Who makes it? Malcolm Mlodoch, an exhibit designer and modeler, for his FaunaCasts models series. He started them as a collector-directed line from the Dinosaur Toy Forum–a site that I am sure I will reference many times here.
When did it come out? Complicated question. The first pictures were seen in 2010-2011. I ordered mine in summer of 2012. I got it in late 2017
Still available? No. Nope. No. Malcolm did his figures individually as hand-crafted models to order. I don’t think he’s still making models, other than working though existing orders. And these can take a looooong time. Did I mention it took 5 years or so to get mine? As for the Leedsichthys, I think there were 4 or 5 ordered so that’s it.
Where can it be found in my displays? This fish? Too big for the collection room. And a model like this is nearly artwork, so it goes where it will be seen the most. It’s on display in our living room atop one of the bookcases (along with 2 other Malcolm models…they really do seem like art pieces).
How does it fit in the collection? Well, I’m a big fan of fish, especially primitive and prehistoric fish. When this one came out, I simply had to make the budget work to get one. I have several other of the models made by FaunaCasts, so it was also an opportunity to add more of those to the collection as well.
Any story behind it? Most of the story was already mentioned—when we moved to our current house, I realized I had a space and some budget, so I ordered what would be the largest model Malcolm had created. I knew he could take a while but…I eventually got it, and that’s what mattered! There were some tense moments when I couldn’t seem to get in touch, but it all worked out.
Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): So, a couple of things…the proportions and design of this fish is amazing. Stunning. A little large for 1:40 but why not go huge!? The biggest issue is that the figures rear ventral finnage is incorrect…Leedsichthys is the largest of the extinct Pachycormidae family and none of them (as I understand it) had pelvic fisn, just an anal fin. But this figure has the opposite. In an interesting twist, the model is very much a representation of the BBC Walking with Dinosaurs (Chased by Sea Monsters) design. But I can’t really say anything bad about it, it’s just such a huge awesome model to have!
Would I recommend it? Yes, even though it’s not 100% accurate to the real animal; it’s very BBC styled.It’s supposed to be 1:40 scale, but I think the measurements used were from the early, really high estimates. But since it’s almost impossible to get one…there’s a marvelous, very small one in a CollectA tube set that would be great. Maybe one of the current companies will eventually give in and do it. I would hope for Favorite of Japan, because they often make really good PVC models, and then equally high-quality large vinyl models.