Dinosaurs

COLLECTOR: RICHARD AREL, 100 ITEMS

The dinosaur adventure began in 1993 when Jurassic Park came out. My curiosity for dinosaurs became an excessive passion that lasted for five years. More than 300 dinosaurs were built in 1993 – 1994 at a cost of CAD$1.5 million. Two hundred dinosaurs were sold in about 40 countries, all over the world. Today, my dinosaur collection contains around 100 life-size versions, made following paleontological data. Each dinosaur is a work of art and they were all made following the techniques I invented after having made my first dinosaur.

All the dinosaurs were sculpted one by one once I’d put the system in place. First we make the shape with old fiber-optic cable that we get from telephone companies. After having made the basic shape with the cable, we cover it with hessian or cotton fabric, then we use a special gun to fire urethane, a type of foam, over it to a thickness of five centimeters. Then a worker begins sculpting, followed by two others who roughly sandblast it, followed by a sculptor who does his work, before two other workers do the final sandblast. If the dinosaur has teeth or claws, another worker will put them in place. Then we add fiberglass and a coat of Gelcoat, which resists UV rays. Once all the work is done we paint it using car paint.

One measures nearly 18 meters long — and they are the most beautiful dinosaurs ever.
Richard Arel, 63, Drummondville, Canada

To begin with, the aim of the project was to produce 100 dinosaurs for my personal collection, which I would exhibit at my Madrid Big Foot restaurant. The project took a new turn, however, and I decided to produce more dinosaurs, hold an exhibition of them in big cities and sell them. In 1994 and 1995, there were exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto and other Canadian cities during which visitors from other countries bought around 200 dinosaurs that were dispatched by plane and container ship. In 1995 we exhibited at the world amusement trade show in Los Angeles, where we won a prize for our creativity and our stand was by far the most visited. We exhibited five dinosaurs and made a number of sales.

My dinosaur collection will be completely refurbished in 2010 – 2011 and production will restart in 2011 with the manufacture of other dinosaur species for a private, non-commercial aim. For the longest time, I have built the largest number of life-size dinosaurs species — one measures nearly 18 meters long — and they are the most beautiful dinosaurs ever.