Deinocheirus (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

4.8 (29 votes)

Review and photos by Faelrin, edited by Plesiosauria

This past year has seen a surprisingly large number of amazing figures produced by Safari Ltd. Of all the new prehistoric figures released for 2017, only a few have yet to be reviewed so far, including the Deinocheirus that will be the subject of this review. In fact, this figure of this strange (and for a while, mysterious) dinosaur was one of my most anticipated out of all the releases for 2017.

Deinocheirus mirificus has quite a history. Its name means “terrible hand” or “horrible hand”, because for several decades, only its arms and hands were known. I first learned of this dinosaur as a child, and the mystery of its identity enticed me back then. At the time I imagined it as a large theropod, similar to Allosaurus in shape. I dreamed that time would reveal what this creature looked like, with more complete remains discovered. However, I never could have imagined it would have been within my lifetime, let alone only another decade and some years away, or even what this creature truly looked like.

This figure by Safari Ltd is a bit on the small side, only measuring about 3 inches tall (or 7.6 cm), by a little over 7 inches long (or 17.8 cm), when compared to their much larger feathered Tyrannosaurus rex (also new for 2017). However, this figure is one of the few accurate figures of this genus, although that is because the more complete remains of this dinosaur have only been described in 2014. Deinocheirus was quite a strange animal, especially for an ornithomimosaur. It is the largest ornithomimosaur discovered so far, being about 11 meters or 36 feet long. On top of that, it had a strange duck or hadrosaur like head, a large sail or hump, and is also the largest known non-avian feathered dinosaur discovered from fossil evidence. The presence of feathers is inferred from the bird-like pygostyle structure at the end of its tail.

The figure has the correct proportions and has all the characteristic features mentioned above. The sculpt has lots of detail on it, from the feathers, to the tiny scales on its hand and feet. I am not sure what kind of feathers Deinocheirus would have had, or if it would have even had wings, but I think the shaggy ratite-like feathers fit this animal quite well. The duck-like bill is colored in a pale yellow, with black emphasizing the outline of the mouth. Its tiny black eyes are surrounded by some pink wrinkled skin, and its neck also has some of the same wrinkled pink skin. Its scales are a grey brown color with a dark wash over them, and the claws have all been painted black. The feathers are colored in white on the head, and a tan or light orange brown over most of the body, with some white feathers on the belly, legs, and tail. There are also some white stripes on the back. I think they look a bit too cleanly done in comparison to the areas on the belly, legs, and tail. Otherwise, I think it is a believable color scheme for such a large animal.

This figure makes a nice addition to my growing collection of dinosaur figures, and if you like obscure, or strange dinosaurs, then you might enjoy the figure of this Deinocheirus. I ordered my figure from Safari Ltd’s online store here, but it is also available on here.

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Comments 6

  • While the amount of feathers is maybe too large on this one (and also on the CollectA Deinocheirus), as Deinocheirus was not that far in size from T. rex, this is still a lovely figure, definitely better than the CollectA Deinocheirus in my opinion.

  • Quite impossible to forget those arms once seen. I too saw them – cast presumably – many years ago at an exhibition and had a hazy mental vision of a massive carnivore. But the revelation of its true identity and form is so very satisfying! Congratulations to Faelrin on a well written review of a well sculpted beast.

  • Was hoping to see a review of this soon! Shame this guy’s on the small side, but it looks fantastic none the less 🙂

  • I had the opportunity to see the arms of this strange creature in the Museum of Science of Cosmo Caixa de Alcobendas that was destined for the dinosaurs of Mongolia and I can affirm that it impressed me. That was in 2010 before June. I always thought that figure would be a nightmarish animal like the tyrannosaurus or giganotosaurus … and it turned out to be an omnivorous dinosaur.
    Both the paleoartistic representations of Doug Watson de Safari and Collecta’s deinonychus (the big and the small) are great sculptures that reflect two ways of interpreting this rare but at the same time real creature. We only have another company like Papo or Schleich to make figures that compete with those three recreations of that fantastic dinosaur. Doug Watson’s deinocheirus is great, well painted and, above all, very well finished, I congratulate the author for that excellent article.

  • When I was a kid I fondly imagined that Deinocheirus was really a Tyrannosaurus that was as big as a Brontosaurus. However, the real Deinocheirus, although much less scary, is actually much more cool and bizarre.

    • Totally agree on this…. I first saw that picture of its arms more than 30 years back in a photo montage where it looked like grabbing a VW Bettle, so what monster must that have been? But yes, the actual animal is so much “better” than just a big carnivore, so bizarre and strange as – as I read somewhere else – a muppet.

      @ Faelrin: Nice review and I like the addition of prehistoric plants in the back 🙂

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