With the announcement of the Hammond Collection Concavenator late last year it became apparent that Mattel had no intention of limiting their premium collector’s line to creatures with significant screen time in the Jurassic franchise. This revelation left many collectors feeling frustrated, hoping that the Hammond Collection line would at least tackle more important prehistoric animals first. For others, this was a good sign, as there are many collectors that want every obscure animal from the franchise represented, even if they’re something only mentioned by name, in the novels, or in the expanded universe. Keen observers will notice that the Concavenator is indeed a film canon species. It is displayed in one of the museum dioramas at the Lockwood Estate in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Concavenator was a carcharodontosaurid that lived in Spain during the early Cretaceous period. It’s only known from a single well preserved and mostly complete specimen. It was described in 2010 and has achieved a fair degree of popularity since then. Several figures of Concavenator exist, including those by Safari in their Carnegie and Wild Safari lines, CollectA, Favorite, and Papo. Several Mattel Concavenator toys exist too, in their mainline.
Concavenator‘s popularity probably hinges on its unique anatomical features. Concavenator had two tall vertebrae in front of the hips and some modestly tall vertebrae at the base of the tail. This is usually restored as a sail or crest, but this could have also supported a hump. Concavenator was originally said to have preserved quill knobs on its ulna, which in life may have anchored feathers, but recent research suggests that they aren’t quill knobs at all.
The Mattel Hammond Collection Concavenator is a reasonably accurate toy as Mattel figures go. The crest starts before the hips and continues in a downward arch to the base of the tail. A second, smaller sail is presented at the base of the tail. There are many ways to interpret this bizarre feature and nothing to take issue with here except that in the film the crest is presented as one continuous unit. But for the tail to be articulated the connection between sails had to be sacrificed.
The head is long, low, and somewhat triangular with shallow crests above the antorbital fenestra. Bodily proportions are all acceptable here. The feet are a bit large but not nearly as egregious as those on other Mattel theropods, like the HC Velociraptor and T. rex. The toy is presented as lipless, which is no surprise but probably still inaccurate. The only glaring inaccuracy is the addition of a fourth finger on each hand, but this is accurate to its onscreen counterpart.
Being part of the Hammond Collection this Concavenator benefits from increased articulation. Both the upper and lower jaw can open, and the head and neck can swivel at their bases. The arms are articulated at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Being articulated at the wrists is noteworthy in that most other HC theropods lack wrist articulation. The legs can rotate around and pivot outwards at the hips, and the knees, ankles, and base of the toes are articulated. The tail is articulated at its base and a flexible rod inside the tail allows it to be bent into various positions. If you have the Hammond Collection Ceratosaurus or Baryonyx then you’ll know what to expect from the articulation here.
This Concavenator measures about 13” in length and stands about 5.5” tall to the top of the sail. The actual Concavenator is estimated to have measured about 20’ in length. This puts the figure at about 1/18 in scale.
The detail work is of the normal high quality that you should expect from Mattel. The figure is covered with a mix of fine wrinkles and scales. Clusters of feature scales adorn the shoulders and neck, and bird-like scutes run down the fingers and toes. The rubbery crests are nicely textured with fine bumps and vertical grooves. The crest above the hips has an obvious seam around it and looks like it was hastily placed there but I would consider that a nitpick. Other noteworthy details include a textured palate, folds of skin running down the neck, and defined musculature on the legs.
In addition to advanced articulation the Hammond Collection is also known for better paint apps than what the mainline toys normally receive and the paintjob here is a definite highlight. The figure is predominantly a dark gray blue with a creamy white throat and underbelly. Orange slashes run from the neck down along the torso. The sail is tipped in orange and transitions to a completely orange tail with brighter orange stripes bleeding down along the sides of an otherwise darker orange tail. Metallic maroon slashes are painted over the eyes, but this portion has that weird stamped on appearance that a few other Mattel toys have, and I don’t particularly like it.
Save for the dew claws all the claws are painted black. The eyes are yellow, with black slit pupils, the teeth are white, and the tongue and inside of the mouth are shiny pink. The paint application is good but do watchout for misprinted eyes, a common issue with Mattel dinosaurs. Overall, it matches closely with what we see in Fallen Kingdom.
Despite only playing a bit part as a static sculpture in the franchise, the Mattel Hammond Collection Concavenator is a welcome addition to the line. The articulation works smoothly and with the addition of articulated wrists is an improvement on Mattel’s past efforts. The paintjob is overall quite unique and complex for a Mattel dinosaur and along with the Ceratosaurus represents one of the better paintjobs in the line thus far. The fourth finger, seam around the sail, and stamped face paint are the only minor complaints I have.
Despite being available for a while now, the Hammond Collection Concavenator has proven difficult to locate in stores, but it has recently started showing up in Best Buy. It can also be found on Amazon, and Entertainment Earth. The figure retails for about $21.99.
EDIT: The day I posted this review this figure started showing up at Target. Also, since writing this review it has become apparent to me that when the mouth is closed you can still see the pink tissue between the gaps on the rear portion of the jaw. It’s not enough to influence my opinion about the figure but worth pointing out. You can see this clearly in the above picture.