I’m enough of a dinosaur nerd that not only do I collect dinosaur toys, but I like them as accurate as possible. (See my previous toy reviews here, here, and here for more evidence of collector-geek side.) I suppose it comes as no surprise then that I’m active in the Dino Toy Blog forums in order to scope out the best of the best. I became intrigued recently when forum member Stefan Klein (who runs another website called DinoToyCollector) announced his intention to start his own line of dinosaur models called Wild Past, starting with a Protoceratops & Nest set!
Klein produces his models by first creating a 3D model in the computer, which he then 3D prints and refines. The resulting prototype is cast to make molds from which the final products can be produced en masse and subsequently painted. This process allows for some fine detail that might otherwise get glossed over in traditional sculpting at this size; for example, if one looks closely at the next, one can see it contains not eggs, but baby dinosaurs!
Now, I’m picky with my figures; I got started collecting what the community refers to as “museum quality toys” with the old Carnegie Collection line, which in addition to their commitment to the science of the time, also initially sculpted all their models at a consistent 1:40 scale, including a Protoceratops & nest of their own! This forever spoiled me. I now generally only collect things that are roughly within this size range, which unfortunately tends to keep certain dinosaur species out of my grasp since few companies feel willing to produce a small dinosaur species at this scale. However, Klein has committed to sculpting all his figures at the 1:35 scale, which is close enough for my tastes, and has even committed to mostly focusing on smaller creatures that larger companies often overlook! I missed out on the original Carnegie Protoceratops nest set, and I lost my copy of a subsequent standalone Protoceratops they also produced, so my only option thus far has been the figure included in the Safari Ltd. Feathered Dinosaurs Toob, which, while of an appropriate size, looks a little lumpy and misshapen.
I can happily report that the Wild Past Protoceratops w/ Nest is exquisite, excellent in detail and overall shape, with a pleasantly vibrant yet realistic color pattern. It actually reminds me quite a bit of the standalone Mini Carnegie Protoceratops I sadly lost, which had been among my favorite figures. For a more detailed look at the scientific accuracy of this set, I recommend reading the Dino Toy Blog’s official review of this figure.
Now, as many dinosaur nerds know, one of the most famous specimens of Protoceratops actually got itself buried while locked in a fight to the death with a Velociraptor! Both dinosaurs apparently found themselves buried in an instant in the middle of their battle when a nearby sand dune collapsed onto them (their native habitat was in the Gobi, which, then as now, was a vast, arid desert). So naturally any collector will want to pair it with a similarly sized opponent for their displays… or playtime ;). I recommend purchasing the Safari Ltd. Feathered Dinosaurs Toob for this purposes: it is the most easily accessible way to get mostly correct raptor figures at the appropriate scale, though some of the figures in the set do have their issues. Sadly, the Velociraptor itself is rather scraggily and under-feathered, so I often find myself using the Sinornithosaurus from the same set instead.
I am in love with my Protoceratops set from Wild Past, and I eagerly await the release of the next figures in line for production. So eager was I to support this venture, I actually purchased two copies of this first offering. I plan on keeping one for myself, and donating the other to the Dallas Paleontological Society’s annual Christmas auction to spread awareness of this fantastic new small dinosaur toy company.
One word of caution to any potential buyers: this figure is really tiny. The Collecta dude seen in the picture above is approximately the size of a Lego minifig, so I don’t recommend this toy for any kids that you wouldn’t give a Lego set to. That being said, I can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone above that limit, and encourage you to support this small business as well! For my American readers, the best way to get ahold of it is through Dan’s Dinosaurs, an online dinosaur specialty shop that will take care of North American customs and distribution of Wild Past figures. For my readers across the Atlantic, you can purchase it more or less directly from Stefan Klein himself. While the Wild Past website doesn’t have an online storefront yet, you can contact him here to inquire about purchase options. Be sure to follow Wild Past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well for the latest updates and previews of upcoming products! (Don’t forget Dino Dad Reviews is also on Twitter and Instagram!)
Go get yourself a copy before the initial supply runs out and you have to wait for a restock! You can purchase with the satisfaction of knowing that Wild Past Protoceratops & Nest receives a glowing Dino Dad Stomp of Approval!