Giganotosaurus (Jurassic World: Dominion, Hammond Collection by Mattel)

4.1 (37 votes)

Opinions about Jurassic World: Dominion and its Giganotosaurus design aside, if you wanted a decent action figure of this animal upon the film’s release, you were SOL. Mattel only released one Giganotosaurus in the mainline and although it had some cool action features it resembled the animal in the movie about as much as the movie animal resembled the real Giganotosaurus. Now, two years later, Mattel has redeemed themselves by producing what many are claiming is the best figure in the Hammond Collection, or maybe the best dinosaur by Mattel, period!

I won’t lie, I didn’t really like the Jurassic World Giganotosaurus design. It deviated too far from what the actual Giganotosaurus is thought to have looked like and added too many awesome-bro embellishments. They added a strange sort of sail (enlarged osteoderms, actually) ala Acrocanthosaurus and didn’t even give it Giganotosaurus’s most distinct feature, its Bruce Campbell-esque chin. Trying to be unbiased though, they did manage to make it stand out amongst the franchise’s other large theropods with some unique visual flair that matches the Jurassic Park aesthetic. My opinion on the design has relaxed somewhat over the last couple of years and although I didn’t care for it in the film, it makes for a truly impressive action figure that I had to have.

The Hammond Collection Giga measures about 29” (73.66 cm) long and stands about 10.5” (26.67 cm) tall to the highest point along its back. The Jurassic World Giganotosaurus measured 49’ (15 meters) which puts this toy at 1/20 in scale. It’s a bit small against the 1/18 human figures but not noticeably so, and it’s still the second largest toy in the Hammond Collection.  

A word of warning before we get into the meat of the review. This figure appears to have some serious quality control issues. Documented issues include the following: two left/right legs/arms, legs coming apart at the seams, extra bits of plastic between the osteoderms (flashing), torn mouth tissue, missing eyes, and stiff joints, among others. I’m fortunate in that my Giga doesn’t have any issues. The ankle joints were stiff, and I could tell that if I forced them, I would have busted the seam on the calves. Rather than risk doing that I ran the joints under hot water while gently moving them with one hand and holding the leg together with the other. I was able to get them moving without breaking the toy. You shouldn’t ever force the articulation on an action figure!

Due to all these quality control issues it is hard to recommend this otherwise fantastic figure. I was going to wait to purchase it myself but since it was on sale I decided to take my chances and thankfully, it paid off. I don’t believe there needs to be a rush to get this toy and waiting for later improved production runs might be beneficial. Since the figure comes with the tail unattached and once inserted cannot be removed, I would recommend carefully examining the figure before putting it together. That way it will be easier to return and exchange it if necessary.

We’re going to start with the head and work down the body, like what we did with the Hammond Collection T. rex. First off, I’m happy to report that the head has a much more faithful likeness to the film’s Giganotosaurus than the other Mattel toy did. While the original toy had inaccurate interlocking teeth and a wide head, this one has a narrower head with only the upper teeth exposed.

Both the upper and lower jaw are articulated and lock into place at various points, like the T. rex, but the operation is a bit smoother. The rubbery tongue is also articulated and can be raised and lowered. The teeth are well proportioned, finely sculpted, and appear sharp but are actually soft and rubbery. They’re one of the many improvements Mattel has made since the launch of the Hammond Collection. The inside surface of the jaws is nicely textured, and the tongue has realistic texturing on its surface as well. There’s rubbery gum tissue at the back of the mouth too, like the T. rex.

The eyes are glass beads and while there is a fishbowl effect that occurs with the pupil the eyes are less vacant looking than those on past Hammond Collection figures that used them. Detail work is exceptional across the board, but the head sculpt includes small irregularly shaped scales over most of its surface, larger detailed osteoderms on the brow ridges, labial scales along the back of the mouth, and faint scars over the muzzle. The film’s Giga had some exposed gums due to a scar along its mouth and although that scar is sculpted here the exposed gums are not. Just a small nitpick worth mentioning. A small dab of pink paint could easily fix it.

The neck is articulated in two places, at the midway point and at its base. The articulation at the midway point is basically useless for up-and-down motion but allows for excellent side-to-side motion. The range of up-and-down motion is limited by an osteoderm that hits the seam. It moves maybe half an inch. The one at the base of the neck is better and allows the entire head and neck to be rotated completely around. There is yet another osteoderm that prevents the neck from being pushed too far back though.

The arms are proportionally larger than what we see in the film’s Giga and much larger than what the actual animal would have had. No matter, the larger size makes them look better than the spindly arms we see on screen. They’re articulated at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. They all have ball joints, which allows for an excellent range of motion. Bird-like scutes run down the fingers and the inside surface of the hands are wrinkled.

Unlike the HC T. rex there is no mid-torso articulation here, but it would have been difficult to include it thanks to the large osteoderms running down the back. A lot of collectors didn’t like that feature on the T. rex, as it caused the figure to sag, but mine doesn’t sag and I’ve always liked the mid-torso articulation. Not having it does limit the poses you can get out of the toy.

The osteoderms are at their largest along the back and while they’re questionable artistic choice to be sure, they’re admittedly cool looking too. All the osteoderms running down the midline and over the head are detailed with ridges and grooves. Some sagging skin folds are sculpted along the lower sides of the torso and square shaped crocodile-like belly scales adorn the underside.

The legs are articulated at the hips, knees, ankles, and toes. At the hips the legs lock into various places with a somewhat unsettling clicking noise. The legs also pivot out at the hips. They cannot be rotated completely around, thanks to the torso, but the range of motion is where it needs to be. Ball joints are present on the knees, ankles, and toes and have an excellent range of motion. The knees don’t have the double hinged joints of the T. rex, which makes the legs look better but limits the poses you can achieve.

The feet are particularly noteworthy as they are far more proportionate here than on the T. rex or most other early HC toys. They effectively put to rest the assertion that large feet are needed for stability. That said, this toy is not as stable as the T. rex. It’s decently stable though, and you can get it into a variety of poses, I’m just not so sure that I would display it in anything other than a static pose for any length of time like I confidently would with the T. rex. It took a lot of adjusting to get it to stand on one leg and I made sure to take my pictures quickly, before it fell over.

Sculpted scales are at their largest on the legs, particularly on the front of the thighs. They gradually get smaller along the sides and back of the legs. The feet have fine pebbly scales with bird-like tarsal scutes on the toes. The bottoms of the feet are textured with wrinkled skin and grooves are sculpted into the claws. Musculature is nicely defined in both the arms and legs.

The tail comes packaged in two separate pieces and is proportionally perhaps the longest tail on a Mattel theropod. The insertion (and articulation) points are at the tail base and 1/3rd down its length. The tail can be completely rotated at both spots and the second tail piece is rubbery with a bendable wire inside. Osteoderms continue down the tail with deep grooves running between them, giving the tail a somewhat segmented appearance.

The figure is painted gray green with a pale dull green underside and excellent blending in between. Dark dull green stripes and patterning run along the back and sides. A brown wash brings out raised details like scales and grooves. The teeth are off-white with a dirty brown wash. The inside of the mouth is pink with the gum tissue being a different shade than that elsewhere. The glass eyes are yellow with black elliptical pupils. Every claw is painted dark gray. Paint application is excellent and the only portions that are a solid color are the very tip of the tail, the lower legs and feet, and hands, which still have painted claws. The likeness is spot-on to what we see in the film.

The Hammond Collection Giganotosaurus must be Mattel’s best figure in the line so far, and one of the most ambitious. And that’s coming from someone that doesn’t much like Jurassic World: Dominion or the Giganotosaurus design. If you’re a fan of that movie, and the creature design, all the better for you! Despite not being much of a fan I still absolutely love this figure and that should say something.

Aesthetically, the Giga improves on past Hammond Collection figures in every way, with an unparalleled realism and level of detail. While detail is thin in some places on the T. rex, that’s not the case here, the entire thing is covered! Sadly, articulation and stability does suffer a bit when compared to the T. rex, but I consider it an even trade for a toy this epic in scope. I can’t wait to see what Mattel does with the franchise’s other large theropods and hopefully we’ll see a Buck T. rex with these improvements someday too.

The Hammond Collection Giganotosaurus has recently started showing up on shelves and on Target’s website and should be easy to track down. It retails for an astonishing low $50 but has already gone on sale and will likely go on sale again in the future. I got mine for $35 and it honestly felt borderline criminal. Due to quality control issues that I outlined above it might behoove you to be patient on acquiring this toy. I’m sure the kinks will be worked out in later production runs but if you must own it now (and I wouldn’t blame you) then buyer beware.

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Comments 13

  • Its bigger than BotM T. rex

  • The Glass eyes let it look like they are closed

  • i’m counting on it. 😉

  • If Mattel is gonna continue producing figures like this, then David silva has some serious competition!

    • I don’t think so. Mattel is making Jurassic Park merchandise, David Silva is making scientifically accurate dinosaurs. They both make dinosaurs but they fill completely different niches.

    • i agree with Gwangi. BUT, if Mattel were to start making scientifically accurate dinosaurs, which they have the capability of doing, THEN David might have some competition to worry about. Not necessarily in quality, but in price point and marketing and maybe even shear volume of product they could pump out.

      • I agree with that. But even though I don’t collect Beasts of the Mesozoic it would sadden me if David’s small business were pushed out by the likes of Mattel.

  • Ever since the classic blue Carnegie Safari Giga, blue has been a more than occasional color choice – this one and the later Safari one, for instance. Maybe there are others that I’m forgetting. I love it, it’s my go to Giganotosaurus color.

  • Waiting for a hammond collection spino

  • Terrific review as always, Gwangi.

    I never really realized how oversized the arms are, before. I guess i was trying to get comfortable with the overall design of the Giga, which i’m still not, and just plain didn’t notice. One consequence of the Hammond line with all its articulation is you tend to get overly long legs and long, too big arms eg Carnotaurus.

    This is a beautifully done figure but i think i’m going to pass on it. I’ll see. I didn’t realize the GIga in the movie was so big, alot bigger than in life, but i guess they feel they need to keep adding bigger more spectacular monster predators to keep things exciting for the fans.

    Still can’t wait for the Diplodocus release. I’m gonna be all over that one….

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