Review and photos by Faelrin, edited by Suspsy
The fauna of the Triassic period was highly diverse with many new branches of life, including those that would soon dominate the globe from the Mesozoic onwards, particularly the archosaurs. Early dinosaurs and pterosaurs themselves aside, perhaps one of the most popular of those Triassic era archosaurs is none other than Postosuchus, having been put in the spotlight thanks to the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs series in which it featured many years ago. Moreover, it is known from relatively complete fossil remains and numerous specimens. It’s also one of my personal favorites.
Mattel has created two figures of non-dinosaurian archosaurs this year for their Jurassic World line: Sarcosuchus (which also had a figure released by Safari Ltd. this year), and Postosuchus (which also had a figure released by Schleich this year), which is the subject of this review. Additionally, I have been eagerly waiting since 2018 for Mattel’s miniature version of Postosuchus (which has also been repainted for this year to match the mainline Savage Strike figure). Now does it meet my expectations?
The figure is rather faithful to the sculpt on the mini-figure, and has been sculpted with crocodilian-like scutes, which seems par for the course for ancient non-dinosaur archosaurs, particularly for pseudosuchians, although I’m not entirely sure if there is any evidence of such in Postosuchus itself. The stance seems to be in mid-stride, as if it were prowling about. The color scheme is a deep blue of sorts with black markings on the back and white for the lower jaw and belly. It is quite simple, but certainly a refreshing and attractive take on this animal. It’s also quite similar to last year’s Mussaurus figure. The flesh, tongue, and gums are in a magenta color. The figure has articulation at each of the limbs, typical of most of the Savage Strike assortment. The action feature is a simple biting mechanism, where both the upper and lower jaw open wide by pushing the tail to the side (similar to the Savage Strike Dimetrodon). It gives it a pretty sizable chomp.
I suppose the only downside to what is otherwise a pretty beautiful and fun figure, are the relatively few anatomical issues with the sculpt, which are expected for this line at this point. Many of Mattel’s figures are based on now retro depictions (film animals aside), with a few exceptions. The skull has been sculpted accurately for the most part, and has binocular vision, but it might be a tad too wide. The exception is, of course, the teeth, which have been simplified. The feet seem to be a mix between being plantigrade and digitigrade, judging by the hind limbs. The feet are planted firmly on the ground for the most part, as the ankles look to be too high up, but again, that may also just be attributed to it being in mid-stride. Honestly, after looking at it numerous times, I’m still not entirely sure. Regardless, Postosuchus was plantigrade, like its relatives. Within the past decade, a study has come forth that has challenged the old quadrupedal stance, and that there is evidence to suggest a bipedal stance, unlike the stance on this figure.
Additionally the number of digits are too few. There should be five on the hands and five on the feet, as opposed to the four on each that Mattel went with. It should be worth noting that the fourth digit (or fifth on the real animal) on the feet has been reconstructed as the shortest digit, which is correct, but the placement could use some adjusting in that it looks to be too high up (which could also be an issue as a result of its stance). The feet and hands (Postosuchus had especially tiny hands) are also all too large, but that’s also typical for these figures at this point.
With all that said, this is certainly one of my top favorites that Mattel has released this year, and I can only hope they will branch out into giving us some of its contemporaries such as Coelophysis (at least there is Kenner’s duo for now), and other Triassic animals such as Desmatosuchus and Placerias. Additionally, I would like to see the continuation of the trend of more non-dinosaurian archosaurs in general released alongside the plethora of dinosaurs after this year’s release of Postosuchus, Sarcosuchus, and Scutosaurus. Dakosaurus, Deinosuchus, Kaprosuchus, Metriorhynchus, and Rutiodon would make for interesting additions to this line, and welcome additions to my ever growing collection, if not many others.
As with most of the Savage Strike figures that were intended to be released this year, the Postosuchus had really shoddy distribution for the most part. At least in the U.S.A., it seems there’s been some overstock of last year’s Wave 2 Dino Rivals Savage Strike toys cluttering the shelves, eating away space for potential new figures. Additionally, I’m sure that the COVID-19 pandemic has made things much worse than it typically has been in years prior (though it remains to be said that distribution has certainly been troubling Mattel’s Jurassic World line since its initial releases back in 2018). I secured mine from a friend in Germany (which also was sold from a Hungarian website), but have had another come from a forum member (thanks triceratops83) from Australia, which I gave to my nieces to also enjoy. My best guess is to keep checking Amazon, or other retailers, if not getting help from someone that has the luck of finding these.
Nice review, you did your homework. Can’t say I much care for the figure, however.
Although I’m happy that Mattel made a Postosuchus this toy just seems so much like a knockoff of the Safari Postosuchus. I already have that one, so why bother with this one? The Safari Postosuchus is forever one of my all time favorite figures though, no matter how dated it will inevitably become. Excellent review, as always!
I’ve come across this toy at Walmart here in Ontario a number of times now. Not interested in it or any other quadrupedal Postosuchus toy, frankly.