Tag Archives: Deinonychus

Feathered Dinosaurs Premium Box by Colorata

This year has seen toy companies embrace feathered dinosaurs like never before, if not always with perfect execution. Accuracy stalwarts like Safari Ltd and especially Kaiyodo have been giving us feathered dinosaurs for years, but now even Papo and Schleich are getting on the plumage train. Another late convert is Japanese company Colorata. Colorata, named after the specific epithet of a butterfly, is best-known for exquisitely rendered PVC figurines of extant animals. They have also produced several sets of prehistoric animals, some of which are very nice–in particular, they have made some beautiful pterosaurs. To date, however, their only feathered dinosaur has been Archaeopteryx from their “Dino Jurassic” boxed set. Their two “Dino Cretaceous” boxed sets are still in production, and feature featherless versions of animals like Velociraptor and Deinonychus. This year, finally, they have released their largest prehistoric set yet: the Premium Feathered Dinosaurs box.

Colorata Feathered Dinosaurs

This set features seven different animals known or hypothesized by inference to have feathers. The first thing to note is that these figures are much larger than previous releases from Colorata. The sculpts are all lovely, but they contain errors that will irk the more accuracy-obsessed among us. Let’s take a look at each.

First up: Tyrannosaurus. To my eye, this is a believable quantity of feathering, leaving bare the few areas known from skin impressions to have borne scales. Incidentally, although all seven of these figures come with bases that they balance on with the help of acrylic support rods, this is the only figure in the set that stands solidly on its own off the base. This is by far the largest dinosaur Colorata has made, about 20 centimeters long, or around 1:55-1:60 scale. The tail comes in a separate piece and attaches unobtrusively.

Colorata feathered Tyrannosaurus

Next up is Oviraptor, though the head, like most other figures of this genus, seems to be modeled after Citipati. It’s about 14 cm long, around 1:15 scale. The white color scheme with the tan belly and legs is a daring choice, but I think it works. As has become de rigueur for Oviraptor, there are brighter colors around the face. The hands are sculpted in the correct orientation, and spread out–and naked. Fossils of close relatives of Oviraptor such as Caudipteryx and Similcaudipteryx show that it would have had vaned feathers that extended onto the digits, not stopping at the wrist as on this figure. This omission mars an otherwise attractive figure, as well as several others in the set.

Colorata Oviraptor

Like this Deinonychus. This is one of the finest plastic models of the genus ever made, recreating the dynamic pose of the earlier, and smaller, featherless version. Nevertheless, the hands are missing the primary feathers that Deinonychus is almost certain to have had, and the body feathers adhere to the underlying form too closely, giving the animal a slightly wet look. This figure is larger than the previous Colorata version, coming in at around 1:20 scale.

Colorata feathered Deinonychus

The Velociraptor follows more or less the same pattern: larger than the previous incarnation (a bit over 11 cm long, 1:18 scale), with feathers, but not enough feathers. The feathers along the arm flex with the wind under the animal as it jumps, a nice touch, but the hands are again glaringly naked. This won’t spoil it for everyone, but it might prove intolerable for those who are sticklers for complete feathering. At the same time, for the moment, maniraptorans with 100% accurate feathers are pretty thin on the ground.

Colorata feathered Velociraptor

The Dilong fares a bit better. It’s more distantly related to birds than Deinonychus or Oviraptor are, and the basically hairlike feathers look believable here. This might be my favorite of the set, perhaps in part because of the blue coloration. It’s a species that Colorata hasn’t attempted before, and it comes in at about 11 cm long, or 1:18 scale.

Colorata Dilong

Sinosauropteryx was one of the discoveries that convinced skeptics that feathers must have been fairly widespread among theropods. Its feathering reflects the distribution seen in the fossil, and its position in the family tree of coelurosaurs, more distant from birds. This is one of the few fossil animals from which we know a little bit about the color pattern, and remains suggest that it had bands of reddish and white on the tail, which would have looked nice on this figure. But the part that bothers me is that it has a strong overbite. It might just be a molding error, but the lower jaw is much too short, making it look just a tiny bit goofy. This figure is just a shade bigger than the Kaiyodo version, about 1:13 scale.

Colorata Sinosauropteryx

The Microraptor is another attractive sculpt, with a beautiful base featuring a cycad trunk. But like its larger relatives, it suffers from incomplete feathering on the hands, and a slightly misshapen tail. Finally, studies of fossilized melanosomes (subcellular structures that store dark pigments) suggest that the black coloration on Microraptor was more extensive. Still, an elegant little figure if you can look past those flaws. It’s about 7 cm long, or about 1:13 scale.

Colorata Microraptor

Some previous Colorata releases have featured pegs on the feet of the animals, with holes in the bases to receive them. Thus, the animals couldn’t stand on any other surface. Most of the new ones don’t stand well on their own, either, but the fact that they don’t have foot pegs makes them much less distracting when removed from the bases for play time. In that sense, and in the sense that they are at least a good-faith effort at feathering, these are an improvement over previous Colorata versions of theropods. However, there are more accurate versions of almost all of these animals available, and the price tag of this set is commensurate with the larger-than-usual figures (about the equivalent of $70 USD in Japan, and up to twice that much elsewhere). If you’re willing to shell out for them, and you don’t mind a few reconstruction mistakes, you can find them on auction sites, or get them from a retailer that deals in Japanese imports or exports.

Deinonychus (Paleo-Creatures by Jesus Toledo)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Back in 2014, I was looking for a second person to help me out in creating figurines of my own, and I eventually found out about Dinotoyforum member Jesus Toledo AKA Jetoar’s creations. So I thought I would commission him to do a one of a kind line of models for me in a 1:32 scale. But things did not work out as I originally planned since he had some restrictions at the time on what models he could make. However, I did do him a favour by helping him start up his own line of figures, simply dubbed Paleo-Creatures, which I hope is getting him the profits he deserves. He is even selling his figurines at a museum in Madrid, and is selling a supply of them at Everything Dinosaur. Recently, he changed his plans for the line and decided to strictly work in a 1:35 scale, which is common for dinosaurs in this day and age.

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The model I purchased from Jetoar is the 1:35 scale replica of the once-world famous dromaeosaur, Deinonychus antirrhopus, which will forever be confused with the ever-popular Velociraptor thanks to a certain franchise that brainwashes kids (and adults) to this day.

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Anyways, this figure is not your typical scaly monstrosity that a company like Rebor or Schleich would make. No, instead this is a fully feathered representation of the species, based on the current fossil evidence and with phylogenetic bracketing taken into account. As far as models based on this species go, I must say I am very impressed. Deinonychus is one dinosaur that is sorely ignored in this day and age due to being overshadowed by (or outright mistaken as) Velociraptor and in some cases, Utahraptor. At 1:35 scale, this model is perfectly sized, as it’s not so big to make it look like a giant, and it’s not too small to make it look diminutive. In terms of accuracy, this model is brilliant. The primary feathers are in their correct position, and the face looks more like a bird and less like a Hollywood lizard monster. To further cement this as a near-perfect figure, the teeth are concealed within its fleshy lips instead of hanging out, which make this one of the most up-to-date reconstructions of Deinonychus on the current market. The proportions are correct as well, with the feet being small and the head not so big. It is also made in a calm walking pose instead of an action stance, and is attached to a base (a practice which I absolutely love, but others hate for some reason) so it will never topple over, or require a tripod stance.

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The colours I chose for my figure were based on a species of starling that I randomly found on Google, and and a composite picture I whipped up on Microsoft Paint. Now in the photos that Jetoar showed me, I was not 100% sure I really wanted it, but now that it’s in my hands, I must say that it is a truly unique figurine.

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Overall, this is a cheap and unique model of the famous “terrible claw” that the general public has forgotten about in recent years. It costs only $20-$25 depending on if you buy it through Jetoar or Dan’s Dinosaurs. If you want one, you can send a prviate message to Jesus Toledo on Facebook, or on the Dinotoyforum where he goes by Jetoar, or order it from Dan’s Dinosaurs. IF you like the colours you see in the photos, you can request for it to paintws it like that, or you can come up with your own scheme. Or you can even let him surprise you!

Deinonychus Hatchling (Johan Scherft)

Review and photos by Lanthanotus, edited by Suspsy

Following my review about the Styracosaurus hatched from a chocolate surprise egg, I’ll introduce you to a “real” hatchling in this review, just the right thing to put some Mesozoic spice to your upcoming Easter celebrations–the model of hatching Deinonychus by talented Netherlands artist Johan Scherft.

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Now, where to start with this unusual review for a blog dedicated to dino toys? I certainly don’t have to tell you anything about Deinonychus as a species. This inconspicuous-looking model includes an action feature putting those Jurassic World Bashers & Biters plastics to shame: the young Deinonychus can move as if hatching for real! But first things first, a review has to describe what we have here.

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The above mentioned action feature is somewhat surprising when you realize that the hatching Deinonychus is a papercraft model. The assembly may be somewhat challenging depending on your skills and experience with papercrafts–it’s no magic though. The model comes as a two page, colored PDF which you’d have to print on a sheet of paper of fitting quality (80 to 120 gram) and cut out carefully with sharp scissors and an Exacto knife. To further assemble the model, you’d need transparent glue, skewers, and tweezers, as there’s some very small tips to fit together. Detailed video instructions are provided by the artist but the experienced modeller should have no problem reading the template to assemble the model successfully.

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The original template is drawn and colored manually by the artist and the model boasts a lot of detail, especially when looking at the bright, yellow eyes and sickle clawed foot. The overall coloration isn’t very intriguing, but after all, there’s not a whole lot to see of the hatchling’s body and green is a good coloration for a small young dino in desperate need of some camouflage. The egg itself is of white base color sprinkled with grey brown blotches of varying size. The design of this papercraft model is very fine and detailed and from a distance you can hardly tell it apart from a sculpted, solid model.

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When it comes to scientific accuracy, one may have two major things to complain. First: the absence of feathers, though the artist does them really well and most of his models are indeed avian dinosaurs of the Neornithes lineage. Second: the vertical pupils typical for a nocturnal animal. Despite being aware of recent scientific knowledge, I like most of my dinos scaled and featherless. Call me a child of the 80s’, but I couldn’t care less about this Deinonychus being scaled. The slit pupils don’t bother me either as they look quite good on this small dromaeosaurid, and as some scientists deem the large-eyed Troodon nocturnal, who’s to say for sure that the also relatively large-eyed Deinonychus wasn’t?

While the hatching Deinonychus makes a nice display model when fit to some kind of base or better into some nest, it makes an even greater toy, especially when you’ve got a kid with a love for dinosaurs. In addition to the two grooves where the raptor sticks out its head and foot, the egg shell has a big hole on the back where you are supposed to stick your trigger finger in and put the neck of the creature’s head onto your finger’s tip. The foot’s extension sticks out the hole and lies next to your finger allowing you combined or separate movement of the Deinonychus‘ head and foot with just one finger, depending on your skill (see the artist presenting his model). It may require a bit of training, but the effect is really nice and not just children will be amazed by this cute fellow trying to get out of his chalky prison.

Johan Scherft generously provides the template of this model for free download here and while you’re at it, have a look for the rest of this astonishing art. Another one of his models will be reviewed soon, so get your scissors ready.