‘It’s fun, for sure’: Life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs to go for auction in Lantzville

'It's fun, for sure': Life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs to go for auction in Lantzville
Photo: Able Auctions
This life-sized, animatronic dinosaur is one many that's a part of a private collection about to go up for auction in Lantzville.

Bidders will have the chance to travel back to prehistoric times when life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs hit the auction block in Lantzville.

The private collection features a dozen dinos, including a Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor and Parasaurolophus — all to go for online auction next month following an in-person preview.

“There’s a bunch of cool stuff,” said Able Auctions’ Vancouver Island manager Brett Johnston, who’s in charge of the upcoming sale.

“The T-rex, I think, is about 40 feet long. That’s the biggest one, and there’s another one about 35 feet. The Velociraptors are about five feet high or so,” he said. “They all run by computer, so they move and roar and chomp.”

There’s also a coin-operated dinosaur kids’ ride, a singing tree, a food truck and a battery-operated train, which is described as “like new” and seats about 16 people. 

Johnston recalls the collection’s owner previously buying some of the relic-like pieces at auction — in August 2020, CHEK News spoke with the dino keeper himself, Stan Pottie, who said two of them used to be a part of a PNE display.

“I’m going to build a whole Jurassic scene in there with palm trees,” Pottie said at the time. “I think I’ve found my calling. I’m gonna go get a whole pile of them and put them in the woods here.”

Only those plans came to a roaring halt after the District of Lantzville won a B.C. Supreme Court case in August 2021, arguing the Clark Drive property where the local dino park sat wasn’t zoned for commercial use. 

“The neighbours complained, and so did the city,” said Johnston, noting the backlash came after Pottie “got a dinosaur waterslide and a bouncy castle and found this cool train” and “started charging people for admission.”

Photos posted recently to Abe Auctions’ website give potential buyers a look at what’s up for grabs during the liquidation sale, and while Johnston’s unsure how much it will all go for, he thinks businesses would benefit best.

“I really don’t know if it’s going to be a couple thousand, or $20,000 or $100,000,” the auctioneer said.

“You know, there’s a log pub in Langford (Liquor Planet) with dinosaurs that help attract customers. So, somebody will buy it for their business. I think that’s the best use. But at another auction, a couple of people bought them for fun at home, and some of them went to dinosaur parks,” he added.

“It’s fun, for sure.”

The online auction is scheduled for May 25 starting at 9:30 a.m., and more details can be found here.


(Photos: Able Auctions)

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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