In spite of not having a name ending in ‘raptor’, Deinonychus remains a high-profile dromaeosaur in the public imagination, and rightly so for an animal that revolutionised our understanding of dinosaurs. This fairly small and affordable toy is manufactured by Favorite, and is clearly modelled on their larger (and somewhat more expensive) resin ‘Desktop’ model. Just as with the Desktop model, our friend is most definitely feathered – and hallelujah for that.
There’s something I must get out of the way first – mine won’t stand up on its own, hence the rather obvious blob of Blu Tack in the photos (apologies for that, it could be smaller). It’s a little irritating, although I have no idea how common a problem it is. If you have this toy, be sure to let me know in the comment box whether or not it’s prone to falling on its face like a Cretaceous drunk. Given the relatively pliable nature of the plastic it can probably be fixed quite easily with a hairdryer and a bit of tweaking.
Anatomically this model is pretty sound. The legs are a little short (and with rather large feet), and the tail is exceptionally long, but these changes are almost certainly for balance reasons and don’t detract from the sculpt too much. The head is quite low and tapering in line with more modern reconstructions, and the arms feature long feathers as per Deinonychus‘ close relative Velociraptor. The rest of the plumage has a rather scruffy, shaggy appearance, reminiscent of a modern-day ratite, and hugs the body closely. The feathers on the likes of the Carnegie Microraptor are probably more convincing, but these are perfectly acceptable – at least it isn’t ‘plucked’!
The paint job will please those of you who dislike day-glo-saurs that resemble an acid trip seen through the eyes of Luis Rey, but seems like a bit of a missed opportunity. The body (including the ‘naked’ areas, ie. the feet and jaws) is entirely brown with stripes in a darker brown and a banded tail. It’ll do, but a little splash of colour wouldn’t go amiss. Another figure that is ideal for repainting.
Overall: it’s pretty good, but it’s certainly not up to the very best Favorite standards. The Tyrannosaurus and Stegosaurus, both previously reviewed on this blog (the latter by me in fact), are fine examples of what Favorite can achieve when they really pull out the stops. That said, the mere fact that it’s an affordable feathered figure of a large dromaeosaur makes it worthy, given that bald versions continue to be released in the face of palaeontological progress. For readers who’ve moved on from the 1990s I can recommend it, if with caution!
Review & photos by Marc (‘Horridus’)
Sometimes available on Ebay here