Tag Archives: Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus (Carnage Dinosaurs by ReSaurus)

Review and photos by Emperor Dinobot, edited by Suspsy

Hello readers! This is Emperor Dinobot, and those who know me know that I respect highly articulated dinosaur toys. So today, we are going to review one of my favourite dinosaurs, Stegosaurus, from my favorite line: Carnage by ReSaurus!

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This is an amazing figure, sporting a vivid colour palette, although it is perhaps stereotypical for a Stegosaurus. Stegosaurus figures are often painted in a yellow and red or orange mix, but this figure manages to make it interesting with a nice red back and a nice orange bottom with orange arms, separated by a striking black line and green spots. The plates also have four colours. The mix between red and black at the base of the plates gives off a dark wine colour, or burgundy, that looks extremely nice. Of course, the keratinous beak and claws are painted in grey, as is the thagomizer. The bases of each keratinous part has a nice black, sandy detail to them.

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This figure looks regal from any angle. Stegosaurus, the “roofed reptile” is known by its diamond-shaped plates. But I feel like the sculptor took the “diamond plates” aesthetic a bit too seriously, because these plates are almost symmetrically diamond-shaped, when we know Stegosaurus had plates in a sort of slanted, trapezoidal way. Diamond-shaped, but not literally. This is a very stereotypical figure of Stegosaurus, but it still manages to look amazing. Unfortunately, its digits are inaccurate. It should have five on each front foot and three on each hind one.

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Did I mention it is articulated? The tail has an inner wire that allows it to be posed in different forms, and it has shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee articulation. While the body is slightly rubbery, the neck is NOT articulated, so do not try to bend it! It can even carry out that famous standing pose. It has been suggested that Stegosaurus was able to raise itself up on its rear legs to munch on taller plants, and even walk around for a little bit of time.

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The belly has a nice paint job to it. It’s cream-coloured but also has a thin, transparent brown covering to it, giving off a nice effect. As the rest of the figure, this mould is extremely detailed, featuring skin folds, scales and more, which give it a reptilian yet elephantine look.

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Luckily, I still have the base. Every Carnage ReSaurus dinosaur came with a highly detailed base, though they are all the same mold depending on whether your dinosaur is herbivorous or carnivorous. The only difference is the name print.

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These toys were released and re-released throughout the 1990s’ under different company names. My history of them is quite muddled, and as expected, there are colour variations, such as this darker figure with a darker wine red covering its back, and with a slightly different black line. Every dinosaur was very clearly hand-painted.

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The best part of these figures is that, at least in the case of the herbivores (except for Protoceratops), they are in scale with my Kenner Jurassic Park toys. This allows them to blend in with my JP/TLW collection, and thus are part of the family. But they are not in scale with one another, as they are all roughly the same length.

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I hope you enjoyed this review and let me know if you have any questions!

Discovery Kids Smart Animals 4-Set (Jakks)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

The objective of many lines of dinosaur figures (aside from making money) is to educate children and adults alike about extinct animals. In the last ten years, many lines have been integrated with modern technology to give children more information on dinosaurs besides a 3D view of these animals. Such is the case here: the Jakks Discovery Kids Scanopedia dinosaur sets. Each set (which ranges from having 1-6 figures in them) has an area that, when scanned by the Scanopedia, gives information on the animals. This is one of their four packs, with a group of Jurassic species to explore.

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First up is Brachiosaurus, the largest of this set. It is a little cartoonish, but in general, is accurate and well-proportioned. The front legs are a little too short, as the legs are fairly even in size on this figure. The colour is a pale green with dark patches, which is very appropriate for an herbivorous animal. The scanner mark is on the back left leg, and quite deep in the figure, which is rather distracting, unfortunately. It’s got the most dynamic pose of the set, and is a decent figure all round.

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Next is the Stegosaurus, a must for most dino lines. This is a very plump, round stegosaur, which does make it rather cute. The colour is a pale red with patchy reddish-brown spots on the body and on the plates. The scanner mark is again on the back left leg, and is again distracting. The figure has a good pose, and again, it is a decent figure.

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Next, the pterosaur Rhamphorhynchus. It is an appropriately thin animal with a slightly cartoonish head, but otherwise a very accurate depiction. The colouring seems akin to the depiction to the animal in the BBC Walking with Dinosaurs series, though simplified with a red head, feet, and tail vane, with the rest of the body in green. The wings are translucent green with light green spots, which helps make the scanner mark (under the right wing) much less distracting. A great figure all around.

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Last, but by no means least, is Othnielia. Neornithischians, along with other bipedal herbivores, are very rare in toy lines, so this is a very welcome addition. It is depicted as it should be, small and sleek with complete accuracy to the fossil specimens (although I feel the head and neck could be slightly bigger). The colours and patterns are almost an exact match for the WWD depiction, save for being a paler green and lacking black on the tail. The scanner mark is, again, on the left hind limb and is, again, an eyesore on this dino, but otherwise is an excellent figure. It also stands very well on its two legs without being a tripod. Much appreciated!

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This is a fairly good set of figures, well-detailed and well-made for what could easily be a cheaply manufactured line. This is very much for children, as can be seen from the slightly cartoonish look, and goes well with the Scanopedia, a great educational piece. If the scan mark can be filled in (something I am working on), it would go well even in a collection or diorama. These are harder to find, but I think worth it.

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Dinosaur Advent Calendar 2016 (Schleich)

Review and photos by Tim Sosa

This year Schleich followed in the footsteps of companies like Lego and Playmobil in offering an advent calendar, but this one is dinosaur-themed! 24 days of dinosaur goodies sounds pretty attractive, so I bit the bullet and picked one up. I opened it long before Christmas, so that maybe this review can help you decide whether to buy one yourself. If you want to be surprised, maybe don’t read any further, but it’s going to be tough anyway because the entire contents of the box are pictured on every surface.

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If this were a video review, I might go day-by-day, but that would be too many photos for a brief review, so I’ll let the photo below give you an overview, and then summarize the contents:

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So what do you get over 24 days? You get three dinosaurs, none of which is a new sculpt, although two of them have been repainted and therefore are billed on the box as “exclusives.” The Velociraptor is the same sculpt released by Schleich in 2011 with a new paint job. Previous reviews have dealt with it more thoroughly, but briefly, it lacks feathers, its hands don’t face each other as they should, and the shape of the head is incorrect. You might notice from the photo above that it’s the only dinosaur not in a plastic bag, so during shipping it loses paint to the tray and there are lots of little red streaks on the white plastic. The Compsognathus is the same sculpt as in the “Velociraptor on the Hunt” pack released last year, again with a new paint job. The evidence on Compsognathus feathers is more ambiguous, since its preservational environment had at least a chance of preserving feathers but did not do so. Nevertheless, its relationships to other animals suggest it might have had feathers, and even if you give it the benefit of the doubt on its pajamas, this figure has the same problems as many Schleich theropods: incorrectly oriented hands, distorted proportions, and in this case the wrong number of fingers. The Tyrannosaurus baby is the same as in Schleich’s cave playset, and doesn’t even get a new paint job.

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Besides the living dinosaurs, you get the remains of a couple more: a complete Stegosaurus, the same one as in the volcano playset, and a Tyrannosaurus skull. The Stegosaurus is spread out over multiple days. Its stance isn’t perfect, but it has the right number of plates and roughly correct proportions. (I didn’t count ribs and vertebrae, but you can if you like!)

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There are a few other animals included in the advent calendar. To my mind, these are actually the biggest draw for this set. None of these is identified by name, but they’re identifiable to varying degrees. You get two ammonites, and to the best of my knowledge, they are the only parts of this set that represent sculpts available nowhere else. I don’t know what kind of ammonite, if any, they’re supposed to represent, although they seem like reasonable efforts, with the basic ammonite shape and correct number of arms. The frog has a stub of a tail, perhaps to indicate that it is one of the earlier, more basal members of the group, something like Triadobatrachus, Mesophryne, or Vieraella. It’s a repaint of the frog included in the volcano playset. Finally, there’s a little fish, painted like a flying fish, but with very different proportions. It’s a dead ringer for the reconstruction of the holotype fossil of Potanichthys xingyiensis by Fei-Xiang Wu. Potanichthys and its relative Thoracopterus seem to have evolved the ability to glide over the water about 240 million years ago, long before modern flying fishes (which aren’t closely related, showing up independently about 66 million years ago). This figure makes for a pretty nice rendition of Potanichthys, although it is missing the anal fin. Like the other small animals, it isn’t labeled, but it strains belief to suppose that its resemblance to Wu’s reconstruction is coincidental.

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This set also includes a pair of plants, although they come in pieces that you assemble over multiple days. Both are figures used in plenty of other Schleich products. One is a fern, which makes sense, as ferns were common throughout the Mesozoic. The other is an agave, which is peculiar because agaves didn’t evolve until well after most dinosaur lineages had gone extinct. I would have been happier with another fern (or better yet a horsetail or cycad), but oh well.

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Finally, you get four information cards about the best-known animals in the set, and stickers for everything (four days of the calendar, you just get stickers), but sadly no information on the “accessory” animals. I think that’s a bummer because you could use these to teach kids about animals that lived alongside the dinosaurs, but how would you even know where to look if they aren’t even identified?

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This set isn’t great if you’re looking for accurate dinosaurs, and doesn’t have much educational value for kids who are into prehistoric life. If you’re the kind of collector who likes the quirky animals that don’t get much press, you might get more enjoyment out of it. It’s a much cheaper way to get the fish and the frog than the very large, very expensive volcano playset due for release later this year, and so far it’s the only way to get the ammonites (and you get two!). That’s the only type of dino fan I’d recommend it to, however–you have better options for Velociraptor, for prehistoric plants, for skeleton figures, you name it. You can get this all over the Internet right now, although I imagine availability will diminish after the 2016 holiday season.