Edaphosaurus (Nature World by Boley)

2.2 (9 votes)

Discovered by the legendary paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope during the famous Bone Wars of the late 1800s’, Edaphosaurus was the herbivorous counterpart to Dimetrodon during the Early Permian. It can easily be distinguished from its deadly cousin by a much smaller head, a wider gut, and an array of supporting crossbars on its fin.

When I first came across this toy in a box in my in-laws’ basement, however, I immediately assumed it was a Dimetrodon due to its large head and sharp teeth. But after a little online research, I discovered that it is in fact supposed to represent Edaphosaurus. It’s sold under the Nature World by Boley label, but like so many other companies looking to save a buck and make a buck, they probably just imported this toy from Asia. I’m told that it belonged to my brother-in-law when he was a kid, which makes it well over twenty years old.

From nose to tail tip, this pseudo-Edaphosaurus measures 21 cm long and is about 10 cm tall including the sail. It’s posed rather like a monitor lizard with its head raised and its chunky tail curled to the right. Main colours are a sickly shade of green with a pale blue underbelly and a reddish-orange sail. The eyes are bright blue, the teeth are white, and there’s a tiny blob of red on the tip of the tongue. The skin has a basic wrinkle pattern all over and the sail is ribbed. Anatomical errors are as many as they are glaring. First off, the head is the wrong shape, the wrong size, and, of course, has the wrong dentition. The sail also has the wrong shape and lacks the characteristic crossbars. The limbs are too big and have stumpy digits, although they are numbered correctly! Topping it off are the multiple visible seam lines, especially the one around the neck.

Ah, but that’s not the biggest error of them all. Like many other prehistoric toys, this one features a name printed clearly on its belly for easy indentification. Only problem is, the name on this toy’s belly is Metriacanthosaurus! Yes, Metriacanthosaurus, a European theropod chronologically separated from Edaphosaurus and other North American synapsids by at least 120 million years. Wow. Somebody really did not give a hoot about doing their research. Or made one helluva mix-up.

“Say what?!”

Overall? This is probably the lamest toy I’ve ever reviewed for the DTB. Indeed, were it not for the laughable error on its belly, I’d have considered it an embarrassing waste of my time. About the best thing I can say about it is that little kids would probably enjoy playing with it, but little kids enjoy playing with a lot of weird toys. Edaphosaurus deserves way better than this!

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