Tag Archives: Coelophysis

Coelophysis (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

Review and photos by Patrick ‘Patrx’ Bate

Available from Amazon.com here

Quick! Name a Triassic dinosaur. Odds are you thought of Coelophysis, or perhaps you intentionally named a different one just to be clever, but Coelophysis may yet be the most famous of the lot. With well over a thousand specimens known to science, (including those that were once called Longosaurus, Rioarribasaurus, Syntarsus, and Megapnosaurus,) it’s one of the best known dinosaurs of all. Lightly-built, bipedal, and armed with an array of sharp teeth, Coelophysis is the very model of a theropod dinosaur. It appears frequently in books and documentaries as an example of what made dinosaurs successful early in their evolution. However, Coelophysis is rarely represented in toy form, which makes this new figure from Safari particularly interesting!

Although often annotated as a “small” dinosaur, Coelophysis was hardly miniscule, measuring about three metres (9.8 ft) in length. This puts the 18.4 cm Safari version at about 1:16 scale. The animal has been sculpted in a calm standing pose, with its mouth shut and its head turned to the left. The tail arcs gently downward, acting as a tripod support. It may be that the figure was designed to stand without the aid of the tail, but unfortunately, the feet on my own copy do not appear to rest flatly on the ground. The overall proportions are a close match to the fossil material, with a long tail, long neck, and delicately built, bird-like legs. The fine details are there, too, despite the figure’s relative smallness. The skull is actually pretty unusual, featuring a very triangular shape, and a pronounced subnarial gap just behind first maxillary tooth. The figure’s small, grasping hands, are rendered with similar veracity, each featuring three functional digits and one barely-visible vestigial fourth digit embedded in the hand.

Excluding the scaly texture of the snout, hands, and feet, the body of this Coelophysis is covered in short, simple filaments. Though this might seem overly-speculative to some, it isn’t a particularly recent notion; Coelophysis has been restored with feathery structures beginning as early as 1975. This fluff remains thoroughly plausible today, and provides the model with an active, bird-like demeanour which I find quite suitable. The pebbly reticulate scales on the snout are similarly believable, but I do wonder about the flat scutes on the fingers and toes. The figure’s jaws are reconstructed without any sign of “lip” tissue, the truth of which is hard to determine and subject to active debate.

A particularly dynamic set of colours and patterns was chosen here, and I approve of the overall effect. Rusty brown colours the dorsal surface and head, abruptly switching to a pale off-white beyond a black lateral band. The snout is colored in faded blue, with red along the lacrimal ridges, and the tail ends in bands of black and off-white. As is common for mass-produced PVC figures, the application of paint is somewhat imperfect. The black band, in particular, looks a little like the work of a flat paint marker.

I do wish I could get mine to stand a little better, but the tripod stance is much less distracting here than it is in some other figures. Personally, I think it’s great that Safari doesn’t stick to one scale, lest this little beast be reduced to a tiny 1:40, but the inconsistency may put off some collectors. In all, this is a very charming and long-overdue representation of a famous but rarely-seen dinosaur. It’d be easy to overlook it in the wealth of brilliant toys that have appeared this year, so I encourage most anyone to pick it up!

Available from Amazon.com here

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.

Coelophysis (Jurassic Hunters by Geoworld)

Review and photos by Nathan ‘Takama’ Morris, edited by amargasaurus cazaui and Suspsy

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s about time we got to reviewing more of the wide selection of Geoworld’s Jurassic Hunters prehistoric animals, and what better way to start this trend off than with a creature that hails from the Triassic? Yes, I am going to review a Coelophysis.

Coelophysis was a scrawny-looking dinosaur from the Late Triassic sediments of North America and it is one of the best understood animals of that time period due in part to the massive bone bed found in New Mexico which gave scientists an almost complete understanding of its skeletal anatomy. It was even once thought to have been cannibalistic thanks to a specimen with what appeared to be a baby in its stomach region, but later studies have shown that the latter was a completely different animal.

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Geoworld is infamous for two reasons, first being that they blatantly rip off artwork from the Internet to use for their fact cards without the owner’s permission, and second that they claim their models are scientifically sound when they appear to be otherwise. I’m not here to talk about whether or not the card that came with my Coelophysis is ripped off. In fact, I’m not going to talk about the card, and instead refer you to the DTF thread dedicated to this issue. We are going to discuss the model here.

The Geoworld Coelophysis is arguably the best model one can buy of the species on the current market. That’s saying something, since most of our readers agree that most of Geoworld’s other dinosaurs are almost Chinasaur quality.

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The model is in a horizontal pose and is glued to a base. The proportions are undeniably perfect for this species, although I think the tail could use a little more muscle. The number of fingers on the hands is correct, and the shape of the head is unmistakable, though it lacks the family’s signature tooth notch.

For most people, the colors are what would likely put them off. The animal is painted a bright yellow with maroon stripes and spots. The feet are a much darker yellow, and almost look dirty. The claws are black, the eyes are a brighter yellow than the rest of the figure, and the teeth are your typical toy dinosaur white.

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Overall, this is a fine model of a rare species from Geoworld, one the few gems in their collection. Needless to say, I am proud to own this along with all the other Jurassic Hunters Dinosaurs, and no, I’m not being biased in this review (as I was with the Previous Jurassic Hunters dinosaurs I reviewed). I think it’s a really good model. If you want one, you can get it at Dejankins along with the rest of the Jurassic Hunters lineup. Its also available on Amazon and Ebay.