Review and photos by ‘Takama’, edited by Plesiosauria [who apologises profusely to Takama for the long time it has taken to post this article – “months” wouldn’t be an overstatement].
Like it or not, Papo have created their first mosasaur and to cut to the chase: it’s a downright failure. Papo has been under extreme scrutiny ever since their ‘Tylosaur’ was revealed back in November 2011. Some might defend Papo and point out the resemblance to retro-style mosasaurs. A similar argument may be put forward for their equally inaccurate swan-necked plesiosaur. However, even mosasaurs depicted back in the day were more accurate than this. The anatomical aspect that has drawn the most negative attention from critics (mainly us finicky Dinosaur Toy Forum members, granted) is the position of the neck, which is lifted upwards in an awkward fashion. Almost as bad, its spine is impossibly arched giving the impression it is crawling on land. Real mosasaurs could do no such thing. Why Papo have done this is a mystery as they could have easily pointed the head straight forward and endowed the creature with side to side curvature of the body instead. The resulting model would be no less attractive or ‘sellable’. That said, the figure is what it is and embraces its own inaccuracies proudly. When all is said and done, she carries her broken cervical column and slipped discs rather well. If you simply don’t like her, then seek out the wonderful Carnegie Tylosaurus instead.
The genus Tylosaurus has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its IMAX debut in National Geographic’s Sea Monsters. Since then, every company has opted to create a tylosaur instead of the mosasaur namesake Mosasaurus. Papo calls their figure ‘Tylosaur’, but some people might get technical and consider it a Globidens instead, because of its rounded teeth. However, I think it is a safe bet that the teeth were sculpted this way to ensure that little sugar-high children don’t get an owee if they decide to stick their finger into it. Thankfully, not everything about this model is wrong. The skull stays quite true to the real thing. The only part missing is the palatine teeth on the roof of its mouth. Its tail is nice and flattened from side to side as a mosasaur tail should be.
The colors are nothing special (as with all of Papos dinosaurs). It’s just a dark green like their original Tyrannosaurus, with a darker green on its back, but it blends well with all the other ‘Paposaurs’. The only drawback would be its distracting clean white teeth, which ruin the overall color scheme. Papo should have at least added a little filth to them so that it would not contrast so severely with the rest of the body. The inside of the mouth is completely pink and also bares a little tongue of the same color. The toy is medium-sized at about 23 cm long (9 inches).
So that is that, Papo’s latest ‘failure’ has been covered. This mosasaur is surely wrestling with the Papo Plesiosaurus for most position of most inaccurate Papo figure to date. Poor marine reptiles! You can decide if you want to shell out $12 for this one or not. Obviously, if you’re into scientific accuracy there are far better choices available, but if you like prehistoric fantasy creatures, then this could be for you. And if you really want to make a fantasy world, then buy some of Papos equally detailed dragons to go along with it, then you can create the ultimate prehistoric fantasy experience. The figure is available from Amazon here and Ebay (see links below).