The Invicta line of prehistoric models is an interesting one. Spanning the years between the early 1970’s and early 1990’s it is a company that was producing dinosaur figures right on the cusp of the “Dinosaur Renaissance”. As a result we have some models from the company that are downright retro in appearance, along with some that in terms of accuracy stand up reasonably well, even today. None of the models from their line illustrate this phenomenon better than their Iguanodon when pitted against their Muttaburrasaurus. The Invicta Iguanodon was produced in 1980 and clearly shows its age. The Muttaburasaurus (a similar genus from Australia) was produced in 1989 and is still one of the better mass produced models representing the Iguanodontian family, nearly 30 years later. None of this is meant to blast the Iguanodon model. On the contrary, it’s still a beautiful figure and is now finally getting its due on the blog.
Master paleo-artist Zdenek Burian’s depiction of Iguanodon was the go to standard for Iguanodon depictions for many years. As such, the Invicta model borrows heavily from his work and like his work is laden with nostalgia and retro appeal. Unarguably reptilian in appearance with its thick heavy tail laid against the ground the model looks very much like the plodding beasts of old. This Iguanodon wasn’t going anywhere fast with short stocky legs and wrinkled saggy skin hanging all about. The dewlap on the throat and osteoderms along the back only accentuate the reptilian look of this figure. The only hint of the renaissance to come on this model is the addition of cheeks, something Burian’s depiction and most others at the time did not have.
Reviewing the accuracy of this model would be futile and unnecessary. It’s easy to see that this model represents a very outdated albeit classic depiction of Iguanodon. Collectors don’t collect the Invicta line for their accuracy anyway, though many of them were and still are passable in that department. In terms of quality and detail work it compares well with the rest of the line, it’s an exceptionally well made model for the time. Muscles bulge along the tail and down the legs. The head is particularly well done and complete with nostrils, ear openings and eyes set under a furrowed brow that makes this Iguanodon look rather serious and perhaps even a bit wise and aged. The original release of the model is monochrome yellow in color while the painted version is green with a white throat and darker green stripes down the flanks. In my opinion the monochrome version looks far better and less toy-like, and I personally don’t mind the yellow color either.
Older generations of dinosaur collectors will agree that this is a model worth acquiring. In fact, collecting the entire Invicta line almost seems a rite of passage among seasoned hobbyists. Younger collectors might not see the appeal what with all the highly detailed and accurate models currently being produced but this and all of the older toy lines need to be taken in context. The Invicta line of prehistoric animals was the first of its kind. The first to adhere to a particular scale, pay reasonable attention to accuracy and among the first museum lines of figures. The Invicta Iguanodon represents the way things were, and how much they’ve changed over a relatively short period of time. In addition to all that it’s just a nice looking retro piece with a lot of character. Unfortunately Iguanodon is still not a popular species and only rarely produced; hopefully someday we’ll have another great Iguanodon produced by any company willing to tackle it, to sit next to its predecessor that paved the way for all the modern greats that many of us take for granted. For the moment, it still displays quite well next to the exceptional Invicta Muttaburasaurus. As with the rest of the Invicta line this model is out of production and hard to find. Luckily it’s not one of the more expensive or rarer models in the line so a bit of patience on eBay should land you one for a reasonable price. Happy hunting!
Available from Ebay.com here.