Review and Pictures by Nicholas Anning (“Brontozaurus”). Edited by Plesiosauria.
Today on the Dinosaur Toy Blog, we’re going further back in time than we’ve evergone before. To a time when dinosaurs, and the humans who collect toys of them, were not even a gleam in the eyes of some primitive organism-assuming it had eyes to have gleams in. We’re going back 500 million years, to the Ediacaran period, when the first complex multicellular organisms appeared.
Cadbury’s Yowies were essentially hybrids of Kinder Surprises and the Kaiyodo models that get reviewed here every so often. They had chocolate shells and, inside a small capsule, a small model of an animal (mainly Australian ones) that needed to be assembled, with an information leaflet on that animal. In 2001, a range of extinct Australian fauna were produced in conjunction with an Australian Museum exhibition.Referred to as the Lost Kingdoms, the first series covered the Ediacaran period to the modern day, and the Giant Disc Jelly was the first in the series.
The scientific name of the Giant Disc Jelly is Dickinsonia. An oval-shaped creaturethat varies in size up to half a metre long, it was found in the Ediacaran hills in South Australia (though is known from other localities in the world). There is much debate over what exactly it is related to. Some think it may be related to modern marine worms, others see a resemblance to a coral polyp. This model (which is about 6cm in length) is reconstructed more along the lines of worms. It arches in the middle, suggesting itis swimming by undulating its body. It consists of three pieces, the front, middle, and back end. The front and back ends can be easily confused, because the only indication ofwhere they properly fit is the pink marking on the middle of the Dickinsonia. Speaking of which, it seems unlikely that Dickinsonia was blue with red spots and a pink middle, considering the general lack of eyes in the Ediacaran fauna. It could have had these colours, though, and it’s a colour scheme which certainly looks good. The patterns are the same on the underside of the model as they are on the top.
There is some nice detailing on the Dickinsonia, replicating the many folds which arepresent on its fossils. It is certainly a very nice little replica, but it’s a bit boring by Yowie standards. See, Yowies usually have an action feature of some sort-the most commonbeing that two parts are connected in a way that means that if one is moved, the other also moves. This one, though, lacks any kind of play feature-it just lies there, being a Giant Disc Jelly. While I’d have liked to have seen them try to put some kind of action feature into the model, it is admittedly hard to think of a way in which Dickinsonia could begiven play value and remain a small toy.
This Dickinsonia toy will likely be the only one of its kind (unless Kaiyado went and did
one and I don’t know about it). It’s a neat little model, with good colours and detailing. The only negative point is that it doesn’t really measure up to the rest of the Yowie models in terms of play value, so if you’re looking to get into Yowies, don’t choose this as your starting point. Nevertheless, it’s not like we’re going to get another one, so if you want to make a collection of early life, the Giant Disc Jelly would be a great addition.