Even for a company who apparently stumble upon scientific fidelity only by accident, Papo have made great strides towards more accurate prehistoric animal figures over the last few years, to the point where they’re even releasing a feathered Velociraptor (which shouldn’t be half as remarkable as it is). However, their Big Beast this year comes in the form of a certain spinosaur, first found in the UK and immortalised in plastic a number of times already. Yes, it’s Walker’s heavy claw, and it really wants to reach out and touch you.
The earliest Papo theropods were noted for both resembling Jurassic Park creatures and being frozen in really awkward-looking squatting postures, like they were really straining to…lay an egg. Thankfully, later figures, like the excellent Carnotaurus and rather bizarre ‘running’ T. rex, were sculpted in more convincing and dynamic poses. For whatever reason (nostalgia?), the brand new Baryonyx has returned to the slightly uncomfortable-looking squatting posture of old, albeit with some tweaks to make it a more outrageously in-your-face toy than ever.
Basically, it looks like it’s missing a grappling partner, which is either fantastically awkward-looking or exciting and unique, depending on your point of view. The limbs are sprawled out (perhaps a little more than they should be), the claws are being brandished, and the head’s being thrust forward at…something. I’m of the view that it would’ve looked a lot better in a slightly more subdued pose, but that’s only because there’s a lot to love about it besides.
By far the best aspect of this figure is the head. It’s simply fantastic. Sure, there are flaws – the crest should perhaps be a little further back, while the jaw muscles could do with a tweak (some seem to be missing altogether at the back of the head, although the articulation probably has a lot to do with that). However, this is still probably the best head on a spinosaur toy yet made. Characteristic spinosaur features such as the ‘rosette’ of teeth, the notch in the upper jaw, retracted nostrils and single midline crest are all recreated quite faithfully, while the level of sculptural detail is in keeping with the remarkably high standard we’ve come to expect from Papo. Best of all, the jaws are just as thin as in real spinosaur specimens, an aspect often overlooked by other manufacturers.
Detail is hardly skimped on on the rest of the figure, either, which looks just as convincing as ever in spite of that very silly posture. Skin sags and folds, muscles bulge, and tendons strain as the big ugly thing lunges forward. In what has become something of a Papo staple, the animal’s aggressive look is enhanced by a line of spiky scales running down the spine and hanging from a dewlap below the jaw and throat. These reach an apex over the hips, which (just as in the real Baryonyx, but moreso in Suchomimus) feature a projection of the vertebrae, forming a small hump. This Todd Marshall-esque embellishment is sure to be divisive, not least because it’s starting to become a little clichéd, but I still really like it – speculative features like this help enhance the character and believability of the model. It’s great to see a nice, fat tail base, too.
Yes, it’s very awesomebro, with a dumb combat-ready pose and an overly shiny paint finish. It’s also big (over 30cm long!), well proportioned, shows an astonishing attention to detail, and has a head sculpt that finally nails the spectacular gharial-like hideousness that has made spinosaurs so beloved the world over. Much as it’s a shame that the pose couldn’t have been less daft and more horizontal (see how much better it already looks in the photo above), this is still a toy I can recommend.
Available from Amazon here.
I don’t understand why after the author of the review acknowledged that the Papo Baryonyx’s head is inaccurate to Baryonyx in the comments section, they didn’t edit the review to reflect this, and instead left the review so misleading. Parts of this review suggest that spinosaurs all have the same head, which is wrong.
The front of the Papo Baryonyx’s upper jaw is much too shallow/flattened compared to actual specimens of Baryonyx and Suchomimus.
In Baryonyx, when the mouth is closed the teeth in the lower jaw should be inside of the upper jaw, as shown here (click on the image to enlarge it): https://twitter.com/skeletaldrawing/status/563735786386767872 In contrast, the Papo Baryonyx has teeth in the lower jaw that protrude outside the upper jaw.
Some of the large teeth at the front of Baryonyx’s lower jaw are missing on the Papo figure, being replaced with a greater number of small teeth. A Baryonyx dentary for comparison can be seen here: http://biostor.org/reference/110558/page/16
In addition to the lower jaw teeth being outside the upper jaw when the mouth is closed, the shape of the Papo Baryonyx’s upper jaw and its nostril position are all incorrect for Baryonyx and Suchomimus, but all these features appear to be correct for Spinosaurus. This is quite unfortunate as the heads of Baryonyx and Spinosaurus are not that alike. In addition to the differences I’ve already mentioned in this comment, Baryonyx’s snout is built to be more resistant to bending than Spinosaurus’s is: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665537/
I feel the Todd Marshall-like spikes on the Papo Baryonyx look unconvincing and not good. I doubt an animal that had to move its head quickly through water to catch prey would have a spiky dewlap. To me the figure’s dorsal spikes look unrealistic, with how in some areas there are multiple rows, they look more like spiky rocks.
The Papo Baryonyx’s chest area looks weirdly humanoid. It looks like it has pecs/breasts for some reason. The large chest scales it has (which are also possessed by the Papo Allosaurus and Papo dragon mutant) remind me a bit of human ribs for some reason.
I find the Papo Baryonyx’s pose unlikable, it looks cartoony and unnatural, and it makes it hard to appreciate Baryonyx’s interesting-looking forelimbs.
Baryonyx is one of my favourite dinosaurs and I’d really like to have a figure that’s a good representation of the animal. However, toy companies have repeatedly made Baryonyx toys that don’t do justice to the animal. There isn’t anything that makes me like the Papo Baryonyx, it doesn’t have a Baryonyx head, it’s in a disappointing pose, it’s covered in spikes, it has a weird humanoid chest, and I don’t even like its colour scheme. It’s a figure worth forgetting, for me. As for a good Baryonyx toy, Mojo’s 2018 Baryonyx looks like it could finally be a Baryonyx toy I’ll be satisfied with. I hope it will be!
I think if the arms were lowered, perhaps in a more neutral pose, this figure would look better.
[…] And the inside of the mouth is quite a disappointment. Look inside the mouth of just about any Papo theropod and you’ll see plenty of fine sculpting detail. But aside from the simple tongue, the inside […]
[…] here. The mouth, however, is a bit of a disappointment. Look inside the mouth of just about any Papo theropod and you’ll see plenty of fine sculpting detail. But aside from the simple tongue, the inside […]
Then with a sail on its back would have been still a movie monster and a poor Spinosaurus, by your logic.
No, it actually would have been a pretty good Spinosaurus toy, as the head is far more similar to the great spined lizard than it is to Baryonyx.
It’s kind of the crazy pose kids would enjoy playing with, thought it’s a bit cartoonish for an adult collector. I do quite like the color scheme.
I feel comfortable saying this is the best Baryonyx since the Invicta Baryonyx, but the Invicta is still the best.
Why people keep forgetting in their reviews that fact that the head, despite looking gorgeous is a Spinosaurus head and not a Baryonyx head? It si one of the main inaccuracies of this guy. Despite that I think is avery cool figure.
It’s true that the jaw tips are more Spinosaurus than Baryonyx/Suchomimus, and the nostrils are a little TOO retracted. The skull of Baryonyx was still long and low, though – modern reconstructions make it moreso than when it was first restored back in the ’80s. I guess the mere fact that the head actually makes the jaws properly thin made me more forgiving of the fact that it is a bit chimeric.
I do not like an animal looks like a more typical palaeontologically representative figure of Godzilla.
I’m not convinced, frankly. I’ll take the Invicta baryonyx far. Even Safari is far better.
Also it not as well finished as other figures “dinosaur movie” Papo.
Holy crap, that is a terrible pose. I’ll probably still buy it, but goddamn.
As I’ve said many times on the forum, this is an awesome movie monster, but a poor Baryonyx. If Papo had just put a sail on its back and sold it as a new Spinosaurus, I’d have adored it.