Vault Tales 223 Run the Set Kaiyodo CapsuleQ Excavation Dinosaurs of Japan

So, we revisit Kaiyodo capsule figures once again. This time they are not truly Dinotales but are obviously the heirs to that wonderful and sorely missed line. This is part of the newer type of Kaiyodo figure, the CapsuleQ gashapon figures. And they’re pretty great–five figures based on fossil animals found in Japan; or at least species related to Japanese material. This is very different to previous Kaiyodo prehistoric series, and I think might have related to a exhibition of some kind.

This set came out in about 2015, at the very least that was when I first learned about it. Consistent with the modern CapsuleQ Kaiyodo sets, there are actually five figures in the series, but I only picked up four of them. It’s not that I didn’t want a Pteranodon figure–it’s just that the previous CapsuleQ set, called the Cretaceous Excavation, had the exact same figure in a different paint scheme. So I made that choice. The other four figures, however, were quite unique for various reasons. The most notable thing about the set overall was that, unlike any other Kaiyodo prehistoric set I know, this one is entirely Japanese taxa…or at least ones that are somewhat tangentially related to Japanese taxa.

It’s one of those fun things about collecting these kinds of figures–accidentally learning things! I was already aware of Fukuiraptor as a Japanese dinosaur–there are other figures made of it (including resin Dino Expo ones from other Kaiyodo series) although I think this one is based on more studied material. The same with Tambatitanis; I was aware of a Japanese sauropod find of some kind, and there had been some other figures–but they tended to be more vague. And given that there is very minimal material, most of the figure is still speculative, but the CapsuleQ is a nice rendering. The Toyotamaphimeia is probably the most interesting figure–we don’t see many modern Tomistoma figures, so getting a fossil species, known from Japan, is a real collection treat! As for the Pteranodon and Therizinosaurus–I only just learned that material that might be the pterosaur had been found in Japan; for Therizinosaurus I don’t think it has been found there, although there may be some kind of therizinosaur fossil material. One nice thing about it, and an extra reason to get it, was that it is a revisit to a figure first done with Dinotales Series 4 (seen in this post). The feathered update is a nice touch.

I always say it, Kaiyodo dinotales and other capsule figures are almost always great. But this Japanese Excavation series is certainly something special. The focus on the Japanese taxa, most of which are unique to Japan (or sort of related). It helps that they are overall very well made, and very high quality. The good thing is that being CapsuleQ the material is a bit softer, so the figures are more likely to withstand some handling. That’s only good news because the figures are of course very much out of production–so finding them (and you should try to find them) is going to require auction sites or trades…and you wouldn’t want broken ones. I also have no idea what that might cost. But currently, it feels like the price of most gashapon figures have been going up. That’s the reason you don’t wait if there’s a set of interest. I’ve learned that the hard way a few times…

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