Review and photos by Charles Peckham, edited by Suspsy
Ueno Park is a 113 acre public park in Tokyo. Similar to Balboa Park in San Diego or Central Park in New York City, Ueno Park has several museums and other attractions within its boundaries. In 2017, gashapon company Figure Miyage created a series of figures paying tribute to the eclectic features that can be seen in Ueno Park, including a figure of the Tyrannosaurus skeleton that is displayed in the National Museum of Nature and Science.
For those unfamiliar, ‘gashapon’ refers to figures collected from coin-operated machines, not unlike those one might see near the front of a supermarket in the United States. However, the figures tend to be of a much higher quality and are generally considered more collectable.Perhaps an American analogy can be found with the Homies fad of the mid 2000s’.
For purposes of this review, I will be analyzing how accurately it reflects what we know about the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex. Anyone who would like to submit another review discussing how closely it resembles the actual skeletal mount in Ueno Park may have my blessing and regards.
If you’re a fan of gashapon, you’ve likely come to expect a level of detail that is impressive for such a small figure, and theTyrannosaurus does not fail in this regard. It is able to accomplish this by filling in small spaces within the skeleton with a neutral gray color, so that smaller bones can be molded together as largerpieces of plastic. This is done with care and does not detract from the aesthetic of the figure. A good example of the impressive attention to detail is the fact that there are 11 ribs on this figure, which is an accurate amount (T. rex had 11 to 13 ribs).
Of course, the arms and hands on this figure are too large. Especially for a figure this size, it would be practically unthinkable to sculpt scale hands with distinct fingers. I think the model would look quite unbecoming with two little nubs for arms, so I personally am happy to tolerate this inaccuracy.
Perhaps the most impressive attention to detail here is the set of gastralia included on the underside of the model. In life, these would not have been attached to any other bones, and on the skeleton, they would be free floating opposite the ribs, along the animal’s stomach. In order to get around this problem, this model has the gastralia attached to the pubis bone with a little rod that obviously wasn’t there in real life. The rod looks a little out-of-place, but it’s more endearing than omitting the gastralia altogether.
The figure is mounted on a flat, tan surface which allows for it to stand without being flat on its feet. This also allows it to be taking a somewhat active pose, looking like it’s in the middle of a step. The tail is detached from the main figure in order for it to fit in the capsule. It doesn’t affix to the main figure very securely, and a slight movement can cause it to fall off. This issue can likely be solved with a small drop of glue if desired.
Standing at 4 cm tall and 9 cm long, this small figure is able to hold its own among larger models. For fans of Tyrannosaurus models, skeleton models, small figures, or gashapon in general, I feel confident labeling this figure a must-have. The scientific accuracy and aesthetic appealis among the very best. As usual, eBay is the best place to find it for sale in most countries. Chinese shoppers can find it on Baopals and, of course, you can find more information or order from Figure Miyage’s website.