Although only known from 35 bones and some teeth from a single specimen, Hadrosaurus is more significant than its fragmentary remains would suggest. Hadrosaurus foulkii was first described by Joseph Leidy in 1858 from remains found in New Jersey’s Woodbury Formation. It is the first dinosaur ever discovered in the United States and the first dinosaur skeleton to ever be mounted for display, anywhere in the world. It was put on display in 1868 at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and Hadrosaurus is still displayed there to this day. In addition, it is an American east coast species of dinosaur and that is significant since east coast dinosaurs are exceptionally rare. As of 1991 it is also the state fossil of New Jersey and the dinosaur for which the entire hadrosauridae family is named.
So yeah, Hadrosaurus is kind of a big deal. At least in the context of paleontological history and our understanding of the east coast during the Cretaceous. Those aren’t good enough reasons to make it a popular animal, apparently, so few collectables of it exist. Marx included it in their line of dinosaur toys, but it was a Hadrosaurus in name only, based instead on Trachodon. K&M, Nabisco, and Planeta DeAgostini made Hadrosaurus toys too but they’re unremarkable. I’ve long wanted a decent Hadrosaurus in my collection. I had pretty much given up hope on ever getting one and tried to remain content with my Marx figure, then just this year, CollectA came through for me.
The CollectA Hadrosaurus measures 5.5” (13.97 cm) long and stands 2” (5.08 cm) tall at the shoulder. Hadrosaurus is estimated to have measured 23-27’ (7-8 meter) which would put the CollectA figure at 1/50 to 1/58 in scale. It is presented in a quadrupedal pose while briskly moving forward with its mouth agape, as if startled and fleeing a predator.
All that is known from the skull of Hadrosaurus are some teeth and fragments of the left maxilla. The head of the CollectA figure is reconstructed similarly to members of saurolophinae (historically known as hadrosaurinae), like Gryposaurus, Brachylophosaurus, and Kritosaurus, with a distinct nasal crest. The body plan is a generic sort of hadrosaur body plan with slender forelimbs, robust hindlimbs, and a deep laterally compressed tail.
Fine details include a complete covering of small, pebbly scales across the hide with clusters of larger scales along the flanks. Larger scales are sculpted around the neck and a row of spines runs down the back. The scales, including those on the neck, match closely with skin impressions for Edmontosaurus and other hadrosaurs. Speaking of Edmontosaurus, CollectA has replicated the forelimb anatomy of their Deluxe Edmontosaurus for this figure as well, with the singular large nail over the fleshy mitt. Other fine details include a sculpted tongue within the keratinous beak, nostrils on either side of the nasal crest, ear openings, a cloaca, and various skin folds and creases along the flanks and limb joints.
The figure is predominantly dark green in color, which nicely brings out the fine details of the figure. Some brighter green stripes run down along the tail and the underside is pale green. The area around the eyes is also pale green and the nasal crest and tongue are pink. The toenails and beak are gray, and the eyes are shiny black. I’m always a sucker for green dinosaurs and find this one particularly appealing. This Hadrosaurus looks like it would be right at home in a lush, tropical, coastal forest.
I haven’t been getting many CollectA dinosaurs lately, choosing instead to prioritize their diverse selection of non-dinosaurs. As a result, and as comparison photos will indicate, I don’t have many CollectA dinosaurs. But I had to have the Hadrosaurus, which is perhaps the most exciting CollectA dinosaur for me in years. Hadrosaurus is a historically and scientifically important dinosaur and this delightful little figure should find a place in any collection. Hopefully we’ll get a Dryptosaurus from CollectA too, so this Hadrosaurus has a predator to flee from. The CollectA Hadrosaurus is new for 2023 and retails for about $7.99.