In 1983, an English plumber and amateur fossil hunter named William Walker was digging in a clay quarry near Dorking, south of London. He picked up a large piece of rock, hit it with his hammer, and out fell an enormous claw! But when Walker got home, he realized that the very tip of the claw had broken off. He was so upset that he returned to the quarry the first chance he got, which was about three weeks later, and crawled around for an hour until he found the missing tip. Walker’s son-in-law then brought the claw to the London Natural History Museum, where it was quickly recognized as belonging to a then-unknown theropod dinosaur. A number of other bones were eventually recovered from the quarry and soon the world was introduced to Baryonyx walkeri, “heavy claw of Walker.” It was quite a thrill for Walker to have a dinosaur named after him!
Since its discovery, Baryonyx has become a rather popular dinosaur, appearing in books, TV shows, and films, the most recent, of course, being Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It has also been rendered in toy form quite a number of times. CollectA first took a stab at it back in 2007, which was only their second year of operation. Sculpted in a horizontal pose with its head turned slightly to the right and its tail swinging to the left, it measures 19 cm long and just over 8 cm tall. It stands quite well.
The Baryonyx’s colours range from dark green on the back to pea green on the underbelly, with very dark green stripes, black eyes, dark grey claws, off white teeth, and a dark pink mouth. Nothing fancy about this scheme, and nothing offensive either.
As with most early CollectA toys, the sculpting on this one is so-so at best. You have your basic scale pattern all over with a few wrinkles here and there and simple musculature visible in the limbs and neck.
Accuracy-wise, this toy scores pretty low. The head is recognizable in profile as a spinosaur’s, but the notch in the upper jaw ought to be more pronounced. The wrists are pronated, the feet are oversized (although that was likely intentional in order to maintain the toy’s balance), and the tail is too short. As well, the neural spines on the back appear to be too tall. As an earlier spinosaur, Baryonyx was a far cry from its finned cousins Ichthyovenator and Spinosaurus.
Unless you’re particularly fond of Baryonyx, or spinosaurs in general, you can safely give this one a pass. This is one of many toys CollectA might be wise to retire and replace. The larger Deluxe version is better, but not by much. Instead, you may wish to acquire Mojo Fun’s 2018 rendition, which looks more promising.