Coelurus (Jurassic World, Dino-Rivals by Mattel)

3.8 (17 votes)

Described by O. C. Marsh in 1879, Ceolurus is known only from a single skeleton found within the Morrison formation. This benign little theropod dates back to the late Jurassic where it rubbed shoulders with the likes of Allosaurus, Stegososaurus, and Brachiosaurus. Even if you’ve never heard of Ceolurus you’ve certainly heard of coelurosauria, the taxonomic group that contains everything from Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus to hummingbirds, and all birds for that matter. Before the days of cladistic classification coelurosauria was a dumping ground for any small theropod with a basic body plan, like Coelurus for which the group was named. Coelurus is still a part of coelurosauria but has bounced around quite a bit. The most recent studies place it within tyrannosauroidea but Coelurus still helps to illustrate how difficult it can be to classify these basal theropods, or basal dinosaurs in general. All dinosaurs come from very humble beginnings, evolving from the same basic body plan that made them successful right from the start and is in many ways utilized by many birds today.

Now that was a fair bit of information to ingest on what should be a straightforward review of yet another Mattel Jurassic World toy. But this might be the only chance anyone gets to review a Coelurus for the blog. To date the Mattel Coelurus is the only Coelurus toy ever made [EDIT- There is also a Thunder-Beasts Coelurus]. Why would Mattel pick this genus over the hundreds of other small, lightly built theropods described thus far? Well, as it happens, Coelurus is actually in the first Jurassic Park novel. It’s mentioned only in passing as Coelurosaurus and doesn’t actually make a physical appearance but it’s nice to see Mattel covering all their bases. Indeed, Mattel also produced a Microceratus for their toy line, a small ceratopsian also mentioned in the novel as well as Mussaurus from The Lost World: Jurassic Park. What’s next, a Dryosaurus or Ornitholetes? My fingers are crossed.

The Mattel Coelurus is part of the new Dino-Rivals line but in size and price point similar to the Attack Pack line. It measures 6.5” long and stands 3” tall. This size scales in well with most of the Jurassic World toys; the actual Coelurus was only about 7’ long. The material we have for Coelurus is fragmentary but given its basal body plan it seems easy enough to fill in the gaps. This toy is a basic little theropod with some of the proportional issues typical in Jurassic World toys.

Although this should be a feathered animal the body is covered in small pebbly scales that are pleasing to look at up close or to run your fingers across. There are some larger scales too, on the nape, which almost look like feathers but it’s hard to say for sure. There’s a fleshy bit of skin dangling off of the neck that adds a bit of character. Fenestra and labial scales are visible on the head with small hornlets above the eyes. The tail sweeps back gently towards the right, and then back left, with a nice little curl at the tip.

The action features on this toy are limited of course. The tail, arms, and legs all rotate around completely and the mouth opens too. With the mouth open the toy looks kind of silly but when closed the toy takes on a more natural appearance. The feet are greatly oversized but unlike its larger counterparts the tail appears realistically proportioned. The hands are correctly orientated with the palms facing each other.

No doubt the most eye catching aspect of this little toy is its stellar paint job, one of the coolest in the entire Jurassic World line. Overall it’s very similar to the Roarivores Ceratosaurus but also unique to this particular toy. The body is white overall, something you rarely see. Dark blue stripes run down the neck, back, and halfway down the tail. The cranium is red and there’s red overlaying the blue portions of the back and down along the knees as well. Unfortunately, the nails are all left unpainted, common with Mattel toys. I think one of these days I’ll have to buy some nail polish and let my daughter help me paint some dinosaur nails. Inside the mouth the tongue is hastily painted and along the edges, the same color as the teeth.

All in all, there is a lot to love about this little toy. It’s a Coelurus for one, and for anyone that wants to collect as many species as possible that makes it a must have. Aside from that it also has some beautiful design choices and commendable detail work. Hopefully Mattel will continue this trend of bringing obscure dinosaurs into the limelight, and perhaps someday produce for us all of the dinosaurs from not only the movies, but the novels as well. Wouldn’t that be something!

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Comments 10

  • I don’t really collect Jurassic World figures though I do acknowledge that Mattel is doing a great job comparatively to what Hasbro did. That said, I had to pick this little guy up because as you pointed out it is the only recent figure of this genus and it is pretty well done. I was surprised to see the non-pronated hands as well, a huge plus. I used some cheap Apple Barrel acrylic to paint the claws and the figure looks even better. Nice review!

  • Coelurus also shows up in film canon materials, like Microceratus, or Suchomimus does. It’s on the DPG list here:

    Easily one of my favorite attack pack figures released this year, if not one of my favorite figures released this year altogether. I also love the pink, blue, and white color scheme it sports, even if it probably isn’t all that natural.

    • Good to know. Makes me wonder if they’ll eventually do a canon Troodon too, like those in the Telltale game. The color scheme on this Coelurus is easily one of the best of the entire Jurassic World line. A bold claim, but I stand by it.

  • Can you edit this? Because I know about another Coelurus figure. At least this one is better, however.

  • typical JP-issues aside, it’s a cute little toy and I’ll probably pick it up if I come across it.

  • As always great review. I actually just received this for fathers day and it is a really nice little toy.

  • Good review. I would have preferred this toy as Ornitholestes, due to the fact that its appearance is much better known, but Coelurus is a cool shout out to the original novel. And it certainly would be a thrill to finally see toys of Dryosaurus and Cearadactylus.

  • This is my favorite of the Jurassic World line. I keep hoping for a Cearadactylus, the stars of the aviary scene in the original novel (and known from very good remains, to boot).

    They aren’t very well known, but Multi-Toy (Sky Kids) made a Coelurus for the Thunder-Beasts line in 1993. It’s huge and ugly, but I think it’s the only other plastic Coelurus out there.

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