Iguanodon (Papo)

3.7 (19 votes)

Review and photographs by Minmiminime, edited by Dinotoyblog

As a huge fan of ornithopods I was delighted when Papo unveiled my favourite of all for their 2018 collection, the Iguanodon. One of my happiest experiences was standing in awe of the skeletal mount in the NHM and marvelling at the sheer presence and size of this creature. I’ve long awaited a figure that captures Iguanodon as the massive and almighty creature it evidently was, rather than as a somewhat defenceless and dull beast, notable only for its virtue as one of the first named dinosaurs, and its mysteriously large and pointy thumbs. Does this figure fit the bill? Please read on…

Iguanodon papo

First of all, I’ve never watched Disney’s Dinosaur but I am aware of the character design and Papo have chosen a colour scheme which echoes that, perhaps to give some familiarity to fans of that film whilst providing a figure that is somewhat (slightly) more accurate. Conversely, it’s not too dissimilar to either the Papo Dilophosaurus or their baby trike but is simpler than the scheme of both of these figures. Nonetheless it’s pleasing and has been beautifully applied; though the tone of the upper body is overall grey, this undergoes a subtle change to a more blueish tone down the tail and there is some pale grey spotting either side of the spine and surrounding the eyes. A dark wash graces the spine, feet, ankles, hands and elbows to help bring out the detail. And what detail! Like all Papo models there is an almost forensic attention to skin detail, though I can’t help but feel the choice to sculpt scutes down the hands as well as the feet is a little odd, especially on an ornithopod, though this is perhaps the least controversial point regarding this figure…

I have to hand it to them, jaw articulation on an iguanodont toy is somewhat unprecedented. I also personally consider it to be entirely unnecessary, but it is a great showcase for Papo’s production values and indicates to me just how far they’ll go to produce a truly high-end figure. It’s just a shame that it’s somewhat to the aesthetic detriment of that beautifully sculpted head. There is a tiny tongue in the lower jaw and teeth in the upper. Stunning attention to detail, but the articulation point does give the face of the model the look of a marionette. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to overlook and forgive when looking at the figure as a whole! On to accuracy…

Iguanodon papo

I’m assuming this model represents Iguanodon bernissartensis, the most familiar species, given the shape of the skull. The head is a good size and overall form and is possibly the most accurate feature of the model. However, it does not seem to be positioned in a way which would be possible in life, and on a neck that is too short at that! The tail is also too short, and the arms simply aren’t as massive as they were in reality, nor correctly shaped. I appreciate the dynamic pose, but they look so peculiar (not to mention uncomfortable) pronated the way they are. There are some ribs slightly visible but as this seems common in the animal kingdom I’ll accept it, however the ilia seem a bit too obvious. There are very minor sculptural size discrepancies between the left and right hands and feet, but that’s just a personal nit-pick because I have a mania for symmetry. I do like the thick torso and belly of the figure. It is a reasonable size at around 24cm long and 11cm high.

Iguanodon papo

Despite all its little quirks and peculiarities, this is my favourite Papo figure of 2018 and I’m very fond of it. It doesn’t quite achieve the carthorse-of-doom look I imagine Iguanodon had, but it’s anything but dull! It’s undoubtedly available at your favourite purveyor of plastic prehistorica. It certainly is at mine!

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Comments 7

  • I gotta say I thought this was one species Papo couldn’t muck up given how much is actually known about it, but boy was I sadly mistaken. Aside from the anatomical flaws and weird pose, the obvious joints in the jaw articulation completely ruin what could have been an almost passable sculpt.

  • It is a good figure, remarkable, but not outstanding as the therizinosaurus or the quetzalcoatlus. What spoils him as discussed in the article is the articulation of the jaw.

    But it is a figure to take into account in anyone who likes to collect quality dinosaurs.

    It looks better physically than in photography or video.

  • Articulated jaws on ornithopods have never struck me as a good idea and this toy goes to show why.

  • Can’t get over that vanquilatrist doll vibe that the jaw gives me. Creepy.

  • This figure is so striking and beautiful but I just can’t get over that jaw! It’s literally the only reason why I haven’t added this figure to my collection yet.

  • Nice review…. a shame that Papo often deceides for such unique but also weird poses for their figures rather than something more causal. For me at least this was the point that made the decision for CollectA’s Iguanodon easy.

    • Yeah, same here. I might have bought this version if CollectA’s much more natural-looking figure hadn’t been released the same year.

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