Category Archives: Kaiyodo

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.

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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