Thanks to its appearance in Jurassic Park, Dilophosaurus is, in the words of one paleontologist, “pretty much the best, worst-known dinosaur.” Even if you’re well aware that it wasn’t small and didn’t spit venom and didn’t have a frill around its neck, you probably grew up reading about how fragile its twin crests were and how relatively weak its bite was. Well, thanks to a 2020 research paper, we now know that it was actually the opposite for both cases. The jaws were indeed strong enough to kill large prey and the crests were reinforced. This is because Dilophosaurus‘ bones contained air sacs that helped to both lighten and strengthen its frame. It was thus a true apex predator capable of killing the sauropodomorphs which inhabited its Early Jurassic environment.
Here we have CollectA’s 2021 Dilophosaurus, a replacement at last for their rather grotesque-looking original version. While it is officially part of the Deluxe series, it’s hardly what you’d call big, measuring just under 19 cm long and slightly over 7 cm tall. It is posed with both its head and tail raised, its mouth agape, its arms bent and seemingly tensed, and its left foot forward. Kind of looks like the animal is in the midst of either a mating or a threat display. Like the other theropods in the 2021 assortment and most of last year’s, this one is not mounted on a base. It stands on its own two feet, and it stands pretty well at that. But there is a downside to this, which I’ll cover further on.
The main colour on this toy is mustard yellow with white for the underside of the neck, torso, and tail and medium brown for the thick stripes covering it from snout to tail tip. The claws are dark brown and there’s a bit of grey wash on the feet. The head features blood red crests, black eyes, and a pink mouth lined with white teeth. It’s by no means the first time I’ve seen Dilophosaurus depicted in yellow with darker stripes and a red crest, but I reckon that’s because those colours generally suit it.
The edges of the Dilophosaurus‘ crests have a rough, uneven feel, and there are even a couple of visible clefts in them. Two rows of triangular osteoderms run down part of the neck before merging into a single row that runs nearly all the way to the tip of the tail. The scales covering the body are small and pebbly and there are a few thick wrinkles running along the sides of the neck, torso, and tail. Overall, this is the standard level of sculpting detail for a CollectA dinosaur of this size, which is to say that it is rather good.
The skull has the characteristic gaps below the nostrils. Oddly, there are two particularly long teeth in the upper jaw that somewhat resemble canines. If only there were more such teeth, it would look fine, as Dilophosaurus did possess particularly long ones. The hands are correctly positioned, and the tiny vestigial fourth fingers are visible. The legs, unfortunately, look undermuscled, especially the shins. And then there’s the oversized feet, the price CollectA has paid for not mounting this figure on a base or sculpting it with its tail acting as a prop. While I fully understand the reason, the fact remains that these big feet just look bad, almost as though the dinosaur is wearing novelty slippers. It also doesn’t help that the three large toes on each foot are about the same length when in fact the middle ones should be significantly longer.
This Dilophosaurus is a mixed bag on the whole, with some good points to it as well as some disappointing ones. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a bad toy, yet at the same time, I feel that it’s one of the weaker products in CollectA’s mostly stellar 2021 assortment. I like it well enough, but if you’re on the lookout for a truly “definitive” rendition of the two-ridged lizard, you may want to wait and see if PNSO or EoFauna take a stab at one.
Makes me think of the AAA dinosaurs from way back when…
It is much smaller than I thought it would be. It is actually more tempting that way. But only if either this or the Safari will be representing a relative like Sinosaurus.
I really want an updated Dilophosaurus but I feel like both Safari and CollectA dropped the ball on theirs. This CollectA toy looks like one of Safari’s from the 1990’s. I hope PNSO does one otherwise I feel like it’s gonna be a long wait before we get a definitive Dilophosaurus.
Honestly, the figure is in the term of acceptable theropod but I don’t like the painting of the model so much and the sculpture doesn’t convince me much either. I hope as the author says that there are better versions of this well-known theropod.