There are many wonderful paintings by Charles Knight, one in particular has a Apatosaurus in the fore-ground, with its head and neck rising out of the swampy water. It looks big and clumsy. In the back ground, grazing on the shore of this prehistoric swamp, there is a Diplodocus, painted in a boring grey color. Its head is down grazing on foliage, the skin has some elephantine wrinkles, and a graceful, rounded back. At the beginning of the 20th century, the scientific community had some interesting ideas on sauropods. They were considered clumsy, lumbering behemoths, that had to stay near or in the water to help support their immense weight. The Diplodocus being of a lighter build, was considered to be more agile than its contemporaries. Charles Knight echoed these ideas in his paintings. In 1907, he showed that it was light footed, by painting a Diplodocus rearing on its hind legs to eat from the top of some leaves by the waterfront.
Why do I reference the historical paintings of Charles Knight? The Starlux Diplodocus was designed in an active pose even though during the 1960’s or 70’s dinosaurs were still being depicted as slow, dumb, reptiles. Starlux depicted the Diplodocus in a “Classic” pose that is easy to identify, with smooth skin, a rounded back, with a tail dragging behind. It could have come right out of one of Knights paintings.
About the toy: As with Starlux toys, it is small, but slightly bigger than the Kaiyodo UHA toys. The pose is an active one, with the head is held up high on a erect neck, and one leg held high up in the air, as if it was marching in a parade. The head shape is very generic. The eyes are black, with nostrils located toward the end of the snout, and a red open mouth with no visible teeth. Half of the head is a orange-ish yellow, the rest is grey. The orange color seems to be the base color, as mine has a lot of grey paint that has rubbed off, and the orange is underneath.
The neck is smooth with no texture, and there is a visible seem line when it meets the torso. The seam line blends a little with some skin folds around the base of the neck. There are some skin folds on the body and on the legs. The legs have some nice muscle bulges and look good. There are four toes on each foot. You can see the seam where the tail and body meet up. The tail is short and curves down to the ground.
This is not a toy for small children. The plastic is very brittle, and even though the paint can be touched up easily, it does not handle rough play. Older children who know how to take care of their toys, could use them for play, but I think they are best used on display on the shelf or desk. Starlux toys are hard to find in North America, but there are some European web sites were you can still find them at reasonable prices. Scientifically, this Diplodocus is far from being accurate. I think its most attractive qualities are the “classic” look and a active pose that makes it look like it is on parade, or even prancing like a horse. If space is limited, it is rather small, so its easy to display. I think that this old Diplodocus could appeal to many new or old collectors.