Megalosaurus (2021)(CollectA)

4.6 (36 votes)

No one knows when precisely humans first discovered the fossilized remains of dinosaurs. Indigenous North Americans probably came across them in places now called Alberta or South Dakota or Utah. In China, “dragon bones” were recorded as being discovered all the way back during the Western Jin Dynasty between 265 and 316 AD. And for all we know, Neanderthals were occasionally stumbling across dinosaur fossils in Eurasia more than 100,000 years ago. But what is known for a fact is that the very first dinosaur to be scientifically named and described was the English theropod Megalosaurus in 1824. And in 1842, the legendary scientist Sir Richard Owen used it along with Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus to create a new taxonomic group: Dinosauria. Thus while Megalosaurus will probably never attain the same level of popularity as certain other theropods, it will always enjoy a unique place in the history of paleontology.

Relatively few toys of Megalosaurus exist, although one of them is from the iconic Invicta line. CollectA first took a stab at the “great lizard” back in 2009, but it’s utterly outdated and generic in appearance and absolutely warranted replacing. This was finally done in 2021 and the new beast on the block is a much more impressive representation, albeit a little one. From nose to tail tip, it measures slightly under 16 cm long and stands 5.5 cm tall, making it the smallest of CollectA’s 2021 prehistoric toys.

CollectA began doing away with their practice of mounting their theropods on bases in 2020 and this Megalosaurus stands perfectly well on its own two feet. The right leg is a bit more forward than the other while the left arm is bent more sharply. The tail is swaying very slightly to the left with the tip pointing downward. Finally, the head is raised with the mouth firmly shut. CollectA describes this animal on their website as being “In ambush,” and it’s easy to envision it standing still and silent among the trees, waiting for an unsuspecting victim to come within striking range. Although Megalosaurus has frequently been depicted in mortal combat with Iguanodon, the truth is that the former lived during the Middle Jurassic while the latter hailed from the Early Cretaceous. Megalosaurus appears to have instead preyed on sauropods and stegosaurs like the Lexovisaurus pictured below.

The colours on this toy are more muted than on many previous CollectA theropods. The main ones are dull brown and beige. Very dark brown is used for the stripes and spots covering the body, and applied to the tip of the muzzle, hands, and the feet. The eyes are black, the claws are very dark grey, and the tallest osteoderms on the tail are medium brown. Such coloration would certainly favour a predatory dinosaur wishing to lie in wait in the shadows.

Despite its size, this Megalosaurus boasts sculpting detail rivalling that of any larger toy. Tiny rounded scales cover the entirety of the body, along with thick wrinkles in the skin on the neck, and tail. A single row of osteoderms runs from partway down the neck to nearly the tip of the tail. Most of these osteoderms are miniscule, but a portion around the base of the tail increases significantly in size, just like on the 2016 Deluxe Torvosaurus seen above. The three-clawed hands are positioned correctly and the elongated skull is more streamlined and rectangular in profile than those of allosaurs like Neovenator and Concavenator. No complete skeleton of Megalosaurus exists as of yet, but enough fossil material exists to conclude that its skull was very similar to that of Afrovenator, Torvosaurus, Wiehenvenator, and other megalosaurids. And unlike all previous CollectA theropods, this one’s dentition is completely covered by speculative mouth tissue. I like.

However, there are a couple of notable flaw to be found here. First, the claws on the forelimbs look too small and blunt; they should be longer and more curved. And second, the musculature on the hind limbs looks somewhat undersized, particularly on the calves. This Megalosaurus needs to do heavier squats.

Nevertheless, the 2021 CollectA Megalosaurus is absolutely an improvement over the old version and a most welcome homage to an iconic yet grossly underrepresented dinosaur. I’m pleased to have it as part of my collection.

This review is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Beeson, who passed away in May 2022. He was the driving force behind CollectA’s prehistoric line and his legacy lives on across the world in the display cabinets and bookcases of adult collectors like myself as well as the play bins of children like my two boys. Farewell, good sir, and thank you so very much!

One CollectA prehistoric toy to represent every year from 2008 to 2022.

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Comments 6

  • Nice to see a review of this charming little figure. It’s one of the smallest but full of character figure every released. I have mine with the big ones from PNSO and he holds up and looks adorable!

  • its more of a missed opportunity in my view,its not a bad figure by itself,but it sure doesn’t deserve 4 stars…its too small,has an odd pose,looks like a different dinosaur altogether,and iv seen multiple megalosaurus in museums and this doesn’t look like it very much…

  • Really, really love this little fellow. So much detail and charm packed in such a little package, and a very life-like, naturalistic look to boot. One of my favourite releases from Safari last year. Thanks for the review!

  • It’s a delightful little figure for sure; I would welcome a larger deluxe version in the future for this iconic dinosaur.

  • Good figure but honestly it would have been spectacular if they had made it with a deluxe size. However, I would have liked another type of sculpture for that more dynamic theropod.

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