Customer Reviews: 4M Mammoth Excavation Kit
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars14
Style Name: Mammoth Excavation Kit|Change
Price:$9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on August 15, 2014
(I will refer to GeoWorld as GW and Dig a Dino as DD)

Shortly after his birthday a couple of months ago, my son took an interest in dinosaurs. We went to a store and found a GW T-Rex excavation kit. He enjoyed the kit so much that we bought more excavation kits. As time went on, his interest became more of an obsession and he's "excavated" many a dinosaur from both the GW brand and the DD brand.
The following dinosaurs have been excavated...
GW brand: T-Rex, Brachiosaurus, and Elasmosaurus.
DD brand: T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Pterosaur and Woolly Mammoth.

Each of these brands has their own positives and negatives and if you are deciding between the two, I hope my review will be helpful. I would give each brand a 4 star rating.

1. Tools:
-GW comes with a hammer-like tool and chisel. DD comes with a rounded hammer-like tool and a paintbrush (See my photo here Geoworld Dino Excavation Kit - T-Rex Skeleton ). The GW tools work just fine on the GW clay.
-The DD tool doesn't work well on its own. In fact, I have no idea how to break the clay with the single tool provided. I would suggest supplementing with a toy hammer. We use a Black&Decker toy hammer which has worked great.

2. Clay:
-The GW clay comes in several colors depending on whether the dinosaur lived on land or water. (We haven't tried any flying dinosaurs from this brand - YET). The walking dinosaurs have cream colored clay and the elasmosaurus has blue clay. The clay breaks apart easily and is perfect for young kids. It took my son 2 hours the first time and now it takes him only an hour to excavate.
-The DD clay is pink and has a more rock-like harder texture. You have to bang pretty hard on it but it does break. It takes my son at least two hours to excavate with this clay. Usually, he asks me to help him chip away at it. Again, this is why the tool provided is useless without a hammer. My son and I have used the GW tools on this clay and they work but we both prefer using the hammer with one of the tools.
-Washing the clay off of the dinosaur is a bit easier with the GW clay because it seems to wash away more easily. For tough to wash spots, I like to use an unraveled paper clip to push the clay out of tiny spaces.

3. Dinosaurs:
GW dinosaurs look like smaller replicas of the real thing and are pretty impressive. The bones are hard and painted in various tones to look like real bones. The pieces usually snap together well and when the dinosaur is put together, it stands up well too. I would recommend this brand to someone who intends to DISPLAY their dinosaurs. Since the bones are hard, they can break if they are played with. In fact, our first T-Rex broke when my son tried to pull a leg out of its socket. The connector on the leg snapped when he tried to do this. Luckily, the store was nice enough to give us a replacement. These skeletons are not really meant to be taken apart and put back together. We have them displayed and once in a while, my son asks to hold one. He knows he needs to be extremely careful when playing with one because it can snap.
DD dinosaurs are more rubbery. They come in a one-tone cream color and don't look anywhere near as authentic as the GW brand. They can be a bit tougher to put together because of their rubbery nature and are a bit wobbly when you try to stand them up. With that said, the rubbery material withstands PLAY really well. When my son excavates them and tries to pull a bone that isn't coming out, I don't worry that he might break it. I say "be very careful" a lot more when he's digging a GW dinosaur. He can play more roughly with the DD dinosaurs and take them apart and put them back together without worrying that something will snap.

Size: GW dinosaurs are quite a bit bigger than DD dinosaurs (see photo)

4. Recommended Age:
GW is ages 6+ and DD is ages 8+. I'm not sure why DD recommends a minimum so high. It could be because the clay can be tough to break apart. As mentioned earlier, with better tools, even a 5 year old can do it.
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on January 27, 2012
As I said it is a bit time consuming but it is also quality time to spend with your kids. I helped my little cousin work on this for about an hour, and it was fun. But my cousin was getting a little impatient so we kind of cheated the process a bit we soaked it in water for a while and it still took some time to do but when it was done it was worth it, she really enjoyed the time we spent together on it. If you have a lot of patients and a child with a lot of patients then this would be a great project to work on an hour a night for a week or so to finish it properly. But if you do it in the water DO NOT drain it down your sink make sure as to soak it in a little bucket or wash pan because it a plaster substance and it will plug up your pipes. But all in all I thought this was fun and educational, for the adult help the child as well as the child. AAA+++
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on March 15, 2012
We have purchased several of these Dinosaur fossil dig kits in the past few years for our 7 year old daughter. She was given one for Christmas 2009 and her interest in Dinosaurs went through the roof. She has seen every movie or cartoon that has featured a dinosaur in it ever since then. We have probably purchased 10 or more of these kits here because our daughter loves them so much and we have even used these items as "rewards". Instead of a treat of some kind, break out a new fossil dig kit and instant excitement!

Great for tuning fine motor skills. This is not a toy that your child is going too put down immediately (if they like it). It is time consuming and can be quite a mess with all of the dust and rocks being chipped away but definitely worth the amount of money (and then some)as well as the time you spend on these. Different types and species are available so there is a pretty good selection out there for this type of product. As I said, our daughter was 5 when she got her 1st one and once she started chipping away at it and saw some progress, she never slowed down. She loves everything about dinosaurs and actually being able to dig these fossils out on her own, she has now declared that she is going to be a Paleontologist, Artist, Nurse! All at the same time!

Again, other than the messy dust, this is a great product. Of course without the dust and dirt, this could not possibly even exist. When she is inside at the table chipping away, I put newspaper down and a cookie sheet on top of the paper and then she can just go to town! Cleans up easily enough too! Great price for a very cool item!
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on January 14, 2016
For one I have to say to all you negative nancies about the dig kits of any kind being messy, dusty and dirty, well duh. It is to be close to real life digs. Second then yu complain about the kits lasting an hour or two. Well here's the deal. If your child loved doing it that hour or two will stick with him forever. Also they are small bricks how long are they supposed to last? My word.
So onto my review. You can see almost step by step how the kit went. It was a lot of fun and my son and i did it together. He was more than happy to do it with me.The excavating took just over an hour to complete and get all of the pieces out. To get him cleaned up and built took another 30 mins or so. Took almost two hours from start to finish. My son loved this kit and was so happy to put him together. Sadly he did say it was better than the gem kits now. I love the gem kits. I had a lot of fun digging this guy out as well.
We did this kit on my bed on top of a towel. Yes the kit makes a lot of dust when you use paint brush or blow it off, but thats part of the deal. Its not liek it cant be cleaned up. I highly recommend this kit to any dinosaur.mammoth lover. It was tons of fun.
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on January 19, 2015
We bought 2 kits for our 4 year old for Christmas. This one and the one made by the Smithsonian (T-rex). Both of the kits have the same concept- chip bones out of plaster like "rock". He LOVED these. They made a freaking horrible mess that took days to finally get all cleaned, but that is a price you pay for your child's happiness!! When it comes to buying these again, I will buy the 4M Mammoth Excavation Kit over and over again. NOT THE Smithsonian one!! This mammoth was made of slightly rubbery bones that snapped together and STAYED TOGETHER. It can be positioned and played with without falling apart. The T-rex from the Smithsonian kit was crappy plastic molds that didn't fit together well and if you happened to look at it wrong, it all fell apart. I ended up using super glue and putting it on the shelf... my kids are STILL playing with the mammoth weeks later and nothing has fallen off!! You can't beat $10 for hours of entertainment!
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on April 16, 2014
Found this at a thrift store for $2.. And my 8 yr old girl loves it!! It's slow-going as far as digging goes but that just means it occupies more of her time unlike most toys out there! "Oh Yes!!"..."Oh!! I think I know what kind of dinosaur this is!" "Ohh I found another leg!" Are just a few of the comments IV heard her yell out in the last 40min :) totally would have been worth full price I'd say :)
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on January 10, 2015
The skeleton can move, and stays together! My daughter had a lot of fun digging for the bones. She was even more delighted with the way it fit together so well and stayed together! We have bought other kids and the skeletons didn't fit well together and often fell apart. She loves to play with her dino skeletons and this one is her favorite. She uses it as a pet for her Monster High dolls too.
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on May 2, 2014
I bought three of these kits for each of my daughters (Mammoth & T-Rex for my 4 yr old twins and gem stones for my 3 yr old). The reviews were not exaggerating about how messy these kits are. The concept is awesome- a block of clay holds all the pieces to assemble either a T-Rex or Mammoth skeleton (or in the case of gems- 9 different gems). Once all bone pieces have been excavated using a pick and brush, they provide a guide to assembling the skeleton itself. That is the fun and educational part. To ultimately get to that point, it takes a least 30 minutes to "excavate" the bones, including me using a flat head screwdriver to chip away at the block. Each chip at the block created a ridiculous amount of red clay dust that got everywhere. My twin with sensitive skin actually had an allergic reaction to the dust that covered her arms and hands. I worried about the dust they were breathing in, and when I read on the box that the product was made in China- that was the end of that. I will say that they all enjoyed the experience and we did complete the mammoth skeleton and it looked great. But the T-Rex was never completely excavated after I learned the product was made in China due to my concern about the chemicals/particles my kids were exposed to in the process.
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on November 15, 2015
Bought this 4M Mammoth Dig kit for our almost 12 year old daughter. It took her a few hours to dig the mammoth out. It's VERY messy and VERY dusty. I recommend it for an outdoor project. We took ours camping for the kids to have something to do and it was perfect! Super cute little mammoth...she enjoyed it very much. Would buy again and the price of $10 is a steal!
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on February 19, 2015
My 7 year old son loved the adventure of excavating the bones out of the rock with the provided tools. He was so excited every time a piece was broken free. Putting all the pieces together to create the Mammoth wasn't difficult and he had a great presentation piece for his school project in the end. Highly recommend for excellent quality, great introduction to archaeology/fossils, and education.
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