Stegosaurus One of Many - Color Variations Aplenty
Dinosaurs Action Figure
Item No.: No. n/a Manufacturer:Tootsietoy Includes:Often bagged with other big dinosaurs Action Feature:n/a Retail:??? Availability: 1970s, probably Other: Bright, not just white
If you're a kid in America you probably wound up with a bunch of cheap toy dinosaurs before you turned 5 and have no idea what they are or where they came from. Before Jurassic Park most dinos were cheap, or unpainted, or hollow affairs - like this Stegosaurus. Fully-painted and articulated creatures like what we got out of Dino-Riders or Playskool's Definitely Dinosaurs were far and few between - the common wisdom of the toy industry was that kids like dinosaurs and such niceties were unimportant. Parents will buy a kid a toy dinosaur regardless of branding or features. Companies like ReSaurus were founded on the idea that such thinking was a lot of garbage, and we've since received numerous pretty awesome toy dinosaurs. But before that, we got toys like this - they're charming, but they're hollow. And toothy. If you saw it at a thrift store for a nickel, you'd keep Mr. Jefferson in your pocket.
At roughly 5-inches long, this dinosaur isn't as small as some of the other ones in my childhood toy box. I'm not sure where it came from, but I don't remember it not being in my dinosaur toy box - did it come as a gift? Was it my dad's? Did I ask for it? I have no idea. At one point it was painted brown, but I eventually decided I wanted it in the original plastic colors and had it removed. The white plastic underneath held up amazingly well, considering it was fused with pigment for a decade. And was kicking around unprotected in the aforementioned cardboard box for a few decades. This may be one of the most durable toys you can buy, given those considerations.
The figure has an open mouth and an open belly - provided you cram something down his gullet, it'll fall right out. He has an enlarged head and huge fangs, plus a smooshed up little body and a tiny tail. It looks like a normal Stegosaurus toy was put through a fun house mirror - the proportions are a little weird, but you do get the plates and thagomizer you so love and inded require of such a toy. The sharp teeth remove the whole "vegetarian" angle, but it's probably good for pretend fights or vampire dinosaur cosplay. There are no points of articulation - it's just one hollow plastic dinosaur with rough skin, little eyes, spikes on his tail, and clawed feet. Minimal thought or care was given to a lot of dinosaur toys, but at least the manufacturer had the courtesy to stamp "STEGOSAURUS" on the tail so kids or parents knew what it was they just bought. This is a feature other toy makers should consider.
With no copyright year or manufacturer markings, I can't even be 100% sure that this is a Tootsietoy piece and not an unlicensed copy. A lot of the dinosaur molds get knocked off and reproduced repeatedly, often upscaled or downsized, and always in different colors. This one is sharp and clean, making for a pretty decent - if not particularly solid - toy. Durability is tough to find, and now I'm mildly curious to see if they are, indeed, still in production in the lesser ends of a toy aisle near me. (Hey, I like dinosaur toys, but I don't keep a close eye on the cheap stuff.) It's a weird and durable toy, but I'd be lying to you if I said it really sizzled in this post-Jurassic Park toy world.
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