Review and Photographs by Quentin Brendel (aka Pachyrhinosaurus).
Having appeared in the film The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Mamenchisaurus is commonly known as the dinosaur with the longest neck. While this may not have been true due to fossils which have yet to be discovered or named, the Mamenchisaurus by Safari LTD has an enormously long neck compared to its body.
This figure’s size is the first thing many would notice about it. This dinosaur is around 60 cm (two feet) straight from snout to tail. Due to curvature, the actual length is just slightly longer. Of that, 27 cm, almost half of the model, consists of the animal’s head and neck. To the top of the hips is around 10 cm.
It is posed with its neck and tail outstretched and leaning to the left. The paint is mostly dark green with a cream underside which has soft edges. The feet also have this cream color. On the back there are round, black markings. The right side has lots of small black spots on it which for some reason are missing on the left. There is a spray of reddish-brown on each side which complements the green well. The head is painted black with cream around its mouth, eyes, and nostrils. The eyes are green with black pupils and a white spot to simulate a reflection.
It is difficult to decide on which scale this figure is supposed to be since there is no indication of the species on the model itself (though the packaged variant may have it listed). The skull has the basic shape of a Mamenchisaurus skull, though it isn’t quite exact. Most prominently, the tip of the lower mandible is missing the point that it seems to have had. The neck is very thin and snake-like. It should have more muscles on it for support and be pointing more upwards. The tail should be pointing upwards at the base only to run parallel to the ground after the first few vertebrae. Sauropod feet are very often incorrect on older models and this is no exception. The hands have five claws painted on five distinct digits. There should in fact be only one claw on the inside of the column-like limb without distinct digits. The rear legs are almost the same as the front. Many mammals have similar front and back feet but dinosaurs did not. They are a bit more accurate, though should not have as many claws on them as they do, as there should only be three. The feet are also proportionally to large, it appears. This dinosaur appears to be missing a pubis bone and the ischium looks very tube-like. The skin of this dinosaur is textured with wrinkly striations whereas there should be small non-overlapping scales but they would not be visible at this size.
The Safari LTD Mamenchisaurus was part of a set of three dinosaurs in the “Dinosaurs of China” line. Introduced in 1993, each figure was sculpted by the late Ely Kish and was sold in a windowed box with a skeleton backdrop. After the set was retired, the Mamenchisaurus was moved to Safari’s also retired “Dino Discoveries” line. It was sold without a box and fossil backdrop, which was when I acquired mine. This makes it very hard to find the background compared to the other two dinosaurs which were only sold in that way.
Despite its inaccuracies, the Dinosaurs of China Mamenchisaurus is a classic figure. It is one of the longest sauropods made by many of the popular companies and is one of the few toys made of this genus.