Spinosaurus (GR Toys)

3.9 (12 votes)

Well, after my third Spinosaurus review of figures based on the new reconstruction, I surely thought I was done, at least for a while. But here we are with yet another Spinosaurus review!But today, I am excited to review a brand-new figure that not only reflects the most current reconstruction ( the first one out of the gate so far), but also introduce this brand-new company from China for those of you who may not be aware of its existence.

GR Toys is a brand-new entry into the toy/model figure market at least when it comes to prehistoric animals. I don’t know much about the company GR Toys and information is pretty scarce. What is known is that they are based in China, and this figure is their first collaboration with the more established Musee Studios, known for their resin kits of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals, as well as pterosaurs. What a great way to introduced yourself to the world with this stunning new PVC model!

From the box side art, a timeline of the various skeletal reconstruction and some figures that corresponds with it. It shows a nice evolution of this iconic dinosaur.

I have to admit that before the new Nizar Ibrahim discovery and reconstruction, I wasn’t really that interested in Spinosaurus. But after my research while writing my first Spinosaurus review, my fascination grew and only increased as more information and new figures were released based on it. When it comes to a genus that is so popular (looking at you Mr. T!) and have figures saturating the market, finding a justification of adding yet another figure becomes harder, at least in my case. A figure of a well know and popular species must have something new to offer to get me excited. And this is the reason why, despite saturating the market, Spinosaurus piqued my interest.

Spinosaurus just kept on getting weirder and weirder as more fossils are uncovered!

I suppose having written three reviews already, I have grown fond of Spinosaurus. Like a book with multiple chapters, I view these set of reviews as just that, a chapter in the continuing evolution of Spinosaurus in the toy market, and this is the latest chapter. It took a few years, but now with almost all of the major brands now having released their own version of this new 2014 Spinosaurus look ( and still more of the old school one), fatigue quickly started to set in. So, it was a nice reprieve when another groundbreaking discover was announced regarding Spinosaurus followed quickly by a new model that reflects that.

With Papo’s version. These two make a great pair and very similar in size and design.

As some of you may remember, the last Spinosaurus figure I reviewed was the special edition from Papo, and back then, the controversy that surrounded its tail reconstruction have engulfed the figure and polarized collectors. Little did we know that in just a few short months, a brand-new discovery announcement would once again change how this enigmatic giant would look like and gave Papo a sort of vindication for their choice of tail design; for out of all the new figures, they came the closest ( not accurate just to be clear) to what would eventually be known about Spinosaurus’s tail.

With the very first figures that was based on the first new reconstruction after the 2014 discovery. Figures are by CollectA standard size.

The 2014 discovery and revised look was so radical that it was met with so much controversy. However, it prevailed and has since found wider acceptance. Then in 2018 Ibrahim and his team, upon hearing poachers zeroing in on the original excavation site, embarked on another expedition to race and try to recover any remaining fossil material from the same animal they uncovered four years ago that they may have missed. Despite the challenges and difficulties, their efforts were rewarded by the discovery of the first ever, almost complete Spinosaurus tail, and what a tail!

The evolution of the tail; PNSO and PAPO figures.

This significant discovery offered the world for the very first time a glimpse of what Spinosaurus’s tail looked like. As it turned out, the tail of Spinosaurus is so unexpected and weirder than anyone would have thought. Instead of the typical theropod shaped tail, this tail showed that Spinosaurus had a tail that superficially looks like that of a newt in shape. This new tail shape confirms that Spinosaurus did spend most of its time in water, the first aquatic/semi-aquatic dinosaur.

The very first model out of the gate that shows the new 2020 Spinosaurus featuring the newly discovered tail.

This GR Toy model is the first one to reflect this brand-new Spinosaurus reconstruction, and it’s an amazing figure that truly capture this new look. I can only describe the figure as in-between PNSO and PAPO in production quality as well as visual spectacle. The figure is slightly shorter than the PNSO version and smaller than the beefed-up Papo one. This figure is definitely following in PNSO’s Museum Line path; its target is the collector’s market, a niche that is quickly filling up.

GR Toys follow the same elegant packaging that PNSO popularized. The figure comes in two color options; a red and a green. The box art shows the green version on the front.

The model comes in two color variants: a green and a red, both stunning. It was a hard decision which color to pick, but in the end, I went for the red version since I was really enamored by the vibrant hues. They seem to follow PNSO’s style of packaging; the figure comes in an elegant white with a photo of the figure on the cover. The figure is very well packed inside to ensure no damage occur during transit. There is a small information card inside with text all written in Chinese.

With the first PNSO version (from 2017), they also make a great pair.

What struck me the first time I saw the figure in person was just how beautiful and elegant the model is. Secondly, how true to the promo pictures the colors are, we will get to the colors in a little bit. It definitely is not promoted as a toy, but more like as a higher end collector’s item just like PNSO’s museum line. So, as expected the crisp details are not lost especially where pointy edges are concerned as we shall see.

At roughly 1:35 scale, the figure is pretty big and very impressive.

The figure measures 18″ inches long stretched out ( there is curvature in the neck and tail) from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail and 5″ tall from the ground up to the tip of the tallest neural spine on the sail. I’m not the best with calculating scale, but I believe this figure roughly fits the 1:35 range.

A closer look at the beautiful head details. The jaws are articulated offering various possibility on how you choose to display it. The splash of blue on the snout is beautiful.

The head is beautiful and spot on for a Spinosaurus. The small head crest is nicely sculpted and very detailed with lots of groves and textures that complements the ridge just above the eyes. The snout is narrow as it should be and the distinctive notch on the jaw is well defined. The nostrils are nicely sculpted and on the correct spot. The scales seen on the head are crisp and vary in size and shapes which is nice to see with those on the snout being diamond shaped while those on the tip of the snout being more of a rounder shape. The teeth are all individually sculpted and nicely proportioned, nothing exaggerated like what we saw in the Papo version. The jaw is articulated and open and close smoothly with the teeth locking perfectly when closed.

Head shots of some of the comparable models from other brands (PNSO and PAPO); these are close in sculpting quality, the others are not as crisp and looks very much like toys.

The sail is beautiful and very detailed with lots of textures in the form of scales of various shapes and sizes. The neck has rows of scutes that overlaps with each other, something we see in pretty much the majority of the new figures. These scutes grow smaller in size as it reaches the base of the sail where they continue as smaller, more flat and roundish shape and runs along the base of the sail all the way down towards the base of the tail. There is good amount of loose skin fold (pouch-like)on the lower part of the neck that gives a sense of weight and makes it look bigger.

A good alternative to put on the base of the PNSO large museum line version. The figure fits nicely on the PNSO base.

The body is long and slender and pretty much follows the skeletal shape. The back legs are short but muscular as they should be to be able to support the animal’s weight. The back legs are positioned as if the animal is caught in mid-stride. The back feet also show webbings between the toes, an adaptation for aquatic life. They also have the correct number of weight-bearing toes.

Bigger than T rex! A comparison with PNSO’s Wilson, they do make a good pair.

The front arms are long and slender. this is perhaps where any controversy about the figure will surface. How the hands are used and which orientation has been a source of much debate. Unless the figure is posed in a biped stance, which is hard to do without the aid of a fixed base, how the artist address the controversy of how the hands are positioned largely depends on how much support the figure needs. On one side, there is the common knuckle position, and on the other end is the palm on the ground. For me, both are possibility in short duration, but not so much for long distance movement on land considering the weight placed on them.

The pose of the hand looks very painful. How thew hands are used when walking is still up in the air, but this one just looks very unlikely for such a huge animal even in short burst.

In this figure, the artist opted to address this balancing act by sculpting the finger in a most very uncomfortable position of baring all the weight on the left fingertips! I’m not sure about the likelihood of this position even in short burst. To me, it’s almost “preferable” to either have a palm faced down, knuckle, or tip of claws( this may present problem later as the material starts to curl due to the weight). But it gives the figure the stability it needs to be able to stand properly and be stable. In the end, it is just another possibility put forward and for me personally, it doesn’t bother me that much. The right hand is lifted off the ground completely; both hands have long sharp claws and with the inner ones enlarged.

Tale of the Tails: A comparison of all the new Spinosaurus tail; the whole crocodilian-inspired has become so common that almost all the figure show some type of crocodilian features.

Now we come to that famous new tail, and what a gorgeous tail it is! The tail is massive! Although it still has some crocodilian qualities, it doesn’t scream out crocodile like many other figures. I find it ironic that as tired as I am in seeing Spinosaurus bearing too much crocodilian influence, I also find it hard to imagine it without having these very same qualities. I guess the whole crocodilian look popularized by CollectA has become so engrained in my subconscious mind that it has become the norm when it came to Spinosaurus’s looks.

The skin and scale details are beautiful and crisp. The size variations seen on the the scales is nice and natural-looking.

Back to the tail, besides being massive, it is also long and pretty much true to the new reconstruction. The base is thick as it should be, but oddly does not show that distinctive slope/kink between the sail and the tail base, here its more gradual. At the base and moving towards the tail tip, there is a row of scutes that starts out small and short, growing in size as it reaches the midpoint before it starts to get smaller again. The tail follows the newt shape of being wide and tall; the row of scutes on the top add to the size making it look even taller. The underside of the tail is smooth; it makes sense to not have anything in this area since it would only get caught on rough surfaces as the animal moves on land. The tail definitely gives the impression of a powerful swimmer; it also has a nice movement to it as it is sculpted in a slight curve sweeping way. Overall, it’s a nice interpretation of this newly discovered tail.

What a beautiful and powerful tail!

And finally, we come to the colors. As I mentioned earlier, the figure comes in two colors; a greenish one and a red one. After much deliberation, I went for the red morph as I really like the combination. The overall body color is tan or light brown for pretty much the entire lower half of the body beginning just below the sail. A rust orange/red splotches is scattered all over the body with some forming spots while others in the shape of vertical and horizontal stripes. The legs and arms are mostly colored in rust red with some shades of darker colors as well as some white mixed in to break the monotony. 

The first true aquatic dinosaur.

The huge tail is lighter in color with the upper half given a very light slate-blue hue wash that is very pleasing. Here, the rust red turns into more pronounced stripes of irregular shapes and sizes, some with jagged edges creating a real visual spectacle. The tail scutes are colored dark gray that frames the main silhouette of the tail nicely. On the head, brown and rust red dominate until it reaches the snout where it turns into a nice blue-gray that adds a nice pop of color that contrast well with the warm reds.

The colorful, vibrant, and rich colors of the figure is just a feast for the eye. This is the red version which is more colorful than the alternate green one.

No doubt the most impressive and colorful part of the figure is it’s impressive sail. Here, the center is dominated by vivid orange color that really stands out and very eye-catching. Surrounding this patch is a darker grayish-blue that outlines the sail. In-between the neural spines we see white zigzagging pattern that creates a strong contrast to the darker gray and orange. This pattern really brings the entire design together and is very visually pleasing.

Battle of the sails!

In closing, I find this new figure from GR Toys to be impressive especially considering that this is their very first prehistoric model. Despite some minor flaws, it is pretty much true to the latest reconstruction and is the very first model out to incorporate the latest evidence concerning how the tail looked like. Like many higher end figures from China, this is first top-notch production and beautifully designed. The colorations are vivid and pleasing and true to promotional photos, as a bonus, it comes in two different styles if you are more inclined for a less dramatic and more subdued color scheme. The price is a little bit on the higher end, but that is to be expected with collector figure which I consider this one to be.

These days, I find myself focusing more and more with this type of figures, so it fits just nicely to where I am right now as a collector. I hope that this company will blossom like PNSO and we will see more in the future as they truly have the potential to be one of the major players given the chance.

Parting shot: “Haven’t we met before?”

Would this be my last Spinosaurus review? Well, who knows? With a species such as Spinosaurus that is constantly evolving every few years, and continues to offer new, surprising and interesting evidence, who knows, perhaps in a couple of years something else new will emerge that is worth writing about. Until then, I will be watching this fascinating animal as it slowly reveals to us its true nature.

The new tail find is causing companies to scramble and release their own versions. It is looking like Spinosaurus is going to continue dominating the market for another year or so.


I just got the new PNSO version just before posting so here it is next to our subject. It is much smaller, but really exquisitely sculpted.

After writing the review, Safari released preview of their own interpretation, then just very recently PNSO surprised us by releasing an exquisite updated version as well that is now available. With the other major companies now slowly starting to reveal their 2021 lineup, it is looking like Spinosaurus will continue to dominate the market for the third year in a row! Chances are good that CollectA will also release one (my bet is on this one). Hope you all enjoyed this review, thanks for reading. Until the next one, stay safe and healthy. Cheers!

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Comments 9

  • Not quite as good as the new PNSO Spinosaurus, but still pretty good.

    • I agree, buts it definitely is number two. The PNSO is just very well produced with so much details that has to be seen in person to really be appreciated.

  • es una muy buena figura, de gran tamaño y calidad, lo único que no me gusta es la forma descendente del cuerpo desde la cabeza a las piernas traseras, tengo la versión verde y es muy natural y bien pintada, espero que ésta empresa siga y que crezca como PNSO. Muy detallada tu revisión te felicito, saludos desde Chile

  • This model is actually designed by Musee Studio, and produced/launched by GR Toys and Long Gu. That is why the design is beautiful because Musee Studio makes really amazing prehistoric dioramas.

    • Thanks for the information, very helpful. I really hope they produce more figures.
      Musee studio models are amazing and would love to see those in PVC form!

  • Boki, Your reviews are works of art in themselves. I actually neither collect nor own any toy dinosaurs. The most sublime compliment I can give you is to say I only follow this blog for your terrifically written and informative, fun reviews. Please continue to share! Rob

    • Rob, you are so kind, thank you very much.
      I’m very great full for your wonderful comments and happy to hear you enjoy my reviews, comments like your is what motivates me to keep on writing reviews.
      Be assured that I will continue to write reviews as long as there are readers like you.
      Take care.

  • It is a beauty with capital letters. GR Toys is a brand of toy dinosaurs that will be a future reference of a must for every collector.

  • A handsome model. My main criticism would be that the sail isn’t tall enough and perhaps the back legs should be a bit longer.

    The tail shape is up to date with the latest research, although perhaps a bit large.

    All my above criticisms are very nit-picky however. It’s a beautiful model and the most ‘accurate’ (to the latest research) on the market. A winner. Looking forward to more products from this company.

    It is amazing how the appearance of Spinosaurus has morphed over the years.

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