The pungent stench of masuclinity crawls along the edge of the forest. Leaves rustling softly as a vicious looking creatures ambles through the undergrowth. The young Deinotherium male looks up and hesitates as the potential adversary strides onto the grassy clearing. Much advanced in age and experience, the rival is much smaller then the young male, but also much bulkier.
Once again I find myself returning to the origins of dinosaur figurines, Starlux, to look at another animal reproduced long before other companies got to it. This time, it’s Deinotherium, the terrible beast! A relative of modern elephants, this powerful probiscidian could grow to 13 ft tall and weigh as much as 11 tonnes (based on the largest species, D.
When people talk of dinosaurs, a few will always spring instantly to mind. Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Diplodocus are usually mentioned, along with Dimetrodon. However, Dimetrodon is not a dinosaur, but a synapsid, a mammal-like reptile, that died out 40 million years before the first dinosaurs. It is it’s appearance that undoubtedly sells it, it’s massive sail making it stand out, resulting in many figures of it, including model kits.
Back in 2012 a representative from the toy vendor VictoryBuy joined the Dinosaur Toy forum looking for member feedback with regards to reissuing the Tim Mee set of toy dinosaurs, originally produced in the 1970’s. Flashforward to 2014 and VictoryBuy once again stopped by the forum, this time to announce the actual release of the set.
At the local CNA, I was intrigued to see a children’s book–“Prehistoric Plants: Algae, Fern and Mosses” – that was packaged with a toy fern and what looked to be a Diprotodon, a rhino-sized, bear-like relative of modern wombats and a prehistoric animal not often represented in toy form.
Marsupials are a fascinating group of mammals. With the ability to have multiple young at once and pouches to keep them safe. They have been around for millions of years, now restricted to Australia and South America. Australia once had the largest member of this class: Diprotodon, a giant Wombat relative the size of rhinos, they died out 50,000 years ago, just as the first Aborigines came to Australia.
Southlands Replicas has grown to become a really great little toy company for Australian animals. Their figures are high quality, providing a great range of unique Aussie species (and a few horses). What has stood out for many on this site is the inclusion of two extinct species in their initial line, Thylacine and Thylacoleo.
Weighing up to more than two tons, Doedicurus clavicaudatus, sometimes known as the morning star-tailed glyptodon, was one of the last and largest members of its family. Like most other prehistoric jumbo armadillos, it featured a heavy domed carapace and an armoured tail, but in its case, the tail was extra long and terminated in a thick club that probably bore spikes.
By now, we are all aware of the reputation of the Geoworld Jurassic hunters line: cheaply made figures, full of inaccuracies despite (false) claims of palaeontological approval and shameless plagiarism of palaeoartists. However, I wanted to investigate these figures personally, so I got a figure from each of the first three ‘expeditions’ and see what they were like.