Safari Ltd have produced several tubes (or ‘toobs’ as they call them) that contain a diverse selection of mini-dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. These tubes are a great choice for the indecisive amongst us. Why pick one single large dinosaur when you can get an entire tube of small dinosaurs for the same price. The American Museum of Natural History has endorsed this feathered dinos tube. It contains an array of twelve dinosaurs, half of which are feathered including some recent discoveries, and half of which are not (although some could’ve been). A tube dedicated to feathered dinosaurs is a reflection of recent discoveries that continue to provide evidence for a close relationship between dinosaurs and birds.
All of the figures are about 7cm long and not to scale relative to each other – after all, only the most active imagination could perceive a swooping Microraptor snatching up an adult Apatosaurus and whisking it up to its nest for dinner.
The six feathered dinosaurs are all theropods and are depicted with plumage to some degree. A four-winged Microraptor is posed in mid-flight with its feathered arms, legs and tail outstretched.
It is worth noting that these figures are also available individually in the form of key rings. Indeed, a small Microraptor has been following me around as a fashionable backpack accessory for some time.
The cumbersome animal Beipiaosaurus is portrayed posed on two legs, supported by one hand. The sculpt is essentially a shrunken down version of the Carnegie Collection toy of this species by the same company. It has yellow and grey plumage.
The Dilong has black plumage and is posed on two legs, its tail is expanded into a slight tail fan that also acts as a support. Its brow is picked out with a dash of white.
A ‘winged’ Velociraptor with a long raised tail looks posed for attack with its sickle-shaped claws clearly visible. It also has a plume of feathers on the back of the head and brown stripes on the arm feathers.
A brown and white Sinornithosaurus is quite similar to the Velociraptor in overall pose.
The final feathered critter of the bunch is Caudipteryx. It is positioned raised up on two legs, showing of his red breast and stubby wings. The tip of the tail has a distincive fan of feathers, which touches the ground in this figure to provide tripod support.
Six non-feathered species have been snuck in amongst the ‘dinobirds’. I can’t determine any rationale for the choice of species. The only possible connection is that some of them are contemporaries of the feathered dinosaurs in the set. They include such popular names such as T. rex and Apatosaurus but also some more obscure beasties. The T. rex is featherless, which seems counterintuitive in a tube like this. Its tail curves downwards so the tip provided tripod support. It is stamped on its chest “T – Rex”, which will cause the taxonomists among us to scream out in agony.
The neon lime green colouration of the Apatosaurus seems unlikely, but the sculpt is excellent – a modern take on this famous dinosaur.
The Psittacosaurus is in an almost quadropedal pose. The distinctive parrot-like beak from which its name derives is very clear. It has yellow/green skin. The toy lacks the tail bristles we now know this dinosaur possessed. Such bristles would really feel at home in a ‘feathered dinosaur’ toob like this, whether or not they are truly homologous to feathers.
There are two frilled ceratopians. The Prococeratops has a stiking blue frill. a deep tail, and a concerned look on her face.
A deep blue-skinned Chasmosaurus has its beaked mouth agape, tongue hanging out. It seems like an unusual choice for a feathered dinosaurs toob, but Chasmosaurus figures are few and far between, so I’m not complaining.
The final dinosaur in the set is a brown Pachycephalosaurus, posed on two legs and supported by its tail. The bony head is covered in bumps highlighted in blue.
Although the attention to detail is not on par with similar-sized offerings from Kaiyodo, this tube is well worth the price tag – presently just $10 on Amazon.com (here). These tubes also offer a great opportunity for play and would make a great gift for a child (one couldn’t say the same of the more delicate Kaiyodo models). I like the diversity of plumage colour on the feathered dinosaurs. This is similar to modern birds. Overall, this intriguing set of species is perfect for children and a bonus for collectors. Also, the tube itself contains a small rotatable globe set into the lid.
Available from Amazon.com (here)