Pliosaurus carpenteri (Bristol culture)

3.2 (5 votes)

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.

Doris, in her current location, high in the gallery of Bristol Museum

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!

You can support the Dinosaur Toy Blog by making your dino-purchases through these links to Ebay and Amazon.

Share this:

Comments 8

  • That’s a pretty fair review.

    To answer the points made: we deliberately changed the pose so that it was in a more neutral position so it was easier to play with in a bath (Doris’ original pose would have made it less easy to steer in anything other than a turn, and my boys pointed out that’s pretty. annoying in a toy).

    The teeth annoyed me. On the original master I made for it, I sculpted accurate chompers, but they were too small to scan properly, so the toy company went for these cartoonier ones.

    The neck & flipper proportions are accurate, although the flippers came out thicker than they should due to the toy making process. The chunk out of the rear flipper is artistic licence, although we do have bones from a rear flipper that are fused and infected, showing massive trauma, so it’s a reasonable guess.

    All in all, although there were compromises made to keep it as a children’s toy (the seams & the simplified paint job…), with a price that reflected that, it came out OK.

    We were hoping to produce a Collector’s version, at a larger, more detailed size, from a direct scan of the original, at some point. I guess if enough people expressed an interest, it might still happen.

    • Well, you would certainly have my interest. Do love this figure, and very reasonably priced. Please let us know if the collector’s version comes through, would be very happy to get another version of Doris

    • I too would be interested in a collector’s edition!

    • I went to the exhibition as my son lives in Bristol. Lovely goofy figure and I too would welcome the addition of a collectors edition. May be you could assess likely demand through the main forum. I also know a large number of non forum members who would welcome this was would I.

      Great review of a lovely little toy.

  • I still remember the great lengths I had to go through to acquire this figure!
    Great review.

  • I was excited for this figure until I saw the goofy head and blunted teeth. It’s so close to being a great toy!

  • Great to see another Pliosaurus review!

  • It is a beautiful figure but with defects (I fortunately have it in my collection) and the defects are as the seams are commented and that the pupils of the eyes are not painted convincingly anyway it is a fairly acceptable collection toy figure .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!