Scaphonyx AKA Hyperodapedon (Kid Galaxy)

Dinosaurs and other archosaurs were but one of a number of fascinating groups of animals that existed during the Triassic Period. Another such group consisted of the rhynchosaurs. These herbivorous reptiles had stocky, lizard-like bodies and powerful jaws that functioned much like scissors. One of the largest was Hyperodapedon, at over a metre in length. Scaphonyx was once thought to be another rhynchosaur, but it was later determined to be a species of Hyperodapedon.

This toy, part of an inexpensive five-pack of prehistoric beasts that I came across at Costco, is billed as Scaphonyx, so I shall be referring to it as such for the purpose of this review. The company selling this product is called Kid Galaxy, and a quick Google image search reveals that some of their dinosaurs are merely knockoffs from the Jurassic Park 3 line. My fellow reviewer Halichoeres informs me that Kid Galaxy gets its dinosaurs from a Chinese company called Xidi. Sounds like they’re similar to Chap Mei.

From the tip of its beak to the curve in its tail, this rhynchosaur measures a good 21 cm long. Its main colour is grey with dark green markings, brown eyes, yellowish tusks, and pink for the tongue and mouth tissue. The palate and the claws have been left unpainted, but overall, the figure looks decent enough. It is posed with its head turned very slightly to the left and its tail curling to the right. The shoulders and hips rotate and the lower jaw opens wide. The tail rotates as well, but it doesn’t look very good.

The Scaphonyx‘s skin is reasonably well-sculpted, with lots of small wrinkles, tiny round osteoderms, and a bumpy row of spines running down the length of the vertebrae. The feet are covered in rows of thick scales. On that note, whoever sculpted this toy should be complimented for getting the correct number of digits (five) on each foot, but they should be varying in size more. The legs should be sprawled out to the sides as opposed to held directly under the body, and the hind pair should be smaller. Both the body and the skull need to be wider. And while the mouth, with its two large tusks, looks very impressive, it’s constructed all wrong. The tusks should be spaced closer together like a rodent’s, and there should be a groove where the beak is for the lower mandible to fit into when the mouth is closed. This skull looks more like that of a dicynodont like Placerias. And indeed, Halichoeres also informed me that this toy is actually based upon a computer model of Placerias from a Dorling Kindersley book. Topping it all off is the fact that there are four of those accursed screw holes on the right side of the toy.

Though cheaply made and severely lacking in accuracy, I have to give this Scaphonyx toy credit for its uniqueness. Rhynchosaurs (and dicynodonts for that matter) are extremely rare in the world of prehistoric toys, and this is the first review of one here on the DTB. Plus it fits in very well with Jurassic Park toys. Recommended if you’re into rarities.

Excalibosaurus (CollectA)

Excalibosaurus lived during the early Jurassic about 190 million years ago and at 22 feet (7 meters) long, it was a decent sized fellow.  Looking much like a modern sword fish, it was named after the sword Excalibur of Autherian legend.  This marine reptile is characterized by the extreme elongation of the rostrum, in which the lower jaw is a quarter shorter in length then the upper jaw.    Where as I do agree that “strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government,” naming a unique ichthyosaur after the legendary sword of King Arthur does make this animal stand out.

It is nice to see CollectA continuing to make marine reptiles.  To date they have made thirteen different prehistoric aquatic reptiles.   This is their second ichthyosaurs, as previously they made a Temnodontosaurus giving birth.   I appreciate CollectA’s willingness to take chances on animals that are not as well known.  So with out further ado I present the 2017 CollectA Excalibosaurus.

About the toy:  The toy was made for CollectA’s  standard size range of toys which means that this is a small toy that is only 5 in (13cm) long.  The pose is simple.  The head and upper half of the torso are stiff and straight, but after the dorsal fin it bends gracefully to its left.  The thin snout is 1 inch long with the lower jaw slightly longer than half an inch (1.27 cm).  Unlike the sword fish, Excalibosaurus has teeth all the way down its upper jaw.  On this toy the teeth are present, visible, and nicely sculpted.  The eyes are the appropriate size and the external nares are present.

The body is streamlined and flowing looking the part of an active predator.  I feel that the body should be a little longer when I compare it to the fossils but it is hard to tell so I will not hold it against this figure.   The forepaddles are long and look like a dolphins pectoral fin.  The hindfins are small and rounded.  A small dorsal fin is on top and when you look at the tail fin, the lower lobe is longer than the top.

Size comparison: Kaiyodo Ichthyosaur front, CollectA Excalibosaurus back

The coloring on this figure is modern and believable with a color scheme that has the top being dark, and lighter on the underside.  Very similar to many modern day animals and it correlates well with the evidence that has been found in the pigments preserved in fossilized skin .    The top is black, the bottom is white, with a thin layer of grey blending in between.  On the head it is white around the eye.  The white paint continues in front of the eye and curves down the upper and lower jaw, which leaves the tip of the lower jaw black.   The eyes are black and white. All the fins are black.  The toys texture is very smooth.  The jaws, flippers, and tail are all flexible.  This can lead to some warping. The jaws are especially vulnerable to being bent and warped due to how thin they are.

Overall:  It is a very nice figure of a cool marine reptile.  If you like  ichthyosaurs and only have limited room for display, then this is a good figure to have as it doesn’t take up that much space.  If you are in the mood for an exciting or morbid display, thanks to its small size, it can fit inside the mouth of many other marine reptile toys, which will make the mosasaur and pilosaur figures happy.  Personally I find the figure a little underwhelming,  I think it would have been better if it was a bit bigger to highlight the long jaws.    The colors are bland but accurate so no complaints there. I rate this as a good figure.

Ophthalmosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by, PNSO)

Kids perspective by, William and Erin

By day the squid lurk in the deep waters were only the brave dive into the unknown. It is in these murky depths were they hide from the predators above. When the sun goes down and the moon arrives they come up from down below to the surface to feed.  Awaiting the strange creatures from the depths is a fast predator with big eyes that can see through the gloom.  A squid is gliding around looking for small morsels to eat.  It never sees the big eyes that have locked onto him.  The creature speeds towards it target and snap, the squid is grabbed quickly and swallowed.  For as wonderful as nature is, it is unforgiving and deadly.

The Ophthalmosaurus was an ichthyosaur that was around 19 feet (6 meters) long and like dolphins today it was a voracious predator that was well adapted for eating squid.   It lived around 155 million years ago and had big eyes, a graceful tear drop body, and a half-moon caudal fin.

Little Becky along side the Kaiyodo Ichthyosaurus.

I am not sure why there are not more toys of this species made as they fit the definition of cute.  I remember watching Walking with Dinosaurs and rooting for the little juvenile Ophthalmosaurus  as it dodged bigger predators in the cruel sea.  Lets face it, they look like dolphins (thank you convergent evolution) which makes us think of them as fun, graceful, and playful animals from a long time ago.  Unless your a squid they ae not the things of nightmares, as they don’t have a gaping maw with large man eating teeth.  Combine that with their large eyes and it is hard not to like these wonderful ichthyosaurs.  There have been two other Ophthalmosaurus reviewed on the blog, the beautiful WWD version and the mini Chap Mei toy.  So lets take a look at Becky the little Ophthalmosaurus toy from PNSO.

About the Toy:  Like the other PNSO little figures, this toy came with a poster and information.  The toy is small at 3.8 in (9.65 cm) long and about a half and inch (2 cm) high.  True to its claim to fame the eyes are big on this model and takes up most of its skull.  This probably means that it hunted at a depth where there is not much light or that it may have hunted at night when prey was more active. The pose on the toy is that of an active swimmer.  The head to its dorsal fin is stiff, then the body curves and ungulates gracefully to its right and then flattens back toward  the midline.  This follows the thought that it was a thunniform, high speed, long distance swimmer were all the sideways movement is in the tail and the region that connects to the body.  The tail is in the shape of a crescent moon which appears correct.  The forepaddles and hindfins seem correct as well.  The dorsal fin appears a little small but within the realm of possibility.

The colors and texture are pleasant.  Texturally there is not much to mention other than the entire body is covered in small diagonal lines that give the appearance of skin.  The forepaddles and hindfins also have small lines on the top and bottoms.  In reality, the color on this model probably should be darker on top, instead it is painted in a pleasing light green, with blueish green stripes.  The under side is a light creamy tan.  On the sides of the toy there is a blend of green and tan along with markings that appears to be a question mark design in blueish green.  That same blueish green is dotted on the forepaddles and along the crescent tail.

Kids perspective:  It is small and I wish it was bigger but I can still play with it.  I like the colors, as the colors look real but not as real as in Walking with Dinosaurs.  I really like the green on the tail.  The toy looks like it is a fast swimming fish torpedo.  To play with it is ok.  You can play with it in the pool, or bathtub, as they are both great places to play with this toy.  You do have to be careful when playing in water as you could lose it.  In a deep pool it could go to the bottom and be hard to find.  It is a lot of fun to play with it in the bathtub but it could go down the drain as it is small, so be careful.  You can definitely play with it in Barbies pool but it doesn’t go well with other animals like horses.  We would rate it is an average toy.

Overall:  I think this is a nice figure. It is cute and has an active pose which gives it personality.   I think it displays very well and I did not notice any major anatomical flaws.  The colors are pleasing even with the strange question mark pattern.  The cost on this little figure is low as well.  With all those thoughts in mind I would say that Becky the little Ophthalmosaurus is a keeper.