Vault tales 71 Marx Sphenacodon

Who makes it? This is a classic figure from Marx!

When did it come out? I’m not really sure when this particular one came out, but it was produced from about 1955 to the 1970s.

A classic monochrome plastic figure!

Still available? Not the original figures, but I think it sometimes gets recast (officially or unofficially) for other later sets.

Where can it be found in my displays? On a shelf filled with all kinds of non-dinosaur reptiles. It’s among the smaller ones on the shelf.

And the other side. It’s a very bulky looking fellow.

How does it fit in the collection? I have not spent a lot of time collecting vintage figures, even true classics like the Marx dinos. But Sphenacodon is an interesting choice even now as a figure, so it made sense to track one down.

Any story behind it? Unlike many figures, I honestly don’t recall where it came from. Most likely a trade with a fellow collector. I could see me finding a way to get one that way. I’ve traded a lot.

A view from the front. You can actually see teeth in the mouth from this angle!

Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): It’s hard to miss that this figure has some more vintage styling–the legs are kind of blocky, and there is a bit of roughness in the sculpt. But that really doesn’t matter, because it’s a really good figure overall. They captured the weird little notch in the mouth, as well as the ridge along the back. The body has a pebbly, leathery look to it as well–except the face, which is oddly smooth. And yet the face has has lots of personality, albeit a kind of scary, glaring personality. The inside of the mouth even has teeth sculpted in. They’re rough and a little peg-like, but at least they tried. And the tail is a little short, but As with all Marx figures this one is a solid, single colour whitish-grey, in the case of mine. The figure is about 10 cm long–so depending on species, it would be either 1:30 (S. ferocior) or 1:20 (S. ferox).

It’s about right for scale with this kid. Maybe it can play fetch.

Would I recommend it? As a fan of animals from before the dinosaurs, it’s hard to find much variety. The Marx Sphenacodon really does look like a chubby version of its far more popular relative Dimetrodon. It’s kind of a shame that Sphenacodon doesn’t get made much…if at all anymore. So yes, it is definitely worth hunting one down. Despite being out of official production for about 40 years (!) it’s still not that hard to find one, if you aren’t picky about colour (if you want to hold out for a marbled one or something, it might take longer or cost more, but it’s still not that difficult). And as I mentioned, I don’t think there are any even in production anymore–between the Mark and a figure from Linde from around the same time…that’s kind of it. Although, interestingly, the two could potentially be different species; the big bulky Marx would probably make a good S. ferocior. So while looking for toy Sphenacodon, track down the Linde as well. Either way, add more pelycosaurs to your collection!

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