Posts Tagged 'models'

More fun with toys

A couple of weeks back I posted about the little Zhuchengtyrannus model from Japan I got through the post. I managed to get in touch with the company responsible and asked if I couldn’t buy a few more copies from them for my colleagues. Instead they were kind enough to send me a complete set of the model series to which ZT belongs and I thought I’d share them.

They are (top to bottom and left to right): Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Allosaurus, Yutyrannus and Sinoceratops. Sadly it seems though my little tyrannosaur has the least consistent paint job going as the rest all seem to be a little better done, and the colours etc. are a bit more consistent. I really like their T. rex, though the green mohawk looks very out of place, and bizarrely the Yutyrannus model has the eyes painted in the antorbital fenestra, but overall they are still a nice set. One really cool thing is that the Allosaurus comes with a replacement tail that also attaches to the Stegosaurus and the bases also interlock so you can create an alternate tableau:

Dinosaur graveyard

Not a mass burial site I’m afraid, just a little linky to a nice online gallery of yet another random dinosaur park. The twist this time is it’s an abandoned one from what was East Berlin where the models have been left to rust and rot. Beautifully shot and rather sad and fun at the same time.

A ropey Rhamphorhynchus

As I noted yesterday, one of the nice things about Chester Zoo was a series of signs that tried to place living animals in the context of their extinct relatives. In the case of the Tropical House that featured various reptiles and birds, this included mounts of archosaurs – this pterosaur, an Allosaurus skull and a Tyrannosaurus maxilla. Curiously though, these were sculpted and not casts.

As a result while the two theropod were quite good they were far from perfect and the Rhamphorhynchus was really quite odd. Some detail had been paid to things like the sternum and pelvis whereas the fingers and tail for example were really poor so it was an odd mix of accuracy and less-than-stellar work. What’s odd to me is why someone would do this – the zoo apparently bought them from some company and I can’t blame them for not knowing any better, but why were these created? There are good casts of pterosaurs and theropod bits available and they are not too expensive or hard to get hold of. I can’t help but think it would take a lot more time and effort (and thus cost) to produce these inaccurate reproductions than just to buy a replica which would of course be perfectly accurate.



This photo was sent to me by an old friend who found it among her son’s collection of plastic dinosaurs. She asked me what kind of dinosaur had a head like a kangeroo on a theropod-like body. My answer was ‘none’ and then the picture turned up. I can see why she was confused!

I’m no stranger to dodgy dinosaur toys but this really is a marvel. Taking the head alone it’s hard not to consider it mammalian – the shape of the muzzle, position of the nostrils, the apparent jaw muscles and of course the ears all mark it out as more mammal than reptile. However the body does look dinosaurian, the sculpting of the surface hardly looks like fur, the tail would still be too fat for a kangeroo and certainly for any other mammal, and the feet especially are tridactyl and with big claws. In short it’s hard to consider this anything other than a dinosaur-mammal chimera. Wow. Cheaply made and badly sculpted toys are one thing, but you really wonder quite what they were looking at / taking when this was made.

My thanks to Kath for this unique ‘treasure’, for those interested, her blog is here.

Henan Dinosaur Park

brachioOur recent trip into the field was based in the town of Xixia in south western Henan in central China. In the last couple of years they have opened a major museum cum dinosaur theme park thingy with two separate museum buildings to house their collection of eggs and bones, some animatronic dinosaurs and outside a huge collection of concrete life-sized replicas of famous dinosaurs.
Continue reading ‘Henan Dinosaur Park’

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