The Multiple Plastics Corporation (MPC) saw the success of the Louis Marx Toy Company's iconic Dinosaur toys series and realized that there was a lot of unmet demand. In response to this they created their own "set" of 24 brightly colored (in contrast to Marx's earthier tones) Dinosaur toys which proved quite successful itself. These were sold in sets or groups whether on cards, in bags or in large, accessorized playsets. Some of the MPC figures might have proved unmarketable if sold singly. Others were of better quality and the MPC Trachodon is one of those.
Somewhat smaller than the
Marx figure the MPC Trachodon weighs in at three-eighths of an ounce (.375 oz, 11 gms) and measures almost five inches (5", ~12.5cms) in length. This puts it in approximately 1/72 scale (as compared to the Marx Trachodon's 1/55 scale) and makes it size-perfect as a "juvenile" member of the Trachodon herd. In 1964 there were really only two Trachodons available anyway, the Marx Trachodon and the MPC. (below, MPC in front)
(Just hanging around while the parents are away.)
MPC Trachodon Comparisons
Comparing the MPC Trachodon to the Marx we see a lot of similarity. The "bill" is very nicely (and "duckishly") done in both figures, the head of the (blue) MPC Trachodon being slightly rounder and with a shorter bill- features found typically in the young of (contemporary) animals. Skin detail is lots of little dots (the Marx is more finely stippled) that kind of peter-out on the belly and the insides of the "arms" and legs. The "hands" and 'feet' are not as well done as on the Marx figure either. These are, when all is said and done, rather minor quibbles. It is in the same pose as its bigger predecessor and has a relatively 'well copied' head. These can certainly entertain themselves in their own little self-contained herd (right) as can be seen.
(Just hanging around is asking for trouble.) As can be seen (left) the chest and belly of the MPC Trachodon are both, proportionately, smaller and lesser detailed than the Marx upon which it was modeled. Another obvious difference is that on the MPC the left 'hand' is raised, opposite of the Marx's right. But once again we see that the MPC Trachodon is a softer, rounder sculpt than the Marx. The
size difference is quite apparent in the above photo. (MPC Trachodon top) The detail on the back of the MPC figure is actually quite comparable to that of the Marx Trachodon. The MPC figures, as a rule, came in a great variety of bright colors- yellow, blue, red, green and blue (and grape!) as well as grays and browns and silver and electric blue and just about every figure came in most, if not all, of the colors.
(Here comes the trouble!)
The MPC Trachodon Mixed Herd
With the return of the "parents" the trouble can be brought to a screeching (MPC T-Rexes will screech when brought to a) halt which also brings up another difference between the MPC Trachodon and the Marx. It is theorized that the "Trachodon", a fairly large, thirty-foot long herbivore, could use its tail as a weapon (like Sauropods) against smaller predators.
The Medium Mold Group Marx Trachodon can be put into a 'three-point-stance' (above) where it can be imagined sweeping its tail, knocking careless, pushy predators flat and, in reality, potentially breaking bones. The MPC will simply flop over (as will the Marx 'revised' Trachodon) if you (or they) try this.
And so we find the MPC Trachodon best serving as a supporting player in Dinosaur toys games. It is almost as if it were designed to complement the Marx in creating herds by providing juveniles. Their detail is significantly less but that is to be expected in these small scale Dinosaur toys. The mold used itself was a simpler, two-piece mold in contrast to the larger three part Marx mold. The MPC were in production for about fourteen years (1964-78) and are available now only through the internet and by luck at garage and yard sales. These aren't considered as premium finds by anyone I know but have been sought after by people (a small minority of collectors) who are specifically trying to recreate MPC sets.
Do to the poor detail work and small scale of these figures they are utterly uncompetitive with today's tsunami of high quality Dinosaur toys. All of my (perhaps 100+) current figures were picked up as "throwaways" in larger lots where there was a particular figure or two that I really wanted. I used many to fill out "playsets" sold on eBay. I expect I'll sell these after I have done pages on them all.
These were made during the period that the government was first getting involved the lead content of toys and while I doubt these have lead they are possibly replete with pthalates (whatever those are) and who knows what else. They might (due to their bright colors) attract small children to chomp down and it is my opinion that these should no longer be considered as toys.
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A pack of Marx 'Sleek' T-Rex', THE Apex Dinosaur toys predator from 1959 to 1988 here stampedes a herd of Marx and MPC Trachodons.