Edited by Dinotoyblog.
The National Geographic Society is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and historical conservation, as well as the study of world culture and history. The society has many outlets to its name, including a magazine, and a cable network on television, so it is highly regarded among the general public. There is also a myriad of educational products available to the public with the National Geographic name labeled on them. The National Geographic Wild Life Wow toy line is one such line of products. This collection was once sold by a different company called Discover with Dr. Cool, packaged in boxes, but for some reason they are now sold under the National Geographic label instead, with just a tag to go with them. The line consists of replicas of wildlife, sea life, and of course dinosaurs, with the main gimmick being that each model’s tag can be scanned with an app. I do not wish to download the app so don’t expect any info regarding that in today’s review. Speaking of the tags, the only way that you can tell which dinosaur you have is by reading its name on the tag, because the only marking on the toy itself is the words “MADE IN CHINA”, stamped on the belly of the figure.
Products with National Geographic name on it carry some hefty baggage, as the general public holds them with high regard. With that in mind, you would expect the dinosaurs would have some serious research put into them. However, since this line was once distributed by Discover with Dr Cool, and judging by some of the other products listed for the line on Amazon, they are a mixed bag in terms of accuracy. The subject of today’s review, however, is potentially one of the better ones.
As you can tell, this model is Tyrannosaurus rex, and it is a well constructed model made for kids. The material consists of a soft squishy (almost rubber-like) plastic with arms and legs made out of a harder, more ‘solid’ material. The model is also posed in a dynamic roaring stance and stands fairly well on two feet. Basically, this is a good T. rex toy. To get on with the positives, the skin detail is surprisingly immaculate, and is adorned with various little scales and wrinkles, while the claws on the feet and hands are rather sharp. There is also a cloaca opening under the base of the surprisingly well-muscled tail, and the size of the model (about 13 inches long) puts it close to 1:35 scale.
Really, the only problems with this model are in the head and arms. The arms are a bit too long and pronated, and the head is clearly based on the Jurassic Park T. rex, complete with the ‘angry eyebrows’. However, this only becomes clear when you view the head of the model from the side. When you view it from the front, the other problems with this model’s head become apparent. The head is simply too wide to have the animal’s signature binocular vision, and therefore not very accurate to the real, or even JP version of a T. rex. Since this figure has an open mouth, I thought I should point out that the tongue is the only detail sculpted inside of it, with no other details sculpted on the roof of the mouth or back of the throat. This may be due to the squishy material the model is made out of, but i find it hard to believe, because the rest of the model almost rivals Safari Ltd with its detailing.
Moving on to the colors, there is almost no need for a description as one look at the pictures is enough to tell you what to expect. A majority of the model is brown, with darker brown stripes on the back, legs, neck and lower jaw. There is some light tan painted into the model, but it is only visible between the scales. When it comes to the head, the eyes are yellow, and the inside of the mouth is maroon with a glossy finish. Also, the teeth are white, and the claws are black, but that’s to be expected from a dinosaur toy in this day and age.
Overall, this could have been a model with a potentially high accuracy rating, if the sculptor did not resort to Jurassic Park for inspiration on the head. It doesn’t help matters that this model comes with a tag labeled with National Geographic on it, which is held in high regard amongst the general public. However, I do not think it is their fault, or even Discover with Dr. Cool’s fault either, as those two companys may only distribute these toys. As I pointed out earlier in the review this does not appear to be one of the worst models in the entire collection. The model may have been influenced by Jurassic Park, but there are some details that you just don’t see that often from a dinosaur toy like this, for instance, the cloaca opening under the tail. Honestly, this should be considered as a nice toy for kids to bash around with, instead of a scientific replica to display among the likes of Safari and CollectA.
If you wish to buy this model, there are two options that I know of. Your first option is to buy it off of Amazon, which lists it along with the other models in the collection on the same page. Your other option is to find this in a physical store, and the only store I know of that sells this, is Hobby Lobby, but I’m sure there is a museum or two that stocks these in their giftshop.