Obscure dinosaur species only known from fragmentary remains are generally not made into toy form, but there are exceptions to every rule. Today we will look at Kaiyodo’s representation of Siamotyrannus isanensis, a poorly-known theropod from early Cretaceous Thailand.
Not much can be said as to the accuracy of this figure. Siamotyrannus is only known from pelvic bones and a few tail vertebrae, so its anatomy is not well-understood. Even its classification is uncertain – once thought to be a tyrannosauroid, a 2012 analysis classified it as a metriacanthasaurid. This figure seems to have been sculpted with the former classification in mind given the short two-fingered arms. This decision is understandable given that it was released in the early 2000s, before this genus’ placement in Metriacanthasauridae. Regardless of its classification, the figure depicts a generic large theropod quite nicely, with a well-muscled body and a detailed head. This is a well-fed animal – no shrink-wrapped theropods to be found here.
The figure is very dynamically posed – with its jaws open and legs mid-stride, one can easily imagine this Siamotyrannus chasing after a hapless prey animal or rushing to fight a territorial challenger. The high-quality details make this figure even more life-like. Our theropod’s eyes are focused forward at its target, and all its teeth are bared in an intimidating snarl. All this detail is even more impressive when considering the small size of the figure (3.5″/9 cm).
Adding to the life-like quality of this figure is the vibrant paint job. Though the color scheme features bright oranges and yellows, it does not appear garish at all. Part of this is thanks to the high quality control of Dinotales figures, which all feature precisely executed paint jobs. However, the figure does borrow its coloration from an extent animal – the Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocidulurus).*
Image from Wikimedia
There are two other relatively common paint variations of this figure that also borrow from extant animal color schemes – a black and yellow version colored like the gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) and a blue version reminiscent of the eastern collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris). However, the orange variant seems to be the most commonly available out of the three. There is also an extremely rare fourth brown variant that does not seem to be based on an extant animal (readers, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).
With its active pose and realistic detailing and color scheme, this small figure makes a great addition to any collection. Unfortunately acquiring it is easier said than done, as this figure was a special release outside of the normal Dinotales Series 1 set and is rarely offered. It is occasionally available on eBay or other auction sites, but usually for exorbitant prices (upwards of $50). Your best bet is to browse through various Dinotales or Kaiyodo figure lots and hope this figure is included in one of them. However you manage to acquire it, this little Siamotyrannus is certainly worth the effort.
*Credit goes to Andre Mursch (brontodocus), founder of the Kaiyodo Dinotales Reference Galleries, for discovering the extant reptile species that served as color templates for this figure’s variations.