Alas, nodosaurids will probably never be as famous and popular as their cousins the ankylosaurids, undoubtedly due to their narrower, less intimidating heads and their lack of bone-breaking tail clubs. Still, almost all of the major dinosaur toy companies have produced at least one nodosaurid over the years, and these have generally ranged from being pretty good to truly magnificent. In Mattel’s case, it is none other than Sauropelta, one of the very best-known genera.
The first version of this toy came out in 2020 as part of the Savage Strike series and was coloured red and grey. The second one came out in 2021 under the Fierce Force banner. Its main colours are dark and medium green with light grey for the spikes, light green for the beak, and yellow for the eyes. As with most Jurassic World toys, the claws are unpainted. I must admit, I personally like the original colour scheme more, but this one still looks fine. The JW logo and the scan code are located on the soles of the hind feet.
From nose to tail tip, the Sauropelta measures 16.5 cm long and is 7.5 cm wide at the tips of its big shoulder spikes. The back armour is reasonably well sculpted with rows of keeled scutes over a bumpy texture and seven sets of progressively larger spikes with faint grooves in them. The limbs are muscular with minimal scale texture and the underbelly is relatively smooth. The largest pair of spikes make this toy immediately recognizable as Sauropelta, but in terms of accuracy, it’s a far cry from the Wild Safari and PNSO figures. The head is too wide, too short, and proportionally too big, the neck and the tail are also too short, the hips are too narrow, the hind feet are too big, and the front feet are short two digits. But hey, they did get the number of spikes correct!
The Sauropelta‘s head, neck, and hips are on ball joints and the shoulders have universal joints. Turning the tail from side to side causes the front half of the body to swing from side to side in the opposite directions. It’s about as basic an action feature as you can get, but it’s a fun one. You can easily pretend that this animal is attempting to scare off or gore a hungry theropod with its shoulder spikes. Or that it’s dancing merrily to its favourite tune.
This Sauropelta isn’t anything remarkable, but it’s an okay and fun toy that ought to please any youngster. It’s also yet another welcome touch of variety in the Jurassic World line that helps make Mattel the best company to have held the license. Hopefully they’ll do another nodosaurid in the future.
I agree, the Sauropelta isn’t remarkable, but it’s decent enough. That Minmi on the other hand, looks like a corn encrusted turd.
Yes, the pea soup and dull green was an unattractive colour combination. But my kids enjoy playing with it.
I rarely give names to my figures, but since 2018 I’ve seriously called my yellow Minmi “Buttered Corn”. I’m not sure why, but it does have some charm for me. I do think the 2020 red one was an improvement though color wise, and it displayed nicely alongside the 2020 Sauropelta as well (which was red and brown).