Time to look at another set of Japanese dinosaur figures, or at least the ones I have of the set. The name Furuta might sound familiar, as I have referred to them a few times before. In those instances, it was usually as a partner company with Kaiyodo, continuing the Chocoegg series. However, in the early 2000s (and until today) produced figures for their own series, in this case a line of 8 dinosaur figures in their Dinomodels line (optimistically referred to as Series 1, although I am not aware of more than that).
Like their later figures with Kaiyodo, the Dinomodels are figures made up of pieces that need to be assembled. Overall they are not quite as expertly made as the roughly contemporaneous Dinotales, but the similar styling is unmistakable. Still, when compared they are not quite at the same level, and Furuta Dinomodels are generally not as fondly remembered, if they are remembered at all.
I had personally never really tried to track the figures down, although I was aware of them. The first one I was able to get was Tyrannosaurus, which I believe came as part of a larger lot of figures from Japan. That was probably mid-2000s, back when getting decent mixed lots from Japan (or sometimes even eBay) for reasonable amounts. Sometimes there were great things mixed in, and sometimes there were a bunch of random figures. It was especially fun if they were disassembled–had to determine what was actually in there, and what was complete. I do know that the first Furuta Tyrannosaurus I obtained was actually glued together, something that I’ve ran into a few times in so-called job lots, with figures assembled and glued. I find that annoying, since sometimes storage requires them to be taken apart (plus, the assembly is the best part!)
It was a later lot when I managed to get any more of the figures. As well as a second (unglued) Tyrannosaurus, I was able to get a Parasaurolophus and Apatosaurus. Like the tyrannosaur, it’s interesting to put a Dinotales model of any one of these Dinomodels and see how very different the figures could be from a similar time frame (not unlike we can currently do with many of the familiar popular dino figure makers today). They’re similar, but the differences are clear; Dinomodels are much more simplified, and lack the paint and sculpt detail.
As a group, the Dinomodels are a unique series of prehistoric figures from Japan that tend to be less recognizable than many of the other series. They have a somewhat retro-2000 style, kind of a Jurassic Park with a little more accuracy line. Overall they are nice models. The plastic is a little more durable than the Dinotales, but it may be an artefact of the more simplified sculpts, with fewer small bits to break off. The figures are of course long out of production, but seem relatively available As they are less familiar, and less sought after, they appear to be relatively reasonably priced. I can’t say I’d suggest putting a lot of effort into getting them, but if there’s a species of interest it might not be bad to track one down.