In general, every kind of toys born from a sketch, an idea conceived from a designer. When the toy refers to a movie or a cartoon, the designer have the justification to project a product very similar to the movie/cartoon carachter.
For example, in the 90's the designers of Kenner toys had complete creativity freedom to design the Jurassic Park toys basing their work on the dinosaurs of the movie. Kenner had the license for that.
But... we are sure that everyone else do the same?
The first series of Papo dinosaurs, for example, are fully insipired by the dinosaurs of all the three JP movies. They are very cool and the value for money is very convenient. Even, they are more similar than the original Jurassic Park toys, from Kenner and Hasbro.
But Papo doesn't have the Universal license, so their toys doesn't report the brand of Jurassic Park...
The first Papo toys, insipired to the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park movies.
But what about paleoartists influence on the dinosaur toys industry?
Looking at many images of dinosaur toys, i realized they are copied from a lot of popular (and not) paleontological illustrations.
I assembled a few pictures to show you what mean:
Allosaurus by Brett Booth (image from demonpuppy.blogspot.com) and Papo Allosaurus.
Oviraptor by Julius T. Csotonyi (image from Csotonyi's website) and Papo Oviraptor.
Ampelosaurus by Dmitry Bogdanov and CollectA Ampelosaurus (image from The Dinosaur toy Blog).
Kaprosuchus by Todd Marshall (from National Geographic) and Safari LTD Kaprosuchus (image from The Dinosaur toy Blog).
Oviraptor by Luis V. Rey (from Rey's website) and Oviraptor by Safari LTD.
These are just some examples, there are many others.
Now, from what i know, no one of these artists was been contacted before the production of the relative model. Maybe, this toys companies think that is sufficient modify some detail (like the colors, or the pose of a single arm) to make the model "original". This have a negative impact to the work of the paleoartist, because their illustrations do an unpaid job.
What you think about this problem?
Maybe is the moment to create real work possibilities between the paleoartists and the modeling companies and to say stop to these "stolen reconstructions".