This photo was sent to me by an old friend who found it among her son’s collection of plastic dinosaurs. She asked me what kind of dinosaur had a head like a kangeroo on a theropod-like body. My answer was ‘none’ and then the picture turned up. I can see why she was confused!

I’m no stranger to dodgy dinosaur toys but this really is a marvel. Taking the head alone it’s hard not to consider it mammalian – the shape of the muzzle, position of the nostrils, the apparent jaw muscles and of course the ears all mark it out as more mammal than reptile. However the body does look dinosaurian, the sculpting of the surface hardly looks like fur, the tail would still be too fat for a kangeroo and certainly for any other mammal, and the feet especially are tridactyl and with big claws. In short it’s hard to consider this anything other than a dinosaur-mammal chimera. Wow. Cheaply made and badly sculpted toys are one thing, but you really wonder quite what they were looking at / taking when this was made.

My thanks to Kath for this unique ‘treasure’, for those interested, her blog is here.

14 Responses to “Roo-a-saurus?”

  1. 1 Brian Choo 30/01/2012 at 10:19 am

    How many people here remember finding these in their Made-in-China “bag o’ dinosaurs” back in the 1970s?

    (Modelled from 1st-ed AD&D critters – apparently there was also an owlbear but I never got one…)

    • 4 Mickey Mortimer 01/02/2012 at 11:07 pm

      How incredibly interesting. I had a rust monster, umber hulk and that weird last one with the flattened head, but never knew what they were supposed to be. I knew they weren’t real animals of course, but back when I was five I had no idea D&D existed.

  2. 5 Adam Smith 30/01/2012 at 11:31 am

    Looks like the Moropus from the following line of mini prehistoric animals: There are at least two incarnations of this line: only the original ones have the name of the animal printed on the underside. It’s still a dodgy figure!

    • 6 David Hone 30/01/2012 at 11:56 am

      Yeah I did consider the possibility that is was supposed to be a mammal and obviously that looks like it is supposed to be one, but then the rest of it is very dinosaurian. So either way, it’s pretty dreadful.

    • 7 Emma 21/10/2012 at 5:53 am

      You are very right I was not born in 90s but I just bought a set of 144 of them and gave some away to friends & family.I have 3 of each figure and I have a few knock-offs of that line.I have 3 of these moropussies and 1 gray one with a black squiggly stripe going down his back.

  3. 8 Heinrich Mallison 30/01/2012 at 12:58 pm

    I am very sure this is supposed to be a kangaroo. Made by someone who has never seen one, though LOL

  4. 10 Robert 31/01/2012 at 12:58 am

    I used to have this one as a kid, and it’s definitely supposed to be a Moropus, even though it looks just as bad for Moropus as it does for a dinosaur. The line it came in had a couple non-dinosaurs, including a mammoth and maybe a Coleodonta. Man that takes me back.

  5. 11 Paul W. 31/01/2012 at 1:59 am

    Well, it’s obviously the same figure from the set Adam Smith posted. I don’t know how Moropus came to look like a kangasaurus.

  6. 12 Paul W. 31/01/2012 at 2:56 pm

    I must have had an older version of the page still up when I posted my last reply because I didn’t notice Robert’s post.

    Perhaps what has happened is that Moropus became Macropus by mistake.

  7. 13 Emma 21/10/2012 at 5:45 am

    I happen to be a dinosaur collector.This is a Mech Moropus.Back in the mid 90s kids all over the UK were buying sticker books trying to collect all the dinosaurs.About 10 years later the complete set was for sale in stores with 2 new figures,Dimetrodon,and Cygnathus.Moropus was a species of Chalicotheres,ancestors of horses,tapirs,and rhinos.They lived during the Miocene period.Although the figure is still in production,the mold however is old.That is why it baffles most people.It is a mammal lastly.And that is why it seems unrealistic.First the Mech dinos came with their names molded on the bottom.It should say Moropus.

  1. 1 Roo-a-saurus | Dreaming of a Craft Room Trackback on 05/05/2014 at 10:06 am
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