Before we sink our teeth into a toy that is based upon one of the most exciting fossil discoveries ever made, I have a few thanks to give out. First I would like to thank CollectA for supplying this sample and its continuing support to the writers at the Dinosaur Toy Blog. I also would like to thank Suspsy, who has made this review possible. I also like to extend thanks to all of you who continue to read and support the reviews written by all of us at the DTB. I am thankful for all of you.
In 2017 there was a couple of exciting new skeletons that were described and brought forth into the public consciousness. They weren’t six foot turkeys, but massive Ankylosauria tanks. One was Zuul crurivastator, which is the best preserved ankylosaur to date. As great as that fossil was, it was eclipsed by the Nodosaurid Borealopelta markmitchelli. The preservation of this animal was amazing. Not only does it look great but it’s soft tissues had fossilized, preserving all its armor in its life position, and was so well preserved scientists were even able to make out the animal’s color! So cool.
CollectA wasted no time in getting a figure ready for 2019. So with no further ado let’s tuck in and get a closer look at this toy.
About the toy:
The Borealopelta markmitchelli toy is made in CollectA’s standard range. It is 6 in (15.24 cm) long and 1.5 in (4 cm) high at the hips. Though it is smaller figure it is still nicely detailed. The pose looks to be inspired by the beautiful fossil specimen. When looking at it head on, the head is cocked slightly with a quizzical expression and is to the right of the body. The body itself is rather neutral and the tail starts by heading slightly to the right and then twisting to the left. The left leg is slightly raised and foreword while the other three legs are in a neutral position.
When looking at this toy a couple of features really stick out to me. First, on the shoulders there are a pair of long spines that curve back. Secondly the armored plates on the neck are large and thick. Thirdly the forelegs have a couple of small plates or spikes that stick out like the fringe you would find on a western cowboy. It is quite possible that the reason the spines along its neck and shoulder are highly exaggerated, is to catch the eyes of mates and social rivals. To test out this theory lets use some imagination. Just picture an old western saloon with piano music playing when this animal walks in through the saloon doors. The doors swing back and forth making a squeaky sound as it enters. The other Borealopelta males heads pop up and take note. They stop their poker games and stare. The big guy is back. They notice the long side spikes and thick neck, its leg spikes/spurs gleaming. Like a gun fighter walking amongst them they all part to the side as he walks up to a lady at the bar, tips his shoulder spike and buys her a drink.
Where as the side spike might have had multiple uses as a potential display structure the back armor was for protection. The sculpting on this toy is so meticulously detailed that you can see all the different sized keeled osteoderms that are appropriately placed throughout the animal. The head is small but looks correct in size and shape. There are some skin folds on the flanks under all the armor and by the joints on the legs. The feet have the appropriate amount of digits and look correct. Overall the sculpt looks spot on.
The paint job is one that I am very happy with. They have counter shaded the top in a reddish brown that is scientifically accurate, plain brown on the flanks, and ivory coloration underneath. They added a black wash that really helps the details pop. They also added an ivory dry brush and it looks fantastic. To be honest, mine was a little too heavily dry brushed in a couple of spots, but that is one of the little details that will be different from toy to toy. The eyes and toes are also painted a glossy black.
Playability: It is a tough toy. The body is very rigid and tough as a good armored dinosaur should be. The leg’s, side spike and the back half of the toy do have a little bend in them but by no means are they likely to bend out of position. It is stable toy so it is able to be played with on carpet, beds, blankets, grass, snow, and ice with little problem of falling over (unless a mean predator kicks it over to its back side). This toy can definitely be used for play with little worry.
Overall: Instead of the toy they made, I honestly would have been happy with a black and grey toy of just the mummified fossil remains. Due to the amazing condition of the remains (sadly missing the back half due to it being scooped up previously) it gave CollectA a chance to make a super accurate toy. They did not disappoint. It is accurate for collectors, playable for youngsters, and I think it might be gravy to your mashed potatoes. Due to the small size it can be found at a low reasonable price. This is one toy that I recommend you gobble up.