Liopleurodon (DeeZee)

4 (30 votes)

Review and photos by Torvosaurus, edited by Suspsy

Howdy from wonderful, windy Wyoming! Today we’ll take a look at the DeeZee (DZ) Liopleurodon. DeeZee figures were incorporated with the Honourable Lead Boiler Suit figures and sold as one line, as additions to HLBS’s Saurian Safari game. This is a partial figure, with the pliosaur leaping from the water and showing about one third of itself. It was manufactured around the year 2000. 

The model is approximately 8 inches (20 cm) long following the curve of the body. Using head measurements for scale, it is 1/12 scale. However, the figure was definitely inspired by Walking with Dinosaurs, and using the 15 foot (4.5 meters) long head from the animal in the show, the figure scales to 1/52 scale, in line with the rest of the HLBS figures.

Can you guess what show inspired this figure?

 Observing the body, the front fin is a little larger than the head, when it should be slightly smaller. The skin has a large number of cross-hatching marks for scales, though the occasional scale has a definite triangle shape to it. The body shows a clear crease along the side to separate the upper body from the lower. Most aquatic reptile models have no or very light creases separating the top from the bottom, and most modern animals don’t show this feature either.

Side crease.

The neck loses thickness right where it attaches to the body before widening again toward the head, as if constrained by a tightened rope. The narrowness makes the neck thin in relation to the body and head.

Neck line.

The Liopleurodon’s head is highly stylized. The first thing one notices is the narrowing between the head and the end of the muzzle, making it appear as though the Liopleurodon has a nodule on its rostrum, as does Sarcosuchus. On closer inspection, it is obvious the narrowing of the skull before the rostrum gives the figure this appearance. If the figure could shut its mouth, the mandible would be too wide for the narrowed jaw to fit properly.

Narrowing jaw from above.

The head of the figure is too deep for its length. The teeth protrude outwards from the jaw, but immediately after WWD this was expected. It is now known that the teeth were more or less straight in the jaws and that outward jutting teeth is a side-effect of compression during fossilization. This compression may flatten the head as well. The orientation of the teeth would keep this Liopleurodon from shutting its mouth.

Outward jutting teeth and depth of the head.

The model came unpainted and unassembled. The top of the head and the mouth, the fin, and the base are white metal, while the body, neck and lower fin are a single piece of resin. This model has holes in the resin and very short pins molded to the metal on the upper fin, the upper skull, and the mandible. I have glued and reglued this model countless times. For being a gaming piece, it does not hold together well. I recently decided to take this piece apart and then put my own pins in and drilled holes to make it stay together better. The pieces are held together by two-part epoxy instead of super glue and I want to thank PumperKrickel and Justin_ for suggesting it to hold this together. Why I didn’t think of that myself is beyond me. I finished with blue paints rather than the typical black and white like it was before. To my knowledge, the model is no longer being produced but can occasionally be found on eBay. 

Dolph the Dancing Dilophosaurus says, “That fish was really this big!”

In spite of its errors, the model is attractive. It gives a good view of what Liopleurodon “looked” like 20 some years ago, and now that I’m not gluing it together constantly, I’m glad to have it. It is very heavy, easily the heaviest model in my collection. Like many of my pieces, it’s a “big boy” toy and is not suitable for younger children. I definitely recommend it for someone who likes a piece of history.

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