Protoceratops (“Ersthornsaurier”) (Margarinefiguren by Wagner)

3.9 (7 votes)

Five or so years ago I introduced to you a line of so called „Margarinefiguren“  (meaning margarine figures) which had been produced by or for a German food company named „Wagner“ 60 or so years ago.  The company added them to their food packages as little collectibles for kids as a buying incentive  for their parents. Beside prehistoric animals there were many  other series, for example  recent animals, vessels or people.  There is still a collector´s scene cherishing this kind of figures.

Still I do not know how come that these figures seem to come from the very same molds as the Shreddies cereal premiums from England. Maybe one of you can enlighten my knowledge in the comment section below. 

I think we don´t need to talk about Protoceratops here in detail. It is one of the most popular dinosaurs, not least due to the epic fossilized fight szene with a Velociraptor, one of the most important fossils of all time.

The figure itself is 4,6 cm or 1,8 inches long, 2,6 cm or 1 inch tall and very slim due to the fact that it had to fit into the food packagings. On the underside it says „Wagner Margarine. Ersthornsaurier -Kreidez. Wüste Gobi. 2,70m“. „Ersthornsaurier“ means „first horned lizard“. There was a time when prehistoric animals were provided with German proper names  which sometimes appear droll today.

The figure is an obsolete representation of Protoceratops  from a time where dinosaurs were regarded at as sluggish, exotic lizards. This figure obviously is based upon the popular Charles Knight image but overdoes it a lot. The ridicuously bent beak, the equally ridicuosly bent tail, the spread legs, the goggle-like eyes, the fatty belly and the overemphasized neck frill  emit nostalgia.

Thanks for your attention towards this little review of a  lovely little part of a series  of memorabilia! As old as they are, vintage treasures like these can provide a breath of fresh air and variety  to a scene  that from my point of view increasingly tends towards collecing the latest high-end models and figures  of prehistoric animals. You can find one on Ebay from time to time.

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Comments 5

  • I have a number of the Wagner Margarine ones on sale on ebay currently and will be listing the Shreddies version ones as both a set and individuals, around November 2023.
    ebay seller: anthonys_collections

  • Cool review, bro. Can you tag this with Protoceratops so it shows up on the genus page?

  • Great to see a review from you, it’s been a while! Fascinating little figure, never found them to be able to see one in person, but they definitely have their historical charm.
    Its seems little figure premium was very popular back then.

  • Great to see you back! This is a lovely little figure, I always appreciate these oddball and vintage figures that you review.

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