Dimetrodon (Papo)

Every prehistoric animal toy line has to have a Dimetrodon, so here’s Papo’s – their second new figure in 2013, following the successful Carnotaurus. Dimetrodon, a scaly beast with a vicious set of fangs, would seem to play perfectly to Papo’s strengths and, indeed, this might be one of their best figures so far.

PapoDimetro (1)

In the past, Papo have scarcely ever been faulted for their production values, which have remained consistently excellent. Rather, they’ve been criticised for haphazard anatomical accuracy and/or lazily leaning on creature designs used in certain 20-year-old movies. Since the appearance of Dimetrodon in art has hardly changed in over 50 years, the animal would seem to be a good bet for avoiding such issues. Happily, Papo have lived up to this promise and produced a figure that, while not completely perfect, certainly shows a great deal of attention to anatomical detail, certainly beyond what one would expect for a non-museum figure.

PapoDimetro (8)

The overall proportions of Dimetrodon differ depending on which species you’re talking about, and of course it’s not mentioned which particular species the Papo is based on, if any. However, it’s very well proportioned for a “Dimetrodon sp.”, with a lovely long tail, rather squat limbs and a heavy-looking maw mounted up front (not to mention the characteristic sail). It could probably do with an extra toe on each hind foot, but there aren’t too many other glaring faults here.

PapoDimetro (2)

Certain aspects of the head, especially the tip of the lower jaw, may have been exaggerated a little bit – it seems rather too chunky. This is a nitpick, though, as overall the noggin is excellent – tall but not especially wide, with the eyes located high up and far back, and the signature notch in the upper jaw made very obvious. The jaw is articulated, too, which allows for a variety of poses. While having it hang wide open gives our Permian beauty queen the radiant smile she surely deserves, I nevertheless prefer it closed – mostly because the rather odd tongue resembles a partially-swallowed slab of meat, or possibly a slice of pie.

PapoDimetro (5)

Of course, what Papo are really known for is the astonishing lifelike quality they bring to what are, ostensibly, relatively cheap children’s toys. The Dimetrodon surpasses even their usual very high standard in this regard, boasting a gorgeous, naturalistic stripy brown colour scheme on the body, complemented by an occasionally haphazardly painted, but nevertheless striking grid pattern on the sail. The texturing is, as always, exemplary – the figure is covered in lizardlike scales that gleam realistically, with broader scales on the belly. Overall, this just might be the most beautiful Dimetrodon toy yet produced.

PapoDimetro (6)

Now, I’ll readily admit that I’m no expert on Permian synapsids. Well, I’m no expert on dinosaurs either, but I have enough of a geeky fascination with them to get by when writing a toy review. Therefore, there might be some awful anatomical fault (besides the missing toes) with this figure that I’ve overlooked. Still, I certainly can vouch for this figure being well sculpted, painted and, well, looking very cool indeed. Very highly recommended.

Available from Amazon.com here.

12 Responses to Dimetrodon (Papo)

  1. The Papo Dimetrodon appears to be almost entirely based on the Creative Beast Dimetrodon painted by Steve Riojas. I covered this in Reply #481 here: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3947.msg132400#msg132400

    The Creative Beast Dimetrodon has five toes, but only four can be seen in that photo of it. I imagine the Papo Dimetrodon’s sculptor looked at that photo and thought Dimetrodon only has four toes and that’s why the Papo Dimetrodon is missing a toe on each foot.

  2. Pingback: Dimetrodon (The First Giants by Schleich) | Dinosaur Toy Blog

  3. The missing toes on it’s hind feet are the only error I see in it.It’s odd because they have every other detail right,from the shape of the skull (it even has the kink in the upper jaw) to having the right teeth.It’s got the right body proportions too.It’s even identifiable as the species D.grandis by the shape of it’s sail.I wonder if Papo were just making a shortcut there,or were they having problems with the molds and the reduction of one digit per hind foot was the resulting compromise…
    Still,it’s an impressive model nonetheless,and like others have said before it looks alive!

  4. Es el mejor Dimetrodon hecho hasta la fecha a pesar de las imprecisiones anatómicas, espero nunca mejor dicho los días para tenerlo en mi colección. Mi definición sobre esta figura es la siguiente: belleza

  5. A pesar de las posibles imprecisiones anatómicas que habéis señalado me parece una figura impresionante.Parece un animal real.El detalle de la musculatura y el brillo de la piel están muy bien conseguidos.

  6. Indeed,this one of Papo’s best prehistoric models,uf not the best.A very very impressive figure.Can’t wait to pick up one!

  7. Aw, now every time I see it, my eye goes straight to the pie.

  8. Allow me to be the curmudgeon. It really is a nicely detailed figure as are virtually all of Papo’s figures. Very nice paint job, scales, etc. it has the look of a living animal, something Papo excels at even when their sculpt is lacking in technical accuracy. That said…the head? What is up with that head? When I first caught a glance at a photo of this figure my first impression was “My god, they’ve put a crocodile snout on that thing!” That is particularly evident in the first picture above. That snout is simply far to long and low. It kinda makes me cringe when I consider the rest of this otherwise excellent figure. I guess when I get mine I’ll put conceal his snout behind some shrubbery or something.

    • It isn’t as long or low as the first photo implies; it’s a bit of a perspective trick. I’d urge you to check out its head in lateral view for yourself.

  9. It really is a delight. If only Papo’s marine reptiles were of such high quality too. Sigh.

  10. I think one would have to be very curmudgeonly indeed to complain about this one. Dimetrodon hasn’t figured highly among my favourite animals, and my models of them are few, but I’m thoroughly won over by this one.

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