Ancient horses really don’t get much love in the toy market. Aside from Starlux and Bullyland, no one has added to the herd of prehistoric equinids. That is until Geoworld brought out their rendition of Hipparion, one of the most successful horses ever, lasting 22 million years and covering almost every continent, before dying off in the Mid-Pleistocene, possibly being out competed by the modern horse.
The isolation of South America during much of the Cenozoic era resulted in the evolution of many odd and unique creatures, like the Liptotern Macrauchenia. This odd ungulate has fascinated many since it’s discovery by Charles Darwin, and has been the subject of many art peices and toys.
Most of us, if we’re familiar with Italian toy company Geoworld, are familiar with the extensive “Jurassic Hunters” line of dinosaur and Cenozoic mammal figures, or perhaps the “Jurassic Action” line of articulated figures. Many collectors have a low opinion of these figures due to their crude sculpts, uncredited accompanying artwork, or garish paint jobs.
Despite being one of the more famous species of the Pleistocene megafauna, Megaloceros, also known as the Irish elk or giant deer, has fewer toy incarnations in comparison to its peers such as the mammoth and woolly rhino. It may ‘just’ be a giant deer, but its magnificent antlers should be enough of a reason to have more figures of it.
Since it’s first discovery in 1788, Megatherium has garnered much attention, not just from scientists but by the general public, it’s large size and fearsome claws drawing in many. In spite of the discovery of larger creatures over the centuries, this gargantuan xenarthran still has it’s fair share of art and models dedicated to it.
Out of all the prehistoric creatures that could have been made by modern toy companies, I assume a Metridiochoerus is not something you might expect. Metridiochoerus was basically a type of warthog that lived in Africa during the late Pleistocene, and it competed for the same niche as its modern cousin Phacochoerus, the common warthog.
There is a line in the play “Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard that I feel encapsulates science, especially palaeontology, brilliantly: “The greatest moment in life is when you find everything you thought was true was wrong.” The number of changes in thoughts about prehistoric life certainly proves this, as with the species I am reviewing here, Ornitholestes.
Ornithomimids seem to be getting more and more popular in the realms of figures and collectibles. But of the great and diverse clade, it is surprising that Ornithomimus itself seems to be oddly absent, with few companies taking on the task of recreating this rather famous dinosaur.
Of all the Hadrosaurs, Parasaurolophus is by far the most commonly produced in toy lines. It’s flashy headpiece is likely the main reason, as the rest of the body is somewhat lacklustre. Sizeable, but not the most interesting. The crest is where it’s at, with the function and skin attachments being a major source of debate.
When it came to their third expedition, Geoworld had the opportunity to expose kids and adults alike to a variety of ancient mammals, some we have never seen before in toy form. We could have had some truly bizarre and unique species, like Paraceratherium, Diprotodon or Sivatherium.
The Cretaceous period was a time of mighty titans among the dinosaurs, with gigantic animals all across the globe. Largest of these were the sauropods, and they reached monumental sizes, from pony sized to thirty metre giants. They were present on almost every continent, with several on Africa.
Time for another Geoworld review. This time, it’s their take on the infamous Spinosaurus. Spinosaurus, as many of you know, has proven to be a conundrum for scientists. Everyone has been arguing over what the animal looked like because of a paper published in 2014 that ultimately altered the way we generally depict this creature.
Review and photographs by DrWheelieMobile, edited by Suspsy
A staple of any paleo-nut’s childhood – and source of dread for said paleo-nut’s parents! – were so-called excavation kits, which usually took the form of plaster blocks with parts of a skeleton model jumbled inside. Equipped with a toy hammer, the task was to ‘excavate’ the pieces, then to assemble them once they were all found.