Tag Archives: ichthyosaurus

Ophthalmosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by, PNSO)

Kids perspective by, William and Erin

By day the squid lurk in the deep waters were only the brave dive into the unknown. It is in these murky depths were they hide from the predators above. When the sun goes down and the moon arrives they come up from down below to the surface to feed.  Awaiting the strange creatures from the depths is a fast predator with big eyes that can see through the gloom.  A squid is gliding around looking for small morsels to eat.  It never sees the big eyes that have locked onto him.  The creature speeds towards it target and snap, the squid is grabbed quickly and swallowed.  For as wonderful as nature is, it is unforgiving and deadly.

The Ophthalmosaurus was an ichthyosaur that was around 19 feet (6 meters) long and like dolphins today it was a voracious predator that was well adapted for eating squid.   It lived around 155 million years ago and had big eyes, a graceful tear drop body, and a half-moon caudal fin.

Little Becky along side the Kaiyodo Ichthyosaurus.

I am not sure why there are not more toys of this species made as they fit the definition of cute.  I remember watching Walking with Dinosaurs and rooting for the little juvenile Ophthalmosaurus  as it dodged bigger predators in the cruel sea.  Lets face it, they look like dolphins (thank you convergent evolution) which makes us think of them as fun, graceful, and playful animals from a long time ago.  Unless your a squid they ae not the things of nightmares, as they don’t have a gaping maw with large man eating teeth.  Combine that with their large eyes and it is hard not to like these wonderful ichthyosaurs.  There have been two other Ophthalmosaurus reviewed on the blog, the beautiful WWD version and the mini Chap Mei toy.  So lets take a look at Becky the little Ophthalmosaurus toy from PNSO.

About the Toy:  Like the other PNSO little figures, this toy came with a poster and information.  The toy is small at 3.8 in (9.65 cm) long and about a half and inch (2 cm) high.  True to its claim to fame the eyes are big on this model and takes up most of its skull.  This probably means that it hunted at a depth where there is not much light or that it may have hunted at night when prey was more active. The pose on the toy is that of an active swimmer.  The head to its dorsal fin is stiff, then the body curves and ungulates gracefully to its right and then flattens back toward  the midline.  This follows the thought that it was a thunniform, high speed, long distance swimmer were all the sideways movement is in the tail and the region that connects to the body.  The tail is in the shape of a crescent moon which appears correct.  The forepaddles and hindfins seem correct as well.  The dorsal fin appears a little small but within the realm of possibility.

The colors and texture are pleasant.  Texturally there is not much to mention other than the entire body is covered in small diagonal lines that give the appearance of skin.  The forepaddles and hindfins also have small lines on the top and bottoms.  In reality, the color on this model probably should be darker on top, instead it is painted in a pleasing light green, with blueish green stripes.  The under side is a light creamy tan.  On the sides of the toy there is a blend of green and tan along with markings that appears to be a question mark design in blueish green.  That same blueish green is dotted on the forepaddles and along the crescent tail.

Kids perspective:  It is small and I wish it was bigger but I can still play with it.  I like the colors, as the colors look real but not as real as in Walking with Dinosaurs.  I really like the green on the tail.  The toy looks like it is a fast swimming fish torpedo.  To play with it is ok.  You can play with it in the pool, or bathtub, as they are both great places to play with this toy.  You do have to be careful when playing in water as you could lose it.  In a deep pool it could go to the bottom and be hard to find.  It is a lot of fun to play with it in the bathtub but it could go down the drain as it is small, so be careful.  You can definitely play with it in Barbies pool but it doesn’t go well with other animals like horses.  We would rate it is an average toy.

Overall:  I think this is a nice figure. It is cute and has an active pose which gives it personality.   I think it displays very well and I did not notice any major anatomical flaws.  The colors are pleasing even with the strange question mark pattern.  The cost on this little figure is low as well.  With all those thoughts in mind I would say that Becky the little Ophthalmosaurus is a keeper.


Ichthyosaurus (Invicta)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the last Invicta model that needed a review on this very blog. Over the past decade or two, these models have been a staple for our community as they are the very first museum quality scale prehistoric models to ever hit store shelves. Despite being retired for over three decades, most of these models have proven to be reasonably priced on eBay and most of them are not that hard to obtain. Over the years, every other Invicta model has been reviewed on this blog at least once or twice. But today is the day where we can almost complete the Invicta page with the one remaining figure that has to be reviewed. Sure, there are also the colour versions that remain unreviewed as well as the one figure that’s just too modern for this blog, but I still think this review will be special.


The Invicta Ichthyosaurus is a pretty standard model of a member of the ichthyosaur family, but it’s been pointed out that this particular model is way too big to represent Ichthyosaurus itself. The writing on the belly says that the genus grew up to 8 meters long, but in reality, Ichthyosaurus only grew up to two metres in length. It is possible that they based this model off another species of ichthyosaur, but which one remains a mystery.


As a generic ichthyosaur figure, this model is pretty darn good. The characteristic fish-like appearance is replicated perfectly and the proportions are correct. In terms of detail, there is not much to talk about as the model is sculpted in smooth solid plastic and is pretty stiff. The eyes are well sculpted and if you look closely at the mouth, you can see that the sculptor attempted to give this model some teeth. The colour that this one was most commonly sold in is a dark sky blue, and the painted version(which I do not own) is done up like a modern day cetacean from what I saw in a picture from a DTF forum member’s collection.


Overall, this is one Invicta model that has stood the test of time, due to the fact that this particular creature have remained almost unchanged since its initial release. Like all Invicta models, eBay is the best place to get one, and if you’re lucky, you might find it at a flea market or two, or someone might sell one on our lovely forum.

Carnotaurus with Ichthyosaurus (Jurassic World Hero Mashers by Hasbro)

Time for a second helping of Hero Mashers! This time we’ll be looking at Carnotaurus, the mighty “meat-eating bull” of South America, and Ichthyosaurus, the English “fish lizard” that helped make Mary Anning a legend among paleontologists.


The Carnotaurus is made up of ten parts. Once assembled, it ends up being articulated at the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and two sections of the tail. Although the lower jaw is hinged, it only moves a couple of millimetres, sadly. The limbs, body, and tail feature sockets for adding on parts.


From snout to tail tip, the Carnotaurus measures 21 cm long. It is coloured dark red with orange horns, swirly stripes, and JW logo, black claws, turquoise eyes, a pink mouth, and white teeth. There are wrinkles on sides of the head and osteoderms on the neck and running down the tail, but for the most part, the skin is nice and smooth, very kid-friendly.


While the boxy head and pointy horns make this toy recognizable as a Carnotaurus, the rest of the body is pretty generic. The arms and feet are far too large, although that’s clearly to ensure play value and stability. The parts hold together very firmly and the joints are stiff—but not too stiff!


Here are the parts for the Ichthyosaurus: a head, four flippers, a dorsal fin, and a tail. Bright yellow is the main colour with dark blue markings. The eyes are red, the tongue is pink, and the teeth are white.


Instead of enjoying its own body, our fishy friend must share. As you can see, this causes quite the colour clash. Still, it makes for a fairly fun, ferocious-looking beast with a length of 23 cm. Unlike the Carnotaurus, the Ichthyosaurus‘ mouth open can extremely wide. The tail and the dorsal fin have serrated edges and the jaws bears little resemblance to that of the real animal. The upper half is toothless and resembles a pelican’s bill, while the lower half has short teeth at the back and two large teeth at the front, like a modern beaked whale. It would be neat if there really was an ichthyosaur with such odd dentition.


As with all Hero Mashers, the main fun with this toy is the potential for switching and swapping body parts to create weird, potentially nightmare-inducing chimeras.


I limited my designs to the pieces that make up the set, but toss more sets into the mix, and the possibilities grow and grow.


As with the previous Hero Mashers set I reviewed, this one is aimed at children first and foremost. And in that regard, I think it succeeds very well. Both the Carnotaurus and the Ichthyosaurus look appropriately scary, and the articulation is great. My fellow adult collectors may not be won over as easily. Hopefully this review helps you decide one way or the other.

Available from Amazon.com here.