Anatosaurus One of Many - Store Versions Exist, Too
Definitely Dinosaurs Vinyl Figure
Item No.: No. n/a Manufacturer:Playskool Includes:A full dadgum meal, if you can believe it Action Feature:n/a Retail:$2.99 Availability: 1988 Other: Available in blue/green and also grey/brown
I was always pretty keen on the Definitely Dinosaurs toys despite not having any other than these Wendy's toys. The billde Anatosaurus was, I'm guessing, my least favorite of the three I owned because it's in pretty much perfect condition. (Similarly, my R2-D2 had some sticker wear while R5-D4 was danged near perfect.) The yellowish orange hollow vinyl figure was the very definition of a cheap toy in the late 1980s, but today it would be a designer figure. If someone cranked this out for $40 and made it in different colors in a gallery store, it'd sell. It's not as creative as B.C. Blasters and Stegoforest, but it's an impressive beast unto itself for those looking for "realistic" dinosaurs. (Finger quotes for scientific factiness.)
At about 4-inches long, this dinosaur is tall enough to see eye-to-eye to your Star Wars and G.I. Joe action figures. With only an articulated neck, he doesn't do much other than stand around and look neat - the benefit of which is that it's really not much worse than your average dinosaur toy of the era. The full-fledged non-Wendy's Playskool Dinosaurs had more articulation, and Tyco's marvelous Dino-Riders were not only jointed but were loaded with armor, guns, and some even had alien buddies. What I'm saying is that it was a good time to be a fan of dinosaur toys.
Like most kids worth not grinding up as meat and fed to dogs at the pound, I enjoyed reading about dinosaurs as a kid. I don't think I ever saw much about this particular species, as numerous other "duck-billed dinosaurs" were much more frequently name checked. I've got a Marx Trachodon [FOTD #990] on my desk, and I was always pretty keen on the parsaurolophus with its giant crest. The Anatosaurus is pretty plain, but pretty good - check out the wrinkly skin, the open mouth with unpainted teeth and tonuge, and of course sculpted claws. A Definitely Dinosaurs "stamp" is sculpted in his belly, not unlike the JP logo popularized by Jurassic Park. Clearly, there's value in branding your dinosaur toys to set them apart. This strategy worked pretty well for Transformers with its faction markings.
The secondary market says this figure is $7-$10, which isn't at all terrible. Were this a retail toy at a store today, $4-$5 would probably a bargain. For a toy that, now at about 29 years old, makes me feel like an old geezer it's held up remarkably well. The figure is still nice and dry, there's no oily residues or signs of molting. Nothing feels brittle or squeaky, nothing feels like it's decaying or aging beyond the usual play wear. I'd assume this was a new release based solely on how nicely it has aged, so it's a decent little toy. It's probably also the least interesting dinosaur in this series, but that's just evolution's fault.
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