Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2016.001.002A-B
Description Dinosaur "A Strange Change Toy" Capsules, late 1960s to 1970s. Thirty-five lime green "time capsule" pieces made of irradiated plastic produced by the Raychem Corporation as part of "A Strange Change Toy Featuring the Lost World." The toy set was sold by Mattel, Inc., and also included a machine with a heated dome and a compressor device, tweezers, instructions, a 3-D molded plastic "Lost World Landscape," and an illustrated map. The square capsules expand into toy figures when heated. They can also be re-compressed back into squares and expanded again. The dinosaur figure (a) has four limbs with three toes on each foot and a curved tail. On the dinosaur's back is a fin, which is dented towards the head. On the left side of the head is an eye, nostril, and slightly open mouth showing teeth. The right side of the head is smashed and only shows a vague outline of an eye and a mouth. The bottom is partially hollow from mid-head to mid-tail. Thirty-four compressed square capsules (b-ii) are embossed with Mattel's logo. The other side also has a Mattel logo and a pressed circle to the bottom left of the logo with a number embossed in the center. The numbers range in the 60s and 70s.
Object Name Toy
Collection 3D - Toys
Title Dinosaur "A Strange Change Toy" Capsules, late 1960s to 1970s
Date late 1960s to 1970s
Creator Mattel, Inc., El Segundo, CA
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "MATTEL INC, / M / TOYMAKERS" (embossed in center on both sides of squares); "74" (range of numbers embossed in circle to left bottom of Mattel logo).
Notes These toys were designed by Raychem and to be produced by Mattel. Unfortunately, they were deemed unsafe for childeren because of the chemincal components and were never mass produced. The plastic squares transform into the dinosaur figure when heated.

"Raychem was founded on January 1, 1957. It grew rapidly by creating proprietary new products based on Radiation processing of polymers to meet critical and difficult industry needs for electrical circuit integrity in harsh environments. Included in these initial products were irradiated wire insulation and heat shrinkable tubing. Markets included Aerospace, Military, Automotive, Telecommunications and Electrical Power Generation markets.
"In 1968, Raychem acquired Chemelex leading Raychem to extend its radiation polymer processing technology to polymers filled with conductive carbon creating a family of "Self Limiting Heaters". This technology was further extended to produce resettable switches forming the enabling technology for the "Polyswitch" Division.
"As Raychem grew into a world class Material Science Company, additional technologies explored, developed and taken to market were Heat Recoverable Metals, Piezoelectric Materials (Elographics), Silicone Gels (Geltek) and Liquid Crystals (Taliq).
"Each year, Raychem devoted between 8 and 10 percent of sales into Research and Development resulting in thousands of new products based on the technologies listed above. Research and Product Development labaratories, in addition to Menlo Park and Redwood City were established in Swindon, UK, Kessel-Lo, Belgium, Ottobrunn, Germany, Pontois, France and Japan.
"Manning these laboratories were an extremely creative and talented group of scientists and engineers who found innovative ways to use technologies to create new products."
[ 12/31/2015]
Dimensions H-1 W-1.5 D-2.75 inches
Dimension Details 1.25 x 1.25 x .125 (square)
Search Terms Children
Menlo Park
Raychem Corporation
Subjects Children
Toy industry
People Raychem Corporation