Tyrannosaurus rex (Dino Kingdom 2012 by Takara Tomy)

3.7 (3 votes)

Over a year ago now (wait, what? What happened!?!) I reviewed a Dinotales-esque miniature Triceratops model from Tomy (aka Takara Tomy), which I was sent in lieu of the Tyrannosaurus from the same range. Happily, Tomy have released a new set for 2012 – to tie in with the Dino Kingdom expo in Japan – and I’ve actually managed to get hold of the T. rex this time. It’s a wonderful little figure that I’m sure, nevertheless, is going to split opinion. I’ll give you three feathers…uh…guesses as to why.

Yes, they’ve given everyone’s favourite hadrosaur-chomping, piddly-armed, birdy-legged monster a flufftastic covering. Actually, it’s not Tomy’s first feathered T. rex – the 2011 sculpt that accompanied the aforementioned Triceratops also boasted a handsome mane – but this iteration shows marked improvements, both in sculpting and painting finesse and in its far more striking pose and imaginative colouration. The punkish green mohawk is probably a step too far, but the bold, almost tribal patterns on the face certainly make it stand out from the gigantic horde of T. rex figures out there. For me, the feathers themselves are most definitely a welcome inclusion, and one that I can only hope will set a precedent for other manufacturers. Not only is at least a smattering of fuzz (if not more) highly plausible (especially in the light of recent discoveries), feathered figures are also so much more interesting than their all-scaly counterparts. Those who don’t like the idea are quite welcome to grumble quietly in the corner, clutching their VHS copies of Jurassic Park – just as long as they don’t get in the way of the Feathery Future™.

Integument aside, the pose of this model also attracts interest. The karate kick action – reminiscent of the Michael Trcic resin T. rex manufactured by Favorite – isn’t going to please everybody, but it’s certainly unusually dynamic and means that the figure commands attention when it’s placed among the usual standing-around-with-their-mouths-agog crowd. It’s worth noting that it’s designed as a companion to the Triceratops from the same series (which I don’t have), and the bases of the two figures slot together – if you’re finding the pose a little odd, it does make more sense in that context. Nevertheless, the sense of action and momentum in this figure, perched as it is on the very tips of the toes of one foot, make it eye-catching and perfectly worthy of proudly displaying even without its pointy-faced adversary.

From an anatomical perspective, the sculptor has done a superb job within the limitations inherent in a very small, mass-produced, snap-together plastic figure. Perhaps most admirable are the arms, which are every bit as tiny as they should be while still retaining a certain robustness. The legs are highly birdlike and muscular – as they should be – with the ‘kicking’ leg swinging in towards the midline, just as it would when the animal took a step. The tail may be a little bit ropey and flattened, and there’s something a little off about the mouth (not to mention that hairdo), but other than that it’s a very nice piece of work.

I’d recommend this figure without hesitation – it’s pleasantly novel, affordable, striking in appearance without being overtly flamboyant, and offers a different take on a species that many thought had been done to death. Oh, and it has an adorably teensy gold plaque on its base making it quite unambiguously clear as to precisely which animal this is meant to be, which is definitely a feature that should be much more widespread. Hunt it down while you can!

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Comments 13

  • […] thing one notices about this figure is the unusual color scheme. It’s much like that of the previously reviewed Takara Tomy version – they were produced for the same event and based on the same artwork. The body is mostly […]

  • Um, Gold Wolf? I don’t have any issue with your user name, but please do not link to my website as your user information. You are not me, and I do not appreciate when others actively try to impersonate me. My fans -always- let me know of such cases. Such behavior is not acceptable, and not cool. Knock it off.

    Christy “Goldenwolf” Grandjean

  • @Gold Wolf: I’m not sure why you’re exaggerating in your posts but no one has said it’s a fact Tyrannosaurus had feathers.

    @Seijun: Skin impressions from a Tyrannosaurus specimen, as well as other large tyrannosaurid specimens show mosaic scales. That means they were at least partially covered in scales.
    The shoulders, arms, upper legs and underside of the tail of this figure also have feathers. And it looks like the chest too.

    I hate the feather crests which are being given to almost every feathered dinosaur figure! It’s very unlikely they all had one! I find dinosaurs usually look better without a feather crest.

    I wonder if Tyrannosaurus had feathers? Finding out more about prehistoric animals is exciting! 😀

    • Just something to clarify, Sim – the scale impressions could easily be from feathered areas. Feathers often grow in the same place as scales, but only the underlying scales would leave a lasting trace in the sediment. Aesthetically, I agree that feather crests are overdone and often look a bit silly 😀 I also agree with Seijun, in that I find that only putting feathers on the back of the animal gives it a somewhat sickly look o_o

  • If I ever sculpt a trex, Im going to cover the entire thing in feathers. I’m happy to see feathers on the Tomy version, but only giving it feathers on the back makes it look a little mangy to me.

  • Perhaps I should get the popcorn and put up my feet…

  • I’m approving some of Gold Wolf’s comments for their pure entertainment value. Of course, it is just trolling, but it’s fun to feed the trolls sometimes, even if it is against my better judgement.

  • Gold Wolf I totally get your point man! I personally HATE it when people reconstruct ancient mammals like smilodon and megatherium with fur. Seriously just because ALL of there closest relatives have fur isn’t a good reason to put it on them! Haha such fanboys. Us serious accuracy buffs know better right???

  • Your Science has proved me nothing, it has proved anyone a thing lol :rolleyes: it’s just some cheap excuse, you can’t even prove it lol :’) Even if someone would ask you to come with proving EVIDENCE you Science n00bs can’t even prove nor show it, all you come with are big Walls of Text lol, if you can prove with photo’s that clearly show that T-Rex had feathers, fine show it prove it, otherwise keep your optinions to yourself, don’t use them as facts, it’s quite simple, if it can’t be proven with factual EVIDENCE it’s a hoax.

  • I love how people who accept new findings are now “fanboys”.

    We aren’t debating Power Girl’s costume here, fellas; this is science. Take your weird masculinity issues over fluffy integument elsewhere.

  • I’m happy to have annoyed you.

  • Feathers make it look fake like some movie monster, so far it has not yet been proven that T-Rex it’s self had feathers rofl! Since the day that Yutyrannus was found that one was proven it had feathers and I have no issues with that 😛 But What I do have issues with is that all these Feather fanboys are over exaggerating the point and now are doing as if all dino’s had them, just a load of Bull if you’d ask me, great for the fanboys not great for the serious collectors that prefer proven accuracy. Peace.

    As the review goes it’s neatly done but aimed too much for feather fanboys, thus I left a negative post which lead to only one star, so did the rest of the people here at my work.

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