Giganotosaurus (Papo)

2.9 (30 votes)

Review by GiganotosaurusFan, photos by Dino Scream3232, edited by Suspsy

A long time ago, Edward Drinker Cope found the largest carnivore that ever existed, Tyrannosaurus rex, although he thought it was a ceratopsid, so he named it Manospondylus gigas. Eventually, however, Henry Fairfield Osborn gave it the iconic name that we know today. Certain theropods were once thought to be even bigger, like Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Giganotosaurus. Spinosaurus earned its reputation as a T. rex killer through the publicity of Jurassic Park 3, but then it evolved its way into a semi-aquatic piscivore with reduced hind legs. And both Carcharodontosaurus and Giganotosaurus proved to be longer but lighter than T. rex, so the latter remains the largest land predator–unless we discover larger skeletons of other species.

Giganotosaurus was discovered in Argentina in 1993 by an amateur fossil hunter named Ruben Carolini, and was quickly named as the biggest carnivore, but eventually it was deemed smaller than Spinosaurus and it was overlooked as a competitor. There have been many models of this genus thanks to its fame, including ones from PNSO, Eofauna, Papo, Schleich, Vitae, Nanmu, W-Dragon, and Ravensburger. Today, I am going to review the Papo Giganotosaurus, the model that has created . . . controversy. And it certainly is a mixed bag, put into a blender, smashed a couple times, swung around and around, and crushed a couple of times. 

The detail is amazing, even for Papo, because they actually got the head of the Giganotosaurus right, not the JP ripoffs that they normally do. They clearly worked very hard on the general aesthetics, and it shows. The mouth details are perfect, the teeth pronounced, and the articulated jaw smooth; all the marks of Papo. The claws are sharp and the arms are slightly out of proportion, being a bit too long, but given Papo’s tendency to exaggerate features, I can give a pass on this detail. The feet are superbly detailed with wrinkles and scutes everywhere. The paint is slightly dull, being mostly brown, but it suits the creature perfectly, with fading towards the bottom of all the limbs. This model is similar in size and heft to the original Papo T. rex: 20 cm tall and 37 cm long if you count the bends in the tail and the neck. This would put it at a scale of 1:35.

But while Papo certainly worked extremely hard on the detail, the pose looks like . . . like if a human wanted a wrestling partner and is missing one. It would have been painful for Giganotosaurus to angle its head that way. And stiff-tailed theropods were not named for nothing. That tail looks broken and this dinosaur certainly needs a doctor. And this is where Papo has failed, as almost all of its bipedal products have a tripod; this is only the most extreme case. The Giganotosaurus is meant to copy one of those retro dinosaur poses by Charles Knight, but fails to do so. It needs to have another Papo figure to wrestle with to make it happy, or at least give it a hug. The pose also makes it look like it was surprised by something and is jumping back. This brought lots of attention to it in a really bad way, detracting any regard for the sculpt. If the pose was corrected, then this would be the best scientifically accurate Giganotosaurus on the market, but alas, we can only mourn what could have been. Even the cloaca slit is sculpted. I will not talk about lips due to how many inaccuracies that it already has.

As a person who solely collects either Giganotosaurus or pleasing-looking dinosaur models, with no regard for accuracy, I bought this figure from the Royal Tyrrell Museum for $40 Canadian because it was eye-catching. For Papo fanatics, I strongly recommend this. For a regular dinosaur collector, it might be a pass due to the pose, however, do consider this is Papo-level detailing and the sculpt is fantastic. But for sticklers of accuracy, there is one big word: PASS.

I will give this model a very good rating of 4 out of 5, simply because the sculpt is amazing. The reason it isn’t higher is because of the pose, which makes it somehow weird, but that doesn’t detract from the certain eye candy it has for me.

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Comments 9

  • You know what it looks like?

    A semi-modernized version of Gorosaurus. The dinosaur from the Showa era Godzilla movies.

  • Thanks Gwangi for the warm welcome, and thanks Dinoscream3232 for providing pictures.
    I hope I can get along to making more soon!
    And the Papo Giganotosaurus is truly a tragedy.

  • Great first review, I hope we see more from you in the future. I agree with your assessment. I love the sculpt, especially the head, just not the posture.

  • This seems like a prime example of an “almost great” figure; had the tail and posture been tweaked a little, the figure would look much more appealing. The overall design and detail look much better to me than many of Papo’s other recent releases, at least from photos.

  • This figure reminds me of a hyper-detailed version of those inflatable T-Rex costumes. It might be the most egregious example of Papo’s super-detail and awkward pose choices I’ve ever seen, rivaling the Baryonyx. Just a baffling choice all around.

    • I thought that the Baryonyx was over the top too, but this goes beyond it. A shame, it wastes a high quality production, IMO.

      • At least the Giga’s pose is easy enough to read, exaggerated as it is; the Bary looks downright bizarre from just about every direction.

  • Magnificent well sculpted and detailed figure like all Papo’s theropod figures, honestly the pose may not be interesting for many DTF members for me instead it is an advantage to have it in tripod form because the PNSO theropods for example (they are all wonderful PNSO theropods) but do not stand up well.

  • With their T-rex, Papo showed that they were capable of producing a quite different follow-up model (the running T-rex). Maybe there could be a more realistic subsequent Giganotosaurus to be produced later. I’m not optimistic though – the first rex was a big seller; I’m not sure about this figure. Low sales (I’m conjecturing) might write the death-warrant for a further development of this model.

    Nevertheless, you’re right – the famous production values for which Papo is renowned are still in evidence here.

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