Tianzhenosaurus (1:35 Scientific Art Model by Haolonggood)

4.6 (46 votes)

Review and images by bmathison1972, edited by Suspsy

OK, here we are folks. My first review on the Dinosaur Toy Blog that is, well, actually a dinosaur! My previous reviews have consisted of a primate, a tortoise, and a bunch of invertebrates. I have to admit, despite collecting a wide variety of eukaryotic taxa, dinosaurs are the largest group for which I am least familiar. I collect many of them for aesthetics, and am much pickier with them than I am other groups, but I don’t have a lot of personal expertise with the group, unlike the arthropods and other invertebrates. When Haolonggood first started showing up on the DTF, I was skeptical. Another Chinese brand. Where would they go? Another PNSO? Another TNG? As more and more figures get announced and released, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies that makes dinosaurs! They are made of a very firm, solid PVC and are extremely detailed with regards to both sculpt and paint. In fact, I have already scooped up nearly all of the ornithischians that don’t represent taxa I already have! Today we will be looking at one of those, the ankylosaurid Tianzhenosaurus youngi.

Tianzhenosaurus youngi was initially described in 1998 from a partial skull discovered in Tianzhen, China. Since then, other fossils have been described, but we still don’t have a really good idea of what the animal may have looked like overall (and there is a possibility it may get sunk into Saichania at some point). The animal lived during the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Campanian), approximately 99-71 MYA.

Haolonggood’s Tianzhenosaurus has a length of about 15.0 cm (please note, this is figure length, not body length). Using the skull as a metric (n=1.5 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:18.7. The line of figures is advertised as 1:35, but that seems to be a common default for Chinese companies as of late (I mentioned this in my last Blog review of the Rheic Studio Callichimaera).

Because we don’t have complete, or even nearly complete, representatives of this species from the fossil record, I cannot really comment on its perceived accuracy, and the sculpt may have been influenced by related, and better-studied, taxa. Once thing I can comment on, however, is the intricate detail of the sculpt. Even the smallest osteoderms are sculpted and the fleshy part of the skin shows well-defined wrinkles. It looks as though a cloacal opening is present as well. I was trying to do internet searches to find more images of this genus to see how it’s been reconstructed, but honestly about 90% of the hits on Google are this toy!!!! Overall, the figure seems to represent a good likeness of reconstructions at the Shanxi Geological Museum (although the large osteoderms running down the back look broader and lower in the toy), but I am not sure how much of those mounts are taken from fossils versus a hypothesized reconstruction. I tend not to be overly critical of figures for taxa I don’t have a lot of experience with or knowledge about.

Like many of Haolonggood’s figures, it comes in two colors, ‘green’ and ‘red’. My figure represents the green version, although it’s an oversimplification to simply say it’s green. Most of the underside and other ‘fleshy’ parts are yellowish, with a sea-green dorsum washed with brown. The paint detail on Haolonggood figures is extremely detailed and never (at least in the five figures I have) sloppily applied. The mouth is represented by a very fine, simple white line and the eyes a very simple, pinpoint black pupil. I prefer subtle paint for things like the eyes and the mouths, so as figures don’t look like they’re wearing clown makeup!

Overall, this is an amazing figure of an interesting taxon that, for the time being, appears to be unique in toy/figure form. Time will tell if 1) the genus remains valid, 2) we get more fossils that give us a better picture of what the animal looked like overall, and 3) someone else produces one. Until then, this little gem comes highly recommended for collectors of interesting taxa and dinosaur completists. I probably should have picked a better-studied species for my first actual ‘dinosaur’ review, but nonetheless I hope you’ve enjoyed it! I have at least one more coming, so maybe I’ll start reviewing actual dinosaurs here more often!

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Comments 5

  • I gave in and got this little man … he IS little, but oh so beautifully painted – he’s now on my 1/40 shelves. Gorgeous little figure! Another hit from Haolonggood!!

  • Now the rest of us have to write an arthropod review to make up for your dinosaur review!

    I’m really glad to see so many good thyreophorans from Haolonggood. I would say it’s the dinosaur group most often made poorly, so these are very refreshing.

  • Thanks Gwangi and Fembrogon! It was fun! Their Ampelosaurus will probably be next. I have the Safari Utahraptor pending, too, but I want to take some pics in the canyon behind my apartment (in Utah, of course) and I haven’t found the time to do that yet!

  • Congrats on your first dinosaur review, you did great! Looking forward to more. I don’t have this one yet but will get it eventually.

  • Congrats on your first true dinosaur review! I think you did a fine job hitting the highlights of this toy. There’s no doubt Haolonggood put in their A-game of presentation for this release, regardless of any scientific ambiguity.

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