The Mattel Therizinosaurus we’re looking at today is among the most highly anticipated toys of the Jurassic World: Dominion line, and it makes sense. Although we’ve only seen fleeting glimpses of it, we know the herbivorous theropod will have a starring role in Jurassic World: Dominion. This alone makes the Mattel Therizinosaurus a must-have among hardcore collectors. What’s more, the toy itself is impressively large, highly detailed and articulated, attractively painted, and complete with a couple of fun action features. So why was I so hesitant about it?
When images of the Mattel Therizinosaurus were first released, I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I was confident that I wouldn’t get it. Maybe it’s because it reminded me too much of the abomination that is the Schleich Therizinosaurus. Maybe it’s because it looks more like a kaiju than it does an actual living animal. The unholy lovechild between Gigan and a skeksis. But that doesn’t make sense, anyone that reads my reviews knows I like Mattel’s dinosaurs and the movie monster aesthetic. There’s no logical reason for my aversion towards this toy. It was only after some in-hand pictures and video reviews that I was able to come around and at least acknowledge that I needed to see it in person before writing it off.
I finally got my chance to see this toy in person, after a couple of weeks of coming up empty I came across it at my local Wal-Mart. I still wasn’t sure that I wanted it and I forced my wife to decide for me. You can see how that went, because here I am reviewing it. She has stated many times that Therizinosaurus is her favorite dinosaur.
The Mattel Therizinosaurus is part of the Sound Slashin’ line of toys and is the sole toy in that line. It measures about 14.5” in length but when measured along its curves, from nose to tail, it measures closer to 17”. In a neutral posture it stands 9” tall. Therizinosaurus was an enormous animal, the largest of all maniraptorans. It is estimated to have measured about 30’ in length. This puts the Mattel Therizinosaurus at about 1/20-1/25 in scale.
This toy has an amazing 13 points of articulation. The head can swivel about in various directions and although the mouth and neck move, those parts are connected to the action feature. The arms are articulated at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists which allows for a variety of interesting poses and slashing positions. The legs are articulated at the hip and swivel almost completely around but get hung up on the torso, they can also pivot in and out slightly. The knees too are articulated which is quite unusual for a mainline Mattel toy. The ankles can rotate around but are rather tight, so I haven’t messed with them much.
Because the toy is so articulated the first thing I tried to do was get it positioned in a lifelike, and less monstrous pose than what it’s been advertised in. I’m happy to report that when positioned more vertically, with the arms hanging down and hands facing inwards, the toy is transformed into a reasonably decent Therizinosaurus that appears more naturalistic. Indeed, it took playing around with it outside of the packaging to convince me that this was a toy worth getting. I had finally come around to the Mattel Therizinosaurus.
Touching briefly on accuracy the toy does have its flaws. The head is proportionally too large, and the mouth is filled with pointed, carnivorous teeth not befitting an herbivore. The feet are proportionally large too but that’s to be expected. I’ve seen it said that Therizinosaurus should have four weight bearing toes but this one only stands on three, like the one in Jurassic World: Dominion. But I’ve also seen depictions of Therizinosaurus standing on 3 toes so I’m not sure what’s right. The torso is also too slim and the hips, too narrow. Therizinosaurus would have had an enlarged gut for processing plant matter and many lines of fossil evidence support this. Keep in mind that we don’t have much material for Therizinosaurus itself, and reconstructions usually use other therizinosaur species to fill in the gaps.
All that said, the toy gets a lot of things right too. A beak is present on the snout and since the toy has lips the teeth aren’t visible when the toy is on display. The arms are appropriately long with enlarged claws that could reach 3’ long in life. Perhaps most importantly, the animal is covered in a healthy coat of feathers, a big step in the right direction for the Jurassic World franchise and its merchandise.
The action features on this toy are controlled with the tail. A button on the base of the tail makes the head and neck thrust downwards and the mouth open. Moving the tail left and right makes the torso rock back-and-forth, letting the articulated arms slash in whatever manner you so desire. Sound effects are also tied into both features. The button makes the toy roar while the back-and-forth motion produces a slashing sound. Sound Slashin’, get it?
Mattel’s commitment to detail is wonderfully displayed here. The head is detailed with fine feathering and larger tufts on the back of the jaw, giving the toy some Wolverine-like mutton chops to go with its claws. The eyes are squinted, giving the toy a thousand-yard-stare and no-nonsense demeanor. Wavy feathers continue down the neck and cover most of the body. These feathers are reminiscent of sloth fur and therizinosaurs are often compared to sloths for various reason, their claws primarily being used to pull at branches being one of them.
Larger feathers are sculpted on the arms and running down the tail. Larger, individual feathers are even detailed further, complete with a central shaft and veins. The only portions of the toy without feathers are the hands, feet, portions of the thighs, and between the legs where the speaker is located. Unfeathered portions are detailed in various skin folds and wrinkles while bird-like scales run down the fingers and toes. The inside surface of the hands and sides of the feet are detailed with small, pebbly scales. All-in-all, the amount of feathering alone makes this one of the more accurate Therizinosaurus toys ever produced. It’s certainly leagues ahead of any Schleich Therizinosaurus and now I’m feeling bad for even comparing them.
The paintjob on this toy is one of Mattel’s better recent efforts. This is probably because it’s a larger toy with direct ties to the movie, Mattel was willing to put in some extra effort here. The toy is mostly black but much of the face and jaw are dull green, as is the underside of the neck, and the chest and feet. Narrow white stripes divide the black and green coloration on the neck. A red stripe runs from the nape, down along the back, and terminates at the tail.
Mattel still has a dislike towards painting the tail, even on a high-profile toy like this, so it’s mostly black. Likewise, the toenails and beak are unpainted. Additional red coloration is presented overlaying the black adjacent to the red stripe. Some brown coloration is mixed in with the black and this can be seen across the entire toy. I think we’re seeing another example of colors being blended during the molding process.
The inside of the mouth is pink, and the teeth are creamy white. The eyes are a striking yellow with slit, black pupils set inside sunken, red orbits. A menacing look, overall. The fingernails are nicely painted and detailed with grooves. The black body coloration present at the base of the claws gradually blends with and then fades to gray.
Although initially unsure about this toy I think that deep down I knew I had to have it, because what Mattel collector could turn their nose up at this magnificent monstrosity? In person it’s not nearly as visually off putting as I feared it would be and any flaws it might have are negligible when stacked against the attention to detail afforded this toy, as well as its fun factor. I can’t imagine a Mattel shelf complete without this unique toy, and an action figure of a Therizinosaurus is unlikely to come around again. The Mattel Therizinosaurus is currently available in stores and online and retails for $35.