Tag Archives: dimetrodon

Dimetrodon (Recur)

In 1845, a fragment of upper jaw bone was discovered in the Maritime province of Prince Edward Island. At the time, it was hailed as Canada’s first dinosaur, but paleontologists eventually determined that it was in fact a synapsid which they named Bathygnathus. In 2015, researchers concluded that Bathygnathus is in fact a species of the famous Dimetrodon. The first fossil ever to be discovered in Canada then is Dimetrodon borealis.

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It’s doubtful that Recur had any particular species of Dimetrodon in mind when they designed their 2015 toy. At around 27 cm long and 12.5 cm tall at the sail, it’s one of the largest renditions I’ve seen. It is coloured in varying shades of orange, ranging from very pale on the underbelly to fiery on the sail. Very dark and medium brown are used for the many stripes decorating the animal and the claws are muddy green. The eyes are red-orange, the mouth is flesh pink, and the teeth are dirty grey. Orange certainly appears to be a popular colour for Dimetrodon toys.

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Unlike so many other Dimetrodon toys, however, this one is sculpted in a very active pose with its mouth wide open, its right front leg raised, and its body held high off the ground. The sprawling posture has become outdated in recent years, with many experts now speculating that Dimetrodon walked with its legs held directly or almost beneath its body. This individual could be in the midst of threatening or even trading blows with a rival. It has even been suggested that perhaps the sail did not extend all the way to the top of the neural spines, but I have yet to see a company tackle such a rendition. Certainly would be cool!

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The Dimetrodon‘s skin texture consists of large scales and wrinkles, and it looks decent, though not outstanding. The claws are worn and grooved and the roof of the mouth is ribbed, which is a nice touch. The head and dentition look quite accurate and it’s nice to see that Recur did enough research to know that there are five digits on each foot. That said, the neck is far too long and the limbs are way too big. Kids and casual prehistory fans will immediately recognise this toy as a Dimetrodon, but to me, it kind of looks like a gorgonopsid with a longer tail and a sail on its back. And speaking of kids, it must be pointed out this toy, like all Recur products, is made entirely of PVC, and therefore very light, durable, and easy to play with.

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The Recur Dimetrodon isn’t by no means the finest rendition I’ve seen, but it’s got size and toughness and character going for it. In the end, I do think it’s a cool toy.

Available from Recur’s AliExpress store

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Dimetrodon (Pelikan)

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Straight from the depths of my cabinet I present to you yet another oddity: A Dimetrodon figure that originally was intended to serve as a rubber. Pelikan is a German company making stationary such as pens, biros, ink erasers or – erasers. I have it since I was a schoolchild and saved it across the times from its fate, for to me it was too interesting to end as chips of rubber.
But to put it bluntly: This monochrome orange Dimetrodon, having “CE Pelikan Made In Germany” written on its sail, looks like a smaller version of the Invicta Dimetrodon wearing a fatsuit, one of those funny devices you put on to look like a Sumo Wrestler on carnival. It´s much too fat and unproportional. Lots of wrinkles, fat legs and a roughly modeled head make this item, which is only 5 cm long and stands 2,4 cm tall, look quite ugly. Yet I refuse to throw it away or use it for its intended purpose. I like little critters which deserve our compassion. It´s better off with the other guys in my collection than as a servant for my slips of the pen.

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I know Pelikan made a Triceratops rubber of similar size, too, but I have absolutely no idea if one can still get those. It´s up to you if it´s worth the hunt, but I think most of you readers will pass on this one.
I didn´t and am happy to put it back to my cabinet among other figures of more beauty, grace and value 🙂
P.S. Gosh! Look how many Dimetrodons I have reviewed up to this day 🙂

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Hey, clumsy one, how about a diet?

Dimetrodon (“Kamsaurier Permzeit”) (Wagner Margarine)

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Just recently someone on the forum asked what would happen if there was nothing more to review, and I thought, well, this probably will never happen. Since there are still so many interesting old collectibles and oddities out there which could keep us busy for years. And do not forget about the new releases which seem to get more and better every year!
Here I don´t have the latest highly correct model or figure, I don´t even have a “toy”, I have a small and interesting vertu: The “Kamsaurier” (sic!) by Wagner Margarinefiguren. Just like Linde coffee, German food company Wagner put small plastic figures into their food packages. They did so between the 1920s and 1950s, so the figures are vintage and there is a specialised collectors´ scene for these ones.
There were equivalent kinds of figures in England. They were cereal premiums from the late 1950s, according to Cain´s and Fredericks´ “Dinosaur Collectibles” book.
Due to the fact that the Wagner figures probably were put between the lid of the margarine package and a a film saving the content, they had to be flat.
Wagner added many different lines of different themes to their packages, among which was also a line of interesting prehistoric animals such as Archaeopteryx or Palaeotherium for example.
I am going to review the figures of the line I own over the next months, if you like.
Let me know in the comments or on the forum.
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The “Kamsaurier” (sic! – it should mean “Kammsaurier”, the missing “m” in the name under the base is a typo!) figure depends on classic paintings of this animal, such as the one by Charles Knight, for example (which is not the one below!). Back then, the “Pelycosaurs” were not seen as mammal-like as they are nowadays, but rather more crocodyle-like. I don´t have to tell you more about the animal itself, do I?
At the base if the figure there is the company logo, the “number of the beast” (it says 20), and it says “Kamsaurier Permzeit Nordamerika 3m”)
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The reproduction of the animal as a figure is of course obsolete. Given the fact the figure itself is 60 or so years old, this is not remarkable.
Therefore I don´t find it necessary to talk about scientific correctness in this case. The goggle-eyes, the silly muzzle with its funny lips, the oversized nostrils, the overall very “odd lizard with a crest on its spine” – look, the bent tail, nothing holds contemporary standards, but back then it probably did, and the Margarinefiguren were a gate into long lost times for many German children. They must have been fascinated by the look of such an odd creature. There are many detailed scales and spines and one could even think the fracture point from the spray cast mold is a small horn.
Marginally, it´s interesting what cultural scientist Alexis Dworsky wrote about depictions and colourings of prehistoric animals across the times. In his highly readable dissertation “Dinosaurier! Die Kulturgeschichte”, which in parts refers to W.J.D. Mitchell´s “The Last Dinosaur Book”, Dworsky states that depictions of animals do not only correlate on the fossil finds, but also to the spirit of the times they developed. This dimetrodon could be put in the “depictions as giant lizard” and “crown of reptilian creation” period. According to Dworsky, for example, dinosaur paintings were often coloured in camouflage or tank – green in times of the cold war.
If you look at the comparison picture you see it´s quite small, even smaller than the Invicta classic figure.
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I love old, highly collectible figures who are only a little younger than the animals they depict 🙂 I love them as objects, I love speculating about the history of the object and I love being their keeper for the next fifty or so years! So of course I recommend this figure to everyone nourishing similar points of view and feelings.
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Try ebay to find some.