Therizinosaurus (Papo)

3.9 (17 votes)

If you’d ask a random person to name a theropod, most would probably be puzzled and not be able to come up with an answer, though anyone who have ever heard of dinosaurs could at least come up with one name: T. rex. The more enthusiast dinosaur fans could easily name some more, like Allosaurus, Carnotaurus, Velociraptor or Giganotosaurus. If you’d ask for a herbivorous theropod however, I dare say most would react puzzled again… a herbivore theropod? Like a salad munching Spinosaurus? Not quite like this, but I admit, a herbivorous theropod is weird in a way.

From an evolutionary standpoint not weird at all, but surprising to the world of paleontology nonetheless. In 1948 the first fossil remains of Therizinosaurus were discovered in the Nemegt formation, a species rich formation in the Southwest of Mongolia. Those remains were not more than just some parts of the claws, the first description of the fossil were identified as some kind of turtle, hence the species name Therizinosaurus cheloniformes (turtle formed scythe lizard). It took several decades until the true identity of the fossils could be revealed and the history of the Cretaceous could be enriched with a new family of theropods.


To this date Therizinosaurus holds some secrects, as the very important one about its skull and therefore its likely ecology. It is assumed that the species was a herbivore as other species of the family, but its exact ecological role is not known. Accordingly, Therizinosaurus has been reconstructed with several differnt kind of skulls to a more or less reasonable degree.

In 2018 Papo approached this weird species that would probaly never have found its way into toy form if not for the largely oversized claws the species is named after (well, maybe CollectA would have made it any way). This feature however made it interesting for several companies, and some released even more than one sculpt. In this very mixed bag of qualities in terms of accuray, let’s see what Papo offers to kids and collectors alike….

First of all, the Papo Therizinosaurus is a  most impressive piece of molded plastic. The detailing is nothing short of fabulous, right as one is used to with Papo, but still, this figure does not need to hide from any high priced resin model. It stands a proud 22 cm high and the arms stretch out 13 cm. The articulated jaw allows for a more threatening pose and a rather calm one, suggesting the animal might want to start grabbing some greens to munch on. In my figure the jaw does not close shut, but reasonable well and it is attached very firm and not loose. The figure is quite heavy and the claws sharp enough to look accurate, still they should be blunted enough to be safe as a toy though one would probaly take away some light scratches when they are used in a real fight.

The colorisation is subdued but attractive, I especially like the brown blotches along the flanks and side of the neck and the sprinkled light yellowish dots on the flanks and belly. Other colors are a rusty brown on the legs and tail, a drak grey green along the back turning into dark green on top of the neck and head, the feathers on the arms and tail are held in black and white.

In terms of accuracy one thing immidiatly springs to mind…. the shortness of the claws. Therizinosaurus is famous for its long claws. The fossil remains of these were found without a keratinous sheet, including this, the claws would have reached 70 to 100 cm in lenght, the whole animal a body length of around 9 metres to give you a comparison. Other than that there little to moan give how much is known (or not known) about the species. Some would probably have liked a more extensive feathering, rather than just the few contour feathers on arms and tail and the fluffy feather pelt on the back and upper side of arms, legs and neck. I however like the scaly look of the head and the bare skin on the thick belly with the two adjoining rows of enlarged scales. Two or three more inaccuracies are to name: The figure lacks ear openings, a cloaca (as all Papo dinos I can think of) and the toes of the right foot are longer than on the left foot. When considering the two different stances of the feet, one can easily ignore this however.

On the plus side, there’s several things that require to be named I think. First of all, the impressive girth of the figure. Finally we got a therizinosaur with a belly, thanks Papo. Also the stance of the arms and hands in that bird like way is a very welcomed feature aswell as the detailed thick padding of the inside of the hands and feet. The head is greatly sculpted too. While the features of the skull are still visible, surface texture and colorisation avoid it to look shrink wrapped and the transition from skin to beak aswell as the inside of the mouth with those tiny teeth is just magnificently done.

Papo’s Therizinosaurus is an eye catching addition to any collection not least because of the somewhat weird pose that reminds me of of some kind of heathen dance to summon a demon or such. But the pose also allows to use the figure in made up fights with other figures or in a calm feeding situation. The inaccuracies are easily outweighted by the things that were done right and while I personally would have preferred a more neutral or even laid back stance (think of one, resting on its fat hips, lazily grabbing some branches), I highly recommend this figure for kids to play and collectors to display it.


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Comments 11

  • Nice review; wonderful pics.

    This is an eye catching figure, for sure. The neck, like the claws, may be a bit short, as well.

    So when is someone going to make a decent Falcerius (ignoring the laughable “flamingo” effort from Geoword)–perhaps the best “known” member of the Therizinosauria clade, if not of all dinosaurs?

  • This is the only Papo that I currently own (not a fan of their ‘monster vibe’ dinosaurs, though I freeely acknowledge the exquisiteness of the sculpting details on their figures).

    Yes, it has got a few shortcomings accuracy-wise (claw length and foot size/toe arrangement being the most obvious), but it is simply one of the most magnificent dinosaur toy figures ever.

    You look at it, and it “looks alive”. I have it juxtaposed with “Wilson” the PNSO TRex. They scale about right. I might lengthen its claws with putty eventually, but its pleasing to the eye “as-is”. Eye-candy with about 85% accuracy, you might say. 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book.

  • While the shortened claws are obviously a shame, I still think this model is one of the best Therizinosaur models out there. Beautiful, energetic, and engaging pose. Fantastic attention to small details. Wonderful choice of colours. Definitely one of Papo’s greatest models.

  • To be fair, I can see why the claws are shortened. The Schelich Theriznosaurus has plastic gloves over its hands so that little kids won’t stab themselves. Not only that, but there was a product warning or something like that with a Gigan toy in, I think, the Final Wars toyline via its hand blades.

  • Thank you folks,…

    … I forgot one other inaccuracy in my review… Therizinosaurus is supposed to have been feeted on four weight bearing toes rather than three as is usual for most theropods. Accuracy or not, I guess Papo’s sculptors usually go more for the “Woah” effect than for science. but that’s okay, we got other companies for that.

  • Another terrific review – both educational in regard to the animal and informative in regard to the consumer contemplating a purchase. Like the backdrop and plants in the photos. This one is on my list but I have yet to see how it will be priced locally. Great job from Papo though, despite the errors noted.

  • This Paiz therizinosaurus is awesome, I said it from the first moment.

    On the other hand I suppose that the defect pointed by members of the forum on the claws is something more than a mere artistic license of the brand, I am convinced that if Papo has not made impressive claws has as motive to avoid accidents in the smallest since this work paleoartística of Papo is as it has been said is destined equally to collectors as to the smallest of the house (children).

    But what has been said is a tall paleoart figure that does not have to envy the best resin dinosaur brands, painstakingly painted and, most important for me, the best paleoartistic representation of that dinosaur in the toy market. I understand that it will be as successful as Papo’s spinosaurus in its day for sale purposes.

    I unfortunately still do not have it but I recommend it to everyone who is in love with the prehistoric world and more for those who love dinosaurs.

  • I think this one is the best Therizinosaurus to date. The claws may be a bit short, but it’s so stunning!

  • Good review! I’ve been buying fewer and fewer Papo products lately, mainly due to the high price tags, but I may end up shelling out for this impressive fellow.

  • So, what is your overall opinion on the Papo Therizinosaurus?
    Would you recommend it?

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