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If you’ve ever pulled up to a Sinclair gas station, chances are you’ve spotted a friendly green dinosaur on the brand’s logo — and if you’re really lucky, you might have been a fiberglass dinosaur hanging outside the station too! This prehistoric pal is named Dino (pronounced DYE-NO), the official brand mascot for the Sinclair Oil Corporation. Hit the road with us as we uncover more about Dino’s history, which is far from extinct!
1. Dino hatched in 1930, with the help of Sinclair’s advertising writers. He helped promote lubricants that were derived from Pennsylvania grade crudes. This type of oil was believed to have formed during the Mesozoic Era when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Dino’s initial ad campaign featured a dozen other dinosaurs, but he became the breakout star and was registered as a trademark in 1932.
2. What type of dinosaur is Dino? He’s an Apatosaurus, but is often confused as a Brontosaurus.
3. Dino’s a massive fella! He weighs 20 tons and is 70 feet long — or, according to the brand’s early advertising, 56 kids long.
4. In the 1960s, Dino starred in TV commercials for Sinclair. Here he was a distinguished guest conductor for a jaunty little jingle that advertised Sinclair’s gasoline as being the only kind of gas with nickel compound.
5. Dino was famously featured in Sinclair’s successful Dinoland exhibit at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. He was joined by eight fiberglass, animatronic dinosaurs to recreate the Mesozoic Era. The dinosaurs were built by a team of paleontologists, engineers and robotics experts and designed by wildlife sculptor Louis Paul Jonas.
6. What’s the Dino tie-in with the ‘90s hit series Dinosaurs? “Sinclair” is their family surname!
7. Dino’s been a longtime presence during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He made his balloon debut in 1963, but the 60-foot balloon retired from service in 1977. However, he made a roaring comeback in 2015 with a refreshed balloon that was 72 feet long and has been a staple in the parade ever since.