Distributors and Companies

The Dinosaur Collector with his staff. The Dino Boyz with sand box dinosaurs.

If you are looking for figures from a particular company, this is a limited alternative to visiting the diorama pages; a way to check out some of the more popular companies. The links below will take you to pictures displaying some figures from the series.  In some cases the links will take you to pages with detailed information, as in the Marx, MPC, Safari and Schleich pages. For the rest, most of the companies are represented in the dioramas you can access by clicking on the Site A or Site A icons at the bottom.  I have some links to other sites in my favorite links page, which has information about collectables.  See the news page for new releases.  Prices vary but generally rare figures cost more.  Ebay is a common source for many collectables and prices seem to vary widely, though generally seem to get higher.  Many companies distribute figures from various manufacturers, for example UKRD figures have been distributed by Boely and Toyway among others, while Bullyland produces and distributes their own figures. Also the molds for Marx, Inpro and others have passed through various hands. Generally I try to list figures by the manufacturer stamped on the figure.

Collectables 1950 – 1980: Dinosaur toys from this period are generally not to a fixed scale or painted. The Zallinger Mural and to a lesser extent artists like Burien and Knight were the major influence. It is the age of Brontosaurus and Trachodon with dragging tails and kangaroo postures.

High Quality Museum Lines: (you can find the following lines represented on the diorama pages). These are figures where there normally is a formal endorsement from a Museum. Commonly the figures are done in a similar scale, identified by name and are painted. This category is a little tricky as as the bussness model is no longer popular.

Metal and Resin gaming figures: usually intended for Role Playing Games Games. This list is certainly not complete, as over the years there have been many RPG and Miniature figure companies that have also made prehistoric figures especially dinosaurs, but represents more of a list of what we used in the Dioramas or I have reviewed in Prehistoric Times. Typically the figures are designed with role playing and miniatures games in mind. The best work seems to come from the UK.

Action figures: This is a relatively modern category. The figures have some articulation, often a story line or movies tie in. Jurassic Park (JP) figures by Hasbro are good example.

Japanese figures: Japanese models and premiums. There are a few soft model figures but resin and hard plastics is the most common. These figures are intended as adult collectibles with exceptions like Sega and Happinet.

Preschool figures: have become a special category recently. Originally mostly Sand Box figures in hollow vinyl. The rise of Electronic games among the middle school aged cut into the figure market. Preschoolers have become much more important to figure makers. These are often much like action figures but marketed to a younger age group. Figures are brightly colored. The feet are large to make them stand up and many are animatronics or articulated.

Sub museum lines and Chinasaurus from Popular Producers and Distributors. Sub museum are figures done in the style and scale similar to museum lines. Sometimes they are advertised as museum quality without an endorsement. Chinasaurus are no name figures made in China mostly, as are the museum lines. They are often copies of high end figures. The best like Wild Safari are companions to museum lines.   

Movie and Television figures: the Og Son of fire Radio show is the earliest known prehistoric toy tie in with several metal cavemen and a dinosaur. Several children's shows had action figures and dinosaurs marketed but the Dino Riders / Dinosaurs and Cadillac's animated series were the first high quality figures to be made. Dinosaurs marketed in conjunction with JP have set the standard for future movie tie-ins. In addition to selling their own lines, the movies influenced existing companies to produce new figures. The larger number of Gallimimus and Velociraptor figures after JP and the explosion of the carnotaurs and Iguanodons after Disney's Dinosaur movie are a good example.