Rexford, Vulture, Dinosaur Toys

The Extinction of Dinosaurs saw the Mammals Takeover Stewardship of the Planet

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Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive


Look to the Skies: March 20, 2010

Once again we have a news story about the Dinosaur's demise. As you know they all drew to the same conclusion approximately 65,000,000 (that's sixty-five million) years ago when what is presumed to be an asteroid dropped into the Earth for a visit. You can read about that, here (opens new window). Just as a matter of relativity we are closer in time to Rexford and his fellow T-Rexes than he was to the Allosaurus. In any event this cataclysmic fender-bender resulted in what is known as a mass extinction and the Dinosaurs went the way of... the Dinosaurs.

Below, a dramatization....

Rexford, Asteroid Dinosaur Toys

"Oh NO! Not again!!"

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

M.E.s and US: April 14, 2010

Rexford, Vulture, Dinosaur Toys

--(Above) Mass Extinction Dramatization--Here (opens new window) is an interesting article about the Dinosaurs and their rise in response to two mass extinctions (Triassic and Triassic/Jurassic boundary). The theory goes that thanks to the M.E.s ecologic niches opened up for the Dinosaurs (who had been hanging around in the wings for tens of millions of years). There are a number of links on the page offering up more information about extinctions, mass and otherwise.

We previously documented (March 20 blog) the asteroid that extinguished the Dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago and opened it all up for the mammals (who had been waiting in the wings for tens of millions of years). This blog will serve as kind of a lead in to the upcoming series of blogs comparing modern animal (toys) to their Dinosaur (toys) predecessors. Life goes on and there are all those niches to be filled....

The rumor of asteroids and extinctions has arrived at the Dino-town news bureau and a crack investigatory team has been deployed to get Rexford's take on this potentially fatal development. We take you directly to the scene of the impact....

Rexford, Vulture, Dinosaur Toys

Mr. Rexford- may we have your viewpoint on this awful impact?

"Ooohhh, my aching head....

'Caw, Caw'

"...and will you please shut up and go away. Stories of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Ooohhh....

'Caw, Caw'

(A dramatization- Rexford was not hurt in the making of this blog.)

("Yeah. Maybe I wasn't hurt but you know what that stupid vulture did on my stomach??!")

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

The Ecology of the Menu: April 16, 2010

Today's therapy news is sort of good and bad. I had thought that by going 'active' I would be free to move my shoulder and not worry about, it leading to a downhill slide to a fast recovery. I was informed today that 'active' in therapy-talk means I can do "isometrics' (look it up if you like, it has nothing to do with Dinosaurs) and passive movements of the shoulder. Apparently I now have six weeks of passivity (as opposed to the past six weeks of indolence) to look forward to. As campers go I am not a real happy one. On the other hand my recovery is coming along very well and my keepers are pleased. Today marks the beginning of my seventh week, post-surgery.

--Now on to the blog.--

The world has always been divided into two camps. Predators and prey. Diners and menu. As it went, so it goes. Every so many millions of years there seems to occur what are called 'mass extinctions' of much of the life on Earth (see April 14 blog). This biological "cleansing" leaves the planet open to colonization by a new species that have been patiently waiting their chance. There was no blog on April 15 because in the United States that is the day of mass-extinction of the nation's wealth.

We will now begin our rather shallow series comparing Dinosaurs and modern day creatures and the niches that they fill and filled. Herbivores tend to fill natural niches in the environment. Predators fill the niches created by Herbivores by filling their bellies with them. It's nature's way.

Contemporary, Britains,  Dinosaur Toys

These M.E.s tend to remove all the larger (and many of the smaller) animals from consideration. Exactly how this happens is open to (wild) conjecture. For us, right now, take my word for it. The creatures that eat trees and crop plains are among the first to go and the first to come back. They leave niches open for small animals to evolve into new large animals who step up and take over. So the first niches that are filled are the great herbivores. Soon (in geologic terms) there are great herds of mighty herbivores wandering about, eating what cannot get out of their way. Today it is Bison, Zebra et al. In the Dinosaur world these were Hadrosaurs, Ceratopsians, Sauropods and their plant-eating ilk. These were followed in quick order by predators that specialize in eating them (the most natural form of birth control).


Predators, as a general rule, need to be smarter than their prey. If they are not, they tend to starve as individuals which is not a good thing for their species as a whole. Today's top predators tend to be the big cats, Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Jaguars and such, each at the very top of its own eco-system. In times long past these roles were filled by Allosaurs, Tyrannosaurs and their lesser like. Without predators the herbivores would eat everything in site, breed until they overcame the earth and, eventually die-off in a a population crash. Predators also cull out the old, sick and stupid keeping the vegetarians as a whole healthy. They were medical assurance in a rough sort of fashion.

Rexford, Britains, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

Carnegie Collection, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

But some creatures are just too big to fail. Elephants, Rhinoceros and Hipppopotamii fall into this category. Each is simply too big to be made a meal of. While they're not out to make a meal of somebody else they are short tempered and can & will readily back it up. In the Dino-past these roles were taken on by the great Sauropods whose mere bulk and a herd-lifestyle tended to make them safe from predators. The Ankylosaurs, Ceratopsians (and Stegosaurs) were also quite large, armored and well armed. Once again, nobody's pot pies. All too big to fail.

PAPO, Safari Ltd, Battat, Dinosaur Toys

Over the next week I will present present-day creatures and their Dinosaur analogs. Lions and Tigers and Bears and Elephants and others. Oh my.

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

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Mammoth Means BIG Parts-I&II: April 17-18, 2010

Mammoth, Marx, Papo, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

Mammoth! It certainly means BIG to me. I've got this very little SRG Mammoth from ~1947 that isn't very mammoth at all. It is only two inches long (because its tusks broke off, maybe it was originally three inches) and it hangs around with a (copper?) Indian elephant I also got at the AMNH years later.

Mammoth, SRG, AMNH, Dinosaur Toys

Next up in my Mammoth batting order are the ones from Marx (and MPC- 1964) from 1961. These were followed a decade or so later (1975) by Invicta, whose Mammoths were a little larger, significantly heftier and looked more like eggs with sculpted hair. This is not to suggest that weren't an improvement on their predecessors because in many ways they were. For one thing they certainly get across the sense of relentless plodding across frozen wastes while still projecting the intimation that they found plenty of forage along the way.

Mammoth, Marx, Invcta, MPC, Dinosaur Toys

Then, in 2002 came the Carnegie Mammoth, which really is, at ~1/24 scale, a Mammoth toy;

Mammoth, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

the Wild Safari Mammoth mother & child came out in 2004

Mammoth, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

and, finally the Papo Mammoth in 2008.

Mammoth, Papo, Dinosaur Toys

The Papo and Carnegie creations are really big for their size.

Mammoth, Papo, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

One might say that the Mammoth was the Pleistocene answer to the great Reptiles that roamed the plains of the Mesozoic (Age of Dinosaurs)

Mammoth, Marx, Invicta, Dinosaur Toys and were among the first of the mammals that were 'too big to fail' (although fail they did, as ultimately, does everything). With their great bulk and shaggy coats they were perfectly adapted to the Ice Age. Of course history would have told them that the weather would change, the Earth would warm (global warming!! eeeek!!) and their heavy coats would not be checked at the door.

Tomorrow. More Mammoth mis-adventures.

But Big Enough? pt 2

The mammoth, particularly the woolly variety was quite the showpiece. getting up to sixteen feet at the shoulder (the African elephant, the largest land animal today can reach twelve feet), weighing as much as twelve tons and the longest known tusks are just over seventeen feet. With shaggy coats as much as a yard long and a thick, woolly (hence the name) undercoat (not to mention a thick layer of fat) the Mammoth was largely invulnerable to the local predators.

Mammoth, Papo, Schleich, Dinosaur Toys

Above we see a PAPO (brown) and a Carnegie (rear- charcoal gray) Mammoth standing off Papo Grizzly (rear) and two Schleich bears, a Cave Bear (on all fours) and a Brown Bear. Bears, despite their strength would have found the Mammoth an impossible meal. A healthy mammoth in its natural herd life would simply be part of the scenery.

The Saber-tooth Tiger, or Smilodon was particularly well adapted, however, to taking on very large prey and here (below) we see a Carnegie Smilodon (front left) along with a Schleich and (rear) Safari variation challenging our two Mammoths.

Mammoth, Safari, Papo, Dinosaur Toys

If an older or ill adult (or young calf) could be separated from the herd through harassment and untimidation it could be brought down by the Smilodons. It wouldn't be easy and it would be dangerous. But it could be done.

Of course if a Smilodon was as big as this one (Safari Missing Links collection, below) in relation to them... then the mammoths might have readily panicked.

Mammoth, PAPO, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

On the whole though Smilodons never did get that big and any possibly successful hunt would have entailed a pack working that herd for all its worth. Below a pack of 1972 Inpro 'Smilies' see what they can accomplish against a herd of 1964 MPC, 1961 MARX and roly-poly 1975 Invicta Mammoths. All in all the Smilodons would do better elsewhere.

Mamnmoth, Marx, Invicta, MPC, Dinosaur Toys

Not all Mammoths were mammoth, however. While Mammoths roamed the Earth from 150,000 to ~10,000 years ago there were groups of Mammoth that found themselves stranded on islands. On Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean (I mean, really, who explored there) a herd of mammoths survived until ~1700 B.C.!! They may have been crossing the land bridge to or from Siberia/Alaska when global warming(!!??) caught up with and stranded them. In response to the limited vegetation and lack of predators (lucky, lucky, lucky) they simply got smaller, generation to generation, ending up barely seven and a half feet tall, one half the size that they came to the island as.

Below we see the "wrap party" for this extended, two part blog. No Smilodons invited.

Mammoth, PAPO, MARX, Invicta, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

"Hey! Where's the peanuts and champagne?"

Tomorrow. Smilodons. Why not? Teeth, too big for dentists.

You find books about the rise of the Mammals on Amazon by clicking here.

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Smilodon for the Camera: April 19, 2010

Dinosaur Toys

The Smilodon, also called the Saber-tooth Tiger, is one of the best known and most fearsome creatures on the Pleistocene scene. With their huge seven-inch feline/canine teeth they are pretty scary. There were several different Saber-toothed Tigers at varying periods throughout the Pleistocene, some thinner, some thicker. Each was an evolutionary dead end, arising in response to some particular giant herbivore that required specialized killing and disappearing when that herbivore went extinct or left town.

The average Smilodon was about the size of a modern Lion, ~600 pounds, but quite a bit huskier. They were built for power, not speed, and were ambush hunters. While the Smilodon was the biggest and heaviest of the "Saber-toothed big Tigers" it was not the only one. Today we will look at some of the Smilodon Dinosaur toys I have in my collection.

Smilodon, Safari Ltd, Inpro, Marx, Schleich, Dinosaur Toys

While we have many skeletons we do not have pelts (they lived from 42,000,000 mya to ~11,000BC, quite a run) and so can only guess on what they looked like in person. We do base our guesses on modern big cats.

Among the earliest Smilodon toys was the 1961 MARX Smilodon, a relatively athletic and svelte figure (three inches in length) with an un-naturally thin, wispy tail (below)

Smilodon, Marx, Dinosaur Toys

it was followed in 1964 by the even slighter MPC clone (below).

Smilodon, MPC, Dinosaur Toys

As can be readily seen these were very much alike and seem to represent a more aerobic looking Smilodon than it actually was. Take a look at the tail, it is actually rat like.

1972 saw the release of the very cool INPRO Smilodons,

Smilodon, Inpro, Dinosaur Toys which were a lot huskier, were more natural in coloration and had great teeth. (The Marx & MPC are a bit Bucky the Beaver-ish.) The great thing about the Inpro (I have 13, I had 36) is that they are all and each handpainted and therefore each is a unique individual. Color varies from a burnt-orange to a dark chocolate brown. They also have great little stubby tails. Seen above with Marx and Otto figures as shadows.

Another great sculpt of the Smilodon is from Wm. Otto. Part of Smilodon, Otto, Dinosaur Toys Smilodon, Otto, Dinosaur Toys a larger selection of bronze Pleistocene figures that were available at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History and the LaBrea Tar Pits gift shoppes (which is where I got mine in the mid-70s). About the same size (3") as the others mentioned this is not only physically heavy it really conveys the massive musculature of the big cat. Mine have their tails knocked off and I really wish I had bought more at the time. They're all gone now.

Carnegie Collection, Safari Ltd, Smilodon, Dinosaur Toys

1988 saw the introduction of the Carnegie Smilodon (above, right) by Safari Ltd. This guy was twice the size of preceding figures (~six inches long) and very nicely done. Unfortunately it "retired" (euphemism for toy-extinction) in 1997. Very collectible today. Released in 1997 was the Safari "missing Links" collection figure. (above, left)This latter is very large, very muscular and has those big teeth everyone raves about and nobody wants to get bitten by. The "Ahnold" of Smilodon toys. Sadly, it too is extinct. (In fact, both "Ahnolds" seem to be. )Also very collectible.

Last but certainly not least are these two (below) Smilodon, Schleich, Dinosaur Toys Smilodon, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys from Schleich in 2002 (left) and Safari Ltd. in 2004. They are the same size and work well as a team. The Schleich is in kind of a static sculpt. But in a threatening position and its teeth are HUGE and intimidating. The Safari variant is more dynamic in posture. Both being just ever so slightly smaller than the Carnegie, but both are still in production. The Schleich's tail is somewhat rat-like. Squeek.

Tomorrow, the Smilodon in-action! Same Smilo-time, same Smilo-station.

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Is that Orthodontics or Are You Glad to Eat Me?: Smilodon- 2: April 20, 2010

The Smilodon was THE Apex predator of its time although, occasionally, it might find itself in arguments over who is in charge....

Smilodon, Safari Ltd, Carnegie, Papo, Schleich, Dinosaur Toys

Three Smilodon argue over a "kill" with a pair of Schleich Cave Bears.

Smilodons in a pack were quite capable of taking on a Mammoth, especially desirable with a baby in tow....

Mammoth, Smilodon, Marx, Inpro,  Dinosaur Toys

At this point the mother Mammoth will be forced to abandon her calf if help (she is calling) doesn't arrive very very soon. The Inpro Smilodons don't want to fight an adult Mammoth if they don't have to.

Below- we see that help can arrive in any guise and from any era. After all, we are dealing in Dinosaur toys.

Mammoth, Smilodon, Marx, Papo, Dinosaur Toys

On the other hand when there is a herd of Mammoths the Smilodons may make a pass but it is not a serious one.

Smilodon, Mammoth, Papo, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

Below- is a good look at the differing Smilodon 'coats' of the (left to right) 2002 Schleich, 1988 Carnegie and 2004 Safari Ltd figures. Note the tail variations.

Smilodon, Schleich, Carnegie Collecction, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

There were a great many tasty tidbits wandering the Pleistocene plains. The Machrauchenia would have made a quick and easy meal. Below we see the Schleich figure being casually threatened by a large pack of Marx and Inpro Smilodons.

Smilodon, Marx, Inpro, Dinosaur Toys

The Inpro Smilodons surround an adult and three 'young' MPC Machrauchenia, one of whom has been brought down, below...

Smilodon, Marx, Inpro, MPC, Schleich, Dinosaur Toys

The Marx Smilodons are preparing to dine on an adult as well (below)>

Smilodon, Marx, Schleich, Dinosaur Toys

Last but certainly not least we see the pack of Inpro Smilodons swarming a Safari Amebelodon, an early elephant and entree.

Smilodon, Inpro, Dinosaur Toys

The Sabertooth was the archetype of an extremely successful apex (ambush) predator. In one way or another, whether as true cats (Smilodons) or in the form of marsupials the form and function remained the same for approximately 23 million years. Should global warming lead to increased plant growth and larger herbivores begin to proliferate a new species of long-toothed predator is likely to emerge. Keep your eyes open and stay alert.

Buy your own Snmilodon/Sabertooth Tiger here.

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Lions Among Us: April 21, 2010

Rexford, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys


The Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive)

Of the great Apex predators in contemporary times the Lions are perhaps the most interesting. While almost all of the world's big cats live and hunt as individuals (the Jaguar being an exception, often hunting in life-mated pairs) the Lion (in all its sub-species) lives in complex family groups called "prides".

Safari Ltd, Lions, Dinosaur Toys

The "pride" consist of a harem of females, a dominant male and a few younger, immature males. The females do most of the hunting, the childcare and general housework.

Dinosaur Toys

The significantly larger dominant male runs the household, eats first and is the 'capo' of the pride.

Triceratops, Jurassic Park, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

The occasional argument ensues over who IS "Capo-cat" but these are usually settled quickly.

As the younger males mature they are forced out, forming small groups of "bachelors" that wander the plains, searching for prides with older, worn out "capos".

Triceratops, Jurassic Park, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

Adult male Lions do not like each other very much and tend to continually fight among themselves to determine who's boss.

Dinosaur Toys

Dinosaur Toys

Males can weigh as much as 600 pounds (275 kgs) and females four hundred (180 kgs). That's why they're called BIG cats.

Hey moms! Lion mothers work at home! Home for them just happens to be the plains of the Serenghetti. YOU probably live indoors and want to stay there with your children. Earn money while your children nap? You can if you 'work at home'. Here's how....

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Lion in Wait: April 22, 2010

Lions are the rulers of the African Veldt, laying about in their prides numbering as many as ten (or more) adults and sub-adults, plus cubs. Each pride has its own territory that the males defend from other prides and marauding bachelors who would not hesitate to make a meal of another male's cub. Lions aren't your fuzzy little beany babies. They're MEAN.

Living primarily off the (females) hunting skills, male Lions are not above driving a pack of Hyena or Wild Dogs off kills of their own. On the other hand a single Lioness may be driven off by a pack of Hyena. Share and share alike.

A male Lion will kill a Hyena any chance he gets, to protect his territory, his cubs and just plain gratuitously- because that's what male Lions do.

Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

Bachelor males, whether individually or in small groups, are quite capable of hunting anything short of the biggest prey (Elephants, Rhinocerous, adult Giraffes). They only stop taking care of themselves when they get "married." Once they have their own Pride they seem to lose their pride. It's Natures Way.

We, of course, have no documented evidence of any Dinosaur predators that lived communally as Lions do. The closest analog would be the Allosaurus who we know tended to gang-up on unlucky Sauropods,

(Amaragasaurus/Saltasaurus, below, stalked by Lions),

Amargasaurus, Saltasaurus, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

Dromeosaurs of various sorts worked in tandem too

Deltadromeus, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

and, of course, Raptors. Just as Lions are unique among the big cats, they are unique among Apex predators as well.

Tyrannosaurs, being Apex Predators themselves, are theorized to have had, in effect, two hunting styles. The adults were definitely killing machines but they may not have had the agility (or speed) to easily catch their preferred prey. It has been conjectured that a mother T-Rex, along with several of her (surviving) quicker and more agile offspring would act in concert. The younger Rexes driving prey to where their mom waited, in ambush. This would, in fact, be similar to the hunting style of modern Lions.

Tyrannosaurus Rex, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

Whether that is true or just conjecture is something that we will never know. What we do know is we have Lions today. We don't have any Tyrannosaurs. Except for our wonderful Dinosaur toys. And of course, Rexford. And Rexford polices his territory like the Apex Predator he is.

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"If you guys can't get along I'll just have to eat two of you! If you can, then maybe I'll eat just one."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Not Just Lion Around: Lions In Action! Part- 3: April 23, 2010

Deltadromeus, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

Lions often hunt, as above, by "spooking" a herd, making then run in a certain direction, where other lions are lying in ambush. This is a successful tactic that would work as well in the time of the Dinosaurs as it does today. Lions are incapable of handling high powered rifles.

Below we see a herd of Saltasaurus/Amargasaurus (two Cretaceous Sauropods) being chased by a trio of Deltadromeus a pair of Sinraptors and two Albertosaurus towards a pride of Lions waiting in ambush.

Albertosaurus, Deltadromeus, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

These particular Lions have been waiting since 1972. They were made by 'Britains' in England. Britains also made the 'herd' that the Deltadromeus and Lions are chasing in the opening photo. They made a wide range of animal (and people) figures, including lots of wild animals. I think that these are all out of production although the company is still in business. These figures were all actually made in England. I'll bet we can all guess where they are made now.

We know that, ordinarily, the male Lions (unless they're bachelors like Uncle Leo) leave the hunting to the women folk,

Stregosaurus, Jurassic Park, safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

while the male(s) get prioritized for dining.

Stegosaurus, Jurassic Park, safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

Below we see several lions, accompanied by a pair of Sinraptors, chasing a herd to...??

Sinraptor, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

The welcoming jaws of a pair of Albertosaurus, who just 'happened' to be hanging out behind some bushes.

Albertosaurus, carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

Of course Rexford equals big government here in Dino-town and is about to level a "hunting tax" on some of these little Lions.

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"Hey little fellow citizens! I'm applying a 'value-added-tax' to your hunt and confiscating your 'kill'. The 'value' added is that you already caught it (so I don't have to chase it myself) and it tastes good. Mmmm...mmm."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Papo, Playskool & AAA Tigers: April 24, 2010

Papo, Dinosaur Toys

To begin I'd just like to say that the 2006 Papo Tiger, with its lean & hungry look, may just be the most accurate, best detailed and most realistic toy Tiger(s) on the market today. So what's wrong, if anything? Well, it's that stupid pose. Standing fairly stiff-legged and upright and turning to its right the Papo Tiger has no future other than going in circles.

papo, Dinosaur Toys

I hate this pose. I prefer a pose that is more inline (like the Safari male Tiger) and straight ahead. Even an action figure (like the Wild Safari leaping Siberian Tiger) has more possibilities when "inline". This beautiful creation will look great on the shelf or on your desk but is just too limited (for my tastes) for active imaginative (it will require an awful lot) play.

Papo, Dinosaur Toys

Its stablemate, the 2003 Female Tiger is much more to my liking. In her three-point stance, right forepaw raised and mouth in a snarl she has an alternate, if awkward, stance on her right foreleg with the left rear up in the air. Like she is finishing off a kill. (In this case a Safari Ltd. Okapi. (opens new window)) The male just stands around looking pretty.

Papo, Dinosaur Toys

Tomorrow... the Safari and Wild Safari Tigers. Below- a papo Allosaurus

Papo, Allosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Hey!! The blog continues, part-b is below!!

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Below- Papos posing with Playskool Tiger (on right).

Papo, Dinosaur Toys

Long ago in a year far, far away, 1990, Playskool introduced a nearly perfect Tiger toy. It isn't as finely detailed or realistic as the Papo (or Safari (opens new window) for that matter) but it was never meant to be. It was designed as a toy Tiger and is great Toy Tiger. Also in a three point stance, with right forepaw raised, it is an extremely play-with-able toy. Nearly the same size as the Papo, it is thicker and huskier. If the Papo is a Bengal then this is a Siberian.

Papo, Dinosaur Toys

You can see in the picture below that the Playskool Tiger (center) has almost as much actual expression on its twenty-year-old face as has the newer Papo female. The Papo male merely looks imperious.

Papo, Dinosaur Toys

My final Tiger presentation is a couple of cubs, with their 'au pair', by AAA, probably from around 1990 or so. They work closely in scale with both the Papo and Playskool Tigers. When their minder lets them.

Papo, Garfield, Dinosaur Toys

Tigers are the largest of the big cats and are considered as the top of the contemporary land predator pyramid. With their striking orange coats striped with black they are unmistakable; with their three inch teeth and claws they are irresistible. Being Apex predators they are best compared (below)

Papo, Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dinosaur Toys

to the now extinct Tyrannosaurs and Allosaurs of the past. If we didn't have guns they'd be eating us. They used to....

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"Hmmm. Extinction can take a lot out of ya."

Dinosaur Toys

"Feeling Lucky?? Punk."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

A Tiger Safari Ltd: April 26, 2010

Dinosaur Toys

The great apex predators of the mesozoic, the Allosaurs, Giganotosaurs and Tyrannosaurs didn't simply eat first and take names later. They walked in, went straight to the kitchen, ate the chef, the assistants and raided the meatlocker, then ate the menus....

Today's great predators can pretty much do the same (excepting where we get in the way) and the Tiger is the greatest, the biggest of the big cats. Safari Ltd. (opens new window) has made some terrific Tiger toys and several of which are still in production.

Carnegie Collection, Giganotosaurus, Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

But let's start with what might be the best Tiger toy ever, the Safari Vanishing Wildlife Collection (Leaping) Siberian Tiger.

Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

This Tiger measure ~14" from outstretched paw to tail tip, weighs over a pound (491 gms) and makes a great backscratcher in addition to its obvious attributes as a Tiger (toy).

Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

It comes in two flavors (orange and white) and is quite well and adequately detailed.

Dinosaur Toys

Why it is out of production is beyond me. Maybe it is just too intimidating. It is my all-time favorite Tiger (toy) in about 1/12 scale. An adult male can be as much as eleven feet long and weigh upwards of 700 pounds- the biggest of the biggest cats.

Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

Currently in production are smaller (6.5", 16.5 cms) Safari Tigers, also available in white and orange. The females are in an upright pose (but with feet straight ahead) looking slightly to their left which is kind of static but quite playable. The cubs are in the same position and quite cute. After all, they're cubs.

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

The "males"are extremely nice, presented in an inline pose, walking in a modified couch with their mouths open and teeth quite visible. This is a great sculpt and ideal for playing with.

Dinosaur Toys

The orange Tigers have dark-yellow eyes and the white's have blue. The sculpts are very nicely detailed (though not as nice as the disappointing Papo) and these are all excellent Tiger toys quite worth the small investment to any Tiger hunter out there.

Dinosaur Toys

The Dino-comps for the Tiger are very easy. The top Predators of their time were the Allosaurus, Giganotosaurus (and other Theropods) and the Tyrannosaurus. All hunted as solitary hunters (although the Allosaurus and Giganotosaurus are believed to have formed packs to attack Sauropods) and were the biggest and meanest predators of their day.

safari Ltd, Velociraptor, Dinosaur Toys

1993 saw Safari put out their short=lived "Dinosaurs of China" series, starring a ~1/6 scale Tiger striped Velociraptor (below). The series is OOP but this Velociraptor remains in production (all be it with a new and super paint job) because it deserves to be.

My special thanks to Safari Ltd. (opens new window) for making these excellent Tiger toys available for this blog and my pleasure.

(Below) The 1990(?) Safari Vanishing Wildlife Siberian Tiger appearing rather suddenly.

Dinosaur Toys

"A delivery Pizza tastes just as good when the delivery man doesn't have one."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Somebody to (Love to) Eat: April 28, 2010

Papo, Invicta, Carnegie Collection, Marx, Dinosaur Toys

You've all (or, "Y'all have") probably gathered by now that I have a preference for predators, and predator toys. And you would be correct in that gathering. But I know that no gathering of predators will long survive without prey to be picked on, picked over and partaken of.

Whether in the forest, the jungle or on the great plains of our world there are plants. Lots of plants. And someone must prey on those plants or our pretty blue planet would be overrun by chlorophyllic (Day of the Triffids) critters. It is the herbivores that run down and eat up all those nasty plants.

Dinosaur Toys

If it weren't for herbivores the carnivores would have nothing to eat. If it weren't for plants herbivores would starve. As long as there is land and sunshine the plants will survive. It is all one big, happy family out there. A Big Blue marble.... (

Today we are looking at what I call the "soft" herbivores. These are the essentially defenseless vegetarians, without horns, attitude (conjecture when it comes to Dinosaurs) or other means of active defense.

(Yes. Attitude can be a means of defense.)

These creatures tend to rely on large herds for protection; trusting in good luck, high speed and lazy carnivores picking off the slow, sick, young and unlucky. Not necessarily a misplaced trust.

Britains, Dinosaur Toys

Britains (a company in England, eh what) produced some really neat little wild animals back in the 1970s. You've seen their Lions already and this herd (Zebra, Gnu, Antelope and young Giraffe) has also played a role in previous blogs. I don't know if these are still in production or not.

One thing I am sure of is that the Dinosaurs that filled the same niche. Devourers of plants and larder for predators and are no longer in production, even if their Dinosaur toys replicas still are.

The Carnegie Collection (opens new window) Iguanodon, Parasaurolophus and Maiasaur are currently in production, while their Plateosaurus has been "retired" (toy talk for extinct). The Bullyland (front center) and Papo (flanking it) Pachycephalosaurus and the Papo Parasaurolophii (rear right and left) are all in production. The Schleich (front left) Plateosaur is OOP. These are a sampling of the not so easy to catch but relatively easy to kill food for thought that the great Dino-Predators had to think about.

Carnegie, Collection, Papo, Parasaurolophus, Iguanodon, Dinosaur Toys

Below- Rexford plays dead, hoping to ambush the unwary. He's a predator with little else to think about.

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"Nobody here but us plants...."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

April 29, 2010

Still in production and in a larger scale is the Safari Ltd. Okapi, (opens new window) previously presented in a supporting role, playing dead in the April 24 Tigers blog. Safari also has a large number of other figures that fit this class of prey (yeah, yeah, yeah, a very Predacious-centric world view, that).

Dinosaur Toys

>One other way that these victims protected themselves was to hang out in "mixed neighborhood" type herds with larger, bad-tempered and aggressive vegetarians that are not considered as 'easy pickins'.

Here (below) we see the Okapi hanging with the very nice (but bad tempered, don't let the pretty birdies fool ya) Safari Cape Buffalo....

Dinosaur Toys

"You can hang out with us as long as you don't eat anything we want."

>Long (since 1955) among my favorite Dinosaur toys have been the Marx Dinosaur figures and in this category, that of supporting entree, Marx presents at least four different figures, their Hadrosaurus and Trachodon (both "Duckbills"), Plateosaurus and Parasaurolophus. Sadly Marx has been OOp since 1979 but their are still lots around and reissues by Marx of Mexico keep coming across the USA's Southern border.

Marx, Trachodon, Hadrosaurus, Iguanodon, Struthiomimus, Dinosaur Toys

Just remember. The great (and less great) predators would not survive without somebody to love to eat. This will remain as true tomorrow as it has been for hundreds of millions of years.

Below- Rexford revels in the choices on a hundred million year menu.

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"eeny, meeny, miney mo... So many choices, so little time."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Wild Dogs and Hyenas, why'd you ask?: April 30, 2010

Dinosaur Toys

Every epoch has several predators that, individually, don't amount to much. But when acting in concert, as a pack, are quite formidable. Today and tomorrow we will be looking at two of these direct from Africa to the internet. From the Serengeti to the web. You get the idea.

Dinosaur Toys

The African Wild Dog (with special thanks to Safari Ltd (opens new window) for their generous provision of this pack to this blog) is, perhaps, the most successful hunter on earth. When chasing down its choice prey, antelope, gazelle, gnu and the like, it has an 80% success rate in catching its prey. Even the mighty Lion has only a 30% rate against the same and similar prey. I've seen these guys on TV. They're scary. Weighing at the most eighty pounds and standing two and a half feet at

Britains, Dinosaur Toys the shoulder these are just your average (decent sized) dog size. They simply run their prey into the ground. When they catch it one holds the tail, another the lower lip and the rest of the pack swarms.

Dinosaur Toys

They are subject to being chased away from kills by Hyena (who nobody seems to like very much) and other larger predators, to termination with

Safari Ltd, Velociraptor, Dinosaur Toys

"Ecxcuuuse Us. We're bad-mannered tourists from another timeline."

prejudice by Lions, and are generally disrespected by their larger fellow predators. . Yet they are superb hunters and highly innovative pack animals. Much of their hunting behavior is learned. Some packs are better at hunting certain creatures, like Warthogs and Cape Buffalo(!?!) than others. All are excellent when going after antelope, zebra and the like however.

Tomorrow, a focus on the Hyena. Bwa ha ha ha.

Dinosaur Toys

Rexford doesn't really care who prepares his menu, he just dines....

Rexford, Velociraptor, Dinosaur Toys

"Beat it ya little ankle biters!

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Bwa ha ha... Hyena (plus Andrewsarchus, just for laughs.) Part One: May 1, 2010

With gracious thanks to Safari Ltd (opens new window) for their generous provision of our Hyena pack (and Andrewsarchus).

Dinosaur Toys

Hyena, too, hunt in packs, and are significantly larger than the Wild Dogs, standing up to 36 inches at the shoulder and weighing as much as 190 pounds. They are predators first and scavengers second,

Dinosaur Toys

Larry, Moe, Curly & Shep try to figure how to best approach a Cape Buffalo in regard to being on their menu

but are not above stealing the kills of the Wild Dogs,

Dinosaur Toys

Leopards and even Lions. But only when they are in a pack of sufficient size to properly intimidate.

They hunt the same basic prey as the WDs and the big cats and consequently must be considered as competitors. Male Lions know that very well and will take the opportunity to kill a Hyena.

Dinosaur Toys

Hyenas will return the favor when they can.

Dinosaur Toys

Male and female Hyenas are about the same size and difficult to tell apart in the field. The best way to tell is when giving birth. The males are the ones who want to eat the babies.

The Andrewsarchus (opens new window) is believed to be the biggest mammalian land predator ever. Very nasty. Now he has a new job.

Dinosaur Toys

"I'd like to introduce the newest member of my administration. MY new tax collector, Mr. Andrew Sarchus. Remember to smile and call him 'Andy'. Or else."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Part-2 Mommy, the Hyenas are Laughing At Me: May 2, 2010

(Special thanks to Safari Ltd. for their generous contribution of the Hyena pack to this site.)

Taking everything into account it seems that the Velociraptor is the best analog in the Dinosaur world to these mammalian marauders. Raptors were smart, fast and agile, hunted in packs and were very successful at hunting both fairly large as well as smaller prey. Everyone knew to get their children inside when a pack of Velociraptors came to town. We don't know anything about Velociraptor (pack?) behavior so we have to extrapolate from contemporary animals that seem to be filling comparable niches.

Papo, Velociraptor, Raptor, Dinosaur Toys

"May we drop in to share a bite?"

As scavengers the Hyena have powerful jaws that can easily crush bones that foil other predators.

Dinosaur Toys Dinosaur Toys

In regard to this less active hunting style, the picking on what's died or someone else has killed (for you) approach, there is the inimitable T-Rex. Despite its obvious predatory facilities there are paleontologists who point to the Tyrannnosaur's highly developed sense of smell as militating towards a scavenging lifestyle.

Carnegie Collection, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dinosaur Toys

"So you punks think you're tough."

The Hyena is considered as a premier scavenger but we know that it is a formidable hunter in its own right. The T-Rex was most likely the same. With his size and power he could kill anybody he could catch, claim any kill from a smaller predator and there is no reason to believe that he would be

Carnegie Collection, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dinosaur Toys

"We'll just take that off your paws."

"Oh poop. Not again."

above eating "road-kill" either. After all, food is food.

Carnegie Collection, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dinosaur Toys

"How about we each stick to our own timeline?"

Hip deep in Raptors?

Why can't we all just get along?

Try a "political" solution.

Obama, Safari Ltd, Papo,  Velociraptor, Dinosaur Toys

"Let's everybody get... SOCIALIZED!!"

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Horny! The Rhino Blog: May 3, 2010

Papo, Battat, Safari Ltd, Schleich, Dinosaur Toys

Papo, Britains, safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

We have seen that some herbivores rely on speed, numbers, good luck and community watch for survival. Others rely (relied) on pure size (Sauropods, for instance), while still others evidence a more active defense. In days gone by the Ceratopsians (Triceratops and Styracosaurus, for example) had large heads with formidable horns to go along with their Dinosaurian size. Still others, like the Ankylosaurus, relied on body armor as a defense along with a formidable club on its tail; whilst Stegosaurus had no armor but sported a ferociously spiked tail.

Styracosaurus, Stegosaurus, Papo, Battat, Dinosaur Toys

Each of the foregoing combined a formidable weapon with some form of defensive armor. The Stegosaurus had those darned plates on its back which may have served as a passive protection.

Battat, Papo, Safari Ltd, Marx, Dinosaur Toys

The Triceratops had the big, armored head (as well as possibly having scutes on its back and sides)

Battat, Papo, Safari Ltd, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

and the Ankylosaurus was just armored all over.

Ankylosaurus, Carnegie Collection, MARX, Dinosaur Toys

In any event none of these would be a pushover when matched up over a meal with its local predator, whomever that might be.

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"Are you guys sure that you're big-time predators?"

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Still Horny! The Rhino Blog: May 4, 2010

Safari Ltd, Unicorn, Papo, Rhinoceros, Dinosaur Toys

Two kinds of horn-heads.

Today we lack the spectacle of a thirty foot (9 meter) long herbivore foraging in our gardens as well as a forty (or so) foot (13 meter) sized carnivore such as the Allosaur or Tyrannosaur trying to turn him into a meal.

Carnegie Collection, Papo, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Battat, Dinosaur Toys

What we do have are Rhinoceros (here the Papo Black Rhinoceros)

Papo, Rhinoceros, Dinosaur Toys

Papo, Rhinoceros, Dinosaur Toys

and (Safari Ltd (opens new window)) Cape Buffalo (below)

Dinosaur Toys

as examples of what modern day herbivore martial arts can offer in way of self-defense. Both are big, armed and dangerous. Bad attitudes personified.

Rhinos and Ceratopsians have a lot in common....

Battat, Papo, Pachyrhinosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Below we see the 1970s Britains versions of big-bad including a (baby) Giraffe, Moose, Elk and Hippopotamus. (The word Hippopotamus means "River- or Water-Horse. It was named by the Romans on their conquest of Africa. They had never seen such a creature before.)

Britains, Dinosaur Toys

Hippo babies are subject to predation by Crocodiles. In defense Hippos simply bite the Crocs in half whenever they can. Crocodile avoid adult Hippos with good reason. Two halves of a Crocodile is better than one to a Hippo. Adult Giraffes can kick the life out of marauding Lions and are not hunted except, perhaps, under the most dire circumstances. Moose combine size with formidable antlers, dangerous hooves and notoriously bad tempers.

Back in the 1950s and 60s MARX had the corner on the Dinosaur market and their Ankylosaurus (1955/59), Styracosaurus (1961) and Triceratops (1955/59) were the "Tough Guys" of their time. (The Marx Stegosaurus can be seen in the picture of the Stegosaurs earlier in the blog. It is the small, bright one, on the right.

Marx, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Sadly the Louis Marx Company is out of business but some of their Dinosaur Toys are being produced today, "South of the Border", by Marx of Mexico.

Safari Ltd, Unicorn, Papo, Rhinoceros, Dinosaur Toys

Where did the idea of the Unicorn come from anyway?

Rexford has his own thoughts about herbivores in general.

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"How can they stand to eat this crap?"

REXFORD!! Potty mouth Tyrannosaur. Watch your mouth!

"Oh yeah Pinkie?. You just watch my teeth!"

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive


The Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive)

Wolves of the Cenozoic (that's today, folks): May 5, 2010

Dinosaur Toys

"My, what big teef you have...."

The Wolf has quite a legend built up around itself. From Russians being served up off of sleighs to Little Red Riding Hood's granny, wolves have a reputation for an inordinate liking of human flesh. Clearly a "bad rap."

Dinosaur Toys

"Wooofs are my frenz an' we do ever-ting togevver."

In 1990 Safari Ltd. came out with their ~1/12 scale Wolf family. A 'howling' male, a female and a playful pup. A sweet family group but the male is pretty limited in its play value. These are now all out of production.

Dinosaur Toys

2007 saw a brand new Safari Ltd wolf in its highly detailed and beautifully sculpted 'White Wolf'. At half the size (~1/24 scale) of the earlier figure(s) this clearly female wolf is a real beauty. (Safari also has a gray wolf, but I don't.) In the same year a pup was produced as well and quite a little cutie it is. Personally I could never "get into" baby animals myself.

Dinosaur Toys

Dinosaur Toys

PAPO has recently (2010) come out with their own Grey Wolf. In much the same pose as the 1990 Safari Ltd female and in scale with the Safari White Wolf it greatly expands the range of today's toy wolf-pack.

Dinosaur Toys

Dinosaur Toys

"We are family....


The Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive)

Wolves are quite formidable on their own, 170 pounds (80 kg) of potential fuzzy fury with big teeth is not to be sneezed at. On the other hand their prey (moose, elk, etc) is often much bigger than they are and quite dangerous in their own right. Luckily for wolves they live and hunt in packs. Running (like the Wild Dogs) their prey to exhaustion, then overwhelming it. Using distraction and numbers works every time. Usually.

Mammoth, Papo, Carnegie Collection, Dinosaur Toys

"Not this time, punks."


The Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive)

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Horny! The Woof at the Door: May 6, 2010

Traveling from the Cenozoic (now) to the Mesozoic (then) we look for Dinosaur toys predators that were similar to the wolf in terms of their ecological niche and (presumed) behavior. Certainly the Allosaurus is called "The Wolf of the Jurassic" due to its behavior of forming packs to hunt the great Sauropods like the Apatosaurus, Diplodocus and perhaps the Stegosaurus and Triceratops as well.

Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Papo, Dinosaur Toys

Just as wolves are among the smaller of the great predators today the Velociraptor was among the smaller back in the Mesozoic. Evidence suggests that these predators worked in packs as well as acting individually, just like wolves.

Pachycephalosaurus, papo, Dinosaur Toys

Wolves can go it alone

Papo, Parasaurolophus, Pachycephalosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

or join up with others of the same bent

Papo, Parasaurolophus, Velociraptor, Dinosaur Toys

to bring down particularly large prey.

Individual wolves, foraging for food, may come upon the spoor of prey that is too large for it to attack, but would make a perfect meal for the pack.

And just as today some largish tasty morsel must be chilled to hear the howls of a wolfpack gathering solely to make a meal one wonders if the Velociraptor too had a call it made to gather the pack for dinner.

Papo, Pachyrhinosaurus, Safari Ltd, Velociraptor, Dinosaur Toys

Using speed and agility the Velociraptor was the "wolf" of its time. When it comes to bringing down prey much larger than and individually, one-on-one superior to themselves a pack is extremely able. Wolves are as wolves do and it matters not their form but their methods.

Papo, Triceratops, Velociraptor, Safari Ltd, Dinosaur Toys

Today the phrase "The wolf is at the door" means that things are getting pretty bad. Let's see what our politician has to say.

Dinosaur Toys

"Some people say there's a Wolf at the Door.

I say: What Wolf?"

(and by the way, where's the door?)

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Extinction Politics: May 7, 2010

I thought that we might take a break today (Leopards are on the way) and take a look at how our local politician might handle the problems created by asteroid strikes. We are all here, now, thanks to one 65 million years ago that eliminated the Dinosaurs. Who were here thanks to another mass extinction, probably also asteroid caused, back at the Permian-Triassic boundary 185 million years earlier.

So let's see what's going on....

Papo, Allosaurus, Britains, obama, Dinosaur Toys

"I want to thank you all for coming to hear me today and assure you that there is nothing to worry about."

Papo, Allosaurus, Britains, obama, Dinosaur Toys

"There have been unsubstantiated reports of a 'fire in the sky'. "

Papo, Allosaurus, Britains, obama,  Dinosaur Toys

"Well, those reports are unsubstantiated and unfounded. That is definitely NOT an asteroid on the way to wiping YOU all out."

Papo, Allosaurus, Britains, obama, Dinosaur Toys

"So don't look behind me. There is nothing happening."

Papo, Allosaurus, Britains, Obama, Dinosaur Toys

"And don't I look angelic here in your last moments on Earth?"

Mass extinctions always create openings for new forms of the same old life to fill the ecological niches that are opened up. As the Earth's climate has waxed and waned and the big target we are has been struck the incredible diversity of life has never failed to renew itself in fresh and wondrous ways. We lost those wonderful Dinosaurs but now we have US, and our marvelous (and proliferating) Dinosaur toys.

Too dangerous out there in the world? Try work from home where you can stay safe in your closet while typing away and raking in the mega-bucks.

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Britains Leopards: May 8, 2010

Dinosaur Toys

Leopards are the smallest of the four species of 'big cat'. They range throughout the jungles of Africa and Asia and the mountains of central and Southern Asia. The smallest of the Leopards, and my favorite, is the (1992 Safari Ltd.) Snow Leopard.

Dinosaur Toys

Real ones are five to eight feet (1.3-2.5 ms) in length and 60-120 pounds (27-54kg) in weight. Half their length is their great furry tail. They range in coloration from a pale gray to a beige-tan with the hereditary black rosettes.

Leopards are apex predators, at home in the trees hunting birds and monkeys or, hanging out on a tree limb waiting to drop in on an unwary gazelle or antelope.

Britains, Safari Ltd, Kentrosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

As an apex predator they hunt whoever they want and have no concerns about being hunted themselves. On the other hand, having to share their range with Lions, Tigers, Hyenas and Baboons they are not THE apex predator and do need to be concerned about being driven off their kill by someone bigger, stronger or more numerous.

Dinosaur Toys

Bigger, stronger and more numerous. Papo Leopard driven off its kill by Safari Ltd Polar Bears.

Unfortunately I have never found very much in the way of what I consider really good Leopard toys. Of course my interest has never been that focused on Leopard toys either, hence this website is about Dinosaur toys.

The 1970s saw a Britains Ltd. Leopard,

Britains, safari Ltd, Kentrosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

only two and a half inches (2.5", 6.25 cms) in length but which fit in the Britains jungle. Not a bad Leopard but most certainly a very small one. It fits onto my little trees

Dinosaur Toys Dinosaur Toys

and these (three) Leopards do well stalking a herd which includes the new Safari Ltd. Kentrosaurus.

Dinosaur Toys

Antelopes are among the Leopards favored prey. Leopards stalk them either by waiting in trees hoping to drop in unannounced or by stealthily sneaking up while they are distracted. Our local politico is making a speech here to some potentially distracted voters.

Dinosaur Toys

"Thank you for coming out today and I hope that you are as glad as I am to be here."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

The Safari Snow Leopards and Friends: May 9, 2010

Carnegie Collection, Bullyland Allosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

I have chosen as Mesozoic niche comparisons a host of theropods- Albertosaurus, Acrocanthrosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Crylophosaurus, Deltadromeus, Dilophosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Megalosaurus, Sinraptor and Carnotaurus- all apex predators in their own right, yet smaller in size than the Allosaurus or Tyrannosaurus. These top predators had nothing to fear apart from their larger kin. The Leopard is in pretty much in the same position today.

Dinosaur Toys

"So. You're what 'larger kin' look like?"

Way back in 1987 I came upon a wonderful little Snow Leopard Cub in a soft rubber by Wildlife Artists Inc. in about 1/10 scale. I like the pose and I like the toy.

Dinosaur Toys

In 1992 Safari Ltd. came out with a beautiful pair of Snow Leopards in ~1/13 scale.

Dinosaur Toys

The male of the set is sculpted standing upright and looking fairly intimidating. With his head up, mouth open and striding forward it is quite the aggressor.

Dinosaur Toys

"We're not monkeying around."

The female(?) is in a three point stance, crouched lower with her right forepaw slightly raised. There is a real dynamism in the pose that indicates there is more action to follow. Whether to swat, run, pounce or stalk this figure is ready for anything. A great pose.

Dinosaur Toys

"Okapi is better than merely okay."

As a pair these are pretty terrific and as individuals if you can find one (and desire a Snow Leopard) I highly recommend picking it up. The female especially so. Unfortunately they are long out of production. What are ya gonna do?

We have seen these hunting their current prey (Okapi, Monkeys, etc) but it is not hard to picture them stalking through the ages as well....

Plateosaurus, Carnegie collection, Dinosaur Toys

"You'll look good on our plate!"

parasaurolophus, carnegie collection, smilodon, Dinosaur Toys

"Par for the second course."

carnegie collection, iguanodon, smilodon, Dinosaur Toys

"Don't step in their Guano!"


The politician's speech may be taking a turn for the worst....

papo, tyrannosaurus rex, Dinosaur Toys

"And if you elect me, we will never look back."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

PAPO Quality Leopards Spotted: May 10, 2010

Today was spent repackaging a number of previously presented pages. I had PT this morning and am making excellent progress. Rexford can still lift more than I can though.

Dinosaur Toys

The last of my Leopards are from Papo where they are billed as "Panther-spotted" and "Panther-black" and first appeared in 2003. These are lowland, jungle Leopards. Their actual size would range from six to nine feet (170-245cms) and so at five and one half inches (5.5" 14 cms) these are ~1/17 scale. Papo officially designates them at 1/20 scale.

Dinosaur Toys

These share the same mold, the only difference being in their coloring. The spotted Leopard is beautifully colored with orange eyes and the "rosettes" clearly seen over the body, excepting an oblong area on the right lower belly where the manufacturer's imprint is.

Dinosaur Toys

The black Leopard is even nicer, a sleek black with green eyes (the Panther has always been my favorite big cat) but in certain light you can see the rosettes, or spots, that make up its coat. Sharing the same sculpt makes describing it redundant.

Dinosaur Toys

They look like Leopards. They are in a low stalk, extremely well balanced, able to be placed anywhere. The muscles are flowing and these toy Leopards are ready for any toy Leopard action. They are nearly perfect Leopard toys. I am very deeply impressed.

Britains, Dinosaur Toys

As seen above, the Papo Leopard doesn't mind stalking prey that is distractedly awaiting something that they least expect!

By the same token they are quite capable of hunting in league with other predators, whether their normal prey....

Britains, Papo, allosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

or some thing quite old, yet mouthwatering.

papo, parasaurolophus, allosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

This pretty much wraps up my Leopard collection. There are of course a few triple-A (AAA) made in China, cute little cubs that may or may not survive adoption by the Safari Snow Leopards or somebody even less savory.

Dinosaur Toys

The Leopard has a particular fierce grace that is not readily captured in rubber or plastic. I do think that Papo has come the closest yet.

Now, with apologies to Edward Lear....

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"Rexford and a Pussy-cat went to sea.

In a beautiful wicker boat.

Rexford said, "Honey, did you bring any money?"

And Kitty said, "Sonny, you're not very funny."

And that was all that she wrote."

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Can't Hardly Bear It: May 11, 2010

Dinosaur Toys

Bears are among the more interesting of today's apex predators. They are omnivorous, found on just about every continent (excepting Africa and Australia) and what makes Bears really special is that they only work part-time, generally taking the Winter off and just going to sleep.

Dinosaur Toys Dinosaur Toys

"Rise and shine little one. It's Spring and we're back."

The Bear diet ranges from bugs and berries to fish right through to anyone that happens to foolishly cross their path. They are truly wide ranging in their diet and will eat porridge whether too hot, too cold or 'just right'. They just don't care. Nor will they wash the porridge bowl after finishing. Don't even ask.

Dinosaur Toys

Goldielocks says: "Bears like Pasta even more than porridge."

Bears have among the most sensitive noses on the planet, with a better developed sense of smell than dogs. This allows them to sniff out the presence of anything from carrion to carp, and the odd aardvark to an errant Zebra(!?). Most of which it can run down as it is capable of speeds up to thirty miles an hour.

Dinosaur Toys

(Brown Bears l-r: AAA, Safari Ltd, Schleich Cave Bear, Rear Schleich Brown Bear& Papo Grizzly.)

Dinosaur Toys

(Safari Ltd. Polar Bears- Rear 1990, Right 2008)

Dinosaur Toys

While in general bears are omnivorous the Polar Bear is primarily carnivorous (due to the lack of berries on the polar ice cap, no doubt) although it is known to visit human habitations and their garbage dumps.

We really don't know enough about Dinosaurs to even begin to find a direct comparison. Bears are big, so we will be looking for someone BIG. The smallest, the Asian Sun Bear will weigh in at 150 pounds or so and the largest, North American Brown Bears and Polar Bears weigh up to 1800 pounds and stand erect up to ten feet or so when they want a good view or to dunk. Bears are the largest of Earth's contemporary land predators. Their size alone puts them at the top of the heap.

Spinosaurus, Carnegie collection, safari ltd, Dinosaur Toys

So in seeking a comparable reptile of Dinosaur demeanor the Spinosaurus comes to mind. While probably not omnivorous it was quite the large Mesozoic monster and certainly an Apex predator of its time. Its dentition marks it as primarily a piscavore (fish eater) but it is strongly suggested that it would not refuse digestion to an errant Hadrosaur. The Spinosaur lived ~70my-PB (Pre-Berries) and is unlikely to have used hibernation as a survival mechanism as it is unlikely it needed to. The world was mellower then with more equable seasons.

spinosaurus, carnegie collection, Dinosaur Toys

(L-R: Carnegie Spinosaurus, AAA cub, Schleich standing, Safari Ltd. Grizzly w fish)

spinosaurus, carnegie collection, safari ltd, Dinosaur Toys

(Safari Great Dinosaurs Spinosaurus [orange], Safari Ltd Black Bear)

"We'll take those fishes off your paws.

Some get going when the going gets rough.

Dinosaur Toys

(2005 Wild Safari Grizzly)"I got mine... I don't need this kind of stress."

Bears are great predators from whom even your porridge and pasta aren't safe. Spinosaurs were great predators from whom fishes weren't safe.

papo, spinosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

"Who says I need a fishing license?"

YOU may not need a license (yet) to have your own website. But you do need tools to create it. Find those tools HERE, at SBI!

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Top Cats Don't Eat Kibble: May 12, 2010

Dinosaur Toys

giganotosaurus, dilophosaurus, allosaurus, papo, Dinosaur Toys

The Jaguar is one of the four BIG Cats (Tigers, Lions and Leopards are the others). Adult males weigh over three hundred pounds and are as much as eight and a half feet in length.

Dinosaur Toys

Unique among nearly everything is its killing technique; it bites through the skull directly into the brain. Why mess around? It is spotted similarly to the Leopard (which is half its size) but with larger rosettes and it mates for life. It is either a solitary hunter or it hunts with its mate. Like going to Wal-Mart together. The Jaguar is native to South America and is the largest cat in the Western Hemisphere. Wal-Mart is the world's biggest retailer and is native to Arkansas, USA.

Dinosaur Toys

We have two Jaguar toys here, by Papo (above) and Safari Ltd. (below)

Dinosaur Toys

The Papo Jaguar is, as usual, beautifully detailed and extremely realistic. Also (as their Tiger) it is a bit on the lean side and the tail is a tad longish (watch the roomful of rocking chairs!). The pose is awful! Another Papo cat ever turning in a circle to its right (just like their Tiger). I have put this in very hot water then left it flattened out under a fifty pound weight for a week and it simply returned to this awful, static, useless pose. Once again a toy designed for the admiration of the skill of the manufacturer/artiste. And one of my favorite big cats, too....

Dinosaur Toys

Dinosaur Toys

The Safari offering is in the same scale, but larger in every dimension. Wider, pudgier with a sadder look on its face and, for some reason, that same turn to the right though not as pronounced. At least its tail is correct. As a toy it is not as realistic but slightly better posed. If all you had was this you'd probably be really happy with it.

Dinosaur Toys

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Pass the Lasagna: May 13, 2010

The last, and unofficial, Big Cat is the (Safari Ltd) Cougar (or Puma when its hawking shoes). An eight foot, two hundred pound kitty native to the Western Hemisphere. Because its taste extends to domestic animals it has been hunted to near extinction throughout its range, which was the entirety of the Americas. I really like this figure as it is inline, in an active, dynamic pose that is not limiting in any way. It has a sad-eyed look on its very nicely done face (perhaps due to loss of habitat).

Dinosaur Toys

Dinosaur Toys

The Papo Lynx represents all of those smaller cats that hunt the forests of our planet. The Lynx's habitat is much of the Northern hemisphere including my backyard.

Wherever you have plants you have animals that eat them. And then you have predators. Today it is cats that have established themselves at the top of the land-based food chains. In the ante-diluvian past it was the Theropod Dinosaurs; Allosaurs and Tyrannosaurs and such that were at the top and now are gone. So it goes....

Papo, Allosaurus, Raptor, Velociraptor, Dinosaur Toys

Dinosaur Toys

"Pass the Lasagna."

Apparently Top Cats love Lasagna. What do you know and love? Why not share it with the world and create a lifelong income stream at the same time? Click here to find out how.

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Too BIG to Fail (2B2F): May 13, 2010

Apatosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Some creatures are just too big to really even be concerned about who thinks that they be the makings of a good meal. In the past these were the great Sauropods, the Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Camarasaurus and Diplodocus. In the Pleistocene it was Mammoths and other enormous animals and today, in our somewhat smaller world, it is the Elephant.

Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, Carnegie collection, Dinosaur Toys

>Elephantine is a word only an Elephant (ten feet at the shoulder, up to ten tons) could love to be called and our little herd welcomes the appellation. I have Elephant toys from Safari Ltd, Papo, Schleich and Britains Ltd. They are all very similar in size, ~four inches (4", 10 cms) at the shoulder. This makes them 1/30 scale.

ambelodon, Dinosaur Toys

The Safari Ltd Amebelodon (2005) was a lowland/swamp elephantine creature.

britains, Dinosaur Toys

Britains Ltd produced this OOP figure in the 1970s.

Dinosaur Toys

PAPO introduced this in 2003.

Dinosaur Toys

The Safari Ltd 1996 edition.

safari ltd, mammoth, Dinosaur Toys

Safari Mammoths from 2004.

Dinosaur Toys

Schliech 2004

When considering their scale these are 33% larger than "real life". Of course they aren't very large, even when out of scale, in comparison to various Dinosaurs....

(Most Sauropods from the Carnegie Collection.) (opens new window)

apatosaurus, invicta, carnegie collection, Dinosaur Toys

Apatosaurus (Invicta- gray) 75 feet long and 35 tons.

brachiosaurus, invicta, carnegie collection, safari ltd, Dinosaur Toys

Brachiosaurus 90 feet and 60 tons. (Safari left and Invicta right.)

carnegie, camarasaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Camarasaurus, 50 feet, 20+ tons.

Invicta diplodocus, carnegie diplodocus, diplodocus, Dinosaur Toys

Diplodocus, 90-115 feet, 15 tons. (Invicta in gray.)

How does one get too big to fail? Eat a lot. That's a start. The more there is to eat the bigger the herbivores will get. History shows us that. The history of life is to start out small and then grow big enough to eat everything there is.

Such a result can lead to the population crashing, catastrophe and environmental disaster.

Nature has a way of avoiding such a result.

'Nature's Way'?



Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

Too Big to Garden

Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Big, Juicy and Taste Good Too: May 14, 2010

diplodocus, camarasaurus, saltasaurus, amargasaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Did you ever order something at a restaurant, or go to a buffet, and pile your plate up, and discover that you just can't, couldn't, eat the whole thing? Just too darn much there on your plate. Or maybe too big a plate.

Dinosaur Toys

Well, it takes a pretty big predator, or a whole lot of littler ones, to bring down those really big herbivores that eschew the sobriquet "prey" or at least rate the adjective "dangerous" before the descriptive noun.

Dinosaur Toys

Elephants are today's big cheese, too big to slice and too pungent to challenge. Lions (above- Britains) may be the King but the Elephant makes it a constitutional monarchy with themselves as the voters.

In the long lost past the Elephant would not have had the size advantage it does today.

cryolophosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Many of the predators of the time didn't have the size to face down seven to ten ton Elephants that worked as a team.

acrocanthosaurus, deltadromeus, dilophosaurus, sinraptor, Dinosaur Toys

On the other hand there were a a lot of two-tonners who probably worked in packs and would have made the Elephant a 'dangerous' blue-plate special. But then, danger whets the appetite. Yes?

The Giganotosaurus was a South American Theropod that was (slightly) bigger even than T-Rex!

brachiosaurus, giganotosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Allosaurs we know worked in packs and are here seen ganging up on a Camarasaurus....

camarasaurus, allosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

The Camarasaurus was an all-purpose food source that lived at the very end of the Jurassic Period. Had it lived in Jurassic Park it would have been prey to the Tyrannosaurus Rex as well.

camarasaurus, tyrannosaurus rex, Dinosaur Toys

Diplodocus also hung out at the tail-end of the Jurassic, early Cretaceous and might have met the Giganotosaurus. Its tail would have proven a nasty surprise to the predator. While the teeth are simply expected.

diplodocus, giganotosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Those GIANT predators such as Giganotosaurus

giganotosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

and Tyrannosaurus

tyrannosaurus rex, Dinosaur Toys

both of whom massed the same as the Elephant would have been a tad too much and brought catastrophic "failure" to today's largest land animal.

It is for this reason that today's Elephant would have had to have been yesterday's Stegosaurus or Triceratops (similarly sized quadrupeds) to have survived.

battat, triceratops, styracosaurus, stegosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

Here today and gone tomorrow is nature's way. No matter how big the footprints that you leave. You DO leave them as you move on.

Rexford has his own concerns, desires and thoughts about his own footprints.

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"I shall immortalize myself by leaving my mighty footprints for all eternity!"

rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"Look upon MY footprints ye mighty, and despair...."

Retired, but not yet extinct? Need extra money or just have time on your hands? Check-out SBI for a new full- or part-time career.

The Extinction of Dinosaurs Blog Archive

Never Smile at a Crocodile: May 19, 2010

Deinosuchus, Dinosaur Toys

Alligators and Crocodiles are not only still with us, they are occasionally in our backyards. Of course it depends on where you live. There are supposedly GIANT gators in the NY City sewer system. Pets flushed away when parents got tired of the hamburger bills. But those are just rumors.....

Dinosaur Toys

(At eighteen feet this otherwise unidentified Gator is about as large as a gator gets.)

Back in the Cretaceous Deinosuchus was the big handbag at forty to fifty feet but today's relatives, at ten to twenty feet are nothing to laugh at.

Dinosaur Toys

(Chart from Wikipedia)

The Alligator, found primarily in the USA (of course there is a smaller Chinese version) grows up to ten feet for girls, and fourteen for boys, with giants as large as eighteen feet.

Dinosaur Toys

(Average-sized Wild-Safari Gators with 2.5" tall soldiers.)

Crocodiles, on the other hand (see Captain Hook), are slightly larger, growing up to sixteen feet for males while the Saltwater Crocodile (Australia, where so many dangerous things live) can grow up to twenty-two feet.

Dinosaur Toys

(These are 7.5" Crocs from Safari Ltd.)

Britains, Papo, allosaurus, Dinosaur Toys

(These Britains Crocodiles from 1972 had hinged jaws just like the Papo Allosaurus (pictured), Spinosaurus, Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.)

The most obvious difference between Gators and Crocs is that the former have shorter, rounder snouts, the latter longer and thinner snouts. Crocodiles are found throughout the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia. Alligators are limited to the USA and China(!?!). Both primarily live on a diet of turtles* and fish but are always happy to eat an uninvited guest at the waterhole.

Dinosaur Toys

(Saturday afternoon get together at the waterhole.)

Not all turtles* are subject to becoming meals.

Dinosaur Toys

"...and get out of MY waterhole too!"

The Saltwater Crocodile from Australia is the largest contemporary Croc, reaching lengths up to twenty-two feet, the largest at twenty-seven!

Dinosaur Toys

(Safari Ltd Saltwater w even bigger AAA Croc)

Rare albino Alligators can't survive in the wild lacking both camouflage and being susceptible to sunburn. Thus creating a small and untapped market for permanent SPF 10,000 lotion and lip balm.

Dinosaur Toys

Below: Road Sign on Florida Highway.

Dinosaur Toys

Finally- a closing tip from Rexford.

Rexford, Dinosaur Toys

"I prevent alligator-skin by using lots of chemicals and stuff."

Special thanks to Safari Ltd. for supplying the Alligators, Crocodiles and *Alligator Snapping Turtle* used in this blog entry.

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You can learn a lot about the rise of the Mammals (click here) and the great variety of life that followed the

the extinction of Dinosaurs (click here) on Amazon.

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Click To Contact Rexford

Rexford, Rexford Dinosaur, T-Rexford, Tyrannosaurus Rexford, Rexford Dinosaur Toys

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