Ever since a certain motion picture was released in the early 90’s, dromaeosaurs have been ingrained into popular culture. Commonly referred to as raptors (much to the dismay of ornithologists), most people see them as swift killing machines that could hunt down anything using their vicious sickle claws. What most people don’t know is that they had feathers, probably covering their entire bodies. This common misconception is reflected in the dinosaur toy market, where most dromaeosaur figures lack feathers. The Deinonychus by Kaiyodo is one of the few dromaeosaur figures with a full coating of feathers.
Sadly, even the nice amount of feathers on this Deinonychus isn’t perfectly accurate. It had long been suspected that dromaeosaurs had large feathers on their arms starting on the second finger. This was proven in 2007, when quill knobs were discovered on fossils from a Velociraptor’s arm. In addition, dromaeosaurs most likely had a pygostyle, which means that there would be large feathers towards the end of the tail. These are all recent discoveries though, and this figure was made before they were confirmed. Most likely the sculptor wished to take a more conservative approach, only sculpting what was known from solid proof.
The actual sculpt, aside from the lack of feathers, is excellent. It is quite a dynamically posed. Deinonychus has its arms spread wide apart, with its feet firmly planted onto some rocks. Its head and tail are raised high, the head full of alertness. Once can imagine the base being part of a raging river, with Deinonychus carefully crossing it rock by rock. Like all other Dinotales figures, the detailing on this 8 ½ cm figure is exquisite. The feathers are made clear, and the fingers and toes have birdlike texturing, with scaly wrinkles. Powerful legs are shown nicely with well done musculature. However, there is one glaring issue with the detailing. The upper jaw has no teeth! Usually Dinotales figures have a bit more precision than this. The lack of teeth on the upper jaw is especially strange since they are present on the lower jaw.
Ocher brown with beige and grayish brown markings adorns most of this figure. This fades into a chocolate brown tail and white underbelly. The insides of the mouth are painted a soft pink, and the teeth (the ones that are there at least) are all individually painted with perfect precision. A lovely amber color gives the eyes life, but doesn’t stand out much from the rest of the body. Turquoise makes the crest of feathers on top of the dromaeosaur’s head quite prominent, indicating that the crest was used for display. Even the base is well painted, with the water being a natural shade of blue along with little white stripes to indicate water movement and current. The colors on this figure are rather simple compared to some other Dinotales figures, but they are very natural and the whole thing works.
While it’s not the best of Dinotales figures, the Deinonychus is one of the best dromaeosaur figures out there and is still nice to have, especially for dromaeosaur fans. Acquiring this figure can be a bit tricky. The Deinonychus is from Series 3, the only series to be sold in America, albeit in limited quantities and under the name “DinoMania”. Sadly, they haven’t been in America for around four years at the time of writing (2010). A few websites, such as this one might have some for sale, but if they do they will only have a small amount of them. Sometimes they will pop up on eBay for no more than a few dollars. In the end, the combination of the dynamic pose and full feathering make this a nice figure worth owning.