I have a lot of toys, and usually I know what they are. This Diplodocus is a bit of a mystery - I know I got it when I was young, so I assume it's from before 1990. I assume it's a diplodocus. I have no idea who manufactured this, and it's so hideous I know I wouldn't have asked for it or bought it myself - was it a gift? A skee ball prize? A party favor? I don't know. But I do know it's kind of interesting in 2018, while in 1995 I didn't understand why I owned it. It's been in a dinosaur toy box for decades and it has aged well.
The 11-inch long sauropod could just as easily be a brontosaurus or something else - but how can you tell? The big bulky belly has a long, thin neck and tail. At the end of the tail is a nice point. At the end of the neck is a rodent-like face with four horrifying teeth, black eyes covered in blue eye shadow. Rarely do these kinds of dinosaurs look anything but serene or majestic, so to see one looking like it's going to fight, or scream, or roar, or get a drink in Gasoline Alley.
The figure is molded in brown, covered in wrinkles and warts. Like most cheap dinosaur toys there are several lines showing where the pieces were stuck together, plus a number of warts. They look cool. Paint is also pretty decent, with a white belly and a greenish gold coat on the creature's back. Five different colors on this monster are quite a lot, especially considering any paint is often a huge and noteworthy feature.
It's not obvious what this toy desires to be with big, screaming fangs and large nostrils. The tail is bent, lifting the back legs off the ground. There's a lot of sagging plastic flesh and largely undefined legs. At just over two inches at its tallest point, it's a toy that commands a lot of space without appearing to be particularly impressive. We live in an era where scientific accuracy - or at least movie accuracy - are praised and discussed in spades. I don't remember this being a topic of discussion much before Tyco's Dino-Riders, which boasted about its accuracy when they got a Smithsonian license to slap on the box after guns and aliens didn't do much to help sell the toys. Since the 1980s, "it's a dinosaur" was often considered enough to sell a toy or even a TV show. While a low bar, having a dinosaur toy that clearly aspired to be something - even if it wasn't an A+ in accuracy, fun, or attractiveness - remains a fascinating ambition. Dinosaurs are in the public domain so pretty much anybody with some skill could reimagine a pile of bones or old artwork into a movie, a toy, or something on a Trapper Keeper.
This figure was plucked out of my dino box to get donated to Goodwill - but I saw it sticking out and it was just too interesting to not at least review while I review its sentence. I wish I had even more shelves just to have all of these guys out. I really wish I had a toy museum so I could just throw it on a shelf, open to the public, hoping someone can make an identification of this fine featherless fiend.
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