The long wait has ended,… 12 years it’s been since the Bullyland Edaphosaurus was discontinued and despite its renown toy companies all over the planet refrain from producing figures of that enigmatic permian synapsid. It may be because of the overwhelming popularity and superficial similarity of its kin Dimetrodon, which in contrast is often repeated by all the companies. However, CollectA eventually allows us to step out of the longest line and released a figure worth all the waiting.
One of the most famous dinosaur hunters, Edward Drinker Cope, described Edaphosaurus in 1882 after he had falsely identified remains as parts of Dimetrodon in 1878. The latinized name means “pavement lizard” and refers to the rows of teeth in the jaws, suggesting that this sail backed reptilian was a herbivore. Edaphosaurus lived during the late Carboniferous to the early Permian period from 300 to 280 million years ago.
Reconstructions of Edaphosaurus have seen little if any serious changes over the time, and CollectA’s approach joins in this canon. No wonder this modern figure is basically the same as the ones painted by Charles R. Knight, Rudolph Zallinger or Zdenek Burian decades ago. But that’s okay, as in fact little is known about the ecology of our sail backed friend (just to take note…. teeth as in Edaphosaurus could also be of much use in feeding on snails and other molluscs and let’s not start discussing the sail and its use or the possible mammalian traits).
CollectA’s Edaphosaurus measures 20cm in direct line and 8cm from the ground to the top of the sail. It’s released under the Deluxe 1:20 line, leaving the figure an exceptionally large specimen. The sculpting is top notch, not as crisp or even exaggerated as if Papo had made it, but detailed enough to discern even the faintest surface details. The skin has a leathery appearance with no pattern of scales visible but lots of realistically streched and jolted folds and lines. The body is long, thick and slightly narrowing towards the hips, while the breast is deep and broad. The head is approriately tiny and unmistakingly recognizable as Edaphosaurus. Powerfull legs with large feet planted firmly on the ground show the figure in a calm and casual walking stance. Here we see the faintest idea of a more modern approach for the species, as the figure is not belly or tail dragging its considerable weight through the Permian dirt, but is a rather active animal hoding its heavy rump and tail elavated from the ground. This Edaphosaurus‘ underside is sandy yellow and decked in fine scales in stark contrast to the leathery upper side. All obligatory orifices are there, though one may wonder why all CollectA “dinosaurs” (at least in my collection) have that generic tiny round poophole with a sligthly dark color, rather than a more approriate, broad slit seen in most (modern) reptiles.
Nevertheless this is serious nitpicking. If there’s anything to moan about, it’s the quite pale paint job, at least for me. The base color of the figure is a pale blueish green, but that’s even more brightened by greyish dry paint. The large sail is mainly colored in a weak wine red, patterned with brown blotches as the body. The paint application and patterning itself is very good and natural, I just wished they had choosen darker and more contrasted colors – though not as gaudy as in their Ceratosaurus for example. Well, you can’t have everything and paint jobs can always be helped.
All that being said, CollectA knocked it out the park with this Permian synapsid. The figure feels just so right, it makes a great toy and is worth being placed in every dinosur toy collector’s display. I may be biased, but for me it’s this year’s figure!