The Invicta dinosaurs are well-known for being quite anatomically accurate for their time, and especially when compared with contemporary competition. Here, then, we have their rendering of the most famous dinosaur of all, and while it’s not bad – especially when it comes to superficial details – it’s certainly not Invicta’s finest hour.
The choice of pose is historically very interesting, given that this figure was produced in the late 1970s. It’s almost half-way between the bolt-upright fatty Godzillas of the early 20th century and the leaner, meaner tyrannosaurs we are used to today, which is very fitting. The long stride, muscular hind legs and relatively horizontal back suggest a dynamic predator. On the other hand there is that drooping, dragged tail to consider, although it’s only dragging at its very tip, and is far, far too long. The best aspect of this sculpt is the skin detail, which as with many other Invictas (including the Triceratops) is very impressive for a model of this age. There is a complete coverage of scales, with larger, raised and quite crocodilian scales along the back, flanks and tail. The neck wattle is also a nice touch.
Turn the figure around though so that it’s facing you head-on and suddenly things get a bit ugly. Apart from looking that bit more like it’s going to rain atomic rays down on Tokyo, the head that looked pretty decent in profile (you know, for the 1970s – be thankful dinosaurs didn’t have hair) is revealed to be alarmingly thin, like it’s been steamrollered. The back of the head still widens a little bit to grant the animal its famous binocular vision, but quite why it’s so thin given that the skull of Tyrannosaurus was well known at that time (and for being chunky) is a bit baffling. In addition, the neck seems to be a little too long, making the overall appearance of the figure all the more amusing from this angle.
This figure is about 25-26cm long, so based on length alone (and the stated length of the real animal as “about 12m”, which is correct) it fits in with the line’s 1:45 scale. However, given the stupendously long tail and the proportions of the body, it’s more like 1:50 scale. The legs look to be about right, even if the feet suffer from the ‘club foot’ issue that plagued the earlier Invicta toys (the toes aren’t separated, but merged into a single triangular wedge – at least there’s a hallux). The forelimbs are a bit off, but we can forgive them that – they weren’t known at the time and people still get the ruddy things wrong. I blame Jurassic Park.
If you’re an avid Invicta collector then OF COURSE you are going to have to get one of these, because you’re an obsessive and, just maybe, quite mad [watch it – Ed]. If you are a collector of dinosaur toys more generally then I wouldn’t be too bothered about collecting this one, and I certainly wouldn’t cough up too much money for it. Tyrannosaurus toys are two-a-penny and, while it’s an interesting historical curio to compare with more modern toys (as above – that’s the Favorite T. rex, by the way), I don’t rate this one too much. Given that people will always focus on the head of an animal that, er, had a giant head full of enormous teeth, it’s a shame to see it botched by a dinosaur toy maker of such renown. Save your pennies for the other, better Invictas.