Tyrannosaurus (Eofauna)

4.6 (63 votes)

Before I begin the review, I would like to thank long time member and friend of the blog, Dan of Dan’s Dinosaurs, for supplying this figure for review. You can purchase this Tyrannosaurus and all Eofauna models on his site, here.

Finally! The wait is over! For those in the know, the Eofauna Tyrannosaurus has been a long time coming, with talks of its production beginning over two years ago! We’ve all been patient with Eofauna, a small-scale company that prioritizes quality over quantity. Eofauna figures are few and far between but every one of their wares has been a meticulously researched and well-made masterpiece. And now here we are, the figure has been made and is finding its place on collector’s shelves around the world, so let’s take a closer look and see if this Tyrannosaurus was worth the wait.

Eofauna advertises this model as being Tyrannosaurus rex/imperator. This is thanks to a 2022 paper by Gregory S. Paul and colleagues that claim Tyrannosaurus rex actually represents three species, T. rex, T. imperator, and T. regina with Sue being the holotype for T. imperator. This study hasn’t been well met by other Tyrannosaurus experts and appears to have been largely forgotten. Whatever the case, the Eofauna Tyrannosaurus is directly based on Sue (FMNH PR 2081) and is advertised as such.

Keen observers will notice that Tyrannosaurus is spelled Tyrannesaurus on the belly stamp!

The Eofauna Sue measures 13” (33.02 cm) long and stands 4.5” (11.43 cm) tall at the hips. The actual Sue measures about 40.5’ (12.34 meters) long and stands 13’ (3.96 meters) tall at the hips. This puts the figure in the 1/35 scale range that it is advertised in.

Sue is presented in a striding posture with her left foot behind the right and pushing off the ground. The tail sways gently rightwards and then left. The head is slightly lifted and looking rightward. Overall, the figure exhibits excellent fluidity of movement and has an alert and confident countenance. She looks great from every angle, as I think the pictures will demonstrate!

Sue comes with a base and can be attached and unattached thanks to pegs that fit into each foot. The pegs are plastic with metal interiors that should prevent them from warping or breaking off. My copy had some difficulty initially attaching to its base but once attached I was able to remove and reattach it easily. Sue stands decently without the base, but I wouldn’t display her without it for a prolonged period. The base is modeled to look like a dry forest floor, with a network of roots sprawling across it and larger branches scattered about. It is brown with a darker brown wash that brings out the finer details.

Sue comes with an articulated mouth, but it is unlike the articulated mouths you’re used to with other dinosaur figures. In most figures the jaw articulation is on the outside of the figure but here it’s on the inside. The jaw is articulated in such a way that when opened a portion of it slides down into the neck. It’s a novel way to articulate the jaw but it creates some unsightly seams where the lower jaw inserts into the neck and cranium. The seam running along the back of the head is somewhat unsightly too. It looks like a ventriloquist’s dummy, and that’s not a compliment. That said, having it in hand for over a week now, I’ve gotten over it, it is not as visually off putting in person as it appears in pictures, and the black paint helps conceal the seams. This is also the only real negative criticism I have about this figure.

A lot of criticism has been lauded over the head in general, which deviates greatly from the Jurassic Park inspired T. rex reconstructions we’ve been seeing for over 30 years now. And yes, even models by PNSO and Rebor take cues from that design, whether you want to admit it or not. Eofauna does something different here. The head is more fleshed out than most reconstructions, with no visible fenestra and a chubby cheeked and almost cute appearance, created by the musculature placed over the jugal region. There is absolutely no shrink wrapping here!

The figure possesses lips but what’s more notable is that the teeth are embedded deep within the gum tissue. This has led to complaints about the teeth being too small, but they really aren’t. Over on the blog I compared this figure to the extant crocodile monitor which has absurdly large teeth that in life can barely be seen. In fact, this figure appears to take a lot of inspiration from monitor lizards which makes sense to me, since they’re also large terrestrial reptilian predators. I will admit that criticisms about the teeth being too blunt are valid and some refinement would have been appreciated.

Perhaps more than any other company, Eofauna strives for realism in their figures. They aren’t trying to appeal to kids or the awesome-bro crowd, they’re trying to reconstruct prehistoric animals in a biologically plausible way. They have no need for monstrous embellishments like exposed teeth or angry brow ridges. For that reason, I think a lot of collectors are a bit taken aback by this figure. It’s just not the classic Tyrannosaurus they’re used to. But with so many virtually identical Tyrannosaurus figures out there I think this one is a breath of fresh air.

Past the head this is basically the same chunky tyrant we all know and love, and beautifully rendered too. Everything about the figure is appropriately robust and stocky, except perhaps the arms which are as pitifully small as they ought to be. The neck is deep and thick, the torso is rotund, the thighs are thick, the legs and tail are muscular, and the toes are amply padded to support the weight of the heaviest biped the world has ever seen.

Taking a closer look at fine details we see that the nostrils are placed right on the tip of the snout with a large portion of the nasal opening concealed within flesh, unlike most reconstructions that just leave the entire naris open and exposed. Labial scales are sculpted along the lips and large scales are present across the snout but elsewhere on the head and body the scales are small and pebbly, in keeping with Tyrannosaurus skin impressions. A shallow crest runs over the nasal bone and although brow ridges are present, they aren’t grossly exaggerated. Inside the mouth we see a sculpted tongue and open nasal passages on the roof of the mouth.

Although it’s hard to discern there is a patch of fine feathers along the neck and back. Wrinkled folds of skin are sculpted across the figure and most noticeable on the nape and underside of the neck, lower torso, and along leg joints. These conform nicely with the movement conveyed by the model. Bird-like tarsal scutes run along the toes. All bodily orifices are accounted for.

Now onto another issue of controversy among collectors, the paintjob. The figure is painted black over the face and black with gray bands along the back, which then transitions to a black chain-like pattern over a yellow torso. The underside is a solid dull yellow and the arms and legs are black. The chain pattern transitions to a striped pattern on the tail. I would have preferred it if the chain pattern continued down the tail but that’s my only criticism about the paintjob.

Although some have claimed that the paint job is too busy or unrealistic I find it to be quite striking and believable too. Once again, Eofauna appears to have taken inspiration from varanids, and this color palette brings the Nile monitor to mind in particular. Thinking about what the Hell Creek formation was like at the time of Tyrannosaurus, with a humid subtropical climate consisting of swamps, forests, and floodplains, I think these colors and a broken pattern would suit Tyrannosaurus well. Try to imagine the Eofauna T. rex in the Florida Everglades, hanging out in a swampy, densely planted forest, with dappled sunlight against its skin, and these color choices become far more realistic than simply brown on brown.

For finer details we get an orange strip highlighting the nasal crest and gray brow ridges. The eyes are orange with black pupils and although they are almost perfectly aligned on my copy, I’ve seen others where they aren’t. The inside of the mouth is glossy pink with a smattering of black speckles representing “hyperpigmentation”. It’s an odd choice but I think it’s neat. The teeth are white, but the paint application isn’t great, but with them mostly being concealed I can only imagine how difficult it would be to paint them precisely.

With other Eofauna figures.
With other Hell Creek critters. The PNSO Pachycephalosaurus and Ankylosaurus, and Safari Triceratops.
With the PNSO Alamosaurus.

The Eofauna Tyrannosaurus deviates greatly from the mental image most of us have of this animal to present a scientifically accurate and biologically informed figure unlike any other. This unique approach to Tyrannosaurus, along with some unusual jaw articulation, make the figure a bit of an acquired taste but once you’ve become accustomed to it, I think it will change your perception of this animal for the better, and make other recent efforts to make an accurate Tyrannosaurus pale in comparison. I applaud Eofauna for reinventing Tyrannosaurus in this way and think it should find a place on every dinosaur collector’s shelf. The Eofauna Tyrannosaurus is currently in production and while it retails for $50 on places like Amazon it’s $39.99 over on Dan’s Dinosaurs, who I would once again like to thank for supplying this figure.  

With the Safari Daspletosaurus and Albertosaurus, and PNSO Tarbosaurus.
With the Battat Tyrannosaurus.
With the Carnegie Tyrannosaurus.
With the Papo Tyrannosaurus.
With the Safari feathered Tyrannosaurus.

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Comments 12

  • Overall i like this figure. The tail is a bit leaner and longer than i would have expected; not saying it’s wrong, just not how i would have expected it to look.

    The figure is not nearly as girthy as the well known life size Sue reconstruction, which is a good thing in my view. That life size reconstruction is a bit over the top, in my view.

    I like the chosen colours. I find them to be unique and realistic….they’re just not striking, which is probably why there’s been some push back from people. The colours are an acquired taste, i warrant.

    Great review, Gwangi.

    Nice job Eofauna.

  • Great, balanced review.

    Here’s my take. The overall body shape is accurate, the skin detailing is excellent, and though the paint job is not my cup of tea – repainting a figure is not a problem for me if I really liked it – I can live with it.

    Eufauna also gets kudos for trying something new here – specifically the new type of mouth articulation. With the dark coloration it does make the figure look better when the mouth is closed than some other companies’ offerings.

    *However*

    The wider the mouth is opened, the more problematic the seams become. And then there is the unnatural-looking “perpetual smile” that appears to have been a concession to the new type of articulation. The teeth appear to be a bit blunted (a problem with the Eufauna Giganotosaurus as well). Companies like PNSO and Haolonggood have shown that teeth can be rendered sharp in PVC, so Eufauna is behind the curve here a little bit.

    So, the figure is an overall disappointment primarily due to the underwhelming mouth articulation and resulting “smiley” jaw shape. It tries, but fails to rise to the level of excellence shown by Haolonggood’s Daspletosaurus or PNSO’s “lipped” theropods.

    • Great comment. I was going to mention the blunt teeth but it slipped my mind (there was a lot to cover) so I’m happy that you remined me about it. When I get the chance I’ll edit it into the review.

  • I would get this figure if not for the seam at the rear of the head. That knocks this right off my list. It is still a decent figure, though.

    Torvo

    • I might just get a second one and have it modified to eliminate both the seam and the articulation. Probably keep the mouth permanently closed.

    • The seam at the rear of the head shouldn’t put you off to the figure. In some of those pictures I took i can’t even see it. Standing on a shelf, several feet away, I can’t see it either. I’m usually turned off by seams too but I’ve been increasingly finding it east to ignore them. The PNSO Cretoxyrhina and Livyatan have terrible seams but they’ve become two of my favorite figures.

  • A very positive, yet objective review, a good counterbalance to the predictable negativity of a few who race to find some basis to reject most figures that hit the market, including this one. The employment of yellow is reminiscent of the use of this color on the old , original Battat rexes from the 1990’s. Also, seeing the fully feathered Safari rex makes me wonder if and when Safari will come out with an unfeathered one again.

    • Thank you! Yes, it does give off original Battat T. rex vibes. I consider that a good thing as the original Battat paintjob is one of my favorites for T. rex.

  • This figure is a masterpiece. If I wasn’t content with the T. rex I have, or if dinosaurs were more of a focus, this one would be at the top of my list to get.

    I also really like the paint job on it, very plausible for a non-feathered rex.

  • Congratulations and job well done on your first Eofauna review! “Butcher,” as I call him, is now one of my very favourite Tyrannosaurus rexes. Truly, we are living in a golden age of dinosaur toys!

    https://flic.kr/p/2q1qzNK

    • Thanks! Yeah, it’s my new favorite T. rex too. The Battat had a long run though.

      • First we need to define “which” Battat TRex. If you are talking about the later “Tripod” (#3) TRex, I agree with you as that is an underwhelming figure where the sculpt design was compromised for balance. (The #2 “snowshoe” TRex attempt was abominable and deserves no comment).

        However, the Battat TRex #1 still to me has the most sublime pose and shape. True, its certainly “softer” on the details due to the limits of technology when the mould was made, but –

        From 3 feet away, bent over and about to snap up that Gallimimus I have posed under its open maw, it still grabs me like to no other company’s figure.

        In a way the coloration of the Eofauna TRex looks like a tribute to the Battat colors, which is proper and appreciated.

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