Category Archives: Kaiyodo

Triceratops (Advance Megasofubi by Kaiyodo)

Review and Photographs by Triceratops83, edited by Suspsy

Triceratops is one dinosaur that needs no introduction, as it has been represented in toy and model form literally hundreds of times. Also needless of an introduction is the Japanese brand Kaiyodo, responsible for some of the very best plastic and vinyl dinosaur interpretations. The latest one is today’s subject: the Kaiyodo Advance Megasofubi Triceratops.

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This finished model, part of the Mega Soft Vinyl Advance Series (the other one so far is an African elephant), was sculpted by Matsumura Shinobu and is a strikingly accurate and handsome piece. It is in 1:20 scale and just shy of 40 cm long, putting it in the arena of larger dinosaur figures.

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This Triceratops is well-proportioned and quite accurate in its dimensions. The back is rounded and reaches its highest point above the hips. The tail is suitably short for a chasmosaurine. The front legs are slightly sprawled apart and all of the limbs have the correct number of digits. The hide is wrinkled and interspersed with the round, raised scales known for this animal. The skull is large and appears to have been sculpted with a keratinous covering on the face and frill.

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The Megasofubi Trike improves on the previous Kaiyodo 1:20 Dinoland version, which had straight front limbs and a smallish head. The only anatomical drawback is the lack of cheeks, which we are so accustomed to seeing portrayed in ornithischians that it looks odd by their absence here. The paint job is nothing special: olive green over a lighter grey green, but it looks natural enough nonetheless.

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All in all. the Kaiyodo Megasofubi Triceratops is an astounding model and, lack of cheeks aside, is one of the most accurate to date. It is easily available from eBay and Amazon, though the price varies wildly, with $200 being about average. Alternatively, you could search for the unfinished model in kit form from a Japanese store, which would come cheaper. I highly recommend this model to the serious collector.

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Acrocanthosaurus Skeleton (Kaiyodo Dinotales Series 3)

While most of us prefer to collect dinosaur figures representing living animals there is something to be said about skeletal reconstructions as well. After all, we don’t really know what most dinosaurs looked like, almost everything we know about them comes from the ancient bones we’ve dug up and reassembled. Dinosaur reconstructions require a great deal of speculation and artistic license to bring the animal to life. But when you stop and look at a skeleton you’re not looking at something speculative, you’re looking at the real deal, the bare bones if you will excuse the pun. This is as close to the real animal as you’ll ever get. The bones are real, no imagination required. Obviously there are very few of us who can collect actual dinosaur bones, let alone complete skeletons. But for those who want to appreciate the internal architecture of these long dead animals there are several affordable options, including this Acrocanthosaurus by Kaiyodo.

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Now obviously something like this is a far cry from the actual skeleton of this animal, just in scale alone. That said Kaiyodo has done an amazing job at faithfully reconstructing dinosaur skeletons in miniature. The majority of them are spot on matches for their larger counterparts and when the figurine measures less than 4” you can really appreciate the detail work that goes into them.

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The Kaiyodo Acrocanthosaurus skeleton is a companion piece to the wonderful little Kaiyodo Acrocanthosaurus, which for a long time was the best Acrocanthosaurus produced in plastic. In pose it is identical and actually resembles the skeleton on display at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. All of the hallmark features of Acrocanthosaurus are here. The skull is long and narrow with prominent antorbital fenestra. Tall neural spines run down the length of the back with more narrowly spaced spines above the hips. Along with these hallmark characteristics of Acrocanthosaurus the rest of the skeleton looks faithfully reproduced as well with proportions correctly conveyed and even the smallest bones discernable.

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The bones are all painted a nice golden color, with spaces between the ribs painted black helping to accentuate the individual bones. The model stands on a gray base and the pose can be adjusted somewhat. The legs slide into the hips on small pegs and the figure can be pivoted up and down as desired.

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The Kaiyodo Acrocanthosaurus skeleton is a great piece to display with their live reconstruction and other Kaiyodo dinosaur skeletons. It’s an easy to find little figurine as well, selling on eBay for less than $10.00.

Tyrannosaurus (Kaiyodo Dinotales Series 5)

With its head tilted back and puny arms stretched out the Kaiyodo Dinotales series 5 Tyrannosaurus presents the genus in a unique posture not often depicted in the mass market. This animal clearly has something to say; perhaps he’s attempting to impress a mate or reaffirming his dominance. Whatever the case, poses like this are rare, they show us dinosaurs actually doing something and for a genus so well represented in this hobby it’s nice to have this kind of diversity. That said, in an age where Tyrannosaurus is getting an image makeover models like this just aren’t holding up well.

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The figurine stands about 2.5” tall and measures 3” in length. It’s a small figure, as should be expected with any Dinotales model. Although dynamically posed and well-crafted this Tyrannosaurus is definitely on the supple side and could easily be labeled as “shrink wrapped”. Furthermore, it just doesn’t look like the hulking beast that has recently become more in vogue. One only needs to look at the upcoming Wild Safari Tyrannosaurus to see where depictions of this animal are heading.

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The arms are too long and spindly, chest too skinny, the head too shallow, and the base of the tail weakly muscled. This figurine could probably pass well as a juvenile; trying to assert his claim in a world populated by older, larger, more experienced Tyrannosaurus. The model could also stand-in well for one of the smaller, lither tyrannosaur species like Gorgosaurus; especially with those prominent brow horns.

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Like a lot of the Dinotales figurines you can get this one in a couple different paint schemes. Mine is the more common chocolate brown with pink chest variant, with yellow bands and spots along the back. The other version is similar, just with more spotting instead of bands. The attention to detail is where you would expect it to be from Kaiyodo with a lot of wrinkles and skin folds sculpted in appropriate places. The nails, teeth, and eyes are all meticulously sculpted and painted. Some scales can be seen on the muzzle and feet. The model stands on a flat brown base with black speckling.

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In a world flooded with Tyrannosaurus this one is interesting enough to seek out for its interesting pose. The problem is that it just doesn’t look all that much like how a Tyrannosaurus should, at least not anymore but it’s still a nice little piece, worth picking up for true fans of this classic dinosaur.