Review by DinoLord and Plesiosauria
Elasmosaurus was a plesiosaur that lived in the great inland sea of what is now North America during the Late Cretaceous Period. It is one of the most popular plesiosaurs, second possibly to Plesiosaurus itself, but it is also one of the most poorly known of the elasmosaurids. It is also one of the longest known plesiosaurs. Elasmosaurus really is an interesting creature, and it is occurs frequently in toy form; Safari, Schliech and Bullyland have all offered Elasmosaurus toys in their major lines. Kaiyodo, continuing its tradition of making hugely detailed miniatures, has made a beautiful Elasmosaurus figure.
The sculpt is excellent, depicting a very fluid and active pose. The neck and head is gently curved to the right as if it has suddenly spied a school of fish. The front flippers are raised upwards (probably a little beyond the range of motion possible in the living animal), ready to propel the Elasmosaurus through the water, and the back flippers are in a rather neutral position. The figure is quite accurate, with the nostrils positioned close to the eyes, and the body has correct anatomical proportions.
Despite the very small size of the figure (3.75 inches long) and the smooth streamlined skin, there are some very nice details. White lumps on the body represent barnacles. Modern large marine animals such as whales and turtles often have parasites and barnacles living on their skin, and it very plausibly occurred in plesiosaurs and other extinct marine reptiles. The gnarled and irregular edges of the flippers is also reminiscent of living humpback whales. These features add a nice touch of gritty realism to the figure.
The paint job, like those on many other Dinotales figures, is exquisitely detailed. There is no sloppiness at all. Even the barnacles have little brown dots in the middle of each individual. One paint scheme is light orange, with dark brown spots on the body and lining the tips and back of the fins. The belly is white. The base is a dark green and fades into a sand colored yellow. Like most other Dinotales figures, the Elasmosaurus has a second paint variation. The other variation is a very deep (almost black) navy blue. I imagine that the orange version is more adapted to a coastal life, while the darker version is more adapted to a pelagic lifestyle.
The Elasmosaurus is supported by a transparent plastic rod that plugs into its belly and into the base. This rod locks loosely into position, but can potentially be rotated. This is a cool feature that looks great on display.
This figure, along with the rest of the Dinotales series, is only sold in Japan, but luckily it is commonly sold on eBay here for no more than a few dollars . It is a great figure for collectors and plesiosaur fans alike.