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Giant dinosaur animatronics on Vancouver Island up for sale

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It started with the purchase of two dinosaurs on a dare at an auction, but now Lantzville's Stan Pottie has 14 of them.

"You know, some guys collect tractors or fancy cars or whatever," said Pottie. "After I got the first two, then I got one out of Turkiye and then I got a couple out of China."

As his collection grew, so did the popularity of visitors coming to his property on central Vancouver Island. People attended birthday parties and holiday celebrations around the prehistoric creatures.

One of the 14 dinosaur animatronics is shown. (CTV News)"It kind of hit me by accident. When we brought the first one home, we couldn't believe the reaction we got and how people got so excited," said Pottie.

"Just the first one. And by the time we got the second one home we realized we got something here," he said.

But now, the creatures are about to become extinct, as they'll all be sold during an online auction on May 25.

The auction will be conducted by ableauctions.ca. The company's manager for Vancouver Island says the firm supervises about 200 auctions a year and surprisingly this isn't their first one involving the prehistoric creatures.

"We had a big touring dinosaur show about three years ago and it was a huge success," said Brett Johnston. "Kids love dinosaurs and there's a little kid in every grownup."

Johnston says much of the interest for the auction has come from business owners like Cameron Thun, who hopes to add something to his Prince George liquor store.

"Right now I have working model railways, I have radio controlled airplanes, custom-painted murals and hopefully now we're adding two Velociraptors," Thun said.

The dinosaurs displays are located in Lantzville, B.C., just north of Nanaimo. (CTV News)Dustin Edwards flew in from Drumheller, AB, to preview the items. He operates Barney's Adventure Park and says auctions like these are rare.

"It's not very common you see these animatronics pop up like this," he said. "There's some really cool dinosaurs here that we don't have as part of our collection, things like the pterodactyl behind me, some interesting smaller raptors."

Pottie says Lantzville wasn't keen on hosting a dinosaur attraction.

"The city doesn't want anything commercial or anything up in these areas even though there's lots of land," he said.

"We're not really hurting anybody but the town doesn't want them here."

Johnston says other locations are interested.

"There's one in Alberta that wants to have a town theme of dinosaurs, so I hope they have a chance of getting it," he said.

The dinosaurs drew visitors to the central Vancouver Island town. (CTV News)

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