Upon Close Inspection the MPC Stegosaurus is Better Than I Had Thought
The MPC Stegosaurus (1964)
My first reaction to this Stegosaurus figure was one of disdain. Why just copy something that is already being made, better, by someone else. Then it came to me. While a child can instantly see the difference between the Marx and the MPC Stegosaurus, their parents couldn't. One looked pretty much the same as the other to the jaundiced elder eye. (No offense folks. That's a description of my own eye. Sort of.) Weighing in at seven-sixteenth ounces (.4375 oz, 12.5 gms) and measuring four inches (4", 10.25 cms) in length these are in 1/60 scale. Coming out in 1964 the only Stegosaurs that could be considered as reasonable Dinosaur toys had been from MARX. What MPC offered, in their Stegosaurus, was a new (utterly similar) figure that was just a teeny bit smaller and could serve as "young" in a herd. (The MPC Trachodon serves in the same way.)
As with the Marx Cynognathus and the aforementioned Trachodon my respect for the MPC Stegosaurus has blossomed with the creation of this page about it. Below, hanging around the waterhole.
(Below. Marx in back, MPC Stegosaurus in front)
The MPC Stegosaurus can be seen in the above and following photos to be significantly smaller in size than the Marx it is based upon.
(Above and below: The Marx is gray, the MPC is brown.)
The size difference can readily be seen in every aspect from total length to the thickness of the body, legs, neck and tail. Of at least passing interest is that the smaller MPC Stegosaur's feet are also, perhaps, a bit more detailed and natural looking. Being rounded and more softly sculpted than the hard, flat feet of the MARX figure. The robustness of the Marx's tail (gray- left & above) is apparent in the accompanying photos. Additionally, the tail spikes of the Marx have a more "natural", gentle curve to them, while the MPC Stegosaurus has straight spikes. The overall "muscularity" of the tail is obvious in the Marx Stegosaurus. Of additional
note is that despite the Marx figure being the larger its head (above left, MPC is darker gray) is held higher than that of the Marx, as is the tail (above right, MPC Stegosaurus is the brown). I find this a bit surprising. The head of the MPC Stegosaurus ((above, MPC darker gray) is most impressive to me. Despite its generally similar triangular shape to the Marx (an error that was repeated in nearly every Stegosaurus toy for about thirty years) it is slightly more elongated and its detail is on a par with the Marx.
From head to tail the MPC Stegosaurus is really quite well done,
especially so when considering that it is a copy of someone elses design.
The details are equivalent to the Marx. The skin pattern is a criss-cross of lines, with creases where the legs stretch or crimp the Stegosaurus' skin, creating "skin-folds" and with stippling throughout- adding to the overall "realistic" appearance of the figure. This was "state-of-the-art" at the time.
In conclusion we find that the MPC Stegosaurus is really quite a nice little figure that fits in well with the more highly respected Marx. Excellent detailing, from nose to tail (where the Marx has the advantage) to the distinctive plates on its back are all well done. (left, MPC brown) Where can you find the MPC Stegosaurus today, since it is out of production and has been so since the late 1970s? This isn't all that easy to find. On the other hand, there aren't that many folks actually looking for these. With the high degree of realism in today's Dinosaur toys children aren't that interested on these and collectors tend to prefer the Marx. These will often be found either in large lots of largely unidentified Dinosaur toys or, alternatively, mis-identified as Marx figures. While easily identifiable when side to side they are not so recognizable when in a small photo on, say, an eBay auction. The best way to identify the MPC Stegosaurus is by the feet. They are rounded as compared to the Marx, which are flat and almost always have those "mold-circles". You don't always get this opportunity when buying online. My estimate of price for them is about one dollar ($1.00). There are no, particular, rare colors to worry about. I have not made any effort to collect these myself, picking them up as part of mixed Dinosaur toys lots on eBay and selling many in the same way. I only began to hold onto them when I determined to do this website. I currently have six brown and one (rarer- big deal) charcoal gray.
Since these were all manufactured between 1964 and about 1978(?) they are not necessarily pthalate-free (whatever pthalates are) and who knows what else may be floating around in their chemical constituency. Should human children eat them? I don't think so! Besides they are 'collectibles' now as modern Dinosaur toys have left them in the dust of history and a modern child would disdain to play with these.
Of passing interest is this little picture (below) showing a lineup of the Marx Stegosaurus (gray, left side), with the MPC figure (brown) next to it and eight additional uncredited 'replicants' of smaller size, diminishing quality and varying kinds of plastic.
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Can you find the Marx Stegosaurs hiding in the Stegosaurus herd below?