Coelophysis (Dinotales Series 5 by Kaiyodo)

Review and photographs by Federreptil, edited by Suspsy

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This dinosaur is one of my absolute favorites in the collection. The Coelophysis by Kaiyodo is special in several ways. First, there are only a few figures from the Triassic–the dawn of the dinosaurs. Second, there are also only a few models of small dinosaurs in a scale that matches the large models, nearly 1:30. And finally, there are not many small models which are so fine detailed and simply looking good.

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Coelophysis is a small and nimble predator that lived in large groups near rivers about 220 million years ago. One of the main sites is the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, where fossils of more than 1,000 specimens have been excavated. This dinosaur was one of the first to have all the typical characteristics of theropods: the upright walk on two legs, the long balancing tail, and a long, pointed snout full of spiky teeth. Not for a long time yet would dinosaurs like Coelophysis be at the top of the food pyramid, but it was flexible enough to survive the major extinction at the end of the Triassic. The swarm of Ghost Ranch might be victims of a natural disaster.

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The model appears–as common for Kaiyodo–in two colour versions. The pose is alert and agile, a large S-curve from head to tail. This makes the whole animal appear to be under energetic tension. It prances about, ready to jump on one foot, and has its head raised high, all its senses directed attention to the environment. Coelophysis had to keep watch to avoid becoming easy prey for the Postosuchus or other crocodile ancestors.

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The slender theropod is about 7 cm long, which means a scale of 1:30 based on an original length of 2 m. It goes well with models of other contemporaries of the Upper Triassic. Typical of Kaiyodo is the solid polystyrene material that allows very subtle textures on the head and body. The fine arms and thin tail always bear some risks of breakage. The Dinotales figures are always assembled from several elements. There are five parts in an excellent fit, so the seams remain almost invisible. This gives the figure a small mobility, so slight variations are possible in groups for more vitality.

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The Dinotales Series 5 of Kaiyodo was released in 2004 in Japan as an adjunct to CC Lemon bottles. The little blindbags (with one of ten different characters in one of two color versions) included this leaflet, which contained some information about the series and the species of the model. Today, Coelophysis figures can usually be found ‘used’ without packaging and booklet in Asia on Ebay.

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