This post will be taking a look another figure from Kaiyodo, but one unlike anything I’ve covered before! Most of the Kaiyodo figures I’ve covered have fallen into a broadly toy-like category; many are kind of breakable, but the initial prices and methods of sale indicate that they were meant for play and collectors of all ages. This figure is from an earlier series created by Kaiyodo, in a few forms, called Dinoland. Unlike our more familiar Dinotales and the like, these tended to be larger, and incredibly detailed. Most were originally designed by notable sculptors such as Shinobu Matsumara and Kazunari Araki (at least the latter of which I’m familiar with in later works). The models seemed to have come in larger (1:20 or 1:35 scale) vinyl prepainted one-piece figures, or later in resin kits that required assembly. I am not sure what years they were produced, but promo materials kind of look 80s-90s; I think they were done before Dinotales came out.
As might be imagined, these figures are highly sought after now, and can command a range of prices…and they weren’t exactly cheap when they first came out either (for those curious, the Dino Toy Forum has a lot of images of various figures and promo materials at this link. The prices can be seen…) And they haven’t gotten cheaper. Occasionally the smaller resin kits pop up for sale at reasonable amounts, but I don’t have the skill or patience. What I did have was the opportunity to get hold of this Barosaurus from a later line, their 100mm series. Again, I don’t know much about the history, but it appears that a few figures were shrunk down from their massive original counterparts. That’s good, because the Barosaurus was a huge diorama complete with attacking Allosaurus. At, I think, 1:35, it was enormous!
The figure itself comes on a little base, reminiscent of the larger diorama base of the original although of course less material, and no associated predators (although they apparently exist in the 100mm series). Despite the tiny size, Kaiyodo did not pull any punches with the figure, giving it all kinds of textures and skin folds, as if it were a living animal (if a bit skinny). And even in the paint job, while at first looking a little monochromatic, it is clearly painted and washed, giving it an interesting sandy colour. The pose, of course, cannot be ignored–the high bodied rearing posture, front legs kicking out, is super dynamic and likely inspired several later sauropod models. That said, it was clearly inspired by the skeleton mount at the American Museum of Natural History…but if someone’s going to take inspiration, they could do worse!
I was lucky to manage to grab this figure, probably 15 years ago; a seller on eBay had several for reasonable prices, plus other Dinoland 100mm (that…for some reason…I passed on). Of course they are even harder to find now, and priced accordingly (a quick look found only the associated Allosaurus…) This is, in fact, the only Dinoland figure I have, and probably they only one I will ever have; budget and space are limiting! Plus, the search could be pretty frustrating (although I’ve head a Mesosaurus exists…that might motivate me…but I digress). These figures harken back to an earlier time from Kaiyodo, when their models truly were models, from the same time as their Aqualand figures (the arowana was discussed here). It’s a small but prized piece, and I’m happy to have just the small representative. I would definitely recommend at least looking into the Dinoland figures, and if something catches your eye, go for it–they aren’t the kinds of figures that show up a lot!