Today I`d like to review a figure that is a quite uncommon in several ways. First of all, it technically already has a review on this blog as part of a box set, but I felt it deserves its own entry.
Secondly, it is a Placerias, a species that, despite its certain popularity for appearing in the BBC series “Walking with Dinosaurs” is neglected by almost any toy company you can name. Third it is a “chinasaurus”. While probably at least 90% of all our toy figures come from Chinese factories, “chinasaur” describes cheap made figures often unbranded or made by unknown Chinese companies. This leads is to the fourth point: While that figure`s origin may be a mystery somewhat and it may be cheaply made, it is still outstanding for being surprisingly accurate.
My figure came with a tag that gives as the producing company “Keycraft Ltd, UK 2016”. However, this figure is available since quite a few years, often in bags accompanied by other figures that justify the “chinasaur” stigma. As you can see from the link above, the box set was distributed by “Toyway”. The great ressource toyanimal.info does not name a brand for it, but I read several times that “Nayab” may be the producer. Seeing that “Nayab” produces a number of recent animal figures that are of a decent or even good quality, it may be that they are the secret company behind that Placerias figure.
Placerias was a medium sized dicynodont (when you take in account the likes of Lioswicia) and discovered in the Chinle Formation in Arizona. It grew up to 3.5 metres in length and may have lived a similar, semiaquatic lifestyle to our recent hippopotomus, “grazing” on plants near the riverbanks.
The figure itself is made of hollow vinyl and therefore very light. It measures 10.5 cm in direct length from the tusks to the tip of the tail and stands 4.5 cm tall at the shoulder. Those measures scale it quite well with its contemporary Postosuchus, both by either Safari and Schleich whichever you prefer.
Since there are not a lot of Placerias figures around (there`s the Tyco and a JW one if I recall that correctly) a collector may be hard pressed to add a nice figure of the species to his or her collection. Now, this Placerias makes the decision easy. Aside from the quite dull paint job, the figure is really good. The texture suggests a wrinkled, leathery skin and the overall sculpting and detailing is very good considering the price of the figure. In terms of accuracy there`s little to moan, the number of toes is correct and so is the barrel shaped body aswell as the “shield” at the back of the head. The angle of the tusks may be too flat, the front legs too short in comparison to the hind legs and the tail a bit too long, but overall the look of the figure is quite accurate and gives the impression of a real, living animal.
If you are into Triassic non dinosaurs, get this one. You can find it occasionally in dollar shops, in lots on ebay or have a look at everythingdinosaur.com.