(To steal a line from the Monkees T.V. Show.
I think it was the native Thursday who said that).
I figured I had better add to my site a bit
of an explanation about this stuff. So here goes.
When I was in first grade, I discovered dinosaurs. I remember it vividly;
my teacher, Mrs. Mitchell, showed the class one of those awful old 16mm stop-motion animated dinosaur flicks. I tried
for many years to find out the name of the film she showed us, and I think I pegged it when I picked up an issue of Prehistoric
Times a couple of months ago. I believe the film was a Ray Harryhausen vehicle entitled The Animal World. There
was an article in the PT about dinosaurs in film, complete with images from the films mentioned. One of the shots
was of the famous battle from Animal World between T-Rex and Triceratops (or some other type of Ceratopsian?).
This was what started my lifelong fascination with dinosaurs (and later,
all creatures prehistoric). Thanks to good ol' Ray, I am now in my 30s and still a dino-maniac.
Immediately after my teacher showed my first grade class that film, I
dug out paper and a pencil and began to draw dinosaurs from the movie (I have always been an artist, so when I get excited
about something I often have to draw it, being a visual person and all). I was hooked. Before this, I had honestly thought
dinosaurs were, like dragons, fanciful creatures. But now I knew they actually existed!
The rest of the day I was delirious with Dino-Fever. I rode the school
bus home and hopped off at my stop, rushing into the house to tell my parents all about the dinosaur show I'd seen at school.
That was when my dad went up into the attic and dug out some books from
his childhood--books that would forever hold a special place in my heart (corny, I know). These books were none other than the
three volume set of Time Life books called The World We Live In. Volume one covers the period from the earth's formation
to the Age of Dinosaurs. The dinosaur section is richly illustrated with the famous (and excellent) painting by Rudy
Zallinger called The Age of Reptiles.
I was in awe. Dad started giving me a little crash course on dinosaurs
(my Dad is a walking encyclopedia, you see), and I sat there, mouth agape, staring at the beautiful fold-out of the Zallinger
paintings while my dad explained about how the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, people dug up their bones, they went
extinct, etc. To this day, Zallinger's painting is the most beautiful rendition of a prehistoric scene I have
ever seen. Someday I really want to see the original, in mural -form, at the Yale Peabody Museum.
So, anyhow, there you have it--the Beginning of Amy's fascination
with dinosaurs. Soon, I had acquired my very first toy dinosaur at a nearby five and dime: a bright red, hollow plastic Stegosaurus
by Tootsietoy. And here he is, in all his glory (yes, I still have him) and he's got a
battle wound or two:
When I was a little kid, dinosaurs weren't
as historically (prehistorically?) accurate as they are today. Now you have companies like Carnegie and Schleich producing
some very realistic, museum quality dinosaurs based on research. Back then (this would have been circa 1980), toy companies
made dinosaurs that looked like they were out of Godzilla movies. Often very toothy and with gaping mouths, these were the
dino-toys that made up my collection as a kid. The ones that were probably most prominent were AAA, Imperial, and Tootsietoy (the people who made Mr. Steg up there).
Being seven years old, however, I wasn't real concerned with accuracy.
I wanted to play dinosaurs. I wanted to reinact scenes from that awesome movie my teacher had shown the
class. I even found a little friend in my class who was equally enthralled by the creatures, and remember being in constant
envy of him because he had a hyyuuuge collection of these toy dinosaurs.
Over the next few months, I got a few more dinosaurs. I remember going
to Wal-Mart and getting a bag of really strange creatures labeled as dinosaurs. A few of them vaguely resembled dinosaurs,
but most of them looked like something someone who's been smoking a little too much ganja would come up with. See for yourself--I
still have a few of these guys left:
I am pretty sure this guy's supposed to be
This looks like some sort of mutant-crab-scorpion-thing:
When I was a little kid I called this guy
an Ornitholestes. I think that was stretching it a bit (what the hell are those things sticking out of the sides of his head?):
Okay...a giant armadillo of some sort?
This is one of the very few that actually
looks like some type of dinosaur (sauropod):
Anyhow, I regress. But it sure is fun digging
those guys out and looking at them again. Over the years I lost some of them, but what you see here is what remains of that
strange little bag of dinos today:
|Weird, but well played with.
So I was seven years old and had begun collecting dinosaurs. I haven't
really stopped, as you have probably figured out by now. I still buy dinosaurs (unless they are just too dorky to spend my
hard-earned cash on--and believe me, some are just baaad).
My interest in collecting toy dinosaurs recently got rekindled (thanks,
in part, to good ol' Ebay), so I started surfing the web to see if there were any other dinosaur enthusiasts out there. Lo
and behold, there are other adults that share my love for plastic dinos. Visit my links page for those.
Meanwhile, enjoy my site. Its purpose is to pay tribute to dinosaurs in
several ways, with a little humor added. The bulk of the site focuses on reviewing various dinosaur figures. Other sections of the site include Dino-Art and, as mentioned before, links to other great sites about prehistoric creatures
and the plethora of prehistoric figures made available by various companies.