Tylosaurus (CollectA)

Tylosaurus was one of the biggest and baddest mosasaurs, second only to Mosasaurus itself. Indeed, the largest mounted mosasaur skeleton in the world is the 13 metre long “Bruce,” located at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Manitoba.

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CollectA’s 2009 Tylosaurus figure measures a mere 18.5 cm long, but that’s only due to the pose it’s sculpted in. It is turning sharply to the left with its fearsome jaws open, as though it were pursuing or cornering prey. As an apex predator in the Late Cretaceous sea, Tylosaurus would have been able to select dinner from a wide menu: fish, sharks, diving birds, pterosaurs, sea turtles, fellow mosasaurs, and plesiosaurs such as Dolichorhynchops.

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The main colour on this toy is a distinctive grey-blue. Very dark blue is used on the head and flippers while the underbelly is best described as brownish-purple. There are small, solid dark blue stripes on the back and large, faint stripes on the tail. The eyes are brown, the mouth is full red, the teeth are white, and there is white “wash” on the flanks, highlighting the many wrinkles in the skin. Yes, unlike so many other prehistoric sea monster toys, this Tylosaurus features a textured hide consisting of thick wrinkles. Only the underbelly and the very top of the back are smooth. The flippers have very soft grooves to indicate the bones underneath.

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Unfortunately, CollectA’s early toys are infamous for their inaccuracies, and the one is no exception. First, the premaxilla (snout) should be thinner and pointier, and the palatine teeth are absent. Second, there are no visible nostrils anywhere on the skull. And third, the flippers look too small. Finally, the tail has a paddle shape instead of a fluke, but given the timing of that anatomical discovery, CollectA can hardly be faulted. And on a very positive note, this Tylosaurus actually has a forked tongue! One of the few mosasaur toys to get this right!

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Overall, the CollectA Tylosaurus‘ glaring flaws are balanced out by its good colour scheme, textured skin, accurate tongue, and ferocious appearance. It’s definitely not a home run like the Carnegie Collection Tylosaurus, but it’s better than the Papo version as far as I’m concerned.

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