Papo are much-loved for their highly detailed, Jurassic Park resemblin’ line of prehistoric creature figures; any number of them are perfect lookalikes of their movie counterparts, right down to the smallest inaccuracy. So it is too with this little marginocephalian fella, the Papo Pachycephalosaurus, perhaps one of the most overlooked members of the line.
Yes, he surely does resemble the Pachycephalosaurus that got a beardy caricature of a palaeontologist all excited in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, especially when it comes to the colour scheme, which is also remarkably like that of the absurdly gigantic (but very cool) über-Pachycephalosaurus that Kenner released alongside the movie (see comparison shot below). At about 9cm tall to the top of his dome and 13.5cm long this toy is somewhat more diminutive, although its small size makes it about 1:35 scale – meaning that it fits in nicely with similarly-scaled dinosaur toys from both the Papo collection and other lines.
As is typical of Papo the fine details are extremely nicely sculpted and well painted – in this regard there really is no competitor at this price point. I applaud all dinosaur toys that don’t skimp on giving the animal an all-over covering of scales (as long as it’s appropriate for the animal in question, cough), and here they reach a tiny size while retaining absolute clarity. The paintwork on the head is wonderful – it’s hard to believe that they’re churning these out by the dozen. There is absolutely no splashing or fudging around and inside the mouth, complete with miniscule tongue. Elsewhere the musculature and skin folds give the animal a very convincing look. Top marks as always in this area for Papo.
Papo figures normally fall down when it comes to anatomical accuracy (“hmmm” and “AAARGGGH“), and while this toy is by no means bad in that department it could certainly do with a little alteration in some areas. Of course, it helps immensely when scultping a Pachycephalosaurus that the animal’s only known from its head, so there’s room for a little artistic license. Nevertheless, those hips really should be wider. Pachycephalosaurs are known for their unusually wide hips – the old Battat figure and the newer Favorite ‘soft model’ show how it should be done. The animal depicted here is far too slender. The forelimbs could probably do with being a little shorter too, although most bothersome is the awkward posture, typical of the early Papo bipeds – it’s a too-upright tripod with an awkwardly bent tail.
Nevertheless, this is a well-made toy. Some may be left dissatisfied by its deformed hips and rather slim ribcage (maybe it’s been wearing a dino-corset), but I’m sure most people will be too busy drooling over the detail work to notice. One group this toy will definitely satisfy is Jurassic Park fans, because this is the closest thing you’ll get to a statue – albeit a tiny one – of the creature from the movie. Recommended unreservedly for teary-eyed nostalgics who cuddle their Red Rex close to them at night, but the rest of you might want to mull it over. (Did I mention that it’s cheap?)