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. The book/magazines were a treasure trove of information on prehistoric animals, with excellent artwork, and lots of features, such as the A-Z of dinosaurs near the end of every magazine. I am mentioning this because Mattel has been making dinosaur figures that are quite obscure, or that have never received plastic treatment before. Sometimes though, I just feel like they are pulling dinosaurs out of A-Z 90’s books, a lot of them known by mere fragmentary remains. This is not the case for Piatnitzkysaurus floresi, described in the late 70’s by the late, great Argentinian paleontologist José Bonaparte, which is known from very complete remains. Still, the skull remains known for only a handful of parts, and we can tell it was probably a megalosauroid of some sort. Mattel took a ton of artistic license with this one, though, and the result is a gnarly theropod with the personality and looks of a punk-a-saur.
This figure came out in around March or so, and I personally don’t think it was rare, but it was not easily found, either; I only ever spotted 6 of them. I grabbed the first one I could find, because once they are gone, they are usually gone forever. The Dino Trackers line has been great because Mattel gave us a sub-line of Jurassic toys that are mostly new molds! We usually just get repaints over and over and over, with a new sculpt in the middle of a sea of repaints. The animals released this year have been extremely interesting because as I mentioned earlier, they have ranged from the super obscure like Xuanhanosaurus, to the more recent, like Borealopelta. I would have never expected them to do a Piatnitzkysaurus though, or a Xuanhanosaurus. The Nothosaurus was very popular because it also made an appearance on Netflix’ Camp Cretaceous.
The 6 inch long beast is very brightly colored, very impressive, despite the nuuuumerous artistic liberties they took with it. The jaws resemble that of a Jurassic Park T.rex, the spines on the neck and the wattle resemble that of an iguana, and the weird sail-back wasn’t necessary. Why does it have two large crests above the eyes though? This dinosaur was not related to Dilophosaurus by any means, and megalosauroids differ from allosauroids in that their lacrimal crests are very small. I don’t know what this is, but it is definitely one of InGen’s hybrids and not a Piatnitzkysaurus.
Wow, those pictures came out BAD. And the worst part is that they were the better of 5 per angle. I have since learned why this is. I took them around May. Anyways, the figure is cast in a dark, glossy Jade Green, adorned by apple green stripes running across the back and neck. The eyes are yellow, and carmine red scales adorn each side of the snout. The crests are orange, but only on each side as the insides are not painted. The jaw was cast in an eggshell color. As usual, the claws are not painted, nor is the tail. There are 5 points of articulation: tail, limbs, ball jointed neck and jaw. This is standard for almost every Danger Pack class dinosaur. The pull-up code is on the back, which, again, is standard for most dinosaurs in the Dominion era.
My favorite thing about this figure are the colors, but that’s it. I will always treat it like a hybrid, never a Piatnitzkysaurus, which is kind of sad, as there are not many figures of that species out there. It might be the only one, so why did Mattel go through the trouble of picking this species out, only to have it look like something out of 1998’s Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect line? It really belongs there, in the 90’s!
At this point, I don’t know if I should praise Mattel for their odd choices. On one hand, we get obscure dinosaurs, some which have never been made in plastic form, and on the other, we get figures that seem to be inspired by Chap Mei, Chaos Effect, etc. Oh well, at least it scales well with 3.75 inch tall figures, as Piatnitzkysaurus was around 4.5 meters long, 6 according to popular literature.
I, Emperor Dinobot, recommend this figure only to hardcore collectors, or to kids, which are the target audience in the end. I say hardcore collectors because it is not easily found, therefore we too are a part of said target audience.
In the end, I am grateful that they have been looking at the A-Z dinosaur lists, because I do get kind of giddy when a figure gets made based on an obscure dinosaur, or which has not been tackled by other figure companies. I do not know if CollectA even has a Piatnitzkysaurus figure yet, but they should make one, as this theropod is known from mostly well preserved remains, and therefore the artists have more than enough to actually make an accurate Piatnitzkysaurus.
These range from $7.99 to $12.99, and as far as I am concerned, they are still out. I found mine in Fred Meyer stores, and saw them at Walmart, too.
Here is your friendly reminder to always scan the code on the Facts App.