Originally released in 1955 as part of Marx’s Medium Mold Group, PL-750, today we’re looking at the Marx Allosaurus. This group of toys included the Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Hadrosaurus, Pteranodon, Stegosaurus, and Trachodon and was Marx’s second set of dinosaur toys. In 1959 the Marx Allosaurus would be re-released as part of their Revised Mold Group.
Ankylosaurus (Dinoland by Sinclair)
Although their figures are often confused with the famous Marx line of dinosaurs, Sinclair’s Ankylosaurs has its own share of unique features.
When we think of “retro” dinosaur depictions, many probably think first of tall theropods dragging their tails or the massive sloped shapes of lumbering sauropods. These old reconstructions remain pervasive in pop culture, but modern scientific understanding has significantly changed our depictions of these animals.
No collection of toy dinosaurs would be complete without the “great fused lizard”, Ankylosaurus magniventris, and it has been that way since 1955 with the release of the first dinosaur toys ever mass produced, by Marx. The Marx Ankylosaurus was included in Marx’s second wave of dinosaur toys, known as Medium Mold Group, PL-750.
Baluchitherium (Paraceratherium) (Lido-Nabisco)
With an estimated length of 24.3’ (7.4 meters), shoulder height of 15.7’ (4.8 meters), and neck length of 6.6-8.2’ (2-2.5 meters), the Paraceratherium is believed to be the largest land mammal that has ever lived, or at the very least among the largest. Despite this astonishing fact, this gigantic hornless rhinoceros has been largely ignored in our hobby until recently.
Baluchitherium AKA Paraceratherium (Starlux)
It is amazing to think of the giants that once walked our own Earth. Not just the dinosaurs, but also their successors, the mammals. One such mammal has sparked my interest in palaeontology more than others: Paraceratherium. But when I first learnt of it, it was going under the name Indricotherium.
Brontosaurus (Marolin / VEB Plaho)
A firm from the German Democratic Republic, VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb) Plaho, released a series of highly collectable dinosaur figures in 1967. They were sold in the Museum of Sena in Thuringia, Germany until the mid-1980s. The follower firm to Plaho, Marolin, re-released them in 1990. Plaho / Marolin did not only make dinosaurs but produced the complete span from wildlife animals to domestic animals, this broad span making it something like “East German Schleich”.
Before we begin the review, I would like to take a brief aside and recollect for a moment, as the date of this posting has some significance to me personally. Today, July 16th, 2021, is my 10-year anniversary writing for the Dinosaur Toy Blog. It was on this day in 2011 that my first review was posted here, the AAA woolly rhinoceros.
This classic little sauropod is best viewed today as a relic, a curious piece of memorabilia nestled between more interesting figures which came before and after it.
If you were to ask a veteran toy collector about vintage dinosaurs, you’d probably hear Marx cited first. Marx was a pioneer in the 1950s, producing the first-ever widespread plastic dinosaurs for kids (and maybe their parents).
Brontosaurus (Sinclair Dinoland)
Sinclair’s Brontosaurus and its plastic compatriots are time capsules to a moment of zeitgeist in paleo pop-culture, and stand as charming testaments to the evolving nature of paleontology and memorabilia.
Brontosaurus is one of the quintessential icons of dinosaur pop-culture imagery. Described by the famous paleontologist Othniel Marsh, the “thunder lizard” became immortalized with the first skeletal mount at the American Museum of Natural history, and further entrenched by the likes of artists such as painter Charles R.
Cave Bear (Prehistoire by Starlux)
Review and photographs by Stolpergeist, edited by Suspsy
A lot of people feel a special connection to their local extinct Pleistocene megafauna, those mysterious beasts that once roamed where we stand along with the animals we see today. The majestic Irish elk among fallow deer, the American cheetah hunting pronghorns, the mighty giant wombat grazing alongside kangaroos, or the mega lemurs fending off fossa.
The earliest vertebrates didn’t have jaws, but once true jaws evolved the animals that had them quickly became more numerous and diverse. These days, the only jawless fishes left are a few dozen species of lampreys and hagfishes, but in the Early Devonian most fishes lacked jaws. One of those Early Devonian beasts was Cephalaspis, which despite its lack of jaws is more closely related to us than to lampreys.
A truly rare genus in the hobby to this day, MPC’s vintage figurine marks a bold move from a company most famous for its imitations – although the toy is perhaps showing its age with some design choices.
MPC (Multiple Products Corporation) is a well-known brand among experienced dinosaur collectors; their prehistoric line from 1961 and 1962 was widely sold through stores and catalogs for decades.
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.
MPC’s fifth group of prehistoric animals included one truly original mold in the form of Diatryma (ie Gastornis), one of the earliest plastic representations of this icon from the post-Mesozoic age.
During the 1950s and 1960s, interest in paleontology was starting its climb back to mainstream interest, and companies like Marx took the initiative to start producing dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in small plastic fashion for the first time, encouraging kids to create prehistoric worlds in their own homes.
Diatryma and Phorusrhacos (Starlux)
A few months ago I stumbled upon pictures of several dinosaur figures made by the French company Starlux while I was reading through the “Recent Acquisitions” thread in the DTF. I looked up this company and found that they had made a great array of dinosaurs as well as some very obscure and rarely depicted prehistoric animals.