Vault Tales 4 CollectA Estemmenosuchus

Who makes it? CollectA as part of their Deluxe prehistoric line. Item number 88816

When did it come out? 2018

Here it is, the CollectA Estemmenosuchus! In all of it’s weird, awkward glory!

Still available? It just came out–I hope so! Access to CollectA products varies wildly in different parts of the world. I got mine from Australia online.

Where can it be found in my displays? The shelf of non-dino reptile like things…Hemnes2Aγ

How does it fit in the collection? One of the stranger elements to my collection is the weirder, non-dinosaur prehistoric tetrapods. So, synapsids, amphibia, parareptiles, ‘crurotarsans’ or whatever they’re called now, pterosaurs (sort of…)–anything kind of weird and unusual. The good news is that there aren’t many to collect, relative to the number of, say, theropods or ceratopsians out there, so it’s been relatively easy to get a good number of them. The bad news is that there aren’t many to collect, relative to the number of, say, theropods or ceratopsians out there, which means that the overall diversity of this group is poorly represented on my shelves.

Any story behind it?

First off, this is such a great animal to finally have a good one. I spent a long time trying to track down the only other Estemmenosuchus toy, a figure released with the Jurassic Park toy line in the late 90s. It took forever to get one (with it’s pieces) but this one is better.

Also, my search inspired a song for my wife, who was pregnant with our son at the time (sung to the tune of the Oscar Meyer Weiner song because of course it is):

“I’m glad you’re not an Estemmenosuchus

‘Cause that would really hurt when you came out

‘Cause if you were an Estemmenosuchus

You’d have horns and a real-ly big snout!”

So, there’s that–apparently I have been waiting over 15 years for one of the big companies to make one!

Zookeeper Ned (doesn’t he look like a Ned?) heard that Estemmenosuchus is a herbivore. Not sure how carrots would go though.

Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): Well, it looks the part. That skull is unmistakable for anything else, and is pretty terrifying looking. The colour scheme is…okay, kind of dull. Almost too reptilian, considering that this is a Dinocephalian, one of the odd branches leading up to (eventually) mammals. I’ve seen reconstructions that played up the mammal-like characteristics, to the point of adding fur or whiskers. While I am not certain about how accurate that kind of reconstruction might be, the figure’s pattern and skin texture feels like it needed something more.

But at least it’s a huge step up from the Jurassic Park model. That one didn’t even get the legs right (I think the front ones were reversed or something)!

Would I recommend it? Absolutely. I can’t say it enough–figures of these taxa are far too rare and everyone should get them! The colours are a little bland, but Dinocephalians need more attention as toys and models, and this one is really nice. There’s also a mini version as part of a CollectA prehistoric mammals tube which…stretches the term mammals to include ancestors but would be nice to have (it’s on my personal list). It’s also a nice big figure, close to 1:15