German company Bullyand seem to be slipping off the radar a little bit in recent years but still continue to provide new releases every twelve months for their Museum Line, although in rather small quantities. 2011 saw two new figures released by Bullyland, both resculpts of previously produced species. The first, a controversial feathered Dilophosaurus, is one we should review soon and will no doubt generate some…interesting discussions. The second is that most popular of pelycosaurs, the sail-backed Dimetrodon.
The previous Bullyland incarnation of Dimetrodon seems to have been produced in two paint versions, a rather plain green-grey version, and a more striking deep green with a red sail. The 2011 paint scheme is almost identical to the latter, with a stunning blood-red sail and deep green hues with yellow and gold highlights. Beautiful as it is, it shows a little lack of adventure by picking both a species and a colour scheme visited before.
Overall there isn’t that much difference between the old and new versions, the main one being the more upright posture in the 2011 figure. Where the old one was resting lazily on his tummy (I’ll presume it was a ‘he’), the new one is performing impressive push-ups. Despite retaining a sprawling limb posture the new figure is entirely raised up off the ground in a much more active posture.
The second major difference is the articulated mandible. This play-feature works well in this figure, but has been a bit hit-and-miss in other Bullyland dinosaurs (I’m thinking of the hip-hop Iguanodon).
The sculpt is typically and recognisably Bullyland, whatever that means. It has a softness to its appearance that imparts a cartoonish feel, and although visually pleasing from a distance, the textural details are quite crudely rendered for such a large figure. The figure is 18cm long, so pretty big. I’ll point out the ‘blobby’ teeth here. On an anatomical note, the skull lacks the notch in the jawline, that is so distinctive for this species. In its favour, there are depressions behind the skull that represent the ears, and there are five digits in each hand and foot, spot on.
Placed alongside today’s immaculately produced Carnegie, Wild Safari and Papo figures (maybe even CollectA figures in recent months), the ‘Bullyland look’ is starting to look a little old and out of place. As of yet, there is no news on what Bullyland have in store for 2012, but it would be exciting to see Bullyland produce new species rather than ‘play it safe’ with resculpts of old favorites. Let’s watch this space…
I picked up my Dimetrodon in the small Museum Natur und Mensch on a recent trip to Freiburg, Germany. The Bullyland lines can be difficult to find in the shops outside of Germany. Luckily for us, however, this new representation of the sail-backed Dimetrodon is widely available online (e.g. here)