Review by Cordylus, edited by Dinotoyblog, photos by Dinotoyblog
Ever since Walking with Dinosaurs came out a decade ago, Liopleurodon has been famous. However, this Liopleurodon figure by Invicta was made a good ten years before Walking with Dinosaurs, so, luckily for us collectors, it wasn’t ‘inspired’ by the WWD version like every other Liopleurodon on the market today (I’m looking at you, Procon and Safari Ltd…).
This model is stamped on the underside “A PLIOSAUR (Liopleurodon)” so the genus is specified. In this respect it differs from the Invicta plesiosaur, which is not attributed to any specific genus and leaves us guessing.
This Liopleurodon is twenty years old. For such an aged figure it has certainly stood the test of time well. The sculpt is fantastic. The eyes and the nostrils are placed far up on the snout, just as they should be. The rear flippers are larger and thicker than the front ones, just as they should be; many companies even today still get that wrong. The flippers are also all pointing backwards, with slight wrinkles behind each one.
The teeth are randomly sized and fang-like, just like they were on actual pliosaur skulls – I wonder why most companies make the teeth all uniformly sized and placed. The tail is long, straight, and tapering. The body is nice and straight too; it wouldn’t have been able to curve itself much in real life. The head has a very gentle expression, partially due to the fact that, as in all Invictas, this figure has a closed mouth. Overall, this is a gorgeous life-like sculpt.
The original monochrome version is a lovely shade of light lime green. A painted version was later produced in a more rubbery plastic. Apparently, the only reason Invicta started to paint their dinosaur figures was to compete with other companies producing lesser-quality but very colorful painted figures. For having had the paint just thrown on in order to sell better, this Liopleurodon‘s paint job is surprisingly nice. I’ve heard that the paint applications on other painted Invicta figures have been crude and obscure a lot of skin detail; I guess it’s good that there wasn’t much skin detail on this one to begin with!
The painted version of the figure suffers from some problems with paint; the teeth aren’t painted very well and the paint flakes off easily (a few moves around my marine reptile shelf gave him some scuffs on his belly – the paint on painted Invicta figures seems nearly as delicate as the paint on Bullyland’s figures). The pained version is also green-blue on the back with a creamy belly. Where the green meets the cream, there is a mottled pattern. The eyes are black with a tiny white dot in them to simulate light reflecting off the eye. The paint on the rest of the figure is extremely shiny by itself (no white dots needed!), and it makes it look wet. The teeth are plain white.
This Liopleurodon toy has held the title of ‘best pliosaur figure’ for twenty years and it seems as though it only might (might!) be outcompeted next year by Safari Ltd’s new Liopleurodon. Whether or not it get usurped, this figure will always remain a classic.
Sometimes available on Ebay here