The 1960s were a tumultuous time and the MPC Brontosaurus added its own little bit to the ethos of the times. Only a few years before, in 1955 Marx toys had come out with their classic line of Dinosaur toys and the MPC figures came out as competitors which is pretty much the way nature (and business) works.
Success begets competition.
So this six & three-quarter inch (6.75", 17cm) long, 1/124 scale (right) MPC Brontosaurus came out in challenge to the MarxBrontosaurus. (below)
Produced in a variety of bright colored plastics, reds, yellows, blues and greens as well as earthy browns, grays and silver and metallic blues(!) the (Multiple Plastics Company) MPC figures poured out of the factories. Today the MPC Brontosaurus can only very rarely be found in its original carded or "playset" packaging. They can be found readily enough as individuals sold as part of a "lot" of Dinosaur toys on eBay or in estate and garage sales.
(Picture Courtesy of Jeff Pfeiffer)
The MPC Brontosaurus, as a competitor to the Marx Brontosaurus, can be seen as a rather smallish one. Weighing five-eighths of an ounce (.625 oz, 18 gms) it wasn't even a third as large as the Marx version (2.125 oz, 62 gms) and, as can be seen in the photos, was dwarfed by the figure it was challenging. From pure size to the detailing of the figures the Marx
Brontosaurus was clearly a higher quality figure. The size difference can be
easily seen in the photo. (above, Marx on bottom) On the other hand the head of the Marx figure was not a Brontosaurus head at all, but that of a Camarasaurus, reflecting the mistaken paleontology of the time. The MPC Brontosaurus has a head shape closer to that of the actual Dinosaur. Really pretty odd. But the difference in quality of detail is extreme. The curvature of the neck of the MPC Brontosaurus is nicely done but strongly contributes to the rather static, just standing around and watching, appearance of the pose.
(Rubber necking at an accident?)
The MPC Brontosaurus did not necessarily fill a niche or meet a market demand so much as cash in on the market that Marx had created. Happens in nature and business all the time.) I found their major value was to fill in a herd of Brontosaurs with what could be considered as the smaller, colorful young Brontosaurs. Neither their details nor little heads quite filled-out.
The positive aspects are that the MPC figures were cheaper than the Marx and they did have a different pose, providing some Brontosaurus variety. Their generally bright colors also attracted predators away from the more valuable Marxists.
Today, while the Marx figures command 'premium' prices these MPC Brontosaurus primary value is to fill-out a color set or make up an MPC playset for the interested collector. There are plenty of these around and they are not very valuable. I figure about a dollar a piece for those who are actually looking for them. They can usually be found in larger lots of generally inexpensive Dinosaur toys and are more rarely found being sold specifically as "MPC figures". This is because, just to look at them, they do not 'look' like collectibles and they were so common as to lack any sense of rarity. They are what they are. So there.
On a personal, even intimate, note- chewing on these is not necessarily a healthy thing to do (or to have done). Despite the number of Marx and MPC Brontosaurus tails having been chewed, and the lack of specific hospital wards for victims of such chewing (the chewers, not chewees), it is not recommended that one eat these as their "product safety" has not been established. There's your (health warning) sign!
The "silver" figures were "special prizes" in Marx playsets but they were just another color in the MPC universe.
(Below) MPC Brontosaurus herd hang around Jurassic office watercooler-equivalent, gazing off into the distance.
"Thirsty? I'm not thirsty!" "I disdain water." "Me too." What?"
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