Shastasaurus (CollectA)

4.8 (99 votes)

Review and images by Kikimalou, edited by Suspsy

This is the very first time I’ve submitted a review for DTB and I thought that the new 2023 CollectA Shastasaurus would do the trick. What attracted me to this new ichthyosaur is the black and white interpretation. I like it when a creature from the past smells of convergent evolution.

In hindsight, our friend sports the colors of a killer whale, but the first time I saw him, it was the image of a swimming penguin that jumped out at me. From that brief moment, the fate of this Shastasaurus was sealed: Want one more penguin!

So what about Shastasaurus? It lived in the Triassic seas and was a “primitive” ichthyosaur quite different from much later species like Ichthyosaurus and Temnodontosaurus. The body was rather elongated for an ichthyosaur and the beak was shorter and without teeth.

For once, I find the muzzle of the CollectA figure a bit long, but that’s my only grievance.  *scratch* 

The type species is Shastasaurus pacificus (7 m long), discovered in 1895, but it seems our CollectA here is of another species, S. sikanniensis (21 m long) discovered in British Columbia and described in 2004. I’m not an expert but it seems that the attribution of the latter to the genus Shastasaurus is not for sure; it may be a species of Shonisaurus instead. Whatever, I’ll get over it.

My two cents about the quality of the CollectA team’s work is that the small parasites on the skin and the well-defined ears and nostrils give its letters of nobility to a model which is not part of the Deluxe series. On the other hand, I find the direction of the wrinkles on the tail a bit strange, but once again I’ll get over it.

Shastasaurus‘ 21 m length make it the largest known ichthyosaur, so the CollectA figure’s scale is around 1/80 with a 25.3 cm length, a 3.5 cm height, and a 9.2 cm width at the ends of its flippers. I don’t have a 1/80 shelf, so I added it to my 1/72 team as a ”small” 19 m specimen. Here you can see it with my only 1/72 shelf Trias citizen, the ”frightening” Kaiyodo Rutiodon.

And here is another pic from the swimming pool with some of the 1/72 water-polo team: Kaiyodo Archelon, the Colorata killer whale, and the CollectA humpback whale.

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Comments 7

  • Thanks for this review!

  • Nice to read a review from you! It’s been a long time. Wonderful review of this beautiful model from CollectA.
    Cheers old friend!

  • It’s a cool figure! Too bad I don’t collect CollectA, but this would be the best figure to start with since I need to beef up my marine animal collection.

  • Congrats on your first review, and thanks for covering this neat new release! It’s great to have another solid Ichthyosaur toy on the market.

  • Appreciate the review here. I am assigning this to be S. pacificus, as the type species, as “sikkaniensis” is disputed and may actually be a different genus that either Shonisaurus or Shastasaurus. For that reason, I designate a scale of roughly 1:25, which is the scale Halichoeres assigned for said figure.
    Overall, I am glad that no species name was officially given, as it shows that CollectA are playing safe here. This is an overall terrific figure and I am glad it was made to begin with.

  • Welcome, Kikimalou! 🙂

    • BTW, CollectA never specifically indicated this figure was S. sikkaniensis. In promotional material, they mention S. sikkaniensis as the largest species in the genus, but as written, it’s merely a ‘fun fact’ about the genus and there was never any specific claim that it was the intended ID of the figure. So, for now it’s really the collector’s choice 🙂

      Coincidentally, this figure came up for my daily ‘Museum’ post tomorrow. I am databasing my figure as S. pacificus, because in the absence of a specific ID by the manufacturer, I usually go with the type species in the genus.

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