First things first – this is yet another “Ankylosaurus” model that is nothing of the sort, instead rather obviously being based on Euoplocephalus (would giving these figures the correct name really harm their commercial prospects that much?). It’s also Papo’s very latest dinosaur, released a few months ago and well overdue the Dinosaur Toy Blog treatment.
Papo’s legions of screaming fans (maybe) will be pleased to know that this figure continues the company’s tradition of preposterous detailing and immaculate paint schemes, the likes of which have often made other manufacturers’ efforts look plain embarrassing. A few may complain that it’s a little on the brown side, but it’s still one of the few dinosaur toys that one can use the word ‘sumptuous’ about with a straight face. Every fine detail – scutes and spikes, eyes, tongue – is painted flawlessly. In terms of aesthetics, Papo remain without peer at this price point, and the careful paintwork even puts some expensive resin models to shame.
The pose is an interesting one. Thanks mostly to their bulky, squat frame, the majority of ankylosaur figures tend to have fairly similar poses – just standing or walking with the tail swinging out to one side. However, Papo’s “Ankylosaurus” is posed crouching, as if to brace itself, with its tail swinging wildly up into the air. Such an inventive, exciting pose is definitely worthy of commendation, and really makes the toy stand out among its more static peers. Being frozen in such a pose may limit its playability for kids, but there’s no doubt that any dino-mad child (or man-child, ahem) would be thrilled to receive a figure like this anyway.
Anatomically there are certainly flaws, as usual, although this is far from being the most severely flawed figure in the Papo range (dare I mention the horrible Oviraptor again?). Apart from it being a Euoplocephalus rather than an Ankylosaurus, the head is too large for the body, and the tail rather too short. Most significantly though, the body fails to reflect the true nature of ankylosaur anatomy, that is to say incredibly wide-hipped and strange. The similarly mislabelled Favorite “Ankylosaurus“ shows how it should be done, even if it is not quite as lovely to look at.
Still – and speaking as someone who has gained a bit of a reputation for nitpicking – this is not a figure that should be passed up (or destroyed on sight, like the Oviraptor). In spite of the anatomical errors this is a beautifully made plastic dinosaur at a very reasonable price, and I highly recommend it. Now if only Papo would consult with palaeontologists when developing their figures – THEN we would have hands-down the best dinosaur toy range in the world. One can but dream…
Available from eBay stores here