When I originally started reviewing Marx toys I only had four lined up for review but between then and now I’ve collected a few more which will extend my Marx series for the next few reviews. Up until now all of the toys I reviewed were from Marx’s 1961 second series mold group, PL-1083. There are a few more toys from that line but another reviewer has plans to review at least two of them so now I’m moving onto what is known as the small mold group, PL-755.
This is an interesting group as it contains a diverse array of animals, both popular and obscure. A delightful little Cynognathus and Sphenacodon have already been reviewed but I’ll be covering the rest; Plateosaurus, Dimetrodon, and Triceratops. These toys represent the smallest toys in the Marx line, with the Cynognathus being the smallest.
Plateosaurus is one of the better known Triassic dinosaurs, a sauropodomorph that doesn’t really need an introduction from me. I have written about the genus before, as have others. There are plenty of older figures and toys of it, though we’re long overdue for a more modern take.
The Marx Plateosaurus stands 2.5” tall and is undoubtedly inspired by Rudolf Zallinger’s Age of Reptiles mural at the Yale Peabody Museum. Overall it is a rather featureless and nondescript little toy. But the same can also be said for the Plateosaurus on Zallinger’s mural and you can’t fault a toy for being faithful to its inspiration. I personally love it, because it is a Plateosaurus and as a Marx toy has historical value in our hobby, but for many collectors it’s not terribly exciting.
It’s interesting to observe the decline in popularity of some prehistoric animals over time. To have a toy Plateosaurus as far back as the 1950’s seems progressive, but is it? There weren’t as many extinct animals known to science back then so something like a Plateosaurus or Cynognathus had a greater chance to shine in the limelight with little competition. It was only in subsequent years that they appear to have been overshadowed with the discovery of more extravagant species. That’s how it seems to me anyway and that’s how I quantify the existence of some of these Marx toys while contemporary companies, with diverse catalogs of species, appear to ignore them.
This Plateosaurus is a somewhat sad looking fellow, with a wide and flattened head, down turned mouth, and his bunny-hands sticking out as though it were begging at the table for some scraps. What detail work there is consists of some wrinkles in the form of cross hatching etched along the sides of the figure. The genus name is written on the left side of the tail and a length of 20’ is written on the right.
For the sauropodomorph fans or Marx collectors out there this Plateosaurus can easily be found for around $10-15 USD on eBay. As usual you’ll get more for your money if you purchase it in a lot comprised of Marx and/or other vintage toys.
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