A few years back the Japanese manufacturer of kits and figurines known as Kaiyodo announced the release of their “Capsule Q Museum” series. The various collections that have been released cover everything from anime characters, animals, food and, thankfully, dinosaurs. This was great news because with the discontinuation of their Dinotales line we were all sorely missing the exquisitely made and highly accurate little dinosaurs and prehistoric animals necessary to own for any collector of prehistoric toys, kits and figurines. The first series released was the Tyrannosaurus Collection back in early 2013. The collection consists of 6 figurines; Tyrannosaurus, a feathered Tyrannosaurus, a Tyrannosaurus skull and skeleton, and the recently described feathered Yutyrannus. A special color variation of the feathered Tyrannosaurus is also available but seems to be sold separately from the rest of the set. Each figure comes with a small human for scale. In the case of the T. rex skeleton there is a human skeleton to compliment it and a human skull to go along with the T. rex skull.
If you’re familiar with Kaiyodo you’ll know that these models are very small but don’t assume that because they’re small that these models are inferior to larger models. These are inch for inch some of the most highly detailed and accurate figures that money can buy. These new Capsule Q models even outdo the Dinotales which is really saying something. Anyone in this hobby knows that the Japanese operate on an entirely different level when it comes to the production of dinosaur toys. They’re consistently the most accurate, well detailed and beautiful models available. As one of our forum members pointed out, it really says something when Japan can produce models sold alongside candy and attached to soda caps that outshine “museum quality” models in places like the UK and United States. If someone came to me asking for the most accurate and highest quality Tyrannosaurus money could buy, I would suggest the ones in this Kaiyodo series. But enough of all that lets review these things! As you can imagine though, the reviews will be pretty positive.
So to start with, let’s take a look at the more traditional non-feathered rex. Honestly this one is probably my favorite of all the figures but not due to an aversion for feathered tyrannosaurs. Mostly it is due to the posture, color and patterns. This rex stands perched upon a couple rocks with one foot stepping up on a larger rock. The figure is a mixture of various browns and covered with black speckles which give it a mottled appearance. It’s a believable combination of colors and patterns that are interesting to look at without being too toy-like or garish. Anatomically the figure is sound. Kaiyodo models are actually kind of hard to review; there isn’t anything usually worth complaining about. I suppose the base of the tail could be thicker but that is really a minor complaint, hardly worth mentioning.
The feathered rex is no less impressive in it’s sculpting but some of the paint choices and application I’m not so fond of. Striding forward on a flat base the figure is decked out in black plumage with a red crest of feathers on the head and red streaks down the back and tail along with some white streaks. Blue streaks are painted near the ears. Where the feathers end at the knees they’re painted brown, there is some brown on the lower jaw as well and yellow streaks along the sides. Those comments I made about the garish, toy-like paint job absent from the last figure do apply here. It looks like a child marked it up with some crayons. Luckily there is an alternative paint job for this otherwise stellar figure. It has a mostly brown color with several dark splotches and streaks and white edging in various places. It’s very reminiscent of various modern game birds. Unfortunately, I don’t own this particular variation.
Before we move on to the bony parts of the collection lets take a look at the Yutyrannus; everyone’s favorite recently discovered theropod. Another beautiful model here, standing in a static pose with mouth agape. The figure is covered in frosty blue and white plumage with black streaks over the white portions and white streaks over the blue. A yellow ridge runs along the snout. It’s a beautiful piece, the colors reminiscent of cold climate animals around today. To date only one other Yutyrannus has been produced but this one is by far the better of the two.
Finally, we have the skull and skeleton of our dear Tyrannosaurus. Back in 2010 our own Marc Vincent reviewed the Kaiyodo Dinotales Series 1 Tyrannosaurus skeleton with high praise. Forget about that thing, though impressive in its own right it is in this new T. rex skeleton that Kaiyodo has really shown their growth and commitment to quality. Bone for bone it appears to be an exact copy of a Tyrannosaurus skeleton…only tiny, like 2.3” tiny. It’s dynamically posed with one foot raised high off the ground as if lunging after some unseen prey. It’s actually the most interestingly posed figure of the bunch. The skull is equally impressive and jointed too so it can open and close. Truly these are like little museum pieces you can fit in a capsule. I’m no paleontologist but to my untrained eye these appear flawless. And as if that was not enough, they actually produce a human skull to sit alongside the rex skull!
Looking at these beautiful little figures one might lament them not being larger but while larger models like these would certainly be a wonderful thing it is the small size of Kaiyodo models that give them their charm and makes them so amazing to behold. If you haven’t given Kaiyodo a try for whatever reason I highly suggest you do and hope I’ve convinced you. You can start with this Tyrannosaurus series but there are literally hundreds of obscure and well known prehistoric animals to choose from, most for reasonable prices. If you’re interested in this particular collection eBay is a good place to start. Beware of high prices though, with a little hunting you can find the entire set for a reasonable price. If you’re comfortable with Japanese auction sites you can find them even cheaper still. However you get them, you won’t regret adding these gems to your collection. A Triceratops series has also been released for the Capsule Q Museum as well as a marine reptile series just this year. I promise that if I get around to reviewing them I’ll try not to swoon over them too much but honestly, how can I help it? What are Kaiyodo reviews if not simply singing their praise?
Available on Ebay.com here