Review and photos by ‘Prehistory Resurrection,’ edited by Suspsy
Spinosaurus was one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs, probably exceeding Tyrannosaurus rex and Giganotosaurus in length, but not mass. Other factors which have contributed to Spinosaurus‘ fame apart from its huge size are its signature dorsal sail, its well-known (but inaccurate) appearance in the movie Jurassic Park 3, and the many figures of it that were released from different companies in 2019. Today, we are not going to see one of those recent figures; instead, we will see Bullyland’s Museum Line Spinosaurus.
Although this figure was released back in 2012 and was even mentioned here on the blog in a post about Bullyland’s releases for that year, it was never reviewed until now, which is surprising to me. The figure measures 26 cm in length from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail and 13 cm in height at the top of the sail. On the underside of the figure, it is printed that this figure is 1:30 scale and handpainted. It also comes with a fact card about Spinosaurus; the same text being written in both English and German.
The color scheme is very interesting indeed. The head is scarlet red, with the upper side of the cranium and the crest being black. The black continues up the neck, along the sail, and to the end of the tail, and is also present as pronounced black stripes on either side of the body, limbs, and tail. The throat area is scarlet red with black stripes, the inside of the mouth is scarlet red with off-white teeth (but not as off-white as in some other figures). The main color on the body is tan merging with creamy white for the underside. The goofy-looking eyes are yellow with black pupils, the nostrils and the ear openings are ash grey, the sail is scarlet and white, and finally, the claws are black.
Now, our favorite part: accuracy. A key fact about this toy is that it was released in 2012, two years before the Ibrahim/Sereno paper describing Spinosaurus as being a semi-aquatic quadruped. So the fact that this bipedal figure does not reflect this interpretation is therefore forgivable. Let’s look at the positive things of the figure: the skull has the correct shape, with the distinctive head crest and the notch in the upper jaw, the signature sail is present, and finally, the arms have three digits, which is correct. Now for the inaccuracies. First of all, those goofy eyes, which may haunt you in your nightmares. They look like those of a cat when dilated. The teeth should be far more numerous and are too uniform on the lower jaw. The wrists are pronated, the sail starts on the neck and ends on the tail when it should be present on the back only, and finally, the tail tip is curling to an extent that would be impossible in life.
Now on to the pose, feel, and detailing of this figure. As I said earlier, the figure is posed in a bipedal stance, but that is again forgivable given its release date. The curling tail tip was impossible to achieve in life, though. The head is turning to the left, as if the animal is suspicious of something or has smelled or spotted nearby prey.
The lower jaw is articulated. The material used to manufacture Bullyland’s figures is not PVC like other toy companies, but TVC, a material which is safer for kids and make the figure feel surprisingly light and the surface quite smooth. The sail feels quite thick. The detailing is not too impressive and not on the same level as Papo’s figures. Some scales here and there on the body, and mainly wrinkles and creases. And finally, there are large scales on the hands and larger, bird-like scales on the feet. Speaking of Papo, here is a comparison shot with their old JP-inspired Spinosaurus.
Overall, this figure is not bad. It feels handy, light, reflects some basic knowledge about Spinosaurus, and is perfect for a kid to play with. Due to the material, it can withstand impacts better than PVC figures and is again lighter. It is a good figure, having both playability and detailing. It is not retired and is still in production by Bullyland. It is available through online sources such as eBay, Amazon, and even at some physical toy shops like the one where I bought mine.