Tag Archives: Tsintaosaurus

Tsintaosaurus (CollectA)

Available from Amazon.com here.

Tsintaosaurus was a duck-billed dinosaur, or hadrosaur, that lived in China about 84 to 71 million years ago.  Like many Lambeosaurs, Tsintaosaurus is believed to have sported a fancy crest on its head.  In this case, the crest is a skinny rod that stuck out above of the dinosaur’s face much like a mythical unicorn’s horn.  A while back it was believed that this crest is actually just a piece of the animal’s top jaw that had broken and become bent upwards.  Then another specimen was found with the exact same feature, thus leading most people once again to believe that this animal indeed sported a unicorn crest.  Today I will be reviewing for you CollectA’s rather interesting rendition of this unicorn dinosaur.

Well let’s get it out of the way because I know you are only staring at one thing right now.  It looks like the figure has a man’s genitals sitting atop its head. This is mainly due to the fact that the sculptor of this piece (who had to have been in a spiteful mood that day) decided to add on two air sacs under rod-shaped crest.  Air sacs are commonly depicted on hadrosaurs for the sake of the animals being able to produce loud noises much like the inflatable sacs on modern day frogs, toads and Frigate Birds.  Now for other species of hadrosaurs this looks perfectly fine and I have even seen renditions of Tsintaosaurus itself with little balloon sacs that simply differ in size or placement that look completely innocent…but this?  Come on!  Somebody had to be in on it.  They even went so far as to paint the crest and balloons a uniform differentiating color!

You would think somebody at CollectA would have noticed before this went into production

Okay, got it out of our system now?  Probably not and I totally understand.  I have had this little model for several weeks now and I still can’t look at it and keep a straight face.  How about now?  Eh, whatever I’m moving on.  On to the rest of the sculpt!  This little figure is actually pretty accurate for the most part.  Its fingers and toes have of the right number and length of digits.  All hadrosaurs had four digits on their forelimbs.  Digits one, two and three were of equal size and were most likely used for walking while digit four was highly reduced and likely was just along for the ride.  This is emulated in the figure quite nicely.  The face is also good.  It sports a nice flattened mouth which matches the actual skull.  The tail is the right length and sticks out straight and rigid behind it and there is a ridge of elongated neural arches going down the back.  The only complaint I have is the fact that the critter’s legs and ankles look awfully skinny.  Also, there is recent belief that ornithopod dinosaurs would have had their palms facing inward, much like all theropod dinosaurs did.  This figure has its palms facing back.

The detail on this guy isn’t bad.  It’s completely covered in little pebbly scales, which we know at least certain hadrosaurs actually had in life from actual fossil evidence.  It also has some nice wrinkles on the underside of its neck and two really nice, deep wrinkles going along either side of its belly.

The colors are nice too.  The dinosaur has a base color of very pale greenish yellow with bolder green colored soft pattern all over the body.  The finger tips and toes are dark brown and the eyes are orange with that same stupid vertical slit pupil that CollectA seems to love so much.  Annnnd the phallus crest is painted a bright traffic-cone orange as if it didn’t grab your attention enough already.

So all in all…this figure is pretty good.  That is of course if you don’t mind the fact that the crest looks the way it does.  It’s a little smaller than 1:40 scale but it still looks at home in a 1:40 scale collection.  It can easily be bought at any place that already sells CollectA dinosaur models for a low price.  Oh yeah did I mention its crest looks like genitals?  Because it does…okay just making sure.

Available from Amazon.com here.

Special thanks to forum member, Postsaurischian, for providing me with this figure to review!

Tsintaosaurus (No company, exclusive to the Museum Of Natural History in Basel, Switzerland)

Review and photos by Stefan Schröder (alias Libraraptor)

Tsintaosaurus is a dinosaur that has not been reconstructed as a figure very often. To be honest, I do not even know of one company that has produced it, maybe our readers know more?

However, the Tsintaosaurus of this review was not produced by a special company but is an exclusive version apparently produced for the Museum Of Natural History in Basel, Switzerland. I originally stumbled across it last summer in a cabinet at the school where my best friend teaches biology. I fell in love immediately and detected its strong resemblance to the Invicta line. After a period of research and help from members of the dinosaur toy forum, I discovered that the Museum Of Natural History in Basel had this model made more than 15 years ago on the occasion of a special exhibition “Dinosaurs from China”, after an example manufactured by their chief preparator. I still do not know if these models have been manufactured by Invicta, hence the strong resemblance, or another plastic factory.

Tsintaosaurus Basel

These plain black models did not sell well in their shop – “Those black models did not sell well in our shop – too big was the competition with the colourfully, if not very correctly manufactured ones”, says Renate Müller from the museum shop. I can’t really understand this because In my opinion the Tsintaosaurus figure is really nice. It is 20cm long and 8cm tall. If not of the great quality typified by the Invicta line, it is still one of the better hadrosaur reconstructions out there. The upright posture can surely be discussed, as well as the posture of its arms. But the skin pattern is very detailed and so is the head. The duckbill, the spine and the supposed “sail” between it and the rest of the skull are of great detail, and so are the eyeballs and the nostrils.

Tsintaosaurus Basel

Together with the special story that connects me to this animal, this figure will always be a very special one for me. For all the other collectors, especially the ones with an Invicta bias, it could become a strange addition to their collection. As far as I know they don´t have that many anymore in Basel, but you can try to get one at [email protected]

Interested in this figure – check out the relevant thread at the Dinosaur Toy Forum version 1 archive.

Tsintaosaurus Basel