Originally released in 1955 as part of Marx’s Medium Mold Group, PL-750, today we’re looking at the Marx Allosaurus. This group of toys included the Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Hadrosaurus, Pteranodon, Stegosaurus, and Trachodon and was Marx’s second set of dinosaur toys. In 1959 the Marx Allosaurus would be re-released as part of their Revised Mold Group. This Allosaurus is part of that revised mold group, which also included the slim T. rex. The differences between it and the original Allosaurus are minimal but includes improved stability in the re-issue. The other differences can be read about more in-depth at Dinosaur-Toys-Collectors-Guide, where you can get a direct comparison between them.
The Marx Allosaurus is one of the more unusual Marx figures. It’s a sluggish, pot-bellied fellow, with tucked in bunny paws, a sad froggish looking face, plantigrade feet, and a pitifully short tail. It looks more like a man in a costume than a proper dinosaur.
The toy is based on the Allosaurus in Rudolf Zallinger’s Age of Reptiles mural at the Yale Peabody Museum, but with a bit more saggy heft to it. Two Allosaurus are painted in the mural, one hunched over and feeding on a carcass, and the other standing upright in the foreground.
Detail work on the toy is minimal. There is pitting along the body, a ridge of osteoderms running down the back, and wrinkles around the mouth, face, and neck. Some wrinkles are also sculpted at the base of the tail. The forelimbs are pudgy, virtually clawless, and tucked in tight as though the creature was nervously begging.
The frowning, wrinkled face also gives it a somewhat pathetic appearance. This toy has more of a Barney vibe to it than a “terror of the Jurassic” vibe. The mouth is closed, and has lips, which doesn’t do it any favors in trying to look intimidating but for many collectors, myself included, is actually desirable in modern toys.
The Marx Allosaurus stands 2.75” tall and measures about 4” from snout to tail. The name Allosaurus is stamped into the left side of the tail, and a length of 50’ is stamped into the right, much longer than modern estimates of about 30’.
Despite being a technically awful interpretation of Allosaurus the toy does have some redeemable qualities. Its sad and feeble appearance is sure to tug on a few heart strings and certainly adds a degree of character and personality. I remember being quite fond of it as a kid, despite not understanding how it could possibly be an Allosaurus. Also, this is the first Allosaurus ever produced by a toy company, so it has historical significance there too, especially for fans of the genus. The Marx Allosaurus can be found on eBay for about $10-20 but you’ll get a better value if you purchase it in a lot.