Before we begin with the review, I want to ruminate on some things, because this review is significant in a couple of ways. For one, it’s my 200th review for the Dinosaur Toy Blog. I’ve known it was coming for some time now and over the course of several months deliberated over which figure should be selected for the occasion. When you’ve reached 200 reviews it can be difficult to think of something that stands out, although I did have a couple clever ideas. Ultimately, I decided to heck with it, just review something you have on hand. Well, one figure I had on hand was this fellow, the Marx Megatherium, and that seemed satisfactory enough. I guess it is a coincidence then that this is also my last Marx review. This will be my 15th review of a Marx toy and I’ve had a blast covering them over the last couple years. There are other Marx toys left to be reviewed but alas, they’ve been claimed by other reviewers, so this is the end of the road for me. With that out of the way, lets finally look at the Marx Megatherium, my 200th review and my last review of a Marx toy.
The Marx Megatherium is part of the Second Series Mold Group, PL-1083. It was released in 1961 along with the other Marx mammals, a mammoth and Smilodon. Megatherium was a genus of giant ground sloth that lived in South America from the early Pliocene through to the early Pleistocene. M. americanum is the most well-known species in the genus, and the largest, measuring up to 20’ (6 meters) in length. The Marx Megatherium has a length of 24’ printed on the right side of its tail and the genus name on the left.
Giant sloths have always been some of the more popular prehistoric mammals, although seem to have fallen out of favor recently in our hobby. It has been some time now since we got a decent rendition of one. The Marx Megatherium would have been among the first collectibles of the animal. Other notable Megatherium include figures by Starlux, Miller, Tyco, Bullyland, Schleich, Colorata, Kaiyodo, and Safari.
The Marx Megatherium is depicted standing upright with its arms reaching forward, no doubt grabbing at some leafy greens. This is the popular look for the genus and although commonly depicted in this way the Marx Megatherium appears to have been inspired by Zdeněk Burian in particular. Hopefully when someone decides to make another it’s in a quadrupedal posture, just for a change of pace. Megatherium was capable of both quadrupedal and bipedal locomotion.
Marx mammals stand up well to accuracy, even today, much like the paleo-art that inspired them. The Marx Megatherium is still a solid toy, although it’s not flawless. Five fingers are sculpted on the hands with four claws when there should be four fingers with three possessing claws. It is also presented with its feet flat on the ground, but Megatherium would have walked on the sides of its feet, like an anteater, due to its large claws. It’s a 61-year-old toy so I’m not trying to take it to task, just pointing it out.
The figure has a robust build with muscular forearms, beefy legs, prominent potbelly, thick tail, and a deep, massive jaw. Musculature is nicely conveyed under the skin and the body is detailed with hairs etched into the sculpt. The figure was produced in green, gray, brown, and tan. The Marx Megatherium should not be confused with the similar MPC Megatherium which has a flat inner surface on its limbs and a hollowed-out belly instead of the prominent potbelly of the Marx toy.
Before I conclude my review, I would like to recommend the book Dinosaur Playsets: An Illustrated Guide to the Prehistoric Playsets of Marx and MPC by forum member Jeffrey S. Pfeiffer. It’s as exhaustive a treatment on the subject as its title suggests and essential to diehard Marx collectors. I wish I had a copy earlier on in my Marx collecting and reviewing career.
The Marx Megatherium is easily found on eBay where it commands between $10-20. Purchasing it included in a lot will no doubt save you some money.