Click to see Ants original 2001 product listing

Product photo from the now closed Ants website. Click the image to go back in time and see the original product listing.

Ants

The Ants company of Albuquerque, NM (USA) produced a range of dinosaur and paleoanthropology products of the highest standard. Ants is now closed, but was active between about 1996 and 2000. Here's how the company described themselves:

"Ants has a simple mission, we want to provide the highest quality educational experience you can find outside the museum environment. We do that by creating museum reproductions and combining them with detailed information—just like an exhibit in a fine museum. We call our virtual museum the In Hand Museum."

The last active record of their website in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine dates to November 2001 and can be viewed here or by clicking on the Ants logo below. 

Kit

The Ants Allosaurus fragilis skeleton kit was an ambitious product. At the time, it was the most accurate scale reconstruction of a dinosaur skeleton ever produced.

Despite its significance, information about the model kit is difficult to find. My example is an early version invoiced in March 1994. It comprises 150 separate parts. Later versions were consolidated into only 107 parts.

A "garage kit", all parts were hand-cast in bone-colored resin and wonderfully presented (see below). The model included a hardwood base, metal mounting armature, glue, modelling tools, detailed instructions, and an 82 page text on Allosaurus. My kit also included a collection of postcards and additional product information (see below). It must have been very challeging to produce in any quantity. The total number of models made is unknown.

Ants website product listing for their Allosaurus skeleton kit can be viewed here or by clicking on the completed Ants model image at the top of the page.

Click to visit Ants 2001 website
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Original Ants Allosaurus model shipping box
L 310, H 160, W 270 (mm) 

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Kit contents (click to enlarge)


Presentation

All parts were bagged with a part number (called "Specimen"), formal description e.g. "Third Cervical Vertebrae (C3) and ribs". Some parts were given additional comments where appropriate (as for the example parts shown opposite). Related parts were over-bagged into groups (head and neck, forelimbs, hindlimbs, body, etc). Parts had minimal flash and many were labeled with break-off tabs (see example C3 ribs opposite).

Printed material was collated in a 2-ring binder. A standard cardboard shipping container served as the box and no external artwork was applied (other than an Ants logo address label). The kit was obviously hand assembled at great effort.

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The final kit part (specimen #150). This tiny bone, the terminal tail vertebrae (T41), was only 10 mm long. 


Press

Right-click to download ~1.3 MB pdf file

Interview with ANTS employees
from the Oct-Nov 1998 issue of
Prehistoric Times
 

Documentation

Right-click to download ~513 KB pdf file
Allosaurus skeleton kit parts list
and assembly instructions


Sightings 

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William Vinikour buildup: “I was fortunate to get one of the ANTS kits when they first came out. I made it up as a hypothetical display that would have been used in a ‘dollhouse' (1/12 scale) museum, using 1/12 scale bricks around a scene where the Allosaurus was running through an area of rocks and water”.
John Rafert's Dinosaur Art and Modelling website included a review of the Ants model. John's site closed in 2007, however you can still see his review via the internet archive here. When the link opens click on "Kits" then "Allosaurus fragilis" to find the review.


click to visit krentzpresentz.com

David Krentz (above) uses the Ants Allosaurus
model in his Tyrannosaurus rex  DVD.

 
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Horst Bruckmann Buildup: To see his collection visit Horst Bruckmann's
Dinosaur model Collection website
.

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 Jon Kelley, a collector from the USA, sent me this photo of his Ants Allosaurus mounted inside a glass-fronted cabinet in his study. Looks great!

Visit Franks website...
Frank Galef, a physician in California and a good friend, owns an Ants Allosaurus skeleton model. It decorates his consulting rooms along with some other classic dinosaur paraphernalia! His website includes a review and photos.

Artist

The Allosaurus skeleton was sculpted by Dr. Stephen Wagner. Stephen was also president and founder of Ants. A medical and scientific sculptor, he has a long association with museums as an exhibit designer and model maker.

Dr. Wagner continues to practice dentistry, where he specializes in reconstructive prosthetics of the mouth and face.

 

Stephen is probably best known for his scale models and reconstructions of hominid and ape skulls. These are still available from Bone Clones® Osteological Reproductions. Click the image below to see the product listing.

Dr Stephen Wagner 


Postcard 1

Front 

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Back

Think of our products as museum exhibits in miniature. Our models equal the finest museum specimens in their accuracy; and the written material accompanying each project is rich in information and very entertaining.

    ANTS was founded to create products that stimulate thought and develop a sense of wonder and respect for the natural sciences.

 


Postcard 2

Front  

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Back

ALLOSAURUS FRAGILIS

The dominant carnivore of the Jurassic Period, Allosaurus fragilis was to its era as Tyrannossaurus rex was to the Cretaceous Period some 45 million years later. This museum quality model demonstrates the detail and complexity of the actual fossils. Over 150 handcast resin pieces assemble in a similar fashion to the full-size museum casts. The completed model is over 26 inches long (1:12 scale) and is complemented by a comprehensive review of the scientific literature. Allosaurus fragilis is available as a kit or completed model.

"In virtually all regards, your model is superb. In comparison with other such models, yours is by far the best, eclipsing the remainder of the market, not only in terms of the accuracy of the model itself, but also in the inclusion of the scientific background concerning the skeleton, concerning Allosaurus, and finally concerning dinosaur science as well."
David B. Weishampel, Ph.
D.1Vice President, Dinosaur Society
Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Editor of the textbook, The Dinosauria
May 10, 1993  

Ants / P.O. Box 9208 / Albuquereque, NM 87119-9208 / 1.800.642.9267 


Postcard 3

Front   

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Back 

ALLOSAURUS FRAGILIS
IN BRONZE

 A limited number of bronze castings are available to collectors. Each is individually numbered. The model and the comprehensive review that accompanies it form an educational and artistic experience that is second to none.

 

Ants / P.O. Box 9208 / Albuquereque, NM 87119-9208 / 1.800.642.9267  


Postcard 4

Front  

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Back  

ALLOSAURUS FRAGILIS SKULL IN BRONZE

 We have taken the head from our bronze sculpture of Allosaurus fragilis and mounted it on a walnut base. A cast bronze nameplate identifies the dinosaur. Each casting is of the highest quality, but the price is affordable to almost everyone. It is an ideal gift for both the amateur and professional dinosaur enthusiast.

 

Ants / P.O. Box 9208 / Albuquereque, NM 87119-9208 / 1.800.642.9267


Postcard 5

Front  

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Note: This postcard was not included with my copy of the ANTS Allosaurs kit, but was shipped with the kit purchased by Horst Bruckmann. Horst kindly sent me his original copy of the postcard, which is reproduced here.

 

Back  

THE SKULL OF HOMO SAPIENS

Our human skull is designed to represent the modern Homo sapiens. The cast demonstrates all of the major foramina, sutures and bones of the human skull, but in a reduced scale (the photograph is actual size). As with all ANTS products, the human skull is accompanied by illustrated, educational material that describes the anatomy, pathology and evolutionary history of the modern human skull.

The human skull is only the first in a series of human, hominid and great ape skulls that are designed to illustrate a discussion of human evolution. The next model will be a Neanderthal skull, followed by a chimpanzee (for comparison), Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Australopithecus boisei, and Australopithecus africanus. All reproductions will be in the same scale. We plan to complete the series within the next 12 months.

The entire comparative skull collection is being created in collaboration with the paleoanthropologist, Dr. Erik Trinkaus. Dr. Trinkaus is considered by many to be the preeminent scholar of Neanderthals in the world. His leadership assures a high degree of accuracy and scholarship in our entire skull series.


Ants / P.O. Box 9208 / Albuquereque, NM 87119-9208 / 1.800.642.9267 


Product Information Sheet

Included with the kit
Single-sided print
US-Letter plain paper

 

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