Flat-headed Amphibian/Siderops (Lost Kingdoms Series A by Yowie)

3.3 (3 votes)

Even amongst collectors Yowie isn’t a well known company I dare say, so here’s a short introduction… Yowie is an Australian publishing brand that developed the mythical Yowie kingdom with stories and toys concentrating mostly on the Australian fauna. In the mid 90’s Yowie approached the British confectionery company Cadbury with the idea to market the toys with sweets as a vehicle. The idea isn’t new but works well for other companies and so did it here. In 2000 Yowie developed the Lost Kingdoms series in cooperation with the Australian Museum. The series contained toys of extinct animals from all ages and all around the world, but with a significant focus on the Australian fauna again. Here we want to take a look at Yowie’s “Flat-headed Amphibian”….

… the accompanying paper sheet names the species as Siderops, a temnospondyl from the Early Jurassic of Australia, closely related to the more famous Koolasuchus that was featured in the BBC series “Walking with Dinosaurs”. While not as impressive in size as its relative, Siderops still was way larger than any recent amphibian, growing up to 2.5 metres in length with a skull up to 50 cm long.

Not surprisingly the toy itself just measures 7.5 cm in length, hence it hatched from a small chocolate egg. The figure is easily assembled from seven parts and while the result falls way short of the delicate details and finesse Kaiyodo’s Chocolasaurs boast, the final toy is a nice and fun rendition of an obscure species. Lots of Yowie figures seem to include a small function, in this case the head moves a bit  sideways when one moves the tail in the opposite direction.

The sculpt is simple but sufficiently represents the species. The head is wide and big, the eyes set apart a great deal. From the head to the tail runs a low crest. Four fingers in front and five toes in the back are what you find in most modern salamanders, I am not aware if that’s correct for the temnospondyl, but it is reasonable enough as I think neither hands nor feet are known. If anything, the whole figure seems to be too shorttailed and too tall. The paint job is simple but nice with irregular dark green blotches on olive green gound and a red orange belly.

Overall it’s a fun little toy and probably the only represantive of the species – and temnospondyls do not get much love by toy companies anyway. Long discontinued, your best chance to find these is ebay.


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