Review by Nathan, edited by Plesiosauria.
Rhoetosaurus brownei was an Australian sauropod that lived around the mid-Jurassic Period and is one of the oldest known sauropods. Little evidence has been found for this dinosaur, only a partial hind leg, some vertebrae, ribs, and pelvic elements are known, yet CollectA decided to release one as part of their standard collection back in 2009. CollectA seem to have a thing for making poorly known dinosaurs known from just partial skeletons. Their toys can be almost entirely speculative and therefore is difficult to conduct a meaningful review!
First impressions? CollectA came out with is a figure that looks like a Saltasaurus as much as anything else – the back is covered in osterderms at least, just like Saltasaurus and other titanosaurs. If CollectA did some research for this animal, maybe they looked up the wrong dinosaur species in the wrong family! The problem is that the classification of Rhoetosaurus in unclear. It is a basal sauropod of uncertain affinity. It has been allied historically with cetiosaurids, a group that had no armour. Some recent studies have also suggested a close relationship with the tail-clubbed Shunosaurus, but no tail club is present on the tail in this figure. The remains of this dinosaur are too incomplete to be sure.
The pose makes this figure seem a bit cutesy to me. The neck reaches upwards as if its feeding on tall trees. It relies on its tail for balance, but some have said that theirs stands without it. You can place the CollectA Rhoetosaurus on all fours, but then it looks goofy with its back legs outstretched in a double back-kick, I’m sure diorama enthusiasts could find a way to hide them though.
The head resembles that of a Diplodocus, purely speculatively, because no head of Rhoetosaurus has ever been found in the fossil record. The color of this figure is mostly amber, with sky blue spots and plum colored lines, while the underside is painted light green. The lips and lower jaw are also plum colored
Overall, the armour makes it looks superficially like a Saltasaurus with the name Rhoetosaurus stamped on its belly, but Rhoetosaurus is so poorly known it’s impossible to assess the accuracy of this toy in any detail. if you’re a collecter of Australian dinosaurs though, this is the only figure to bear the name of this mysterious dinosaur.
Available from eBay stores here