Category Archives: invicta

Ichthyosaurus (Invicta)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the last Invicta model that needed a review on this very blog. Over the past decade or two, these models have been a staple for our community as they are the very first museum quality scale prehistoric models to ever hit store shelves. Despite being retired for over three decades, most of these models have proven to be reasonably priced on eBay and most of them are not that hard to obtain. Over the years, every other Invicta model has been reviewed on this blog at least once or twice. But today is the day where we can almost complete the Invicta page with the one remaining figure that has to be reviewed. Sure, there are also the colour versions that remain unreviewed as well as the one figure that’s just too modern for this blog, but I still think this review will be special.

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The Invicta Ichthyosaurus is a pretty standard model of a member of the ichthyosaur family, but it’s been pointed out that this particular model is way too big to represent Ichthyosaurus itself. The writing on the belly says that the genus grew up to 8 meters long, but in reality, Ichthyosaurus only grew up to two metres in length. It is possible that they based this model off another species of ichthyosaur, but which one remains a mystery.

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As a generic ichthyosaur figure, this model is pretty darn good. The characteristic fish-like appearance is replicated perfectly and the proportions are correct. In terms of detail, there is not much to talk about as the model is sculpted in smooth solid plastic and is pretty stiff. The eyes are well sculpted and if you look closely at the mouth, you can see that the sculptor attempted to give this model some teeth. The colour that this one was most commonly sold in is a dark sky blue, and the painted version(which I do not own) is done up like a modern day cetacean from what I saw in a picture from a DTF forum member’s collection.

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Overall, this is one Invicta model that has stood the test of time, due to the fact that this particular creature have remained almost unchanged since its initial release. Like all Invicta models, eBay is the best place to get one, and if you’re lucky, you might find it at a flea market or two, or someone might sell one on our lovely forum.

Megalosaurus (Invicta)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

When I first discovered the Dinosaur Toy Blog back in 2010, I was amazed at the number of different dinosaur toy lines that have been made over the decades which I never heard of until that point. The most noteworthy of these lines were Papo and CollectA. Before I found the DTB, I was only aware of Safari Ltd’s dinosaurs and Schleich’s now-defunct Replicasaurus line, which I never had the chance to collect in its entirety. However, one of the lines I learned about thanks to this very blog was a collection of monochrome dinosaurs that look exactly like the ones that my old elementary schoolteacher gave to me sometime back in the very early 2000s. These models turned out to have been made by Invicta, and it was not until recently that I took an interest in acquiring the entire collection of these models.

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The one I am reviewing today was not among the handful of models that my teacher gave to me. Instead, it was one of the more recent additions to my collection. At first, I was not planning on reviewing it, because it is listed on the Invicta page on this blog. But I noticed that the review was not very long and not up to the standards of the ones written today. So with that in mind, I decided to give this fellow a proper review in order to do it more justice.

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Contrary to popular belief, the Invicta Megalosaurus might technically not be the first mass-produced model of this species. Way back in 1854, when the first life-sized dinosaurs were made in Crystal Palace Park, a set of miniature replicas based on the famous sculptures were made for purchase to the general public for teaching in schools and other educational outlets. Among these replicas were only two of the three dinosaurs featured in the park, and one of them is the Megalosaurus.

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Of course, the odds of you ever obtaining one of the original Crystal Palace miniatures would be pretty much impossible, so we are left with the more common Invicta model instead. This Megalosaurus is perhaps still the best model of the species ever made, despite being hopelessly outdated. When I say its the best, I don’t mean in terms of accuracy, but of detail and aesthetics. As far as I know, there are only two Megalosaurus model being sold in stores today (CollectA and Toyway), and neither of them are on par with this model. Like most of the Invicta theropods, the Megalosaurus is sculpted in a tail-dragging pose, but unlike a majority of the toys that populated store shelves back in the days it was released, it actually looks like a living creature instead of a primordial monster that walked right out of a cheap B-movie with men in rubber dinosaur suits.

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The entire back and underside of the model is adorned with various large, overlapping scales that are not dissimilar to those found on crocodilians. Wherever these scales are not sculpted on the figure, they are replaced with wrinkles. Perhaps my favorite part of the entire figure is got to be the face. It looks so reptilian and realistic. Now not very much was known about Megalosaurus back in the days that this model was made, so I assume that the head was a work of speculation. The head looks like that of a giant lizard with its teeth sticking out on the sides. It may not be accurate in this day and age, but for a model coming from 1974, I can’t help but see this as a Papo-level masterpiece of its time.

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IF there is one thing I have to point out with this figure then it would be the lack of dew claws on its legs. Now as far as I know, the Tyrannosaurus rex could be missing one two and since they were likely made by the same sculptor, I will let this pass for this model.

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Overall, I’m glad I posted a thread on the forum asking for more of these historical models to be added to my collection. This Megalosaurus was one of five models I acquired from Emperor Dinobot, who has an eBay shop that specializes in Jurassic Park toys and other dinosaur merchandise. If you want an Invicta Megalosaurus of your own, he currently has one for sale on his store for a pretty fair price.

Pteranodon (British Museum of Natural History by Invicta)

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Released in 1978 the Invicta Pteranodon has a very vintage look to it, almost like something out of a Ray Harryhausen picture. Unlike Harryhausen’s stop motion marvels this Pteranodon doesn’t have bat wings, which is a relief. But much like bats, we know that pterosaurs adopted a similar posture when on all fours, with the wings folded and tucked back. This model is sprawled out awkwardly on all fours, similar to the scene in “The Valley of Gwangi” where the cowboys wrestle a grounded Pteranodon (speaking of Harryhausen). It’s also a bit similar to the Carnegie model which has a similar posture. My guess is that any actual pterosaur in this posture would be having a bad day but it does allow the model to be played with as if it were in flight. You know, for those of us who actually treat these things like toys.

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Aside from the posture, and a lack of pycnofibers the model is reasonably accurate for the time. Where the propatagium stretches from the shoulder to the fingers the little pteroid bone appears absent. The main wing membrane (brachiopatagium) stretches off from an elongate fourth digit and meets the ankles. From the inside of the ankle to the tail stretches the uropatagium. This wing configuration is in keeping with our modern understanding of pterosaur anatomy, even though at the time of production the exact placement of the wing membranes was as far as I know, still under debate. The bill appears a bit too straight and dagger-like where it should have a slight upward curve.

DSCN9306The model overall has a very delicate quality. The model is as lightweight and thin as you would expect a pterosaur model should be, with the wing membranes so thin you can actually bend them and shine a light through them. The wings still look strong though, not like the easily torn wings of so many B-movie pterosaurs. They’re sculpted with numerous folds and furrows that give them the stiff, fibrous appearance they would have had in life. The monochrome version of the figure is orange in color, which I actually like. I actually don’t know what color the painted version is and a Google search only yields one crude image, it appears to be white with a black head. If this is the color of the painted version, it’s a bit unconventional for a pterosaur model but a nice choice.

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This Pteranodon in particular has to be one of my favorite Invicta models, and pterosaur models in general. It’s a small and modest model but very well made and elegant. It truly is a testament to the company that they were able to make such a stellar model, all while using a minimum amount of material in order to properly convey just how built for the skies these animals were. I can think of few other models that succeed in this regard. If you’re a pterosaur collector this model is a must have and luckily, still quite affordable. On eBay this fellow can be found anywhere on the range of $15-30 U.S. dollars.

Before I sign off I would like to add a quick note regarding my next review, it will be my 50th! I’ve been reviewing now on this blog for four years and I didn’t think I could get away with reviewing just any old model (if there is such a thing) so stay tuned for something special.