Why are dinosaurs so universal?

t rex's dinner

click on the picture to check out ‘all things dinosaur’ at funjunctiontoys.com

Kids love dinosaurs, there’s no doubt about it. With no specific marketing dinosaurs are kind of an ‘evergreen’ toy/book/product. In the same way that making something pink seems to instantly up it’s appeal so to does making it dinosaur related (though often, but not always,  in a less gender-loaded and controversial manner). Dinosaurs never seem to go out of fashion and there’s always a steady and very dedicated fan base. I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid, I used to bore friends and family alike with long explanations of the eating habits, names, habitats etc. of every dinosaur I could think of.

the shining room 237/217 film/bookSo what keeps this appeal up? Why especially does it seem to appeal to kids between the ages of 5 and 10? I’ve got a theory, it is just a theory and maybe it’s a weird one; I think it’s because they’re real monsters. When we’re wee we dream up a host of frightful things; a many armed monster who’s claws creep up from under the bed, a ghoulish faceless banging creature that lives in the old wardrobe or a dripping crone with a sunken face who hides in the bath in the dark bathroom across the hall (OK maybe that’s just me). As we approach primary school our imaginations explode and a big mess of fright pours in. Thankfully our parents are there to calm us down and assure us that these monsters aren’t real, they’re just imaginary, made up, fake. But dinosaurs aren’t fake, they’re not imaginary and often they’re more frightful and more alien than any of the monsters we’ve cooked up in our little minds before we encounter these ancient terrible lizards.

I’m wondering if it’s this first glimpse of something magnificent (and occasionally terrifying) that sparks the appeal. These creatures beyond anything observable in our world now, they differ in size, structure and nature in dramatic ways from the wildlife we’re familiar with. At the same time they are cousins, distant neighbours, the previous inhabitants of this planet. We live where they lived, they are alien and yet familiar, terrifying and yet fascinating and there is no fictional entity that can be crafted by man that can rival this because, as I’ve pointed out so much already, they are real. With all this in mind, why wouldn’t you love dinosaurs.

interactive t rex dinosaur toyWe chose to make September dinosaur month at the shop because we knew how well received dinosaurs would be. OK there was that and the fact that we wanted to show off our ‘Dinosaur Train’ colouring competition. You can download the pdf of the colouring sheet here. The competition closes next Saturday (28th September) and the prize is awesome: a big interactive talking T Rex called Boris, pictured to the right.

What do you think motivates the endless fascination with dinosaurs? Do you have your own theory? As always comments are more than welcome, as is anyone who decides to subscribe to get these posts in their e-mail inbox/wordpess reader (you can do this by clicking the subscribe box to the right). Thanks again for reading, Cheers, John

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One comment on “Why are dinosaurs so universal?

  1. […] feel free to check out some toy related posts I prepared earlier ‘How to Play‘, ‘Why are dinosaurs so universal?‘, or my first ever post which was about my son’s favourite toys at the time […]

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