Belemnit (Bullyland)

5 (5 votes)

Roughly 300 million years a successful group of invertebrate animals roamed Earth’s seas in such numbers, that their fossil remains are used by geologists as index fossils, yet, the world of toy figures is lacking this group of animals almost completely. Several years ago the German company Bullyland remedied this lack and “released the kraken”,… well, more or less….… while the general appearance of a belemnite is reminescent of a modern cuttlefish and therefore its’ bigger relatives the octopuses aswell, the extinct group of Belemnoidea shows some remarkable differences from those recent animals. The name Belemnoidea derives from the Greek words for “arrow” and “form”, describing the quite numerous and popular fossil remains of these animals commonly known as “thunderstone”. Those long, round and pointed fossils are the inner “skeleton” of a belemnit and unlike a squid’s gladius which is formed from aragonite, a belemnit’s is formed from calcite, a much harder and denser modification of calciumcarbonate which also explains why there are so many fossil remains known. However, as numerous as those thunderstones are, so rare are fossils of the soft body parts. The German town of Solnhofen is known to have revealed such fossils and that may have taken part in Bullyland’s decision to create such a toy figure.Bullyland’s “Belemnit” measures 16 cm in total length and for those that know prehistoric toy figures it can immidiatly be identified as a figure of that company. There’s a certain style in Bullyland’s sculpts that reveals its origin, the big yewllow eyes with the black pupils may have a part in it aswell as the lack of finer details. Nevertheless, it is a nice figure, made from the soft and light plastic (no PVC) that Bullyland uses on all its figures.The figure may be simple, but it does not fall short in terms of accuracy, though one has to admit, that the lack of decision for a certain species helps in this regard. The figure is properly bullet shaped and boasts two fins at the pointed end, similar tho those in recent Architheutis and other squids. The head part shows ten arms with more or less the same lenght. This is correct, belemnites did not have tentacles as their modern relatives. Another remarkable difference is the lack of suckers on the inside of the arms, belemnites had long arrays of hooks to get hold of their prey. This feature is indicated by a chevron like pattern, while on Bullyland’s “Ammonit” (of which a review will follow soon) the inside of the arms shows the rounded pattern of suckers. The funnel is set to the underside of the figure right benath the arms, a central mouth is hardly to identify, just indicated by a crease or pucker. Even fossils of the soft body parts of belemnites lack such a remarkable beak structure as seen in modern octopus, so this fold may be Bullyland’s interpretation of this.The head part of the figure is painted in a light gray with pale white and dark orange spots along each arm, the inside of the arms is dark gray. The belemnite’s shell is milky white (the color of the plastic) with medium gray spots that are highlighted with some dark orange. Overall it’s a believable and attractive color scheme.I highly recommend this figure, especially for those collectors interested in prehistoric marine animals. It displays very well next to such figures as CollectA’s Kronosaurus or Schleich’s Shonisaurus and it is a fine example for the unheeded group of prehistoric invertebrates. Last but not least is is a great toy!The figure is out of production for a while and it seems it was never produced in big numbers. It is one of Bullyland’s last figures made in Germany. I bought mine from the museum shop in Solnhofen, but I think it was the last one, so ebay may be your only hope.

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Comments 5

  • Bullyland at its best and most charming. Great review.

  • It is a wonderful figure.

    I agree with you that Bullyland figures (at least until the last year or two) all have a certain charm missing from their rivals.

    As of this writing, DeJankins still has some of them for sale.


    • I agree with you the figures of Bullyland had a charm that surpassed in some way their rivals. They made very well made and unique figures, such as arizonosaurus, mastodonsaurus, paratyphotorax, batrachonomus and without going any further in their last year they made quality figures the lambeosaurus was a great figure that matched and even (for me exceeded) other brands .

      The belemnit reflects how Bullyland achieved a status as a toy brand not only of dinosaurs but of prehistoric quality animals.

      It pains that now Bullyland has been sold to large companies of film figures such as Disney and has neglected or rather abandoned the production of prehistoric toy animals altogether.

  • Awesome underwater photos!

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