When it comes to TV shows, a chance to make merchandise and thus more money is a major point. With the success of the Doctor Who figures based on the series, ITV’s own time travel based show, Primeval, attempted the same. It ran for the first two series, but no further. The First series of figures included mini figures of species based on the show, such as Hesperonis. The figure of Abbey Maitland came with three figures: a parasite, a Dodo and series regular Rex, a Coelurosauravus Abbey adopts in the first episode. I will be reviewing the latter two here.
We’ll start with Rex, the Coelurosauravus, a gliding reptile from the Late Permian of Madagascar, making it’s appearance alongside Siberian animals in the show slightly off, or possibly mistaking it for Weigeltisaurus, which was found in Germany. The colouring is really good for Rex, perhaps a little too much yellow and not enough green. It is posed to sit on the human figures’ shoulders, tails wrapped around to hold on, wings ready to glide. Accuracy isn’t too bad either, though the face should be more pointed and the crest isn’t right for the species, but the rest of the body is spot on. It is tiny, a mere 0.5″ high and 1.5″ long, so works for most lines.
Next, a classic, well known species, the Dodo. I don’t think I need introduce most to this sad creature’s history, so let’s get to the model. It actually looks more like the more modern incarnations of the dodo, with darker feathers and a less rotund body. This is slimmer than most dodo models, that make it round and dumpy, this is more of the modern, active style. The feathers aren’t well sculpted, but it still works well, wings raised in a bit of a flap (I’m not sorry for that one!). It measures 2″ high and 2″ long, working for most lines again.
This is a cute set, well made and featuring species you don’t see, or at least that break the mould from the classic depictions. As these were part of a set, they can be harder to track, but not impossible on eBay, especially from British sellers. I would recommend looking for them loose, as original boxed ones can go for a high price. Either way, worth getting.
I still love this series and re-watch it on DVD at least once a year. The series ran for 5 UK series and then one spin off, (Primeval: New World), set in Canada some time after the UK series timeline ended. Only one character from the UK series featured, Connor Temple, and then only in the first and last episodes to tie it all together. It all ended on a cliffhanger… The later UK series were more ‘conspiracy theory’ rather than ‘monster’ themed though there were still some good creatures featured! I have to admit that until now, I thought ‘Rex’ was a fictional creature, but there are so many species out there, I hope I can be forgiven for that. Anyhow, an excellent review! (There was a second release of Abby Maitland with two dodos and the other creatures included. In the UK a mint, packed version of this figure sells for about £70, so loose is the way to go! – I was sensible and bought it all as it came out at £6 a figure… LOL).
Kinda wish this action figure line had been as extensive as the various JP/JW lines, considering how many interesting animals were featured in the show over its several seasons (and how much better the designs were than JP/JW). Still, I’m glad to have my Anurognathus, Coelurosauravus, and Hesperornis, imperfect though they are.