Author Archives: libraraptor

Pelecanimimus (De Agostini)

Back in the 1990s there was a publication called “Dinosaurs!”. Publisher De Agostini would introduce to us the dinosaurs and their world in many issues. One special dinosaur would get a titlee story, there were stories about other dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts, a 3D – poster in the middle of each issue and on the last side my former idol Dr. David Norman would answer questions about features and lifestyle of the fascinating animals.
Only now, a few months ago, I found out that there was a figure line closely resembling the painted dinosaurs from the particular issues. I got myself some of them by a trade.
One of these was Pelecanimimus, an Ornithomimid from the lower Cretaceous of Spain, as tall as a man. He is regarded as one of the oldest representative of the Ornothomimid group. Compared to the descendands like name-giving Ornithomimus, Pelecanimimus had teeth. And he had a strange extension at the head protruding backwards out of the skull. Maybe it was for intimidation.

This little neat figure is 5 centimetres (1,9 inches) tall and 10,2 centimetres (4,1 inches) long.
It differs from the normal representations of theropods back in the nineties, when big players like T.rex or Allosaurus ruled the theropod figure territory. This little figure probably was a welcome relief from this dominance.

For balance it has to lean on the forearms, but interestingly this does not really attract special attention, since the overall vivid posture and sculpt is really succesful for a figure from this time.
Of course it´s not scientifically correct. It lacks feathers, the hands are not pronated. On the other hand, there is a nice throat pouch and the extension of the skull is there as well. The jaws look as if the animal is gnarling at something .
The colour is orange – tan and yellow at the belly which suits the animal quite well, although it´s also a little boring.

Overall, this is a really nice figure to own. I only know one other Pelecanimimus figure by Kazunari Araki, which is a lot better of course. But De Agostini Pelecanimimus does not claim to be a model figurine, it is a toy rising from the publication “Dinosaurs!”, which was clearly addressed at children. And so is this figure. It´s one of the first hinting at the dinosaur-bird-relationship. From me it gets 3,5 (4) out of five stars.

Scan lots on ebay to find one. Or maybe someone on the Dinosaur Toy Forum knows other sources.

Edaphosaurus (Fèves)

Over eight (!) years after reviewing Bullyland Edaphosaurus here, which was my very first review, I´d like to do a review my second Edaphosaurus now, the one, well, “by”, Féves.
Fèves is no company but the term for tiny little figurines made from ceramic / porcelain. It´s a collector´s world on its own, extending over hundreds of different subject areas such as birds, dwarf, movie heroes and so on. It´s worth browsing the web for further information, since there are many things to learn about by digging deeper into this matter. The origin of these figures is especially exciting: A popular fairy-tale figure named „Peau d´Ane“, (“Donkey Skin” in English) from the 13th century was said to have lost a ring in his cake mixture during baking.

Hence developed the rite of stirring a hard bean, French “Fève” into the traditional cake the French bake on January 6th, the day of Epiphany. Since people need change they developed other items from different materials to stir into the cake, still calling them “Féves”. Porcelain is heat-resistant and mostly was the material of choice. It´s said to bring luck if you are the one getting the piece of cake with the “bean” in it or even biting on it.
As to our concern, it´s important that some of these Fèves represent prehistoric animals, there are at least two series I know of, one I own myself (see picture) and one basing on the caracters from Disneys “Dinosaurs” movie.
As an example I decided on the Edaphosaurus, the interesting Permian plant-eater that belongs at least to the extended circle of popular prehistoric beasts, not as popular as its carnivorous cousin Dimetrodon, of course, but okay, still popular.

The figure is tiny, that is 3 cm long and 2 cm tall. It´s made from glossy porcelain. The animal itself stands on a green base revealing its name. While the figure is tan, its sail is bright red. This lovely critter is surprisingly detailed, albeit it would not stand the test of scientific correctness. All the things concerning scientific correctness in my opinion are not interesting for virtus like these.
If you are a collector who is not loath against quirky subject areas, you will enjoy Fèves figurines. Somehow or other, this Edaphosaurus is a nugget I want to keep as long as I´ll be collecting. Thus to my mind 5 out of 5 stars are totally justified.

Moschops (White Post)

White Post is no company, but the location of “Dinosaur Land”, a theme park dedicated to prehistoric animals in Virginia, USA. This park has been run as a family business for over 50 years now. Early in the history of the park the operators had the idea of having some of their lifesize figures made into small plastic figures for their souvenir shop. In respect thereof these figures are an equivalent of the Kleinwelkas from the German Democratic Republic. (Here, for instance, is their Diplodocus.)
According to the Dinosaur Collector Site A, these figures are very collectible, impossible to find and go for high prices. This is probably due to both a small edition and the fact that it´s quite hard to tell the value of such a beast in a toy box or on a flea market. It even says “Hong Kong” at the belly! I hate the thought that uninformed parents threw many of these away after their childrens´ dinosaur development phase (which we enthusiasts never really grew out of, right?)

Here you can see other figures of this line. Some remind me at the Invictas in terms of their monochromacity and their overall look, yet these beasts have been modeled far more roughly and look much, well, cheaper.
Here is the homepage of the theme park.
And here is a link to a great collection of photographs showing the life-sized models the figures are based on.
Moschops (Greek for “calf face”) is an extinct genus of therapsid that lived in the Guadalupian epoch, around 265–260 million years ago. Therapsids are synapsids, which once were the dominant land animals. Its remains were found in the Karoo region of South Africa.
Besides the Moschops, there are many other interesting species, for example a Saltoposuchus, a Diatryma or a Tylosaurus. And they are all said to be ugly. Well, yes, they are ugly to a certain extent.
But to put it bluntly: There´s no accounting for taste, and this Moschops is a figure that suits me down to the ground!

It is 9 cm long and 3,5 cm tall. Its colour is a monochrome purple/tan. It looks as if someone had smeared green colour at its flanks.
Honestly, one would not recognize this figure as a Moschops if it had not been called a Moschops. The front legs should stand taller than the hind legs, the head is a catastrophe and the eyes look like they belong to an insectoid alien. And the figure even seems to have two muzzles. Very odd! There are some rough bumps at the flanks and a ridge extends to its back, but don´t expect anything looking like a continuous skin pattern. Both the forefeet and the hindfeet have been sculpted sloppily, and so has the whole figure. It looks like it is walking on brittle ice, permanently afraid of breaking. Anatomy didn´t play a role in sculpting this model, which is incomprehensible, since the original looks quite decent. It seems like the contractors modeled this figure after a badly shot picture from an unlucky perspective.
But it does have charme for it evokes both pity and the thrill of the chase. This is an interesting in-between affect. I was lucky to get mine in a pleasant trade, but I don´t have the slightest clue for a reference source. I guess it´s most probable to find one of these by scanning endless amounts of ebay lots. Good luck!

To sum it up: White Post Moschops is definitely no beauty, but true beauty is a matter of what your heart tells you, and so this figure for me, despite all its inaccuracy, gets 5 out of 5 stars. To me it stands in a line with the Marx or Tootsie Toys Moschops.

Is this a museum quality figure, sculpted correctly? The point is moot. This is the kind of figure that make a collector´s life worthwhile!