We’ve reviewed over 100 Tyrannosaurus toys on the Dinosaur Toy Blog, more than any other dinosaur species. T. rex is the dinosaur that keeps on giving! And so here’s one more for your consideration, the Tyrannosaurus ‘table-top’-sized skeleton by Boneyard Pets.
This puzzle consists of 31 pieces that slot together to form a 35cm (14 inches) tall Tyrannosaurus skeleton. If you’re not keen on the grey colour, there are many more to choose from. Once assembled, the model is sturdy and looks big and bold on a shelf. The creature’s head is turned about 45 degrees to the left. This small detail makes the model feel far superior to its balsa wood forebears, more dynamic, different. However the pose is otherwise remarkably similar: bolt upright and dragging its tail. This also makes the product appear retro. Or, to put it less politely, out of date.
The T. rex isn’t the only Boneyard Pet to suffer in this regard. Many are representative of how we thought dinosaurs looked a century ago, rather than how we perceive them in the 21st century. The sauropods drag their tails, the plesiosaur has a swan-like neck, the ‘pterodactyl’ (ostensibly a Pteranodon) has teeth, and the Dilophosaurus sits back on its tail. The Dilophosaurus also has a Jurassic Park-inspired frill, demonstrating Boneyard Pets’ willingness to incorporate fictional characteristics into their designs.
The legs in the T. rex are not reinforced as they are in the Triceratops, and so the tripod position is important to help keep the skeleton stable. However, the Spinosaurus and Velociraptor in this line have much more modern poses, with tails held aloft, which shows that the tripod tail isn’t an absolute necessity – so, no excuses.
Anatomical accuracy may not a deal-breaker for your average child or parent, but I expect more contemporary poses would boost sales amongst older children and collectors, who, generally speaking, care about these sorts of things. It would also set Boneyard Pets apart from their competition. I think the old-fashioned poses are the key reason they invite constant comparison with the balsa wood models that inspired them. There is no doubt that the quality and finish is far superior, but they are just so superficially similar that it’s difficult to get too excited about them.
My conclusion? If you like the balsa wood models, you’ll love these. Boneyard Pets are more about the construction process (see video above) and quality of material, than they are about the dinosaurs. As constructible 3D puzzles they are wonderful and have no obligation to strive for accuracy. However, it strikes me that there’s plenty of potential for Boneyard Pets to ‘evolve’ further in that direction. The T. rex is available from Boneyard Pets here.