Dinosaurs and other archosaurs were but one of a number of fascinating groups of animals that existed during the Triassic Period. Another such group consisted of the rhynchosaurs. These herbivorous reptiles had stocky, lizard-like bodies and powerful jaws that functioned much like scissors. One of the largest was Hyperodapedon, at over a metre in length. Scaphonyx was once thought to be another rhynchosaur, but it was later determined to be a species of Hyperodapedon.
This toy, part of an inexpensive five-pack of prehistoric beasts that I came across at Costco, is billed as Scaphonyx, so I shall be referring to it as such for the purpose of this review. The company selling this product is called Kid Galaxy, and a quick Google image search reveals that some of their dinosaurs are merely knockoffs from the Jurassic Park 3 line. My fellow reviewer Halichoeres informs me that Kid Galaxy gets its dinosaurs from a Chinese company called Xidi. Sounds like they’re similar to Chap Mei.
From the tip of its beak to the curve in its tail, this rhynchosaur measures a good 21 cm long. Its main colour is grey with dark green markings, brown eyes, yellowish tusks, and pink for the tongue and mouth tissue. The palate and the claws have been left unpainted, but overall, the figure looks decent enough. It is posed with its head turned very slightly to the left and its tail curling to the right. The shoulders and hips rotate and the lower jaw opens wide. The tail rotates as well, but it doesn’t look very good.
The Scaphonyx‘s skin is reasonably well-sculpted, with lots of small wrinkles, tiny round osteoderms, and a bumpy row of spines running down the length of the vertebrae. The feet are covered in rows of thick scales. On that note, whoever sculpted this toy should be complimented for getting the correct number of digits (five) on each foot, but they should be varying in size more. The legs should be sprawled out to the sides as opposed to held directly under the body, and the hind pair should be smaller. Both the body and the skull need to be wider. And while the mouth, with its two large tusks, looks very impressive, it’s constructed all wrong. The tusks should be spaced closer together like a rodent’s, and there should be a groove where the beak is for the lower mandible to fit into when the mouth is closed. This skull looks more like that of a dicynodont like Placerias. And indeed, Halichoeres also informed me that this toy is actually based upon a computer model of Placerias from a Dorling Kindersley book. Topping it all off is the fact that there are four of those accursed screw holes on the right side of the toy.
Though cheaply made and severely lacking in accuracy, I have to give this Scaphonyx toy credit for its uniqueness. Rhynchosaurs (and dicynodonts for that matter) are extremely rare in the world of prehistoric toys, and this is the first review of one here on the DTB. Plus it fits in very well with Jurassic Park toys. Recommended if you’re into rarities.