The blog’s gone all grown-up recently with resin kits and limited-edition statues – leave it to me to lower the tone and introduce a mere toy. What we have here, then, is what is known among collectors as a ‘Chinasaur’ – cheaply made and featuring little more identification than ‘Made in China’. However, many of you will recognise this as being from the ‘UKRD’ collection, rubbery dinosaurs with a distinctive look and named after an identifying mark stamped on many of them (although mine doesn’t have it). Edmontosaurus was one of the more noteworthy dinos in the set, as it’s an animal scarcely seen in toy form.
Many hadrosaur fans will be howling in disgust at this figure. It’s fat, it’s upright, and its hands have rather evenly-sized fingers, while the puffy cheeks are an odd touch. Given them some slack, though. This figure is stamped with “© 1991”, and in the early 1990s a lot of paleoart depicting this dinosaur wasn’t a lot better. In addition, hadrosaurs are rarely seen today among the plethora of theropod and sauropod toys and there were even fewer back then.
Admittedly the main appeal of this figure – particularly for people who grew up in the 1990s – will be nostalgia. Anyone younger or older won’t find it too aesthetically pleasing – it sports a dull brown-and-beige colour scheme like it’s wearing an old man’s jacket and chinos and, like all the ‘UKRD’ dinos, has a groovy rhinoceros-wrinkle look. Dinosaur toys with elephantine skin are still released to this day, and many people let them off on the grounds that you wouldn’t be able to see the scales if they were shrunk down to this size, but it’s not a look I’m fond of.
Details are limited but quite nicely done for an early-1990s cheap toy dinosaur. One need only visit the excellent Plasticosauria to be reminded of the horrific abominations that passed for bargain-bucket dinosaurs back then. Indeed, even the early Safaris aren’t much better than this. The skin has folds where the limbs are in motion, the head is sculpted pretty well in accordance with the skull and, although visible musculature is limited by the lard-bucket podginess on display, there’s some noteworthy detailing on the neck that you might not notice at first.
Ultimately, this toy succeeds well in its purpose of being a toy. It’s chunky and a little tacky, but it’s just realistic enough to make a great dinosaur toy for kids – as indeed it did back in the day. This is a figure that can take the rough and tumble of being ‘attacked’ by a big plastic tyrannosaur and still avoid looking too indecent on a collector’s shelf. In addition it’s one of the few mass-produced Edmontosaurus toys ever seen and can usually be bought for three buttons and a length of twine when it appears on eBay. I’d say it’s a plain-looking retro hadrosaur that’s worth a punt nevertheless.
Sometimes available on eBay