Category Archives: Bullyland

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.

 

Tyrannosaurus rex (2016)(Museum Line by Bullyland)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

This Tyrannosaurus rex is one of two medium-sized models released in 2016 for Bullyland’s Museum Line, and this year they will be joined by a Triceratops and an Archaeopteryx. One thing I have noticed people complaining about is that it seems like Bullyland is regressing when it comes to the accuracy of their models, but honestly, I’m not too familiar with the line to determine if this is true or not. What I will say is that this T. rex is definitely not a masterpiece.

From nose to tail tip, the T. rex measures about 7″ long. It is sculpted in a dynamic, horizontal pose, and stands perfectly fine on its two feet thanks to its dewclaws. However, as you can clearly see, this model is not going to win any awards for being the most accurate T. rex ever made. In fact, it seems like a downgrade from the previous model made for the line. Like some of theropods that preceded it, this model has an articulated jaw, but unlike those on Papo and Schleich, the jaw is not well-integrated on the figure. As you can see, there is a big gap at the front of the face, and you can still see the inside when the mouth is closed to its limit.


Other problems with this figure include the arms being way too big and the wrists being pronated. Also I think the skull looks very derpy and not like that of the real thing. If you really want to get nitpicky and speculative, it can be argued that the model needs feathers as well, but it’s clearly too late to change that.

Really, this is less of a museum model, and more of a toy for children. The silly look of the face and the overly soft features make me less likely to treat it as a serious replica, despite the fact that the model does come with an info tag which gives out facts about the animal that I’m sure we are all familiar with. For example, it states that “T. rex was at the top of the food chain, and hunted hadrosaurs and Triceratops, although some experts believe it was primarily a scavenger.” The reason I bought it is simply because it has a charm to it, and I look forward to getting the Liopleurodon, and the two new models slated for 2017. If you’re a stickler for accuracy, there’s no reason to buy this. But if you really want a durable toy for your child to play with, then this will fit the bill nicely.

Ammonite (Bullyland)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

Ammonites are one of the most iconic of all fossil groups. Once thought to be snakes turned to stone in medieval times, these ancient cephalopods are known throughout the world, and are important fossils for many purposes, especially in dating as they are exceptional index fossils. Despite this, they are rarely found in toy form, possibly as they may be less interesting to children or collectors in comparison to dinosaurs. Bullyland, however, has taken steps to change this, producing two ammonite models along with several other common species from the past. For this review, I will be looking at the smaller of the two models.

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‘Smaller’ may be the wrong word though! At 2.9” high and 4.3” wide, this is quite large for an ammonite, and would likely look out of place with marine reptile figures from most other lines in a display. The shell is predominately white with a yellowish-gold pattern, which is quite bright in comparison to the larger counterpart (perhaps this is a male). The tentacles are green and beige with grey on the suckers. This works quite well, looking similar to squid and cuttlefish. The tentacles are fairly dynamic, as if the animal is about to move off or catch prey.

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With ammonite figures, it can be very hard to discern the species, as they usual just have the generic name ‘Ammonite’ stamped on them. Based on the shape of its whorl, it may well be a species of Peltoceratoides or Cosmoceras. Either way, it is very accurate to the general shell morphology of an ammonite. As for the tentacles, they appear to be correct, with ten arms and a siphuncle. There is also a beak inside the mass of tentacles, but it is harder to see. The only real inaccuracy is the wedge under the shell, but this is purely to keep it upright.

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Overall, this is a really nice, well-made figure. It may not be as exciting as a T. rex or a Stegosaurus, but it is well worth getting, as it is often not very expensive, even relatively cheap. A great figure of a very famous group.

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