Pliosaurs again! This time we will sample Procon’s offering which is a Liopleurodon.
This is the second plesiosaur produced by Procon, the first one being the elasmosaurid Hydrotherosaurus (reviewed here), but this is their first pliosaur. Procon are tending to divide collectors with their new lines. On the pro side they are particularly diverse and cover a wide range of often overlooked species. They are also all pretty small (they are not to scale to each other), which makes them cheap. These factors combine to make them highly collectible. On the other hand, many (in my opinion, most) of the Procon sculpts just don’t push the right buttons, they are often cartoony in appearance and quite crudely made. Procon seems to straddle the boundary between rubber Chinasaurs on one hand and museum quality replicas on the other, not really fitting into either category comfortably, but extending into both from figure to figure. In balance though, I look at Procon in a very positive light and I hope they succeed and produce more figures in the future. Having preempted that procon figures include hits and misses, you will be pleased to hear that the Liopleurodon is one of the hits.
At 18 cm long it is the smallest pliosaur we have reviewed so far. The proportions are accurate: there is a distinct but short neck and the body is short. The only major anatomical details I can fault are the position of the flippers – the front limbs are pulled downwards and forwards pushing the boundaries of what was physically possible, similarly the hind limbs are pulled back rather far. But the shape of the flippers is well done.
The head is nicely detailed – obviously influenced by the Liopleurodon in Walking with Dinosaurs and therefore similar to the Toyway Liopleurodon (reviewed here). It differs in that the mouth is closed and so the teeth (which are individually sculpted) interlock in a neat mesh – this is the only pliosaur figure with the teeth occluded in this way and it is very impressively done. The nostrils are retracted near to the eyes which are red with black pupils facing upwards – it looks a little subdued! There is a fold of skin extending along the side of the neck and hanging down on the side of the body between the flippers. There is no reason to think pliosaurs had this feature but it is subtly done. The backbone is raised so the back is arched.
The colour scheme is beautifully done with deep blue and contrasting white patches on the back and sides and a white belly. This, too, is obviously based on WWD, presumably a conscious decision to help punters recognise and identify with the beasty. Although it looks nice, I would have rather seen Procon do something more original. To their credit though, they at least added a unique peachy hue on the underside of the jaws and on the sides of the body, these work very well.
Overall, I’m very happy with this figure and I am very sure that it will be one of Procon’s bestsellers, if not the best.
Available here for just $4.95