Toyway produced eleven dinosaur figures (and an illusive twelfth) to accompany the BBC TV series ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’. I recall my eyes bulging out of their sockets when I first came across these gems in a toy shop in Bath. I was visiting the town with a group of fellow palaeontology students, and the shop owners were baffled when their entire stock of Utahraptors were wiped out in the space of five minutes by a bunch of excited and grinning young adults. I later completed my collection (minus that illusive twelfth figure – an Ornithocheirus that was never sold commercially) in the Natural History Musuem, London, where I got my hands on the rarer Liopleurodon (reviewed here).
The species in this series represent some of the major players in the TV series and are based on the actual models that were laser-scanned for the series. This makes them completely identical to the on-screen versions and means criticism of the toy is a criticism of the depiction of the species in the show. It also explains why the poses are uninspired and stiff. Here I’m going to take a look at the Tyrannosaurus rex.
These are great figures with plenty of colour and character. Well, maybe not colour in the case of the T. rex, which is basically black and white, although it does have a spiffing red throat and evil red eyes. I believe there is a different colour variant of the T.rex with red blood around its chops. At least, I’ve seen this in several photos of apparently different figures. I’m presuming it is not just a customisation.
I always thought the Walking with Dinosaurs Tyrannosaurus was a little leggy and this is also true in the Toyway toy. The animal is standing only on it distal tarsals, so visually it looks almost like the animal has been endowed with an extra joint in its lower leg/foot. This also causes the figure to lean backwards so the spine slopes backwards.
Probably as a consequence of the unusually articulated pes, its right foot has a ‘rock’ moulded onto it for support. The Tyrannosaurusis the only figure in the line to have this addition. However, it doesn’t really work so they need not have bothered – it still doesn’t stand without support for more than a few seconds. This makes taking photographs of it challenging, but the plastic is pliable enough that it can be bent into the correct shape briefly, before it slowly reverte back to its original distorted form. This problem with balance is a problem with all the bipedal dinos in the line.
The legs and arms positioned are side by side, the tail is straight, and the head faces straight forward. Nothing too exciting or adventurous here, but we have seen the reason why.
All in all, this is an accurate representation of the Walking with Dinosaurs Tyrannosaurus. At 25 cm long ut is a good size and looks good on a shelf – if you can get it to stand.
The Walking With Dinosaurs figures are no longer in production so they can difficult to find. They were predominantly released in the UK so they are most frequently found on Ebay UK, but sometimes on Ebay US