When it comes to large predatory theropods, it’s hard to figure out what exactly makes some genus/species popular while others not so. It’s not just the size or the active predatory lifestyle that propel certain species into stardom, in fact there are many equally large and fearsome theropods that despite seemingly having all the star quality, somehow languish in obscurity.Take the subject of our review today, Torvosaurus, a large apex theropod predator that despite having it all, even a catchy and easy to remember name, still ranks as one of those “obscure” names, failed to garner fame outside of the paleo world.
Torvosaurus is a genus of large carnivorous megalosaurid theropod that lived during the middle and late Jurassic period. The genus had a worldwide distribution having been found in the United States, Europe, and even possibly Africa and South America. There are currently two recognized species of Torvosaurus: T. tanneri and T. gurneyi (and perhaps a third one yet to be formally named).
In the toy model world, Torvosaurus like other megalosaurid theropods, are rare with only a handful of figures available. So, it was exciting when PNSO released their version of this big carnivore. It joins the long parade of PNSO theropods that flooded the market in rapid succession. While the allosaurids and tyrannosaurs models from PNSO competed with each other, Torvosaurus stood out as the lone representative of the megalosaurid group. Like all PNSO models he is also given a name: Connor.
At the edge of the coastal forest, a lone figure can be seen patrolling its territory. This is Connor a young Torvosaurus in his prime. He successfully wrestled this prized territory from an old male in a dispute just over a year ago so he is working hard to maintain it.Part of his territory includes a small narrow forested corridor that serves as a link between the inland plains and the coast. Here, many species of herbivorous dinosaurs use this corridor as an easy way to move between these two, very different plains, and today, Connor is checking out some newcomers.
With an estimated size between 25′ to 35′ feet long, Torvosaurus is one of the largest predators of the Jurassic. The model measures almost 12″ long when stretched out and 3.5″ tall (top of head), at 1:35-1:33 scale he is based on an animal that is around 32″ feet long. While Torvosaurus no doubt was an apex predator in its environment, it was overshadowed by two other theropods that shared the landscape: Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus, two superstars in the dinosaur world.While it rivaled Allosaurus in size, Torvosaurus could not compete with it in popularity.As size go between these two rivals, it seems that in Europe the Allosaurus was slightly smaller than Torvosaurus, while in the USA it was the other way around.
Connor has been watching a mother stegosaur and her young as they emerged from the forested corridor into the coastal plain. He is experienced enough to know that a full adult stegosaurus is a formidable quarry let alone a mother defending its young. Still, he follows the duo watching for any signs of weakness especially the baby. He keeps his distance but the mother already spotted him.
As the Stegosaurus pair make their way down the beach, the mother gives out a warning call and swings her impressive tail spike or thagomized in an exaggerated fashion to make her point.Connor decided that these pair is too risky and decides to leave them alone, as large he may be, there are easier and less dangerous prey around.
PNSO’s Torvosaurus is given a striding pose and comes with an articulated jaw like all of their recent theropods. The details are top notch as expected from PNSO. The scales on the body are small as they should be with some larger osteoderms mixed in, all beautifully sculpted.Like all of PNSO’s model, the musculature is very well defined and finely executed. Lots of skin fold where you would expect to see them bunched up like the neck and arm regions. A single row of dorsal spines run the entire length of the body starting at the back of the head and running all the way down to the tail. These spines are all individually sculpted and even have some differences in size and shape, some even show some imperfection!
The head is well done and doesn’t show much signs of shrink-wrapping. You see the distinctive lacrimal horns above the eyes. I’m not an expert on Torvosaurus so I can’t really say much about the shape of the lower jaw. I do know that it’s one of the areas that generated a lot of debate. That being said, I will leave it up to you to decide which version suits you, but for me personally, I don’t have any issues with how PNSO decided to depict it on their model.
Another source of lively debate is the lips, or in this model’s case, lack of. While the existence of lips on theropod is hotly debated right now, this is another area that I personally don’t have any preference. In this model, PNSO opted not to give it any which is fine with me and doesn’t take away from what I consider a great model. The lack of lips is more obvious when the jaw is positioned closed ( like all PNSO theropods, it has an articulated jaw) instead of open wide. The teeth are nicely sculpted and, on my copy, cleanly painted.
Like many large carnivorous hunters, Torvosaurus will also try and steal a meal if the opportunity presents itself. Sure enough, Connor soon spots a Ceratosaurus by the mouth of the river who just caught a large fish.He approaches the ceratosaur and makes his intention known by bullying the much smaller theropod. With no place to run, the Ceratosaurus quickly drops its precious catch and watches as it floats downstream with Connor right on its heels.Connor follow the fish until it reaches the ocean where the waves pushed it back to the shallows where it can easily be retrieved. Connor runs off with his happy meal.
The model’s body is muscular and nicely proportioned. Its arms are bulky as they should be and the hands and fingers sport sharp claws. Oddly, they gave it an enlarged thumb claw while they omitted this on the Allosaurus. The way that PNSO put muscle on the bone is well researched and it really shows on this model. The legs are bulging with muscles that suggest the strength it has to carry such bulk.The tail also is fully muscled and long which is nice to see as it acts as a counterbalance for the heavy front. The model stands and balance well on it’s well proportioned feet and is somewhat stable, but like all recent theropods from PNSO it comes with a clear rod to use as a stabilizing aid.
The color scheme on the model is my favorite of all the new PNSO large theropod. It is complex and beautifully rendered that looks natural.The model has an almost counter shade color scheme with a dark slate gray dominating the upper half of the body. These then starts to break into stripes and spots as they run down the body and meet up with the beige color that dominates the lower half of the body.
The blending and transition of these colors are beautifully done, there are no sharp lines, just nice soft blending. As it reaches the tail, the dark color turns into rings that looks really awesome.Mixed in with the slate gray and beige are layers of various shades of yellow and orange and even some pink that really contrast nicely and adds depth, something PNSO has perfected.
The head is where you would see some bright colors. The lacrimal horns and ridges are colored green that then blends in with the slate gray color that make up the border for the snout and lower lip/jaw. Around the eyes and down the lower center part of the face you see a splash of orange, pink, and yellow mixed in with the beige that really pops out and contrast nicely with the darker colors surrounding it.The eyes are given a nice golden yellow color that give it an intense look.
The color choices for this model is also what sets it apart from all of the other theropods from PNSO and I hope to see more of these hues as well as intricate patterns that are really visually pleasing.
With the widespread distributions of Torvosaurus, it shared the landscape with many different dinosaurs from various parts of the world. Some of these dinosaurs, such as those from the famed Morrison Formation, are icons and you can easily find many models of these famous dinosaurs to put together a nice diorama of North America during that time. Or, you can also assemble a more exotic group consisting of dinosaurs from Europe, which we have a few models also available. Whichever scene you want to recreate, Connor will fit in nicely.
Overall, I really like this model; it’s pleasing colors and patterns are all beautifully rendered like all PNSO models. With the rarity of megalosaurid theropods in the toy world it is a welcome addition and easily the best representative of the genus.While it may not be perfect for some, to me it’s a great model and very photogenic both indoors and in outdoor natural settings. With the recent deluge of PNSO theropods, this model is easily lost in the excitement and is often overlooked or under-appreciated, which is a shame for it has a lot to offer. If you are searching for a good model that represent the genus, then this is one that I highly recommend.
As the sun sets over the vast horizon, Connor surveys his territory atop a small hill. There, he watches the mother stegosaurus and her baby in the distance below as they find shelter for the night.Assured that his territory is safe from rivals, Connor turn and makes his way to his favorite resting place for the night.
That concludes our review, hope you like it, and thank you. Until the next one, stay safe and healthy, Cheers!