Tag Archives: Edmontonia

Edmontonia (Tyco)

Edmontonia is a popular genus of nodosaurid that has been produced by toy companies many times over the years. CollectA, Schleich, and Battat have all taken a crack at the beast with fairly good results. Edmontonia is a very well-known genus with articulated specimens first discovered in 1915! With animals this well preserved there is little excuse for idle speculation and poor research. The oldest toy or model I can come up with is the one produced by Tyco in 1989 for their “Dino-Riders” line of toys. Measuring about 14” in length it’s a big and impressive piece of plastic, but at nearly 30 years of age how well does this toy hold up?


The Tyco dinosaurs are a somewhat odd bunch of toys; they straddle the line between more modern depictions and older, outdated ones. A clear example of this contrast can be seen by comparing their Stegosaurus to their Kentrosaurus. The Edmontonia is one of the toys that have probably held up the best, mostly because ankylosaurs haven’t had their popular image tweeked that much over the years. They were giant tanks 50 years ago, and that’s still true today. Where this toy does show its age is in its posture. The tail is swung really low, almost touching the ground. It’s not a tail dragger mind you but it’s hardly a modern looking depiction when compared to something like Doug Watson’s Sauropelta.  The toy is rather squat too, low to the ground it almost looks as if the animal is straining under its own weight or perhaps sneaking through the underbrush. These are hardly complaints though, it’s an old toy after all and while the posture is outdated this one gets a lot of points for anatomical accuracy.


As stated previously, we have a good idea of what the armor on this animal looked like. This toy is a close match to the fossil specimens that tell us that. Three bands of bony plates are present along the neck, with a spike protruding forward on each end of the second band. On the third band we see a wicked looking bifurcated spike, a unique feature where one spike basically branches off another. Small osteoderms cover the back and tail. The head is appropriately “pear shaped” with a narrow beaked muzzle. The larger, well-muscled hind limbs each possess four toes and five digits are present on the forelimbs, the last two digits being reduced and hardly noticeable.


Pebbly looking scales adorn the head, neck, and back of the toy. Thin, narrow scales are sculpted on the underside and larger plate-like scales sit atop the head. Overall the toy is simply a dark gray color, but Tyco toys weren’t really known for vibrant color schemes. The color choices work well on this one though, accentuating the tank-like nature of this animal. The osteoderms along the back are an almost dark purple color, the toe nails, spikes, and bands along the neck are a lighter shade of gray, as is the underside. The life-like eyes are gold colored.


This toy is primarily made of hard plastic, pieced together and hollow on the inside. About half of the tail is made of a more rubbery material. The legs do have some degree of mobility but this toy lacks the action features present on many of the other Tyco toys. When flipped over you’ll notice that the spikes aren’t finished except for the two on the neck band. It’s not really a big deal though, how often will you be looking at the underside of this thing? I certainly didn’t care when I was a kid.


The Tyco Edmontonia is a toy that has aged astonishingly well and having been released in 1989 it is still one of the best representations of this gnarly looking dinosaur. In accuracy, it still excels. For a toy line of militarized dinosaurs, Tyco’s only real job was to make these things look cool, they went beyond that though and made many of their toys believable. This toy is one of their best and modern toy companies should take note. There is a reason that the Tyco dinosaurs are considered classics. The Tyco Edmontonia is rare but can still be found on eBay with a bit of patience. It typically doesn’t cost too much either and is worth seeking out for any ankylosaur fan.


Edmontonia (Recur)

The last of the review samples sent to me by Recur is their 2015 rendition of the heavily armoured nodosaurid known as Edmontonia. Let’s see what this one has to offer, shall we?


Like all Recur toys, this Edmontonia is quite large. It measure almost 18 cm long and is 10 cm tall due to the raised tail. The colour scheme is pretty standard for an ankylosaur toy: golden brown on top and pale yellow on the bottom. The spikes and osteoderms are beige with dark grey wash, the hooves are dark brown, the mouth is dirty pink, and the nostrils are black. The eyes are rather weird, as they’re coloured half red and half light blue. I don’t know, maybe this Edmontonia is torn between being good and being evil.


Regardless of its affiliation, this animal is clearly poised for battle, with its limbs planted, its head turned to the left, and its tail raised high, ready to deal a blow to whatever set of jaws comes too close. As far as ankylosaurs are concerned, you can’t get much more dynamic than this. The limbs and underbelly are covered in faint scales and thick wrinkles. The top of the head is covered in small plates and the spikes and large osteoderms on the back and the plates running down the tail are grooved. To the casual eye, this certainly looks like a pretty cool and realistic ankylosaur. And as with all the other Recur products I’ve reviewed, the PVC makes it one tough cookie. I can literally put this toy down on a bare hardwood floor and step on it with all my 200 or so lbs, and it will simply pop back into form after. I would never dare to do that with anything from Battat, CollectA, Papo, or Safari!


That being said, this Edmontonia is far from being scientifically accurate. First off, the head. The muzzle should be longer and narrower and there should not be small horns protruding from behind the orbits. And second, the armour. There are not enough spikes on the sides and not enough large osteoderms over the neck and shoulders. The many osteoderms covering the back are small and smooth when they should be larger and keeled. And while the three rows of plates covering the tail look intimidating, there should probably be lots more osteoderms as well. As well, the hind limbs are too long and there’s a large and unsightly seam line running right through them and the underside of the tail.


Overall, this Edmontonia is representative of the Recur prehistoric line as a whole: visually impressive, very well-sculpted, and highly durable, but falling short in terms of accuracy. Hopefully this will change in years to come. As I noted in my very first Recur review, I think that this company has a great deal of potential and that they’re worth keeping an eye on. I’d like to thank them once again for sending me so many review samples, and I wish them the very best in their future.

Thanks also go out to Dr. Adam S. Smith!

Available from Recur’s AliExpress store


Edmontonia (CollectA)

Edmontonia is named after the Edmonton Formation (now called the Horseshoe Canyon Formation) in which it was found. As a nodosaurid, it lacked a bony club at the end of its tail, but made up for that with its formidable array of shoulder spikes.


The CollectA Edmontonia was released back in 2010. The back armour and spikes are coloured grass green while the flanks and underside gradually fade to a very pale green. There are also some very faint brown accents on the back and the hind legs. The hooves are light grey and the eyes are pale orange. It’s a pretty simple colour scheme, but it looks nice. And as I’ve noted in other ankylosaur toy reviews, I’m always happy to see one that isn’t brown.


The Edmontonia measures 14 cm long. It is in a relaxed pose with its right front paw raised, its head turned to the right, and its tail swaying to the left. The unarmoured limbs and underside have a pitted texture with bulging muscles on the thighs and heavy wrinkles on the belly. The back armour consists of dozens and dozens of keeled plates, with the largest ones over the shoulders. The top of the head is protected by thick plates. And then there are the huge spikes jutting out from the animal’s neck and around the shoulders. These would serve as excellent weapons against a marauding tyrannosaur, especially if the Edmontonia decided to charge! Alternatively, the spikes could have come in handy for species recognition or display.


So how accurate is this toy? Well, given that it’s one of CollectA’s older toys, you might be surprised to learn that it ranks rather high. The proportions appear to be correct, as is the appearance and alignment of the armour. The only error is that there are three toes on each hind foot instead of four.


I must admit, the CollectA Edmontonia wasn’t on my radar until my stock of toys to review became precariously low (and it’s steadily getting there once again), but now that I have it, I think it’s a quite good toy. A worthwhile and easily affordable purchase.