You may not be as familiar with Acrocanthosaurus as you are with Tyrannosaurus Rex but perhaps you should be. This large theropod actually predates T-Rex by 45 million years; thriving in the United States during the early Cretaceous (110 million years ago) and was likely the apex predator of its day. Its name means “high-spined lizard” which highlights its most prominent feature; a row of large neural spines jutting from its vertebrae. Aside from its awesome appearance, I also love this dinosaur because every time I think of it, I’m reminded of an inspirational story tied in with one its discoveries.
The story revolves around two amateur paleontologists named Cephis Hall and Sid Love. What the two lacked in education they more than made up for in their love of fossil hunting and, in the early ‘80s, their dedication paid off with the discovery Acrocanthosaurus bones in southeastern Oklahoma. With no college degree and thick southern drawls, they weren’t exactly embraced by the scientific community who did everything short of laugh at the duo when they explained what they’d found and asked for assistance. Previous Acrocanthosaurus finds resulted in about 20-30% of a skeleton and never a skull. “You’ll never find that,” said one of the professors they’d reached out to. When asked why, he simply dismissed them with a matter-of-fact, “Because it’s never been done before.”
Never, that is, until Hall and Love came along. After years of backbreaking work with scarcely more than Hall’s wife offering them encouragement, the men would not only uncover the largest and most complete Acrocanthosaurus skeleton ever found but also its intact skull and forelimb! In short, it was a scientific gold mine and one of the best “don’t give up” stories you’ll ever hear. Now I know it has absolutely nothing to do with these models and the reason you’re here, but I felt I’d be remiss not sharing it. And with that now out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty…
There are already a few Acrocanthosaurus models out there including ones by CollectA and Safari Ltd but, in all honesty, I don’t find either particularly impressive. Both are handily outshined by these two new ones; one from PAPO and another from Rebor. Which company will win the 2017 battle of the Acrocanthosaurus? Let’s find out…
We’ll start with PAPO. Of all the 2017 dinosaur models this company put out, I most anticipated this one and there beautiful Ceratosaurus (review coming soon). PAPO has a gift for creating stunning looking models which, though not always the most scientifically accurate, look damn good on a shelf! In fact, they make JURASSIC PARK/JURASSIC WORLD looking dinosaurs better than Hasbro who has their actual license. That being said, this one was born for display! Although Acrocanthosaurus hasn’t made its way into the JURASSIC franchise as of yet, I imagine if it does it will look a lot like this.
The pose is dynamic and different from the average theropod model stance. Whether leaning in to tear off a piece of flesh from a kill, nurture its young, or take on a competitor it’s obviously engaged in some sort of activity which adds a lot to its overall appearance.
I do, however, have mixed feelings about the color scheme. I think my biggest problem with it is because it reminds me too much of their purple T-Rex. I would’ve liked this Acrocanthosaurus to stand out a bit more from that one, especially since it sports such an amazing pose.
On the other end of the arena is Rebor’s “Hercules” Acrocanthosaurus. I’ve wanted to get my hands on a Rebor model for some time but they’re imported from China and pricey. This one has a deluxe edition that even comes with the severed head of a sauropod that fits neatly in its mouth. Since this was my first Rebor model and I wasn’t sure what to expect, I opted for a cheaper loose one (no sauropod) on eBay. The model arrived yesterday and I can now safely say that this will be the first of many Rebor models I plan to add to my collection.
I absolutely LOVE the colors and details of this model. The scales are extra bumpy and the animal is just stunning. The mouth opens revealing a mouth of serrated teeth.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Both models look amazing and completely blow away all previous Acrocanthosaurus depictions. The PAPO version has a better pose but there’s no getting past the fearsome look and prominent scales of Rebor’s.
COLOR SCHEME: I’m giving this one to Rebor. PAPO’s is too reminiscent of their purple T-Rex to me.
ARTICULATION: Both PAPO’s and Rebor’s Acrocanthosaurus have jaws that can open and close.
DISPLAY OR DIORAMA WORTHY: Just as you see them in the photo below is how they’ll be seen on my own shelf. These are both amazing looking models and perfect for diorama/display!
THE WINNER: Ugh, sorry to wuss out on you folks, but I gotta declare this one a tie. Well, maybe a slight preference to Rebor whom you’ll be seeing a lot more of on this site to be sure.