Review and photos by Cretaceous Crab, edited by Suspsy
As soon as I saw this figure starting to pop up on social media and online toy venues, I knew I had to have it. I mean, look at it! Released in 2018 from Kaiyodo’s Sofubi Toy Box series, this Tyrannosaurus rex comes in three different color schemes: the orange and striped version(018A) featured in this review, an olive green version(018B), and a reddish-brown version(018C).
I thought the striped one was the most striking, so that is the one I chose. That said, other than the coloration, I would assume the other two are of equal quality. The paint job is matte and not shiny like a lot of figures are, and the detail on the scalation is well-done. The overall figure is quite robust and does not suffer from shrink-wrapping.
From nose to tail, this T. rex measures approximately 10.5 inches in length. It is about the size as the Battat Terra T. rex and the original Carnegie T. rex, and slightly smaller than the original Papo T. rex. It is surprisingly lightweight due to the main body section being hollow, but not distractingly so when handled. However, it is more prone to being blown over by a sudden rush of air if a nearby door was closed, or someone opened a window. As is the case with many theropod figures, it doesn’t remain in a naturalistic horizontal stance for long without falling over from being front-heavy. Nevertheless, in an approximately 45º degree angle, it stands fairly well on its own two feet, without relying on the tail.
The figure has eight points of articulation: the mouth, the neck, the hips, the ankles, and in two places on the tail. Let’s start with the head. Unlike most figures where it is the lower jaw that flexes downward, it is the upper jaw (skull) of this T. rex that flips up to open the mouth. I was a little put off at first by this feature, but I can live with it. The inside of the mouth and the teeth are very glossy, making for a very natural “wet” look in contrast to the matte skin.
The “default” position of the neck has the head turned slightly to the left. The weird part is that the point of articulation is not a straight cross-section, but includes part of the throat. When you turn the head to the left, it is not a big deal. But when you turn the head to the right, the effect looks kind of odd depending on what angle you are viewing it at.
Despite appearances, the arms do not articulate. But at least they are positioned accurately, and do not make “bunny hands.” The hips are articulated as those on most dinosaur toys are, simply rotating forward and backward. There are no knee joints. The ankles actually rotate from side to side, not up and down as they should naturally. Like the neck thing and the jaws, it is not a huge issue for me, but if rotated too far outward, the figure will not stand well.
The tail moves in two different places: at the base where it attaches behind the legs and towards the end near the very tip. The joints just rotate around, but because of the shape of the tail being laterally compressed, it doesn’t look right if they are rotated too far out of their natural position.
Overall, I feel the Kaiyodo Sofubi T. rex is a pretty good figure, one that is fairly accurate to the species and certainly pleasing to look at on the shelf. The current retail price is a tad high for its size and quality (roughly between $39.99 and $49.99 USD), but not prohibitively so. While being an action figure, it probably should function more as a collectible or part of a display, but certainly could withstand limited play time from older kids that appreciate their dinosaurs. If you are a fan of Kaiyodo, and/or just a collector of good Tyrannosaurus action figures, put this one on your wish list.