Tag Archives: t-rex

Tyrannosaurus rex (Hunting) (Collecta)

Hot on the heels of last year’s ‘Deluxe’ feathered Tyrannosaurus, Collecta have seen fit to update their smaller scale range with a similarly enfluffened tyrant. And its corpse. Happily – alive or dead – the miniature feathered T. rex has just much charm as its larger, leggier cousin.

Collecta Hunting Tyrannosaurus

As it stands, the toy is about 21cm long. Correcting for curly parts, it reaches around 24cm, or approximately 1:50 – 1:55 scale. Matters of scale are complicated by the fact that this toy has a tail that is a tad on the long side, although not as much so as in the Deluxe model. The tail aside, it’s a handsomely proportioned beast – the short arms are actually, bless ’em, very short indeed (quite right), the torso is nice and barrel-shaped, and the head boasts that characteristic T. rex narrow snout and binocular vision. And a winning smile.

Collecta Hunting Tyrannosaurus

That the head is so well modeled is testament to how much Collecta continue to improve – just compare the handsome face on the figure above to that of their T. rex with prey’ from four years ago. (Shudder.) It’s also quite wonderful that Collecta have fully committed to feathered tyrannosaurs across their range, in spite of the continued appeal of movies filled with less-than-convincing scaly beasties enhanced with frog DNA. Properly feathered, too, with a decent distribution of plumage all over the body, complemented by scales on the belly and legs. Great work.

Collecta Hunting Tyrannosaurus

While the overall colouration is similar to the Deluxe and the corpse, this ‘hunting’ Rexy is somewhat less vibrant, most notably lacking the big red clown wig. In my book, it’s an improvement. The majority of the creature is covered in simple brown feathers, broken up with darker stripes, which is suitably subtle and plausible. The green patch with white ‘blaze’ remains – exactly how plausible the green feathers are, I’m not sure (curse you, Matt Martyniuk!), but they help liven things up a bit without looking too outrageous. The eyes are dark windows to a cold, unfeeling, tormented reptilian soul that only knows hunger, destruction, and death. Also, they’re lovely and glossy.

Collecta Hunting Tyrannosaurus

Detailing is top-notch – in spite of its considerably smaller size, the feathers on this figure are just as finely sculpted as on the Deluxe, and details like the claws, teeth and eyes are painted with extraordinary care. In some places it is, if anything, too detailed – individual fenestrae are visible on close inspection that would almost certainly have been covered with flesh in life. Other negatives include the slightly peculiar posture, which places the animal on tiptoes. Rexy might have been digitigrade, but he was also a great big lump of a theropod and would’ve walked on a larger portion of his toes. Further, there should be a fleshy ‘heel’ backing up the foot, the better to support Rexy’s wide load.

Collecta Hunting Tyrannosaurus with Corpse

These are minor points, however, and do little to detract from overall quality of this figure, which (incredibly) can be picked up in the UK for a measly four pounds (5.66 USD at the time of writing). The base may also be off-putting for some, but as long as it allows for lovely, detailed, well-proportioned toys like this, I shan’t be complaining. Grab one of these, grab a Deluxe, grab a corpse, and complete the Collecta fluffy Rexy set!

The Dinosaur Expo 2016 set (Kaiyodo)

In the first half of 2016, the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan, held an event simply named ‘The Dinosaur Expo’ (still ongoing at the time of writing). Though I haven’t been myself, the exhibit seems to focus on recent dinosaur discoveries, with an accompanying set of figures. The set contains four figures, with a good mixture of old and new: Spinosaurus, TyrannosaurusParasaurolophus, and Yi. All figures have a base with an attached name plate, with names written in Japanese on top and English below.

spinosaurus_kaiyodo

Based on the exhibit’s online promotional material, it seems that a big selling point was the new (2014) Spinosaurus depiction. While this interpretation is still quite controversial  and unsettled (pending the publishing of the long awaited monograph along with future fossil finds), this figure represents it quite faithfully. All the unique traits that shocked the paleontological community upon its reveal, such as the staggered sail, short legs, and long torso, are present. Even the color scheme is virtually identical to the model produced for National Geographic’s exhibition promoting the discovery’s press release. The only accuracy complaint is that the base of the tail is rather thin. As indicated by its unique anatomy, Spinosaurus was largely aquatic, so would have likely had thick tail muscles (like seen in extant crocodilians) for locomotion.

tyrannosaurus_kaiyodo

Of course, no discussion of Spinosaurus would be complete without the infamous Tyrannosaurus rex. Kaiyodo is no stranger to fully feathered tyrannosaurs, and this T. rex only has its feet, fingers, and parts of its face bare. The feathering, while extensive, is not overbearing and looks quite realistic. There are even slightly larger tufts along the neck and tail tip. The rest of the anatomy is also correct – even the ears are in the right portion of the skull (T. rex‘s skull bones show its external ear hole would have been positioned more in relative to other theropods, which had it behind the skull). The coloration is fairly monotonous and dull, which is reasonable for an ambush predator but doesn’t make for the most striking aesthetic.

parasaurolophus_kaiyodo

This next figure isn’t something you see everyday – a juvenile dinosaur! The base labels it as Parasaurolophus sp., and it is presumably based off the first juvenile of this genus discovered in 2013 (also referred to Parasaurolophus sp.), estimated to only have been a year old at death. This figure conveys one of the specimen’s most significant aspects – the beginnings of the distinctive tubular head crest. The presence of crest development in such a young individual is one possible reason Parasaurolophus had a crest much larger than other hadrosaurs – it got a head start in terms of growth time. The row of bumps forming a ‘frill’ down the back is known for other hadrosaurs like Brachylophosaurus so is a plausible inclusion. There are even hints of small, regular scales, consistent with findings from hadrosaur ‘mummies’ of various genera. The dark line along the jaw would seem to suggest Kaiyodo is going for a ‘cheekless’ depiction, as they did in their earlier Ceratopsian Collection. Whether or not ornithischians had cheeks is a hotly contested issue, with evidence supporting both sides, so Kaiyodo’s decision to imply their absence is reasonable. Once again, the coloration is rather plain, but in many cases young animals are rather drab compared to their adult counterparts. One can easily imagine the yellow crest becoming much more distinct if this juvenile should survive to adulthood.

yi_kaiyodo

Last but not least is Yi qi, one of the hottest dinosaur discoveries of 2015.  It’s actually quite impressive Kaiyodo managed to produce and release a figure of it in under a year! Dinosaurs have often been compared to dragons and played a role in the original folklore, but Yi is as close to the real thing as it gets – it even had membranous wings! This figure presents a well-proportioned, accurate depiction of this theropod’s odd anatomy- the center of gravity is relatively far back as it would have been in life (as opposed to some of the horizontal glider depictions permeating through the media). Actively posed, this Yi is mid-air and making full use of its wings to control its descent to the ground, a use suggested by paleontologists. The only known fossil actually does not include the tail, but it is widely believed that Yi had the long tail feathers depicted based on remains of close relatives like Epidexipteryx. It’s worth noting that the tail piece is the figure’s most fragile – care must be taken not to allow individual feathers to bend or snap off. This figure has one of the set’s more striking colorations – the tail feathers have detailed filament patterns, and the fleshy underside and red markings surrounding the eyes contrast with the back’s dark grey to give the animal a spooky appearance, slightly reminiscent of Halloween.

dinoexpo2016_kaiyodo

All in all this is an outstanding set depicting recent paleontological discoveries and advances, with a mix of both classic and new genera. Given that Kaiyodo’s figures have always scored highly in accuracy this is no surprise. In addition to accuracy and scientific progress, these figures also have excellent production values, with fine details and precise paint applications – every claw, tooth, and even pupil is clear. The bases with nameplates are a nice inclusion, giving these figures an appropriate museum-like air. I highly recommend this set to all dinosaur lovers who enjoy keeping up with the latest paleontological developments. The set was originally available from vending machines at the exhibition, but can be obtained through eBay or Japanese sellers. A word of caution though – the Spinosaurus may be harder to track down than the others. It was first sold alongside pre-paid advance tickets to the exhibition (which sold out quickly), and was a rarer chase figure at the exhibition’s machines.

Tyrannosaurus (Dinotales Series 1 by Kaiyodo)

While Kaiyodo is probably most beloved for their production of more obscure prehistoric critters they made sure not to neglect the classic fan favorites too. In their 7 series run the Dinotales line produced no less than three distinct models of Tyrannosaurus, not counting the Tyrannosaurus skeleton and the slew of repaints produced for each one. This is only the Dinotales line mind you. Kaiyodo also produced a retro Tyrannosaurus for their Dinomania line and an entire set of Tyrannosaurus for their Capsule Q Museum Collection and another Tyrannosaurus for their Cretaceous collection. And those are only the ones I’m aware of; suffice it to say there are a lot of small snap-together Tyrannosaurus that have come out of Japan. Today’s review concerns their very first Tyrannosaurus from their Dinotales series 1, produced all the way back in 2001. Specifically we’ll be discussing their special color variant. In total I believe there are five paint variations including this one.

kaiyodo_tyrannosaurus
Measuring 4” long and standing 2” tall this figurine is as small as you would expect the models in this line to be. Given that, it’s fairly dated so not quite as detailed as some of Kaiyodo’s later models but for its time and size it is no less impressive. It is also refreshingly accurate for a time period when most dinosaur collectibles weren’t. I think a lot of us forget that it’s only been in the last 10 years or so that this hobby has truly blossomed.

kaiyodo_tyrannosaurus4

This rex is completely bipedal and standing horizontally, one foot stepping ahead of the other. The head is large and boxy with forward facing eyes. Triangular horns are set above the eyes, giving it an almost “Jurassic Park” quality but not enough so that I would call it a rip-off of the design. The hands are worth mentioning as they’re appropriately tiny and correctly neutral facing. For this one though you might want to get out your magnifying glass and take a look at the feet; it would seem the hallux toes are missing. Or are they? Again with a magnifying glass you can almost make them out, they are however not individually painted so hard to discern from the rest of the foot. It’s truly amazing that they would even bother, but we appreciate that they did.

kaiyodo_tyrannosaurus2
The color scheme on this particular variant is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on any other Tyrannosaurus model. It is however relatively similar to some of the other Dinotales figurines, notably the Tarbosaurus and Brachiosaurus. Overall the theropod is just painted in black and white but it’s the patterning that makes it particularly eye catching. Although perhaps not a realistic color choice it certainly helps make this tiny figure stand out in a crowd and you can’t argue that it’s not unique. The small eyes are meticulously painted a striking yellow, the inside of the mouth is pink. If you don’t like this color variant however, you’re in luck. The other color variants got you covered; from brown with black spotting and stripes, to dark brown with light brown stripes, to green with black stripes, and yet another brown with black stripes, there are plenty of color choices for this figurine. Personally, I enjoy this black and white variant.

kaiyodo_tyrannosaurus3

In a world where countless Tyrannosaurus collectibles have been released since 2001 this little model from Kaiyodo is still a fantastic little piece worth seeking out for any tyrannosaur fan. Exotically painted and accurately sculpted it still stands out as unique among a collection full of the tyrant king. It is not perhaps as well detailed as some of Kaiyodo’s latest offerings but you can’t go wrong with any Dinotales model in your collection. Although long retired this model is still easy to find on eBay. It and its color variants can generally be found for less than ten U.S. dollars.