The Miller Company

Larger Miller

Note the damage to the tails and horns.  Ebay is the best source for collectors but mint figures are hard to find especially the small figures.  Damaged figures are often repaired the Paleo artist Jack Arata is famous for his restorations in addition to his other work.

The Miller Company in the 50's produced a line of large and small Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Mammal figures. Miller figures were marketed through Gift and Novelty shops more than Toy and Dime stores like the Marx figures.  The company lasted until 1959 with the last advertising flyers appearing dated 1960.  The figures were created in Aluminum injection molds out of a waxy medium that has not proved to be very enduring. The injection mold system was very cutting edge when it was introduced by Miller.  All the figures are collectible with mint figures often selling for several hundred dollars.  Small Millers seem to have had a high extinction rate and are correspondingly highly valued. The rarest are the Miller Wax/Plastic Dinos is the Sinclair Gas Attendant Dino and a super rare green Brontosaurus.  The prehistoric mammals are exceedingly well done and current toy reproductions have yet to surpass them. J.H. Miller known as Tyke invented the Mold A Rama machines based on his injection molding process developed circa 1955 In Quincy Illinois. They allowed you to make your own dinosaurs out of a waxy composite. Sometime in the early 60's Tyke sold his invention to a big conglomerate vending company. These machines were made famous by the Sinclair Oil Company during the New York worlds Fair. At least a couple of the machines still exist in various museums across the country.  The waxy plastic Miller used is distinctive and subject to speculation. Tyke in an interview in a trade journal said he used polyethylene plastic (PE). The early PE was probably purchased from Sinclair given the known relationship. Based on Lenard Carvelo's article in Prehistoric Times the best hypothesis is that Miller used a custom formula of the low density PE. Miller retained Frank Dutton and Ruth Dudley as sculptures. These is at least one extent picture of Ruth Dudley working on the large dinosaur prototypes.

These two Megatherium figures appear to be duplicates. They look at lot like the Timpo figure. From the collection of Lenard Carvelo.

The contemporary Marx Toys were widely imitated by other companies in their day and even today knock offs abound. The ghosts of the Miller dinosaurs have  had a lighter foot print. The figures came in two sizes and were mirror images of each other with exceptions. There were 12 large figures.  The Tim-Mee , Lido and Timpo figures show a Miller influence so inheritance seem likely.