Tyrannosaurus “Retrosaurus” (Rebor)

4.8 (49 votes)

A long waiting time ended, but eventually another King joined the collection.

According to Rebor, Tyrannosaurus rex figures are the bread and butter for any dinosaur toy producing company. Basically every company has this species in their portfolio (well, with the exception of Eofauna as of yet), ofttimes with multiple figures. The choice of models is manyfold. Some are more accurate than others, some somewhat beautifull, some ugly, but almost all have their fans. While good ol` T. rex is basically instantly recognizable for even the most dinosaur distant person, selling modern figures may still be a challenge as there probably will be a certain expectations of the customers to fullfill.

Instead of reinventing the wheel with a new design, Rebor dared to look back several decades and release a small product line of vintage dinosaur figures. While these figures certainly have their fans, they were as of yet only available for collectors with kinda deep pockets. Now, the once mentioned 30ish price range was exceeded, but not too stretched and here I want to introduce you to the one I choose, the so christened “Mesozoic Rhapsody _Valley”.

As the title and intro suggests, this is a Tyrannosaur figure. Now, a short look will tell you, that this may be anything, but not a T. rex. Right so, we only know it is supposed to be a Rex because the box says so and this it does, because the figure is basically an authenthic 3D rendering of a famous Charles R. Knight painting, dating back a hundred years or so. A few minor changes have been made by Rebor, but in all it is as if it had just stepped out of that canvas.

This vintage style figure is one massive hunk of plastic. In direct line from snout to tail tip it measure approximately 33 cm, stands a proud 21cm high and reclaims 29 by 12 cm of shelf territory. As it is not hollow, it also is of considerable weight. The plastic (PVC I guess) is very rigid but probably rather bends than breaks. It may be a bit costly for a dino toy figure, but it may well serve as a toy. The claws on the feet are quiet pointed, but my 80`s Godzilla monster also had these and I survived my childhood without serious injuries. However, Rebor`s Mesozoic Rhapsody is surely not intended as a child`s toy but is intended for the adult collector.

As with all Rebor products (at least the ones I own) “Valley” does not fall short on details. The sculpt is just good and perfectly fits this figure. Strong muscles are covered by a leathery skin, that boasts the right ammount of wrinkles and folds you´d expect from a long gone reptilian overlord. And this reptilian features is really where the figure shines. The boxy head with the broad cheeks and the large scales is (and clearly was) inspired by the Green Iguana´s impressive appearance. However, the skull is also authentic to early restorations of T. rex where the skull was reconstructed with Allosaurus material as a model. Accordingly to the reptilian look the mouth shuts tight unlike with your usual teeth baring theropods of our days. The articulated mouth houses rows of sharp teeth of varying size which look as if carved from real enamel. While the jaw does not open very wide (though wider than shown on these images) it still gives an impressive look. Another point of articulation are the three fingered arms. The tail requires assembly to the body by just plugging it on. The gaps at the tail, arms and jaw are visible but not very disturbing as they fit quite nice into the wrinkled look.

The paint job is simple but well applied and the golden eyes with the reptilian brows bestows the King Lizard the proud and menacing look you´d expect from such a vintage monsters. That being said, the paint job sure does not resemble the look that the box art suggests. While the grey is overlain with a faint mauve hue, it certainly lacks the vibrant intensitiy of the official product images.

Whoever would want to ask for scientific accuracy is clearly in the wrong field here. As a hommage to long outdated paleoart Rebor just knocked it out of the park. If you do not mind the shortcommings of the paint job in terms of color selection and the fact, that its size makes it difficult to find a proper opponent, but instead have a heart for an authentic retrostyle tyrant lizard, I highly recommend this figure.

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Comments 15

  • :/ mine is all grey with very feint purple wash. I thought they all turned out that lacking in color.

    • I was unpacking last night(I moved) and this guy was the first one I unboxed. Love the look of this figure; it poses well next to King Kong.

  • I just find it ironic how that vintage T. rex got the part about T. rex having lips right the whole time and it’s only now that it’s considered valid.

  • Wonderful review of this interesting figure.
    Definitely something worth adding to a collection for it’s representing something historical.

  • I can’t help but love this thing. It looks sooooo good.

  • Thanks for all your comments, folks.

    The backdrop on most of the images is just two cut out art works by Zdenek Burian. I salvaged one old book which I had double and there`s lot of landscape artwork in there which makes nice backdrops for Permian to Pliocene.

    The small diorama box was just recently built up by me and my son, it`s from a diorama book by Matthew Kalmenhorst which includes a Cretaceous and a Jurassic diorama. I got it via abebooks for a small dollar.

  • This is incredible–I’ve gotta find one!

  • A really well written blog
    Enjoyed it very much. These figures are timeless, and anyone, including myself would be happy having them in my collection.
    Best regards.

  • Original work by Rebor, based on vintage dinosaur models. Honestly, it is a figure worth having any collector. The painting of the figure could perhaps have been improved.

  • Also, damn. I had that paper diorama along with all the cutout dinosaurs way back when I was a kid in the early 1980s! You must have taken bloody good care of yours for it to still be around!

  • With this figure, Rebor has taken a bold stride into a restricted, but unique niche. Well done – it will be interesting to see how they extend their offerings into this retro world.

  • I love it. It reminds me a little of the Gwangi. I’m going to try and pose it with the 1933ish NECA King Kong and see if that works well.

  • Excellent review. This is the first Rebor product I genuinely like.

  • I love the Knight-style reconstruction. I really do. But looking at those close-up headshots makes me that much more irritated with Rebor’s standard “angry look”. Why, man? It’s unnecessary!

    p.s. love the background, where’s that from?

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