Just recently someone on the forum asked what would happen if there was nothing more to review, and I thought, well, this probably will never happen. Since there are still so many interesting old collectibles and oddities out there which could keep us busy for years. And do not forget about the new releases which seem to get more and better every year!
Here I don´t have the latest highly correct model or figure, I don´t even have a “toy”, I have a small and interesting vertu: The “Kamsaurier” (sic!) by Wagner Margarinefiguren. Just like Linde coffee, German food company Wagner put small plastic figures into their food packages. They did so between the 1920s and 1950s, so the figures are vintage and there is a specialised collectors´ scene for these ones.
There were equivalent kinds of figures in England. They were cereal premiums from the late 1950s, according to Cain´s and Fredericks´ “Dinosaur Collectibles” book.
Due to the fact that the Wagner figures probably were put between the lid of the margarine package and a a film saving the content, they had to be flat.
Wagner added many different lines of different themes to their packages, among which was also a line of interesting prehistoric animals such as Archaeopteryx or Palaeotherium for example.
I am going to review the figures of the line I own over the next months, if you like.
Let me know in the comments or on the forum.
The “Kamsaurier” (sic! – it should mean “Kammsaurier”, the missing “m” in the name under the base is a typo!) figure depends on classic paintings of this animal, such as the one by Charles Knight, for example (which is not the one below!). Back then, the “Pelycosaurs” were not seen as mammal-like as they are nowadays, but rather more crocodyle-like. I don´t have to tell you more about the animal itself, do I?
At the base if the figure there is the company logo, the “number of the beast” (it says 20), and it says “Kamsaurier Permzeit Nordamerika 3m”)
The reproduction of the animal as a figure is of course obsolete. Given the fact the figure itself is 60 or so years old, this is not remarkable.
Therefore I don´t find it necessary to talk about scientific correctness in this case. The goggle-eyes, the silly muzzle with its funny lips, the oversized nostrils, the overall very “odd lizard with a crest on its spine” – look, the bent tail, nothing holds contemporary standards, but back then it probably did, and the Margarinefiguren were a gate into long lost times for many German children. They must have been fascinated by the look of such an odd creature. There are many detailed scales and spines and one could even think the fracture point from the spray cast mold is a small horn.
Marginally, it´s interesting what cultural scientist Alexis Dworsky wrote about depictions and colourings of prehistoric animals across the times. In his highly readable dissertation “Dinosaurier! Die Kulturgeschichte”, which in parts refers to W.J.D. Mitchell´s “The Last Dinosaur Book”, Dworsky states that depictions of animals do not only correlate on the fossil finds, but also to the spirit of the times they developed. This dimetrodon could be put in the “depictions as giant lizard” and “crown of reptilian creation” period. According to Dworsky, for example, dinosaur paintings were often coloured in camouflage or tank – green in times of the cold war.
If you look at the comparison picture you see it´s quite small, even smaller than the Invicta classic figure.
I love old, highly collectible figures who are only a little younger than the animals they depict 🙂 I love them as objects, I love speculating about the history of the object and I love being their keeper for the next fifty or so years! So of course I recommend this figure to everyone nourishing similar points of view and feelings.
Try ebay to find some.