Few figure of the 2019 line up have been as eagerly awaited as Eofauna’s first attempt on a true dinosaur. With the release of two stunning proboscidae Eofauna showed its potential and after my 2nd review on a Giganotosaurus figure last autumn, it’s now time for the follow up…
The coarse leaves of the araucarian trees are rustling in the hot and steady breeze. Here at the edge of the forest, the dust and dryness of the plains is banned from entering by the damp and cool air beneath the lush vegetation. If one would listen closer, the shallow breathing of a big animal could be heard, in and out, lazy as the pressing heat and the vanishing light on this late afternoon. An even more careful listener could hear a soft pounding. Slowly, steadily it nears from the plains. As the pounding grows everso slightly louder, an eye idly opens beneath the undergrowth of ferns. The nearing sound is now accompanied by raised dust and, only visible to the sharpest of eye sights, the faint contours of a small herd of sauropods. A grunting blow, the glistening eye slowly advances up through the ferns and a huge dark body begins to form from the shadows….
What happens next? Hard to tell, but the most common idea seems to be that our carnivorous hero tackles on the sauropods, slicing meat from the poor buggers while those flee in panic. But was this really the case? Theropod gigantism is usually seen as an adaption to prey size, but which size of prey? Did Giganotosaurus really go for the most rewarding but also risky prey? Today we have no terrestrial predators anywhere near the size of those theropods or their prey, but only few predators go for prey, bigger and heavier than themselves, the risk of fatal injuries is just too high and increases even more with growing size and weight due to biomechanical reasons.
No matter if Giganotosaurus fed on the towering veterans or rather their juvenile, subadult or adolescent offspring, the sight of this predator surely made them all stir nervously. And Eofauna gave us a figure that remains true to this role when placed amongst your other prehistoric animals. The Giganotosaurus model measures a proud 39 cm in direct line from the tip of the tail to the snout, above the neck it stands roughly 11 cm tall, in my personal collection there are only few other figures I can group it with to have them in scale (to mind comes the PNSO Huanghetitan, but due to me moving I cannot show any comparison shots, sorry).
The heavy and rigid figure is shown in a walking pose, the front foot firmly grounded, the hind foot raising with just the tips still on the ground. It may be a weird remark for some, but here is, in my opinion, where the sculpt really shines. The feet resembles more that of a ratite than that of your usual theropod. The claws are blunt and emerge from the upper side of the toes rather then in front, thick pads beneath the toes cushion the heavy weight of the creature. No matter how often you can read it anywhere, the claws of ratites are not razor sharp, they carry a good part of the animals weight over rough ground after all (don’t be fooled though, they can still serve as formidable weapons) and I deem it very appropriate, that theropod feet are shown in a similar manner.
The arms on the figure are approriately tiny and seem to be as misplaced as the ones on a tyrant lizard, but that’s only correct and the pose and sculpt looks natural, just a shame that the claws here are not a tad bit sharper. The shape, size and sculpt of the head looks great and correct, at least as far as this can be said for an incomplete fossil. The backward facing teeth are comparably sharp, though the bigger they get, the more blunted are they. A somewhat weird thing of the dentition is, that all the teeth are completely plain and featureless from the inner side of the mouth. This can only be seen on close inspection though and the up side of this is, that the teeth are very flat and blade like when seen from the front. The roof of the mouth shows the nasal canals, something that is really rarely seen (the Safari Liopleurodon and the Papo Quetzalcoatlus come to mind). The wohle inner mouth including the tongue is painted in the same hue of red, a missed opportunity sadly, as a small palette would have greatly improved the visual effect of the open mouth (but probably also increased the production cost). The overall texture is not as deep and crisp as on Papo’s figures for example, but nevertheless top notch and gives the whole appearance of the Giganotosaurus a natural and authentic character.
Countershaded in chocolate brown on top and a milk coffee brown on the belly (washed with darker tones) and with light dots or blotches on the body, stripes along the hip and tail and dark stripes down the skull, the theropod does not look particularly outstanding, but again, the paint scheme looks reasonable for a predator, especially with the size range we talk about here. A somewhat weird thing is, that the stripes down the cheecks are interrupted by light strike on the right side of the face while on the left lowever jaw a dark strike runs. I deemed it a mistake first, but it seems it is quite exactly as the original was painted, so be it. The eyes are bright and carefully painted, personally I would have liked to see the area around the eyes being painted in a darker tone. I read people have difficulties with their figures to stand (Eofauna posted a remedy for that) and I can tell, mine stands perfectly, in fact it takes quite a tap to be toppled. The tray is was delivered though was so tightly fit, that the paint was chipped away on two claws in the process of removing. I my recommend to cut it away carefully, rather than to force the figure out of the tray.
Before coming to a final rating there’s two more things…. 1st of, this thing has no lips. I know there are differing opinions about, but my biological background makes me cringe each time I see a lipless theropod, the 2nd thing is that I cannot tell you for the poor life of mine if that figure has ear openings or not (or only on the left….?) or a cloaca. I dare say each of those holes is there, but honestly the sculpt leaves some room for interpretation here.
Now, all of this may make it sound like a mixed bag somewhat, but it in fact is not. I highly recommend this figure, it is definetly worth every penny (I paid 26 €) and a great addition to any collection. As all Eofauna figures it comes with a collectible card and it is a great and safe toy if you intend it to be (did I say it’s heavy, your toddlers may have fun clubbing away on some big preys). Go get one, support Eofauna and be excited about future releases (Diamantinasaurus matildae anyone?).
This figure desperately needs a base. The equilibrium is terrible!!
You can purchase diorama-type bases on eBay or Aliexpress and drill and install a steel peg on the base itself which can be matched with a drilled hole in a foot. Sometimes variations in texture on such a base will be enough to provide a stable surface for the figure.
After keenly observing the model, I have found that lips are there, not so pronounced as we think for mammals. This model has been sculpted after 3D scanning of the skeleton of the fossil mentioned in the card. So, there should be no complaint about accuracy. Teeth are not like emanated from the sockets, devoid of gums or lips looked much longer as in crocodiles. But here, it seems that there are gums and lips as well, and the teeth look much shorter compared to that in the skeleton, which is quite natural. I think lips covered most of the teeth if not all as in this figure.
The best existing Giganotosaurus figure in my opinion, even better than the one from Vitae. Regarding the lips, Mark Witton just stated his opinion, nothing more, nothing less. He hasn’t gone through the same necessary steps like Carr did. Carr’s paper went through peer review process and was published through scientific literature. Witton’s observations and statements have not gone thought he same amount of peer review and never made it to scientific journals. His post is just a blog post, so unless (and until) he goes through exact same steps, it is simply just another person’s opinion.
Peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals are definitely the proper way to go, but that doesn’t mean that they are the final definitive word, especially on something like lips on theropods. Witton raises a number of salient points in his blog post and Carr’s paper could be overturned in an instant if new information arises. To claim that any piece of paleoart depicting a theropod with lips, be it a painting, a figure, or an animation, is inherently inaccurate simply because of Carr’s paper goes against the very nature of paleontology. We should always be questioning conclusions.
It’s a truly wonderful figure & I’m very excited to see what eofauna release next.
When Safari ltd released their Giga in 2017, I was confident we had a definitive toy of the genus. Eofauna has completely proven me wrong; any fan of theropod dinosaurs owes it to themselves to get one of these beautiful replicas!
Great review! however there are a couple corrections I would like to bring up. This figure does have does have earholes and a cloaca, its just that they are very subtle. the earholes are right in front of the seam where the head and neck meet and the cloaca is a small indentation right below the base of the tail. they are hard to spot at first but they are there. Hope this helps :). Its a gorgeous model probably my favorite dinosaur figure I own.
Yeah, they are definitely there; I observed them myself on my own figure. They’re subtle, yes, but it’s nice attention to detail all the same.
I am eagerly waiting for such a marvelous sculpt of T.rex from Eofauna, having addition of lips (in every theropod to be released by Eofauna in future) which is unfortunately missing here, with prominent lacrimal and jugal osteoderms along with the one above the snout and behind the eyes, smooth very finely scaled body devoid of osteoderms or wrinkles in the body which were really not present on the real T.rex body I have come to know from some papers, slight addition of dorsal protofeathers, proportionate limbs and with more prominent claws not a ratite one like this Giga has. Lastly, with the most accurate skull which is very lacking in most T.rex figures.
I think T.rex figure with these properties are very rare in T.rex figures which is still the most overproduced theropod in model form. I think Eofauna can bring this stunning figure of T.rex in the near future.
Clearly, your passion for Tyrannosaurus rex matches my own, perhaps even exceeds it. I would welcome an Eofauna version with open arms and open wallet, but as I noted before, I think any figure they produce will be a great one.
Ultimately, it will only be a matter of time before the tyrant king rears its mighty head.
Thought you were going to say raises its ugly head then. Which would be both unfair because Tyrannosaurus had a beautiful head (especially if feathered), but also true in the sense that there are so many T. rex figures. I hope the next therapod is a Therizinosauroid or Deinochierus.
Nice review and I’m also happy to report that mine is as stable as it can be.
It does have and eat, way back right where the seams of the back of the head and neck meet.
Great review and impressive images of an impressive figure! At the moment you seem to be in the minority in regard to the stability of your particular specimen (I have one on order but not yet in had at the time of writing so can’ t say which situation mine will, er, fall into).
Yes! – I personally would like to see Eofauna tackle a large Sauropod.
Mine teetered at first, but after a couple of hot water treatments it stands just fine. I know some people are (understandably) frustrated that a more expensive figure like this still has stability issues, but I’d like to note that this figure appears much better designed with that in mind; and no sacrifice to anatomical accuracy was made either!
More than a toy for children, the giganotosaurus of Eofauna can be described as an exhibition figure in a Museum of Natural Sciences next to the remains of a homonymous skeleton. Sincerely, he is a figure of a collection rather than a toy. My score is outstanding and because I can not give more than five stars.
I bought this a couple weeks back, and it may be my favorite dinosaur figure. It does take a bit of real estate, but it’s worth it. Thanks for your great review, and your pictures are great.
Great review! I think it will be a great adition to my collection. Great walking pose, and the size is perfect for me. Just waiting to see more dinos from them!
Very nice! Whatever Eofauna has in store next, I’m confident it will be just as impressive as their first three products!