Review and photos by forumite Himmapaan
The Kaiyodo Dinotales Oviraptor displays all the usual qualities the manufacturer is well known for: up-to-date anatomical accuracy and beautiful craftsmanship all united in one tiny, commercially produced model. It is in fact one of the scarcer figures in the line, originally released in Japan as a promotional item accompanying a bottle of lemon drink.
This Oviraptor is pleasingly and appropriately covered in feathers, complete with a modest though not insignificant tail fan and beautifully shaped ‘wings’. These display feathers even begin at the middle finger, which will surely please the most scientifically exacting of collectors. In my opinion, these features in particular are altogether superior to the same ones seen in the Carnegie Oviraptor — probably the most overall correct representation of this dinosaur currently widely available.
The figure stands elegantly on two feet with the help of a base, upon which also sits a little Oviraptor hatchling (and a very happy one to judge by its expression!). When the author and illustrator James Gurney in his book, Dinotopia (1992), called an Oviraptor ‘Ovinutrix’ (‘egg nurse’), he was probably among the earliest in popular culture to redress the reputation of this unjustly named animal. This figure (along with the Luis Rey-inspired Safari Dino Discoveries offering) sets out likewise in toy form to magnanimously portray the creature as the protective parent it in fact was.
There are two paint variations, the one shown here is a complementary red and olive green combination with darker greenish brown tones, an almost pearlescent pink crest and a blue wattle to add a spot of contrast (a scheme inspired by the green-winged macaw, perhaps?). The other is a slightly more complex affair of predominantly white and dark brown/black plumage, a grey neck, pink and red head and wattle, and sandy-coloured crest. It is rather reminiscent of something between a turkey and an osprey. This variation is even rarer yet.
If there are any minuses to this figure, perhaps one of them is that the uniquely specialised teeth of this dinosaur are not as clearly depicted in the open mouth as one might like. There is a lump with a yet smaller bump to indicate these, although they are not finely sculpted or dotted with white to pick them out. But given the scale of this piece and the level of detail already present, perhaps one would have to be exceptionally ungenerous to really take Kaiyodo to task for this. Also, the crest is fairly large and perhaps more attributable to a Citipati than an Oviraptor; but such a discrepancy is negligible in this context. If one truly wished to be especially pedantic, it would be a simple matter to settle upon calling the figure an unspecified Oviraptorosaur.
I’m reliably informed that a penny is the same size as a US cent.
Another drawback for some collectors may be its size. At just under 6cm tall and approximately 7cm long, it may be too diminutive for those who prefer a more robust, easily handled model. The presence of a base too may put off collectors who prefer their figures free-standing. For my part, however, small but perfectly formed things have always held my particular regard; and I think that this is surely one of the very finest Oviraptor toys to be had yet. The difficulty, of course, is the aforementioned scarcity of the thing. Auction sites like eBay now seem to be the best resort for getting hold of one.
Sometimeson eBay here.