The release of genera such as Metriacanthosaurus, Concavenator, and Irritator in the Hammond Collection line was initially met with controversy. Some collectors were excited to see non-canonical dinosaurs join the prestigious Hammond Collection while others were dismayed, hoping the dinosaurs seen in the films would be given priority. For those disappointed individuals it was hard to stay angry at Mattel though, all three of those figures were met with high praise upon release. And technically, two of those dinosaurs are film canon. The Concavenator appears as a taxidermy mount in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the Metriacanthosaurus appeared in Jurassic Park, it was just in name only, the genus name written on one of the embryo vials that Nedry steals. Metriacanthosaurus has been lurking in the background of the Jurassic Park franchise since the start. It was again acknowledged in Jurassic World, not in the film but in the promotional material, and it features in the Jurassic World: Evolution video game. Mattel has also been making toys of it since 2018.
Metriacanthosaurus is an obscure late Jurassic theropod discovered in the upper Oxford Clay in England. The material for it is scant, consisting of some vertebra, hip material, and leg bones. It is the dinosaur for which the clade Metriacanthosauridae gets it name though. Notable Metriacanthosaurids include Sinraptor and Yangchuanosaurus. The Hammond Collection Metriacanthosaurus measures about 13.5” (34.28 cm) long and stands about 5” (12.7 cm) tall at the hips. The actual animal is estimated to have measured 26.2’ (7.9 meters) which would put the toy at about 1/23 in scale.
The Hammond Collection Metriacanthosaurus possesses 17 points of articulation. It’s standard Hammond Collection stuff that you probably expect by now. Both the upper and lower jaw can open, and the base of the skull and neck are articulated. The arms are articulated at the shoulders and elbows with ball joints. The legs are articulated at the hips, knees, ankles, and toes. The tail comes packaged unattached and once popped into place cannot be removed. It is made of rubber with a bendable wire inside. The articulation works as well as you should expect it to. The upper jaw is loose on my copy and it’s difficult to get it to stay up. These kinds of quality control issues are somewhat common with Hammond Collection figures.
In terms of accuracy there’s not enough of the actual animal to compare this one with, but you’re probably not buying it for accuracy anyway. It has a conservative, generic, Allosaurus-like appearance. Teeth are exposed, of course, and the hands are pronated but since the toy is articulated you can easily fix that. I do wish Mattel would add wrist articulation more often though. Proportionally the figure looks decent. Mattel’s mid-sized HC theropods have better proportioned feet than the larger and smaller ones do, or did, Mattel seems to be downsizing the feet on all their HC theropods.
The toy is detailed with small pebbly scales across the body. Bird-like tarsal scutes are sculpted on the fingers and toes. Labial scales are sculpted along the lips and the fenestra on the skull are all sunken in and visible. The teeth are nicely proportioned and cast in white plastic rather than painted. The inside of the mouth is nicely textured with a wet-like sheen. Wrinkles and skin folds are sculpted where appropriate, particularly along the underside of the neck, torso, and tail. The ribcage is slightly visible under the skin, along with musculature around the arms and legs.
The figure’s base color is a light tannish peach with a lighter underside. Chocolate brown horizontal stripes run from the head, down the torso, and across the thighs. Vertical brown stripes run down the tail. The snout is tipped in caramel coloration that also extends unto the lacrimal horns and over the eyes. The claws are all painted dark brown, except for the hallux toes which are unpainted. The eyes are brown with darker brown pupils.
I have mixed feelings about this paintjob. It’s decent enough but I wish the horizontal stripes continued down the tail instead of terminating at the tail and then being replaced with vertical stripes. The difference in striping doesn’t look natural this way. I also think that Mattel should have lifted one of the skins from Jurassic World: Evolution, like they did in the past with their Edmontosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus. Some of the skins used for the game’s Metriacanthosaurus are spectacular. When this figure was announced I had hoped it would take more inspiration from the game. Indeed, my fondness for the game is what compelled me to get it.
The Hammond Collection Metriacanthosaurus is not particularly exciting compared to something like the Carnotaurus, but works well as a basic mid-size theropod. The conservative reconstruction makes it one of the more believable efforts from Mattel too. The paintjob, while not spectacular, is still adequate, and the figure’s overall proportions and articulation are excellent. It is a vast improvement over the mainline Metriacanthosaurus and the Hammond Collection’s recent expansion into more obscure dinosaurs makes the mainline increasingly less appealing in general. This figure has been out for a while now but is still available, retailing for about $21.99. I imagine it will be phased out sooner than later so get it while you can.