Mattel’s previous large sauropods made sense. Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Dreadnoughtus all had significant screen time in the Jurassic franchise. And even though Mattel dutifully, and shockingly, made toys of them all, fans wanted more. Yes, among the Jurassic fanbase there was a subset of collectors yearning for the Mamenchisaurus, which featured briefly enough in The Lost World to allow a motorcyclist to drive between its legs.
The chaos continues! Dinosaurs have evolved, and more species are on the loose! This may sound scary, but it does not have to be. The usually docile, bighorn sheep-sized Avaceratops has been spotted at high altitudes, getting comfortable in their modern colder environments. Their sharp horns are a reminder that, while they generally have a gentle disposition, they should be approached with extreme caution.
As the Neovenator pair appears on the scene, the nesting Iguanodons begin rising to their feet and bellowing aggressively. The carnivores pace back and forth rapidly in front of them, jaws snapping and sharp eyes scanning for any discernible weaknesses as they attempt to panic the big herbivores into stampeding.
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.
A famous story, an ancient tragedy, a spectacular discovery. Two dinosaurs, locked in lethal combat, suddenly perished from external forces, their bodies preserved almost perfectly in their last moments of action. What was cause of the combat and demise? Paleontologists have speculated long and hard since the year 1971, when an expedition to the Gobi Desert led to the discovery of the fossil now renowned as “The Fighting Dinosaurs” – a Protoceratops with its sharp beak grasping the arm of a Velociraptor, whose sickle claw is embedded in the herbivore’s neck.
Mattel loves Pseudosuchians, or so it would seem. Just this year they released five of these crocodile-line archosaurs. Not since Bullyland’s heyday have we seen so many representatives of the group made by a single company, and I think Mattel must surely win the award for most Pseudosuchians ever produced.
Medusaceratops (‘Fan’s Choice’ version, Beasts of the Mesozoic Ceratopsian Series by Creative Beast Studio)
This figure is technically a repaint of the original sculpt, but since it wasn’t reviewed here yet, I feel I might as well give some background on the production of it. For starters, Raul Ramos initially sculpted a 3D model of the skull (first revealed on July 6 2019), which was then printed and served as a base, for sculptor Simon Panek to use for the final flesh reconstruction of the figure (revealed July 8, 2019).
I, Emperor Dinobot, recently posited a question around, and it was the following: Could Mattel be designing dinosaur figures and naming them afterwards? We already have an example: Roarivores Sinoceratops is actually a Pachyrhinosaurus, but it got a name change due to the fact that Universal wanted to market Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom to the massive Chinese audience, and Pachyrhinosaurus was substituted by Sinoceratops, a dinosaur which represented China.
Mattel loves Carnotaurus. Our friends at DinoToyCollector.com have catalogued 22 Carnotaurus figures for Mattel’s Jurassic World line, but that number includes the minis, Snap Squad, and similar toys too, and their various repaints and repackages. Either way, the company has still produced an impressive array of Carnotaurus toys.
We owe a lot of our pop dinosaur knowledge to books such as “The Humongous Book of Dinosaurs” by David Norman (et al.), written in the very late 1980’s and early 90’s, published by various publishers in many formats, like collectible magazines, all which often included a comprehensive list of dinosaurs from a-z, and from all over the world.
Proceratosaurus. “Before Ceratosaurus“. I remember when I first laid eyes on the exquisitely preserved jaws of this animal, found in England from the rocks of the mid Jurassic. The picture was in most dinosaur books throughout the 80’s and 90’s, accompanied by a somewhat vague description usually saying that it looked like Ceratosaurus and Ornitholestes due to the nasal horns (in the case of Ornitholestes, the nasal horn never existed, as the fossil skull was somewhat warped).
When is a Velociraptor not a Velociraptor? I would imagine every dinosaur fan is familiar with the famous “swift thief”, and seasoned enthusiasts are probably aware there’s a history of confusion surrounding the dromaeosaur’s identification. V. mongoliensis, the type species of Velociraptor, is currently the primary species recognized under the genus; however it might not be the only one.
Most of the known basal tyrannosauroids from Asia are relatively small fry like Dilong, Guanlong, and Xiongguanlong, with the 7.5 metre long Yutyrannus being the most famous exception. But Sinotyrannus was an even bigger beast, estimated to have achieved around 9.1 metres long and 2.8 tons, which would put it in the same size category as Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, and Gorgosaurus.
Back in 2017, one of the best preserved fossils discovered was making the rounds. It was named Borealopelta markmitchelli, “Mark Mitchell’s northern shield”, honoring the man who spent more than 7,000 hours carefully preparing the fossil material, and slowly carving it out from the rock it rested in.