Pachycephalosaurus is the largest and most well recognized member of the dome-headed dinosaurs. It lived at the end of the Cretaceous 66-65 million years ago and therefore would have been amongst the last non-avian dinosaurs ever to be alive. It coexisted with other well known dinosaurs like Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus. Today I will be talking about Kaiyodo’s wonderful rendition of this thick-headed reptile.
If you didn’t already know, the Japanese company known as Kaiyodo, produced several lines of miniature dinosaur models called “Dinotales” that were included as little prizes to go along with snack food items (mostly chocolate as far as I know). The series that this particular piece belonged to, series 5, was included with some sort of lemon flavored soft drink. (Please someone correct me if I am wrong.) Honestly, I really don’t care to talk about soda though. I’m here to talk about dinosaur toys (totally more respectable).
This Pachycephalosaurus, like all members of the Dinotales line that I know of, is very up to date with regards to accuracy. The head looks just like specimens of pachycephalosaurus that have been unearthed right down to the placement of the spikes and horns around the face and head. It has been proposed that Pachycephalosaurus was sexually dimorphic (males and females looked different) since some specimens of the same size have larger spikes and slightly higher domes than others (No I am not talking about Stygimoloch). According to this logic this model seems to be modeled after a male Pachycephalosaurus. They also captured the distinct, almost rectangular shaped lower jaw that this animal had. The arms are correct in that they are angled with the palms facing each other. Much like theropod dinosaurs, dinosaurs belonging to Marginocephalia (pachycephalosaurs and ceratopsids) also held their front limbs in this position. It has the correct number and of digits on its hands and feet AND they are the right lengths! The body is wide right down to the base of the tail where it dramatically narrows down to a stiffened tail (another pachycephalosaur trademark feature that is often missed by toy companies). Seriously, if you want a good representation of Pachycephalosaurus, look to this guy. The only teeny tiny itsy bitsy thing that I find questionable is found at the tip of the snout. See those little finely sculpted things? Yeah, those are teeth (I hope they are visible in the photos). Yes they were present in the actual animal but the general consensus is that in life, the beak would have covered those up when the mouth was closed. It’s debatable though.
Detail is fantastic. This model is only about three inches long and yet it is covered in minute detail work. It has plenty of wrinkles and even individually sculpted bumpy scales in certain places. It has what appear to be osteoderms (bony scales like those found on crocodiles) running down its back. The face has tiny fine raised bumps on the snout and the teeth can even be seen protruding from the upper jaw. There are finely sculpted raised bumps also adorning the tail. As mentioned earlier the fingers and toes are also individually sculpted.
The pose is cool but also very overdone for this kind of dinosaur. Its head is lowered out in front and one leg is raised up as if its getting ready to headbutt something. It seems that more than half of all Pachycephalosaurus reconstructions are depicted in this pose (kinda like Tyrannosaurus seems to never want to close its mouth in paleo-art). but I really wont complain. I suppose if it was sitting there with its head in a resting pose it would appear boring.
I really like…no I LOVE this model’s colors. The dinotales models featured in series five through seven each came in two alternate color schemes ( I guess to double the number of products being pumped out without having to make new molds while still enticing collectors). This version has a base color of deep crimson with black on the upper part of the body. The horns and osteoderms are yellow and there is a dull yellow star pattern on the dome. The eyes are white with black pupils, the underbelly is gray as are the claws and the rocky base it stands on. The teeth are not painted (better off if you ask me). The alternate colors for this particular model are a golden body with soft grayish-blue bands all over on a brown base. I specifically wanted to obtain the red version though because if reminded me of another Pachycephalosaurus figure from my childhood that is very near and dear to my heart.
All in all, I say this is a fantastic model. It’s pretty much the best representation of a Pachycephalosaurus right now that I know of. Figures from Series 5 tend to be more rare and sellers online like to offer them for really unfair prices. I obtained mine for fewer than 10 US dollars so be patient if you yourself are on the hunt for one.