For many western paleo-enthusiasts, the world of Japanese miniatures is chock-full of wonders both common and rare. The fact that Japan produces so many outstanding prehistoric replicas is made even more jarring by their tendency to be packaged with manufactured candy, a marketing move that would make both products seem casual or cheapened to an American consumer of disposable goods. Fortunately, the collecting bug transcends time and space. Anyone who’s had the pleasure of acquiring a miniature dinosaur from Japan knows there is nothing casual or cheap about these beautiful little treasures.
Like the popular Kaiyodo Dinotales, the Furuta series was originally sold with candy and requires some minor assembly. Snapping the pieces together is quick and easy, certainly a pleasurable ritual for collectors of any age. The Furuta figures are slightly larger, but consist of only a small number of species. Today we are privy to a glimpse of the ultimate duckbill dinosaur, Parasaurolophus. In this example, the elongated crest is highlighted in orange, lending a decidedly masculine quality to the appearance (by hadrosaur standards, that is).
Properly configured on all fours with an uplifted right forearm, this naturalistic reconstruction reveals a living animal that isn’t simply a mindless prey item for big carnivores. The broken patterns of green at least offer some hint of camouflage, though these animals were probably more dependent on herds for protection. In any case, it’s nice to see the effort in paint application, which is sometimes ignored by manufacturers who assume hadrosaurs are inherently dull animals. Also owing to the popularity of Furuta is their sculptor, renowned paleoartist Araki Kazunari, who is known for his work on the Favorite Co. line.
At just 3.5 inches long and fairly inexpensive, he can be added to any collection with minimal risk to wallet or real estate. The “DinoModels” line from Furuta is not exactly commonplace, but they do make appearances on eBay from time to time.