An aspiring artist, Fembrogon (who goes by Eric in real life) has been drawing dinosaurs and strange creatures since he was capable of walking and talking, and probably will be for a long time to come. Although energetic and admittedly absent-minded at times, prehistoric life is one of a few subjects which has never failed to engross him wholly. Dinosaurs – theropods in particular – are unsurprising favorites (special shout-outs to the remarkable Dilophosaurus, the massive Giganotosaurus, and the bizarre Deinocheirus); but he admires a wide range of prehistoric life from Cambrian invertebrates to pterosaurs. Fembrogon first discovered the Toy Blog (and Forum) around the year 2012, and found it an indispensable reference for the expanding world of dino collectibles. Since joining the review team, he’s enjoyed covering a varied assortment of figures, from classic to modern and mainstream to obscure. When he isn’t absorbed in prehistory, Fembrogon also enjoys modern wildlife (birds & reptiles are favorites), nature walks, special effects films, and traditional animation.
These six little dinos, sculpted by the Carnegie Collection’s own Forest Rogers, may look pretty dated today; but they manage to blend old and new aspects of science to produce a charming set as a whole.
Safari ltd. stands as one of the giants of educational, scientifically accurate dinosaur & animal toys today; but it’s easy to forget the company didn’t start out this way.
Dilophosaur fans of multiple varieties get the best deal with this pair of charmingly well-constructed plush predators of semi-anonymous origin.
The realm of gray-market (dinosaur) toys is full of, well, gray areas to be cautiously navigated; in an online age it’s especially easy to get lost in a malaise of sketchy knockoffs and bootleg toys from unknown sources.
This set of reissued figurines offers an updated, good-quality variety of animals for collectors who might have missed earlier releases.
Kaiyodo’s miniature dinosaur lines might be among the very best in the market, even with more and more high-end companies entering the scene in recent years. It’s a shame that acquiring Kaiyodo’s figurines hasn’t gotten any easier for collectors outside of Japan – especially in the wake of the 2020 pandemic, and the ensuing shipping bottlenecks which have only made imported goods all the more expensive.
This unique independently-produced model is a delightful throwback to older days of dinosaur art and collecting.
One of the various treats we have in this modern-day bounty of dinosaur collectibles is the increasingly easy access to many of the tools and supplies needed to produce toys, allowing a number of independent artists to pursue their own ideal collectibles where established company brands have passed over.
Schleich isn’t exactly wanting for criticism on this board. Plenty of paleo fans and collectors – myself included – tend to be underwhelmed or outright repulsed by the variety of ugly-looking toys Schleich produces in the name of educational purposes. Not all Schleich products are bad, though, and at least a few of their prehistoric line figures have managed to surprise collectors – even if was almost by accident.
The star of ‘Battle at Big Rock’ is back to bat under Mattel, with a slight makeover in play features and paint job.
Allosaurus was once a king of dinosaur media, second only to Tyrannosaurus in books and film. Featuring in multiple major productions such as The Lost World, One Million Years BC, and (debatably) The Valley of Gwangi, the “other lizard” ended up getting overshadowed during the 90s and 2000s with the advent of the Jurassic Park franchise and its more novel assortment of “villain” theropods like the cunning Velociraptor and the gigantic Spinosaurus.
In the world of paleoart and paleomerch, it’s very common to see artists and toymakers draw inspiration from the imagery of other creators. Often this can be a good thing and a chance to reinforce contemporary understanding – consider how many vintage toys drew from Charles R Knight and Rudolph Zallinger – but sometimes it ends up becoming flagrant theft of another’s hard work.
Mattel’s take on Jurassic World’s giant sea reptile is back as big and beautiful as ever, with a few new interesting quirks up its plastic sleeve.
When Mattel began announcing their upcoming releases in the wake of acquiring the Jurassic World license in 2018, one of the first and most exciting toys to catch my eye was the giant Mosasaurus, an impressive “real-feel” articulated toy that could eat Hasbro’s earlier attempts at the genus for lunch.
Overall this appears to be a fine representation of Quetzalcoatlus in many details, but when it comes to some of this animal’s most integral and challenging features the figurine actually falls short.
Having grown up familiar with the titanic pterosaur being featured in books and television programs, it’s sometimes surprising for me to remember that Quetzalcoatlus is a relatively recent discovery in the history of paleontology.
What makes this particular release stand out is its coloration, which contrasts starkly with the plainer pattern of the figure’s first release.
The 1990s were a stirring time for big theropod news: the crocodile-snouted spinosaur Suchomimus from Niger was described in 1998, new fragments of the now-(in)famous Spinosaurus itself were discovered in 1996 and 1998, and the gigantic Giganotosaurus was officially named in 1995.
Given how unstable our scientific understanding is regarding this giant theropod, perhaps it’s understandable Safari would want to offer another option to reflect the creature’s ever-changing image. How well, then, does this new model hold up as an up-to-date iteration?
2021 was an understandably odd year for many, following the tumultuous events of the year 2020, and merchandise companies were no exception.
Mattel’s Amber Collection has had a rocky release history, but before the line ground to a halt, Mattel decided to go out on a bang with the highly anticipated male Velociraptor design from Jurassic Park III. Fans were both excited and cautious: would this fan-favorite design be done the justice it deserved?