1964 saw the introduction of the MPC Dinosaur figures line. This Struthiomimus arrived as a member of this line and came, or comes, in basically one color, a shiny red. It is reported to also come in a deep, dark-green, but I have never seen one and have been unable to find any on the internet.
It weighs in at a barely perceptible 1/8 ounce (3 gms) which makes it only 3/4 as heavy as the Marx Struthiomimus, the figure generally recognized as its prototype. In fact, the entire Marx line is generally recognized as the artistic antecedent of the MPC Dinosaurs.
I do have a 'red' one that is of a different shade and is somewhat flatter in appearance (in front, below) but that may be the result of either age or emotional trauma as the result of the tail-chewing it received sometime in its past.
The MPC Struthiomimus is, in its own right, one of the best, if not THE best of the MPC Dinosaur figures. It is quite small, expressing the lissome-ness of the original beast in its sculpturing quite nicely. The detail on the head and face are really quite good. In fact as good as the Marx figure, in my opinion.
As can be readily seen this figure is in a rather active, even dynamic, pose. Its energy is directed forward with its back nearly horizontal and its neck held high, but stretched forward. The legs are in motion and the forelegs (arms?) are active. Where have we seen this before??
A Vignette of the MPC Struthiomimus being chased through the ages.
"Ha ha. We're faster than these guys."
"Oh no, these guys are as fast as we are."
"puff puff puff puff... oh no...."
"Bwa ha ha. WE gotcha now."
Above we see my MPC Struthiomimus herd being chased through the ages by contemporary Safari Ltd predators; the 2006 Postosuchus, the 2007 Velociraptor and the 2008 Dilophosaurus. Yes, through the magic of plastic figures from 1964 and 2008 are contemporaries.
The differences and similarities between these two figures are clearly seen from the get go. The Marx figure is taller with its back and neck held more vertically than the MPC Struthiomimus. An example of where the additional gram of plastic makes a difference can be seen in the feet...
where you can readily see both the larger size (MPC Struthiomimus is the red) of the Marx figure and its much greater detail. The MPC offering looks a lot like a cheap knock-off.
Further side by side comparisons show the basic similarities and significant differences between the two Struthiomimii.
You can see, I hope, how the legs, thighs, for instance of the MPC Struthiomimus are melded into the torso while those on the Marx figure are more clearly defined and separate.
"We don't call them thighs, WE call them drumsticks."
Further evidence of where that additional gram of plastic went can be readily seen in this Pteranodon's view.
While the MPC Struthiomimus is arguably the best casting in its own line, coming or going it is overtaken by the Marx figure.
(Below we see a fellow Second Series Mold Group figure, the Marx Smilodon, showing how it feels about the MPC Struthiomimus.)
"Come back little red canapes. We just want to, uh, talk."
"Well We don't want to listen"
A Sad Scene on a 1964 Dinosaur School Playground.
"Hey you. Red punks. We wanna 'talk' with ya."
"Oh no... it's the Marx big bullies, run!"
"Ouch, ouch, ouch! That hurt."
"Take that! Punky little copy cat."
"Gimme your lunch money or I'll peck you again!"
"I want my mommy!"
The MPC Struthiomimus is a small, somewhat punier version of the Marx Struthiomimus that rivaled the older figure on the Dinosaur toy sales counters for much of the later 1960s and seventies. The reason I have provided such extensive comparisons to the Marx Struthiomimus is so that potential collectors will not mistake one for the other and thereby potentially avoid consequent disappointment with their purchases.
I am prejudiced about the MPC line as a whole. I find it not merely largely un-original. I consider it a poor knock-off of the Marx Dinosaur figures. While there are a few figures that are (or were) unique (the Ceratogaulus, Dire Wolf, Diatryma, hollow Glyptodont and Machrauchenia, which were done fairly well too) most of the rest were literal copies of the earlier Marx figures and not good ones at that. What I consider to be cheap knock-offs.
That said; the MPC Struthiomimus is one of the better members of the MPC line and these are part of the history of Dinosaur toys. That is unquestioned. No true, historic collection of Dinosaur toys would be complete without at least some, and preferably all of the MPC figures. For the toy box these might satisfy a near sighted very young child but, given the fact that they were made before toy-toxicity was a public concern, may not be as suitable for chewing, gnawing and general sucking on as more recent figures. This despite the obvious toothful intimacy of generations of surviving children past.
As can be seen above, two of my three MPC Struthiomimus have had their tails gnawed upon.
Purchase of these can be made on such venues as eBay, other auction sites, Craigs List(?) and garage and estate sales. It is my firm belief that you are best off simply buying them cheaply, in bulk; and not searching out individual MPC figures, then paying outlandish prices for them. You can readily find these in large groups or lots being sold by individuals cleaning out their attics. There were a great many of these produced and you can easily find them at very reasonable cost. Any price over a dollar or two a piece is way too high. My opinion. And it's a good one.
It is my understanding that for some reason the MPC molds are going to be resurrected and new figures will be produced. Given the tremendous advances in casting and the fabulous new figures by Papo,Bullyland,Safari Ltd (opens new window) and others I can't imagine why.
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