While retired plant toy models (for example by Schleich) achieve high prices on ebay and one could therefore be excused to think that there’s some demand, most companies seem not to care a lot about those sort of models. Though, prehistoric plants have quite a history in toy production. Several ealy producers also added plants as company or backdrop to their figures. Most popular are probably the palms and ferns from the Marx playsets. With Safari having retired all of their Prehistorc Landscape models there’s currently only one major company left, delivering some serious backdrop for our prehistoric animal models: CollectA. Two of those models have already been reviewed a while back (here and here), so here’s a next…
All of CollectA’s plant models are released in their Deluxe line, though unlike for the animal models of the line, no scale is given for them. While the above liked plants are comparably small with heights of around 9 to 13 cm, the one introduced here is much more impressive. A towering 29 cm height makes CollectA’s Cycad Tree a real tree in the toy environment. Todays cycads are mostly small to medium sized plants, resembling palms (or better to say, palms resemble cycads as those have been around for much longer, but palms are more familiar to us), only few species grow higher than 3 metres or so. Back in their heyday these long lived family grew up to 20 metres and more. Giving respect to that long lost glory CollectA gave us a plant worthy to group with our sauropod figure and to justify their long necks.
In terms of accuracy there’s nothing to moan, not least because there’s no species given for the model. The taxonomic assignment of plant leaves to trunks is like the assignment of trackways to bones in animals – not possibly if you do not find the smoking gun, say the bones laying in the track or the leaves articulated to the trunk and branches. The Cycad Tree shows flat rooting in the sandy colored ground, the trunk is thicker near the ground and grows straight and unbranched. Long dark and dirty green fronds make up the treetop that is crowned by a four pale orange cones, indicating the cycad is a male. The whole tree is assembled by five pieces (base and stem, three stages of foliage and lastly the cones) that can only be fitted in one way.
Overall that towering cycad is a worthy addition to any collection, especially when you are into bigger figures and/or sauopods that eventually need something to nosh on. You should have no problem finding that tree at any online retailer of CollectA’s assortment for around 20 €.
Dinosaur Tree Blog?
I really like the different elements CollectA makes for prehistoric dioramas like this tree and dead dinosaur corpses. CollectA makes these prehistoric dioramas complete and alive. I highly recommend this tree for any prehistoric dioramas like I do with my dinosaur toys.
Great review of an often overlooked part of the range from a lot of paleo figure manufacturers. I have only recently begun to add plants to my displays and they really bring it to life, so to speak. Didn’t realise that this one was so big!, really puts those large Brachiosaurs in their place. Thanks to your review I’ll be tracking down one of these giants.
I didn’t expect this one to be so massive (it really hit me when I saw the image with the 2018 Safari Ltd Triceratops, because I own that figure, and that’s no tiny figure either). Glad this was finally reviewed too.
For what it’s worth, in Joe DeMarco’s Dinosauriana, this tree is identified as Pseudoctenis sp., and it cites CollectA consultant Anthony Beeson as having said so. I would guess that this comes from an old issue of Prehistoric Times, the editor of which is a friend of Beeson’s. Pseudoctenis is a bit of a wastebasket taxon, but in any event that’s what I call mine. 🙂
Nice to know, thanks for that info, Halichoeres. I just identified it as it is named in CollectA’s catalog. Unlike the other already reviewed plants this bears no spcies/genus name in there.
I need to buy one of these!
You misspelled “three.” 😉
The prehistoric plants of Collecta are ideal for dioramas and especially this Cycad Tree that is a rare avis as it has been commented in the current toy market.
Figures like the cycad tree would be for me the prehistoric plants and trees that all the companies of dinosaurs and prehistoric toy animals would need. A beauty and I hope that Collecta continues making more of that type of figures.
That’s one lovely tree!