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Dinosaur Bin Figures

from the Dinosaur Collector update 11/0/206

Click on the Site A icon to the right for Dioramas organized by period or by manufacturer.


Small dinosaur sets are not new but they have become a standard marketing format. The Miller company one of the first dinosaur companies marketed a smaller set of figures. They is supposed to be a set of Marx molds for mini dinosaurs with rocks and trees that was never put into production. Tim-Mee had a set of mimi figures that were used a premiums and included with some of their standard sets. The Lido Nabisco sets falls into the size and were originally used as premiums. Generally these smaller sets were not very realistic.

Bin figures are small vinyl figures 1 1/2 - 3 inches, not to scale usually either solid colored or two toned. The big break through is selling them in toobs or tubes. The companies best known for this format are Safari Ltd and K&M. Safari naturally has captured the high end of the market with its American Natural History Museum, Sue, Carnivorous, Dino, Prehistoric Life and baby Dino toobs some sets are painted and have the look of the high resin premiums from Japan. They have been able to tie the toob line with their high end museum lines. K&M also markets a line of toob products using custom painted figures from the generic JP set. The older retailing strategy for small figures used by Bullyland , Schleich and Play Vision was an open container that allowed them to be sold individually as impulse buys for customers. The profit per unit is higher for retailers but it requires more inventory and doesn't generate as much volume. It is a particularly unattractive to internet sellers were the shipping and packaging are issues. Toobs are easy maintenance, have less pilferage, and bring in a better total profit. The format has been picked up by a range of generic figure makers most of them nameless.


JP1  dinosaursThe most wide spread of the bin style is the JP1 set. K&M sell some nice looking custom painted versions. These show up as anything from party favors in Dollar Stores to parts of generic playsets. There are 24 figures no names. There are a big range of different theropods JP2 dinosaursThe JP2 set is less common and very similar to the first set so I think we can assume the manufacturer is the same. The prosauropod and duckbill are very nicely done. These figures can paint up very nicely and make nice additions to museum sets when you need small theropods or plant eaters.

Wai Foog

Wai Fong my favorite of the bin style. The figures borrow heavily from Jurassic Park and Walking with Dinosaurs as do many of their products.

This a nice set from a Dollar Store tube. The horned tyrannosaurid stand out and the four footed spinosaur. There is a glow in the dark set. From Riff Smith Below the 24 pices set


Another favorite. The two plant eaters and Tsintaosaurus are unique. These have been picked up by Tedco as part of their Horizons line. The names are problematic but here is a list found by Sean Bell with a set. Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, Stegosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Tsintaosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Spinosaurus, Eustreptospondylus, Barapasaurus, Acrocanthosaurus, Montanoceratops, Protoceratops, Pachycephalosaurus, Corythosaurus

Discovery Channel Dinosaurs

The Discovery Channel broadcasts the Walking with Dinosaurs series. The have their name on a variety of playsets none of them very good. You'd think they would partner up with Safari ltd or some other up market educational company. This set uses the same designs used by a larger hollow vinyl set seen in Dollar Stores. The raptor figure is very odd having the large toe claw but a skull like a hypsillophodont.

Dollar Days tube

From A Dollar Days tube. this uses a very rubbery medium similar to a larger size play set showing up in England. Great plants best I have seen. From Riff Smith

Dinosaur DaysThe Dinosaur Days uses the book format as does the DinoMight Groovy Tube book. Dinosaur Days has a vinyl play mat and thick card board trees and mountain. The dinosaurs they picked were not good. Not the quality of the JP1 set. These figures also were used by a Halloween treats package and included a few figures not used by the Dinosaur Days book. Good idea marred by cheap dinos. The full set below?

Dino World figures

These figures were also sold in a plastic container shaped like a stegosaur in Museum shops. The nodosaur and large headed predator are distinct.

Betta figures

Betta products sold these figures in drug store they look a lot like the Safari Mini Carnegie. The ceratopsid was probably intended to be a Styracosaurus but looks more like a Chasmosaurus. The figures avoid the chubby look common at the time.

Panini Figures Panini has been distributed by a number of different companies. ELC is a current seller. The Centrosaurus, Polacanthus, Camptosaurus and Cynognathus all uncommon figures. They are a little rubbery so repainting is problematic. Some sets have names stamped but not all. This could be a sigh of copies.
nameless fish set with Climatus and other early fish types. from Sean Bells collection.
These first distributed by Play Vision then also by Toy Smith. These figures have a name stamped on them. Many of the same figures as Panini but a little larger and very nice paint work. Notable for having a Polacanthus and Daspletosaurus. Best paint job for bin figures.
Jurassic Park 3 figuresThese first showed up as JP3 collectable's for game. a few were also used with the action figures. They didn't catch on. They are now sold as bagged sets usually misnaming the dinosaurs. The nodosaur, Gallimimus and baby steg seem to have disappeared.

Giga figures

Painted Giga figures, Giga has 24 figures of JARU quality.

The top six figures are made of a hard plastic. The others are in the same style made of a rubbery vinyl sold in the 90's. I have no idea who the maker was and they appear to have been knocked off several times. I have a set embedded in chalk eggs that contain a list of names for each figure. The red figure in the center is a nothosaur the blue figure next to it a podokosaur. From Riff Smith

Yobe figures

I felt immediately that if Tim-Mee had made new figures they would have looked like these from Yobe. The nodosaur and psitacosaur are notable as is the lack of a T rex in the set. There is pearlised soft set. From Riff Smith

Less elaborated painted versions show up in gumball machines. Bagged sets still being sold.


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