Review and images by PhilSauria, edited by Suspsy
Lufengosaurus, at least as realised by the sculptors and designers at PNSO, does not embody the typical image of a sauropod. It is no towering beast with head held aloft at the end of a long neck, standing or striding along on four long pillar-like legs, though its stablemate, the massive Huanghetitan does fit that description admirably! No, this lightly built creature is almost sneaking along on its skinny legs, its long neck held low and its face looking back up at us with either an anxious or indignant expression. I haven’t decided which. This figure was part of the very first wave of figures to come from PNSO, and though not as spectacular as some of the others in that wave, it is an interesting model just the same (Having said that, I did buy a lot of the other figures before this one, but got to it in the end!). Being a sucker for sauropods, I was bound to get around to it.
Lufengosaurus the animal was named in 1940 by Yang Zhongjian (aka CC Young) after being unearthed at Shawan near Lufeng in Yunnan Province in China. The two species recognised so far range from 6 to 9 meters in length and come from enough individuals to give a good coverage of most parts of the skeleton. It has the honour of being the first dinosaur to be assembled and displayed in China. Classified as a sauropodomorph (aka prosauropod), this animal was lightly built compared to the giants that would come later and was thought to be capable of a bipedal stance. I have no reason to believe that this figure is anything but accurate in terms of the science, given that the ‘S’ in PNSO stands for ‘Science.’ The head recreates the deep snout of the fossil skull and the feet have long claws and quite a few of them, unlike the distinctive feet of later sauropods that do not display nearly as many. CollectA is the only other company to have made one of these (feel free to correct me if I am wrong), theirs being recreated in an example of that bipedal stance. The PNSO Lufengosaurus is on all fours, measuring 52 cm (20.5 inches) from snout to tail tip and 19 cm (7.5 inches) from its feet to the top of the head. And if you think that this one looks like it has been on one too many diets, there was an initial version in brown that looked decidedly undernourished, with even more ribs showing to be counted.
The Lufengosaurus stands quite securely on the three feet that are in contact with whatever surface it stands on, one of its front feet being raised in mid-step, paused as it turns its head to look back at us with with one very neatly painted yellow eye. It is sculpted with fine scales all over its body, these being more pronounced in some areas than others, with accentuating wrinkles and creases around the limbs where the skin is either being stretched or compressed. The basic colouration is varying shades of green with a tannish tone on the underside. A subtle pale green stripe runs from the base of the neck along its torso and down to the start of the long tail.
There is a seam running right around the figure just before the hips and seams at the top of the front and back legs on its right side, but not the left, curiously enough. There are none at the base of the neck or tail. These are not too distracting and appear to be part of the process of manufacturing a large hollow plastic figure.
This figure arrives well-packed in a sturdy cardboard box with a slip-off sleeve adorned with a nice piece of paleoart of the animal inside. The customary poster/leaflet is also in there.
Having a liking for larger figures, I was an easy target for the PNSO Lufengosaurus. The fact that these creations are realised in a very naturalistic way by a talented paleoartist is a big bonus. This one still looks to be readily available and does not come with quite as high a price tag as some other releases from this company. Recommended.