Author: Fembrogon

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.

All reviews by this author

Giganotosaurus (Soft Model by Favorite Co. ltd)

4 (19 votes)

Although we aren’t short on good-quality Giganotosaurus toys these days, Favorite’s new take is a worthwhile rendition with a few unique traits of its own.

Giganotosaurus (Giant Southern Lizard) might not stand within the most famous ring of dinosaur genera, but I’d say it’s hardly obscure by this point in history.

Dinosaurs I (Authentics Habitat Collection by Safari ltd.)

2.9 (12 votes)

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.

Dilophosaurus Plush Pair (Unknown Company)

4 (10 votes)

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.

Dinosaur Excavation no. 7 (Capsule MiniQ Museum by Kaiyodo)

4.6 (17 votes)

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.

Patagotitan (Wild Safari: Prehistoric World by Safari ltd.)

4 (17 votes)

Safari’s first dinosaur of 2022 has finally arrived, and while it might not be the show-stopper some would hope for, this sauropod is a well-made representation closely based on published material.

We love dinosaurs – especially BIG dinosaurs. The sheer size possessed by many of these ancient reptilian creatures has always played a part of their allure to the public.

Tyrannosaurus (3D Print by Mike Eischen)

3.7 (18 votes)

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.

Giganotosaurus Juvenile (Age of the Dinos 2019 by Schleich)

3.3 (21 votes)

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.

Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Museum Collection, Series 2 (Larami Corp)

2.5 (11 votes)

Larami’s Museum set is looking pretty dated now, but it’s a charming playset all the same and one of the more memorable imitators out there.

It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; by that metric the dinosaur toy industry has been incredibly generous towards the leading toy brands.

Allosaurus (Dino Escape: Roar Attack by Mattel – 2021 ver. 1)

2.8 (16 votes)

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.

Dilophosaurus (Moveable Toy by Wing Crown / Gosnell by Boley)

3.7 (12 votes)

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.

Mosasaurus (Dino Escape by Mattel)

3.8 (15 votes)

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.

Quetzalcoatlus (GR Toys by Haolonggood)

3.8 (18 votes)

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.

Carcharodontosaurus (Jurassic World Dino Escape 2nd ver. by Mattel)

3.1 (17 votes)

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.

Spinosaurus (Wild Safari by Safari ltd. – 2021 ver)

3.9 (20 votes)

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.

Velociraptor (male, JPIII – Amber Collection by Mattel)

3.5 (13 votes)

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?

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