Tag Archives: Plesiosaurus

Plesiosaurus (Mini)(Chap Mei)

As its name suggests, Plesiosaurus was the very first plesiosaur ever to be discovered, in England back in 1823 by the legendary fossil hunter Mary Anning. At around 3.5 metres in length, it was a relatively small sea reptile, a far cry from later relatives such as Elasmosaurus and Thalassomedon.

This Mini Plesiosaurus from Chap Mei measures just under 15 cm long. Its main colours are blue-green on top and white on the bottom with dull orange eyes and stripes, black on the head and along the back, a dark pink tongue, and white teeth. Probably would have looked a lot better without the orange, but that’s Chap Mei for you.

The Plesiosaurus is sculpted in a swimming pose with its front flippers held directly underneath its body, its hind flippers angled out around 45 degrees give or take, its tail swaying to the right, and its neck bent in an S-shaped curve. Unlike so many other aquatic reptile figures, it balances nicely on the tips of its flippers. But as any plesiosaur expert will quickly inform you, there’s no way the neck could be bent in such a manner without breaking a number of vertebrae!

The sculpting on this toy is quite a haphazard mixture. The head and body have large scales, the neck and tail have small wrinkles like the ones on an earthworm, and the flippers and underbelly have crisscrossing wrinkles. Three rows of osteoderms are on the animal’s back and the tail appears to have caudal fins just like on an eel. Again, that’s Chap Mei for you.

This Plesiosaurus certainly won’t win any prizes for sculpting or accuracy, but it’s got kind of a weird, retro charm to it. Kids will no doubt enjoy playing with it. It’s also one of the rarer Chap Mei toys, so if you’re intrigued, good hunting!

Plesiosaur (British Museum of Natural History by Invicta)

It is with much trepidation that I attempt to review my next figure. It’s actually one I’ve intended on reviewing for years but when you write for a blog owned by a plesiosaur expert you’re naturally a bit hesitant to review a plesiosaur model, especially based on accuracy. Honestly I’m a bit shocked this classic hasn’t been reviewed yet but I digress. I’m talking of course about the Invicta “plesiosaur”. I put plesiosaur in quotes because curiously we don’t get a specific name with this model, just that generic plesiosaur label. Based on the length of the neck it’s clear we’re not dealing with Plesiosaurus proper, to my untrained eye this appears to be Elasmosaurus. It shouldn’t make much difference with this review anyway. And oh yes, a note on the pictures. Please pardon the chew marks on this model. They weren’t there when I bought it, but they quickly appeared when I temporarily housed a kitten in my home. Needless to say I’m on the lookout for a less damaged specimen. Cats are why I don’t have nice things…like Sideshow models.

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The Invicta plesiosaur is a modest but elegant model. It lacks the intense detail that most of the Invicta dinosaurs possess but this makes sense for this aquatic reptile where a streamlined no-frills body plan was probably likely. Produced in 1978 this model actually stands up fairly well for its age. The neck is raised up in an inaccurate swan-like pose as was common in reconstructions of the day but it’s not raised dramatically so, far less so than many later models. The head is fashioned in the classic plesiosaur style with the skull more lizard-like than it is like the flatted skulls of actual plesiosaurs. The eyes are placed on the side of the head instead of angled towards the top as they should be and the model also lacks the gnarly teeth that the exceptional Safari version possesses and we know actual plesiosaurs had. The body is shallow in build, the flippers slim but capable looking and the tail fairly short. In fact, once you get past the head and the slightly elevated neck the rest of the model is fairly accurate.

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As stated before, the details are sparse. There are a few wrinkles where the flippers meet the body and a ridge down the back but aside from those and the facial features we’re left with a pretty basic model. That’s not an insult though, it’s appropriate for an aquatic animal. The monochrome variation is blue in color; the painted version has a brown back with dark brown spots down the spine and a white underside. The pose is basic with the neck slightly leaning towards the right but with plesiosaurs there are only so many ways you can pose them anyway.

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As with all the Invicta models the age of this figure needs to be taken into account when judging it. It has all the inaccuracies you would expect but it’s still a handsome and graceful model essential to any collection consisting of aquatic reptiles. Naturally you’ll need to check out eBay to find this plesiosaur but it’s usually one of the more inexpensive figures in the Invicta line.

Available from Ebay.com here.

Plesiosaurus skull (Favorite Co. Ltd)

Here’s a bit of an experiment – our first ever video review. So, I’ll stand back and let the youtube video do the talking (video also embedded below). I will note, however, that I’m a complete novice when it comes to recording and editing, so there’s a lot of room for improvement! Nevertheless, I’ll be interested to see how this goes down, and to learn whether readers are also interested in becoming viewers!?

Transcript of the video review:
0:14 Oh! So, this is the Favorite Plesiosaurus skull,
0:19 It’s half natural size, consists of the cranium,
0:24 and also the lower jaw.
0:27 For display purposes it’s attached to this false wooden base,
0:33 It’s actually not wood, it’s some sort of plastic I think
0:37 and it is detachable so we’ll take that off now
0:39 and have a look.
0:42 So, here we are, Plesiosaurus, distinctively so as well.
0:45 Plenty of details. You can see on the top of the skull
0:49 two little opening there, they’re the external nares or nostrils
0:53 er, the orbits – openings for they eyes – and they have
0:58 sclerotic rings inside them – a little ring of additional bones
1:01 that help support the eyeball.
1:03 This opening on the top there – a pineal foramen.
1:06 And then these two large openings in the rear of the skull.
1:09 They’re the temporal fenestrae, and they are, erm,
1:13 openings that housed the muscles for closing the jaws.
1:18 There are details on the underside as well – the palate.
1:22 But something that is missing is the braincase
1:26 You can see here I can poke my finger straight through the braincase.
1:31 Now, I think that the error comes from the source material,
1:35 which is this reconstruction of the Plesiosaurus skull
1:38 by Glenn Storrs in 1997, and this is still the most recent reconstruction
1:43 of this genus, but you’ll notice in side view the braincase is missing,
1:48 it’s in shadow, and I think that this is why the reconstructed skull model is also missing the braincase.
1:54 While it’s intended to look like bone, it actually isn’t very bone-like at all,
2:00 The individual bones as well are separated with suture lines,
2:05 but these have simply been marked in.
2:07 The teeth are incredibly delicate as well, er,
2:12 particularly fragile and easy to break, and this has
2:15 actually happened – one of the teeth here at the back has come off,
2:19 and that happened in transit before my figure arrived
2:23 so you do have to be careful.
2:25 It’s also a bit scruffy in places, especially where the
2:28 top of the skull is attached to the lower part, the lower jaw.
2:32 These bits are particularly crudely done and it looks
2:35 like they’ve been splodged together.
2:38 To conclude, this is a good but not brilliant statue
2:42 It’s the only one of its kind, so that’s definitely a positive.
2:47 Erm, and for the price I’d actually recommend it,
2:51 and i’d give it, say, 8 out of 10.
2:54 So, that’s my first video review for the Dinosaur Toy Blog,
2:57 very much an experiment, let me know if you like the style,
3:01 like the tone, think there’s something that should be added or removed,
3:04 and we’ll take that on board in the future.
3:07 Thank you for watching.

Plesiosaurus favorite skull.