Kelenken (Deluxe model by CollectA)

This year’s new Collecta figures represent a huge leap forward from their rather ugly forebears, and one of the most handsome in the lineup is this sizeable model of the phorusrhacid ‘terror bird’ Kelenken guillermoi, released as part of the ‘Deluxe’ range. It’s a real treat for anyone who’s recently developed a fascination with these sadly extinct enormous carnivorous avians (as I have).

Kelenken had the largest head of any bird yet discovered, so it’s natural that this is the figure’s most striking feature, particularly as Collecta have chosen to give the animal a bright yellow beak. The speculative feathery display crest is a great touch, as is the red patch surrounding its tiny, beady yellow eyes – the miniscule size of which shows excellent attention to detail. The colouration overall is relatively drab, as might be expected for a flightless hunter, but there are splashes of blue and white on the wings, perhaps hinting at a (quite likely) communication/display role. Overall, it is subdued and naturalistic without being too dull, and the dark plumage certainly gives it a suitably threatening appearance.

Anatomically this is by and large an excellent model, correctly portraying the hugely elongated and hooked beak, stubby wings, and overall gracile build of Kelenken. (Although only the skull and parts of the feet have been discovered, there’s enough to determine that it was particularly gracile for a phorusrhacid, and therefore probably pretty nimble.) Impressively, it even stands up on two feet without falling over, although the rubbery nature of the plastic means that it probably shouldn’t be left on a windowsill for any length of time. Unfortunately, this means that the terror bird talons have been somewhat blunted and made more ‘hoof-like’, but it’s a fairly small concession to make for a stable figure (as is having the toes on the foot that’s furthest back bent in a rather odd way – lots of other theropod figures have done it).

Four paragraphs in – it must be nitpicking time. While it is excellently detailed in some areas (like the head), others are somewhat lacking. Not all of the plumage – for example on the wings – is particularly convincing in appearance. The tail fan especially is much too square and the feathers oddly uniform in length. Elsewhere, the large scales on the feet are represented by simple, horizontal bars – this is a shame as the recent Collecta Velociraptor had rather well-rendered scales on its toes. If nonavian theropods are so worthy, why not their birdy bretheren?

Still, this is one of  the best (out of the few) terror bird toys out there, and its impressive size and lively pose really catch your attention from across the room. A big yellow beak’s all well and good, but it’s the long stride, splayed wings and gleaming, sinister eyes that really make this figure come alive. Collecta’s Kelenken is a real stand-out figure – one of their best to date – and definitely worth hunting down.

12 Responses to Kelenken (Deluxe model by CollectA)

  1. Marc (Horridus)

    John: it’s rather too large for that sort of scale I’m afraid. Other phorusrhacid figures are a bit thin on the ground, but Kaiyodo did produce one in their Dinotales series that’s a lot smaller.

  2. Well, let’s just say I was hoping for 1:40 scale, or at worst 1:30.

  3. Marc (Horridus)

    John: it really depends on how large your Tyrannosaurus is. 😉 It’s getting on for 15cm tall.

  4. Any clue on this guy’s scale? I don’t want him the size of a Tyrannosaurus!

  5. Pingback: Rhomaleosaurus (CollectA) « The Dinosaur Toy Blog

  6. Ah. Didn’t know that. Well I learned something new today! 🙂

  7. Marc (Horridus)

    Griffin: “The foot claws of some phorusrhacids also support the idea that they used their feet in maiming or killing as the claws are laterally compressed, curved and sharp-tipped. That’s not necessarily the normal morphology for predatory birds, as many cursorial birds (and non-avian theropods) actually have rather blunt, stout foot claws.” From Darren Naish’s Tet Zoo v1

  8. I think its totally fine that the toe claws are not sharp. Any ground dweller that uses those toes for walking would have dulled claws anyway.

  9. Marc (Horridus)

    Erik: I got mine from the UK site, who do ship internationally, but in the US you can buy from Dan’s Dinosaurs (

  10. it really is much more wonderfull in reality than the stock photos, i must get one

  11. Lo mejor hecho hasta la fecha de pájaros extintos, y más si es del Mioceno. Una verdadera joya. Estoy contando los días para comprarlo

  12. Erick Fischert

    Where can I get this? the only sellers I found don´t ship to the US.

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