Tuojiangosaurus (Jurassic World Epic Evolution, Strike Attack by Mattel)

3.5 (29 votes)

Mattel really likes the Shaximiao Formation, a middle to late Jurassic formation located in China. They’ve released many dinosaurs known from the Shaximiao, including Chialingosaurus, Gigantspinosaurus, Mamenchisaurus, Gasosaurus, and Yangchuanosaurus. Today we’re looking at their latest addition to this assortment, the Tuojiangosaurus, part of Mattel’s Epic Evolution line.

The Mattel Tuojiangosaurus is a Strike Attack toy, meaning it’s one of their smaller toys. Mattel toys in this size range are notoriously difficult to find. My local Target doesn’t carry them, nor does the Target website, and my local Walmarts are mostly clogged up with toys from previous waves. Persistence recently paid off however, and I was able to find the only one my Walmart had to offer, just as the newest wave is starting to hit other store shelves in more distant lands.

The toy measures 7.25” long and stands about 3.25” tall at its highest point. The actual Tuojiangosaurus is estimated to have measured 21’ (6.5 meters) so that would put this toy at 1/33 in scale.

Articulation on this toy is minimal. The hindlegs can rotate around and the neck can rotate at the base. Part of the reason for the limited articulation is because the action feature is connected to the toy’s forelimbs, so they’re stuck in place. Pushing down on the shoulder region pushes the forelimbs upward, causing the tail to spin leftward. It’s admittedly a lot of fun.

In terms of accuracy, the toy is recognizable as a Tuojiangosaurus, and that’s really the most you can ask for from Mattel. The feet are all wrong, as usual. The proportions are decent enough although the neck and tail could be longer. That said, the neck is proportionally longer than on the PNSO Tuojiangosaurus. Also, the plates are pointed and triangular, unlike those on the PNSO figure which lean back at an angle. In this instance, Mattel’s toy is more accurate than PNSO’s! There are no shoulder spikes here but in reconstructions that include them they are speculative anyway, so are not missed.

With the PNSO Tuojiangosaurus.

Fine details include small pebbly scales, mostly along the back, shoulders, and thighs. Elsewhere there’s faint wrinkling in the skin. The plates have grooves etched into them and are irregularly shaped with little notches and other details. The plates are all soft except for the one that hides the scan code. The legs are rather muscular, and it honestly feels overdone here, especially on the somewhat lumpy looking forelimbs.

The paintjob is a definite highlight. Mattel rarely paints all the plates or spikes on their stegosaurs but all the plates are painted brown here. Unpainted portions include the tail spikes, toenails, beak, and pupils. The body is cream colored with tan and black running down over the sides from the back.  The black coloration is only on the main body, not the neck and tail, and the sudden change from tan to black and tan where the neck ends is somewhat jarring. That said, this is a more complete paint job than most Mattel toys receive and the addition of any paint on the tail, plus the painted plates, must be commended.

Unpainted pupils and misprinted eyes don’t do the toy any favors.

The Mattel Tuojiangosaurus is a one of Mattel’s better stegosaurs, certainly better than the Chialingosaurus or Miragaia. A complete looking paintjob and decent proportions help to elevate this diminutive toy. The Mattel Tuojiangosaurus seems difficult to track down in stores but still has a presence online.

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