1964 brought the world of Dinosaur toys an all, not so new but new enough Plateosaurus.MPC (Multiple Plastics Corporation) came out with their own 25-piece Dinosaur toys set which included one (1) Plateosaurus. Seen above.
It is based either on the Plateosaurus in the Rudolf Zallinger "Age of Reptiles" mural in the Yale Peabody Museum (Right) or on the earlier 1955 Marx Plateosaurus. (Below) Who knows, but it does seem to be truer to the mural.
Weighing In at 1/6 of an ounce (5 gms) (Right) and measuring only three and three-quarters inches (3.75", 9.6 cms) it is exactly the same size as (although fractionally lighter than) the Marx Plateosaurus. It is therefore the same scale (1/64 or 1/86) depending ob your comparison base, the figure's manufacturer (it says "20' long" on the right side of the tail) or reality as we understand it (27 feet in length). In any event Marx Dinosaur toys were the standard and the MPC figures were right in line.
Much of the detail on this figure (Head above) is actually fairly decent.
The original MPC figures were cast in bright colors, such as this bright red figure (Above). This figure was part of what MPC called their "Mold Group 4" (Thank you Jeff Pfeiffer) which included the Plateosaurus, Pteranodon, Cynognathus and Dimetrodon. The mold was purchased by Toystreet to complete their own version of the Marx Dinosaur Playsets because the Small Mold had been lost by that time.
Below is the later, brown MPC Plateosaurus that was produced by Toystreet. It is exactly the same as every other MPC Plateosaurus that has ever been produced. I find that these brown figures pictures show up the
detail of the figure more effectively. Other colors used by MPC were green, yellow, blues, browns, silver and a very nice metallic blue.
Of course the MPC Plateosaurus came with its own MPC predators, the fierce MPC Allosaurus (Below left) and the rather docile appearing (though undoubtedly dreadful) MPC Tyrannosaurus Rex (Below right).
It is interesting to compare the MPC Plateosaurus (Below, brown) to the very similar, earlier, Marx model (Below, green). An direct comparison of
the heads (Above) shows little difference in actual detail although the MPC figure, to me, actually looks better. As with so many of the MPC figures the
MPC head is narrower and actually looks much better and more natural to me than the broad head on the Marx Plateosaurus. Unfortunately that is as
far as it goes for the MPC figure. The feet (Above) show the difference in detail quite strongly. The claws on the toes, including the vestigial(?) ankle claw as well as the depth of the striations on the legs are readily noted. The MPC figure has more of a "stippling" effect as compared to the striations on the Marx.
(The waterhole remains the gathering spot for Dinosaur toys of all colors)
The MPC Plateosaurus is, in microcosm, the difference between the MPC and Marx Dinosaur toys. The MPC are
generally less highly detailed and the actual casting is not as good. You will see more "flash" (small pieces of plastic usually along the mold-lines) on the MPC figures for one. For another you can see here, in the comparisons (MPC-brown), the generally stronger detailing of the Marx (green) figure as well as the overall huskier, stronger appearance
of the Marx figure.
One significant difference in the MPC Plateosaurus' favor is the greater amount of motion in the figure. The long stride puts life into what would otherwise be a very pedestrian sculpture.
The Marx has that one, pale mold circle on its belly, the MPC has three smaller but very distinct circles on the left side. On the interior of the left leg, the left shoulder and the base of the tail. (Above) The MPC Plateosaurus in comparison has a "lean and hungry look."
We all know that the waterhole is a place of peace, where innocent herbivorous vegetarians who cause no harm to anyone gather for social activities. Since we know this we have learned that those who would eat the 'innocents' know this as well. Among those so aware are the always ready for a colorful meal, the 2009 Safari Ltd. Postosuchus. A truly dreadful predator who predated the Plateosaurus 200 million years ago and can now do so again (Below).
("We gotta get out of this place, if it's the last thing we ever do.....")
The MPC Plateosaurus is one of the least prepossessing of the Dinosaur toys figures. It is almost as if it is a (brightly colored) shadow of a Dinosaur toy and at least for me serves as "filler" for Dinoramas. And then not very often. It isn't really a copy of the Marx figure and does have that somewhat nicer looking head but that doesn't rescue it (*see below*) from mediocrity. It is a "collectible" and deserves a place in a Dinosaur toys "historical" collection as a member of as complete a set of MPC figures as can be mustered. I see no point in collecting it for any more than its historical value.
I have gotten most of mine as parts of larger lots purchased on eBay. I have used them as "filler" in lots that I have sold, on eBay. And how can one put a price on something they consider barely worth anything? This is of particular difficulty to say because I sell Dinosaur toys on eBay so I do have an ulterior motive to talk things up... but I can't. And that's why you come here. You may get opinions but you do get honest opinions backed by sixty years of experience.
Now of course there may be some of you out there who really revel in the MPC figures, think they're the cat's pajamas and have complete sets in every color. And want more. Good. That's what makes the world go 'round.
As a general rule brightly colored creatures are often quite poisonous, their bright colors serving as warning, and I therefore do not suggest eating, or chewing on, an MPC figure, innocent Plateosaurs included. Given that these were manufactured starting in 1964 it is doubtful that they will poison you or your child (even if junior does choose to teethe on one) from simply handling or playing with these. I don't promise that, I presume it.
** The MPC Plateosaurus may not be savable from mediocrity but with a little help from its friends (Marx Plateosaurs) it can at least protect itself from danger-
and return peace and safety to the ole waterhole....*
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