Today I would like to introduce to you the „Wangensaurier“ (literally meaning „cheek lizard“) from the “Wagner Margarinefiguren” series. When these figures were released sixty or so years ago, it was quite common in Germany to give prehistoric creatures German names and not to use the common species name. What is called “Wangensaurier” actually means Pareiasaurus.
Pareiasaurus were early anapsid reptiles which lived in the middle Permian period in what is now South and East Africa and in some parts of Europe, too. Today we know four subspecies. They were massively built plant eaters walking more or less upright. Pareiasaurus could reach up to 3 metres in length. Scutosaurus from Russia and little Elginia from Scotland belonged to the same family. They probably fell victim to the top predators of that time, the Gorgonopsids, and some say they lived in big herds.
Still I do not know how come that these figures seem to come from the very same molds as the Shreddies cereal premiums from England. Maybe one of you can enlighten my knowledge in the comment section below. At the underside of the base it says it´s number 4 from the series and “Wangensaurier Permzeit Afrika Kapland”. (“Kapland” is an old German term referring to the South African Kap colony that was first under Dutch, later under British despotism.
This little figure is a nice, but obsolete depiction of Pareiasaurus. It shows how these reptiles were seen back in the 50s and 60s, crawling instead of walking upright, lazy instead of active. As all Wagner / Shreddies figures it reveals nice detail for its size: A ridge alongside the back, eyes, nostrils, muzzle and even some of the skull outgrowth at the upper and the lower jaw.
You know me, I love figures like this. These little interesting old pieces of plastic are antiques themselves, depicting even older animals from long lost times. There were some strange species choices in this series, too, just like Geosaurus and Nothosaurus and a Triassic “Panzerlurch” (refering to one of the Labyrinthodontia). And there were some rather “boring” choices like T.rex or Plateosaurus or a Wooly Rhino. I try to do regular reviews of these over the net few months, but sorry, don´t wait for them, I am always short of time. I recommend the Wagner Margarinefiguren / Shreddies cereal premiums to every collector who likes curious little figures that are not mainstream.