Right when it was announced, I was keen to lay my hands on Rebor`s new release, „Kiss“, the lipped Tyrannosaurus. Now, back in the time I grew up a lipped theropod was nothing exotic, it was the standard way a carnivor dinosaur would be depicted, though, admitted, most often had their mouths wide open and expose their teeth to fresh air. Then came Jurassic Park and its starring T. rex with bared teeth would put its stamp on almost every large theropod depiction to follow (though, remarkably, their „Velociraptors“ had lips).
I myself customized a number of theropod figures to gave them some tissue back to protect their most precious tools and I am most pleased if I can add a figure to my collection for which I do not have to undergo this task (as it is not an easy one for figures in the qualitiy range of, lets say PNSO for example). But would simple lips justify the addition of a new figure? Well, maybe for some, but Rebor`s „Kiss“ lured me in with even more, but let`s have a look….
For the sake of sheer numbers, let`s measure out this massive hunk of polymer. „Kiss“ stands 12cm high above the hips and 13.5cm at the nape. It is 6cm wide at the belly and roughly 8cm at the tighs. Finally it measures 42cm in direct lenght, though this depends a bit on how you pose the bendable tail. With these numbers out of the way we can start to appreciate what Rebor presents us…
Rebor released a number of their figures with different paint jobs to attract more customers lately. With the release of the vintage theropods they also mad use of an old strategy in toy manufacturing by releasing figures that use largely same sculpts (and therefor tools). The valley variant of their vintage T .rex uses the same tail, legs and body as the VHS variant. In the same way, „Kiss“ has its sibling with „Tusk“, using all the same sculpt aside from the mouth part. Now, this is a legitimate move (I am a big MotU fan and what would this line be without retooling) and serves a wider variety of customers. Also I guess this may also be the reason how this immense figure can be sold for a quite reasonable price.
What Rebor delivers is nothing short of awesome. I have a number of Rebor models in my collection, but am far from a completist, not least because I really do not like all their dinosaur models. But praise should be given where praise is deserved. „Kiss“ is a festival of minute sculpting. No matter if you liked older Rebor models or not, most will agree that their level of detail in sculpting was always good. However, compared with „Kiss“, older Rebor releases look somewhat crude. „Kiss“ boasts a level of detail that can only be compared with older Papo models or latest PNSO releases. The main body, tail and legs are decked in minute scales, feet and head are adorned by larger scales , scutes and bosses. Wrinkles, folds and bulges reconstruct this T. rex as a most authentic animal and massive individual of the most famous dinosaur predator.
I would describe the pose as a standard stride for T. rex. With all my expertise in animal locomotion I`d judge that for an animal as depicted here, the stride could only be 10 to 20% wider if you wanted to show it in full gait. This calmer pose is quite consistent with the rest of the figure, like the slight turn to the right and the slightly tiped head. The arms are appropriately short and held against the body, the fingers are rightly of different lenght. In my figure, only one arm can be rotated, but that does not bother me at all, as the are positioned as they should. The feet are also approriate in size, lenght and width. While I personally would have preferred Rebor sculpted the feet as in their Grab’n’Go Rex with a bit thicker toes, shorther and thicker claws and thicker padding, the sculpt they choosed here still transports an authentic look of a heavy weight walking animal. While the figure comes with a transparent stand, it requires none, at least not for an extend time. However, due to the weight, using the stand grants some safety for this precious figure.
Now, before we get to the business end, let`s have a short look at the back, where the main downer of the figure can be found. The tail of „Kiss“ is made of a flexible rubber plastic with an inserted wire. This allows for some degree of variation in posing the anima aswell as balancing its pose. This is quite a nice feature and generally well executed (and I hope it lasts its time, not as some of Monty). Naturally though, there’s a gap between body and tail and it is comparably wide and not aswell hidden as for example in Rebor’s vintage Valley variant as Rebor – for the sake of an authentic look – abdicated on deeper wrinkles and folds at the tail. Adding to the distinctiveness of the gap is the color scheme. While the body is striped with dark gray stripes, these change their color to tan on the tail. The transition of this change is right at the gap unfortunately as both pieces have been painted seprately and not together and then dissembled again. Well, this may be a slight distraction from the overall quality, but it should not be a serious barrier to hold potential buyers back, especially when they consider the front end of the figure….
Rebor did not invent T. rex anew with their figure, but they succeeded to create a most convincing reconstruction of a (once) living animal. The typical shape of the skull is easily recognizable and nevertheless well fleshed out with only the faintest ideas of the fenestrae visible. The mouth articulation is generally well executed and the mouth can be closeds shut but in my figure does not stay in this position by itself but opens the slighest bit. This however does not bother me much, as a lot of bigger animals have their mouthes a slight bit open for panting in motion or periods of heat.
The inner mouth is painted in a dirty pink with a slight wash and gloss finish. The teeth are of a brighter color then in the Valley Rex and not as „bloodstained“. In the lower jaw the row of teeth is the same on the left and right side, in the upper jaw there are slight differences, adding to the natural looks. The eyes are colored in a piercing gold with sharp black pupils.
Overall the coloration is well excuted and reasonable for an animal that size and ecology. Also, it just looks very good in my eyes, granting the figure an intersting color and pattern without looking too flashy, gaudy or demonic.
Now, if you want to display “Kiss” in scale with some of its peers, you face kind of a problem. The sheer size of this behemoth limits the number of figures that can rightfully placed with it, but there are some as the GR Toys Quetzalcoatlus, the PNSO Ankylosaurus or PNSO Triceratops.
To summarize this review: Rebor hit the nail on its head with this piece. Who – especially of the forum to this blog – would have thought, Rebor would be the one company to give is the „ultimate“ T. rex?! Yes, it has no feathers and I did not want to open this box in this review, but for some people even the „lips“ are debatable. But if you accept scales and lips for T. rex, this is the one figure to choose.
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