Right to begin with, yes, three figures by Linde are already thoroughly represented on this blog, the Tyrannosaurus, Sphenacodon and Dimetrodon. But for the sake of completeness I include those three in this review aswell.
“Linde” is a brand name for a coffee surrogate produced from grain and chicory. The originally producing company dates quite a while back. Johann Heinrich Franck found the company somewhen in the 1820`s when real coffee was highly taxed. The brand name “Linde” probably is not that old, but at least dates back to the time after the 2nd World War when genuine coffee was rare, hard to get and expensive. Since the 1970`s “Linde” is a brand name owned by Nestlé and the coffee surrogate is still on the market.
Back in the 1950`s quite a few grocery products were advertised by adding small figures some of which are in high demand by collectors these days. The Linde “dinosaurs” count amongst them. As a glance to the title photo reveals, not all of them are actual dinosaurs, but to be honest, the line or series or set does not come with a specific name as far as I know. It includes eight figures, most of which are easily identified even by people not familiar with prehistoric animals. Nevertheless, there`s also the occasional odd ball, a species that is painfully underrepresented in the toy world, the Sphenacodon. The others are Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, Dimetrodon, Rhamphorhynchus and Ankylosaurus.
I won`t go into detail regarding the scientific accuracy, one can easily recognize that the representations are outdated by a fair number of decades. What you see is what you get, but in that regard the figures are excellent. The sculptor clearly was influenced by the famous painting “The Age of Reptiles” by Rudolph F. Zallinger, in fact with the exception of the Rhamphorhynchus all of them represent genuine 3D models of the painted animals.
The plastic used in production has a waxy feel to it, but seems to be quite durable. It also seems to represents details very good, however, the sculpts are fairly simple, the most detailed being the famed Sphenacodon with intricate skin detail on the body (though surprisingly not the tail) and fine claws. The figures come in different colors and most often a single figure is not uniformly colored but marbled in darker and lighter tones of green, brown and dark red. All figures have their species names and “Linde” imprinted (well, actually not imprinted, but in raised letters), though some names are misspelled or creatively changed. The Tyrannosaurus is named “Tyranosaurier”, the Brontosaurus is “Brontosaurier” and the Sphenacodon is named “Spenacodon”.
Amongst collectors certain colors seem to be more sought after than others and the Rhamphorhnchus being the one reaching the highest prices. Maybe that`s related to its comparably fragile build that probably cost a lot of figures their intactness over the years. However, full sets are more or less frequently offered on ebay, mostly by Austrian sellers. But these sets are considerably cheaper than buying the figures individually. If you are interested in vintage models or in expanding your collection for some of the more exotic companies, I highly recommend these gems.
Nice review, interesting how many figures the Zallinger mural inspired over the years.