrannosaurus model. It is however relatively similar to some of the other Dinotales figurines, notably the Tarbosaurus and Brachiosaurus. Overall the theropod is just painted in black and white but it’s the patterning that makes it particularly eye catching. Although perhaps not a realistic color choice it certainly helps make this tiny figure stand out in a crowd and you can’t argue that it’s not unique. The small eyes are meticulously painted a striking yellow, the inside of the mouth is pink. If you don’t like this color variant however, you’re in luck. The other color variants got you covered; from brown with black spotting and stripes, to dark brown with light brown stripes, to green with black stripes, and yet another brown with black stripes, there are plenty of color choices for this figurine. Personally, I enjoy this black and white variant.

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In a world where countless Tyrannosaurus collectibles have been released since 2001 this little model from Kaiyodo is still a fantastic little piece worth seeking out for any tyrannosaur fan. Exotically painted and accurately sculpted it still stands out as unique among a collection full of the tyrant king. It is not perhaps as well detailed as some of Kaiyodo’s latest offerings but you can’t go wrong with any Dinotales model in your collection. Although long retired this model is still easy to find on eBay. It and its color variants can generally be found for less than ten U.S. dollars.

Tyrannosaurus (Terra Series by Battat)

It is with a heavy heart that I write my next review because as most of you are probably aware a dear member of our community and master paleo-artist Dan Lorusso has passed away. Even though this model was sculpted by Greg Wenzel it is Dan Lorusso that we have to thank for many of the old Battat models as well as the resurrection of the Battat series and its new sculpts and new paint jobs. The fact that Dan chose to spend his remaining years doing what he loved and sharing his passion with dinosaur enthusiast like us is a testament to his strength and devotion. May those who knew him and were close to him, take comfort in knowing that he has created a lasting legacy that will never be forgotten, and whose talents and personality will surely be missed.

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And speaking of lasting legacies, it’s with open arms that we welcome back one of the most coveted of Battat models and arguably the best Tyrannosaurus ever molded in plastic; the Battat T. rex, now with Dan’s new paint scheme and a place as king in the Battat Terra line. In fact, when our community voted in a poll for the “Top 10 Tyrannosaurus Toys” it was the Battat that took first place, and deservedly so! Even though this model is pushing 20 years old, it’s still everything you would want from an accurate, museum quality model.

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Tomhet reviewed the original Boston Museum of Science model and in that review he covered both the second and third versions of the sculpture. It is important to mention that the Terra T. rex is a repaint of the 3rd BMOS T. rex. The 3rd version of the model was originally released in 1998 with the first version released in 1994. The only real concern some picky collectors might take issue with is the lack of feathers, but most modern rex models still lack them. Since feathers are still speculative (but highly likely) for the genus you can’t really take points off for their omission.

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Starting at the head we have that classic T. rex skull; a narrow snout that widens towards the back, allowing for the binocular vision we know these animals had. A think beefy neck conveys the power that propelled that enormous bone crushing head. The body is lean, but barrel-chested and muscular. The model is supported by two well-padded feet with strong muscular legs. The hands are properly positioned neutrally and even the tail is of considerable heft when compared to most reconstructions that ignore bulking up the caudofemoralis muscles.

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In many ways, this was a model ahead of its time. This is of course true for the Battat line in general but the Tyrannosaurus is a great example of why this is true. This model stands up with not only our modern interpretation of these animals, but with our modern quality of production as well. This model compares well to current models by CollectA or Wild Safari and when you compare it to say, both the older Carnegie T. rex models from its own time, you’ll see that while those models appear heavily dated, this model looks fresh and new. The detail here blows it’s contemporaries out of the water. The bony bosses and bumps that adorn the skull, a ridge of muscle on the back of the neck, jugal bones protruding from the sides of the head, labial scales along the mouth, individually sculpted teeth of various sizes, attachment sites where the legs meet the body, slight visibility of the hips under the skin, tiny scales and wrinkles sculpted all over. All this and more, perfectly sculpted on a model pushing 20 years of age. Need I go on?

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Though I’ve never owned the Battat Tyrannosaurus I have long advocated that it’s the best toy T. rex ever produced in the mass market. I even find the paint scheme and patterns on the original appealing. Although I would still love to have an original model for that reason alone the new paint job and patterns are not only naturalistic looking, but cleanly applied and certainly more realistic looking than the original. The color choices suggest this is an ambush predator. Olive drab dorsally and brown on the underside with spots and stripes overlapping both colors these choices certainly give the model a camouflaged appearance. Though greens and browns are usually overdone on dinosaurs the patterning makes this an interesting model to look at, and a convincing one too. The bony bits on the head are red, suggesting a display function for this beast. The nails are painted grey and the eyes yellow. Generally speaking the paint application is clean, but certainly if you look close enough you’ll see some runoff. Inside the mouth the teeth have some pink on their bases, the grey on the nails bleeds onto the feet. And the eyes? Well let’s just try not to look at it head-on.

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So it would seem that the reissued Battat Tyrannosaurus gets high marks all around, that or it appears I’m a Battat fanboy. Not so fast, there is one glaring problem with the model that some may have difficultly reconciling with. It cannot stand! Although the tail is bent downwards in order to aid in stability the soft material used on this model coupled with too much weight in the front lead to a figure that tips over without some kind of added support. There are many ways around this of course. A stability rod can be implemented, or if your shelf is crowded like mine you can just lean it on another dinosaur. But perhaps the best way to make this model stand is simply by placing a small wedge under the left foot. A coin does the trick pretty good.

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There was a lot to address with this model, what I consider the benchmark of T. rex toys so thanks for bearing with me. Clearly I believe this is a model worth seeking out, and thanks to Dan LoRusso and the folks at Battat you no longer have to spend a small fortune to do so. The Battat Terra Tyrannosaurus is exclusively sold at Target stores in the U.S., and at a price between $9.99 and $14.99 is a steal compared to what the original goes for. If you live outside the United States be sure to stop by the Dinosaur Toy Forum where many of our American members will gladly be willing to sell or trade one to you. This is a must have model for Tyrannosaurus fans so get it while you can and happy hunting!

Tyrannosaurus (Jurassic Park by Dakin)

Another Dakin review! I know you’ve all been salivating for my next review on the Dakin “Jurassic Park” toys and I didn’t want to keep ya’ll waiting too long. Do I still need to give a back story about these things? You know, these small JP figures put out by Dakin in 1992? Oops, I guess I did anyway! Well this time we’re tackling one of the oddest of the bunch, the Tyrannosaurus. Another little model I can recollect from my childhood this toy takes everything we had learned about Tyrannosaurus and completely disregards it. It doesn’t even manage to capture the essence of the movie creature but still, it has its charming attributes.

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Standing about 5” tall this Tyrannosaurus stands in the old tail dragging pose. Kind of ironic considering the lengths “Jurassic Park” went to in order to popularize the Dinosaur Renaissance. But that hardly matters when every other feature of the model is just plain wrong. The oversized arms and pronated hands stick out in front of the creature, as if it’s doing a zombie walk! The toes on the feet are very blunt, large and club shaped. The entire body appears shrink-wrapped and starved and the head tries hard to look like that of the movie dinosaur but looks more like that of a mummified gargoyle skull with the yellow eyes sunken into their black sockets. The body is dull purple in color and it along with the tail dragging pose really make this look more like Barney than the mighty tyrant from the film. In fact, if you take all the characteristics of this model; the skinny shrink-wrapped body, purple color, tail dragging stance, zombie hands and gnarly head what you’re really left with is zombie Barney!

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So what’s so charming about this model anyway? Who wants an undead Barney toy? Well it turns out that at least for me those features are what make it so charming. Sure, it’s ugly but it fails so badly at trying to be a “Jurassic ParkTyrannosaurus that it ends up being a unique and novel character of its own. It may not be accurate or well made but it has character and if you’re a collector with a penchant for weird and offbeat models then I recommend seeking this odd fellow out.

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