As the enemy approaches, the gladiator swings his heavy club from side to side, stamps his foot, and growls defiantly. The tyrannosaur is huge and hungry, but the gladiator has fought many battles and sent many would-be killers limping away bloody and broken. He is ready for this one. Have at it!
Despite being the biggest and most popular member of the thyreophoran family that bears its name, Ankylosaurus is hardly a well-known dinosaur. Much of its body, limbs, tail, and armour remain as yet undiscovered. Most early renditions (and some modern ones, unfortunately) depict it with lots of spikes, but the available fossil evidence indicates that its armour consisted mostly of smoother, rounded scutes. CollectA’s Deluxe Ankylosaurus figure clearly reflects this modern interpretation.
The original 2008 version of this toy possessed a very typical(boring) ankylosaur colour scheme: brown and desert yellow. This 2013 repaint is considerably more vivid. Granted, the main colours are dark, medium, and light brown, but the four horns on the skull and the tip of the snout are painted red. A red stripe also runs from the top of the head all the way down the spine and to the tail club. The eyes are orange and the mouth is pink. Finally, there are white markings covering the sides of the head and the neck. To be honest, the appearance reminds me of the late, great David Bowie. As such, I have chosen to name this mighty Maasthrichtian gladiator Ziggy. Ziggy Jawbreaker.
From the tip of his nose to the end of his club, Ziggy measures a good 26 cm long, making him one of the largest Ankylosaurus toys on the market. Feels very solid and durable too. He is sculpted in what could easily be interpreted a battle-ready stance with his feet planted, his head turned to the right, and his tail raised to what is probably the maximum height possible. Ready to fight for his life against a ravenous T. rex! Alternatively, he could be engaged in a courtship display. Or maybe he’s simply wagging his tail happily because he just spotted a ripe berry bush.
Most of the skin on this toy consists of rounded scales, but the underside is covered in soft wrinkles instead. The armour consists of three distinct types. First, there are rows of angular plates protecting the neck. Then there are six large, flat osteoderms on the main body. And finally, there are lots and lots of keeled knobs. Again, no one knows for certain what the proper arrangement of the armour on Ankylosaurus was, but this one seems reasonable. The heavy tail club is covered in small knobs and looks quite capable of inflicting serious damage. Quite the walking fortress indeed!
Unfortunately, there are some glaring scientific inaccuracies to be found here. First off, the nostrils should be spaced further apart on either side of the skull. The scales covering the top of the skull should be larger. The feet look to be slightly too large and all end in five toes. It is more likely that Ankylosaurus had three toes on its hind feet and four on its front ones.
Like most of CollectA’s earlier toys, Ziggy Jawbreaker here is a mixed bag. The anatomical errors described above are a pity, and I do hope that CollectA produces a brand new Ankylosaurus someday. On the other hand, this toy is still closer to the real thing than certain others. And the sheer size, durability, funky colours, and fearsome appearance of this toy make it very fun to play with. Overall then, I rather like the Deluxe Ankylosaurus and I do recommend it.