Dino Museum Series 1 and 2


"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Brandon Courtney Miller is back tonight with another great guest review, and it's a special night for him - it's his birthday!  So let's wish Brandon a happy one as we check out these dinos with him.  Take it away, Brandon!

I want to thank Michael again for letting Me guest review on his page once more. Tonight's guest review will be different. Most of the reviews that Michael and guest reviewers have written weekly are all mostly based on characters from movies, comics, video games, cartoons etc. This guest review consists of twelve figures that ARE NOT from any movie or any licensed series. They are a nature series of sorts. DINOSAURS! Yes the terrible lizards that ruled the earth for countless millions of years are in the house! Yep, here I am writing about Dinosaurian's in the Quaternary period. Anyway, the series is a special one that is made by the Yujin company. I obtained them from Japan. The are actually two series and I am reviewing both at once. The series is called Dino Museum I & Dino Museum II. They were both promotional sets. Both have six dinosaurs in each one that varies in species. The first one has the most herbivores and the second one has the most carnivores. Some of the readers may know some of the dinosaurs but others may not know some of the others. Museum I includes Tyrannosaurus Rex, Kentrosaurus, Saichania, Stegosaurus, Amargasaurus and Allosaurus. Museum II has Tricertops, Spinosaurus, Kentrosaurus, Carnotarus, Giganotosaurus and Therizinosaurus. All of these animals lived during the Mesozoic Era. In my opinion they are great but unusual choices in these series and I like them. Below in a special category you will find the information to know about all of these Dinosaurs but please allow a brief commentary about my thoughts of Dinosaurs in general before we get under way. Ever since I was little I have always loved dinosaurs. Over the years I have grown to love them and study them even more. In my opinion Dinosaurs are a very important part of our world as is all previous and current life forms. Even though they have been long extinct it is important for us to know and learn about this planet's previous life as much as we can. Its a terrific subject to talk about and its really wonderful for little ones and even adults to learn about. You are never too old to study them. Like myself, I have found out about newer dinosaurs that I have immediately been fond of. In the past generation or so some of the biggest Dinos have been discovered. Like for example just to name some of the ginormous Sauropods Argentinosaurus, Puertasaurus, Sauroposeidon, Paralititan and Bruhathkayosaurus. Huge theropds Mapusaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Deltadromeus, Tyrannotitan, Baryonyx, Suchomimus, Gigantoraptor, Megaraptor, Utahraptor, Irritator, Edmarka, Saurophaganax and Epanterias. Large Ornithopods Zhuchengosaurus, Charonosaurus and Ceratopsians Einiosaurus and Achelousaurus and I could go on! 

There are so many species of Dinosaurs discovered and yet only one percent of them has been unearthed. That is an extremely low number for animals that dominated the Earth for so long. I can't get enough of Dinosaurs and I hope that goes the same for you, the readers as well. They are such wonderful animals, there are so many reasons why I love dinosaurs. One of them is the size of them. Not all big and huge but many of them were. I have said that people don't realize just how big dinosaurs were until you get next them, that is if they still existed. Question: Do they? In the Congo there are several cryptids the natives say are dinosaurs. Mokele Mbembe is said to be a large Sauropod particularly an Apatosaurus. By studying Cryptozoology it has opened up a new door for surviving dinosaurian's and other past and unknown life. If you love dinosaurs and want to see them of course you can visit your local museums but if you want to see real living and breathing dinosaurs you can see there're decedents around the world. Surviving archosaurus such as Crocodilians and other reptiles like Turtles and Lizards. However, Birds are modern day theropods and possibly the last surviving group of avian Dinosaurs. If you look closely you will see dinosaurs in many species of today's feathered friends. Ok, that does it. Now lets get on to other things. Let's get to the review!

Packaging: *
The packaging that they were in were just sealed plastic bags. They are premium capsule toys meaning there isn't a card, box etc for them to be in since you get them out of vending machines or sometimes on bottles of soda or drinks and what have you. Many collectable products like this in Japan has packaging like that so the packaging is almost nonexistent when you talk about figure packaging such as blister cards, clam shells or even boxes. Some Japanese collectables do have boxes but some don't. However, the small figures were protected and never opened so that is why I give it only one star instead of NADA.

Sculpt: ****
This is arguably the best feature of these figures and its one of the reasons why I wanted these dudes in the first place! The sculpting is such a terrific asset to this series. For such tiny figures they look extraordinary! Knowing companies that sculpt great action figures such as Sideshow, Hasbro, McFarlane, NECA, Mezco and Mattel its heavy competing for them in My opinion since they do great sculpting in larger scale but Yujin sculpts just as great in such a smaller scale. The companies who specialize in great sculpted Dinosaur figures such as Safari, Schleich, Papo, Kinto Favorite Co, Bullyland, COG/Tedco, Chap Mei, Fame Master, Kabaya, Bandai and Kaiyodo also all have a run for they're money. Yujin's sculpting is not only great its realistic. Seeing how small they are you wouldn't think the realism was there oh but it is. None of the dinos share any of the same mold or parts as they are all different. Though they are really not in scale with one another when you talk about real size compared to each other but that isn't the key feature here. Actually it has two features. Of course the one is the sculpting but the other is a huge and exciting point and I'll get to that in the accessories section. Now, like most small figures in Japan they come unassembled. You have to put on a head, arms, legs etc. In this series it requires very little assembly. Like for the meat eating theropods you just have to put on there're tails except for Therizinosaurus. For him you have to put his upper body and lower body and his right arm together. Amargasaurus's tail is it and the ceratopsians Triceratops and Centrosaurus heads need to be put on. Stegosaurus's tail is all that needs it and since Kentrosaurus is the smallest of them all he doesn't require any assembly whatsoever. Since most them are in separate pieces and need assembly this really doesn't effect the look of the figures. Most of them stay on pretty tight and have almost no seams. I'll get to that in the what to watch out for section. Now if you know dinosaurs and do not look at the stands or the pamphlets you'll know what each dinosaur is by the look of them simply because the sculpting in My opinion actually says it and let's you know who they are without mistake. What I mean is the sculpting is that good. Like for instance on Allosaurus. The specie is known to have three fingers, bone extensions over the eyes or small eye horns if you will and short spikes or ridges on the neck to the tail. He is in a great attack pose like he is ready to go at it with a Diplodocus. On Therizinosaurus, the most obvious and unusual is the huge three-foot claws on the hands, the big bipedal body, the long neck and the bird-like face. He even has a waddle on his beak and neck area! His pose is as if he is trying to protect himself. Kentrosaurus has the big spiky scutes on his back and the big spikes on the end of his tail. Also he has the spikes around on his shoulders. There is some texture on his body as if its real skin. He looks like he is ready to defend himself from a predator. Just an excellent, excellent pose. T-Rex has the short, two fingered hands and large jaws we all know. It looks like he is ready rock with an enemy that his wants to eat for din din or perhaps fighting with another carnivore. Saichania has the round, armored body with the club tail that a lot of Ankylosaur species have. I like that his mouth is opened and you can see his tongue. It looks like somebody made him mad. On Triceratops, his three horns and frill shield looks just right. His feet are placed in a good position and he is doing the motion as if getting ready charge. Now Centrosaurus, like Triceratops maybe ready to charge. His single horn and unusual frill shield looks accurate. His face is just beautiful, look at those eyes! Stegosaurus looks just great. In fact he resembles the ones in the second Jurassic Park film. He has the big body, little head, slightly backed planks and the big spikes on the end of his tail. His face looks just wonderful. I just love it. He appears to be just walking with his herd. Carnotaurus is very good also. He's thinner and stands up straighter than the other theropods as seen in the pictures. He has the big eye horns though they look a bit rounder than usually seen but they do the look fine. He has the very short, four figured hands and the shorter face. He even has the bumps that was found in the fossilized skin tissue discovery. It looks like he is in the middle of a fight. Now the sauropod Amargasaurus is a bit different. There are two theories about Amargasaurus. That he has these spikes with sail or fin-like appendages on his neck and back for regulating temps or these long spines that are in two rows were just spikes for protection. Yujin went with the latter. How the sail look would of been I don't know but this shows you how different Amargasaurus was compared to the other longed necked giants. His body and skin texture looks good too and I like his face as well. He looks as if he is grazing for food and ready to chomp on some greens. The Egyptian giant Spinosaurus looks absolutely fantastic! He has the large body, the huge sail on his back, the long, three fingered clawed hands and the six foot crocodilian-like skull! The skull itself is very accurate and the first claw on each hand is longer than the other finger claws just like the real Spinosaurids have. He is in an awesome pose as if roaring in victory after killing another super predator. Last but certainly not least is one of the newest crown holders of being one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs ever found, Giganotosaurus! Not only is the dinosaur one of My new favorites but this figure is one of My all time favorites as well. Look at him! He has the huge, six foot skull, eight inch teeth, big eyes, the small eye horns, the big slender body, the short shoulders and long arms with three figures on each, his three toed feet with the back toe claw and long thick tail. Like, T-Rex, Allosaurus and Spinosaurus, Giganotosaurus is in the correct low standing pose as he is saurischian or lizard-hipped. The pose is just a perfect one. It is like he is in a pack with other Giganotosaurus' and ready to launch an attack on a Argentinosaurus! WOW, that's it! These are some of the best looking dinosaur figures I have ever seen and not to mention some of the best figures of this size and they look so good next to each other and on the shelf. They have such remarkable sculpting and realness. Its just so good to see dinosaurs in plastic form lookin this real in figure form and of course on the shelf! 

Paint: ****
One amazing thing about these figures is the paint. Not only are they very colorful but they have great paint applications! There're little finger and toe nails are even painted! Some companies tend to skip the painting of the nails but Yujin did not. I only noticed like one tiny little mark on one so even with careful painting there always a chance that a small dot or something will blotch on whatever you are painting especially if you're painting something this small. All of the dinos' eyes are straight. The Japanese descriptions and the human skeletons on all of the bases are all painted very well also. Now all of these magnificent creatures skin tone colors are purely skeptical as no one knows for sure how they looked. Since the painting is this colorful and skilled I think the company did a fantastic job with it so I give this category four stars to the max! 

Accessories: ***1/2
Now here is the category that really is something. Each Dinosaur comes with a circular base that is made out of a sturdy plastic with the above mentioned Japanese writing and the homo-sapiens skeleton. You can read more about this in the Special Features section as I'll go deep into the subject. Also, the theropods T-Rex, Spinosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Allosaurus, Carnotaurus and Therizinosaurus all come with an identical tiny peg clip that pegs into the bases and clips on to there're legs able-ing them to stand. The quadrupeds don't require them so they didn't include any. Over time I have noticed the peg clips to warp a bit. It may have to due with warm room temperature but never the less to Me its unacceptable. In My opinion that goes for no matter who the company is and whatever the series is. Its a good idea but the quality should be a bit better. Because of that the bipeds tend to lean over and topple over and because of that this category gets three and a half stars. 

Special Featurs: ***1/2
Actually this category will have two parts. Since the writing is in Japanese on the pamphlets and bases, below I will provide all the necessary info that you need to know about these figures that actually are of great animals that once lived but now let's talk about the special features of the bases. As you know by looking at the pictures there is a small skeleton of a human being painted on all twelve of them. Now the cool part of this is that you can compare the size of the dinosaur next to the tiny human skeleton. Now it only works with the dino that came with the base. What I mean is you can only compare Giganotosaurus to his base and not to Kentrosaurus' base simply because the stegosaurian was much, much smaller than the gigantic theropod. This is the fun part of this series. Many other dinosaur figures you can't compare them to humans unless you know the actual size difference and have human figures that are actually in the correct scale or size to whatever dinosaur you may have. This way you already have it and can compare the size differences easily. It'll amaze you when you do it. I rate it three stars and a half since the writing is in Japanese. 

Now here is the other info about these dinosaurs. Museum I: Tyrannosaurus rex. Name Meaning: Tyrant Lizard King. Length: 43 feet. Weight: 8 tons. Diet: Meat. Lived during: The late Cretaceous Period. Found in North America. Centrosaurus. Name Meaning: Pointed Lizard. Length: 20 Feet. Weight: 13 tons. Diet: Plants. Lived during: The late Cretaceous. Found In North America. Saichania. Name Meaning: Beautiful one. Length: 23 Feet. Weight: 4 tons. Diet: Plants. Lived during: The late Cretaceous period. Found In Mongolia. Stegosaurus. Name Meaning: Roof-Lizard. Length: 30 feet. Weight: 5 tons. Diet: Plants. Lived during: The late Jurassic period. Found in North America. Amargasaurus. Name Meaning: Amarga Lizard. Length: 33 feet. Weight: 9 tons. Diet: Lived during: Early Cretaceous Period. Found: In South America Allosaurus. Name Meaning: Different Lizard. Length: 40 Feet. Weight: 2 Tons. Diet: Meat. Lived during: Late Jurassic period. Found in North America. Museum II: Triceratops. Name Meaning: Three-Horned Face. Length: 30 Feet. Weight: 7 Tons. Diet: Plants. Lived during: Late Cretaceous Period. Found in North America. Spinosaurus Name Meaning: Spine Lizard. Length: 49 Feet. Weight: 12 Tons. Diet: Meat. Lived during: Late Cretaceous Period. Found in North Africa. Kentrosaurus. Name Meaning: Spiked Lizard. Length: 18 feet. Weight: 2 tons. Diet: Plants. Lived during: Late Jurassic. Found In Tanzania. Carnotarus. Name Meaning: Meat-Eating Bull. Length: 25 Feet. Weight: 2 Tons. Diet: Meat. Lived during: The Late Cretaceous. Found in Argentina. Giganotosaurus. Name Meaning: Giant Southern Lizard. Length: 45 Feet. Weight: 8 Tons. Diet: Meat. Lived during: The Late Cretaceous Period. Found in Argentina. Therizinosaurus. Name Meaning: Scythe Lizard. Length: 40 Feet. Weight: 6 Tons. Diet: Plants and Meat. Lived during: The late Cretaceous Period. Found in Mongolia. 

There you have it. In My opinion this is a very nice and very welcomed feature. Out all of the dinosaur figures made most don't have or don't include size comparison accessories like cards, sheets or stands like such as the ones that are included with these figures. How many of you own dinosaur figures like say from the Jurassic Park lines from Kenner/Hasbro from way back when and wished or would have liked a size comparison chart or something to a human to show actually how big the animal really was since it actually existed? The only ones that I know of that I have seen that give size comparison of a human to a Dinosaur in the ones by Schleich and COG's small booklets in their Match Box Dinos. The Dino Museum stands bring in about such importance that is absent in most Dinosaur collections of series' so this to Me is a very needed feature and its works perfectly with the dinosaurs included in the series'. 

Quality: ***
All of the dinos are made out of a flexible plastic. I have noticed some of the meat eaters such as Spinosaurus, Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus tend to fall over because there're legs are flimsy and as I mentioned above in the Accessories section that the tiny peg clips warp a bit and then tend to turn but like I said it may be due to warm room temps but it shouldn't happen no matter who the company is which is just a no no for Me. The quality of the dinos is good but like I said before there're legs are flimsy and with something this small and it falling over and possibly from a high shelf it can be a nuisance. However, I've managed to still stand them up straight and hook there're legs on to the clips with the help of different ways. So it is not a huge problem, its just something you gotta watch out for and look for more on the subject in that section.

Value: *1/2
Like I said above I got My sets in Shizuoka Japan on Ebay from Hidero 'udf' Sakurai (his Ebay name is udf_animal) in his Ebay store ULTRA DETAILED CREATURE FIGURE. Sakurai specializes in many Japanese items like these. He is very nice and our transaction was a good one so I recommend to look at his shop, he might have something you want! Now I got them via a Buy It Now for a total of $83.50 and that includes shipping and insurance. The first set was $43.00. The second was $27.50, shipping was $8.00 and insurance was $5.00. So I paid a lot for them and even though the wallet got hit hard I'm quite pleased with them plus I wanted them very much, there was no way I was going to let them go. There're rare and extremely hard to find in the States and in order to get something like this you'll probably have to deal with other countries and higher prices. If you think its ok then you got it! But considering the size of these the price should be a lower price then again you are getting some figures that are extremely detailed for only being about two to three inches long and has cool size comparison bases from Japan. If you are able to get them I do not recommend getting them for this price that I paid unless you can do it and you really want them. If you really want them but are unable to pay for them then be patient and look around at hobby shops that has import figures locally or on the web. If you would get them for like thirty bucks a pop at a shop near you then My friends you are getting one big, big bargain, let Me tell ya the ratting'll go up! Even a price tag at fifty for both on the web with like say five, six dollars shipping is still a very good deal. If you want them from the web just watch Ebay and you never know what you'll find. Now like I said only pay for the price that I paid if you really want them and if the price won't hurt. Sure I got two great sets but I paid a high price and that's why the ratting is what it is.

Fun Factor - ****
Dinosaurs are fun to begin with! Knowing the gracefulness of the plant eaters and the awesome intensity of the carnivores. Being a collector of many, many things I like collecting great Dinosaurs as well. Having both of these series' and displaying them together looks so cool. I have displayed these guys in many ways. I've displayed them by series by series, put all of the carnivores together and all of the herbivores together, turn them in different directions and I've mixed them up too. There are many other ways that you can do it. These dinosaurs are perfect for the people out there who like dioramas and put together dinosaur scenes with different dinosaur figures and scenery and you know how fun that is! Also the size comparison stands lets you see how big these guys were is also a ball! I don't recommend these to young children. In My opinion these are strictly for collectors and adult lovers of dinosaurs. However, if your 're child loves dinosaurs and he or she takes good care of things and knows how important and valuable they are then do as you wish.

Things to Watch Out For - 
You'll have to watch the very small peg clips that are for the theropods. I Myself have dropped them on many occasions and had hard times finding them. Luckily I was able to find them when I dropped 'em. They don't stay in the holes very tightly and when you pick them up and move them around they may come out. Also, On My Therizinosaurus figure his arm and body doesn't stay tight either. I've noticed this when picking him up as well and it can be a nuisance. It maybe the same for you too but it could be another but just look out on all of them just in case the ones you get don't fit tight together and become loose. Other than mentioning those things I think that's all you'll have to watch out for!

Overall: ***1/2
Overall these are very wonderful and awesome sets. They are some of the best looking dinosaur figures out there and coolest too! As I said previously the choices of the species is good and its also different choices. So you have six in the order of Theropoda, five in the order of Ornithischia and one in the order of Sauropoda. Some of the choices may want you to get them because they sure got My attention. With the selections of Giganotosaurus, Amargasaurus and Therizinosaurus this instantly was on My must have list due to the obscurity of the selections. I mean Allosaurus has become an underrated dinosaur now in My opinion and that was also one of the things that got My attention. Of course it has some of the most popular ones such as T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Spinosaurus but I still haven't found My ultimate complete dinosaur set which is at least like one of every order of dinosaur and prehistoric reptile specie in real size scale but this was one that I felt that was the most different and most unusual one. Even with the small durability rants I have I'm still very, very pleased with this series. The entire series has some of the most tremendous sculpting and painting that I have ever seen in this scale and these are top sculpts that are as detailed as Kaiyodo's is on there're dinosaurs plus the cool size comparison stands is also a cool feature which makes this series a very nice addition to anyone's dinosaur collection. 

Score Recap:
Packaging - *
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Quality - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
You can currently purchase them on Ebay from udf Sakurai in his Ebay store ULTRA DETAILED CREATURE FIGURE. If you don't see them in his store or only see one make sure you ask him about the other one if you don't see them as he might have both ready to ship!

Or you can use MyAuctionLinks to help search ebay to find them.

Figure from the collection of Brandon Courtney Miller.

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