Review and photographs by Brandon. Edited by Plesiosauria.
In Japan, many figure companies are quite exciting due to their sculpting and selection of lines. For a good example take Bandai’s Godzilla Complete Works, Konami’s Gamera, Kaiyodo’s Dinotales to mention a few and if you know these lines and their respected makers then you know the orient also holds fantastic figures and not just the USA. There is an underrated company over on the other side of the world of the far east called Kabaya. Several years ago Kabaya made a great dinosaur figure set of their own. The Kabaya Dinosaur set includes six dinosaurs and one of them was a featured “build a figure”, where you had to collect all five of the regular ones in order to make the bonus figure, a similar gimmick to Hasbro’s Marvel Legends & Mattel’s DC Universe. The figures included two Tyrannosaurs, (one green the other red but sculpted differently from each other) Deinonychus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops and the bonus dinosaur, the Seisomosaurus (which is now named Diplodocus hallorum)! They range from several inches tall and several inches long but the Seismosaurus is the longest at around seven inches in length. All of these figures are very appealing and sculpted by Kazunari Araki. Here is the Deinonychus!
The Deinonychus antirrhopus, is not only one of the most popular dino-birds but also one of the most important discoveries to date. When John Ostrom discovered this maniraptoran it became an important entry in the Archosauria because the species’ allowed one to study its evolutionary relationship with modern avian theropods. The Deinonychus is one of my favorites of all of the dromaeosaurs and this species was a great choice to be included in the set. The pose of this large dromaeosaurid figure perfectly captures the aggressive hunting style and behavior it most likely had, and this is one of the best that has ever been produced. The particular look, not just the pose but also the color scheme, seems to be inspired by the illustrations by the great dinosaur illustrator David Peters.
The sculpting of this Coelurosauria member is just phenomenal. The sculpt is so good that you can clearly identify that this dinosaur IS a Deinonychus, not a Velcioraptor or any other dromeosaur. Another terrific aspect I just love about this figure is that it shows theropods were not lizards but were actually different ancient birds! Nearly the entire body of Deinonychus is covered with integumentary feathers. The head is arguably the most detailed because of the great set of eyes of determination, narrow snout with the upper section where the nostrils are visible and the lower part of the mouth showing some teeth and tongue.
The back of the neck is very feathery but kind of ruffled and these epidermal growths follow on through down the back all the way to the long fan-like tail. This Deinonychosaur is a pure maniraptorid as you can have a perfect visual that the creature has very strong arms, the arms are stretched out allowing the feathers to protrude outward hinting that they can be used to some extant for a possible type of flight. The hands have three fingers which end in three sharp looking claws. The feather appendage ends at the calves of the legs which also appear strong and muscular and like the hands, the feet end with claws but these are the infamous hyper-extensible killer sickle-claws on the second toe. The appearance of them looks deadly and even though this is just a small replica you can clearly tell that these could easily rip open flesh!
Underneath the dinosaur the breast bone is far out like this particular part of the body is seen in many modern birds! Again, truly a great sculpt and the running position is just so accurate of the “Terrible Claw”! His stand is somewhat detailed that looks of rock terrain. A clear peg fits into a peg in the stand as well as the the figure’s stomach to make the running effect possible.
The painting is really good especially the red and black eyes. The overall color that D. antirrhopus has reminds me of the Psittaciformes (parrots). Some of the paint applications are a bit sloppy with a little bleeding and tiny spots missed here and there but its nothing major.
I’ve always loved this figure because it really shows what a “true” dino-bird the Deinonychus was, that it was to be feared, and that he’s an important species because he’s a close relative of today’s avians! I purchased the Kabaya set of five on eBay – it is sometimes available but can be scarce.
Sometimes available on Ebay here