As promised, here’s the follow up to the recent Bullyland “Belemnit” review, another take of German company Bullyland to prehistoric molluscs. Another, you’d ask? Yes, while most toy companies do not bother with prehistoric molluscs at all or just did so very recently (as Safari, Schleich or CollectA), Bullyland dashed out this, said “Belemnit” and yet another “Ammonit” as early as 1998. While the “Belemnit” and the latter “Ammonit” are discontinued, the one being reviewed here is still available.
Bullyland’s “Ammonit” measures 8.5 cm in shell diameter, 8 cm diameter in the crown of arms and 15 cm on a maximum length from shell to arms. It is quite a big toy and very handy with the arms and heavily grooved shell. Two bumps of the shell are enlarged to allow for a stable stand of the figure- As common with Bullyland, the figure is made from a soft, PVC-free material that is comparably lightweighted. This feature is especially nice in this case of a marine animal toy, as it allows the figure to float. That is not to be taken for granted, as for example CollectA’s Mosasaurus, Kronosaurus or Sperm Whale do not float, quite a pity for a toy figure that children would want to take a bath with. While the paint on Bullyland figures is often discussed as being rubbed off too easily, my figure still looks nice and shiny after long hours in which my four year old son played with it.
No species is assigned to be represented by this toy, but I guess any ammonite enthusiast could make a strong guess on behalf of the distinct shape of the shell. My best guess would be Parapuzosia as this species was discovered in Germany and boasted an impressive shell diameter of up to 2.5 metres or even more. In terms of accuracy I apologize to say that there’s not a lot I can bring to the table. Not being an expert on prehistoric molluscs (or molluscs at all to begin with) I consulted wikipedia and recommend to read the article on the German site of the lexicon as it has so much more information to offer than the English site. So, for what is a best scientific guess on the soft part anatomy of ammonites in general, Bullyland’s “Ammonit” does fare quite well. It boasts 10 arms that are equipped with a double row of suckers on the inside, a beaked mouth is clearly visible in the centre of the arms, the funnel exits the shell on the side and the eyes are painted in a way that suggests lense eyes rather than pinhole eyes as in modern Nautilus.
While ammonites are very popular even amongst paleontological uneducated folks and play an important role as index fossils since the beginning of modern geology, they are surprisingly underrepresented in the wolrd of toys. From a collector’s perspective Bullyland made a good choice with this figure (and lot of other “obscure” species in the past) and I highly recommend the figure to anyone interested in prehistoric marine life. Due to its size, the figure unfortunately makes it hard to bring it to scale with other figure, but if you let it count for the biggest known ammonite species, it works. Still being available you should find the figure at your favorite online retailer or via ebay for under ten Euro.