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Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Natural History Museum Dinosaur Collection by Invicta Plastics London



This is something of a nostalgic piece for me personally.  Growing up pre-Jurassic Park in the UK for a child-dinosaur-nerd was like hunting for oil.  No electronic toys, no realistic rubber skin, not even painted colour schemes.

So apart from making your own dinosaur out of wire and paper mache (I did this a lot, but the necks of the Brachiosaurus were always uniform thickness due to utilizing a loo roll tube), there were only a handful of toys available to a child of the 1990s living in the UK.

Dino-Riders had it's hiatus in the 1980s, but the toys were quite scarce in the UK, they would turn up in charity shops sans armour with beady glass eyes.  These were a rare and treasured find.  The nearest thing to a Dinosaur toy were the museum-sold figurines.  This made trips to the Museum even more exciting.

So, on the rare occasion we visited London (twice in my childhood) I would acquire more Dinosaur figurines.  And these Invicta Plastic Dinosaurs were the only ones to be found.

Usually they were compartmentalized into wooden tabletop boxes, with each Dinosaur species clearly labelled.  They were quite expensive too - four or five pounds on average (which was equivalent to a Kenner action figure back then).

So I was delighted as a child to find a special offer at the Natural History Museum in London.  Ten pounds for a plethora of Dinosaur figurines!!!  I nearly exploded.

My parents - being the kind and generous and thoughtful people they are, obliged and lent me a little extra money to pay for the set.

So there I was, sat on the train home, opening up a fresh plastic odoured box, and going through each species individually, palming their scales and claws!  It was a fantastic journey home and I will never forget it.

This is the exact set I purchased as a child - each species comes in bold retro block colours, no paintjob, but their sculpt is still incredible.  I still associate the maroon colour with Tyrannosaurus as a result.  They are quite scarce now too - I think their price has soared to ten times what I paid back in the 1990s.