Tyrannosaurus (skeleton) (Dinotales Series 1 by Kaiyodo)

The Dinotales series is well-known for high-fidelity detail at a preposterously small scale and low price. Even so, I must admit to having been sceptical as to Kaiyodo’s ability to successfully recreate highly complex dinosaur skeletons – such as this Tyrannosaurus – at the same minute size as their fleshed out reconstructions. Of course, they’ve managed it with aplomb (mostly), and I’m an idiot.

Expecting absolute scientific accuracy at this level of miniaturisation – and in a mass-produced product – feels like asking for the moon on a stick, or an articulated Spinosaurus skeleton with skin impressions, or for people to stop publishing stupid names for dinosaurs (TOPICAL JOKE ALERT). You’ve got to hand it to Kaiyodo then – take one look at this thing that could fit inside a Kinder Egg and you can’t help but be impressed. While I’m not going to start counting the individual bones to make sure they match up with a real Tyrannosaurus skeleton (I’m not getting a wage for this, you know), you get everything that would be included in most museum mounts – that is, the gastralia are absent, as is the furcula. But that’s pretty much it…

British penny included for scale.

Oh, and the first toe on each foot. While it feels unreasonable to call them out for this, the two digits on each hand are individually separated, and a hallux would be about the same size as them, so yeah. Take that, Kaiyodo! Or not. I’m being very churlish. Everything else is rather impressive – the skull in particular is excellent. While the teeth are reduced to tiny nubs at this scale, all of the skull openings are present – including the temporal fenestrae, which I thought they wouldn’t bother with – and the skull is the correct shape, something other toy makers can’t get right when they have a lot more room for manoeuvre.

The only aspect of this figure I’m not so fond of is the pose. In profile it looks fine – making a perfect companion piece to the Dinotales S1 flesh-on Tyrannosaurus. What’s not so clear unless you see this toy from multiple angles is that the right foot is, in fact, aligned behind the left one, meaning that the leg crosses over to the other side of the body. In fact, it nearly touches the pubis. The bones of the left leg, meanwhile, actually contact the pubis. I can’t help but feel that, unless this was a terrifyingly skinny Tyrannosaurus, this sort of stance wouldn’t be possible in life. The choice of pose seems all the stranger when the life-reconstruction Tyrannosaurus from the same series does, of course, take account of the animal’s flesh.

However, this is rather nitpicking. What we have here is still a great little figure, and the perfect accompaniment to the  S1 Tyrannosaurus. I think it’s wonderful that Kaiyodo have produced both skeletal and life reconstructions, at a tiny scale, that can be displayed side-by-side, and I’d definitely recommend buying this alongside its meatier counterpart if you can. Another top-notch figure from Kaiyodo.

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