Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: Tinysaur's Stegosaurus Model!

Christmas might be long gone but I still have a bunch of great holiday gifts that I haven't shown off on my blog.  One such gift was from my wife's sister.  Each year, she tries to get me something interesting that fits within my hobbies - and this year was no exception.  While it's not baseball card related (or even LEGO related), it does line up nicely with my interests!

Behold:  The Tinysaur Stegosaurus!

The website for Tinysaurs describes the models nicely, but I'll try to do my own review here.  Before I get to the meat of the review, I will say up front that I now kind of want the other dinosaurs in the series...especially Triceratops which was another one of my favorite dinos as a kid.  I'd have to think long and hard about my dinosaur ranking but I know that Ankylosaurus, Triceratops, and Stegosaurus all would rank quite high!

First of all, the models are indeed TINY!  In fact, the entire page of "bones" is actually a square piece of laser cut paper that is approximately the size of a matchbook.  I've placed the normal sized tweezers next to the paper for scale.

The kit itself comes with the paper of bones, instructions, tweezers, a small tube of glue, a magnifying strip, a base, and a glass dome to cover your finished model.

The packaging says the model is designed for ages 13 and up which I would say is a bare minimum.

I am positive that I would not have had success building the model when I was 13.  I had neither the patience nor the gentle touch that the fragile paper model requires!

The instructions for the model are deceptively short.  Essentially the model is broken down into only five steps - but a closer inspection of the instructions will reveal that you need quite a few paper bones for each step...and many bones look similar so you really need to lay everything out first and figure out what piece is what.  Unfortunately, since the bone pieces are only paper, any sort of aggressive exhaling will scatter little pieces of paper everywhere...and trust me when I say, don't even think about laughing near the model!!

I will admit, before I started this process I was skeptical of the company's claim that the models could be completed in about 30 minutes.  I have fat fingers so I can assure you that it took me a lot longer than time for me was actually 90 minutes!!
Fat fingers not recommended!

Although it took me three times as long as the company thinks it should have, I ended up with a successfully completed dinosaur.  The only issue I found was the the Stegosaurus was just a bit too long from head to tail to fit within the glass dome.  I had to snip off about 1/8" of the dinosaurs tail in order to make the model fit the displace globe.

I should have put a half dollar coin next to the globe for scale - I would say the base of the display case is about that size (or just a bit bigger than a quarter).  The model is called a Tinysaur for a reason!!

Overall, I enjoyed putting the model together despite the long time staring at tiny pieces.  I didn't ever need to use the magnifying strip though your experience may vary depending on your eyesight (and the light in the room)!  The vast majority of the bone pieces popped out of the square paper without any trouble.

 However, there were a few stubborn pieces that took a good deal of effort to coerce out without ruining the structure of the bone.  I also found punching out the dino's eyeballs in its skull to be tricky - I used the very tip of the tweezers but I think a push pin would have been a better idea.

I think the Tinysaur model deserves a high grade - though it's price point might be a bit upsetting for some people (kits run about $10 as of this review).  I like that everything (in theory) that you need is included in the kit, though as I said earlier, I would recommend a push pin to help remove some of the trickiest (and smallest) bones from the sheet of paper.  Do notice the detailing of the spine in the cutout above - each of those hanging pieces of paper formed a notch in which you had to glue either a rib or a plate.  The level of accuracy with the laser cutting was quite amazing!

Bottom Line:
Fun:  10
Difficulty:  8
Structural Strength of Model:  1
Overall:  9

I greatly enjoy dinosaurs...and putting together LEGO sets - so the Tinysaur model was a nice hybrid of sorts between my various interests.  You do need a lot of patience (and a light touch) to successfully complete the model...but once it is done, it never fails to amaze!  Just keep it covered by the glass dome so that no one accidentally destroys your model!


Herbert Hoover said...

Thanks for sharing. You did a great job assembling the model! We posted your blog on the Tinysaur Facebook page.

On the pushpins, we have had several requests for this and the wire stand that supports the pterodactyl. Unfortunately, since kids receive these models, I have to suggest that you source them separately rather than include them. One thing folks have found to be helpful is to strip the paper off of a bread bag tie and use it to poke out details like the sinus and eye holes, or for a pterodactyl display stand.

apba66and0 said...

Very Cool!

Richard Nebe Jr. said...

that's the coolest things I've seen in a while. I've got a few Metal Sculptures to assemble that are very similar to these. I will be posting about those when I'm done...

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