Review and Photographs by Cretaceous Crab, edited by Suspsy
Before I begin this review, I’ll just say that I’m relatively new to the dinosaur model scene, so there may be things I am not looking for or may have missed. That said, this is an initial review of the product I received.
The packaging is fairly professional and designed well, including the figure itself and the accessories. Note that this is an unpainted kit, so I have no assessment of the paint quality of the other figures offered by this company. There were no loose pieces jostling about when I opened it, nor were there any missing pieces. Other than the diagram on the inside of the box briefly listing which joints are NOT to be disassembled, there were no instructions or accompanying paperwork. After looking over the figure, I perhaps may have appreciated more detailed instructions on how to interchange the accessories (more on that later).
The figure itself is well-made and very detailed. There were no little “nanners” from the mold, where it may have left random minuscule bits of resin, no scars, no signs of melting or disfigurement. The articulation level of this figure is impressive, especially as it is essentially the first of its kind (there are few dinosaur toys and figures out there in the market with any articulation beyond legs back and forth, necks moving up and down, and jaws that open and close. None that I am aware of have this level of articulation). On these figures, even the tongues move! As advertised, there are interchangeable toes for when the figure has its foot raised in a “strike” position, as opposed to a standing one. Most of the joints are not “loose,” staying firmly in place when posed, but the left shoulder is loose. I was also surprised to find that the tails are bendable. You can see that it is roughly equal in size to the Safari Ltd. 1993 Deluxe Velociraptor (painted to resemble the raptors in the Jurassic Park novel). This is actually one of the reasons I wanted this figure as to display them side-by-side.
This figure (and if I recall, all of them) comes with a base and stand. Definitely useful for posing a bipedal figure that otherwise would not stand up on its own, it shows foresight on the makers’ part when they were planning out this product. That said, it does not pose it as well as one may hope. It is still a little wobbly, and depending on the pose you want, you kinda have to set everything just so, hold your mouth right, and avoid heavy breathing to keep it from tilting or falling over altogether. Perhaps I am not doing it right, but there are no instructions either. An instruction pamphlet on how to ideally use the variable posing rods would be useful. I was initially of the impression that there was a small hole in the figure’s belly to insert the rod, but there is not. It is merely a U-shaped bar that the belly or pelvis rests on. Also, as you can see in one photo, one of the rods has some bubbles in it from the casting. This is purely cosmetic, and not something I am going to lose sleep over, but others may feel differently about it.
Now to the interchangeable parts . . . you can see in the one photo all the various accessories. Basically, you have six different heads, three different sets of “primary” wings, two “necks,” and three tails, all of which allow the user to create one of six different raptor species. Most of the parts are easy enough to change. The ones I had trouble with were the primary finger wings. You have to take off the hands and the primary wings insert into a hole in the hands. This was initially difficult, and since the primary wings are made of soft, rubber-like plastic, I feared ripping them or tearing them. It was only after noticing the diagram on the inside of the box that I saw how to actually get them off, and it was still a little unnerving with my concern of ripping them. So take care to do this on your own figure.
So to summarize, my main issues with this figure were the lack of detailed instructions on how to interchange the parts and how to use the posing rods optimally. The figure itself is awesome. It is $40.00 US, plus shipping. In my opinion, it is still worth it for the level of detail and articulation, especially for those who are die-hard dinosaur nuts and/or avid action figure collectors. Hopefully this was helpful for anyone considering purchasing one. I for one am eagerly looking forward to painting mine. I definitely will purchase the “set B” kit (which features different species in the series line) in the future.