Chialingosaurus (Jurassic World Dino-Escape, Fierce Force by Mattel)

2.1 (26 votes)

Chialingosaurus kuani was a stegosaurian that lived 160 million years ago in China. It is one of the oldest species of stegosaurs known and would have resembled Kentrosaurus in appearance. You would be forgiven for having never heard of it, not many have. It is an obscure dinosaur known only from fragmentary remains and its inclusion in the Mattel Jurassic World toy line has me wondering if Mattel sometimes chooses their dinosaurs by picking names from a hat.

The Mattel Chialingosaurus is part of Mattel’s Dino-Escape, Fierce Force line and is new for 2021. It measures about 8” long and stands 3.25” tall at its highest point. Chialingosaurus is estimated to have been about 13’ so that would put this toy at about 1/19 in scale. This means it scales nicely with the human figures.

Up until this point the only stegosaur we’ve gotten from Mattel is Stegosaurus, so it’s great to finally have another. That said, a Kentrosaurus has been announced and it makes you wonder why they bothered with a Chialingosaurus at all. There is a myriad of other better known stegosaur genera to choose from too, a few having been featured in the Jurassic World: Evolution game. For fans who appreciate diversity however, this is likely to be the only Chialingosaurus you’ll ever get, and that definitely makes it a unique addition to the line.

As stated, remains for Chialingosaurus are scant, consisting of various vertebra, limb elements, bits of jaw, and a single dermal plate. All that comes from two different specimens. How we reconstruct Chialingosaurus hinges mostly on how we reconstruct Kentrosaurus, which is thought to be its closest relative. At least with these poorly known genera Mattel can get away with a bit of artistic license and they certainly do that here, especially with the addition of 8 tail spikes, ala the Battat Stegosaurus. With its tail held aloft, the Chialingosaurus has a much more modern look than the Mattel Stegosaurus, which I appreciate.

There’s a lot of lovely detail work packed onto this little toy. Musculature and skin folds are sculpted around the face and neck, and scales of varying sizes and shapes adorn different parts of the body. Square shaped scales adorn the neck while large, irregularly shaped scales are sculpted along the back and transition to small pebbly scales elsewhere. Some large rough osteoderms are present above the shoulders.

The rib cage is slightly visible under the skin and skin folds are present around the limb joints and along the underside of the toy. The plates are sculpted with striations and a layered texture, giving them a keratinous appearance. A couple of them even have small chips taken out of them which I initially thought was damage to my particular toy but it is not. The base of the tail spikes also have a similar layered texture.

The action feature is rather unique and a lot of fun considering its simplicity. The body is divided into two pieces joined at the mid-section. If you hold down the hindlegs and move the tail back-and-forth the front portion swings left and right, so the toy can jab at foes with its little shoulder spikes. Conversely you can hold the front portion and swing the tail end back-and-forth. It would have been nice if the shoulder spikes were a pinch longer, to better utilize this feature, but it’s acceptable as is. The plates and spikes are all soft rubber, making the toy safe for kids, but the shoulder spikes are harder plastic, and this is probably why they’re so short and blunt.

In addition to the action feature, the toy is also articulated elsewhere. The head is on a ball joint and swivels in every direction. The limbs can all rotate but not completely around due to the various spikes and plates. The limbs can also pivot outwards which is honestly, kind of useless.

The toy receives high marks for playability and craftsmanship but must lose points with the paint job. The base color is greenish blue, similar to that on the original Mattel Stegosaurus. A splash of blue is painted along the back but very similar to the base color so doesn’t offer much by being there. The forelimbs and underside of the front segment are painted with a splash of the most offensive shade of green imaginable, making it look like it stepped in some liquid dino-droppings. All the plates are the same color as the base color and the eyes are yellow with slit-shaped pupils that are also the base color. The beak and tail spikes are cream colored and the nails are unpainted.

Mattel very nearly ruins this fantastic toy with this unflattering paintjob. If ever there was a toy that needed a re-release with a new paint job, it’s this one. Mattel could have easily painted the plates a different color, used better contrasting colors along the back, and omitted the forelimb color entirely. Had they done so, this could have been a visually outstanding little action figure.

The Mattel Chialingosaurus is a unique and nicely sculpted toy that suffers from a bad paint job and seems somewhat redundant with the upcoming release of a Kentrosaurus. I do think it’s worth picking up if you want to diversify your stegosaur collection and it will look nice when displayed together with the Stegosaurus and upcoming Kentrosaurus. Plus, it’s the only Chialingosaurus you’re likely to come by for some time. Its small size and low price point make any of its short comings easy to look past. The Mattel Chialingosaurus is currently available, and I was able to get mine on Amazon for retail price, which was $10.

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Comments 4

  • I hope that I’m not raining on anyone’s parade here, but due to how scant Chialingosaurus remains are and how dubious the genus is, frankly, you could probably relabel any Kentrosaurus toy as Chialingosaurus, and it’d still be scientifically sound.

    • I mentioned the fragmentary nature of Chialingosaurus in the review, as well as how redundant the toy’s existence is thanks to the upcoming Kentrosaurus. Sometimes it feels like people don’t read the reviews before commenting. 😉

      Anyway, you could relabel a toy as something else but I know for a fact that there are collectors who are pretty firm about something being what it is labeled as and nothing else.

  • Easily the worse paint job of any Mattel JW toy. I keep thinking it’s a prototype.

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