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.
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.
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.
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.
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.