Review and photos by Takama, edited by Plesiosauria. [Submitted in September 2013 so my apologies for not posting this review sooner! – Ed.]
After years of procrastinating, I finally shelled out the cash to obtain one of Malcolm Mlodoch’s wonderfully crafted Faunacasts models. The one I selected has been retired but was available on Dans Dinosaurs for quite some time. The model is Malcolm’s first take on the ever popular hadrosaur, Parasaurolophus. Parasaurolophus needs no introduction, as it has been featured in almost every single toy line, and has even had a few big screen appearances in films like ‘The Lost World: Jurassic park’ and Disney’s ‘Dinosaur’. Knowing of its popularity makes it completely understandable that Malcolm decided to make it among the first of his models. Later, he tackle some of the more under-represented species (such as all the prehistoric mammals he has created, or his colossal sized Supersaurus).
Even though Parasaurolophus is a popular creature, the species that Malcolm based his statue on is estimated to be the largest species discovered so far: Parasaurolophus tubicen. When toy companies make dinosaur figures they rarely try to replicate any specific species. However, when it comes to Parasaurolophus, they usually opt to replicate the type specimen Parasaurolophus walkeri. When Malcolm consulted the forum about making his new line, one member suggested that he base his sculpture on P. tubicen, a species currently known only from its skull, which was over 6 feet in length – a foot longer than P. walkeri. To account for this size, Malcolm has sized up the body to match its 1:40 scale. This gives us a relatively larger Parasaurolophus in comparison to others in the same scale.
Anatomically, this model is practically flawless. The body is well proportioned and the shape of the crest matches that of the real P. tubicen. The model shows that this was a quadruped animal, but it is rearing up on its hind legs to let out a loud bellow. The tail is elevated from the ground and the front feet are the right general shape (though there’s something that I don’t like about them, but I’ll get to that in a bit).
The only problems I have with this model are personal nitpicks. The first of them is in the head. At first glance it’s nicely sculpted, and follows the anatomy of the real creature, but if you view it head first from the front, it appears to be a little asymmetrical, with the left side bulging out a little more than the other. This can be explained by the molding process. The second of my nitpicks is that the hands are not sculpted so well. There are no claws to be seen on them and they almost look like mittens. Finally, I notice that he didn’t sculpt a cloacal opening on it.
Overall, I’m glad to have bought this item when I did. It has a certain adult charm to it that no toy comes close to matching. Since it has been retired, there’s a really slim chance that you can buy it from someone who wishes to sell his or her model. It is also available on Dans Dinosaurs, but only one is in stock at the time of writing. Fortunately, Malcolm has decided to make another Parasaurolophus for the line, so unless you want a unique species (the new one is going to be a common P. walkeri instead of another P. tubicen) you may wish to wait for its release to own a Parasaurolophus from this unique line of collectables.
For more information about Faunacasts visit the Faunacasts board on the Dinosaur Toy Forum.