Safari Ltd have produced several tubes (‘Toobs’) which contain a diverse selection of mini-dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. These tubes are a great choice for the indecisive amongst us – why pick one single large dinosaur when you can get an entire tube of small dinos for the same price!? The American Museum of Natural History feathered dinos tube contains an array of twelve dinosaurs, half of which are feathered and including some recent discoveries. A tube dedicated to feathered dinosaurs is a reflection of recent discoveries that continue to provide evidence for a close relationship between dinosaurs and birds.
All of the feathered dinosaurs are theropods and are depicted with plumage to some degree. A four-winged Microraptor a posed mid-flight with its feathered arms, legs and tail outstretched. It is worth noting that these figures are also available individually in the form of keyrings – I should know as a small Microraptor has been following my around as a fashionable backpack accessory for some time! The cumbersome animal Beipiaosaurus is portrayed posed on two legs, supported by one hand, it has yellow and grey plumage. The Dilong has black plumage and is posed on two legs, its tail is expanded into a slight tail fan and also acts as a support. A ‘winged’ Velociraptor with a long raised tail looks posed for attack with its sickle-shaped claws clearly visible. It also has a plume of feathers on the back of the head and brown stripes on the arm feathers. A brown and white Sinornithosaurus is quite similar to the Velociraptor in overall pose. The final feathered critter of the bunch is Caudipteryx which is positioned raised up on two legs, showing of his red breast and stubby wings. The tip of the tail has a distincive fan of feathers.
Pictured: The full set of twelve dinosaurs from the Feathered Dinos Tube by Safari Ltd. Back row, left to right: Caudipteryx, Psittacosaurus, Velociraptor; next row, left to tight: Apatosaurus, Dilong, Pachycephalosaurus; next row, left to right: Beipiaosaurus, Chasmosaurus, Microraptor; front row, left to right: Tyrannosaurus, Protoceratops, Sinornithosaurus.
Six non-feathered species have been snuck in amongst the dinobirds. I can’t determine any rational for the choice of species, other than the fact that some are contemporaries of one of the feathered dinosaurs. They include some popular names such as T.rex and Apatosaurus, but also some more obscure beasties. There is a Psittacosaurus in an almost quadropedal pose and with yellow/green skin. The distinctive parrot-like beak from which it’s name is derived is very clear. There are two frilled ceratopians; a Prococeratops with a stiking blue frill and a deep tail and a deep blue-skinned Chasmosaurus. Finally there is a Pachycephalosaurus posed on two legs and supported by its tail. The bony head is covered in bumps and highlighted in blue.
The detailing is nice and although not on a par with similar-sized offerings from Kaiyodo, for example, they are well worth the price tag – presently just $10 on Amazon.com (here). These tubes also offer a great opportunity for play and would make a great gift. I like the diversity in plumage colour on the feathered dinosaurs, similar to modern birds, and the intriguing set of species is a bonus for collectors. Also, the tube itself contains a small rotatable globe set into the lid.
All of the figures are about 7cm long and not to scale – after all, only the most active imagination could perceive a swooping Microraptor snatching up an adult Apatosaurus and whisking it up to its nest for dinner.