Tyrannosaurus rex (1/18 Scale Kickstarter Exclusive)(Beasts of the Mesozoic by Creative Beast Studio)

4.8 (234 votes)

Marbhtach’s crimson eyes are fixed on Banrigh’s as he carefully lays the freshly caught pachycephalosaur still oozing life on the ground before her. Whereupon he slowly backs away, nodding his head and cooing softly with each step while Banrigh sniffs and scrutinizes his offering. And it must indeed be to her liking, for she enthusiastically yanks off one of the hind legs, flirks it into the air, catches it deftly in her mouth, and swallows it whole. Emboldened by her acceptance, Marbhtach rears to his full height, raises his humongous and handsome head to the heavens, inflates his throat, and emits a long, low, sensuous rumble. He also scrapes at the earth with his feet, creating a series of deep grooves. Banrigh gulps down the other leg, raises her head and rumbles back, then approaches Marbhtach and gently presses her bloodstained snout against his own. Success! The two engage in intimate nuzzling for several minutes before Banrigh turns back and resumes her repast. Marbhtach stays where he is and observes his new mate keenly, but patiently. 

Taking her sweet time, Banrigh removes the pachycephalosaur’s tail and sucks it down. Finally, she holds aloft the dripping torso, positions it so that only the unpalatable armoured head with its blankly staring eyes is protruding from her lips, severs it from the neck with one wonderful splintering crunch, and quaffs the rest while the head plunks on the ground with a dull thud. She turns to face Marbhtach, who nuzzles her again and gently removes a scrap of bone sticking to her chin. Whereupon the two of them stride off into the forest together in search of a cosy spot to engage in an even more intimate activity . . . 

*cue “At Last” by Etta James. Or “Closer” by NIN if that’s more your thing. Me, I love both of those songs.*

Just this simple image alone filled me with great excitement and joy.

‘Twas all the way back in 2018 that David Silva revealed that the planned third series of Creative Beast Studio’s Beasts of the Mesozoic line would consist of tyrannosaurs. Since then, fans have gotten to witness the project unfold step by step, with teasers, concept artwork, 3D sculpts, the Kickstarter, test shots, painted prototypes, package designs, inevitable delays, finished products, and finally, shipping. And now it’s 2023 and I am the proud owner of a Kickstarter Exclusive 1/18 scale Tyrannosaurus rex! Granted, I was a couple of years off in my initial prediction about when this figure would come out, but my older son is still in senior kindergarten as of this writing. 🙂 As with many of the prehistoric toys I’ve reviewed here on the DTB, I’ve bestowed a personal name on this one: Marbhtach (mare-AV-tock-AW), a small but proud nod to the Scottish heritage on my mother’s side.

Fortunately, this managed to just fit into the post office box!

When reviewing any BotM figure, it is quite necessary to begin with the packaging. And billions of blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon, is this one helluva packaging job or what? The box is positively humongous, measuring 46 cm x 21.5 cm x 33 cm. The front of the jacket features a magnificent piece of paleoart by Ezra Tucker, who was one of the artists behind the unforgettable box art for the Tyco Dino-Riders toyline back in the day. Naturally, this piece is inspired by the Rulon T. rex‘s box art. It depicts Marbhtach striding through an ancient landscape and turning his head sharply to the left as though he has just spotted something of great interest. Potential prey, possibly, or maybe an intruder in his territory. Or perhaps he and Banrigh has produced a litter of chicks and he’s calling to them to keep up with Dad. His overall appearance is a far cry from Tucker’s 1988 artwork, yet he still looks pleasingly retro at the same time. His arms in particular are oversized. Similarly, the conifers and palms and ferns surrounding him probably aren’t all that reflective of a real T. rex‘s Maastrichtian habitat, but they look cool all the same. Zdenek Burian, Charles R. Knight, and Rudolph Zallinger probably would have liked this piece. So would a great many contemporary paleoartists for that matter.

The sides of the jacket are styled to look just like Dino-Riders packaging, complete with grey, black, maroon, and pink bars and images of the figure inside and all its accessories against a red backdrop.

And on the back is a smaller image of Tucker’s artwork, a brief summary of the BotM Tyrannosaur series, and best of all, a biography of T. rex featuring a shot of the figure atop its base, again a la Dino-Riders.

Sliding off the jacket reveals the wonderful figure and its accessories secured in sturdy plastic backing.

On the back of the box is a checklist of the Wave 1 figures with David Silva’s concept renditions of the standard 1/18 T. rex, the lanky juvenile, the petite Guanlong, the bold Dilong, the shaggy Yutyrannus, and the exquisite 1/35 T. rex.

And finally, on the bottom, along with a list of the artists behind this product, is a cutout “Proof of Purchase 6 Point Value” seal. These seals were featured on the original Dino-Riders packaging and the idea was that you could collect them and mail them off along with a small fee in order to join the Dino-Riders Club, whereupon you would receive a set of collector’s cards, a membership card, an iron-on emblem, and an official newsletter. I never did join the club myself. The seal on this box doesn’t actually have any such value, but it’s a nice extra touch of nostalgia.

Looking at this mighty box, I am fondly reminded of my childhood experience with the Dino-Riders T. rex in 1988. I had been wanting it from the moment I saw it featured in ads, but when my mother and I finally came across it in a store, the price tag was a whopping $79.99 Canadian—far more than I had in my allowance, alas. But my mother, bless her, knew full well how badly I had been wanting it and very kindly paid the difference—on the condition that I would eventually pay her back, to which I readily agreed. And so it was that for about two or three weeks, I keep that unopened box in my bedroom. I scrutinized the toy and its accessories through the clear plastic sheet beneath the front flap constantly. I read and reread every bit of printed text printed on the sides. I would even carry the box around the house with me (which my father found somewhat irritating). And after I had paid back my mother and triumphantly liberated the toy and the rest of the contents, I kept that box around for quite some time before cutting off the front flap and allowing the rest to be thrown out. Said flap also ended up being discarded some years later, and I must confess that I now regret doing so (although as you saw already, I did retain the bio card!). It was a magnificent piece of artwork, after all. Not letting that happen again, though! I just have to figure out where in the household I can store this BotM box without it getting in the way or annoying my wife or getting wrecked by my boys.

Among the many contents of the box is a collectible BotM card. One side again features the Tucker artwork while the other has a photo of the figure atop its base and some brief information about T. rex.

Upon extracting Marbhtach and his accessories from their plastic backing, the first task was, as it always is with any BotM dinosaur, to attach his tail, and that, of course, requires heating up the ball joint where it connects to his body. A couple of minutes or so of immersion in very hot water works for this task, but given the sheer size of the patient in this case, a hairdryer is probably easier. And be sure to use a real hairdryer that blows the air out hot, not some two bit travel-sized one that can’t cut it no matter how long you keep it going for. And even once I had the plastic sufficiently softened, a good amount of force was still necessary in order to pop the tail on.

That feat of strength accomplished, the next step was to use the hairdryer on Marbhtach’s head, neck, torso, and all of his limb joints, including the ones on the alternative set of lower legs. Lastly, I carefully worked all the points of articulation, applying additional heat as needed. Patience and care are imperative for a figure this big and this expensive.

And big Marbhtach most certainly is! Positively Brobdingnagian! With his head facing forward, his body held horizontally, and his tail straightened out, this towering tyrant measures no less than 71 cm long, a little over 16 cm tall, and 9 cm wide at his rib cage. He is the biggest beast out of all the Beasts of the Mesozoic to date. As you’ll see a bit further down, he easily dwarfs most of the other T. rex figures in my collection. And he’s definitely the heaviest out of all of them, weighing in at a massive 3.83 lbs/1736 g. Have to say, when I began to seriously collect dinosaur figures almost 20 years ago, I never would have imagined then that I’d someday end up with such a prodigious plastic polypheme in my possession.

Life is good. 🙂

Now, anyone who knows their Dino-Riders history knows full well that the T. rex was coloured green and yellow in the cartoon, that it was coloured that way in all its appearances in packaging art, and that the prototype toy was coloured that way, but the actual production toy itself was not coloured that way at all. And no one seems to know the exact reason why. I honestly didn’t mind myself back in 1987 because I was just so psyched to own such an exciting T. rex toy, but I can definitely see why other fans were disappointed. And apparently David Silva was one of them, because he chose to give the 1/18 Kickstarter Exclusive a colour scheme inspired directly by the prototype version, albeit far more elaborate.

A thick, very dark green stripe begins atop Marbhtach’s cranium and runs down his neck, back, and tail all the way to the very tip. This dark green eventually gives way to a more medium shade of green along his flanks. This is followed by terracotta orange which in turn fades to a very light orange on his underside and shins, with faint dark wash to accentuate the skin texture better. His feet are brown-red with dark brown scutes and his claws are sandy yellow.

The same combination of green and orange shades can be found on Marbtach’s head. Grassy green is used for the armoured bits atop his snout and cranium. His nostrils are black and his eyes are blood red, just like those of the Dino-Riders T. rex whenever it was wearing a mind-controlling Rulon brain box in the cartoon. The inside of his mouth is a combination of glossy fuscia and watermelon and his teeth are glossy white.

HARNESS THE POWEEEEEEEEER OF THE EIGHTIES!

This colour scheme is fairly simple overall, especially compared to many of the BotM ceratopsians, but it definitely works. Not only is it a cool homage, but it looks also very plausible and realistic. And it would certainly enable a gargantuan predatory theropod living in forest and marsh environments to blend in better with its surroundings. It is also worth noting that Marbhtach’s colour scheme bears a resemblance to two superb pieces of T. rex art by John Gurche. One was featured in a 1993 issue of National Geographic and the other was done in 2000 to commemorate the installation of the famous “Sue” specimen at the Field Museum in Chicago. This similarity is probably just coincidental, as I seriously doubt Gurche was ever a big Dino-Riders buff, but it makes Marbhtach look even more magnificent in my book. I’ve always preferred this colour scheme to the standard one and the 1/35 Kickstarter Exclusive, although both of those are swell too.

So now that we’ve covered Marbhtach’s packaging, incredible size, and nostalgic colour scheme, let’s all enjoy some comparison images, shall we? First, here he is with esteemed representatives from Safari Ltd., PNSO, Battat, Invicta, Papo, CollectA, and Schleich.

Here he is with my other BotM figures.

Here he is with a couple of fellow titans.

And here is Marbhtach chatting with three of the Studio Series 86 Dinobots, because why the heck not?

“And that’s why me Grimlock will always be king!”

Let us now take a closer look at all of Marbhtach’s features, starting with his head. It’s got the correct T-shape to it, with a snout that narrows and then bulges, a massive and muscular mandible, and eyes placed high and angled forward in order to better gaze straight into your soul. Small though these peepers may appear, they were in fact among the largest of any land animal, as big as oranges, and capable of giving their owner a field of binocular vision of around 55 degrees, 13 times the field of a human. Out of all the gargantuan theropods, T. rex truly did have the most aspectabund as well as the most handsome visage.

“Oel ngati kameie.”

The scales on the head range from large ones around the mouth and the tip of the snout to very small ones over the fenestrae. There are also plenty of wrinkles to be found around the eyes and the nostrils. The rough nasal ridge, preorbital hornlets, and postorbital bosses atop the head are all beautifully defined. These may not look as fancy and hoity toity as the horns and ridges on Carnotaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Dilophosaurus, but they would have constituted some seriously powerful armament in intraspecific combat. Imagine a fully grown T. rex pounding towards a rival and then lowering his head at the last second to deliver a stunning, bone-breaking butt and you get the idea. Who knows, perhaps T. rex might even have occasionally used its hard head to stun or knock over hadrosaurs and ceratopsians. Gregory S. Paul has recently suggested that differences in postorbital bosses can be used to identify his proposed three species of Tyrannosaurus, but like many other people, I remain unconvinced. The jugal horns are also present on the cheek bones, although not as easy to spot at first due to them being coloured the same as the lips.

Yes, Marbhtach, along with all the other BotM tyrannosaurs, features lips which completely conceal his teeth when his mouth is closed. The debate over whether or not theropods had lips has been lengthy, intense, and frequently divisive, and to be perfectly blunt, I’m not at all interested in attempting to summarize all the arguments here, let alone debate them. But I will share what I consider to be a very good blog post on the subject by Scott Hartman and state for the record that I am in favour of lips, and will remain so unless someone makes a groundbreaking discovery that conclusively demonstrates otherwise. Putting aside the science, I just think theropods look cooler, more lifelike, and less monstrous with lips. And given how the majority of tyrannosaur figures up until recently have not had lips, I applaud David Silva for choosing to go this route. UPDATE 03/30/23: a research study published on this date concludes that T. rex and other theropods did indeed possess lips. Well, ain’t that most serendipitous?

Unsealing Marbhtach’s lips reveals the veritable abbatoir inside. The many teeth lining his iron jaws are correctly shaped and proportioned and very pointy, so much so that closing his mouth gently while one’s finger is inserted triggers an immediate pain sensation. Some of the teeth are only barely protruding from the gums and there are a few gaps between teeth as well, indicating that Marbhtach has been losing and replacing his primary weapons on a regular basis. His choanae are clearly visible on his palate, his tongue is short, flattened, and pointed, and the glossy paint used for his mouth really help give it a realistic appearance.

One of the best-known and most compelling reasons why T. rex was truly special among meat-eating dinosaurs is its utterly unequalled biting power, which has been supported by multiple research studies over the years. One such study from 2022 gave Allosaurus an estimated anterior bite force of 4,440 N and a posterior bite force of 9,389 N. For Spinosaurus, the results were 4,829 N and 11,936 N. Acrocanthosaurus had 8,266 N and 16,984 N and Carcharodontosaurus, which was nearly the same size as T. rex and had a slightly longer skull, had 11,312 N and 25,449 N. And what of T. rex itself? Well, its estimated anterior bite force was found to be 25,418 N and its posterior bite force was found to be 48,505 N! I do believe you can call that a decisive mic drop.

Marbhtach’s meaty Maastrichtian munchies.

Thick folds of loose skin form a large wattle over Marbhtach’s throat region and there are even thicker folds of skin covering the back of his vast neck. This is as good a time as any to address the absence of feathers on this figure. This topic is even more divisive than the lips one, and while both sides have their fierce and unyielding proponents, I think tyrannosaur expert Thomas Holtz still has the best, most realistic answer of them all: we simply don’t know. David Silva did ask for fan feedback back in 2018 on whether or not to include any integument on the tyrannosaurids, and I believe he consulted some paleontologists as well. He subsequently announced that they would not have integument, and while that decision didn’t sit well with some fans, it was his and his alone to make. BotM is his baby, after all. For my part, while I was and still am very fond of the shaggy tyrants from CollectA and Safari Ltd., my current thinking is that if T. rex and its kin did possess any feathers at all, they would have been very minimal indeed, similar perhaps to the amount of hair found on modern adult elephants. The absolutely fabulous AppleTV series Prehistoric Planet depicted T. rex babies with fluffy feathers and mature adults with filaments so small and sparse, one could be forgiven for not noticing them at all. Such integument would be nigh impossible to sculpt on a figure this size, but one can still always pretend that they’re there. Or not at all. It’s your choice.

Marbhtach’s torso is appropriately big and barrel-shaped and his tail is very long and thin at the end, but quite thick around the base. At a maximum known length of nearly 13 metres, T. rex was certainly not the longest theropod (that would indeed be Spinosaurus at around 14 metres), but it was the widest with a 1.6 metre rib cage and the heaviest at 8,870 kg/8.87 metric tons. By comparison, the latest published research on Spinosaurus gives it a mass of 7400 kg/7.4 metric tons.

Tiny, painstakingly carved scales cover the entirety of the body, along with large wrinkles on the flanks and along the top of the tail. It goes without saying that the scales are too large for a figure of this size. If anything, they’re close to the size of those found on a real T. rex! But hey, what can you do? If the scales really were the correct size, Marbhtach would appear to have completely smooth skin for the most part and seem and feel unfinished. And it can certainly be said that his scales are closer to the real deal than anything from the other top companies. It should also be pointed out that Marbhtach is by no means the beefiest rendition of T. rex to stride along. Indeed, I’d reckon he’s closer in appearance to Todd Marshall’s and Mark Witton’s interpretations than say, Gabriel Ugueto’s or the life-sized Sue statue from Blue Rhino Studio. Or Andrea and Wilson. But that’s certainly beefy enough.

Unlike his package artwork, Marbhtach has correctly proportioned arms. Quite Lilliputian they are, yet sculpted to appear muscular and terminating in sharp, curved claws on the thumb and index finger. Update 10/03/23: These claws are nearly the same shape and size, which is exactly what you’ll find on practically all T. rex restorations, from paleoart by renowned figures such as Julius Csotonyi to the skeletal restorations of Scotty and Sue. However, Thomas Holtz recently revealed on social media that mounted T. rex skeletons have traditionally used hand claw sculpts based on Allosaurus or other taxa rather than the actual ones. He also provided an image of a pair of hand claws from an immature specimen known as BMRP 2006.4.4. As you can plainly see, there is in fact quite a difference between the thumb and index claws! I’m not going to fault David Silva or any of the other CB artists one bit, as they were undoubtedly unaware of this. I certainly was!

T. rex thumb and index claws.

Anyway, the curvature of the hand claws, along with the fact that the muscles were strong enough to bench 400 lbs, have frequently generated speculation that T. rex‘s arms weren’t merely vestigial and were actually used regularly in some capacity. But given their very limited range of motion on top of their size, who is to say for certain? One thing that is certain, however, is that it was necessary for the arms to be so small in order for the head and neck to be so huge. Consider that arm muscles compete with neck muscles for attachment space around the chest and shoulders. Thanks to T. rex‘s arms evolving to become smaller, its neck was able to evolve to become thick enough and strong enough to support a ginormous head with jaws capable of crunching right through a Triceratops‘ frill like a toddler crunching through ginger snaps!

Finally, we come to Marbhtach’s legs. These are of the correct length and just as meticulously detailed as the rest of his anatomy, covered in scales and adorned with wrinkles, and bulging with muscle, especially the calves. The feet are also of the correct shape and size, and have been carefully crafted to ensure stability (more on that very soon!). The claws have faint grooves carved in their sides and the toes and the top of the feet are covered in rows of scutes, which has been pretty much par for the course in paleoart for a great many years now. Some have questioned whether theropods really did have them, but the confirmed presence of such scutes in Concavenator may indicate that these depictions are indeed accurate.

And that wraps up our journey through the wonderful world of the anatomy of Marbhtach, whew! So after all that, can he be said to be an accurate rendition of the one and only tyrant lizard? Well, yes and no. Yes in that he absolutely does reflect the most up-to-date ideas of how T. rex looked and he absolutely does possess a powerful, ferocious, and majestic mien. And no in that we will never, ever have a truly accurate rendition of T. rex or any other non-avian dinosaur. But that should never dissuade artists and toy companies from continuing to strive to make their best efforts all the same. And besides, just because paleoart is constantly evolving doesn’t magically erase the beauty and memorability of dated works. Look at how we still fondly recall the T. rexes painted by Zdenek Burian, Charles R. Knight, Ely Kish, and Rudolph Zallinger (that particular piece helped inspire the opening vignette of this review!) regardless of their glaring inaccuracies. I do firmly believe that Marbhtach here will always be remembered as one of the best T. rex models of all time.

Hold on, we’re not finished yet by a long shot! It’s time now to talk about Marbhtach’s articulation and poseability. His jaws open to roughly 30 degrees and his tongue is on a ball joint that allows it to raise and wiggle around. His skull can rotate to look from side to side–although far from 90 degrees–and can tilt upwards as well. And yes, doing so makes the seam between his crown and his neck resemble a hoodie, but it honestly doesn’t bother me. The ball-jointed neck can be rotated a full 360 degrees at the base in either direction and the arms have ball joints at the shoulders and universal joints at the elbows and wrists, meaning they probably have a greater range of motion than the real deal.

Marbhtach’s legs are ball-jointed at the hips and despite appearances at first, can be rotated forward well past his bulging rib cage. They can’t really be rotated back, though, and that’s actually a good thing, as all theropods were incapable of rotating their femurs beyond 90 degrees relative to the horizontal line of the pelvis. Any theropod that tried would have ended up with excruciating pain and probably a dislocated femur. The knees have universal joints, but the ankles and feet are completely solid in order to keep Marbhtach standing. And they really do a remarkable job of it, although naturally he can’t tilt too far forward or backward without losing balance. The soles of his feet have pegs holes for attaching him to his base.

Finally, Marbhtach’s tail is ball-jointed in three places, allowing it to be raised, lowered, and swung from side to side, although again the range of motion is somewhat limited. It can’t be curved in the shape of a letter C or an S, nor raised far up into the air. Nevertheless, you can get a pretty decent variety of lifelike and impressive poses out of this big chap.

And yes, Marbhtach can indeed be put in nearly the same mating pose as Hank from from the spectacular Prehistoric Planet series. What a sensual swooner he is! Unfortunately for him, I don’t plan on buying any other version of the 1/18 mould.

Marbhtach’s hollow, liver-shaped base measures a good 25.5 cm long from end to end and is 14.5 cm wide in the middle. It is sculpted to look like a chunk of dark red rocks with yellowish sandy patches and three dark brown wilted plant stalks. The base is composed of two sections held together firmly with an H-clip and each one has a stout metal peg for attaching Marbhtach’s feet.

Marbhtach’s alternative lower legs have universal joints at the ankles as well as at the knees and ball joints for connecting the feet, of which there are three sets, none with holes in the soles. One is just like his default feet, one has the toes extended forward and pressed together, and the last one has the toes bent. To remove the default legs, you just need to twist them around and pull hard, then pop in the poseable ones. Attaching the feet onto the ball joints may first require heating them for a bit with a hairdryer.

Now, due to Marbhtach’s sheer size, shape, and mass, it really isn’t advisable to try and put him in a freestanding active pose. The leg joints simply are not strong enough. You may be able to achieve certain poses for a little bit, but the figure is inevitably going to sag and collapse, and that’s really not something you want to be doing considering the price tag. Instead, you need to keep one of Marbhtach’s default lower legs attached and connect it firmly to the base. And as you can see, quite a number of dynamic poses are indeed possible. With a little bit of imagination and a good bit of patience, you can achieve all four Fs (feeding, fighting, fleeing, and fornicating).

Naturally, you need to orient your figure carefully on the base in order to achieve the right balance. And it’s probably not a smart move to leave it in a pose like the one directly for an extended period of time. The base is big, but it’s not heavy. Better safe than sorry!

“Dontcha ever get tired of losing all the time?”
“. . . yes. I do.”

Unlike smaller BotM theropods, Marbhtach doesn’t come with a clear plastic support rod (it would have to be a very big and sturdy one). However, I’ve been successful in crafting one out of my trusty clear LEGO bricks, with a 4 x 4 tile piece as the base.

Marbhtach’s hips admittedly don’t look very pretty when his legs are rotated forward, but the way I figure it, this was the only way to engineer such a figure. I’m sure David Silva did his best and I’m also sure he’s going to continue working to refine his theropod designs going forward. And generally, seams on action figures don’t bother me when they’re for articulation.

And that at very long last brings us to the conclusion of this, my biggest review to date by far. After all the wait and the excitement, has this 1/18 scale T. rex proved to be worth it? Well, first let me emphasize that it especially out of all the BotM products is most definitely not intended for young ones to play with. This is a highly expensive, rather delicate, and very heavy prehistoric model that can easily get damaged or cause damage to someone due to carelessness. No, this here tyrant monarch is intended strictly for dedicated dinosaur enthusiasts in their late teens and up (I’m not entirely sure I would have been responsible enough for one at age 15). Moreover, if you didn’t pledge for it in the Kickstarter, then don’t expect to find it available now from Creative Beast or Big Bad Toy Store or any other online shops. I fear you will have to resort to scouring the likes of eBay or Facebook Marketplace instead.

With that all out of the way, I can now state emphatically that yes, Marbhtach has indeed proved to be worth it. I love his huge and imposing size; it definitely makes him stand out on the shelf and feel bang for buck. His colour scheme is pleasing to the eye even without the homage factor and perfectly plausible for the real animal. He boasts top notch sculpting all over, to the point where you can almost feel the exhaustion that must have come from painstakingly sculpting all those teeny tiny scales. And as far as accuracy is concerned, Marbhtach is a slam dunk, a touchdown, a home run, and a hole in one in my book. Sure, there’s some speculative aspects about him, but that’s paleoart for you. His articulation and poseability may not be quite as extensive as some had hoped, but all things considered, it’s damned impressive. I personally prefer keeping him in a simple standing pose with his tail raised and his head held high and turned to one side anyway.

I know I’ve said this about other T. rex figures in the past, but Marbhtach is hands down now my favourite of the lot. It’ll be very challenging indeed for any company to come out with something that comes close to rivalling him (but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try). My heartiest thanks go out to David Silva and everyone else at Creative Beast Studio for all the hard work, dedication, and passion they put into this endeavour. And keep in mind that their next big series, Cyberzoic, will include another version of the 1/18 T. rex and a snazzy-looking suit of high tech battle armour that will be sold separately. Me, I’m not interested in owning two ginormous tyrants, but I’m definitely going to snag the armour! The Kickstarter is set to launch on October 3 of this year.

These are all titles well worth acquiring!

In closing, I wish to briefly address the oft-expressed complaint that Tyrannosaurus rex is somehow oversaturated, overexposed, and overshadowing all other extinct organisms. I fully admit that I am biased here, but I really don’t perceive it as being any more overexposed than present day hypercarnivores like the African lion and the great white shark. It lives up to its hype in that no other theropod, not even those that rival it in size, can match its sheer power and undeniable charisma. It’s a bona fide pop culture icon that symbolizes prehistory much the same way that Darth Vader symbolizes Star Wars and Batman and Spider-Man symbolize DC and Marvel Comics respectively (and on that note, the very first superhero in the Marvelverse was a T. rex!). It has done immeasurably more good for paleontology and for the prehistoric toy industry than any other animal. In short, it deserves its fame and its popularity. Or as paleontologist Darren Naish puts it in his recent book Dinopedia (yet another highly recommended title):

The substantial number of rex-themed studies that have appeared over the last few decades imply that this animal is over-studied relative to other non-bird dinosaurs. A fairer appraisal would be that its extreme nature—it’s one of the biggest bipeds of all time, has the strongest jaws, biggest teeth, biggest eyes and so on of all land-living animals ever—make it an inevitable object of study, a “model organism.” And its stupendous fame, popularity, and universally known name certainly help when it comes to pitching a funded study.

“Mercy! Mercy, we beg you!”
“Please! We didn’t even do anything!”
*burp* “Whazzat? Coulda sworn I heard squeaking just now. Ah well!”

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Comments 33

  • I’ve updated my review to include a surprising bit of information regarding the hand claws! Just scroll till you get to the closeup images of the arms.

  • After consideration, I’ve deleted the quote from Emily Willoughby in this review and replaced it with some thoughts of my own, which is what I should have done in the first place. She may be a talented and insightful paleoartist, but it’s come to my attention that she’s said and done a great many things over the years pertaining to the subject of race, things which I consider to be utterly abhorrent, especially given that I myself am of mixed race. I regret not paying closer attention in the first place, but it’s not too late to correct my mistake. If you wish to know more, you can check out this link:

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Emily_Willoughby

    And if for some reason you dislike or don’t agree with my decision, well, too bad.

  • bonjour le spinosaurus mesurait problablement de 14 à 16 m de longueur pour les plus grand individus pour un poids de 8 à 10 tonnes car ces os étais assez denses en plus de sela ne devrais pa vous chauqué car c’est un annimal semi aquatique donc non le tyranosaurus rex n’étais pas le plus lourd theropodes sinon toute les autre chausse que vous avez son bon.

    • Non, je crains que ces deux déclarations ne soient incorrectes. Les dernières recherches ont montré que le Spinosaurus ne pesait pas plus que le Tyrannosaurus rex et qu’il n’était pas un dinosaure aquatique. J’ai inclus le lien dans mon commentaire.

      https://elifesciences.org/articles/80092

      • Désolé mais les os du spinosaurus plus sa morpholofie montre clairement cette animal était un dinosaure semi aquatique ces os sont dasse comme la plus part des animal vertebre semi aquatique donc dans ces spinosaurus aurais pu avois un poids de 8 et 10 tonnes pour une taille entre 12,5 M et 16 m DE longueur en plus de sela l’environne ou il abitais montre claire que cette animal devrais sertaine fois se déclasser dans l’eau pour ce nourrire cela n’ai que se que je pense de l’animal

        • N’avez-vous pas lu cet article de Sereno et Henderson que j’ai posté ? Ils abordent directement et en profondeur les os et la morphologie du Spinosaurus et concluent qu’il n’était pas semi-aquatique. Au contraire, ce n’était pas du tout un très bon nageur. Ils ont également calculé qu’un adulte pesait environ 7400 kg, ce qui est moins que Tyrannosaurus rex et Giganotosaurus. C’était peut-être le théropode le plus long, mais ce n’était pas le plus lourd ni le plus puissant.

          • merte mais spinosaurus reste un animal semi- aquatique je vous ai déjà dit que pour moi le spinosaurus reste le plus grand theropode avec ces 7500 – 11 000 kg

          • Except Spinosaurus didn’t weigh anywhere close to 11,000 kg. Nor was it anywhere near as physically powerful as Tyrannosaurus rex or Giganotosaurus. This has been pointed out to you in the past. You need to stop pretending that your personal desires amount to or outweigh published science.

          • et pour moi c’est aussi le plus puissants des theropode désolé mais on aublige pas une personne à être d’alors avec vous mais sela me semble logique car spinosaurus était semi-aquatique ce qui signifie qu’il avait besoin de muscles puissant pour ce déplacer et ce défendre, chassé et autre ..

          • quand je réfléchir le modèle de tyrannosaurus rex le plus precis scientifiquement et le tyrannosaurus rex de pnso car il a pas lèvres je vous rappelle que les lèvres n’ont pas de preuve suffisamment dicte pour que ce soit scientifiquement correct beaucoup de paléontologue ne sont pas d’accord avec le nouveau article en plus donc les lèvres sont pour l’instant imprécis scientifiquement en réalité

          • Actually, the majority of palaeontologists are presently in favour of lips on theropods. Again, you need to stop pretending that what you personally desire is what science actually supports. These patronizing comments of yours are frankly becoming a bit tiresome.

  • Totally amazing T. rex!

  • I chose this figure as one of my favorite collectibles.

  • Beautiful review, such a lovely read. Thank you!

  • This was clearly a labor of love for you, your magnum opus. Well done! Of the recent batch of T. rex figures (Rebor, PNSO, etc.) this one is the best, and perhaps the best T. rex ever produced in plastic.

  • Maybe it’s just me but…

    While the BOTM Rex IS the most accurate so far, the old Buck TLW Rex in comparision LOOKS more accurate via its sheer bulkiness. I know that most of that is due to how it needed places for movement, but to me, it slightly compromises the product.

    It’s still impressive, just a bit more flawed to me then most.

    • The TLW Bull is appropriately bulku, especially compared to Mattel’s scrawny wares, but that’s really its only strength as far as accuracy is concerned. Its arms are too large, its feet are outrageously too large, and its head has the “angry” brow ridges and is too deep.

      And as I noted in the review, we now know that T. rex was beefier than we thought back in the 90s, but we’ll never know precisely how much. Witton, Marshall, and Paul’s depictions of T. rex aren’t as beefy as Ugueto’s and Blue Rhino’s, but that doesn’t make them wrong.

      • I know. I guess it’s just me wanting a big ol’ bulky Rex again. The Super Collosal T. rex is pretty good, but overdoes it by being a bit too large. (I still love it though.)

        I guess I’m still waiting for “that one toy” a bit longer then most.

        • Don’t get me wrong, I love the LW Bull. I’ve had mine since 1997 and while I took good care of him all that time, I’m more impressed with him now that he belongs to my boys. He can handle being played with roughly far better than any Mattel rex. He’s been slammed against floors, thrown across rooms, and tumbled down the stairs a couple of times and he’s still in good condition. Electronics still work fine too!

          • I know. I got one myself at my local flea market under 8 years ago. It’s in pretty good shape.

            Again, I guess I’m looking for the “right one”. Something that’s durable, playable, and at fairly accurate. As much as I love both versions of Wild Safari Feathered T. rex, Rebor’s KISS/Gene Simmons T. rex, and this BOTM Rex (I have both Feathered Rexes and the Rebor Rex.), I ultimatly consider most modern non-JP/JW T. rexes to be too well made to be played with.

    • I suspect the extent of T. rex ‘bulkiness’ is something that will change over the years as new information comes in….even now there are varying opinions, as pointed out. When I first saw David’s sculpt, I was surprised it wasn’t more bulky but put it down to the fact the figure was already very large and adding more bulk to it would correspondingly add to the already significant weight of the figure.

      To my eye, the bulkiness of this T. rex figure looks good. I’m still not sold on the idea that T. rex was huge and waddling, like the life size Sue restoration portrays. But maybe they were….we may never know for sure.

      The body of T. rex changed dramatically during its life, almost like it became totally different animals as it aged. It went from being a small agile predator, to a medium sized apex predator to, perhaps, in its final years, a huge bulky beast that was not able to hunt well due to its large girth that made its living by bullying smaller T. rex from their kills. Or perhaps as the head of a pride of T. rex with the smaller ones doing the hunting and it responsible for protection from other similar sized T. rex.

  • Shane, these guys will be around for a looong time. Can only tell ya that if you manage to acquire even the very substantial 1/35 Rex one o’ these days, you’ll be ecstatic enuf! Good things come to them that wait, they say.

    On another note: having just pored over a book on conventional toy figure sculpting, it’s fascinating to see what the digital sculpts by David & his collaborators now make possible. If you look at Supspy’s beautiful CU frontal pic, you’ll see that the texturing meets its mirror image right at the center. This is no criticism; the details are so exquisite, they never fail to gobsmack the eye wherever you may look. David’s choice here doubtless saves massive time & expense (much like the interchange of body parts among figures), thereby making these amazing pieces that much more accessible to regular folks like us.

    • I have no doubt I’ll be able to acquire one of the T-rex variants, even my local comic shop got plenty of ceratopsians and there’s always the BoTM website. But this Dino-Riders homage was Kickstarter exclusive, and the aftermarket prices have nearly doubled from the original pledge amount, unfortunately.

  • As someone who went through an “I’m sick of T. rex” stage during my childhood and teens, figures like this go a long way to remind me of how remarkable the animal truly was – especially when free of certain pop culture shackles. The 1/35 version of this sculpt is one of the finest figures in my collection.
    Thanks for the hearty and entertaining review of this spectacular release!

  • This figure is much better than I thought it was, and the feared ‘hoodie’ is unnoticeable.

  • Every time I see this figure I am filled with regret. When the kickstarter was up I was in the process of moving and buying a house and needed to save every penny, so $200 dinosaur pledges were not in my budget. But man I wanted this guy.

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