Hypsilophodon was a tasty little morsel for vacationing and local carnivorous animals during the early Cretaceous. It is believed the Hypsilophodon would have been very fast and nimble. Along with its small size; it was probably a hard catch for the predators, un-like many of us today, Cretaceous predators probably did not like the idea of fast food. I am sure if they caught one; they would have seasoned it with a pinch of salt, some paprika, and toss over a forest fire, presto, a tasty snack for the busy carnivore.
History: Hypsilophodon was around 1.5 meters (approx. 5 feet) long, bipedal, five digits on its hands and feet, with the fifth finger being opposable so it could grasp things. The head was pointed and equipped with a sharp beak used to bite off plant material, and teeth to grind it up. It probably ate in a similar fashion to deer eating new plant shoots and roots. The habitat of these herbivores is mostly unknown. Besides the Hypsilophodon, in the bed where it was found only crocodylomorph scutes and turtle remains have been found. The remains of this animal were found on the Isle of Wight off the coast of England. In fact, those are the only known fossils of the Hypsilophodon as all other fossil material that has been found around the planet are different species of Hypsilophodonts.
How does the 2012 Hypsilophodon family by CollectA represent this animal and stack up as a toy? Let’s take a closer look.
About the toy: Instead of doing one large scale animal, Hypsilophodon is represented by four figures (two adults, two juveniles) on a base surrounding a Tree fern. It is in scale with the CollectA standard range, which means they are really small figures. One adult, and the two juveniles are facing the tree fern eating, while the other adult stands on a small log possibly keeping watch, though the head is turned back toward the rest of the family. By the base of the tree fern and the fallen log, there is some green leafy vegetation.
The arms and hands are correctly positioned on the animals, but both arms are fused together on all the figures. The feet have three digits, and a dew claw. All four figures are at different heights and different poses. There are covered in small irregular circular like skin texture. The hind legs are long but rather bunched up under the animal. The figures are light grey, with a dull, greenish yellow overlay and covered with black dots. The eyes are black and the claws are all painted as well. The base ia a light grey that is painted over mostly with light sandy brown color. The tree fern and the fallen log are painted in two different shades of brown.
Playability: Unfortunately being a diorama, and so small, it could be challenging for some kids to figure out how to play with this toy. Some may be able to use it as for background animals, only getting main use when attacked by a predator, (or Brachiosaur as my two year old is convinced her “long neck” is a carnivore). There are no sharp edges on the toy, but being small it could pose a small foot hazard if it is forgotten on the ground and is stepped on. This would cause more damage to the toy than to the foot I would assume.
Overall Appraisal: While reviewing this toy, I skipped the scientific accuracy section that I normally do. The reason that I choose to do that is because the figures are so small, that every nit pic (like the feet) just feels hollow and ridiculous. It passes the eye candy test, and for this one, that is good enough for me. The 2012 Hypsilophodon family by CollectA is well designed model that truly impresses due to the amount of detail in such a small toy. It does not have the splash of color that the 2012 Koreaceratops had, but there is nothing wrong with that as the paint job looks natural. I would recommend it for educational use and for collectors but, I might pass if it going to be played with, as it really is a small diorama.
Available from Amazon.com here.