After the release of a certain film having to do with dinosaurs in 1993, dromaeosaurs have captured the public imagination. While some are famous, such as the notorious Velociraptor and Utahraptor, there are many more obscure species as well. Kitadaniryu is a very mysterious dinosaur, as there is very little information about it available. Most likely it is the English translation for the Japanese term for Kitadanisaurus, which is known only from a tooth, claw, and possible limb and jaw fragments and is possibly a synonym of Fukuiraptor (which is most likely an allosauroid). In addition, it is a nomen nudum, as it was never formally described. No matter what the taxonomic status of Kitadaniryu is, this figure of it, made by Kaiyodo, is a very nice figure worth having.
Kaiyodo, a Japanese company famous for its Dinotales line of dinosaur figures, also produced several series of figures of Japanese animals, named Animatales. The Kitadaniryu is one of the three secret figures produced for the 6th series of Kaiyodo Animal Tales. So far, it is the only non-avian dinosaur in all of the Animatales series. Unlike the Dinotales figures, which usually come in 2 paint variations, the Kitadaniryu has 4 different paint styles. In addition to the one shown in this review, there are brown and green, red and black and purple, and white and yellow and black color schemes.
As for the figure itself, it’s very nice. While there isn’t very much that can be said about accuracy, it still follows the basic dromaeosaur anatomy. The sickle claw is enlarged, the snout is narrow, and most importantly the figure has a nice full coat of feathers (except for the head and feet). The sculpt is very well done as well. While not as impressive as the detailing on some of the Dinotales figures, the Kitadaniryu is adorned with nice feather textures, skin folds, and musculature. The feather detailing on this figure is more similar to “true” feathers found on birds today then the protofeathers that are often found on figures of feathered dinosaurs. This creates a unique feel to the figure.
While all of this figure’s different paint variations are nice in their own ways, the one featured in the review is probably the best. The body is a simple shade of black, and fades into white around the head and tail. A unique shade of pinkish orange colors the snout and feet, and the claws are painted dark grey. It’s simple yet very natural, and reminds one of an eagle of some sort.
The Animatales Kitadaniryu is a nice figure that is certainly worth getting. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Like the Dinotales figures, Animatales figures were only sold in Japan. Since the Kitadaniryu was a secret figure, it is even rarer than most Animatales figures. The best bet to acquiring it is on eBay, but most sellers who sell the Kitadaniryu will often charge exorbitant prices for it (sometimes even around $100!). If you are lucky, you’ll find a lot of various Animatales or Kaiyodo figures that has the Kitadaniryu in it. This lovely little figure is definitely worth the possible hardships in acquiring it, and makes a great addition to any collection.