Category Archives: Bullyland

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.

 

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.