Tyrannosaurus rex is like that actor typecast and boxed in a very particular role. Sometimes you become so good or famous for that image or role that it becomes hard for your adoring fans to picture you in anything else. In the case of Mr. Rex, it is playing the role of a villain; a bloodthirsty, cold-blooded killer always in search for its helpless victim. So ingrained is this image in our popular culture that it’s hard to move away from it.Breaking away from one’s typecast role or image when it does happen comes with high risk that could quickly torpedo one’s career into oblivion if he or she doesn’t have the strong popularity to endure any backlash.
While we have seen Tyrannosaurus rex model figures go through some changes over the years, the pose for the most part has remained the same: Striding with its mouth wide open in a silent eternal roar. So ubiquitous is this pose in the toy and model figure world that it has become predictable and yes, boring. This becomes even more of an issue for someone like me who’s been in the collecting hobby for almost two decades. Finding a Tyrannosaurus rex that offers something different, something unique and exciting has proven to be elusive , which for me, have caused me to be even more indifferent to the many offerings now saturating the market. But once in a while, something unexpected does come out that rouse my interest.This model of the female Tyrannosaurus rex Andrea from PNSO is one of them.
As the most famous and lucrative dinosaur, companies can’t put out enough figures of this iconic animal. So, it was not surprising that PNSO would release yet another figure of it right off the heels of their impressive Wilson in less than a year. Wilson (AKA Winter Wilson) burst into the scene with so much new to offer and surely stirred up some lively debate that earned him a place in the hall of most polarizing figures. Little did we know that in less than a year, all of these would be eclipsed by Andrea who in turn created even more of an “excitement” upon its release.
Andrea can be considered both a groundbreaking as well as a pioneer for two reasons: the pose and for being a female. I will share my thoughts in a while, but these two attributes were so unconventional and unexpected that it immediately caused controversy as well as polarized fans and collectors. When it comes to creating controversial figures, PNSO surely have mastered the art for better or for worse.
When it comes to PVC model figures of Tyrannosaurus rex (or most predatory theropod for that matter), very few have dared defy the old standard pose of striding/standing with mouth wide open. So, it was surprising to see that this female Tyrannosaurus named Andrea was given a prone or resting pose that went against the norm.This prone/resting pose is a risky choice especially for a huge carnivorous dinosaur ( for many, this means “not active”), but if you are going to take this huge of a risk, it’s a smart move to give it to an animal that is so famous that it could afford it and there is no safer choice than Tyrannosaurus rex. Let’s face it, it seems that no matter how inaccurate, ugly, or monstrous a figure of Tyrannosaurus rex is, it is always a huge seller, a true testament to its superstar status.
The prone/resting pose is one that keeps on making it on the wish list for many collectors year after year, but it has remained elusive for any predatory carnivore dinosaur, it seems that companies are convinced it won’t’ sell (there may be some truth to this). I can only remember one other PVC (not resin, printed, or kits) figure in this pose, the small Daspletosaurus (guess what, another, but less famous Tyrannosaurus!)from CollectA that was released way back in 2013. Now CollectA is knows for going for the unconventional so it was no surprise that they did it, but it may have suffered in the sales department that no other models with this type of pose was produced after it, so, in this case the risk may not have paid off.
We had a glimpse of a prone posed T. rex in the artwork that accompanied Wilson V3, so there was speculation if we would see one eventually. When the figure was finally revealed, it was different from the silhouette image we got a glimpse of. Andrea’s pose is more upright instead of completely down on the ground with her legs tucked in under her body very much like a bird. This pose is both exciting as well as refreshing, a welcome break from the typical. This pose also reminded us that Tyrannosaurus rex also did other things besides striding and having its mouth wide open roaring. Like most animals, it probably spent most of its time resting to conserve energy.
Andrea’s pose has her looking relaxed, but at the same time alert and ready to spring to action when needed to. She has her head slightly turned to her side and close to the ground. Her huge body is touching the ground and her tiny arms tucked in and pulled close to her chest.Her strong legs are folded under her body and sticks a little bit to the side in a way that if a need arises, would allow her to quickly get up.
It is this leg’s positioning, specifically the right one, that would earn a lot of criticism. At a quick glance, it looks okay, and perhaps not easily noticed by those not too familiar with dinosaur anatomy (or anatomy in general), but looking at it closer, one would notice how bent they are almost to the point of breaking especially for an animal as large as Tyrannosaurus rex.One thing that I really admire about PNSO models is in just how much attention is given on how the musculature, flesh, skin, and tendons all have a natural and organic feel to them especially those subtle ones that really captures movement as they follow the bones structure. So, it was a little surprising that they went with this acute angle of the front leg.
It is understandable why the leg was sculpted in this position, again, for demonstrating how it would allow for an easier way to get up quickly. With such small useless arms and huge body, Tyrannosaurus rex couldn’t push itself to get up quickly. We simply have nothing today that resembles this body plan, so it seems PNSO modeled this pose by studying how extant ratites (ostriches, emus) folded their legs under their body, not perfect, but it is the closest, I guess.
The acute angle of the ankle bones looks painful and highly doubtful if the animal could fold it at such an angle especially with all that weight bearing down on it, but maybe it could on short durations, after all we also can bend our legs in some very uncomfortable position.Personally, I’m not too bothered by it at all as it may still fall within the realm of being possible, and knowing just how tricky it is to sculpt a folded leg and make it look natural, plus in time and at a short distance, one hardly notices it and becomes less of a distraction.
Andrea’s body is sculpted with the same high level of details that we have come to expect from PNSO. Wilson was heavily criticized for the large scales on his body, in Andrea, PNSO corrected that and sculpted the scales much smaller. This makes it hard to notice them especially from a distance, it is only upon closer inspection that one can appreciate the fine details of the scales. In many ways, the details on Andrea is much more impressive than Wilson since they are more complex. Unfortunately, there are still those who believe that she is less detailed or inferior in quality because of this.
With this unique pose, how the muscles and skin fold look is very different from that of a standing one. PNSO did an exquisite job in really capturing all these subtle details of how muscles are bunched up when carrying some weight, you can see these especially on the stomach and tail region. In some parts you can almost feel the muscles roll from the pressure as well as the skin stretching. Even the underside is very detailed despite this side being mostly obscured from view unless you turn the figure. The long and powerful tail is slightly curved in a natural position that demonstrate the limitation and flexibility of such heavily muscled tail.
The color is a shade lighter than Wilson with the exception of the head which shows darker markings. These subtle differences in color tones help differentiate the two and could be a result of sexual dimorphism. The head sculpt may look the same at a glance, but they are actually different. You can appreciate this by comparing the details on the head closely as well as the size, which in Wilson is slightly larger and maybe longer.
For extinct animals, determining the sexes is challenging and often results in confusing one gender for another species. There are few rare instances such as embryonic fossil inside an adult or an individual caught and frozen in the act of giving birth that makes it easy to confirm the sexes, but for the majority it’s still full of uncertainty.For Tyrannosaurus rex , there has been suggestion that they showed some form of sexual dimorphism with the females being slightly larger than the males. While this is still being debated, it offers a good and plausible possibility, and PNSO opted for this by making Andrea slightly larger than her mate Wilson, you can see this difference very well when viewed from the top.
It’s rare to have a figure that is explicitly marketed as female especially amongst the big carnivores. While we see some mothers these are almost always herbivores, so it is refreshing to get a large predatory queen for a change. And what a queen she is. Her calm regal demeanor surely warrants attention and remind us that when it comes to Tyrannosaurus rex, it’s not all ready for a bloody battle.
Andrea’s size has been fodder for many fat-shaming jokes and comments that has flooded the internet in various social media as well as blogs. It’s hard not to think that this has something to do with her gender for, if you read blogs and forums, as well as various social media platforms, you know that sexism reared its ugly head. While Wilson created controversy and was heavily criticized , the words used are different than those thrown at Andrea.
I have no doubt that despite some shortcomings, Andrea will go down in history as one of the most memorable figures long after her production date, something similar to the Battat Diplodocus. The difference between her and Wilson makes a convincing case for sexual dimorphism and the two really displays and complement each other.
I have always wondered if Andrea was originally a Wilson prototype that was simply too good to be discarded, but seeing some Dioramas made by PNSO that featured a family of Tyrannosaurus rex, it seems like PNSO has always planned on creating a family portrait of the most famous dinosaur of all.Even the addition of Logan seems calculated and was a clever way to introduce a young one, and he does fit in very well with Andrea and Wilson making one truly unique, impressive and memorable display.
For someone who is not really a big fan of tyrannosaurus rex, I was surprised by how many figures of it I actually reviewed! As I look back at all of them, I have covered a wide range from the vintage, the young, the fit, the party feathered, the old, the dead, and with Andrea finally a female, I realize that I have underestimated this animal and allowed myself to be distracted by the fatigue of having too many T. rexes. I have come to a new appreciation of just how interesting, complex, and fascinating this animal is despite suffering major overexposure. With this review, I am hesitant to say that I am done with this genus, but I would say that for now at least, I feel like I have covered a pretty diverse representation of this iconic animal in toy form.
Who knows, maybe, just maybe a fully grown up, fully feathered Aaron is just around the corner to tempt me to tackle this iconic dinosaur again, but until then, I’m happy with what I have covered so far. Well, that concludes our review, hope you like it. Until the next one, stay safe and healthy, Cheers!