Dinosaur and other Prehistoric Animal Toys
When I was little, I –like most kids– loved dinosaurs. And I loved having dinosaur toys. The only dino toys I remember really having, however, were the small, one-color dinosaurs that often came in a bucket and stood only a couple inches tall. Today, we have an embarrassment of riches in Dinosaur toys, and I’d like to take a look at some of the nicer ones. If you are a tabletop gamer, you almost immediately look at these toys through the lens of “Can I use these in my games?”
I have models from Schleich, Papo, and CollectA, but similar toys in similar price ranges are available from companies like Safari and Mojo. Let’s take a look at these models compared to a nominally 28mm miniature. Just for fun, we’ll see how accurate the sizes of the models are compared to their real, extinct counterparts. Ultimately, that will only matter if you are stickler for details; I just go for whatever “looks good.”
First, let’s meet our intrepid hero, Indy.
Indy (Copplestone Castings) is about 28mm to the eye, 30mm to the top of his hat, and 32mm including the base. So if we want him to be about 1.8 meters tall (6 feet), we shall say 3cm equals 1.8 meters.
Indy has somehow found himself in the Hollow Earth and has stumbled upon a strange monolith.
Suddenly, he has an unwelcome visitor!
Tyrannosaurus Rex (Schleich)
This T-Rex model from Schleich is big and impressive, standing 14cm tall and 27cm long. Your players’ eyes should definitely widen when you plop this bad boy on the table.
One reason it’s so impressive is that it is scaled quite large compared to a 28mm miniature. Using the 3cm equals 1.8 meters, this T-Rex is about 8.4 meters tall and 16.2 meters long. By comparison, a real T-Rex was only about 4 meters tall and 11 meters long, meaning this model is twice as tall as the real thing! Several of these toy companies make a juvenile T-rex whose size might match the real thing more closely.
This CollectA model measures 6cm high and 16.5cm long. This translates roughly to 3.6 meters tall and just under 10 meters long. This also scales big as a real Ankylosaurus was around 2 meters tall and 7 to 8 meters long, making this model almost 1.5 times larger.
This Schleich model measures 7.5cm tall and 13 cm long. This translates to 4.5 meters tall and 7.8 meters long. This is taller than the real Triceratops at 3 meters, but the length is right where it should be. However, the height difference may just be because of the model’s head tilt as the model size looks spot on when compared to the illustration below.
This Stegosaurus model measures 9.5 cm tall and over 16cm long. Scaled up, this equals 5.7 meters tall and 9.6 meters tall. This is larger than a real Stegosaurus at 3 to 4 meters tall and 9 meters long, but some of the extra height could be explained by the models pose with the back legs fully extended to swing the tail.
This absolutely gigantic (and heavy!) model measures 18.5cm tall and 29 cm long. That translates to 11.1 meters tall and 17.4 meters long. This model is spot on with scaling as the real dinosaur was 9-13 meters tall and 18-21 meters long.
Our first model example from Papo has a wingspan of 22.5cm, or 13.5 meters scaled up to life size. Much like the T-Rex model, this toy is twice as big as it should be. A real Pteranodon had a wingspan around 7 meters. I really like this size, though, as it really looks like it could carry off a human!
While not technically a dinosaur, we have to have some aquatic representation! This Papo model is 22.5cm long. This translates to 13.5 meters long as life size, which is far larger than the real Plesiosaurus’ size of 3 meters long–that’s 4.5x bigger than it should be! Perhaps the Hollow Earth has a strange effect on the growth of its resident creatures…
These are Schleich’s “Mini Velociraptors.” They measure about 3cm tall, or about the same size as our hero Indy. These match well with Jurassic Park’s depiction of Velociraptors, though the real ones were only the size of a turkey. This model size works better as a Utahraptor.
Model to Model Comparisons
If you need prehistoric creatures for you RPGs or wargames, the models available from Schleich, Papo, Safari, CollectA, and Mojo fit the bill. Yes, the scales vary a bit from model to model, but they look great on the table. The paint jobs are great and no assembly required! The ranges aren’t just limited to the Mesozoic Era either; You can get Woolly Mammoths, Smilodons, aquatic creatures, and other interesting large reptiles and mammals.