Category Archives: Bullyland

Pachycephalosaurus (Bullyland)

During this seasonal, festive, frenzy of reviews, lets take a small time warp back in time and bring forth a toy that has been left behind by the relentless march of time. In 2009, Bullyland,  the purveyor of  goofy eyed yet expressive figures, released a interesting looking Pachycephalosaurus. It wasn’t a perfect figure in the time it was made, but looking back at the era in which it was released, it was a whole different world of dinosaur sculpts for collectors to choose from.  Carnegie was still around, CollectA was still figuring itself out, and the dreaded tripod stance was popular.  Its amazing how far toy companies have come since 2009.  What passes as an average  figure now would have been a good to great figures just seven years ago.

On top of that, Pachycephalosaurus is a strange animal in dinosaur collecting.  I would doubt it would make many top ten popular dinosaur lists, but at the same time, it is easily recognizable to most adults and kids.  Due to that domed skull,  kids like to play with it as if it was Ram Man, head butting through obstacles and viscous predators.   In JP the Lost World there is a popular scene showing it ramming one of the Jeeps, reinforcing the popular belief that these animals just head butted their way through life.  In reality like many of the strange features we find on dinosaurs, like a Triceratops‘ frill, or Parasaurolophus’ crest, the domed skull was probably used as a display structure, sexual dimorphism perhaps, or other uses that we haven’t even come up with yet.

Size comparison: Carnegie Pachycephalosaurus on the left, Bullyland on right.

About the toy:  According to the print on the bottom of the figure it is 1:30 scale.  It is 4 in (10.16 cm) high and 9 in (22.86 cm) long.  The pose is active with the head down and eyes looking forward.  Pachycephalosaurus had a narrow face with a small muzzle which ended in a pointed beak. I think the head on this figure is too wide and big.  The dome-shaped head is present and looks quite thick.  All the way around from the snout to the back of the head it is covered by bumps and wart-like knobs, with a fringe of dull spikes. There is a bunch of small white teeth in the upper maxilla.  In actuality the teeth should be less numerous and should look different by the  beak.

The arms are short but beefy and spread out with the hands pronated.  Each of the hands have five fingers, which is accurate.  The legs are big and beefy and the figure stands on over-sized feet, in which all four toes touch the ground.  That’s right, instead of standing on a three toed foot, they made the forth one long enough to help with its balance.

Accuracy wise this figure ends up being so-so.  As it is thought that Pachycephalosaurus would have been similar to other ornithopods, this figure does have some of the features you would expect.  Some of the positives are: it does have forelimbs with five-fingered hands, a long, heavy, fairly rigid tail, and a neck that is short yet thick.  Its belly also appears to be enlarged and looks well fed.

This figure is painted as if it lived in an arid landscape with tan and black colors.  A yellow color is dry brushed over the main colors.  There is a little bit or orange mixed in the bumps around its head and on the under side of the tail and belly.  The teeth and eyes are white while the inside of the mouth is black.  Around the eyes it is very black almost like eye liner.  All the claws are grey.

Overall:  Bullyland figures tend to take a little getting used to.  It is true that many of their figures are not one hundred percent accurate, but they do tend to have more of an persona and charm.  It could be the goofy eyes, I am not sure, but they do tend to be expressive.

With that big head, beefy arms, thick tail, and those meaty thighs, it is quite a stout figure.  I think a T-Rex would have loved to have this girl for dinner.  This thick skulled Pachycephalosaurus toy does have some inaccuracies as I mentioned earlier.  When making a decision on this toy you cannot discount that fact. Despite that, it also has some charm along with a active pose.  I rate it as an average figure but one that I really like so maybe I’m a little biased.    If you like how this figure looks than in my opinion, it is worth it.  This figure is not for everyone and if you want accuracy you could check out the CollectA Pachycephalosaurus ,which is rather small, or the old Battat one if you are lucky enough to find it.

 

 

 

 

 

Trilobite (Bullyland)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

Trilobites. Next to ammonites, they are one of the most well-known fossil groups. Known throughout the world from thousands of species, from the tiny to the giant and from spiny to burrowing, no one can deny their fame. From the Cambrian to the Permian, trilobites radiated across the globe, allowing them to become excellent index fossils. They even have a website dedicated to them. Most trilobite toys, however, are small and cheap. Bullyland would beg to differ.

At 3” long and 2.1” wide, this is a small toy, but larger than most trilobite toys (still flat at 0.5” high). The paint scheme is very simple, an all over brown with blue eyes, but the dark shading brings out the excellent details. It may be plain, but it works for a species that is likely hiding from predators. The pose also has the same nature: simple, but works well.

Accuracy is a tricky subject here, as no specific species is stated on the toy, and there are many potential candidates for what it could be. From doing some research, I find that it may be Modocia or a related species based on the spines on the body and the shape of the cephalon. Assuming I’m correct, this toy is very accurate, with the correct number of segments in both the thorax and pygidium and the right-sized head. Even the legs are included on the underside. All good overall.

I love Bullyland for creating figures of famous species that never get enough attention. This, the ammonite, and belemnite figures are fantastic, well worth getting. This trilobite in particular is well worth finding. Best to look for it on eBay, although it is getting rarer now that it is retired, and can run higher prices. If you find it reasonably priced, get it.


“Let’s do lunch!”

Elasmosaurus (Stuttgart NHM, Bullyland)

Elasmosaurus was a magnificent and charismatic marine reptile that had an incredible neck.   This sea dragon reached an estimated length of 43 feet (13 meter).  The head and neck comprised half of its length.  It might not have been the most powerful animal in prehistoric seas but it is one of the more elegant and recognizable plesiosaurs.

Due to its distinctive look, it is a popular sea creature that has been made many times by different toy companies. In classic paleo art depictions of Elasmosaurus, it either had a swan like neck raising out of the water or it was able to coil its neck like a snake to catch its prey.  As cool as that looked, that idea is very inaccurate and would have been impossible for the animal to do.  In reality the neck would have been held quite straight with some degree of flexibility for occasional sideward movements.   When coming up to breath I think it would be similar to how a sea snake or turtle breathes with just the tip of the nose coming out of the water.

About the toy:  The 2003 Bullyland Elasmosaurus embodies retro styling with a long twisting neck that would make Charles Knight and Zdenek Burrian proud. Its neck is twisting to its right, then gracefully turns upward and curves to its left,  then turns slightly to face forward, proudly holding its head high.  In all honesty this beauty has an incredible neck.  When measuring all the twists and turns its neck is about 9 in (22.86 cm)long.  The main body is about 3 in (7.62 cm) long, and its tail is about 3 in(7.62 cm) long. When measured from head to tail in a straight line the overall length is 10 in (25.4 cm) long. The head is held off the ground at 3 in (7.62 cm) in height.

The sculpting on the head is more accurate than the Carnegie version but it is not perfect.   The eyes look like they are placed close to the top of the head but they still look a little low.  It might be a nit-pick but the eyes also look too far back on the skull.  The nares are visible in the front.

What about the dentation? When we look at these chompers we should see long thin teeth that protruded from the mouth when closed.  The teeth should be intermeshed together like a zipper to impale and capture wiggling fish. Unfortunately this toy doesn’t have those features.  The teeth are marked by small lines that are etched into a solid block of teeth that look rather uniform.  It is hard to tell but if you look closely at  the teeth they might be ever so slightly protrude in the front.

The torso is flat on the bottom and looks inflexible and rigid.  The tail is short and curves to its left.  The flippers are thin but broad and on the front they curl upwards a little to give it a feeling of pushing water aside.    The front flippers are a copy of each other as they are posed and sculpted the same.  The same is true of the rear flippers.  The skin texture is circular bumps across the entire body, neck, flippers and tail.   The colorization is simple and believable.  It is painted in typical Bullyland pastel shade of colors.  Light blue on top and white on the underside.  From the head to the tail there are black spots and splotches.  This includes the flippers as well.  The eyes are yellow with a black pupil.

Play ability:  This sensational marine reptile has an incredible neck that is long and twisted.  It is an attractable pose for kids.  It offers many different imaginary ideas during playtime.  I have seen this model be at the mercy of many different predatory prehistoric toys.  This toy needs to be careful during play time and here’ s why.  The toy goes for a make believe swim to find fish to eat or perhaps to talk to mermaid Barbie, when suddenly you can hear the Jaws theme playing.   That darn Jurassic World Mosasaurus shows up, attacks, and before the Elasmosaurus can escape it has been grabbed by the neck and pulled to the inky depths of the carpeted floor.  The toy is not heavy, nor are there any sharp edges, which makes it safe to play with.  The paint job can scuff rather easily during play time so parents be prepared to paint touch ups.

Overall:  Is this a scientifically accurate toy?  No it is not.  If you want accuracy, check out the Wild Safari Elasmosaurus.  That doesn’t mean that the toy isn’t worth picking up.  I personally find the pose beautiful.  Yes it looks more like a monster from a movie or from some old paleo art with its head above water and twisting like a snake.  For me, that classic look is part of the appeal.  It is also a great toy for kids. If you are interested in this toy it is still relatively easy to find.