Category Archives: invertebrate

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!”

Anomalocaris (Favorite Co. Ltd.)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

Imagine the weirdest alien you can think of. Give it as many tentacles, eyes, and other appendages as you like, but chances are they still aren’t as strange as anything from the Ediacaran or Cambrian Period, especially the latter. The Cambrian Explosion created some of the weirdest creatures imaginable, including this review’s topic: Anomalocaris, an anomalocarid arthropod predator found throughout the world from Canada to Australia and from Utah to China. This figure by Favorite appears to represent the largest member of this genus, A. canadensis.

Onto details. At 6.4” long and 1.3” high (from tip of appendages to the top of the eye stalks), it is on the larger size, especially compared to other figures of Anomalocaris, appropriate for one of the largest animals of the time (a length of one metre was considered big back then). The pose is simple, but works well. The animal appears to be swooping up, perhaps surprising its prey. The colour scheme also works well, with the mix of gold, pink, and black complementing each other in an odd way. Favorite made several mini-versions of this mould in a variety of paint schemes, so if this doesn’t work for you, there are alternatives. To make it easier to pose, this figure comes with a stand (1.8” high, 2” wide) shaped as rocks. While it works well, it leaves a large hole towards the rear of the figure when removed. Make of that what you will.

Accuracy-wise, this Anomalocaris is pretty good. The lobes are correct in number and shape, the eye stalks are correctly positioned, and the tail is correct too. The details on the mouth are there, very accurate to the fossils. The only nitpicks I can find are that the spikes on the arms could be a little more varied in size, rather than be quite as uniform, and they don’t capture the compound nature of the eyes, but otherwise it’s good for accuracy.

Overall, this is a good representation of Anomalocaris. It may not be the best (that goes to Kaiyodo), but it is the biggest, befitting of one of the first large predators known. eBay is your best bet for finding this figure, with the option of smaller, cheaper versions, as the larger one has become somewhat more expensive. Either will suit your collection well.

Rayonnoceras (Series 2 by Kaiyodo)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

In my last review, I mentioned how Palaeozoic creatures are rarely produced in toy form. There is, however, a group that is even rarer: prehistoric invertebrates. Outside of toob sets and the Bullyland figures, they are incredibly hard to find immortalized in plastic. Once again, Kaiyodo is here to give us some obscure gems, such as today’s subject matter: Rayonnoceras, a cephalopod from the Carboniferous of Arkansas, US.

As usual, Kaiyodo presents stunning details on a relatively small figure, this one being 3.8” long and 0.5” high (1.2” with the rock base). The texture of the shell is extraordinary, with exquisite sutures leading to a well-sculpted head and tentacles. The mix of black, gold, and pinks really help it stand out, highlighting the details perfectly. The pose is fairly dull, however. I feel they could have done more with it, like giving the tentacles some movement, but it still works.

In terms of accuracy, Kaiyodo again has it correct. The length of the shell and segmentation are all there, with the head giving the classic look of cephalopods. If I were to make a minor nitpick, it would that the siphuncle is not very clearly shown, tending to get mixed in with the tentacles. Otherwise, all good.

Ancient invertebrates are so underused in toy format, and looking at this, it’s hard to say why. They may not be as recognisable as dinosaurs, but they are bizarre and amazing in their own right, not just tiny, insignificant creatures. eBay is your best bet for finding this figure, and I’d say it’s worth getting.