Review and photos by Bokisaurus
Part 1 of Kaiyodo Dinoland Natural History review series
Greetings dinofans and welcome to another review! I promise its not another Spinosaur review this time! Haha.
Kaiyodo is perhaps more well known for their small size set of prehistoric figures, such as the Dinotales and Chocholasaurus.
Many years ago, Kaiyodo released a collection of large, hollow vinyl figure called Dinoland Collection of Natural History Series. These were large figures, around the 1:20 and 1:35 scale for most of the figures.
They came in two types: the kits that you need to assemble and paint and the pre-made figures that comes fully assembled and painted.
Today we will take a look at one of these figures, the Chasmosaurus.
For a ceratopsian that is impressive looking and pretty well known, it is a bit of a surprise that this species has not been made more often by the major brands that produce prehistoric toy figures.
Chasmosaurus were not the largest of the ceratopsians, measuring around 14-15 feet in length and weighing in at around 1.5 – 2 tones.
There are two species currently know c.russelli and c. belli. What separates the two apart are the difference in horn and frill shape.
Herds of these large herbivore once roamed what would one day be known as Canada’s Alberta Dinosaur Park and shared the environment with other ceratopsians as well as a diverse host of other species.
This late Cretaceous (Late Campanian) ceratopsian is surely one of the most impressive looking animal in its environment.
Chasmosaurus remains were first discovered in 1898. Since then, many more fossil have been recovered, including juveniles, making it one of the most complete dinosaur species discovered. Through the years since its discovery and naming, many other species were named, but in the end, only two valid species is recognized.
Kaiyodo’s Chasmosaurus is one of 4 ceratopsians from the Dinoland series, the other being Triceratops, Anchiceratops, and Styracosaurus.
Now I am not that familiar with this collection’s history, especially which species were released as kits only versus having both the kit and pre-made versions.
As far as I know there are at least 21 different species, maybe more. What make it even confusing is there was also a different set of much smaller figures also called Dinoland Collection of Natural History!I am not a kit/model maker, I simply don’t have the skills for it, so I pretty much just collected and searched out the pre-made versions.
If I am not mistaken, the series was first produced way back in the mid 1980’s and early 90’s. Despite their age, these figures are pretty good and many have withstood the test of time. Some, even today, remain one of the best representation of the species in plastic form. Our subject today is one of those species. There were multiple famous Japanese sculptors involved in the series such as Kazunari Araki and Shinobu Matsumura.
The Chasmosaurus is one of Shinobu Matsumura’s work. It’s interesting that the two sculptor work despite having their distinctive style, actually looks good together.
This Chasmosaurus is part of the 1:20 scale figures and comes with a wooded base to display the figure. The figures also comes in simple boxes.
It measures 9” inches long, but stretched out it is almost 12” due to the curvature of the tail and neck. It stands 5.5” tall when measured at the highest point which is the hornlet on the tip of the frill.
I really love this figure and is one of my favorite. It is also the second smallest of the trio of ceratopsians with Triceratops, oddly, being the smallest of them all.
You can clearly see the seams where each part connects, fortunately it’s not too bad and distracting. I am not as familiar with Shinobu’s work as much as Araki’s ( favorite figures), but I do like his style.
Although there are some shrink wrapping going on, Shinobu’s , work at least in this series, is not as shrink-wrapped as some of Araki’s.
The head is recognizable as that of Chasmosaurus. No specific species is given, this particular figure looks like it is that of c. belli based on the shape of the skull frill. But then both the nasal brow horns are long (in c.belli, they are short) and looks like that of c. russelli. So it look like this particular figure is a blend of the two species, combining each distinctive features to make it look more impressive.
The tall frill is nicely done and has the distinctive shallow V shape. At the top tip of the frill, are pairs of large and small hornlets can be seen. The side of the frill is also populated by hornlets, smaller at the top and growing larger as it reaches the bottom of the frill towards the jaw.
The skin on the frill is very textured with lots of lines and groves, as well as small osteoderms. There is also some faint details of small scales on the shield as well but they are mostly obscured by the folds and groves.
There are also what looks like clusters of large scales/osteoderms on the top of the head just between the brow horns.
The pair of brow horns are long and sweep upwards. The nasal horn is also long and follows the same upward orientation of the brow horns.
The face is wrinkly and slightly shrink-wrapped. There are some signs of scales on the cheeks but not much, mostly clusters here and there.
The eyes are small and painted black. The beak is nice and held slightly open.
You can see the seam line where the frill and the head connects. In my figure, this line is unfortunately made worst when I dropped the figure one time and loosen the glue in this area as well as creating a fracture that is very visible. Otherwise, it’s a really nicely sculpted head.
The body is typical ceratopsian shape and has lots of texture. In the past, ceratopsians were mostly given the elephant skin treatment with no or little signs of scales at all.
This is very true of this model. There are plenty of skin folds all over the body, with the majority of them found on the underarm area as well as the back legs.
On the back, there are some scales that run along the sides in a row and there is an odd concentration of large scales on the top of the back that overlaps and looks almost like armor. In addition, there is a row of larger scales that run the length of the spines that terminates at the base of the tail. Other than those parts, the body is pretty much just skin.
There is a very large and prominent skin/muscle fold at the base of the tail which kinda odd looking. These pair form a small bump on the tail base and I am not exactly sure what they really are. They could be bones sticking out? But then the animal is not really skinny. There are nice muscle definition on the tail as well. The length of the tail is about right and have a slight curve to it.
The legs are held directly below the body, very much like a rhino.
The feet looks about right although they did put a nails on the outer toes. The nails are painted black. The left front leg is slightly raised, this give the figure a little sense of movement.
The feet looks nice but then they sculpted nails on the outer toes. This of course is a big no no, making the feet inaccurate. This addition of toenails is a common mistakes seen in ceratopsians and sauropods unfortunately, even today. The nails are painted black. The left front leg is slightly raised, this give the figure a little sense of movement.
The pose is neutral, just a slight tilt of the head and one leg slightly raised is enough to give it some movement. It looks like the animal is browsing leisurely.
The color is simple. Reddish brown dominates the top half of the body and frill. It transitions into a more dark brown/grayish tone as it reaches the midline and this continues all the way down to the feet. The tip of the tail is almost black.
The frill edges and top are bordered with black and the area just above the broad frill is slightly redder. Overall very simple coloration but it works on this figure.
The Dinoland Collection of Natural History figures are a rarities these days. I got mine way back and even then they were not cheap and hard to acquire. I was lucky enough to get mine at a reasonable price, thanks to some ebay seller friends who helped me and generously sold them at a reasonable price. Today, they are even rarer and command astronomical prices if available. Some of the figures also comes in different color variant ( even more rare and expensive), but as far as I know, the Chasmosaurus only came in this one color, at least the pre-made ones, but I could be mistaken.
In closing, this is the best Chasmosaurus figure currently out there. It is of a good size and very well sculpted. If you are able to find one at an affordable cost, it is well worth adding to your collection. The set is more than 30 years old, so it is from a different time and it shows in some of the details and in the accuracy department.
Still, it is an amazing figure that have withstood time and surely will command attention in any collection. It is truly a great work of art from a different era.Hope you enjoyed the review. If time allows, I plan on reviewing some of the other figures from the series.
Thanks for reading, until we meet again on the next review, take care and cheers!