Category Archives: Kaiyodo

Allosaurus (Kaiyodo Dinotales 1:20 Collection)

A couple years back I put together a poll on the Dinosaur Toy Forum with the goal of compiling a top ten list of the best Allosaurus toys ever produced. It was no small task, up until the 1990’s the Allosaurus only played second fiddle to Tyrannosaurus in the popularity contest. Since then other theropods have pushed it down the list; Velociraptor, Spinosaurus, Carnotaurus to name a few. Allosaurus is still a favorite of mine though. A perfectly proportioned, generalized predator that ruled the Jurassic, even if it was not among the largest theropods it was certainly one of the most successful. That top 10 list ended up with a lot of great contenders and naturally the Papo Allosaurus won the day. At the time I had considered this 1:20 scale Allosaurus by Kaiyodo to be the best Allosaurus figure. It was a perfect blend of accuracy, size, detail, craftsmanship. But I didn’t own the thing at that time, and now I do. So now that I have it in-hand how does it hold up? Is it worth the often expensive price tag? Is it truly the best Allosaurus out there?

Standing 9” tall and measuring about 17” long, this rendition of the Jurassic carnivore is certainly going to take up some shelf space and draw attention in a crowd. The heavy detailing only helps in this regard. Raised scutes are immediately noticeable along the back and reminiscent of those on a crocodile. Wrinkled folds of skin are sculpted along the neck, around the shoulders and legs, and down the length of the tail. The head is adorned with not only those diagnostic brown horns but smaller hornlets at the corners of the mouth. That said, the detailing seems to suddenly diminish below the knees, on the arms, and along the underside where the body is nearly smooth in some places, with only a minimal hint of scales and other bodily adornments. The feet have those bird-like scutes we’ve come to expect on theropod models but the sudden lack of detail on these parts is rather jarring. Obvious seams along the neck, jaw, arms, knees, and tail don’t help enhance the realism of this piece either.

The accuracy here is pretty good. I can’t find much to complain about but some will no doubt consider this model to be shrink-wrapped. The torso is nicely rounded with the extremities lean and muscular. The head is quite obviously Allosaurus and even the neutral facing hands posses the enlarged thumb claw so frequently omitted. The tail base could use some thickening but overall this is a very modern looking Allosaurus with some obvious Greg Paul influences. This model was sculpted by Matsumura Shinobu whose other dinosaurs are in very much the same style which seems to be popular in Japan, where this model originates.

The most off-putting feature on this model is its lack-luster, static posture. Not only are both feet planted flat on the ground, but the knees are not bent at all, giving the figure an unnatural appearance. In fact, without some kind of support the model will tilt back and rest on its tail and looks like one of those fainting goats. The mouth is open with the arms just sort of dangling there. This is a shame because it makes for a really unnatural looking pose on a very life-like sculpture.

This model comes in a couple different color schemes with mine being the brown variant painted in yellowish, sandy color tones. The claws are a dark brown color, teeth white, inside of the mouth, pink, and the eyes meticulously painted orange with yellow irises and black pupils. The other variant is green in color. Other colors exist of this model as well, including one that’s entirely painted blue. But the blue model also possesses minor sculptural differences too and is a part of the Kaiyodo Dinoland collection, unlike this piece.

All in all my opinion about this model has changed little upon seeing it. It’s still a fantastic piece and easily among the best Allosaurus figures out there. For its price point however there are some glaring issues that must be acknowledged. Lazy detailing, visible seams, and an uninspired pose all conspire against what is simultaneously one of the most detailed and accurate Allosaurus models to date. I was able to acquire mine for about $35 but the prices vary a lot and seems to have gone up recently, especially on eBay where they range between $30- $188! Even the cheaper models have expensive shipping prices so buyers beware. In the end though this is a must have model for those who are still fans of this once popular but now forgotten theropod.

Rayonnoceras (Series 2 by Kaiyodo)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

In my last review, I mentioned how Palaeozoic creatures are rarely produced in toy form. There is, however, a group that is even rarer: prehistoric invertebrates. Outside of toob sets and the Bullyland figures, they are incredibly hard to find immortalized in plastic. Once again, Kaiyodo is here to give us some obscure gems, such as today’s subject matter: Rayonnoceras, a cephalopod from the Carboniferous of Arkansas, US.

As usual, Kaiyodo presents stunning details on a relatively small figure, this one being 3.8” long and 0.5” high (1.2” with the rock base). The texture of the shell is extraordinary, with exquisite sutures leading to a well-sculpted head and tentacles. The mix of black, gold, and pinks really help it stand out, highlighting the details perfectly. The pose is fairly dull, however. I feel they could have done more with it, like giving the tentacles some movement, but it still works.

In terms of accuracy, Kaiyodo again has it correct. The length of the shell and segmentation are all there, with the head giving the classic look of cephalopods. If I were to make a minor nitpick, it would that the siphuncle is not very clearly shown, tending to get mixed in with the tentacles. Otherwise, all good.

Ancient invertebrates are so underused in toy format, and looking at this, it’s hard to say why. They may not be as recognisable as dinosaurs, but they are bizarre and amazing in their own right, not just tiny, insignificant creatures. eBay is your best bet for finding this figure, and I’d say it’s worth getting.

Hemicyclaspis (Series 3 by Kaiyodo)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

Outside of Dimetrodon and more recently, Dunkleosteus, toy companies rarely produce species from the Palaeozoic era. Maybe it’s due to them not being as large or as popular as dinosaurs. In any case, there are relatively few of the amazing and bizarre creatures from this huge expanse of time.

Enter Kaiyodo to put this right! As a creator of small capsule figures, they lend themselves well to the smaller species of this era, such as today’s subject: Hemicyclaspis, a jawless fish of the Ordivician of Europe and North America.

At 2.8” long and 1” wide, it is a very small figure, although this suits an animal that was only 5” long in life. In spite of this small size, Kaiyodo did not scrimp on the detail. The detailing is astonishing, with every scale and pit well-represented, helped by a fantastic paint scheme that is appropriately placed and coloured for a bottom-dwelling detritivore. This really is a gem of a figure. The pose is simple, but it works well here. With the anatomy of Hemicyclaspis, an extremely dynamic pose really isn’t possible.

Speaking of anatomy, this is an extremely accurate figure. The shovel-like head is there, with a very armoured look. The small pectoral fins are correct, along with the small dorsal fin and flattened tail. No complaints, all good.

All in all, this is a gorgeous little figure, well worth picking up. It is also the easiest of the two members of its family to get, as the only other figure from this group to be made, the Starlux Cephalaspis, has become very rare and rather expensive. eBay is your best bet for finding this figure, and it is well worth it.