Before we get on with the review, let’s all have a moment of silence for the now extinct Amber Collection. Honestly, I always had my reservations about the Amber Collection and never bothered to get invested in it. I always thought that Mattel should stick with the 3.75” line, and that it was unlikely that anything larger than a Velociraptor would ever be seen in a 6” line. That said, I do feel bad for those who collected the Amber Collection only to have it end before the main Jurassic Park cast could even be finished.
With the Hammond Collection Mattel is doing exactly what they should have done from the start, producing premium, highly articulated toys that scale with their mainline. Already Mattel has shown that they’re far more invested in the Hammond Collection than they were with the Amber. One human and 3 dinosaurs have been released and pre-orders for another human and three more dinosaurs just started up. Several upcoming releases have already been announced too. Today we’re looking at the Hammond Collection Baryonyx, one of the first releases in the collection.
Over the last 5 years Mattel has released roughly 6 Baryonyx toys in their mainline, and I never bought a single one of them. I suppose I’m thankful for it now because the Hammond Collection Baryonyx is the only Jurassic World Baryonyx I’ll ever need. The same is true for the Hammond Collection Parasaurolophus. I didn’t like the mainline toy so I never bought it and I guess you could say my patience for something better has now been rewarded.
The Hammond Collection Baryonyx measures about 13” and when standing in a static, horizontal pose, stands about 5” to the top of the head. The actual Baryonyx is estimated to have measured 25-33’ in length. That puts the toy between 1/23 and 1/30 in scale.
Part of the appeal with the Hammond Collection is the increased articulation they receive. This Baryonyx has 16 points of articulation. The jaw opens, the head swivels up, down, left, and right, and the neck can swivel up and down, and around in every direction. The arms are structured like those of the mainline figure but are additionally articulated at the wrists, which allows you to correctly position them facing inwards.
The legs are articulated at the hips, knees, ankles, and toes. The legs cannot rotate completely around but they can pivot in and out to a small degree. The knees, ankles, and toes can all rotate completely around. The tail comes packaged unattached from the toy but once in place cannot be removed. It can rotate completely around and is made of rubber, a wire inside the tail allows you to bend it into various positions.
I don’t normally collect heavily articulated toys. Most of the stuff I collect are static figurines like those by Safari and PNSO. So, I’m not used to reviewing a toy with this degree of articulation. I do have some articulated toys by NECA and McFarlane Toys and I can safely say that compared to those this toy’s articulation seems less delicate and smoother to operate. This Baryonyx is a ton of fun to play around with and I feel pretty safe doing it. My only complaint about the articulation is that I wish there was a greater degree of movement with the neck and head. If you want to position the Baryonyx in a feeding or drinking pose, you’ll have to rotate the entire torso downwards.
The detail on this figure is hit and miss in places. The osteoderms running down the neck, back, and tail are exquisitely done and there are crocodile-like belly scales running down the neck and underside. The face is detailed with small, irregularly shaped scales and the same sunken fenestra of its onscreen counterpart.
Most of the rest of the body has the same irregularly shaped scale pattern but the arms and legs have virtually no scale detail and are instead detailed with wrinkles etched into the sculpt. The toes have bird-like scales sculpted on them and the hands have the enlarged thumb claw that they should have. Ribs are visible under the skin and grooves and skin folds can be seen running down the neck and tail and bunched up around the shoulders.
I don’t have other Mattel Baryonyx toys so I can’t directly compare them to this one on the detail front, but I have plenty of other Mattel dinosaurs and this one doesn’t strike me as anything special when it comes to fine detail. That’s not to say it’s bad but having just reviewed a bunch of mainline toys with tremendous attention to detail I can’t say that this one brings much to the table.
Where Mattel excels with this toy in contrast to the mainline is with the paint application. This toy actually has coloration that extends past the body and runs down the tail and legs. The nails are painted too, except for the tiny hallux toes. The toy is predominantly gray and saddled in black, a white dividing line separates the black from the gray, from the neck to about halfway down the tail. The coloration on the face has a nice gradual blend between the gray face and black coloration on top of the head. The eyes are yellow with black elliptical pupils with a splash of metallic blue underneath them. The teeth are pale gray, and the inside of the mouth is pink.
Despite a few nitpicks I think this is one of the best dinosaur toys we’ve gotten from Mattel, and it shows a lot of promise for this new line. The articulation is a ton of fun despite a few limitations. As you can see from my pictures the range of positions you can put this toy in are fun and diverse. It can even stand on one leg. This figure retails for $20, a similar price range to the mainline toys, and you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with it. I can’t wait to see how this line evolves, and what figures we’ll get from it next.