Who makes it? This is a special issue figure from Kaiyodo as part of an exclusive set for the Dino Expo 2004 in Japan. It has been an annual tradition for most of the last 20 years at least, trying to find out what was coming–and many were from Kaiyodo.
When did it come out? 2004! Of course.
Still available? They were only available for the Expo. I believe those only last for a few months, so that was it.
Where can it be found in my displays? I have a shelf of special and Expo figures, mostly from Japan. It fits with them.
How does it fit in the collection? It’s a Kaiyodo prehistoric figure, so I of course would want it in the collection! Not easy to get though.
Any story behind it? It was a lucky find through Japanese auctions. It and a couple others came up for sale at reasonable prices. I never did get the whole set, since these are hard to get and tend to be kind of expensive.
Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): Well, I don’t know much about this particular animal to judge the morphology. But from what I have found, the sculpt is very well done. Some little things stand out, like the relatively skinny front limbs (with correct feet) and long neck with small, round head. The animal seems a bit skinny, like it could stand a bit more flesh around the neck and base of the tail. But overall, it is a really nice, active figure. The paint job is fantastic as well, with some really nice paint details across the neck through to the tail. These figures are a higher production value than the Dinotales figures, which gives them a cleaner appearance too. They are single piece, so no seams are visible. The material is more like a resin though, which means these figures are more easily broken (I have another figure from the set, a Microraptor, which does have broken ankle). The figures are also a bit larger than the usual Kaiyodo Dinotales of the same time–this Chuanjiesaurus is about 13.5cm along the back, making the figure roughly 1:185.
Would I recommend it? For anyone that enjoys dinosaur figures, these Dino Expo figures are excellent. True gems and art pieces. And I think it might be the only available model of Chuanjiesaurus. So they would obviously belong in a collection. But their scarcity could make them hard to get, plus they’re mostly going to come from Japan which will add more difficulty. Still, I would definitely recommend adding this one to a wants list. But it should go without saying–these are not models to hand to the kids, or anyone that might be a bit clumsy, because they are fragile and delicate. Still, totally worth the search (it’s up to you to determine if the asking prices is worth it though).