Review and photos by Bokisaurus, edited by Suspsy
Today we are going to review a very special figure. Very few prehistoric figures are as famous and as highly sought-after as Battat’s. Rightly so, as they were beautiful and scientifically accurate models, with many new species introduced in addition to the old favorites. As far as I know, the Battat line was the the only one that also consistently used a single scale, 1:40, for all of their large figures. To date it is also the only line of prehistoric that is exclusively focused on dinosaurs. There are no other prehistoric animals in the collection.
It was said that towards the end of the production in 2000 that artists Dan LoRusso and Greg Wenzel were ready to add some pterosaurs, marine reptiles, and mammals to the line. Unfortunately, the collection was discontinued and these new planned additions never made it past the concept phase. The large figures were so popular that they often overshadowed another series: the miniature sets that was released around 1998. I have reviewed these sets previously here. These miniature versions are rarer than the large ones and often harder to find. There is one figure that was thought for a long time to be a rumor and remained shrouded in mystery for years: the Battat mini Tyrannosaurus rex. It is the subject of this review, and the rarest of the Battat figures.
Like many collectors, I was not aware at first that this toy even existed. Before I found and joined the DinoToyForum, I joined a collectors’ site where I met some other dinosaur toy enthusiasts. One of the rumors that was swirling around at that site at that time was the existence of a mini Battat T. rex and a Diplodocus. There were unconfirmed “sightings” of the mini rex, but like many mysteries, there were no photos to prove that it existed. Then a not-so-great photo of a figure in a bag appeared that seemed to confirm that it did indeed exist. The photo was hard to make out, and many collectors believed that if it was indeed made by Battat, then it was a prototype. It was not until I joined the DTF that I finally got confirmation that the mini T. rex actually did exist! When clear photos of the figure finally surfaced from one lucky collector, the great hunt was on for many of us who hoped to acquire it. Alas, it has proven to be so rare that hardly any were ever offered on eBay. I remember religiously sifting through the site daily in the hopes of finding one. Then a handful of them did find their way to auction, but this discovery made it even worse as I watched in great sadness and horror as these few gems’ prices climbed to astronomical heights, one after the other. The highest I have seen sold for over $300! And then there were none. It seemed that as quickly as these few toys had materialized, they vanished once again.
Let’s take a look at this rare and elusive figure. This little guy is about 4” inches long stretched out and stand roughly 2” inches tall. As you all would recall, the large version was plagued with stability issues, so much so that it had three different sculpts to try and correct this unfortunate problem. This miniature is clearly based on the third version, the one that was re-sculpted to trim off some weight off the head, as well as orienting the tail downward in a tripod pose. So this little guy does not have stability issues, in fact, he can actually stand very well on just his own two feet.
With the original version of the large figure
Other than the pose, this toy is very much like its larger counterpart, right down to the shape of the head. There is really very little noticeable difference, which is consistent with the rest of the miniatures. The only minor differences are in some of the accent colors.
With the re-issued Terra figure, which the small one is based on.
The colors on this little figure are darker than the large version. Where the large figure is more of a lighter bluish-gray tone, this one is more of a dark bluish-gray. It has the same yellow striping as the large figure. The eye ridges are colored dark brown, while in the large version, they are reddish-brown. The inner cheek, gums, and tongue are colored dark purple on the miniature, while on the large one they are lighter purple. The eyes on both versions are the same colors.
So why is this figure so rare? The main reason for its scarcity is that this figure had a very limited run, with very few were produced. It’s really surprising that with such low numbers, it was even released at all. I am not entirely sure how they were distributed or sold. Like the figure, information about it, even in this age of Google, is few and far between. There simply isn’t that much about it out there. I do know that it was produced around 1998, just over a year before the entire line went extinct.
With the Terra and original large figures
Unlike the other miniatures, the T. rex was released as a single piece. There were rumors that it was supposed to be paired with the mini Diplodocus. Of course, we now know that there is no mini version of the Diplodocus. We may never know if there were ever plans for it.
With the rest of the miniature Battats
Although its existence is now proven, this little guy is retaining some of his original mystery. I wish that I have asked Dan for any info about this figure, because surely he would have had some insight. After almost a decade of hoping, dreaming, and searching for this miniature, I was offered a very rare opportunity to finally own this most elusive of the Battat figures. A kind and generous fellow collector offered to trade his for one of the figures I have in my own collection. It was an offer I simply could not resist. I am forever grateful for his generosity.
Family happy meal (with CollectA’s Triceratops corpse)
Well, unless Battat decides to release the remaining repaints and 2015 toys, I can say that with this review, I think we have finally reviewed the entire collection! Hope you enjoyed the review, till next time, bye for now!