PNSO’s Essien the Spinosaurus a Jaw-Notch Above the Rest

One of my favorite acquisitions last year was PNSO’s Essien the Spinosaurus. I’ll never forget that day that large box (shipped courtesy of Everything Dinosaur) arrived at my doorstep. PNSO has such gorgeous packaging it’s like unwrapping a holiday gift. The box features a beautiful photo of the model and could practically be displayed on its own. The inside had soft foam dividers ensuring all items were well protected for its journey over the Atlantic. It also comes with a beautiful booklet offering more photos and details of this model. By the time I finished reading it, it felt like I’d bought a new car – and a nice one at that!

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Spinosaurids Gone Crazy – The Lastest from Schleich!

Since my last Spinosaurus model review in August, our concept of the animal has taken yet another turn. Thanks to recent discoveries, we now know that Spino was as much at home in the water as on land. It seems that in addition to its famous sail, it also had elongated tail spines giving it a paddle/oar shape perfect for aquatic navigation. This was big news in the paleontology world as it debunked the universally held belief that there was no such thing as a swimming dinosaur. In one fell swoop, all the spinosaurus models in our collection became fantasy figures; especially those resembling the one featured in Jurassic Park III. Personally, I love seeing new discoveries challenge old beliefs as it keeps the hobby dynamic (if not cost-effective). So for anyone stumbling on this blog in the future, bear in mind this crop of 2019 Spino models were based on discoveries made before the tail revelation. Our next model from Schleich represents my least favorite of the bunch.

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Having a Devil of a Time with Schleich’s Diabloceratops!

I confess I haven’t been feeling much love for Schleich these days. You may disagree, and that’s okay, but IMHO their dinosaur designs just don’t seem to hold up when compared with their competitors. It seems like for every one good model you get five disastrous ones and this year is no different. I decided to pick up their latest Diabloceratops to see if it was worth dethroning my current model of the species from Safari Ltd. I only display a portion of my collection and have a specific shelf dedicated to ceratopsians. I prefer to have only one representative from each species of horned dinosaur on this shelf to highlight their incredible diversity. Schleich’s new offering had the dubious task of unseating Safari Ltd’s and sending it into obscurity along with countless other models I keep in storage. So which one of them remained standing?

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2019 Spinosaurids Gone Crazy – Safari Ltd.!

This is one blog I had trouble starting because I had no idea where to even begin. I considered just diving into a model review on Safari Ltd’s 2019 Spinosaurus without adding any historical context but felt I’d be doing a disservice to this product (and a few more model reviews slated in the near future) if I did. With so much controversy surrounding Spinosaurus these days, it was only natural that the new designs would be equally divisive and that the model companies would want to quickly jump on board with modern representations. So I’m going to give a quick, simple overview of this amazing dinosaur. The full story is quite fascinating and I encourage anyone out there to check out a NOVA special called “Bigger than T-Rex” which I believe you can see free on YouTube. Anyway, here it goes…

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CollectA’s Elasmotherium is one Mammoth Rhino!

It’s been a while since my last model spotlight which featured Safari Ltd’s beautiful Woolly Rhinoceros. Now I’m back to review one of its equal furry cousins, Elasmotherium – a hulking behemoth the size of a mammoth! In celebration of this immense beast, CollectA has unleashed an equally impressive model and I honestly had no idea how big this sucker was until I saw it with my own eyes! So let’s dive in…

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It’s a Woolly Rhino Winter In Chicago!

A Woolly Rhinoceros would feel right at home in Chicago these days. With yet another round of subzero temps, I was reminded of the value of a nice, warm coat. Back in the Pleistocene, many animals adapted to frigid temps by growing impressive ones of their own, including an extinct species of rhino that’s the topic of today’s blog. As you know, I’m crazy about modern day elephants and rhinos, so it’s always a pleasure adding models of their ancient relatives to my collection. Though Woolly Mammoths get their fair share of attention, Safari Ltd. has shifted their focus to a couple of lesser-knowns such as the 2018 Mastodon and a brand new Woolly Rhino for this year. So let’s take a look at their latest “fuzzy” creation.

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2019 Safari Ltd’s Splashy Styracosaurus!

It’s a new year and a new Ceratopsian from our friends at Safari Ltd. And this one’s so colorful it has no trouble standing out from the rest. Their 2019 Styracosaurus is even more striking than last year’s Triceratops and already making a splash on my horned dinosaur shelf. Though many companies have released their own model of this creature, I believe this is one of the best. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself…

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Beasts of the Mesozoic…finally on my Shelf!

Although I’ve always been fascinated with dinosaurs, it wasn’t until the summer of 2016 that I’d start collecting models. I was traveling through the Southwest and stopped off at the Dinosaur Track Museum in St. George, Utah. As I shared in my coverage of the museum, it was their gift shop that opened my eyes to just how far dinosaur “toys” had come along since the days of my Marx playset back in the ‘70s. They even featured some of the figures from Safari Ltd., CollectA, PAPO and Schleich alongside their fossil replicas to provide guests a handy visual of what the animal looked like in life. I thought this both clever and economical – especially considering how much attention to accuracy these companies put into them. In this regard, there are few that can match David Silva’s Beasts of the Mesozoic raptor series. At the time I began collecting, they were part of a Kickstarter campaign that saw fruition this past spring. This past summer, and exactly two years after my trip through the Southwest, these gorgeous pieces finally made it to my door.

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Viva Maximo! The Field Museum’s Titanosaurus

2018 was a banner year for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Just as their iconic T-Rex, Sue, was dismantled and relocated upstairs in a more complete representation, they also welcomed the addition of some stunning Pterosaurs and a gigantic Titanosaur. Maximo has now secured his position as the king of Stanley Field Hall and definitely worth making a special trip to see…especially if you plan it on or after December 21st after Sue makes her dramatic return.

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FINALLY finding Louisville’s 1964 New York World’s Fair Triceratops!

In 2016 I posted about the Sinclair dinosaurs featured at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and my quest to eventually track them all down. In some ways, it was a celebratory blog as I’d just seen the first two outside my Chicago where “Archie” the duckbill has resided since I was a kid. Finding the T-Rex and Apatosaurus in Glen Rose, Texas was great but not my first attempt at finding one. Earlier in 2015, I was traveling through Louisville and searching all over an industrial park in search of the elusive Triceratops. This dinosaur spent some time in the Louisville Science Center before being sent into “storage” a.k.a. a parking lot in an industrial park. At the time, I was on a tight schedule and unsuccessful in finding the Triceratops in the short window I had. I’m happy to say that my second attempt last weekend was much more fruitful.

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