Parasaurolophus (Papo)

Until the release of their Allosaurus, Papo’s prehistorics garnered attention mainly for being remarkable facsimiles of their Jurassic Park counterparts. However, even before Papo’s own Big Al hit the scene the company had released a sculpt not obviously based on a JP creature – this often-overlooked Parasaurolophus (dated 2005) at about 1:35 scale.

Parasaurolophus! Lost World! Roundup sequence!” I hear you scream incoherently. Well, take a deep breath, calm down and let me explain myself. Honestly, you are an excitable lot.

This Parasaurolophus doesn’t have any quirks that mark it out as a JP clone, such as a corresponding paint job. Admittedly, the animal in the movies was one of the less stylised of Stan Winston Studios’ dinosaurs, but the Papo sculpt has features not obvious in the JP version, most notably the fairly tall and irregular neural spines (disbelieve? Check out this still at JPLegacy). It also has the neural spine ‘notch’ present on the Parasaurolophus walkeri type specimen, similar to Schleich’s effort. Although this was probably just damage unique to that individual, it shows that Papo were looking at fossils rather than Jurassic Park for their inspiration here.


Enough of my pet theories, however – what of the toy itself? Well, it’s a decent effort let down by a few niggling details, one of which is rather more niggling than the others, as I will explain shortly. One of the best features of this model is that – hallelujah – it is covered in largely uniform scales, just as skin impressions show, and isn‘t under the Wrinkly Curse. The head is perhaps a little large, but it’s otherwise fairly well proportioned, and there’s a certain amount of creative license with Parasaurolophus walkeri anyway.

The animal is posed rearing up on its hind legs, rather like the Carnegie effort. However, unlike the Carnegie line’s aging sculpt, Papo’s Parasaurolophus retains a fairly horizontal posture, which gives the impression of a mostly quadrupedal creature putting real effort into rearing. A disappointment here is the tail, which is used as a prop and curved at improbable angles. More quadruped hadrosaurs with straight tails please, toy makers! Other than that, the limbs have the right number of digits, although perhaps some of those on the hands should have a more clustered, weight-bearing appearance.

Hopefully you’ll remember that I was, er, niggled by one particular feature on this toy. Take a look at the head.


In profile, there appears to be nothing seriously wrong with it. In fact, it’s a pretty nice sculpt considering this isn’t meant to be a ‘museum-quality’ line of figures. Everything is in its right place; its finely sculpted beady yellow eye and open mouth give it a permanent startled expression, which might also explain why it’s rearing up (about to run away from some unseen tyrannosaur?). However, look inside the mouth and an unpleasant surprise is in store.

TEETH inside the beak! What on Earth are they doing there? Papo, you’re just creating unnecessary extra work for your factory employees with this utterly baffling idiosyncrasy. They’re only in the lower half of the beak, they’re accompanied by a nice little tongue and they’re only visible on close inspection, but they’re infuriating just because they’re so bizarre!

Still, overall a pretty good Parasaurolophus from Papo. Even if it’s not the best Parasaurolophus toy out there, it still features their renowned extraordinary level of detail and has a colour scheme that I really like – some may see it as a little dull, but I prefer to think of it as ‘subtle naturalistic camouflage’ (and the creature doesn’t always have to have a glowing red tuba on its head).

Please do comment to point out where I’ve gone wrong in this review (or even to agree with me!) as I don’t know so much about hadrosaurs. Good thing I didn’t say that at the beginning of the review, eh?

Available from Amazon.com (here)

Review & photos by Marc (‘Horridus’)

15 Responses to Parasaurolophus (Papo)

  1. I got a repainted one of these to go with my factory painted one at Christmas. He’s all dark red and ruddy looking, with charred looking subtle black stripes and dashes along his back and sides, and a grey underbelly. Looks awesome! It’s a one-off too which I really like as it means he’s unique. Really professionally done, probably even better than the factory paint-job to be honest.

  2. I have to be rather critical here too now and say the hands are too lanky to be honest, and the tail a little too “whippy”, but I love the figure anyway.

    By the way, I have gotten rid of the “pebbles” in his mouth. It looks MUCH better now and I’m pleased to say the paint job is very good indeed.

  3. Marc (Horridus)

    @RabbitEars: I’ve decided I was way too kind about this figure. The hands are very wrong – the digits should be clawless and united in a single unit (first digit excepted) – the body’s rather malformed and the neck is too swan-like. (Ah well, it was one of my earlier reviews. I was nice back then.)

    • i think its your personal opinion about “how it should look like”.. i think its a verry realistic pose , the animal is scared and ready to run away! and about the digits theres no proof that they where united in a single unit! its only suggested by some paleontologist..

  4. I bought this Parasaurolophus recently. I love it, the detail is immense, even down to the ribcage showing (this does make him look a little underweight, but that just makes me want to care for him more). The thing about the teeth did make me go a bit “wha-?” when I first saw them, but then in order to bring myself some peace of mind I just decided that they were in fact just pebbles lodged in the bottom of his beak (teeth would be too much of an innacuracy, so they CANNOT possibly be teeth! And I plan on removing them soon (with a paint job). Overall though, I absolutely love this thing and it’s one of the pride and joys of my collection, along with my Schleich Parasaurolophus.

  5. This one was based -if any- on JP3, instead of TLW. The Parasaurolophus on the third movie were green with a yellowish belly, just like the Papo… but it’s true the colour isn’t an exact match to the JP one. Still, there are so many variations on the Papo paintjobs… Some Parasaurolphus appear to be almost completely yellow, with only very subtle green stripes on them. This was not the original intention, as the prototype had some very intense and defined green stripes -and had some lighter green also covering the flanks, between stripes; so the original prototype was supposedly to be green, with darker green stripes, and a yellowish belly. That would fit the JP3 design, enough to consider it an unnoficial JP toy as his brothers.

  6. Schleich has done a few good things. The Para, the Steg, the jr. Allosaurus, the Euplocephalus, and the marine reptiles are all very nice figures.

  7. I dislike this parasaurolophus, especially when the schleich one is available.

    • The Schleich one is better, which is something I thought I’d never say.

      • Well I am not sure the Schleich one is better.
        I have seen both, and the teeth are not a problem if you paint them in camouflage colour yourself.
        The Papo para is more chiseled in its appearence and does not have such a ‘plastic’ look.
        For me that’s important.
        I am not complaining any bit with the knowledge that museums have posed e.g. their T Rex fossils in upright positions for decades…

      • Merlin – It’s a fair point that Papo dinosaurs look a lot less ‘plastic’ than their rivals, and this is one of the more accurate animals, as opposed to being a JP beast. But what did you mean with that last line…?

      • Well, I mean inaccurate configurations, at least to some extent, happen even in official public places.

      • That’s true, but then it’s normally just because they’re out of date…some museums are better than others when it comes to updating their mounts.

  8. I like both the review and the Parasaurolophus. Nevermind the teeth.

  9. Papo isn’t famous for making wonderfully accurate models, but thank goodness it doesn’t have the bright red head .. tuba.. like in Jurassic Park. I’m glad to see another not based on one of JP’s inaccuracies.

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