The English ankylosaurian Hylaeosaurus was one of the very first dinosaurs to be described, in 1832 by the great Gideon Mantell. And along with Iguanodon and Megalosaurus, it enabled Sir Richard Owen to describe the family we all know and love as Dinosauria. That said, Hylaeosaurus remains one of the most poorly known dinosaurs due to very scant fossil remains. It’s not even certain whether it was an ankylosaurid or a nodosaurid.
CollectA’s Deluxe Hylaeosaurus figure dates back to 2009. At 25 cm long, it’s currently the second largest ankylosaur in the line after the Ankylosaurus. Its colour is pretty conservative: tan with a sandy brown underbelly, beige for the claws and the tips of the spikes, blue-grey spots and muzzle, and chocolate brown eyes. The animal is sculpted in an extreme walking pose with its head lowered and looking to the left. Its limbs appear stretched virtually to the point of hyperextension.
And on that note, we might as well get the inaccuracies out of the way. The feet all have five toes and the elongated muzzle bears a striking similarity to a bovid’s. Neither the skull nor the feet of Hylaeosaurus have been discovered, but it’s more than reasonable to say that they did not look like this.
On a more positive note, there can be no question that this is one formidable-looking ankylosaur. Again, we only know Hylaeosaurus from scant remains, but we do know that it possessed sharp spikes on its shoulders and shorter ones on its neck. This individual is outfitted with huge, blade-shaped spikes running in rows down its back and sides. Complimenting the spikes are dozens of keeled osteoderms. Finally, the tail is armed in an array of smaller spikes and osteoderms. The skin has a simple pebbled texture and the underbelly has only a few soft wrinkles.
Although the Hylaeosaurus‘ armament is indeed impressive, the wonky head and feet bring it down quite a bit. Moreover, the sculpting is only average at best. It’s not the worst toy from CollectA’s early years, but unless you happen to be a big fan of ankylosaurs (like me), you’re probably better off spending your money on one of their newer figures.
Available from Amazon here.
This has been my 90th review for the DTB!