Apatosaurus (Monster In My Pocket by Matchbox, Series 6)

3.4 (5 votes)

Review and photos by Funk, edited by Suspsy

Monster In My Pocket was a line of small collectible figures in bright colours, all depicting monsters of some kind. The line seems to have had several series consisting of or including prehistoric animals, and the one here, the Apatosaurus, is from Series 6, which appears to have been released in 1993, during the “Dinomania” craze that followed in Jurassic Park‘s wake. It is numbered #150 on its flank.

Being a line of monster toys, little regard was given to scientific accuracy, of course, and the dinosaurs seem more like caricatures of the animals they are supposed to be. The Apatosaurus is recognisable as a sauropod, but a pretty generic one at that, and they could have slapped any other sauropod name on it.

The neck is extremely flexible, having an almost painful-looking curve along its length and the tail is so short that I’m surprised it doesn’t tip over, but that’s probably because the feet are so massive. The head has quite an overbite, which perhaps isn’t so bad, and the head seems pretty slender, so the sculptor didn’t fall in the Brontosaurus trap by giving it a boxy, robust skull, and I’m surprised they didn’t just call it Brontosaurus, but it seems the synonymy with Apatosaurus had become somewhat common knowledge by that time.

The musculature is rather odd; while the hind legs are extremely well-muscled, the front limbs look emaciated, with the lower arm bones seemingly visible through the skin, as is the shoulder blade on one side. Some later MIMP seem to have taken this even further by making zombie-like decaying dinosaurs with holes between the bones in some cases. The feet are typically elephantine, with three huge hooves on each foot, but the hind feet are notably digitrade, where the heel is raised far up and all the weight is placed on the toes, whereas they would really have looked more plantigrade, with the heels cushioned by foot pads that touched the ground. It may seem pointless to whine about such details in a toy like this, but it is extra surprising in a figure of a dinosaur that is supposed to look heavy and monstrous to give it such gracious-looking legs.

Moving on to the colours, this toy seems to be made of green plastic with painted red eyes and a black line running from the underside of the tail from the tip to just before the neck. It looks fairly odd, especially since it doesn’t fill the “crocodile-belly” indicated by the sculpt, and abruptly stops with a flat line, while it would probably have looked more natural (and just cooler) if it continued across the underside of the neck. It’s a bit disappointing that they didn’t paint the hooves and teeth, which are just green like the skin. I will also note that other colour variants exist, for example, orange.

So, what to say in conclusion? It’s a pretty odd looking figure, but a fun, small toy for kids at only about 8 cm long. It would probably be nice to have for MIMP collectors if there are any out there, or for kids to play with, since it’s pretty durable and could probably last 30 years more of heavy play without looking any different. But it certainly isn’t pretty!

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