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Dig-A-Dino (4M) vs. GeoWorld
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.
-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.
-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.
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.