Tag Archives: Tyrannosaurus

Tyrannosaurus rex (Unknown company, Walmart)

Review and photos by Bryan Divers, edited by Plesiosauria

Tyrannosaurus rex is undoubtedly the most famous dinosaur of all. There’s nothing quite like the T. rex. In fact, it is the only dinosaur known commonly by both its genus and species name. As Bob Bakker says, “a name like Tyrannosaurus rex is simply irresistible to the tongue.” A number of other species, such as Dynamosaurus imperiosis and Masospondylus have been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus rex after incomplete specimens were found to be identical to parts of complete skeletons of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Here is a cool toy I picked up at Walmart [USA]. I had always coveted the soft foam T. rex from Animal Planet but it was very expensive. Then I saw this bad boy at Walmart and just had to snap it up. Don’t condemn this fellow as a ‘chinasaur’, he has good detailing and shape. It isn’t a name brand toy, I admit, but for a generic model, the detailing is actually really good. This Tyrannosaurus resembles the Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus in shape, but colored green. (I love the scene in the movie where the T. rex grabs the lawyer off the toilet).

The teeth are an ivory-yellow color and the jaw muscles and ridges on the head are nicely defined. This dinosaur measures about 21″ long and stands about 14″ tall. It is soft, which is very nice for tactile people like myself. It feels very reptilian to the touch. Most of the body is green with a light gray underbelly and dark gray markings along the back. The musculature is wonderfully detailed.

A couple of negative points, though, are that the hands are a bit pronated and it is a tripod. The torso also looks a bit skinny. The tail at least, though, is not bent at an unnatural angle along the ground, so at least it doesn’t look like the T. rex is leaning all his weight on the tail, which would break several bones.

I think this is a great T. rex for young or old. It makes a great display on a dresser or a shelf, but it is a lot bigger than a lot of dinosaur models. It’s durable, and can hit the floor without breaking. I would definitely rate this fellow as at least a four-star toy. You can get one at Walmart whether at the store or online. You’re more likely to find him in the superstore than a smaller location, though. He is also available in gray and brown, in addition to green. A number of other dinosaur styles, such as a Stegosaurus and Velociraptor are also made as companions to this model. This fellow will almost take you back to the Cretaceous, he feels so real!

Tyrannosaurus (Dor Mei)

Here’s a toy that many of you will no doubt recognize. It probably doesn’t stand on too many collectors’ shelves today but certainly helped fill a lot of toy boxes in the 80’s and 90’s. Yes, you could call this a Chinasaur but you could also call it retro, vintage, and nostalgic. For me it’s an iconic toy from my youth and now that I’ve reacquired it I’m excited to formally introduce you all to the Dor Mei Tyrannosaurus.

Even if you didn’t have this particular toy growing up roughly 30 years ago you no doubt had something produced by Dor Mei. They were responsible for a lot of the cheap dinosaur toys from the late 80’s. Dor Mei was right up there with the likes of UKRD, Imperial, and AAA. They closely resembled their contemporaries of that time and their toys stood out if for no other reason than they were large. The Tyrannosaurus in this review stands 10” tall and measures 12” from snout to tail. Dor Mei was also responsible for a lineup of Godzilla knockoffs and other large menacing plastic reptiles.

This is the kind of toy only a hopeless nostalgic could love. Superficially it resembles a Tyrannosaurus. Large toothy head? Yup! Small arms? Of course! Bipedal? You got it! But it gets just about everything wrong with the details. For starters it is of course a tail-dragger. That should be of no surprise but if you look closely at the legs and feet you’ll see that anatomically they look more human than dinosaurian. This is a model of a man in a dinosaur costume, looking like something straight out of “Unknown Island.”

The tail is short and thin, the torso laughably long. The arms are too long as well but the hands aren’t pronated. Not an intentional decision to be sure. The head is big and boxy. The mouth is filled with generic pointy “shark teeth” and two gigantic eyes resting atop the head. The toy comes off looking more like a frog than our favorite theropod. Ear and eye openings are present and surprisingly the finer details aren’t as bad as you might expect. The skin is covered with pebbly scales; the belly has scales resembling those on a crocodile. The fleshy throat dewlap is cross hatched but gives the toy a lot of its charm. Skin folds run down the torso and the crudest hint of musculature is present on the legs. No bad for what it is.

This toy can be found in at least two color schemes that I’m aware of. The most common being this reddish-brown version. The back is a lighter shade of greenish-brown with a black stripe down the spine. The eyes and nostrils are red and the claws aren’t painted. The teeth are sloppily painted white, and some don’t have paint on them at all. Another version exists that’s painted yellow with black tiger stripes coming down the flanks along the back.

The toy is hollow which as a child meant you could stuff a lot of smaller dinosaur toys in there. Or action figures. Whatever you wanted really. It was a lot of fun to play with and was the matriarch of my particular pack of Tyrannosaurus. Although hilariously outdated this is one of those toys you can’t help but love. It has a lot of personality and represents a unique approach to the Tyrant King. It’s easy enough to find to this day, on eBay in lots or singly. No doubt there are hundreds lurking around yard sales and flea markets as well. If vintage retrosaurs are your thing, check out the Dor Mei Tyrannosaurus.

Tyrannosaurus rex (Sue Plush by Field Museum of Natural History)

If you’re reading this review, then it’s likely that you have at least heard of FMNH PR 2081, AKA “Sue.” It is one of the largest and most complete specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex to date, with a length of 12.3 metres and an estimated weight of nine tons. It is also famous for being the subject of a lengthy legal battle over ownership before it was finally sold at auction for the whopping sum of $8.5 million US. Happily, the buyer was the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, which had obtained financial backing from the Walt Disney Corporation and McDonald’s. Sue stands tall and majestic in the museum’s central lobby to this day, much to the delight of experts and enthusiasts of all ages.

Over the years, Sue has inspired a wide variety of merchandise: books, videos, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and, of course, toys. You can check out a couple of them here and here. Today I’ll be examining this stuffed Sue, which came out around the year 1999. At 50 cm in length and 20 cm in height, it’s one of the largest T. rexes in my collection, albeit fairly standard size for a plush toy.

The main colours on this toy are dark brown, light brown, and white with a black stripe running from the muzzle to the tip of the tail. The large eyes are made of red glass with black, cat-style irises. The mouth is purple with white teeth made from thin strips of leather. The black hind claws are also made of leather. Not a particularly unique colour scheme, especially for a tyrannosaur, but it’s realistic and works well here.


“I’m based on Sue too!”

Sue is soft enough to be pleasingly huggable, but its legs and tail are still sturdy enough to allow it to stand in a horizontal tripod stance. Like most plush toys, it’s made to take a good licking from a child and can be dropped, bashed around, or thrown across a room without the risk of breakage. Accuracy-wise, this toy is missing nostrils, foreclaws, and dew claws, but I reckon that’s forgivable given its simplicity. And on the plus side, the hands are properly positioned, which can’t be said for a good many more recent and detailed renditions!

Overall, I’m rather fond of my Sue plush. It’s big, instantly recognizable as a T. rex, and fun to play with. I look forward to passing this toy on to the next generation!

And can it be that time again already? Yes, my friends, I’m celebrating yet another milestone: my 150th review! As always, I must extend my sincerest gratitude to Dr. Adam S. Smith for granting me this wonderful opportunity in the first place. And I thank each and every single one of you for reading and commenting on my reviews. I’m actually nearing the point where I won’t be able to churn them out on a weekly basis anymore, but I still plan on writing as time and opportunity permit! Cheers!