Allosaurus (Mesozoo)

3.7 (7 votes)

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Review and photographs by Stolpergeist, edited by Suspsy

As of this writing, there are currently three species of Allosaurus recognized: A. fragilisA. jimmadseni, and A. europaeus. The former two American species are mostly represented in toy form, with almost every one of them being A. fragilis and three of the ones from Schleich being A. jimmadseni, as they are based on the BBC Walking with Dinosaurs design for “Big Al,” a famous A. jimmadseni specimen. Only recently, however, we have gotten truly decent representations of both of those species, with Safari Ltd. releasing a fantastic A. fragilis in 2019 and CollectA releasing a great A. jimmadseni in 2020A. europaeus, however, which hails from Portugal, has been underrepresented in most forms of media. I can’t even think of a single toy–except for one.

Mesozoo is a small new company that offers PVC models made by Spanish paleoartist Manuel Gil Jaramillo. So far, they offer only one model which I am reviewing here, the Allosaurus europaeus. However, more are slated to come next year, including Ceratosaurus, Prestosuchus, Spinosaurus, and Torvosaurus.

The model’s sculpt is overall beautifully done. The entire body is covered in small delicate scales and a few realistic lizard-like wrinkles can be seen on neck, torso, and tail. The legs are muscular and bird-like. The ilium can be seen at the hip, which is a nice detail, while the pubis and ischium don’t stick out as they would on older shrink-wrapped reconstructions. Behind the ischium one may notice the cloaca. The claws are well made on both the feet and hands; you don’t see the broken toes that theropods by Papo or REBOR sometimes have, and the hand claws are appropriately sized with the one on the first finger being the largest and sharpest. The spikes sticking out on top of the muscular neck spikes could either be scales or stage one feathers. From the neck to the middle of the back runs a row of midline feature scales similar to an iguana’s. The head is the best part, featuring not only the articulated section of the toy, the jaw, but also the shape looks overall very accurate to known material. The crest shape is especially intriguing as it does indicate that the model represents Allosaurus europaeus. To be really sure, I have contacted Mesozoo and it is in fact confirmed by them to be the underrepresented European species. The inside of the mouth shows a large muscular tongue. The teeth are exposed even with the mouth closed, however, lips are difficult to sculpt decently on toys with articulated jaws so that can be overlooked. The overall impression is still excellent.

The figure is about 29 cm long, 8 cm tall, and 6 cm wide. As it is the European species, the scale is at 1:25, making it scale up perfectly with the Carnegie Collection Miragaia, a stegosaur that lived alongside Allosaurus europaeus, as it is at the same scale. Given that the Allosaurus is currently the only figure available from Mesozoo it remains to be seen if theupcoming Ceratosaurus and Torvosaurus will also represent the European species found in the Lourinhã Formation of Portugal.

The colouration is quite nice and the model is entirely hand-painted, which is always appreciated. The body features countershading with the top of the body being dark grey and the bottom half being lighter, which creates a realistic appearance. The lighter areas are brushed over with a dark wash which makes the detail level of the scales pop out. The darker areas are covered in white stripes which create a striking look; the tips of the spikes are also painted white, which makes this sculpt detail wonderfully visible. Each claw is delicately painted black, even the dewclaw, which puts the sloppiness of some Schleich paint jobs to shame (remembering their recent Spinosaurus). The teeth, however, could have been painted with more care. To some people, it has been a bit of a letdown but in my opinion, a sculpt should not be judged by its paint job and Manuel Gil Jaramillo did outstanding work. Paint jobs are the easiest aspect of figures to be fixed and you have to consider that this isn’t a model from a big company; it is a product from a new small business, an indie company that, despite being small, delivers exquisite quality sculpts while staying at the same price range as the big ones such as Safari Ltd., Schleich, and CollectA. And that is rather impressive, so really, nothing one could complain about here considering the price. When you open the mouth, you can see that it is painted in a rusty red that is in harmony with the dark grey of the skin on the head and doesn’t stick out too much. The same red has been used for the irises of the eyes, which have been painted quite well and are comparable to figures from large companies. The stripe pattern of the tail and the torso continues on the head, covering the snout, and the edge of the crest has been painted white as well. This is also very much appreciated as sometimes you can get tired of Allosaurus crests always being depicted as red. Crests that are blue, black, white, or other variations are always a very welcome addition to the variety of Allosaurus models.

The claws, spikes, tail tip, crest tips, and tongue are very pointy, which is great for realism but makes it not recommendable for small children. This model is more suitable for young adults and older collectors instead. In that regard I can recommend it to both those interested in cool-looking high detail sculpts as seen in Papo toys and those who prefer more anatomically accurate portrayals such as Safari Ltd. or CollectA toys, especially those interested in unusual species will love it. I know Dr. Darren Naish wants one after I showed him the model so that also speaks in favour of Mesozoo. The figure is available at the National Museum of Natural Sciences Madrid or at Mesozoo’s online store and costs only 19,90 €, do, however, mind shipping costs if you order online.

You can support the Dinosaur Toy Blog by making your dino-purchases through these links to Ebay and Amazon.

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Comments 4

  • It’s a nice figure and worth supporting this fledgling company and see where it goes.

  • Can’t wait for the newer figures. They are not severely overpriced as other companies and they are working on some of my favorite dinosaurs and relatives. Torvosaurus, Spinosaurus, prestosuchus, and more!

  • After strolling through Sr. Gil Jaramillo’s ArtStation page, I hope this line is very successful and that we can one day see his Lurdusaurus, Megalosaurus, and Oryctodromeus designs in tangible form.

  • Magnificent figure for a new and very young brand like Mesozoo. Honestly, it is a great figure comparable to figures like Battat’s acrocanthosaurus for example. Let’s hope that next year Manuel Gil Jaramillo and the Mesozoo brand will surprise us with new figures.

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