It is always interesting when a toy of a species is made not by a well-known maker and of a specific species or fossil, and for it to come out fairly decently. For this review, I will be looking at such an example: Pliosaurus carpenteri, a pliosaur from the lower Kimmeridgian of the Westbury Clay pit, and produced for the Bristol city Museum and art gallery.
For a little backstory on this figure, Pliosaurus carpenteri is a specimen known from one fairly complete specimen, which is currently held in the Bristol city Museum and art gallery. From late 2017 to early 2018, it was on display alongside a full-sized model named Doris (by public vote). While the exhibition is over, Doris is still on display, high above the gallery. This model is near directly replicated into the form of this figure, so kids and adults alike can take Doris home with them.
To the figure itself! This figure measures 10.2” long and 7” wide, a decent size for most major toy lines. The pose of this figure is simple, reminiscent of the Walking with Dinosaurs Liopleurodon. While it works well enough, I do wish they had given it a pose more like the actual model of Doris. The colour matches Doris better, if more subdued in areas, with fewer yellow areas and more light brown areas. Given this is a one-off figure, this is a vinyl figure that shows it’s seams. It’s not horribly distracting, but something to note. One feature I like is on the back-right flipper, which has a notch missing, as seen on the large Doris model. This appears to be artistic licence, but I like it, as if it was in a fight and had a bite taken out of it. The face is a little cartoonish, but not too distracting.
Now to accuracy. With most of the fossil available to copy, you’d expect this to be pretty decent. For the most part, this is pretty spot on. Good head shape, decent flipper length and the tail is great. I do feel the neck and back flippers are a tad long, though the latter is forgivable as the rear flippers have not been found on this species. The teeth are a little basic too, though have the general shape of pliosaur teeth. Overall, not too bad.
All in all, this is a nice little figure, sure to please kids and collectors equally. I highly recommend picking up this little rarity if you get the opportunity, either directly from the Bristol Museum or it’s website. I can’t endorse it enough!