So today will be all Triassic marine reptiles! And all are relatively small figures, in the tube-size range or so. Some great ones, some…not really. But it’s not a common type of figure, so still great to have!
Bin Figure Nothosaurs
I’ll start with what is (originally) the oldest figure, and, yeah, the weakest one. I have two of these nothosaur figures, and I remember having one as a kid that was red…clearly, this model has been reused many times, at least since the late ’70’s. No idea what the original source was, or precisely what species it should be. I do know (based on my childhood one) that they were part of a set that was often packaged together. Not sure how or if they are currently available–the ones I have probably came as bonus figures in trades with other collectors (who doesn’t like a bonus figure here and there?). As figures, they are roughly made (and produced) but given the age it is nice to know that there were some interesting animals. I don’t display them or anything (not anymore) but only because better nothosaurs exist. Ones like…
Play Visions Nothosaurus
Yes, the Play Visions Nothosaurus. Still a fairly classic take on the animal. In some ways, less aquatic than that bin figure–no tail fin even! But otherwise, far superior model. A figure from one of the most sought after sets of prehistoric animals toys. It stands up well, at least as a historic model. It wasn’t until Safari later came along with their Nothosaurus that we would get a better version. Starlux also had a couple of versions (see one here!), also in the classic style, but way more breakable!
In looking closely at the figure, there are some things that indicate some weak elements. The legs seem a bit stocky, although some webbing is visible on the rear feet. The body and neck is also quite thick, and in many ways seem more like a squatted saruopod than an actively swimming reptile. The head is better but the material and sculpt means it wouldn’t be possible to show the the long, fish-catching teeth. A great thing about Play Visions bulk figures was how much care was put into paint details–in contrast with the bin figures above, it is clear that a lot of care and attention were applied–lots of highlights and even the faces are marked. Is some ways, this may be why the Play Visions sets are so desirable–to that point in time, most animal toys didn’t seem to have that type of attention to detail, but almost all Play Visions ones did (except their terrible small dinosaurs…there’s always something). As I always mention, it’s a great figure (and set) and I highly recommend trying to find one if you can.
PNSO “Little Dinos” Glyphoderma
And now we have one of the most recent takes on a weird marine reptile from the Triassic. This is the Glyohoderma made by PNSO for their Age of Dinos “Little Dinos” series (admittedly, many are not dinos per sé). This figure is number 012 in the series, and is named Kel. All of the figures are available in sealed blister-type clamshell packages, as well as a 24-figure box set! Myself, I only have a few that I picked and chose. Overall, the figures are well made and their smaller size is also appreciated. Good range of animals made as well!
So how is this figure? In a word, fantastic! Lots of great detail, from the sculpt to the paint. PNSO has become known for a wide range of models in a variety of sizes (some are huge!) and I believe these littler ones are pretty popular. I am no expert in the morphology of Glyphoderma, but from what I could read, they seem to have captured many of the details found in the skeleton. It is even interesting how they managed to take a shelled animal and keep it from looking entirely turtle-like (although maybe that depends on how familiar with turtles a person is). The good news is that, for once, a great figure should be readily available for sale as this one is still in production. Myself, I am hoping that they release more series of the mini line–the first six were released in 2015 and the rest in 2018, and I haven’t heard of more yet…but we can hope! A great figure for any collection (or toy box, they are solid and safe for kids, and not too expensive).