An aspiring artist, Fembrogon (who goes by Eric in real life) has been drawing dinosaurs and strange creatures since he was capable of walking and talking, and probably will be for a long time to come. Although energetic and admittedly absent-minded at times, prehistoric life is one of a few subjects which has never failed to engross him wholly. Dinosaurs – theropods in particular – are unsurprising favorites (special shout-outs to the remarkable Dilophosaurus, the massive Giganotosaurus, and the bizarre Deinocheirus); but he admires a wide range of prehistoric life from Cambrian invertebrates to pterosaurs. Fembrogon first discovered the Toy Blog (and Forum) around the year 2012, and found it an indispensable reference for the expanding world of dino collectibles. Since joining the review team, he’s enjoyed covering a varied assortment of figures, from classic to modern and mainstream to obscure. When he isn’t absorbed in prehistory, Fembrogon also enjoys modern wildlife (birds & reptiles are favorites), nature walks, special effects films, and traditional animation.
MPC’s fifth group of prehistoric animals included one truly original mold in the form of Diatryma (ie Gastornis), one of the earliest plastic representations of this icon from the post-Mesozoic age.
During the 1950s and 1960s, interest in paleontology was starting its climb back to mainstream interest, and companies like Marx took the initiative to start producing dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in small plastic fashion for the first time, encouraging kids to create prehistoric worlds in their own homes.
This derivative dinosaur toy draws its inspiration from a surprisingly modern and good-quality source; but like all knockoffs, the nature of that “inspiration” might leave a bad taste in one’s mouth.
Knockoffs are an ever-present element of the toy industry, and a persistent quandary for collectors. A knockoff is a product which imitates another, original product, usually without copying it precisely in order to slyly evade copyright infringement.
A truly rare genus in the hobby to this day, MPC’s vintage figurine marks a bold move from a company most famous for its imitations – although the toy is perhaps showing its age with some design choices.
MPC (Multiple Products Corporation) is a well-known brand among experienced dinosaur collectors; their prehistoric line from 1961 and 1962 was widely sold through stores and catalogs for decades.
This modestly-sized (and priced) action figure is a fine representative of the detailed and stylish designs featured in David Silva’s spectacular Ceratopsian series.
I first heard of Zuniceratops a good 20 years ago, when Discovery Channel’s documentary special When Dinosaurs Roamed America aired on television. Ranging from 2.2-3.5 meters in length – equivalent of a modern sheep to a (short) cow – the “Zuni horned face” was on the smaller side compared to its relatives at the end of the Cretaceous; however in Turonian-age New Mexico (94-89 million years ago) it was probably one of the largest herbivores in its environment.
Nearly 60 years after Mold-A-Rama imprinted itself as an icon of American toy memorabilia, The Field Museum of Chicago collaborated with Mold-A-Rama to produce a brand-new prehistoric creature in classic plastic form.
Mold-A-Rama figures have been an icon of dinosaur toy collecting for decades. Originally conceived in the 1950s by Tike Miller for personal use, the first official molding machines were revealed to the world at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair by Automatic Retailers of America.
You’d think a creature like the dire wolf would have a few more toys to its name. Canis dirus (now reclassified as Aenocyon dirus) is almost unheard of on the prehistoric toy market, even though the genus made its introduction to paleo merchandise over fifty years ago.
This solidly-built stuffed toy represents The Field Museum’s star dinosaur attraction at its latest, biggest and best.
The ubiquitous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex has seen many incarnations and reconstructions in the two centuries since its discovery by human scientists – and plenty of merchandise has been produced to match.
One of the oldest toys of an iconic extinct mammal family still holds up pretty well, especialy alongside its more derivative contemproraries.
MPC (Multiple Products Corporations) toys are known in some circles as the “poor man’s Marx”; many of the prehistoric creatures represented in MPC’s lineup were lifted from the older Marx line, often sacrificing size and sculpt quality for bright colors and cheaper quantity.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a “shark-toothed” theropod model as decked-out and detailed as this one, although a couple of design flaws might have one hesitating at the retail price.
Carcharodontosaurs have ranked among my favorite dinosaurs since early childhood – the notion of meat-eaters even bigger than the mighty Tyrannosaurus was simply too irresistible to my 5-year-old self, and that initial shock and awe has remained embedded in my psyche to this day.
This fine set of little Battat precursors from Gregory Wenzel has aged impressively well, and any collector who’s found a chance to own the set should find these a delight.
Back in the 1990s, Safari ltd. was still a bold newcomer on the collectibles stage; with their success on the Carnegie Collection line, the company began exploring additional means to grow their brand.
A few quibbles over design don’t stop this lively little figurine from exceeding my expectations and becoming one of my new favorites in the Beasts of the Mesozoic line.
While fans of the “Beasts of the Mesozoic” articulated action figure line eagerly await the release of the formidable Tyrannosaur series, Creative Beast Studios founder David Silva has provided another treat for collectors in the form of six re-scaled genera from the prior two “Beasts” series.
This classic little sauropod is best viewed today as a relic, a curious piece of memorabilia nestled between more interesting figures which came before and after it.
If you were to ask a veteran toy collector about vintage dinosaurs, you’d probably hear Marx cited first. Marx was a pioneer in the 1950s, producing the first-ever widespread plastic dinosaurs for kids (and maybe their parents).
Despite a few issues in design due to its small size, this figurine is an impressive downscaling of the 1:6 predecessor that will display beautifully with its larger contemporaries.
While preparing for his ambitious tyrannosaur series campaign, sculptor/designer David Silva revealed a new side expansion to his highly successful Beasts of the Mesozoic toy line: a small set of 1/18-scaled figures based on select genera previously featured at larger scale in the main raptor and ceratopsian series.