Ah, Yowie! It’s a great company, educating people on animals old and new, along with how their environments changed or can be saved. The prehistoric line really opens the eyes to many species most will never have heard of, learning something new. Many species, however, are based on very limited material, so can cause headaches when trying to assess them. Take this one: Kakuru, a theropod from Australia named after the rainbow serpent of Aboriginal legend, another fossil found opalized and nearly sold as jewellery. There is very limited material on it however, so it’s hard to say if it correct or not. Let’s take a look…
The name relating to a rainbow serpent certainly explains the bright colours, pink, purple and beige. Very eye popping, better to attract the attention of children than adults, couldn’t exactly miss it! It’s pose is striding out, looking rather menacing, though it means it will only stand on a perfectly flat surface. It is small, like all these figures, measuring 1.8″ high, 0.6″ wide and 2.8″ long.
Not to the real headache: accuracy. There is very little fossil information on it, mainly an opalized tibia, suggesting a slim build, built for speed, which it certainly seems to have, as well as predatory features, matching it’s suggested clade, abelisaurids. Nothing else can be said to be wrong or right, owing to no other known material, except that the hands shouldn’t be pronated.
While an interesting figure, and the only example of the species, the lack of material makes this come across as more of a thing for kids rather than collectors, given the rather bright colour scheme. If you are interested, eBay or other second hand shops are your best bet, as it’s long since discontinued. It’s nice, but easy to pass on.
To be fair on Yowie at this point in time the Kakuru holotype was missing (only recovered in 2004, well after this figure was produced) and so there wasn’t much research into what it was other than throwing it into the ‘well, it’s some kind of small theropod’ bin.
That being said I believe this figure was heavily inspired by a Mark Hallett painting of several Australian dinosaurs that included Kakuru. Though Hallett’s isn’t blindingly pink, it has nearly the same anatomy (including the weird crest/bump on the head). Both are also feathered (Kakuru’s body paint and texture is characteristic of several other feathered Yowie toys), which to me is the smoking gun because Yowie’s dinosaurs are 90s scaley ones unless there’s explicit fossil evidence otherwise such as their Caudipteryx.